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David Luraschi

Pigalle's hoop dreams

The Paris streetwear brand tells us about their new store and basketball court

Pigalle is an arrondissement, an attitude, and one of today's most exciting brands. Stephane Ashpool's company speaks the lingua franca of global streetwear – he has signature hoodies, for example, signature enough to appear on the back of A$AP Rocky. Yet he skillfully clashes it with a fine tailoring aesthetic and a style grammar taken from the streets where he grew up, as the son of a Yugoslav ballet dancer, around the beyond-vibrant melting pot of the 18th arrondissement area that named his brand after. 

Basketball is a bedrock for the brand – we previously debuted his collaboration with Nike, adding an artful patina to their classic b-ball shoe, the Air Force 1, and Stephane himself played for his city back when. Now, there's a total look out for the court, and, to go with it, we're showing three short films about the building of the dedicated Pigalle basketball pen. Housed by the store, it was painted by neighbours, and the team of local kids Stephane coaches every week. Take a look at the collection above, the films throughout, and a short interview below. 

How did the Pigalle basketball court come about? 

Stephane Ashpool: Seven years ago, we fought with the government to build a basketball court in the Pigalle area instead of a car park. It's in the middle of Pigalle area between two buildings – two years after, Nike helped us to refit the court together with Lebron James.

Who came up with the court designs and what inspired them?

Stephane Ashpool: My brother from Ill Studio came up with the last court design, but since the start we've always exchanged about general ideas. This time I wanted them to reinterpret this kind of Jungle Fever style / Ndebele painting, then they did their magic. 

Who painted it? 

Stephane Ashpool: All the kids, neighbors, members of the crew... It's really a family thing. This court is our court.

Can you tell the readers about some of the successes of your basketball team?

Stephane Ashpool: I was coaching kids – aged 12 to 14 years old – when I was younger. We won the Parisian championship once. I just started coaching again this year, I really look forward to winning that championship with the Pigalle kids again. They're amazing, they all started basketball on our court. It's an amazing feeling for me, it makes me so proud.

Who are some of the best members of the team at painting? 

Stephane Ashpool: Hahahahaha... the neighbors are quite good, but my brother Paul Hamy is the best painter.

What about the collection – what does it say about your vision of the game? 

Stephane Ashpool: A good mix of energy. The fabrics that I use this season are pretty diverse I guess, just like the game I like to watch. From silk to leather. I find that mohair and mesh can be similar as tuff defense – fancy dribble or a classy dunk or a raw rebound. That mix of energy is everything to us; from music to fashion to sport.

What's your favourite basketball "style" moment? 

Stephane Ashpool: There are so many of them... If I have to pick one, I will say Jordan's outfit off the court when he was younger. Track suit, shirt in the pants, gold chain. 

What's next for Pigalle?

Stephane Ashpool: We are opening a new shop tomorrow first of all, and then we'll go back to creativity and design stuff.