Nike x GuildTales of Guild
26. March 2017
This year Nike Air Max turned 30.
Tallinn based lifestyle magazine Hooligan Hamlet has a very special connection with this range, since it was Air Max that played a major role in establishing the magazine. As so, NIKE and Hamlet celebrated creative freedom and self-expression by introducing one of the most creative souls in Estonia that are moulding our future and igniting the motivation in youngsters to be the best versions of themselves and therefore, they also turned to our head designer Joan Hint who fused sportswear with our creation and her wild nature.
Tell us about where you grew up –
how these places have influenced who you've become today?
What kind of an impact have these places/people had on you?
I was raised by the woods of Nõmme, the springs of Glehni, the windy beaches and shrivelled junipers of Saaremaa. The cloudier days went by in the New World (Uus Maailm), which used to be something very different – instead of a safe, hip area it was a rotting neighbourhood full of stray dogs and Russian gangsters with damaged souls who gladly tortured those weaker than themselves. I learnt that those who don't run are those who are not chased.
When I think about it now, my brain throws a reoccurring dream of the past years. I’m in the woods which are always different. There are wet fern woods, and then there are pine forests bathing in morning mist, and sometimes I’m on the coast of torrential rivers when suddenly - I feel someone’s watching me.. a wolf! And then I remember, "Now it happens, now we finally meet – for I've seen it in my dreams so many times."
And there we stand, the wolf and me, staring at each other. I sense it with my whole being – don't be afraid, you mustn't be afraid. And I am not, I can feel the light growing in my chest until it reaches the wolf, binding us together, and I tell him in my thoughts: "Wolf. I know you are my brother and I am yours and we are One. I forbid you from attacking me and I give you my word – I will never hurt you. Go in peace and have my blessings."
And the wolf smells presence, fairness and Love and he goes.. In other words, we should face life with our heads held high, and in order to win we don't always need to fight.
My childhood and those moments and the woods still echo in me, whispering: "Never forget who you truly are and where you came from – we are the people of wilderness, nature is our home and not just a sight to visit from time to time."
My grandfather's magnificent library, his exotic memorabilia - Viking swords, Indian headpieces and handicrafts - have also left their mark on me. My grandmother's perfection in everything she did. My mother’s kindness and my father's mightiness. I guess we can't even comprehend how intertwined we are with everything that has ever happened. Our own story and the things that have happened to our ancestors culminate and live on in us, influencing this very moment and every instance that is yet to come, and this is so, so very beautiful.
Describe your creative mindset. How do you see the world and your role in it?
I do my own thing just the way I like it and there is no one telling me what to do and what not. You know that feeling? That’s freedom. And freedom is about taking responsibility.
Of course, there are moments when I find myself wondering – why? Why should I, too create more clothes and noise to this world when we’re already losing ourselves in this horrible mess? And then I think, the industry must be changed and if not me then, who? So many random things are made and the ones creating them don’t give a f*** how the people working for them, feel or how the working environments are like. We all have a possibility to do better.
How do you feel when you are creating something? What does this process mean to you?
Many things happen on the go, so to say. We’re usually in trouble with time and decisions are made in a blink of an eye – you just have to capture the initial feeling, the first impression is always right.
And then again, there are some things that need to stem from the purest… emptiness. For that, I isolate myself from the man-made world and leave to wilderness. On the first days, not much happens. I quiet my thoughts, have a sauna, cook something good. Only when the unneccessary has withered away, I can create.
Which events and places do you draw inspiration from?
Everything stays. Everything that crosses my paths with. Everything my ancestors faced. Everything that happens to anybody anywhere touches, stays and grows in me as we are One. Through and through! If You - the one reading those lines - grow, then I’ll grow too, because I truly am You.
What does confidence mean to you? Has it always been a part of you or have you found it during the process?
I guess it’s about staying true to ourselves – as so, we always know we’ve made the right decision. Even if everything goes wrong, we’ll know it needed to go so – perhaps we deserved a great lesson? And yes, I too believe that everything’s good for something!
Of course it hasn’t always been that easy for me, especially when I was in my bewildering teens. By that time I had witnessed all sorts of miracles – seen angels, heard God and the song of the trees, felt Earth’s heart beating.. I even learned how to make clouds disappear! I truly was a wild child - cheerful, happy and free until a dear friend of mine introduced me the truths of the “holy” Bible.
Suddenly the wondrous world of magic became the handiwork of the devil and his little workers of evil. I was made to believe how we, people are impure and all our thoughts and actions were observed. Like the eye of Sauron, God was constantly watching and criticizing his own creation. And yet, my child, “do not forget he gave us free choice.”
