Mad Canine Jones on his Puma x Mercedes collab and Lewis Hamilton

On a Components 1 observe, collisions are all the time unhealthy. Off-track, we’re seeing the worlds of style and racing collide extra typically than ever, and reaping the advantages. Almost each driver has his personal merch line, the world’s most coveted watch manufacturers are growing uncommon F1-inspired items, and groups are realizing that the collaborations that elevated streetwear into a worldwide phenomenon are there for the taking. Which explains how Michah Dowbak, higher often known as artist Mad Canine Jones, got here to design a particular assortment with Puma and Mercedes AMG. 

For the Mad Canine Jones x Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 x Puma assortment, the Canadian-born Dowbak introduced his “hyper-metropolitan” pop-art sensibility to a complete vary of Puma items, from hats and slides to woven jackets and (in fact) sneakers. It’s a riot of heat-map swirls and Miami-inflected pastels (which is smart, for the reason that assortment debuted for that race), with Dowbak’s “MDJ” brand proudly owning the highlight. Some items have direct affect from Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and you’ll see the place their private kinds blended with Dowbak’s. General, it’s a set that pushes the typical F1-inspired merch drop one other step ahead. 

Dowbak talked to Motorsport concerning the inspiration of liveries flying by at F1 speeds, what it’s like collaborating with Lewis Hamilton, and making hats for 40 years from now.

How did you get into Motorsports?

Dowbak: I grew up in a small city within the nation in Canada, so we by no means had cable TV—we all the time simply had the bunny ears. No matter you might get on the antennas was what we might watch. We might watch a few of the outdated Jacques Villeneuve races. After which, in fact, the outdated Schumacher days, in awe of the uncooked expertise. Whenever you’re rising up, the hazard degree is absolutely cool and thrilling. 

And for me, the aesthetics of the automotive design has all the time been so cool. As I grew up, I continued following [Formula 1]…and actually simply grew to become actually fascinated by livery design and brand design as I moved into my artwork profession extra. It has this actually kinetic really feel to it—the velocity and the motion. It brings a lot to a design perspective, as a result of every thing’s always in movement. You get all these cool angles and all these cool mixtures. As automobiles go one another, you are like, oh, that livery subsequent to the opposite livery seems to be cool. There’s all these actually attention-grabbing frameworks that basically simply makes it thrilling.

Are there any liveries that you simply love?

You understand, all of the Mercedes ones over time have simply been so iconic. Actually, one of many coolest issues for me was attending to design with the Mercedes brand, as a result of that star simply has a lot gravitas and bravado. I do not assume there is a cooler automotive on observe than the Mercedes with that star on the hood. Once they went via the all-black [livery] a few years in the past, I used to be like, Okay, we’re locked init is recreation time. I like an all-black design. 

Mad Canine Jones x Mercedes AMG F1 x Puma Woven Jacket

Mad Dog Jones x Mercedes AMG F1 x Puma Graphic Tee

Mad Canine Jones x Mercedes AMG F1 x Puma Graphic Tee

The place else are you drawing from in your artwork? 

For me, numerous my type of key inspiration comes from nature and pure environments. I dwell proper alongside a river with some rapids. There’s the kinetic vitality of transferring water—and the way the automobiles drive across the observe like they’re flowing. Nature is infinite compositions, and there is infinite inspiration you’ll be able to draw from it. Whenever you see one thing like a sundown, or like you recognize, the solar rays scattering via the morning dew in a forest, it is really easy to acknowledge the sweetness in that. So lots of our design decisions come from these base archetypes of magnificence [that] people have been appreciating for hundreds of years. 

On the Puma launch occasion you talked about that Lewis Hamilton has impressed you. What do you admire about him?

There’s the plain elements of Lewis—you recognize, dedication, arduous work, and all that stuff. However for me, what most conjures up me about Lewis is the best way he strikes via the motorsport world with kindness, seeing how he treats his teammates. It is by no means me first, it is all the time crew first. Generally when I’ve an artwork mission, your ego will get a bit inflated. However I like to shout-out all of the those that I work with. And on that observe, Kenan Kozlowski, who I labored with actually carefully on this mission, he helps me with numerous brand design. 

We’re all our personal little groups, and once you’re fortunate sufficient to construct a crew that works nicely—that’s what makes us nice. We are the sum of our elements, of our household, of our group. And [Hamilton’s] method to success is what I exploit essentially the most in my day-to-day.

Art by Mad Dog Jones

Artwork by Mad Canine Jones

What has your expertise been like doing a collaboration with Lewis Hamilton?

