44 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Mission Statement Episode 21: Zered Bassett
Zered Bassett’s tenure as a central figure of East Coast skateboarding spans generations. In many ways, he represents the bridge between the old New York and the new. The fact that he has endured longer than many of the brands that he’s been associated with is a testament to his dedication to his craft, and shows a resiliency that mirrors the streets where he honed it. Originally from Cape Cod, Zered was a child prodigy who was discovered at an Invisible demo in Massachusetts as a tween. This landed him on Sixteen, and later flow for World Industries. It was during this era that Brian Brown’s brother sent Zered’s tape to Zoo York, where it landed in the hands of Jeff Pang. He was offered a spot on the team, which was accepted after getting some solid advice from Jahmal Williams. From there, Dr. Z made the move to the Big Apple, where he was molded into the legend that he would ultimately become under the tutelage of Harold Hunter, Danny Supa, Vinny Ponte, and the rest of the O.G. Zoo heads. His progression is well-documented in RB Umali’s E.S.T. video series, and culminated in Vicious Cycle, which is still considered by many to be his magnum opus. Zered would ultimately spend a decade as a card-carrying member of the Zoo York Institute. During this time, he turned pro, received a signature shoe from DVS, and a sponsorship from Red Bull. In addition to becoming the face of New York’s next generation, he was easily in the top-tier tax bracket for professional skaters. This afforded him luxuries, including an apartment in the city and a Cadillac Escalade. But all that glitters is not gold. And the rapper’s lifestyle is rarely built to last. By the end of the aughts, Zoo discontinued Zered’s contract; DVS released him from its roster; and Red Bull followed suit a few years later. He was on the verge of packing up, and moving back to Cape Cod. But the New York hustle sustained him via collaborative projects with UXA and Uniqlo before landing spots on the rosters at Expedition and Converse. Currently, Zered is comfortably chilling as a pro for Alltimers, has a couple of signature Converse shoes under his belt, and is pursing his art and photography in Brooklyn. Lee covers all of the bases of Dr. Z’s legendary story during Episode 21 of Mission Statement.
116 minutes | Oct 16, 2020
Mission Statement Episode 20: Aaron Herrington
Aaron Herrington represents a long and illustrious lineage in our culture. Escaping small-town U.S.A. to chase big-city dreams is a time-honored tradition in skateboarding. Like so many before him, Herrington gravitated to San Francisco at the tail end of the aughts to immerse himself in the downtown scene during the height of the HUF D.B.C. era. Fresh out of high school, the Corvallis, Oregon native found himself living in weekly hotels in the Tenderloin, and working odd jobs to get by while honing his craft on the streets synonymous with names like Carroll, Hufnagel, and Busenitz. This period laid the groundwork for everything that would come after. A couple of years later during a trip to New York, Brian DeLaTorre convinced Herrington that a pre-GX1000 San Francisco was dead, and N.Y. was where things were happening. It’s hard to leave the city, period. Even harder when someone is convincing you to stay. He made a pivotal decision at Tompkins that afternoon, which would alter his career trajectory permanently. Once planted in N.Y., Herrington was scouted by Josh Stewart. This landed him the opening part in 'Static IV,' and an introduction to Pontus Alv. He would ultimately turn pro for Polar in 2014, a couple of months before the video dropped. 'Static' and Polar cemented Herrington’s status as an underground king. They were also the start of his ongoing collaboration with Theories of Atlantis, which has endured and evolved over the past decade. When the streets are watching, going mainstream is inevitable. Herrington was introduced by Converse not long after turning pro; colorways and international tours ensued. The kid from Corvallis had officially arrived as one of the world’s premier professional skaters. Unfortunately, there was a dark side that came with that. Herrington has publicly addressed issues with alcoholism and mental health that he battled during those years, which resulted in him going sober at the end of 2017. Soon after, he unveiled Chrystie NYC—his clothing imprint with Pep Kim. The brand has dropped two videos, and developed a formidable team over the past couple of years. And the design aesthetic speaks for itself. With his leg cast from an injury this past August freshly removed, Aaron dropped by the studio for a two-hour conversation with Lee that covers all of this and more during Episode 20 of Mission Statement.