MOCA’S LA TRIP 🙂
The Los Angeles One Star Experience Presented By Converse X
Words By Roo
Two weeks ago Converse South Africa flew down one of their Converse X community members who goes by the name Monica aka Moca to Los Angeles for a global #RatedOneStar affair. This whole Converse experience brought kids from all over the world to celebrate their impulsive, audacious and fearless behavior. The purpose of the trip was a unique one as Converse connected like minded individuals, from different walks of life, together to be part of a global campaign that is set to be rolled out in the year 2019. Besides the commercial side of the experience, the social aspect of it is what made it an amazing time for everyone involved. HYPE got the opportunity to fly down to LA too a couple of days after Monica did to witness how Converse remains to stay ahead through the brand’s unconventional ways of creating timeless moments. The whole trip felt like a Hollywood dream from day one until the last day and so I took some time to talk to talk to Monica about how she captivated the whole Converse trip.
Let’s talk about the moment you were told that you would be flying down to L.A. What was going through your head?
Well when they first told me I was numb… You know when you receive something, you’re not sure whether to be excited or take it in because it might be a joke you know? It could’ve been a hoax or whatever… So, when I first found out that I was like OMG! okay cool, it didn’t hit me, it only hit like a week later when it got real and I had to fill in US VISA forms.
What do you think about Converse taking and bringing young creatives from all over the world together to have these intimate and amazing experiences?
I think it’s pretty cool that they (Converse) came up with this idea of getting people from different countries who are trying to start their own business’ and who are trying to do their own thing. I don’t see other brands doing that, not to name any brands, but I’ve never seen other brands do something so incredible like Converse has done. Getting to the extent of even us getting to meet Tyler The Creator or just getting to meet people that work in Converse to tell us how they do things with advice is amazing!
It’s not that simple for a person to just go into a Converse main store and say “hey, can I please meet someone from Converse”. So, Converse is actually trying to reach out to the youth because the youth is the future you know. And they’re also really interested in what’s going on and are trying to change the game in terms of what people are doing and how people think. Converse supports people and shows them that we all can come as one and be a family.
You got to L.A before me, so what did you guys get up to on day 1 of your experience?
On day 1 we had a meet and greet dinner where we were welcomed and introduced. They told us that we were family and that it’s not about who is better than who. We literally were told to just be ourselves, connect and make friends. And that’s what the whole trip was about… We then started mingling with people and I started finding out that they’re actually people out there in the world that are hustling like you, so it was quite interesting.
How did the fact that you were down in L.A courtesy of Converse South Africa, being a part of all these amazing things, encourage you as a person?
Honestly speaking it has inspired me a lot, it has motivated me to believe in myself more, to push myself more and just to get things out there because it’s one thing to sit down and tell yourself that you want to do this but then do you really have the driving force or that ambition to do it? Now when you meet people from all walks of life who are famous and some who are not famous actually interested in what you want to do and even want to collaborate with you it’s amazing! It has really pushed me to not be scared, not hold back and literally give it my all.
Let’s talk about what happened on the day we all were finally together? My highlight was when we went down to Tyler’s GOLF store to get that exclusive…
Yeah! So, what happened was that we all went into a bus together to get to the GOLF store and when we got there, we saw Tyler’s whole clothing concept and how everything, together with his shoes, is not just about putting a Converse logo on a shirt or something. You could see that he really thought of his aesthetic from the sneakers, the one-star Sneakers that he made, to his tops. Everything just collaborated and fit well when we saw how the installation of the store was. It was like retro but futuristic at the same time.
We also met Tyler’s friend, Jasper, which was quite cool because he was so down to earth because sometimes when you’re famous you can be stuck up, but he was so cool to the extent where he even took a picture with us after he shouted out power to the black people! [Laughs] Jasper was just so chilled, and he made us feel comfortable.
Remember when Tyler peeked through the door so unexpectedly?
Yeah! we met him, but you couldn’t take a picture with him (Tyler) but we got to shake his hand and he greeted us…
Yo! That que of people outside the store was crazy huh!?
Yeah! You could tell the difference between how people line up to shop in L.A compared to SA. Okay, I’ve never really been to that kind experience, when something new is being released because I just thought that you just order online, or you literally go to the store to pick up the item you bought. Seeing people stand in an anaconda type of line just to get clothes was crazy. But I like the human connection as well as the fact that when we were allowed go into the store, they made us feel very important. They closed the whole store for us!
When we had time to walk around Fairfax Avenue, how did you find some of the other fashion store that the street hosts?
All the shops look quite cool, but what I found so crazy was how the Supreme store has a store right next to it selling Supreme but double the price [Laughs] And at the same time you don’t know if it’s real or not but you’re just like that’s so freaking crazy! Besides that, I liked the stores, I liked that whole long street filled with amazing fashion & sneaker stores.
Yo! Remember that dope lunch session we had?
Yeah! We had lunch in a basketball court just for us Converse people. It was quite cool because we had food from a food truck. It was like all you can eat but we had like three options from tortillas to burritos. That day was amazing!
Later during the day the Converse team gave us quite an insightful session with the guys from Babylon. How did you absorb that moment? Did it help you understand Converse as a brand better?
Yeah, I feel like that whole like workshop was insightful. They spoke about how they do things and more about the stuff that they do. Converse doesn’t just get a famous person and just work with them. They want people that are down to earth like them because Converse is a down to earth brand. It’s not an in your face type of bran. So, they did the right thing by choosing someone like Tyler the Creator and doing a collaboration with someone like Babylon. It was also insightful to know that people in other countries are going through the same thing that we’re going through at home… You’re not the only one. It’s all about creating friendships, family members and meeting people.
And How Much Did You Enjoy Tyler The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Festival?
Camp Flog Gnaw was epic! already. When you’re there you can obviously feel the difference between a South African and L.A you know? Obviously because the event is overseas you could tell the difference… The festival was held at the Dodger Stadium and it seemed like everyone was just spaced out when we got there. I just found it so crazy how you have to do the whole nothing like this whole immigration like security check to get in the fest, but it was still pretty epic. Getting to see the likes of Tyler, A$AP Rocky and The Internet perform was cool. The Internet were amazing to see live guys! You just felt their songs! It’s one thing listen to music on your phone or on the radio but live with a band is out of this world.
The Whole Trip Was Just Out Of This World. After Everything That You’ve Been A Part Of And Seen, What Will You Be Taking From It All?
I think what I have taken from this trip is the mentality that you should never give up on yourself. You should know that you’re the only one who can stop you from being great… So just need to change your mindset and stop focusing on what other people are saying. And once you get your head in the right space then everything else just falls into place.