Art runs in Cassius Hirst's blood — he's the son of Brit Art star Damien Hirst so naturally, the 22-year-old was exposed to his father's oeuvre at a young age.
The elder Hirst's creativity must have rubbed off on Cassius, AKA Cass. An impressive milestone in his career, the burgeoning artist and musician was recruited by Miuccia Prada herself to rework the Italian label's America's Cup sneaker, originally designed for Prada's Luna Rossa sailing team in 1997.
Cass might be young, but this isn't his first rodeo. He began painting sneakers at age 14, an entrée into creative expression that eventually garnered him an A-list following (he counts Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, and the late Virgil Abloh among his fans).
For Prada, Cass transformed the enduring America's Cup into an objet d'art. In fact, the reworked shoes look more like paintings than footwear: some are airbrushed in neon; others are coated in vibrant lacquer and sanded down; an all-white version features texturized globs of paint at the lateral. And thanks to their hand-customized nature, no two pairs are exactly alike.
It's not just Cass' painting skills that informed the release. "Throughout the whole process of painting the shoes, I was messing with music on the side," he told Highsnobiety during a visit to Prada's New York City flagship. Four iterations of the shoe — ATT4CK, D3CAY, SUST4IN, and REL3ASE — are named after music production terms, uniting the collection.
"It's a really technical stuff. I've only been doing it for like three years or so, but it's all to do with how sound travels," he says, running me through each term. Attack refers to the buildup of a note: "a slap sound would have no attack, whereas a plane taking off would have loads of attack," he explains.
Sustain refers to the amplitude of a sound at at its maximum intensity, and decay is the rate at which said sound fades to silence. Release is the time it takes for a sound to decay from its sustain level to an amplitude of zero.
Cass' take on the America's Cup reverberates with his multi-disciplinary practice — to cop a collectible pair of your own, head to Prada's website.