Jarrett_ Can you give me a brief history of what you did before forming C.E?
Toby Feltwell_ I grew up in Bedford, which was 50 miles north of London. I was a skateboarder, I listened to music, and I was into clothes a bit, and I used to hang around Slam City Skates. After I finished at London University I didn't know what to do so my friend Will Bankhead suggested that I might work at Mo' Waxx Records. It became a proper job, and while I was there I became friends with NIGO who was associated with the label. I met Shin somewhere along the way because he was working at Bathing Ape. NIGO was always trying to get me to come and work for him, but I wasn't that keen to move to Japan initially because I liked living in London. I eventually decided to study Law at Night School, and did that for four years. At one point NIGO was like "Don't just wait there and join a law firm, come to Japan." I moved to Japan and spent a lot of time with Shin. We met Pharrell together and started BBC. I was basically working for NIGO as his legal counsel. I helped open the BBC store in Tokyo, and then came the inevitable down slope of BAPE. Eventually NIGO had to sell BAPE which was kind of tragic, but I was glad that I was around to help him. Me and Shin wanted to carry on working in a way that we developed over the years working together at BBC, so we started C.E while we were still at BAPE.
Jarrett_ What about you Shin?
Sk8thing_ I started GoodEnough in 1990 with Hiroshi Fujiwara. Started A Bathing Ape in 1993 with NIGO. Started working on BBC in 2003, and in 2011 started C.E with Toby and Hishi. That's it.
Jarrett_ What are your respective titles?
Toby_ Dunno...owner? Co-owner?
Sk8thing_ Toby's the CEO.
Toby_ Yeah...that's actually accurate.
Jarrett_ What do you each do for C.E?
Sk8thing_ Toby comes up with the ideas, and then I make the graphics.
Jarrett_ It starts with Toby's idea, and then you make the graphics?
Jarrett_ Could C.E exist without either one of you?
Toby_ It's the process of how we work together that made us want to start C.E. Instead of having a goal we want to achieve, it was more that we liked the process of working together, and whatever becomes created from that is unique to us. There's an element of randomness...I can't decide exactly what it's going to be.
Jarrett_ Yeah you can. You're Co-CEO.
Toby_ When you're dealing with creative work, you need randomness. Happy accidents. If you're working together in a group, then inevitably people do stuff which isn't what you were thinking about. I like it, and that's the part of it that we find enjoyable.
Jarrett_ You don't have the traditional roles where Shin is the creative guy, and Toby is the business guy?