A couple months ago, Sweets Kendamas Pro Cooper Eddy was shopping around his neighborhood in Minneapolis when he came across the local streetwear boutique, Piff MPLS. The store took immediate interest in kendama, and Cooper took the opportunity to spark a collaboration between Piff + Sweets. Getting to know the people behind Piff has helped us realize there are many parallels there are between the worlds of kendama and streetwear. Around the same time, Japanese streetwear mogul company A Bathing Ape or Bape released a capsule collection for the celebration of their sub-brand Baby Milo's 17th anniversary. Along with various clothing pieces the collection included a Baby Milo Kendama! Since Piff is the go to spot for anything Bape in the Twin Cities, we got our hands on one and filmed an edit with it in the Piff Store. We had a great time and created a great relationship. They even decided to order a batch of Piff branded kendamas, which will be released later this year! We also had some interview questions with the owner about the streetwear industry and what intrigued him about kendama. 1.) How long has Piff been in business? We opened the doors at Piff September 1st, 2014.
2.) What was is that intrigued you to enter the business of streetwear + sneaker culture? I was inspired to enter the business of streetwear after visiting a friend at Columbia College in Chicago. On this trip I was fortunate to stop by some amazing boutiques such as LDRS1354, St Alfred’s, RSVP Gallery, and Jugernaut. This was a key experience that really accelerated my desire to enter the streetwear industry
3.) When you were introduced to kendama, what stood out, or intrigued you about it? When first introduced to kendama I was amazed by how elaborate the tricks were. This really sparked my interested but after learning more what really stood out was the international community involved. (Also,) Everyone I have encountered in the kendama community have been very in tune with street culture.
4.) What similarities do you see between the kendama world, and the streetwear / sneaker world? I see connections between kendama and streetwear world in the committed communities that have developed around the love for the game. From collecting different models, to sporting your favorite color ways both kendama and streetwear offer a way for individuals to connect and express themselves.
5.) Did you play any sports? Would you find kendama beneficial to that sport? I grew up playing lacrosse. The hand eye coordination seems very similar between the two sports. I could most definitely see kendama being beneficial to advancing lacrosse skills.
6.) What are some of your favorite people you’ve had come through the shop? (famous, or celebrities etc.) On a celebrity basis My favorite individual to visit the shop thus far is likely wide receiver for the Minnesota vikings, Stefon Diggs. A couple close seconds are renowned photographer, Van Styles and Ty Dolla $ from Taylor Gang. All and all there are too many individuals to note as favorites but I am truly grateful for the relationships that have blossomed from being involved with Piff.