Meet Momo Maserati, the Founder of new concept store 3030 Supply. Proclaimed for the culture – by the culture. He spoke to us on all things Hip-Hop culture, his love of Prada America Cups, and his personal photography – straight from the latest creative hub in Berlin.
NBGA: Congrats on the launch of your new venture – 3030 supply. Tell me about the space and how it came about?
MM: I had the opportunity to get this space and I was thinking of what I would do with it. I thought it would be a nice spot for people in my blue-print – and people who like the same lifestyle and ideas. I want to mix the store with vintage and designer vintage clothes because I think it’s important to not always buy new things, new things, new things – and just appreciate the old designer fashion that [is] still in good condition. But also bring some new stuff … like independent brands, local brands – and also new designer shit. So, that was the main idea. To have a new cultural spot with fashion and art, for socializing and hosting events for people. If you open up something for the culture, you should be the culture and you should be involved in the culture. That’s why I thought “I have a network, I know a lot of people from Berlin. I, myself am a Berlin native” – so I thought we should open something that is really authentic. I wanna open a shop where everyone is welcomed.
You also document West Berlin’s misfits and subcultures – how did you first get into photography?
I always, like a lot of people, was taking pictures on [my] phone, and I have a lot of friends that do analog photography, point and shoot, stuff like that. But I always [felt] too stupid to use it, or not enough courage to. Then someday, someone gave me a camera and I just started, and it’s just like a hobby, you know? But then I started to take a lot of pictures and all this happened during just, like, my daily life. I think there’s not even one picture, that’s staged. I just started, and people liked it. Then somehow rappers and artists started asking for photography and so I started to take it a little more seriously – but it’s really just a hobby. I’m not a professional, I’m a professional amateur.
Paint the picture of West Berlin for those who don’t know.
West Berlin, is really, really interesting. In the last 15 years, East Berlin became the hype of Berlin, because it was cheap and people came there because of the techno scene. But West Berlin is interesting because it didn’t change a lot. It’s still the same as in the 80s. It’s really multi-cultured, like, all the different nationalities mostly live in West Berlin. They don’t live in East Berlin because the people are more slow. The funny thing about West Berlin is that we have a lot of rich people here, but they’re really authentic. When you see someone like that, you say ‘That’s a West Berlin guy’, because they have a typical lifestyle, and typical way to dress, a typical way to talk even! All the most influential people come from West Berlin. West Berlin has the better food spots, the cooler people, even all the artists from back in the 20s, 30s, or in the 60s or 70s, it all happened in West Berlin. For me, I never say I’m from Berlin, I say I’m from West Berlin. It’s not an East and West battle, it’s not even that, it’s just a vibe, you feel it.
Where does your visual language come from?
I really would say, my visual language comes mostly from hip-hop. I grew up in the 90s – and everything that was really influencing me, was everything my brother was doing – my brother was older. He was really into Hip-Hop. He was like the 5 elements of Hip-Hop; breakdancing, graffiti, he was even rapping, he was a real street guy you know. Everything I wanted to do that was cool, I wanted to do it cause’ my brother was doing it. He gave me my first Hip-Hop album, everything that was cool was because of him. I would say Hip-Hop and my brother were the most influential things, even ’till today I think Hip-Hop and that lifestyle, influenced me and my work – everything I do.
Who’s your favourite rapper of all time?
If I could pick three (which is really hard, really hard). But first, for me, what a rapper stands for, what impact he had and what the real message is, was always important for me. But I would take Tupac, of course. Not just because of the music, but because of the man behind the scene. He was kind of like a Muhammed Ali in the rap scene – because he was standing for a lot more things and had a great impact. Second I would say MF Doom, and the third is hard, I would say Nas or DMX, but I can’t decide.
You like to collect Prada America’s, and say 3030 Supply will have the biggest collection in Berlin or is it the World?
I would say definitely, the biggest collection in Germany. I don’t want to say Europe, because I don’t know if there are some guys in Italy or in UK that have bigger collections. I don’t wanna say it, but I [haven’t] seen [anything] until now. But I would say we are one of the only shops in Europe, maybe worldwide, who have so much vintage Prada to sell, in such a good condition.
How many would you say you have currently?
I think right now, we have more than 100 pairs, and that’s a lot. Because it’s really hard to get them in a good condition. Some of [the pairs] are even deadstock, they have the sticker still on, and are like 10 years old. I don’t think there is any shop right now, who has more than 10 pairs even, and I don’t talk about new pairs, I mean the old-school pairs. We have a lot, and we have a lot of different colors and sizes.
What is it about this shoe in particular that you love so much? Do you remember the first person you saw wearing them?
