Thinking through how much of his personal past to divulge gives Spanto, co-founder of BornxRaised, pause. At various points in his life, he has thought it best to just “lay it all out there… let my story be told. It’s who I am.”
Who he is and the impact his hometown of Venice, California, has had on him, inspired the label he began in 2013 with his creative partner, 2Tone. Having witnessed the effects of gentrification on their beloved neighborhood, BornxRaised delivers an indigenous point of view: If you’re not from here, you’ll never capture the true culture and essence of the beachfront town.
His family has called Venice home for more than 90 years, and Spanto is a true product of the subcultures that have long flourished in and defined the neighborhood’s streets. The interplay of these subcultures, in turn, come to life in his brand’s every outspoken expression.
In BornxRaised’s first collaboration with Converse, the Jack Purcell, a sneaker that debuted on the badminton court in 1933, is interpreted based on its own history in Venice. That silhouette — long the artist’s alternative to the Chuck Taylor on the Venice skate scene — is what Spanto grew up wearing.
Spanto gives the classic court shoe a lustrous hair-on-hide upper in black and camel. Reminiscent of a fresh buzz cut, the materialization delivers a look that was as dapper as it was street. The aesthetic is capped with statement-making rubber on the heel. On the tongue of each shoe, BornxRasied’s “On The Turf” is spelled out in embroidered cursive, as if to remind those looking down on the sneaker of its authenticity.
To celebrate the launch of the Converse x BornxRaised Jack Purcell, BornxRaised will launch a two-day pop-up shop.
“If you position yourself in this one spot on the Venice boardwalk,” Spanto says, “you can see a mural; it must be about 60 feet. Growing up, it used to be a mural of my dad, who was a blues musician.”
Fittingly, that spot on the Venice boardwalk (1313 Oceanfront Walk) is where the Converse x BornxRaised Jack Purcell will release on February 2.
The collection launches globally February 3 on converse.com and at select retailers.