Multi-disciplinary artist DemonSlayer was called upon to unveil the latest collaborative apparel that’s taken Asia by storm — Yeti Out x Nike React Vision ‘LOST SIGNAL’. Dan Nguyen, as he’s also known, is a DJ, producer and graphic artist from Ho Chi Minh City who intermittently bases himself out in Los Angeles. To nobody’s surprise, he’s a design buff, and of course an avid sneaker collector. So we caught up with him to break down the hype behind 'LOST SIGNAL' and give us the low down on the immaculate attention to detail that we love about these fresh kicks.
Check out the exclusive unboxing video after our chat with DemonSlayer.
Who is DemonSlayer? Who is Dan Nguyen?
“DemonSlayer is an essence, a feeling — kinetic energy, a push that you feel within; a drive, a feeling of being alive. The energy that you use to slay your inner demons and do that thing that you do.”
How has COVID affected things for you? Tell us about your ‘new normal’?
“Aside from the obvious drastic changes, I'm just more hyper-aware of public germs floating in space all around me, like when I go pick up essential groceries. I never realised how often I would touch my face while adjusting my glasses. I like wearing masks, I did it in Saigon and LA before the pandemic hit. Getting COVID Consent before meeting with friends is a real thing now. I ask about everyone's current health status etc. Extra precautions all around. I don't really meet up with anyone in person anymore save a select few regulars."
How did you get your hands on a pair of Yeti Out x Nike React Vision 'LOST SIGNAL'?
“It was sent to me from Shanghai. I am part of the gang, which may have increased my chances of receiving a pair. I will be buying another pair anyway.”
Which part of the sneaker’s designs are you drawn to the most?
“I studied the shoes for days. I put them on my desk and while working, excruciatingly combed over every aspect of them in my spare moments. I became ultra familiar with the pair, relishing in the new, fresh from the factory scent. A sneaker head's haven. My favourite parts of the experience were the double-lined Swoosh, the tumbled leather overlays over the eyelets, and the heel cage that lovely reminds me of Boost 2.0.”
Why did you opt for the “Metallic White” versus “Voltage Purple”?
“The colour-way just stood out to me, it's a classic, a combo that can’t fail! I was thinking of a summer crepe and this one suddenly appeared. I've only worn the pair in my house so far, and am now considering keeping it that way.”
You’ve got a background in design & art direction. What are your thoughts on the packaging/design of 'LOST SIGNALS' project?
“Not only do I identify with LOST SIGNALS visually, I fully live and operate in its world. Our generation relies on the Web now more than ever, a dependency that empowers us yet also gives us a wider possibility to do damage. Human touch behind the cybernetics is key to staying grounded and being present for one another. The branding, concept, zine all encompasses those themes. Community, gathering, sound-waves, raves in caves, independence, collaboration.”
Does your personal fashion sense coincide with your musical/production style?
“I would say yes. I believe Humans subconsciously absorb everything from our environment and surroundings. We are constantly observing information and processing it, then outputting it. My art, music, fashion sense, food palette are all intrinsically connected, intentionally or not. I guess Techno is black clothing?”
Five sneakers on rotation.
“It changes every week but right now I'm beating a pair of purplish ASICS Gel Lyte III's, Nike Air Force 1 90/10 "All-Stars", New balance 878 Stargazing pack, and Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi. I also wear Crocs sometimes but I add two extra insoles so they can get squishy.”
And one more thing… watch this space for a ‘Dan Nguyen x Mixmag Asia’ collaboration.