I was in high school – in a school where there were a lot of rich kids. It was in a very good neighborhood and all the Russian and like rich Jews were all at this school – and were all into designer clothes. I was coming from a working-class neighborhood and like, we had Nikes on. But these kids were like 14-years-old and they had on Gucci, Louis, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, True Religions on. Every outfit was like more than my Mama was earning. I remember there was this one Russian guy, he was 5 classes over me, and he was like a little mobster you know? His father was from the mafia or something … I don’t know. He was always wearing the black Prada America Cups, and it was the first time I was seeing this red stripe. To me, it had this bad, mafia-looking vibe. You know, when you’re younger, you’re into that shit. And I was like “wow, that’s a nice shoe” – because back in the day, I used to also like Jordans and it reminded me of the Jordan 11. I fell in love with it. Some other people say it looks like a skater shoe or a grandpa shoe, but it never felt like that to me. When I was younger, I really understood the silhouette. I was in love with the different colors, and with the red stripe. I was really obsessed with this Prada red stripe. There was also this guy – his name was Micha, him and his father were always selling real designer clothes out of the trunk of a car. He sold me a pair for like half of the price. They were shiny brown, with a dark grey mesh. Also one of my best friends also got pair in silver, which were very nice. He still has them today, and we have them in the shop here, for the nostalgia.
Describe the vibe we can expect from 3030 Supply in three words?
Rare, Authentic, Real.
If you could have starred in any movie, what movie would it be and what character?
I’m a huge movie fan, and there’s a lot of movies I would be really into it. But from a fashion aspect, I think Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Because, Tyler Durden is a really cool guy, and his outfits in this movie are *chefs kiss*, amazing! Amazing outfits, so yeah I’d be Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
Whats the process of selecting what pieces to have in the store, and how do you make your choices?
I think the first thing I think of is, would I wear it myself. But even, ahead of that, for example, we have a lot of Margiela Replica shoes, which I personally never really liked, or wouldn’t wear. But back in the day, there was a style of people that were wearing them – nowadays it’s the new generation. Even trapper kids wear the Margiela replicas, and they wear it differently, and I understand that style. So I say, like okay let’s have them here, because there are people who like this and I understand the designer and the fit, so let’s go with it. But mostly I really choose things that the community likes. [I ask myself] is this part of the community? Is this part of the lifestyle we are going through? And would I wear it myself?
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Generally, I get a lot of inspiration from movies. Movies, Hip-Hop culture and I would say, it’s kinda funny, but a lot of things from nature. Sometimes I just love to watch documentaries about nature, because [of] the colors, the shapes, everything. You know, they stick in your mind, and three days later you design something, or you have an idea and the roots of that are inspired by the shapes and colors you saw in nature. So, I think nature, a lot of Hip-Hop culture. Sometimes when I feel like I’m stuck for inspiration or creativity I watch old Hip-Hop movies or I watch Hip-Hop videos. But mostly from back in the day, not contemporary stuff, and I get a lot of inspiration. There’s always something catchy where you think “that’s dope”. I can redesign this or use these colors. I remember Michael Jackson said that we are all products of our childhoods, and I really understand what he’s saying because actually, everything I do is because I’m a product of my childhood. In the 90s growing up [there] was Hip-Hop and my brother etc. Right now, I’m a product of that, everything I do is because of my childhood and those influences.
You often incorporate and bring attention to the adversity going on in Palestine within your work. Tell me why this is close to your heart?
I have a lot of Palestinian friends – and I remember even as a child, I was feeling such suffering for the Palestinians. I don’t know why. I never felt that I felt suffering for the other side, it was always I felt a deep suffering for the Palestinians. When I grew up, I educated myself and read about the things happening, and formed my own opinion. I really understood the oppression. And also to stand for my friends who are Palestinians and who lost their families and their country. I always thought it was important to talk about it, and even with my small account, I could perhaps have a bigger reach than someone else – and I think it’s important. Because I grew up in Germany, and you learn the history of what the Nazis did to Jewish people – I wonder to myself, how can some Jewish people do the same thing to the Palestinians in the last 70 years? That’s why I think it’s important to talk about Palestine. It’s important to talk about everything.
What advice would you give anyone out there who feels their dream is “too big”?
No matter what situation you are in, in your life -the most important thing is that you should find out who is your god? Whatever it is, whatever name, whatever source. Find out what is your source, what is god for you. Without that, things get complicated. But if you have that, you can realize that the only reason that you are here in this big universe, is to make all the experiences that you want to. When you realize that, everything you want to experience, the universe and God will form part of it and help you. You just need to have the confidence, believe in yourself and just do it. Put hard work into it – the more work you put in, the more comes back to you. You need a connection, without this connection, things get complicated. You can call it a purpose, you can call it God, you can call it the universe – but you need to have a source.
Thank you Momo.
3030 Supply opens its doors to the public June 4th. Hand-picked designer pieces and carefully selected vintage clothing from luxury brands, the multi-brand store has a different sense of fashion. An innovative blueprint for a new generation of artists, collectors and creatives who are longing for archive pieces.
Keep up with the store here.