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Dr. Martens spoke to Jordan Garland, professional skater and creative mind behind AsDetroitsOwn and #aDetroitFilm, showing a different perception of a city often overlooked. We caught up with him to find out more about his love for his hometown, skating and what inspires him. 

Jordan Garland wearing the White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by AsDetroitsOwn.
Jordan Garland wearing the White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by AsDetroitsOwn.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
It’s hard to explain major things about yourself so hopefully the interview does that as a whole on its own, and I’ll just give you a glimpse of my “right now”. Currently I’m spending every day running around the city of Detroit with my Sony a6300 camera, witnessing and being a part of some of the most insane things I couldn’t ever imagine. Sneaking onto roofs downtown experiencing the cities best views from the tops of sky scrapers, or going out and witnessing some of the most insane things done on bikes and skateboards with my friends, just wild stuff every day. Then I somehow finally caught a break and ended up in a loft 18 floors up with a skyline view and a baby kitten we found in an abandoned building. I’m super cool with my current state of affairs. Especially with whats to come from #aDetroitFilm and my plans as a creative. 
How did #aDetroitFilm come about?
#aDetroitFilm came about because I was deep in every community that I am documenting before I ever decided to document anything. Once I realized that I was so deep in all those communities from learning so many different art forms and hanging out with so many artists in each field, I knew it had to be me that did this, because it was the only way it could be as authentic as it is, and nothing’s forced or feels fake. We are legitimately just sending a message to the culture through the eyes of the city we all grew up in or around. The short films online now are actually a series that will culminate with a full length film that I will definitely get to Sundance, Tribeca, or Netflix or something. I kinda want to affect people in that “Netflix and Chill” moment because that’s when you’re the most vulnerable. Like you’re with your girl and just did y’alls thing or whatever and now you put on Netflix and we deliver you that moment that made you think as a couple and have one of the deepest conversations about life with that person after seeing the film. That’s what I really think about making this all the time, but I never voiced it until just now. I want to make the ultimate time marker of society right now and help put everyones mentalities on a path that helps people grow. 
You’re very passionate about showing the world the real Detroit. If you could choose, what’s your favourite thing about it?
It’s less being about the real Detroit and more about just showing REAL people. The vast majority of Detroit and the greater metro area is lower middle class or straight up poor, and being so far down you begin to realize you only have your vision. When you’re at that point, the whole mentality of Western civilisation really starts to show itself for how lame it actually is. There’s so much more important shit going on that you’re dealing with, that has nothing to do with binge watching TV or sharing cat videos on Facebook. But my favourite thing about the city is the feeling and architecture without a doubt. They used to call Detroit “The Paris of the West” because our buildings are such a high taste palette in terms of their design and beauty and that helps me and keeps me on point because everywhere I look is a high level of art and design. I also really love exploring old buildings because its eye opening to see how time just stopped there and they were once so great and then abandoned and in ruins. 
The White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by AsDetroitsOwn.
The White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by AsDetroitsOwn.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
This girl named Harmony O’bryan put me on to how sick the Docs were because she has like 5 pairs and she really is the one who gets credit for sparking my interest. I have an obsession with white footwear and the white Docs were the dopest things I’ve ever seen because they’re as minimal as a boot design could possibly be, with all colour sucked out of them. Then this girl Madison bought me a pair of them and I have never taken a gift so she sent them back, then some time went by and she ended up getting me them again, so I’m like, OK I’m about it, I can’t deny these twice, they’re far too dope for that haha. I wore them like every day and told people how it felt like those were more than just a boot when I rocked them and how I styled them, and here we are in this interview so maybe that was right haha. Dr. Martens to me is a good opportunity to call something “classic”. The design is so perfectly simple and doesn’t force you to wear some giant logo and branding like most footwear. You can appreciate the design down to the stitching and my personal favourite, the tag on the back. Its crazy for something to be around so long and still look so good and not dated. I feel like its a perfected boot design and that’s safe to say at this point. Virgil Ablohs colour ways he did for your OffWhite/Doc collab are pretty close to the matted out look, I need a pair of those. 
What is it about skating that you love so much?
Skating for me now is finally back to what it was when I was a kid, I legitimately just love the feeling of going really fast and grinding rails and cruising ramps. I’ve put tens of thousands of hours into it so now its something that is just part of my life that I don’t even think about as an activity. Its just what I’ve done for so long, like breathing. It’s probably been about 12 years now. Last weekend I skated with Lil Wayne until sunrise for the second time and that was the most fun I’ve had at a session in a long, long time. It’s the best feeling ever to be cruising after one of the best artists of all time and smoking backwoods, having that level of trust in our abilities on a board. That’s my dog, he makes you happy to be a skateboarder because he already has acquired everything and attained a monumental level of success and still just would rather enjoy lifes simplicities like cruising on a piece of wood. He’s almost the ultimate skateboarder in that sense to be honest. 
Jordan Garland skating, photographed by Joe Gall.
Jordan Garland skating, photographed by Joe Gall.
If you could collaborate with anyone, whether it’s skating or filming, who would it be?
This is the most important response to me because I’m currently talking to many people that may help me get some of these ideas out of my head and help influence culture for the positive, and they will see how much I can bring to the table when I can publicly source my ideas. Adobe is a dream collaboration because its important we show the youth culture how their products can help us build the worlds in our heads, and the importance of creating which is lost on so many in recent years, Karen Do and Dan Cowles are people I’d like to work with there. Michael Keegan and Red Digital Cinema as well. My brother Tyler Fernengel who I grew up with is a professional BMX rider and one of the gnarliest humans who walk this earth, and I have a vision for an incredible RedBull project filmed in Detroit we are talking about now. Also Adam22 from the NoJumper podcast. Time and vision will tell, but I really want to speak those names to the universe as many times as this interview is seen in hopes it helps place pieces of the blueprint. 
What’s in store for you in 2016?
I promised myself I’d give up everything this year in order to get this film out how it has to be, and fully sacrifice myself to the art. So in any spare second I have I’m either running around shooting all the crazy things in my city, or developing concepts for #aDetroitFilm and future content releases and events. It takes so much time to create something to the level I hope to make this, so all time it’s being viewed as more precious than anything. I hardly even eat because I’ll be lost in my zone trying to find the next step. I’m also going to drop another line of custom clothing under my @AsDetroitsOwn brand that I’ve sold a few seasons of now, and hopefully continue to have opportunities to speak to dope people like you guys! 
The White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by Felicia Fullwood.
The White Mono 1460 boots. Photographed by Felicia Fullwood.
And finally, what do you stand for?
I stand for them boys and girls who have such vast ideas in their heads that they would rather die than not get them out. Im trying to fight for the people like me who have visions that far exceed their resources yet they know they will find the way despite the monumental task ahead. Have to do it for the people who think it’s just as detrimental to go without creating as it is without food or water. I stand for being hundreds of feet up on top of a building watching everything move so small underneath you. I stand for everyone who has repped the @AsDetroitsOwn movement, and I really like candy and cookies way too much, so I stand for those too for realllll. 
Find out more about Jordan on his Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, and AsDetroitsOwn on the website, Instagram, and Facebook