Adam Contreras

in depth

Last year we had a chance to meet the Supra designer Adam Contreras and were intrigued by his career steps and character. The Jagati & Malli are the latest editions to the Supra Family and requested some background..

What are the influences of the Jagati & Malli with the exaggerated lines?

One of these days I saw these thrilling columns in India. I kinda got obsessed with looking up all these hindu temples, buddhistic temples & the architecture. Everything is so exaggerated, but at the same time there are so many ornate details. Everything is carved out of stone and I see the similarities between worn shoe bottoms and stone columns which changed over the years. Even like the Ornate details you can compare to the metal details for the lacing on the Malli. In Indian architecture there is a lot of simple stuff as well, but then they are equipped with tiny little details that sets it apart.

Like the side panel that reflects the columns..

The whole toeing part follows the architecture. The uppers of the Malli & Jagati are really different though. With the Malli I challenged myself of how to make the almost simplest shoe. It consists basically only of three panels plus the metal details and lacing system being the focal point of the shoe.

It kinda becomes an integrated accessory..

A lot of people exploring the lacing possibilities more, but I thought that almost every shoe comes with a lace and why not highlighting that.

On which details were you focused? (Like there was a whole numbers game on the Skytop V)

Going back to the indian architecture, a lot of stuff I looked at was linear, so for both shoes I wanted to see with how many of these linear lines I can play with on a shoe without being completely lost or way too much going on. 

What were your goals when creating these models?

Personally, the way I design shoes, the toeing is the most important part. So I always start from there and follow with developing uppers. So the idea had to shine through, but at the same time I wanted to be able to produce the shoe. The Malli is very simplistic and the Jagati has a lot more stuff going on with the panelling. The kinda share the same toeing, but I tried to separate them as much as possible as there are reasons for both. The highlighting of the lacing was something I wanted to do for a long time.

Production-wise, that was probably challenging.. 

Yeah, I think the Malli has 8 metal pieces on each side and the factory was challenged with the lacing. They prefer stuff to be simple, but It was really interesting to figure out how I wanted them to be laced. There are probably a million different ways though. 

Which music tracks would go well with these?

I’m listening to music like 10 hours a day in all different genres (from classic to anything except country). That’s a tough one, but at least once a day I listen to T-Rex, Bowie & the Stones. 

As you like to walk and scan the city.. What is the latest trend observation you found thrilling / interesting?

As far as shoes I find it interesting, that there is a lot more color coming back. People are a lot more aware of their sense of style. Before there was one overarching trend that everybody follows, but now there are so many people creating their own styles in all different ways. It’s nice to see how people put themselves together. Like you can take three people sporting the same shoe, but create three complete different looks. 

What are your favorite finds in the streets or at flea markets?

I guess my favorite things I look at are old pairs of Converse or Vans, like the “Made in the USA” stuff. I don’t think you can replicate things that are weathered. Like when you find an original pair of Chuck Taylors from the seventies – the white got a yellowish-white tint to it which you can’t replicate. I love stuff which been worn and character was added to it. Like records.. It’s pretty wild when you think about how many people actually made records that are out there. I can go to flea markets and pull out records to look at all day. 

What is the next project you’re working on & being hyped about it?

I’m excited about the Spring 2019 collection. It’s a lot more thought out tight knit. One of the themes is inspired by petrified wood and a good amount of the collection is inspired by Cuba. 

Do you have a personal connection to Cuba?

Cuba is amazing – I have been there. There is not really phone service and you are completely off the grid. People are super-friendly and colors are bright. It’s like walking in an old era as most of the stuff is from the sixties.

And two bonus question VEHICLE-theme-related: what is your all-time favorite car design?

I’m not really a car person, but if I can have any car, It would be a 1972 Pontiac Firebird. You can probably see some similarities of how I design with a lot of straight lines and a little more boxie. The logo of the Firebird kinda stuck with me since I was a kid. 

If you could time travel .. which year/ event would you pick & why?

I have to say the year 1972 again, but it’s more musical reference to T-Rex, Bowie & the Stones. This year is more like a pinnacle of being a teenager at this time. On the other side, I don’t know, what I would have done with myself if I would have lived back then. To be honest, it probably wouldn’t have ended well. 


Since we interviewed him, Adam Contreras does not longer work for Supra and is pursuing his own endeavors. Good Luck & let's talk soon!
Adam lifestyle and portrait images: Amanda Fordyce