Sean Wotherspoon: Driven to inspire via innovation
The designer talks about his belief that anyone can innovate, his initial experiences working for big brands, and going out to find moments of peace.
Sean Wotherspoon laying down
“My best advice is, if you want to become someone or to do something, just start now.”
A different approachSean Wotherspoon is known for his drive to challenge our perspectives of the world. He brings an unrivalled enthusiasm to everything he does, whether designing sneakers or redefining sustainable practices across the fashion industry, he encourages a new way of seeing with his experimental approach. His unique lens, charisma and determination to inspire change makes him a perfect thought-leader for The Art of Drive.Combining tech, culture, music, design and more, The Art of Drive aims to help make dreams a reality. lt sees Porsche, Vogue and WIRED come together in collaboration, rallying a team of trailblazers – of which Sean Wotherspoon is one – to empower the next generation to achieve their goals.“My Art of Drive is immersing myself in nature and our surroundings as much as possible,” Wotherspoon says. “I love looking at something and asking, how can I change this slightly to give it a different look, to keep the heritage of what I'm working with, but also elevate it to the next level? That's my personal challenge. That's what drives me. Even talking about it, I get excited. There's so much to be done.”
Sean Wotherspoon
The creator in all of usA true visionary, his style is eclectic and his creations ground-breaking. Yet Wotherspoon is confident that everyone has the ability to be an innovator – if we put our minds to it. “Just pick something you love, pick something you're curious about, pick something you want to learn about and go hard with it.” he enthuses. “Don't stop. Just keep going and make sure to follow your gut through that journey. If you're doing this because you want to do it, then you really have to listen to yourself.”Taking Wotherspoon's insight as a launchpad, The Art of Drive's mentors will host a series of interactive talks and events. The aim is to educate and motivate, igniting the audience's imagination to take their ideas to the next level.Wotherspoon started out with an interest in art, before founding a vintage store in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, in 2013. The store quickly gained a cult following, opening several more outlets and drawing the attention of global brands. Wotherspoon's limited-edition sneaker collaborations are now collector's items in their own right. It's fair to say he's made a lasting impact on today's streetwear culture. But it's not in his character to stop there.Everything is an opportunityHe's here to push boundaries. “Some of the first opportunities I had to design for big brands, I wasn't ready for how much I had to push,” he says. “Everyone was so scared of how the rest of the world would view it, that I had to push. l had to say, no, this is a starting point, this is a platform that we're creating here beyond myself.”While others might not initially be able to see his end goal, for Wotherspoon it’s about trusting the process. “My process is not traditional,” he acknowledges. “I try to go out as much as possible, to find those moments of peace. l don't put anything down, I don't finalise anything, I try to rolodex and learn as much as I can about everything around me.”Maintaining a sense of presence, he continues, is key. “I truly design for that moment. What l love, what I believe and what my gut is telling me to do. And I've found that's how I create the best stuff.”The key to happinessNow Wotherspoon finds himself at the intersection of sneakerhead culture and sustainable practice, designing for the future. How does he stay true to his vision? “Just focus on yourself,” he advises. “As much as I am taking in the rest of the world, and I want people to be happy, it's for me. I'm just trying to make myself happy. If I tried to make the rest of the world happy it would be the most stressful, confusing process.”In this short film for The Art of Drive, Wotherspoon leads an exploratory mission through a desert dreamscape, encouraging us to approach each day with newfound creativity. “We're really lucky to be in a world where you can narrate who you want to be and who you want people to see you as,” he says. “My best advice is, if you want to become someone or to do something, just start now.”
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