Co-founder of the vintage boutique Second round, creator of the most popular sneaker of the year 2018, Youtube phenomenon, passionate collector—Sean wotherspoon maybe all of those things, but this multi-hyphenated person goes way beyond the accolades on their resume. While Wotherspoon may not fit the stereotypical mold of what is considered an “artist,” his sneaker designs with Nike and adidas, along with his deep-rooted passion for music, sing a whole new tune.
Not far from Wotherspoon’s recent collaboration with adidas on the ZX 8000 SuperEarth ™ sneaker – a design built with sustainable resources – he has built an empire fueled by sourcing vintage products and promoting recycled fashion to a high level. range.
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Growing up, you went to Woodward PA skateboard camp. I know from seeing your photos that you were in all kinds of different things such as Space jam. Was there alternative music in your life when you were young, and what was your window on it?
I like you to ask questions about this. Alternative music was a big part of my life growing up. I guess my introduction to music came from my dad. My father is the leader of alternative rock. All my life I remember him listening to alternative rock music. I didn’t know the bands at the time, but I knew what was cool because he would get me the CDs. I remember some of my first CDs he gave me: a Cake CD, one Björk CD, Nirvana. He introduced me to a wide variety of music. Now I’ll hear a song and I’m like, “Oh my God! I love this song. I remember listening to this in the car. It’s fun since I’m in vintage now, like constantly looking for t-shirts for those specific solos. It’s my connection to alternative rock, through my dad. Today I have friends who are in alternative rock, and I’m going to see a specific shirt like Alice in Chains or something that goes for a ton of money. I feel like my dad was so far ahead of what was cool.
I think we’d probably both agree that alternative stuff these days isn’t just about one gender or type of person like it was when we first came along. You look at people like Lil Uzi Vert. I am a huge Dominic Fike fan. Dominic Fike is for me the new Sublime, the new Bradley Nowell. I know there are a lot of sick people coming out of the second round, and there are all kinds of people you meet. I’m sure there are so many people we don’t even know. Are there any “alternate world” people coming to Round Two that you have met?
For sure. I would say one of the bigger ones has to be – I don’t know if it’s considered alternative – but someone from the rock world is Travis Barker. When your brothers [Joel and Benji Madden] started to cross, we stumbled. Getting your brothers to come into the store really tripped us up. Honestly, I feel like the Madden Brothers, in general, are some of the biggest heads in the streetwear community.
I know Toby Morse from H2O is going there. I know there are random people. I was there once and saw Sean Kingston. I have the impression that Pete Wentz took part in the second round.
Dude, 100%! He was actually in the store maybe two or three months ago, and all of our staff were tripping. He goes to the Vintage store. A lot of guys from the alternative scene or the music scene, in general, all go to the Vintage store to copy old hardcore tees or old metal tees or stuff like that. And we also have a lot of guys from the hardcore scene.
Everyone’s on this upcycling thing. Your attitude is so positive and so sick. People have bought upcycling and vintage, and you’re inviting people. You are so promotional.
For me, that’s the only way to really shake things up. If you find that thing you’re like, “Oh man, I love this. I’ll kill him on that, ”you need to involve as many people as possible. If you are really trying to make a change or a difference, it is impossible without the community. This is when I get excited about something. I even like touching it because it’s so much fun. I am excited about something and I thrive seeing the excitement of others parallel to mine.
I wanted to ask you about other projects that you are working on that you would like to shout. I know you have a few.
The biggest project I can cry out for is really the adidas SuperEarth ™ project. It’s become 75% of my life right now. That was my goal, to make this look as fun as possible, so everyone wants to participate and everyone wants to be like, “Oh, let’s explore some vegan options for our business or for our brand.” I’m just excited it’s reaching the general public. It’s fun that people want to get involved. And so I think it’s a really exciting time right now, on every level.
I have to shout we’re talking to you because when Awsten Knight and the guys from Waterparks first came to LA, they had never really played outside of their hometown. They had never really left Texas. The second round is one of the first places I took Awsten and the guys. And I remember he found Benetton in the second round and kept buying all kinds of stuff there. Basically Round Two was really the gateway to Benetton and other vintages for him.
This is always the goal. What I hope to hear is that someone found something in the store that they fell in love with. It’s like, he finds out about Benetton and says to himself, “Oh, my God, I need everything!” I remember those early days you took Awsten and the guys to the store. What good times. It was when I was working in the store, everyday, all day. It was so nice to know you were coming in. Either we would have some great stories or maybe you would have an OG piece from your collection or you would bring someone new. From those early days of meeting Awsten, we’ve just had this connection. I have the impression that we are more or less in these different worlds, but there are these common threads. I discovered his music through you. I am Awsten’s Instagram. I’m on it all the time to see what their next album is or what they’re doing next or where they’re playing. I feel like the second round is a place where we were lucky to have these relationships with everyone.
You really created a community, and I can’t even express the amount of love for Chris [Russow], Luc [Fracher] and your work. We are super grateful. It’s interesting to see when we started doing what we were doing, and you started around the same time, to see the effect that you’ve had on all kinds of communities and in music and in music. popular culture and subcultures. Just to shut it up and let go, what are you listening to now, whether it’s new or old?
I’m on some old school shit right now. I listen to the Mamas & The Papas, the Byrds, old Beach boys, Joni mitchell, Curtis Mayfield. I’m on this old musical journey right now, and I love it. I listen to Bobby Womack every day. I’ve been on this 60s and 70s musical vibe for a few months now. It’s such a heavy vibration for me that I was even trying to hit Yachty or someone I knew just to go out to listen to music. I’m like, “Dude, I want somebody else to listen to this music that has never heard it before.” It is so good.”
This interview appeared in issue 394, available here.