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Sucuk und Bratwurst originally started as the Tumblr page of four friends from Mainz. They were teenagers, their haircuts took inspiration from Vinz from La Haine and they uploaded digital collages and low-fi videos that revolved around tuned cars, graffiti, rave culture, rap, techno and 3D art.
In 2019, that imagery blends very well with the current Zeitgeist. And precisely because the obsessions of Alessandro, Lukas, Denis and David haven’t changed a bit, their creative studio has fit in a space that nobody was occupying before. In their archive you can find everything from Windows / Mac bandanas to visuals for Yung Hurn, the Viennese king of German cloud rap. Their work presents a very characteristic treatment of the ugly, the provocative, the crude and the objects we live by.
All four are fine 3D artists and Sucuk und Bratwurst provides them with a very good excuse to come up with loutish designs. They love speed, technology and the subcultural underworld. Marinetti would’ve been delighted. Even Alexander Wang has caught the wave.
Foot Locker presented us the opportunity of having a conversation with them about youth, CGI, sneakers and fashion and this is the result:
First of all, we would like you to introduce yourselves a bit: who you are, what do you do, where do you do it from.
We are Sucuk und Bratwurst, a design team from Germany specialized in 3D graphics. “We” are Alessandro, Denis, Lukas and David. Four friends who grew up together and do what they love!
How does it feel to earn a name working with your lifelong friends? Who was the baddest kid in kindergarten?
It’s just the best feeling to do what you love with the people you love and on top of that also having success with it. We sometimes think back together to when we started as a studio working on the couch in the living room compared to now, when we have offices in Berlin and Mainz with a huge network of friends where everybody is helping each other out on jobs and stuff.
Back in Kindergarten we pissed down the climbing frame all together so I guess we were all kind of badass at that time.
Today’s mainstream visual culture respects virtuality and 3D, and you guys have definitely been a part of that shift. But, at the same time, you like to differentiate yourselves and what you do by showing your faces and your pictures together as a group of friends in a post-Internet art world. Why do you do that?
It’s important for us to show who we are as human beings and to show that we are just a bunch of friends doing nice stuff together. We don’t want to be seen as the big design studio or something. We are still just the four dudes fooling around together, happy to share our knowledge and to meet lots of nice new people along the way.
“We sometimes think back together to when we started as a studio working on the couch in the living room compared to now, when we have offices in Berlin and Mainz with a huge network of friends where everybody is helping each other out on jobs and stuff.”
Youth is also a very important part of your work. A lot of your references come from youth culture: sneakers, music, motorbikes… Are you guys scared of growing up, of becoming boring adults? What does youth mean to you?
Youth is just a mental thing! I guess we could be sixty and still do the same stuff and be into the same things we are into today. Sure we don’t want to grow up but who really wants to? It is the best thing to not have to grow up and just do what you like every day – and we will keep on doing this until we die one day with a huge smile on our faces!
You guys have recently teamed up with Foot Locker to create a capsule collection, can you tell us a bit more about this collaboration?
We had the opportunity to take a collection of products we like and to create some outfits out of that selection. Then Foot Locker invited us to Amsterdam to shoot a super nice video with us and take the collection to the next level.
“Youth is just a mental thing! I guess we could be sixty and still do the same stuff and be into the same things we are into today. Sure we don’t want to grow up but who really wants to?”
What was the inspiration behind your collection?
What brings everything together is the tuning aesthetic we wrapped the collection in. We are all 90s kids and grew up within that aesthetic current. Neon lights and raves were omnipresent at that time, even if we were too young to really get what was going on back then.
Your creative concept and curation is now displayed in stores all along Europe, how does this feel?
I think we haven’t yet realized what dimension the campaign really has. We saw our clip in one of the Berlin stores at Alexanderplatz and it was a strange but also really cool feeling seeing ourselves on the big screens in the Stores. Imagining that our faces are shown all across Europe is a funny thought.
Sneakers are in a way, a tribal symbol. Black people wore Air Force 1s in Harlem in the 80s just like European ravers wore Air Max Tns in the early 2000s: to distinguish themselves from other groups of people and to develop their identity. Do you guys think sneakers constitute an important part of our imagery? What is your favorite model?
Sneakers are not really an important part of our imagery when it comes to our work as designers. We probably wouldn’t incorporate a sneaker into an image if there is no benefit or humorous twist to it. With our work for Nike for example we tried to find things that describe the shoe or just went well with its overall aesthetics and then render those objects rather than the shoe itself.
Outside of the 3D working world sneakers sure play an important role. As you said they are a way of expressing yourself and showing who you are. We also don’t have that specific favorite model but when it comes to sneakers there is nothing better than Nike!
In line with this, we imagine that the sneakers you curated for the Foot Locker capsule have something that relates to your personal imagery. Which sneakers did you select and why?
We selected the Air Force 1 because it is such a classic — you can basically combine it with everything in your closet.
It is also a reminiscence to when we were younger and deeply into Hip-Hop culture, wearing baggy pants, oversized shirts and of course the AF1s.
“This “mash-up” and “rip-off” thing does not only happen in fashion, it is becoming more and more established in a variety of fields. There is much more freedom now — you probably would’ve been fired if you proposed half-flamed shirts to anyone at Prada a few years back.”
What is your take on what’s happening in the fashion world lately, with Virgil becoming the creative director of Louis Vuitton and Prada making half-flamed shirts?
This “mash-up” and “rip-off” thing does not only happen in fashion, it is be- coming more and more established in a variety of fields. There is much more freedom now — you probably would’ve been fired if you proposed half-flamed shirts to anyone at Prada a few years back.
I think people is getting more open minded; there are less taboos now – which is just great. But on the other hand you must of course make sure that it stays authentic, and that your designs don’t just appropriate something, but take it a step further from being a copy of a reference.
Your work incorporates the ugly and the objects we live by, but it’s also very fantastic in a way. Where do you get your inspiration from?
We really like to use everyday objects in our work and to combine them in a new way that gives them a different meaning. It is really cool to see how many ideas you can draw off from simple and common objects if you look at them closely and try to see them differently. We want our work to be entertaining and funny at all times. We always incorporate a twist to it and try to look at things from a different angle.
Thanks very much, guys! We love your last work in collaboration with Nike for the twentieth anniversary of the Tn: