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Five Minutes With Damian Van Zyll De Jong, Vancouverite And Creator Of Native Shoes

All the kids are wearing them. In fact, this season Native Shoes have reached an unprecedented level of cool in the EVA-foam-injected slip-on shoe world: the Fall 2011 limited edition Jimmy boot was designed by Marc Jacobs! Beat that, Crocs! Local boy Damian Van Zyll De Jong founded the company in 2009 with the help of his friend Matthew Penner. As the PR says, “as the visionary behind the Native brand, Damian sparked a footwear revolution, and his unyielding passion continues to propel the brand forward.” Scout stole five minutes of Damian’s time to ask him a few questions and this is what we got:

When did you know Native was really going to happen? When I started doing it.

Some folks describe Natives as Crocs for cool people. What do you think about that? Everything is everything.

Most mind-blowingly satisfying celebrity/Native pairing? Obama’s daughter.

When you see someone in your neighbourhood wearing your footwear, what goes through your mind?Amazing!

What is it about West Vancouver that makes you want to live there: The Mountains for sure.

Architectural style that you most identify with: Fave architect is Ai Weiwei.

Three words that describe the vibe of your current living space: Open, organic and free!

What inspires you? People who do things well.

Describe your favourite photograph: It’s a Tim Barber photo of a friend of mine standing on a diving board over the edge of a cliff.

Default drink: Carrot, Ginger, Apple.

When you can’t sleep: I text my employees.

Favourite place to see live music: A backyard.

Cheap place for dinner: The Fridge.

Book you’re reading: I only listen. Audio books.

What is beauty? Just look around you.

Best sneaker in the world? Native Shoes.

Best bar stool in the city: I don’t go to the bar.

Dumbest purchase ever: Minibike.

Favourite way to get your hands dirty? Work hard.

Talent you wish you possessed: sppellin.

The trend you wish you never followed, but did: Tight T-shirts.

Musical instrument you long to master: The flute.

Three things of no monetary value that you will keep until you die: My mind, body and soul.

Best concert experience ever: Paul Weller.

Animal you most identify with: Eagle.

Favourite Vancouver park: Strathcona.

All time favourite movie: ET.

Why should we as Vancouverites buy Native? Why not?

Sexiest item of clothing for a woman: A dress.

And for a man? A dress.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions? A taste of honey boogie oogie.

What Native Shoes are you most excited about for the Fall/Winter 2011 season? The Marc Jacobs for Native Jimmy boot.

Town you were born in: Vancouver, BC.

Thing you miss most about home when you’re on the road: My dog.

Two places you like to take out of town visitors in order to show off your city: Whistler, to the Scandanave Spa.

The first three things you do every morning: Open my eyes, stretch, shower.

Favourite book as a child: Mr Happy.

Album that first made you love music: Ice T, Power.

There are 2 comments

  1. Was going to buy a pair of Native boots for this winter. Read this interview; would prefer to have wet feet for the rest of my life than buy anything this guy produced. What a twit.