Check out our exclusive interview with Jon Buscemi.
Socialite Heights had the distinct pleasure to talk with one of the sneaker game’s most luxurious designers Jon Buscemi. We wanted to dive into the world of Buscemi to find out where the love for high-quality footwear gets it’s inspiration.
SH: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JB: I grew up in Long Island, New York and took the traditional route of going to both high school and college which lead me to Wall Street where I worked at a brokerage firm for many years. It was during my time on Wall Street when I started collecting sneakers and ended up with more than 600 pairs. After growing and having an affinity for my collection, I left Wall Street to join the design world where I collaborated on several projects that included DC Shoe Co, Lotto USA, and Oliver Peoples until I co-founded my first independent brand, GOURMET. From there, I presented the first collection of BUSCEMI sneakers in Paris in 2013.
SH: When you start the design process for a shoe where do you draw inspiration from?
JB: Growing up in New York, skateboarding, art and music influenced me a lot. I was always surrounded by personal style and influences from different ethnicities where diversity everywhere—these inspirations and ideas were the catalyst for many of my designs.
SH: What goes into the quality of making a high-quality shoe as you do?
JB: I think this video on one of our recent trips to Italy states it best. Check it out! Link
SH: Now you have a strong team how do you guys plan out executing designs? What is the creative process like?
JB: The creative process is limitless. There are no boundaries from the design side so I can truly create what I have on my mind. As a company, we can push the boundaries of the way people think and engage with high-quality products and that’s what makes us so special.
SH: Where did you get your passion from to create such luxury items? You have belts, coffee cup holders, and even dog leashes. What about these things captures you?
JB: At the beginning, I wanted to get an idea out there, to tell a story of a certain nostalgia that I felt was missing in the marketplace. I was inspired by the early 80’s and the birth of hip-hop and the street culture that came with it but I wanted to elevate it. My dream is to tell a high fashion, ever growing lifestyle culture story for my customer.
SH: Do you miss Wall Street at all? Also, if you do miss it what do you miss about it?
JB: Wall Street made me a student of business. I learned about private equity, family funds, and the IPO market. Those 16 hour days helped me craft my tenacity and made me who I am today. I owe a lot to Wall Street and hope to ring that bell again.
SH: When you see people wear your sneakers or have anything you help create, how do you feel?
JB: I feel so blessed to have such a loyal and growing fan base. I love to see how people wear their Buscemi gear. I’m very into social media especially Instagram, and when I see customers share their style and people respond or leave comments, it totally validates my designs and goals of how I want people to wear and interact with my designs.
SH: Describe your brand in 3 words.
JB: Authentic, high-fashion, sharp attention to detail
SH: What did the Capsule Show in Paris back in 2013 mean to you?
JB: The 2013 presentation was the start of it all. We produced a limited range of Buscemi sneakers that were only released to 10 distributors and they were sold out within days. We had created something unique and sought after—something only select people could get their hands on.
SH: What future collaborations or projects do you have lined up for 2016?
JB: We are opening our first flagship store in New York City this Fall which we are super excited about. We are also going to be introducing new product categories and artist collaborations so stay tuned!
SH: Do you think of yourself as a Socialite? If yes, why?
JB: I’m lucky to be involved in so many groups of people, from fashion’s elite to the most talented musicians.
SH: If you could go back ten years and speak to your younger self what advice would you give?
JB: Be passionate, driven and never give up on your dreams!
Jon has come a long way on a journey from New York, he took his vision and put it on the feet of many. His drive helped paved the way for a brand to touch so many cities. Buscemi is more than just a brand it’s a story that’s still being written.
Intro & Outro By: Julian M. & Cory P.
Edited By: Ashley A.