Early last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to John Geiger's adequately equipped Miami high-rise. The 31-year-old customizer turned designer, who is originally from Pittsburgh, gained a cult through his collaborative work with The Shoe Surgeon and Darrelle Revis before that. Now, he's expanded his portfolio by creating his own high-end, street-oriented limited sneakers, the 001, and working with Premium Company co-founder Davin Gentry on their new fashion line, Diet Starts Monday. In fact, just this week, the two launched an eat, drink, shop concept in Washington D.C. Below, I was able to catch up with Geiger and discuss everything from his influences and tattoos, to his future endeavors in the fashion industry.

For people who don't know who you are, could you please give them some insight?

I'm a designer. The word is so overused, but designing to me—more then just bringing a certain idea and making it into a product—is making something people can see, touch and feel. That's basically what I'm doing right now.

Talk about the symbolism of black rose tattoo on the side of your head.

The black rose symbolizes death and passing away and also indicates major change and upheaval in the future. It also means the death of old habits and the old order. It inspires confidence and enthusiasm by signaling a new era of hope and joy.

Who or what are your influences that inspire your creative process?

This is going to sound very cliche, but traveling and my peers inspire me. I get a lot of inspiration from traveling to different cities and seeing new buildings, store fronts and people. I'm constantly stopping at certain places, taking pictures or writing ideas down based off that very moment in my notes. I'm also very impatient, so most would say I'm always in a hurry to go nowhere. I've had this weird feeling of never getting all my ideas out as there's not enough time to do so. It's something I'm working on with my various projects and that creative process.

My peers inspire me both directly and non-directly. What I mean by that is I have people who I talk to daily and people who inspire me that I've never met. I wouldn't say that I'm influenced by anyone in particular because, for the most part, when I create something people usually hate it at first or show a dislike, then grow a liking towards it afterwards. I've felt ahead of the curve, at least in footwear, for awhile now. I often find a void in my life and create based off that. That's where some of my best ideas have came from. Mixing high-end materials with a sole that has an air bladder unit isn't usually the typical idea.

Do you have any favorite designers or brands?

I do have a couple favorite designers. I think Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons were two that I felt most relatable in the sense of being different and having originality. Recently, Raf had a few choice words about Virgil Abloh that I didn't care for though. Virgil and what he has build should never be looked down on. If anything, he has influenced a younger generation like myself. He's a kid from Chicago and I'm from Pittsburgh. What he's done has let me know that I can do whatever I've wanted to. As far as Jeremy Scott, he just says fuck it and does what he wants, so we have very similar views when it comes to creating. I don't really have any brands I would say are my favorite. If i'm not wearing my own Diet Starts Monday clothing, I'm usually in a $2 vintage tee I found somewhere and a flannel. A Pittsburgh Pirates hat, dirty looking tee and a flannel have become my uniform, so to speak. I wear my own signature shoes every single day, but if I'm working out, I'm usually in Flyknits.

What sort of things were you into growing up?

Growing up, I was always into drawling and sketching items my parents usually couldn't afford that I'd seen either at the store or on TV. My family moved around a lot. I went to 5 different schools from the 4th through 12th grade so I really never got settled in one area of Pittsburgh, which essentially helped my creativity. We stayed in very lower class areas and then we have stayed in some middle class areas. Always moving and seeing new things kept my mind racing. My dad was also a heavy influence on me growing up. He would have me listening to Whodini, but also The Eagles. His range of style sparked an interest in me early on with music and fashion. Music videos were my thing—well, our thing. I still remember him coming home and we would watch MTV—the good ole days when it was still just music videos—and there would be Snoop on the front of that bicycle, ironically wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. So, yeah, early on growing up I had signs of music and fashion influencing me.

Tell me about Diet Starts Monday and where do you see the brand heading.

I started Diet Starts Monday with my partner Davin Gentry based on the premise of procrastination. Everybody's diet always starts on Monday, but most of the time that Monday never comes and ends up getting put off. We had spoken about launching a brand together for years, but kept putting it off due to our schedules and individual projects. 2017 just seemed like time to finally put it into motion.

Tell me about your black sueded python sneaker dropping this summer.

They are my favorites thus far. Instead of the shiny python that designers use, I went in a different direction and got sueded python, making it more luxurious. They'll be the next shoe that's released. We're looking at mid-June for that.

Finally, what music is in your current rotation?

Kendrick, Future and, of course, Drake.

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Tags: miami, john-geiger, sneakers