The principle mission I labored with him the closest on was after I designed his helmet for Silverstone in 2021, and it [ended up being] his 99th win. Attending to do the helmet for that race was simply so cool. And that was additionally in collaboration with Mission44, which is one among Lewis’s organizations. We had every kind of requests on the helmet to include symbols, concepts, Easter eggs. Lewis can work with any artist on the earth, and he selected little outdated me. It is one thing that I am going to by no means have the ability to pay again, and I’ll all the time be eternally grateful. That is what makes him so cool—he finds individuals and he lifts up the group round him. I wish to transfer via the world like that. His main by instance is totally infectious.

Did Lewis Hamilton have numerous enter within the design course of?

It wasn’t numerous enter as in, “I do not like that—do that.” However there have been numerous concepts and, “These are the colours I like, these are the concepts I wish to incorporate.” Energetic, for certain, however not overbearing. Which is simply good for me as an artist, as a result of I needed to symbolize the motive force. I need it to really feel prefer it’s their factor. However I additionally need it to really feel like a creation of mine. Discovering that steadiness is absolutely key.

What does the launch of the gathering imply to you?

I introduced my father and my brother, who additionally labored [on the collection] with me, to the race in Miami, and attending to see them there—and seeing individuals sporting the gear…that is when it actually settles in, and you actually really feel grateful for the chance. I feel why I resonate with Lewis a lot is that we each constructed what we’ve—we weren’t handed it. I grinded for an artwork profession. I am fortunate sufficient to have a household who’s very creative, and inspired me alongside that path. I see that with Lewis, too. Having a household that encourages you—that will get you to the observe, that will get you these violin classes, that teaches you methods to paint from a younger age…these are all actually essential. You’re employed so arduous to get to this place, and see [your work] on the earth, and see it nicely obtained. After which, growth, you are having an interview with the highest motorsport publication on the earth.

Lewis Hamilton in the collection's Woven Jacket

Lewis Hamilton within the assortment’s Woven Jacket

How do you view this present panorama with motorsport-based style and artwork, significantly in F1? 

I very a lot similar to to maintain myself open for cool alternatives. I by no means wish to work with anyone I do not wish to have dinner with. I’ve gotten to know the Mercedes crew—they’re simply such a pleasure to construct with. In our earlier initiatives, they actually let me take the inventive reins. It is all the time: do what you assume is cool. For me, having a collaborator that trusts in my imaginative and prescient is what’s most essential, as a result of I do not wish to be a watered down model of myself for tens of millions of individuals to see. 

Puma, I feel they’re the most well liked model in motorsport proper now. All their collaborations with different artists, like with A$AP Rocky, Rihanna… The KidSuper assortment is simply completely mind-blowing. For me, KidSuper is an inspiration and an icon within the style world. Being in the identical orbit as him whereas he has a drop with Puma has been so thrilling for me. The entire assortment was a lot greater and extra dynamic than I ever thought I might get the chance to make. The important thing to any type of mission you are doing regardless of the dimensions, is working with those that need you for you. 

Mad Dog Jones x Mercedes AMG F1 x Puma Spirex sneaker

Mad Canine Jones x Mercedes AMG F1 x Puma Spirex sneaker

Mad Dog Jones x Mercedes Benz AMG x Puma Tee

Mad Canine Jones x Mercedes Benz AMG x Puma Tee

Do you may have a favourite piece within the assortment? 

The Spirex shoe has been the web hit. I type of made it actually loopy. I used to be like, good luck with this Puma. After which they despatched me the primary shoe. I actually had no notes—I used to be like, “This guidelines.” The colours pop, the fade is so good. I did not assume that it will be potential to really execute my imaginative and prescient this precisely. What they dropped at the desk—with the totally different textures and the totally different supplies, giving it a bit extra dynamism—was actually superior. The crew had the large pink “MDJ” proper in there that I like. With the ability to incorporate the Mercedes teal in there, on all of the items, is absolutely cool.  

Mercedes have been nice as a result of they have been like, “We do not need low cost T-shirts.” And for me, and I do know for Lewis and lots of people now, I need an article of clothes to have the ability to be worn for a very long time. We did this hat—the “fishing hat,” I name it. I have been sporting this one since I bought the primary mock-up, and it fades simply how I needed it to. I need it to be like a hat you discover in your grandpa’s closet—his outdated summer season fishing hat that is all squished. And you then rock it and also you carry new life into it. Hopefully, in 40 years, some grandkid goes to be of their grandpa’s closet and [ask], “Can I steal this?” That is my dream.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *