TEN TALKS TO HAYDEN COX
Get set for a mega collaboration that launches next week and is the meeting of three minds: the Northern Beaches super surfboard designer Hayden Cox (Haydenshapes Editions), the brilliant NYC based artist Daniel Arsham (Arsham Studio) and LA designer Chris Stamp (Stampd). Collectively they have come up with three epic surfboards and a neat collection of super street/surfwear, which will be officially unveiled at a pop-up in Bondi Beach. It's all very iconic quite honestly and so we were compelled to catch up with Hayden on the eve of the launch of “Wave Relic”.
How was it collaborating with Daniel Arsham and Chris Stamp?
"Super fun. We all have pretty different design backgrounds and skills, which made it interesting and challenging in the best of ways. Both Daniel and Chris have worked with some major brands and very talented people so I did feel a little bit of pressure and responsibility to make sure I delivered. Daniel had not long released his collaboration with Dior and was recently appointed ‘Creative Director’ of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. I really wanted to challenge myself and my team to be innovative in how we approached this project."
What came first, the super surfer boards or the idea of limited edition surf wear?
"Daniel and I first started with the clear cast resin surfboard sculpture for his ‘The House’ exhibitions at Selfridges in London in late 2019. We were also prototyping the ‘eroded’ board but I hadn’t quite figured out marrying the functionality with aesthetics at that point. We got chatting about how some of the ideas and art direction spoke to apparel and Daniel suggested Chris could be cool to chat to and I was stoked because I wore and really liked the Stampd brand. When it came to designing the range we wanted pieces that were versatile, comfortable and translated to men, women as well as each of our individuals styles and what we wear day to day. There’s a nod to surf in the art, but ultimately it’s a curated capsule of well constructed key basics. The stuff you tend to wear more than anything else and I personally invest in good basics for that reason."
Where/how did you all begin?
"I had followed Daniel’s work for a while and loved what he was doing through Snarkitecture, his exhibitions and his sculptural work. He’s created such a unique and signature visual language in his art which I really admire. I think it was actually 2018 that I first sent him an email about working on something together. It was cool in that there were never any time frames or expectations from the outset which I think has been one of my favourite things about this project. It’s all genuinely evolved on its own time."
How long has it taken to come to fruition?
"I think if 2020 turned out differently we very well might have released something then, but give or take a pandemic, I’d say a good couple of years for sure."
The boards look AMAZING, the ‘crystalized’ short board to the clear resin ‘sculpture', what has resonated with you while you created them?
"The eroded board took many failed attempts before I figured out how to achieve Daniel’s fictional archaeology aesthetic while replicating the similar function and feel of a typical surfboard. Every turn we took in the early prototyping rounds didn’t quite land on the right methodology and technique to achieve what we were wanting. The erosion placements and shape are very deliberate as hollow sections through the core of a surfboard definitely challenge physics to some degree. This board is special in that for all the time and energy that went into creating it the entire method of construction more or less lives and dies in this project. It’s not often that you’d put that amount of development into something that is so specific for one project - and that’s what I love about it. The learnings and skills we now have as a manufacturing team in Australia, particularly our experience in mold making and large format resin casting, is something I never saw coming and was very much instigated by this project."
The ocean is endangered, did you use sustainable technology in some way?
"The surfboard industry has a long way to go when it comes to sustainability and for me where it needs to start is reducing and repurposing the 30% (at least) material waste from each board that typically ends up in landfill. Through this project and our normal production, we’ve been collecting our off cuts and upcycling it back into new material and products. For this project, foam and fiberglass waste was added to our custom concrete material compound used to make the floor mounts for the Crystal Surfboard Sculpture. It’s a part of the business and future for the brand that I am really focussed on and want to approach meaningfully."
Does Daniel surf as well as you… 😏
"Daniel is curious and keen to get into it I think. Having grown up in Miami, he’s always had an appreciation for surfing. He’s got plenty of boards lying around now!"
What did you learn/take from working with Chris Stamp?
"Chris has been instrumental in this second half of the project and really helping to bring all the elements together for the release and applying his design and art direction. Our ‘Wave Relic’ Whatsapp group updates are some of my daily highlights - everyone is always vibing on the different ideas and it’s a fun energy. I think because this project sits outside of what we all do day to day, it’s become a fun passion project on the side and a creative outlet for everyone. I’ve learned a lot."
How do you think Chris has managed to elevate surfwear with this collection?
"I like how Chris has paid tribute to surf through the art and the ironic technical drawings of surfboards and waves being broken down by charts and diagrams. It’s a bit of a play on wave pool technologies “Breaking Criterion” - it’s not intended to be super serious or even categorised as a surfwear collection necessarily. I think Chris has a talent in elevating everyday pieces whether it be a tee, a sweat pant, technical jacket or whatever. He goes to the level of detail that I also relate to in how I approach surfboards."
“Wave Relic”, 97 Hall Street, Bondi Beach from May 6th