Trophy Hunting® for 12 Days of Greatness by Footlocker
Video by @cruziiie
Interview with Trophy Hunting® Creative Director - Dustin O. Canalin
1) How did your love of basketball come through in your designs?
****** I grew up playing basketball and later found that I could make a career out of those interests. My path led me to art school and eventually the sportswear industry. Throughout my journey, I’ve been surrounded by brilliant thinkers, artists and people who are committed to telling authentic stories within sports —many have created what we see on on the court, on our feet, on tv and in stores. The Trophy Hunting team is a reflection of that. We live and breathe this culture through our shared experiences. As a collective that has worked behind the scenes within basketball & retail, we always apply our unique insights to the overall design process. Because of the diversity & perspectives we each offer up- it’s reflected in forward thinking design concepts. You just can’t help but be inspired by that level of creative energy.
2) What was your process for ideating how you would approach this collection?
Trophy Hunting is a call to action. So, the creative process typically starts rooted in purpose- what do we want to accomplish? What trophy are we set on earning? Sometimes just getting through the day is the trophy, especially mid pandemic. Sometimes it’s a vision of the future or a long term goal. For this capsule we noticed that one of the NBA’s newest pre game accessories was a cup of coffee. And in many ways, that’s our fuel for the day too. It’s so simple, but even that small treat can be a symbol of pleasure, taste & comfort. That one thing might make your mornings run smoother or your workout more effective.
As a creative working in NYC, I also find myself at all sorts of coffee shops for meetings, mental breaks, working out creative concepts, and people watching.
Whether it was in the bubble or in NYC— we built around coffee as the metaphorical trophy, observed the community at large and then designed what the ‘Trophy Hunting Garden Cafe’ merchandise would feel like.
3) How do you normally approach the design process?
The design process usually starts with a conversation with my partners Kari Cruz & Jason Gaines. We are a team that loves to travel all over the world- whether it’s for leisure, games, or inspiration on a new project. Travel is a huge theme in our brand. That, combined with our experiences in fashion, sports, culture and politics, will lead to product creation. I’m constantly researching and sketching ideas, so the team conversations help me organize and edit my thoughts into something that our customers need, but perhaps don’t know they want yet. We look at design as a means to solve problems. Since we’re first identifying & solving problems we experience ourselves, the products are rooted in function, quality, and style. The rest is up to us in leaving no stone unturned and making sure we are releasing products that help everyone navigate the world feeling better than they did prior. It’s also why we’re committed to sustainable packaging, unisex styling, and inclusive design concepts surrounding aspiration, mental and physical wellness.
4) Describe how your city and specifically, basketball in your city, comes through on your designs.
NYC is the best city in the world and home of Madison Square Garden; “basketball’s biggest stage.” ‘The Garden’ as its referred to, inspired ideas of growth, cultivation of talent, and the epicenter of sports. We created products that not only represent NYC in a subtle way, but also serve as a metaphor for our “Garden Cafe.” The color palette is partially influenced by the Knicks and the alpine greens from the NY parks department- marrying both of NY’s basketball stages.