In part 1, Kei Henderson touched on many different topics. From Paul Wall and Mike Jones and their crazy 10.Deep party, to her past endeavors, her current role with 10.Deep plus more. You can read that here. Below you will enter part 2 of our phone conversation where Kei spoke highly about her relationship with the industry, her childhood, working with 10.Deep founder Scott Sasso and more.
JM: Lets talk about you though, did you always know that you wanted to work in this industry or did it just come about casually?
KH: Well, as far as working in the fashion industry, no because I just never really had an interest in working in fashion at all. I was more so interested in music. But obviously these days, hip hop music and the fashion world collide very often. So it’s kinda like a natural Segway after a while. Because I wasn’t brought on to 10.Deep as someone with a lot of fashion marketing knowledge. I was brought on as someone who has a lot of music context and someone who has a lot of knowledge in that industry. And that kinda’ affects 10.Deep industry too, ya’ know? I never really had intentions of working in fashion. That’s probably why this will be my last fashion job because it’s just not really [like] I don’t want to be seen as somebody who works in fashion, I want to be seen as someone who does marketing for brands. You know what I mean?
JM: You’ve worked on many collaborations in your life, and you still are working on collaborations. Personally, what is your favorite special project you’ve worked on?
KH: What is my favorite special project? That’s an interesting question. I got to think about that.
JM: We can come back to that. Scott Sasso, who is the founder of 10.Deep has been in this industry for a while now generating nothing but quality garments. What relationship do you guys’ share?
KH: Well, it’s funny. When I met Scott, I met them at a showcase. One of my artist I used to manage Grip Lide, had a show on the showcase. I forget how he got on. I think it was through a mutual friend or whatever. Grip performed one of his hit singles at the time which was Fuck That Hipster Shit and after that performance Scott came up to us was like “yo that song was incredible and I loved that song.” and I got his contact information and we kinda’ just started talking. I honestly didn’t know who he was, until he told me like “yeah, I started 10.Deep” but this was in later conversations though. I was like “okay, cool let me get your info.” – OK Scott at 10.Deep. Didn’t really do any research on it. But then he had hit me up later on like, “yo, is Dip around? I think he might be a good look for our lookbook.” I think this was 2011 maybe, or maybe even the end of 2010. From there we just kept in contact and he would hit me up occasionally and ask me what I thought about this artist. Or asking me if I’ve heard of this person or whatever! It eventually got the point where it was like “hey, we need some help coordinating an event, would you be interested in helping out?” I was like, “yeah, sure!”. And that’s kinda of how the working relationship began, but like on a personal level, Scott was just somebody from the NY community that kinda opened the lawns to me being from Atlanta, you’re an outsider until you can prove to a lot of New Yorkers that you belong here. And it was kinda’ like on some big brother shit. It was always like “yeah, you seem like a smart girl. You want to help me with this?” or “you seem like a smart person, what do you think about this?”. Beyond the work stuff, he was just a person that recognizes the potential in me and that’s kinda what lead me to taking a job here.
JM: Ok, Kei – we’re going to play a name and relation game. I’m going to call out some names and I want you tell me your first thoughts, when you hear the words. Ok?
JM: Scott Sasso.
JM: New York City.
KH: Best city in the world.
JM: Nike Destroyer Jacket
JM: Paul Wall and Mike Jones
KH: [Uhhh] That’s hard. I have to say the right thing and the first thing that comes to my mind. But…when I think of 10.Deep I think of history.
JM: Last word: marketing.
KH: Something anybody could do, if they wanted to do it.
JM: For a second, speak on your childhood. Were you always an avid sneaker enthusiast and style connoisseur? And when did that come about for you? I know you said you were big into music, but when did the side switch and you enjoyed this as well? Or were you always into this?
KH: No, I wasn’t always necessarily a style person. I grew up like the only black kid in my class and I went to an all white school from kindergarten all the way up to college. And even in college, I went to an all white school. But it was so segregated because you’re basically an adult now, or an adult at that point. That I tried making a whole lot more black friends, that came more important for me fit in and dress a certain way. You know, my best friend in college is actually from Queens, New York. We would go shopping together, put me on some things, and then even before I really kinda’ started taking up wanting to be in New York, I was really diggin’ the Myspace. So I met a lot of people, actually that I keep in contact with that still live in New York through Myspace, but I kinda’ would like observe kinda’ what the style. But I would always go on hersonpreston.com, I would always check out Alien New York, these kids who used to have a clothing brand and they used to parties in New York. I would already kinda’ take notes of their style. And eventually, I paying attention to Complex Magazine and that’s kinda shaped my love for streetwear. So I guess that was 2002, 2003, when I went like “okay, stuff matters if I like this shit.” And eventually, I started taking trips up to DC, taking trips to New York and that’s when it came to me and when I said I to the realization that I wanted to cop my sneakers and money on clothes. But before then I did’t really give a shit.
JM: What’s your most vivid sneaker memory? Let’s say you were there in 2002, 2003, or maybe even 2004, what’s the first sneaker you went hard for?
KH: [Uhm] I’m trying to think of the name of the shoe. I think it would be some 1990 Huaraches. I think so, yeah! I used to like a whole lot of Huaraches. I used to visit DC almost every other weekend when I was in college. I used to date a lot of girls from PG County and that was a big shoe up there besides the Nike Boots. So I guess that will be a memorable sneaker union. I don’t really have anything where I waited in line or no shit like that. I’m never done nothing like that. So, I would say Huaraches.
JM: As the spring and summer months are approaching, what can 10.Deep customers look forward to?
KH: A lot of good prints and a lot of good pieces, I think the spring collection trumps the Holiday collection. I thought the Holiday collection was some of the best stuff I’ve seen from 10.Deep but the spring stuff is a very mature streetwear, always menswear. We’ve got like trench jackets, a lot of woven shirts for guys that are graduating college or leaving one side of their life and entering another one, and still feel comfortable at the same time. You can go to work, you can go out and still feel like yourself. You know what I’m saying? You’ll still cool, we feel cool, and not feel like you have some weird 9 to 5 job.
JM: I was going to say, it sounds like the new collection is really drawing the line between menswear and streewwear, definitely. It’s bridging the GAP.
KH: Yeah, for sure! Our suff is way more menswear. A lot of it is because it’s reflected off Scott’s style. If you see Scott on a daily basis, he doesn’t necessarily wear all 10.Deep from head to toe. But he dresses like a grown man. He wears very basic shirts, nice denim, cool shoes. Ya’ know, he’s a very stylish dude. So, the pieces – all of them embody his personal style. So, that’s what the product is looking like.
JM: Man, that’s nice. OK, last question for you. If you had to wear 3 pairs of shoes/sneakers for the rest of your life, what would they be?
KH: [Uhmm] I would say, Jordan 3′s. Because you can wear those with anything.
JM: Ok, Jorddan 3′s! Black or White Cement? Which ones? You gotta’ give me specifics [says jokingly]
KH: Black! Nike Roshe Run – the sneaker boot. Those are big right now. I wear a lot of those. Probably Clark’s.
JM: Wallabee? Or Desert Boot?
KH: Desert boot.
JM: Well yeah, that was a crazy ass interview. That raps up the interview. I just want to say thank you. I appreciate this so much. It means a lot.
KH: You’re very welcome. I appreciate you reaching out.
Major thanks to Kei Henderson and 10.Deep for this amazing opportunity. Thank you.
- Jonathan T. McLean