ONE STAR PRO 90’S
Welcome to the new Converse Cons bi-monthly Spain newsletter. Containing everything you need to know, from up and coming products and events to ambassador interviews and just about everything in between. As this is the first of our newsletters we wanted to make this one extra special. That being said, Below you will find a quick Octavio Barrera Interview, along with a great ambassador gallery, enjoy!
Converse Cons One Star was first launched in 1974 as a shoe adapted for basketball. Until 90's decade were not popular in the skateboarding scene by Spike Jonze as seen in the epic Guy Mariano video part "Mouse" Girl/Chocolate movie, there were even ads with him.
What were the videos or sections that influenced you the most from the 90´s? What skaters?
They are videos that I've seen later, I belong to the 2000's but some parts that are amazing and I think a lot of skating today revolves around them are: Mike Carrol on The Questionable video (Plan B) or Underachievers video of Eastern Exposure 3 (Dan Wolfe) Ricky Oyola switch ollie bs shifty in the middle of a line.
Did you start to skate in this decade or 2000´s?
I belong to the 2000's, actually I started to skate in that precise year. I was born in 1990 and at ten years old got my first own skateboard.
Skateboarders are often quite conservative in what refers to the material. Few innovations and are opting for simple and iconic models from the past, classics. What do you rather to skate with? Classic models or you are open to try new innovations that a company like Converse Cons could provide?
It depends, there are factors involved in these elections. Aesthetically: I really like classic models from Converse Cons like One Star, but for instance if I would skate every day in a plaza possibly would wear Chuck Taylors. As current favorite model I choose the Break Point, they feel as a glove on your feet, perfect from day one.
In the 90's the legendary skater Francis Barrera was the only or among the really few ones who could land McTwist in Spain. At a time when there was no internet and media were so limited to even imagine a career as a skateboarder. Is he your cousin or relative? Did you start to skate with him? In what way influenced you at the beginning? Did he help you out to open some doors?
I always say that I would have loved to witness his best years of skating. It had to be amazing, coming to a contest and see Francis with hair colored flying above the coping by a couple of meters high! I would pay to see a contest from that time. Also nowadays when he shows up by "El Refugio" skatepark where we skate in Las Palmas, he is mindblowing, just so gifted!
Francis is my second cousin, but he plays a bigger roll! When I started to ride he took me to the skatepark and helped me a lot to understand how it worked, showing respect to the older dudes etc .., without him I would have had probably a couple of injures hahaha. Also he helped me out to meet up with the skateboarding scene in Canary Islands as he is a legend anywhere you go!
Do you remember some Converse skate team members from the 90's? What was your favorite skater of that team? Is Kenny Anderson the only member remaining nowadays?
I do not remember to be honest, but surely would have chosen Kenny Anderson, to me he is a gifted skater, details that makes the different and that´s for me a skater!
Recently it has been confirmed skateboarding as a Olympic sport in 2020. What´s your opinion about?
As usual! Everything is skateboarding hahaha, really? Even though they are a thousand factors that affect this confirmation. I think it has its good and bad as everything else. Although as personal opinion I think that skateboarding is more than a sport, it is a culture, street art, a way of being, living, dressing ... but since a few years ago skateboarding has been taking as a more serious profession than just hanging out with your friends to explore the streets, film everything around it and freeze those moments. Today it is very different. As good side would say it will reflect even more riders going into that direction of those seeking another kind of fun;), there will be more money and subsidies for skateboarding equals more parks, more aids etc ..., but I can not imagine a busted gang of skaters into a high performance center having breakfast alongside with Olympic shooting team hahaha
In the 90's trends, styles were more underground and genuine. Skateboarding began to trend-but in an alternative or smaller group. Do you prefer it so? Or do you prefer it to be more open as nowadays where skate trends are quickly adopted by the rest and vice versa?
I rather preferred it that way. Also in the 2000's we experienced what you mentioned. Back in the days when I started to go traveling to skateboarding around 2003-04, possibly we were like 2-4 people in the Canary Islands doing the same thing (Orlando Acosta, Pali Negrin, Jose de La Rosa, Miguel Castro ...) some others probably! You'd go to contests and everyone knew each other as a little family. I remember the first trips to Bilbao with Alai Skateboards. When I mentioned in high school they looked at me weird. It had to go my grandmother or my parents to ask permission as it was something important blablabla. Nowadays it is much more usual.
Skateboarding as everything else has been affected by new technologies. Before it seemed most intriguing, an uncertainty that today's kids are not going to experience unless they all agree to through away their phones (that's not going to happen, right?) Hahaha, If you knew that someone was filming for a video part, you would get so hype like: wow what is he filming... and that would get you motivated. As today just a click away from get to see everything is going on around the world hahaha so you just try to adapt without affecting your principles.
Often skateboarding goes in circles, trends and fashions come and go to return. Lately young guys use rails under the board and they dress kind of like in the early 90's. Do you think this recycling will occur with other trends of the 90's? Can you picture yourself skating with larger shoes and baggy clothes? What trends from the 90´s can resurface?
These tendentious circles affects it all, not just to skateboarding. But indeed, it is true that you go to skate nowadays to a spot and it seems that there´s a mandatory uniform (no need for description) hahaha but this is also cool because you realize how powerful it is a board with four wheels. Its more than just a sport, it is a culture, then you fully realize. Trends come and go sometimes others are just adaptations..., so maybe now we are just going through a "neo-ninetees" style but a little vagabond with IPHONE hahaha! cool! That's life. Cycles and cycles. I guess for previous generations to mine we were the rare ones for wearing skinny jeans and striped t-shirts, right?
Is there anything you miss from the 90's? Something remarkable from that time?
From the 2000's decade which is what I experienced, I miss many things ... like I said before has been lost a bit of the essence that surrounds this culture, but maybe it is just nostalgic hahaha you must live in the present. Adapt the best you can and try to be faithful to principles. That maybe are coming more from the 90 ´s or 2000s or 2010's who knows…
Photography by Sam Ashley