Designer Stéphane Ashpool’s Pigalle is more than a fashion label; it’s a community. Named after a tight-knit neighborhood in Paris, the brand stays loyal to its locale, as it’s run and supported by a crew of Pigalle-raised athletes, models and creatives who proudly wear it. Their guiding principle? Building the family of the future.

Here, one of the brand’s affiliates, Mamadou “Doums” Siby, discusses being mentored by Stéphane, how Pigalle embodies Parisian youth culture and how the Jordan Proto-Max 720 captures his generation.

How did you meet Stéphane Ashpool?

My friends and I were always playing football around the corner from my place, and Stéphane had just opened the basketball court [in Pigalle]. One day, he was there shooting hoops, and we started playing with him. From there, we starting chatting and getting to know each other. That’s where most of us met, pretty naturally.

Were you always interested in sports and culture?

My first passion is basketball and sports, in general. Thanks to Stéphane and the brand, I got into other, more artistic things, like videography and cinematography, music and fashion. I like everything that has a creative take to it, and it helps that in Pigalle, these intersect organically. It’s all part of the lifestyle.

How would you describe the philosophy of the Pigalle brand and team?

It’s more than a “crew” to me, it’s a family. We spend all day, every day together. We literally do everything together. “Together” is the word that defines us. We even did a short movie called Together. It means a lot to us to have a brand that carries the name of our neighborhood, so we support everything Stéphane does. As soon as he needs help for something, we show up. That’s what we’re about.

We hope to inspire other kids in a positive way. A lot of kids show up to the court today, and we treat them the same way that the older generation treated us. It’s important for us to give back and continue to build the community around the things we love. I see the principle of the brand resonating outside of Paris.

We always want to bring our own touch to things and do what hasn’t already been done. As a collective, we want to bring the unique energy of Pigalle into what we do. We want to be the flyest, above anything that has ever been done before in Paris. To us, success is self-defined. It’s ultimately about making our people proud — our friends, family and neighborhood.

How did the city of Paris shape you are today?

Within Paris, you have a lot of different neighborhoods, and they are all quite different. Pigalle is unique, in that, there is a strong notion of community. It’s a family feeling that you don’t necessarily have in other neighborhoods. We look up to our older brothers and Stéphane, and we are inspired by the great things they do for the community, including the Pigalle basketball court. We aspire to keep the brand going and take it even further. 

To me, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. We are lucky to travel the world with Pigalle. We’ve been to the Philippines, Japan, London and more — so we can get new energy. Honestly, after two weeks away, we really miss Paris. It’s our city!

What was your first pair of Air Jordans?

It was a pair of Air Jordan Is, a “purple,” as we called them. I still have it at home. My favorite pair right now is the Air Jordan XX9; the tooling and the way it looks on my feet does it for me. It’s also my favorite shoe to play ball in.

What do you like about the new Jordan Proto-Max 720?

It’s a different look for the brand, but it’s dope and refreshing to see something new. It looks relevant for today’s generation; it’s “new school” Jordan. It reminds me of the Jordan Brand x PSG collection, which resonates a lot with us, obviously. I copped two or three pieces from it!

It’s interesting to see Jordan Brand expanding in new areas, both in terms of design but also outside of basketball. You see football players attending basketball events and playing ball more now and vice versa. Today, all these sports, lifestyles and fields come together under the Jordan Brand, and I’d say our Pigalle crew is the best expression of that.

The Jordan Proto-Max 720 is available globally starting March 21 on SNKRS and at select retailers.

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