21 Aug Nice Guys Finish First, Just look at Luke Doman

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 We caught up with Luke Doman for a few moments on the night of the latest Corner Store release to talk about his passion, fashion, and Action Bronson

 

Words: Tshiamo Seape

 

 

The Corner Store is everywhere – its influence, I mean. While the geographic location is quite fixed (103 Sir Lowry Rd, Cape Town if you have the time), the impact of this iconic store is boundless. The home of Young and Lazy, Sol-Sol and 2BOP, has been the spiritual home of Cape Town’s expanding streetwear culture for years.

 

The success of Corner Store is due in no small part Luke Doman who, when I meet him, looks quite unassuming. In a plain white hoodie and grey Young and Lazy jacket, he doesn’t look like he’s attempting anything other than staying warm. When I mention my name and the reason for why I’m here he politely requests I give him “five minutes” before we start the interview and I agree to give him as much time as he needs – it’s a busy night, and imagine he has a lot going on. While I continue to mingle and peruse the garments I fully expect to wait at least 20 Minutes for him to get back to me – oh, me of little faith. Before I could pour myself another drink, Luke was ready to get started. I was immediately impressed.

 

We looked for a place a little quieter and began what would become a very enlightening interview.

 

The Wire:

For those who don’t know: Who are you and what do you do?

 

Luke:

I’m Luke, and I run the store. I do styling and photography as well, I guess.

 

So, I did some digging: exoticserpentslippers (his Instagram handle), what is the name and where does it come from?

If I’m being honest, I wanted a funny name. I was listening to Action Bronson (rapper) at the time and it’s super niche, super obscure. I was also skating in those fake snakeskin Vans – they were free at the store and I needed something to skate in.

 

Following the launch for today, can you tell us what your favourite pieces are from each collection?

The salmon, or peach coloured jacket from Young and Lazy. A lot of the stuff we sell relies on the fact that people understand the context – people aren’t buying the cotton, they’re buying the story. That piece breaks that, it appeals to everyone regardless of what they know, that always gets me. 2Bop have done a sort of throwback collection. It’s like the 2Bop of old, with a lot more game referencing and they’ve let go of trying to please people.

 


Realising that we have the ability to connect with kids, that like the same shit as us, that’s amazing – to be a part of culture.


 

Can you elaborate?

I’m not saying it was conscious but things ebb and flow and maybe that means changing or assimilating, but I always like it when homeies say “fuck that” and go back to what they believe in.

 

I wanted to talk about the Lookbook you shot that was featured on Highsnobiety and besides that, what were some other career highlights?

For me, stuff like that is pleasing for a younger version of myself. It’s a weird thing to say, but that’s not an aspiration anymore. Hype Beast, Highsnobiety – they appeal to a lot of people and it appealed to a past version of me. Other career highlights would be getting to make clothes with the backing of Mathew, Anthony, and Anees (Sol- Sol, 2Bop, and Young and Lazy, respectively). Working with the homies and understanding that I can bring value to their brands. Those are role-models and heroes for me. Being part of this collective of designers will always be more satisfying for me than anything else.

 

Realising that we have the ability to connect with kids, that like the same shit as us, that’s amazing – to be a part of culture.

 

Are there any plans to work with designers outside of the Corner Store fold?

We’re at the phase where we’re definitely not saying no to stuff, but there are no specific plans. I don’t have anything specific to tell you, but we are exploring.

 

Among his many responsibilities as the face of Corner Store, Like has taken it upon himself to impart his knowledge to the best and brightest of the next generation.

 

Shortly after we conducted our interview, Luke, In collaboration with the Corner Store and a handful of very influential Cape Town creatives including performance artists Queezy (Quade Heneke), and DJ K-$ (Kalo Canterbury ) came together to start the Summer Camp: A day of talks and workshops for young people of all backgrounds focusing on career opportunities in arts, music and fashion – “The starting point for Summer Camp came from the idea that the powers that be aren’t nurturing our emerging creatives,” Heneke tells nataal.com

 

From Right: Queezy, K-$, Lukhanyo Mdingi

Participants were asked to submit an entry of 140 characters explaining why they were deserving of the opportunity, and the response was amazing – “The replies were incredible and [we saw that] these kids are exceptionally smart and know what they want out of life,” explains Heneke.

 

So much of being a successful creative is about the networks you cultivate and overcoming the fear of failure that most traditional upbringings can and do instil in young people. Luke Doman, coming from such a background, easily related to this feeling and was determined to create a space that showed kids it was okay to make their own path despite what others may think.

The inaugural Summer Camp consisted of a talk from DJ Angel-Ho  (Angelo Valerio), who took the attendees through his personal journey into music and how his artistry has allowed him to travel the world. A  session behind the decks followed the initial talk and allowed for some hands-on practice. The fashion portion of the workshop was handled by London fashion week alumni and label owner Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Queezy who gave a lesson in styling and how to deconstruct items to create something new. The resulting outfits were modelled by the young stylists themselves and photographed for a lookbook.

 

 

With this latest endeavour Luke Doman I proving himself to be more than just a store manager and photographer, but a pillar of the community. With years of experience and a willingness to share his life lessons, he is paying it forward and pushing the culture forward at the same time.

 

Follow Luke and Corner Store on Instagram

Photography: Luke Doman, Sarah Hugo-Hamman and Dune Tilley


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