Meet The Designer That's Putting Everyone In Chains
is a designer from Tokyo, Japan who has arguably the most creative and coveted shoes out right now. We spoke with Keagan about his experience designing the initial Chain Force's, to now having the likes of Playboi Carti, Thouxanbanfauni, and many other designers and artists rocking his shoes. In addition, we also spoke with Keagan about his clothing label 1999 - ????, his favorite Chain Force's he's designed, and his vision to create a high fashion line that will leave a legacy for himself, his friends, and his descendents.
Where are you from?
Keagan: I was born in Tokyo, Japan. My father is from the states.
When did you start designing?
Keagan: I was always into art so I was always making graphics and other stuff. But I started making clothes around 2017 which started with the Chain Force's.
What made you want to start?
Keagan: I started because I didn’t wanna pay people each time to have a design be made. I thought I might as well do it myself.
Have you always been an artist?
Keagan: I've always been an artist.
Did you start with shoes before you started making clothes?
Keagan: Yes, I started with the Chain Force's first actually.
Has it always been under the name Keagan Hoffman?
Keagan: I've always been designing under my name.
Talk about the influence behind your creative style. Where does it come from?
Keagan: I get influenced from many things, such as movies, life events, or even a lookbook.
Do other artists or creators inspire your work?
Keagan: Of course! My friends are an especially big inspiration and also motivate me.
When did you make the first pair of Chain Force 0’s?
Keagan: I made the first pair of Chain Force's around 2017.
What was the inspiration behind them?
Keagan: It was inspired by a look that was different than what was seen normally, something more heavy that still pops out. The 1999 signifies my birthdate with a cross pendant and the ???? is of course the end with a reaper pendant. It's sort of like a little story on each shoe.
What made you come up with the idea to replace the laces with chains?
Keagan: I put chain laces on to make it look more heavy and less like a shoe. It makes it look more like an armor.
How did people react when you first released them?
Keagan: People were surprised! Not many people had seen stuff like that, especially with an Air Force so I got a lot of love, but also a lot of criticism.
How did Carti end up rocking the Chain Force's?
Keagan: My friend Jeremy Gonzales that owns Guardian Angels gave a pair to Carti.
Are there any other music artists you want to work with?
Keagan: I want to work with Lil Uzi Vert, I love his outfits.
What’s your favorite pair that you’ve designed so far?
Keagan: My favorite pair is the Devil Chain Force's.
Have you done any live pop-ups?
Keagan: Once with Bond Vault at 424.
Would you ever bring the Chain Force's to a different shoe model?
Keagan: Yes, I’ve been thinking and sketching designs for a new model.
Talk about your new venture 1999 - ????. What is it?
Keagan: 1999 - ???? is more custom to me, it's something personal since the number is my birthdate. It's like an small journal of my art that's continuing to grow.
What was the inspiration behind the first 1999 - ???? cross hoodie you designed?
Keagan: I just wanted to make an hoodie that also fit the visual look of the Chain Force's.
Do you plan on continuing to release 1 of 1’s?
Keagan: Yes I will continue to release 1 of 1's because it makes the piece more special.
What other pieces do you want to experiment with?
Keagan: I'd like to create a carpet sometime soon.
What should we expect to see next?
Keagan: Expect to see a runway show in the near future and also furniture I created.
What’s your vision for 1999 - ????
Keagan: My vision is that it’ll be a high fashion line that’ll create clothes and furniture. Sort of like a lifestyle brand.
What would you consider yourself? Are you an artist? A designer? A creative genius? Something totally different?
Keagan: I think of myself as an average joe, just a normal guy that likes to make art! Nothing special, I'm not above anybody or below anybody, just neutral.
Are there any other designers or brands that you want to work with?
Keagan: I would love to work with Jun Takahashi.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Keagan: I want to be remembered as an artist and I want to make my descendants proud.
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