I was called delusional and convinced that the angels I’d seen were shape-shifting demons, instead. I was told that God stopped talking to us 2000 years ago but then again, I was forced to pray for forgiveness and well-being and even though this guy up in the clouds was almighty, he just couldn’t answer to me..
I was told how we lost the paradise and the Earth was something like a punishment for our foremother’s sin – you do understand that such random idea destroys the connection between us and our true Mother? As so, we feel no responsibility for the health of the world and look where it has taken us now..
My world fell apart – I lived in constant fear that I was not enough, that I may not enter the realms of heaven and my pagan (grand)parents wouldn’t either and oh, shall we really burn in hell? You know what the Bible says about that? “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”.- Revelation 21:8.
I truly hope you all understand these verses are merely man-made words and there’s no divine knowledge in such statements. It is so very ironic how the worshipped priests and popes are actually the ones connected to pedophilia and perversion.. And wasn’t it the noble and religious crusaders killing tens of thousands simple, good and honest people who lived in harmony with nature and refused to join the Christian madness? And of course, the hindus, buddhists, the Celts and African people etc were guilty that the smart God had not showed up in other parts of the world and naturally, this God would condemn them for not knowing. If that is not a lie, tell me, what is?
My confusion lasted for few years. Add some bad choices and life steered me into the haven of clarity – usually every flow is preceded by a great ebb.
I found meditation and some other eye-opening (and forbidden) things. I began to wander in wilderness, once again and noticing the magic in living. I realised – we already are in paradise! We are so entangled in the system that we even don't comprehend what an amazing place we've been born into and what our and the Earth's true potential is. I also came across some Hebrew translations that proved to me how many times the book of books has been rewritten with the intent to sow fear and to control us. The malicious shadow of religion disappeared from my life quicker than the aspartam of chewing gums. Suddenly I was free, wonderful, sacred and good again!
What is the biggest obstacle (mental, physical) you've overcome to get to where you are today?
Do you have any role models, people, whom you'd ask for advice at the crossroads of life? How do they inspire you?
I've had many opportunities to talk to some of the most talented people in their field – Yohji Yamamoto for example – but at the end of the day they’re all just like us, with their own stories, truths and struggles. So, I hold dearest the advice of those near and dear to me.
A principle that has helped you in life and given you strength.
Everything is possible and everything passes.
How does your sense of style showcase who you are?
Ancient Finno-Ugric in a modern world? Everything that was and everything that will be truly meets in me.
Your first pair of Nike Airs?
I was so young and wanted to be so grownup that I bought size 43.5 light blue Nikes. They were six sizes big but my satisfaction was even greater.
How would you describe the revolution inside you?
One word that characterises and summarises your work the best and then one word that describes you the most accurately.
GUILD – inspirited and me, wild.
One way of changing the world in your everyday life?
Changing the world starts with changing ourselves. Our surroundings depend on the choices we make – if we’d all stop supporting things that aren’t for the greater good, perhaps the change so many dream of could really happen? Real food, real clothes, real relationships.. I haven't watched TV for years, I don't listen to the radio and I don't read newspapers – I call them all “noise” of the world.
I don't consume the suffering of other living beings such as fur and meat, and there is no place for toxic soft drinks or artificial foods in my life (McDonalds, Coca-Cola and friends, sorry but you trash our bodies!). And I try to get by without plastics as much as possible.
You'll basically never see me shopping in cheap clothing stores – firstly I know how these clothes were made and secondly – this stuff simply doesn't last! 99.99% of clothes are dyed with chemical colours and once you throw those things away, the soil and ground water absorbs the chemical elements in the process of decaying.. alarming isn't it?
This is one of the reasons why GUILD has chosen to partner with more expensive and significantly higher-quality weavers – the majority of our fabrics come from Germany and Japan, we have many recycled fabrics that are coloured with charcoal or real indigo leaves. Once the fabrics have arrived, they are sewn together here in Tallinn, where we may be certain that the people doing the work are not lacking anything and nobody (besides us) works overtime. We have no production waste – we’ve gathered together even the smallest pieces of our leftovers and one day they’ll become a new, spectacular fabric again. Our sewing environment is the most harmonious one I've ever seen – we even have a small winter garden, where tailors and seamstresses can rest and enjoy the softness and quietness of plants and nature.
I truly believe that what we have chosen to do is as a breath of fresh air in the world of (over)production, marketing and sales. If you think about creation in nature – a plant grows from soil, it lives, it dies, decays, becomes soil.. and borns again. There is no waste. We all should learn from this.
Everything starts with a choice – be the change!