the dior of toy collectors is a cambodian american designer that handcrafts tiny air jordans
 

the dior of toy collectors is a cambodian american designer that handcrafts tiny air jordans

if toys and figurines had a met gala to attend, they’d all take a number and impatiently wait their turn to wear a chris pin. chris is a cambodian american, an ex-menswear fashion designer, and the child of a family that escaped genocide. he’s worked for converse and john varvatose as a designer and was in the industry for about five years, creating what designers of global brands are tasked to create, until his family’s own story ultimately inspired him to listen to his own voice. since establishing his company, ‘haute hero,’ in 2014, he has turned many obstacles into opportunities and courageously created something very special and very niche: teeny, teeny, teeny fashion accessories, which include miniature supreme sweatshirts, jeans, and his latest homage to the air jordan 1

chris pin
all images courtesy of chris pin

 

 

chris’s story is one of challenge, that many american minority children identify with. ‘cambodian americans are not always thought of as people who can have an impact on western culture, I want to change that,’ says chris pin. ‘growing up asian american you get made fun of a lot for being ‘tiny.’ now I feel like I turned it into an advantage… to launch a fashion brand today you have to be different, so I went small, focusing on detail and craftsmanship.’

chris pin

 

 

chris’ business, ‘haute hero,’ meets at two intersecting niches — the figurine/toy collecting community and the streetwear community, but I would say this tiny, unique world of its own doesn’t need any prerequisites to appreciate. you don’t need to collect action figures or own 12 NIKEs to be fascinated by the little worlds chris creates. but for those who do collect figures and for those who do buy special shelves to set their prized newbalances on, the arrival of pin’s art is worth tearing up over: for each little stitch and lazer cut would be impossible without his family’s strength. ‘growing up I was told that there was nothing to fear because they had already faced the worst,’ says chris pin — the christian dior of toy collectors.

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