We are proud to welcome By Parra to USG Store!
Dutch visual artist & designer Pieter Janssen humbly began creating posters & flyers in the late 1990s for Amsterdam’s nightclub & dance festival scene.
(A flyer for Paradisoul nightclub by Parra)
Hailing from Amsterdam, Pieter developed a close relationship with fellow locals at Patta, a now fabled streetwear store & label. Pieter had a studio in Patta's original building, where they collaborated on a number of projects. Patta founder, Gee, gave Pieter his famous nickname. Gee was connected in Amsterdam's nightlife scene & used to be called multiple times a day by Piet, hoping to not be forgotten off the guest list. Gee replied "Stop acting parra, Piet!", with parra being short for paranoid. The name stuck from there on. Parra also designed Patta's world famous script logo.
(Patta script logo designed by Piet Janssen)
After slowly building recognition for his art style, Pieter begun developing clothing in the early 2000’s, initially under his first label “Rockwell”. Janssen’s early clothing reflected more simplistic graphic design & focused on lettering, & primarily consisted of T-shirts.
(Early lettering work by Parra under his Rockwell clothing imprint)
Shortly after he begun developing clothing, Parra collaborated with a slew of prolific & beloved musicians, record labels, & companies. Parra championed collaboration at a time where it was not widely done. Infusing his unique style into recognizable product has been a major contributor to making Parra a household name.
(Various items developed for Stonesthrow records, Madlib & J Dilla)
If you're still wondering how legit this guy is.. it's time to get to the real game changers. For a lot of people around the world, one of the first times you might have heard Parra's name is through his sneaker collaborations. In the mid 2000's sneaker culture was a far cry from what it is today. Parra's footwear collaborations especially with Nike, helped changed the way we look at sneakers. Developing product that shared personal stories & embodied Parra's design language.
(The Albert Heijn Nike Air Max 1)
Parra's first design for Nike was the Albert Heijn Air Max 1. The colourway references a dutch supermarket chain. The business changed their company colors around the time of the sneaker's development - which in turn, caused this Air Max 1 to become a Friends & Family exclusive, with only 24 pairs being created in total. This Air Max 1 has been widely recognised as one of the rarest AM1's in existence.
(The infamous Nike Air Max 1 AMS, otherwise known as the Air Max 1 "Amsterdam" - pictured is the F&F version)
This shoe changed the game. It was so wrong, but so right. In 2005, no one in their right mind would have put out an Air Max that paired brown, hot pink & vivid cyan together. What it begun to change was the dynamics of sneaker design, collectibility & storytelling. It pushed the boundaries & helped spark the imaginations of a second generation of sneakerheads. There are a rumored 200-300 pairs that were released to the public, & only 24 F&F pairs - with Parra's signature stitched in the mudguard's forefoot.
(2010's Cherrywood Air Max 1 - a collaboration between Nike, Patta & Parra)
To celebrate Patta's fifth anniversary, they called on Parra to help design the coup de grâce to their 2010 Air Max 1 pack. 258 pairs of cherrywoods were made & released exclusively in Amsterdam.
Sneaker resume aside, Parra's art itself is what has carried his name so far. In 2009, Parra showed work that consisted of paintings & polyurethane sculptures for the first time. This has continued to evolve into canvases, porcelains, busts, homewares & more. Exhibitions of his work have been front & center in the likes of the MoMA, & on your favorite shirt.
We are thrilled to be stocking byParra @ USG Store!
("thrown away like your stupid ball" - 2019)
("Weirded out" - Parra's legendary work for MoMA)
USG's first drop of byParra arrives soon!