When your dad is legendary artist Damien Hirst, following in his art footsteps is practically inevitable. Though he rejected it at first as a young teen, Cassius "Cass" Hirst eventually became enamored by the process of creating and expressing himself.
His outlet? Sneakers, which he would spray paint for himself and his closest friends before painting Air Forces 1s for the likes of ASAP Rocky, Offset and Playboi Carti. Virgil Abloh was another fan of his work, inviting Hirst to host one of the inaugural workshops at Nikelab’s Chicago Re-creation Center.
His first collaboration with Prada Linea Rossa is his latest fashion crossover, but the first time his work has been industrialized. For the four-style capsule, he reimagines the brand's America’s Cup sneaker with his signature spray painting technique while and reconfiguring its surface through texture.
The project first came about when Hirst took photos of AF1s he wrapped in abstract vinyl stencils and sent a photo to his dad one day, who in turn sent it to Miuccia Prada (the two friends have often worked together on numerous projects). "And she said, ‘This looks amazing, let's do something,'" says the London-based Hirst, who was in New York this week to celebrate the launch at Prada's SoHo store.
The four sneaker styles — ATT4CK, D3CAY, SUST4IN, REL3ASE — are all conceived as a series, according to Hirst. "SUST4IN for instance is the ‘held’ point of the series," he says. "ATT4CK is aggressive — the neon has a punch. And with D3CAY, the shoe itself seems decayed, worn. And REL3ASE — you see the color, fading, letting go."
A scan of Hirst's brain is the key motif of the capsule, "I had a seizure, when I was a teenager, and had all kinds of tests, the visuals come from there," he says. "Full scans, cross sections. I find them fascinating. I had stencils made and I’ve been using it ever since."
The Cass x Prada collection is available now in quantities of 3,000 at Prada boutiques and Prada.com
Photos courtesy of Prada