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If you’ve heard of Rich Chigga, you would’ve already known that the young Indonesian star is absolutely killing the rap game since only 16 years of age – an incredibly young age to be in such intense media spotlight.

And if you thought that was a young age, peep this: Mike Hope, better known as Mike the Ruler, has been an Instagram star since only 14.

Being a fashion influencer at such an early age is intense in itself, and leads one to wonder how he handles it and now thanks to SSENSE, we now get a look into his mind as the wunderkind sat down with the Canadian boutique for an extensive interview.

You can read a few standout excerpts below:

On growing up in the digital age
“When I was younger, I didn’t really know exactly what I was doing. But I’ve been through some rough shit in the last few years—just personal mountains that I’ve had to climb and in my opinion, that helped me decide exactly where I want to be. It made me see exactly how trivial everything is and made me only care about the stuff that really matters.”

On current trends and defining meaning
“I think trends work in a circle. And everything that’s trendy now, had been trendy before. The only new trends in my opinion are ones created in technology that didn’t exist before. But human expression in terms of clothing, design, and art, even if it’s new, is a recreation of something in the past. Because the human mind hasn’t really evolved in the last 200 years.”

On what he considers valuable
“What I think is valuable is the stuff that’s inspiring everything. Like if you look back to the original—and even the originals are interpretations of something else—it almost works in the way a virus spreads. This person gets the idea, and they took it from something they noticed in their childhood or in the culture where they’re from, they do something with that, and then people all over the world see it because of the internet. Then that keeps spanning out and it dilutes itself and changes. It’s like a game of telephone.”

On Vetements
But when you look at synthetic Vetements and then the real thing, you really see how the real thing is special. No matter what brand tries to do a heavyweight sweatshirt, no one is as heavy as Vetements’. And, in my opinion, Vetements isn’t even streetwear. People just term it that because you see all these hypebeasts in their hoodies, or in their fake hoodies.

Words by Marcus Cho
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