With the Holiday season in full effect, and Christmas less than two weeks away, it seemed only right to drop a gift list and a giveaway for our faithful Bounce Mag followers.
I always have trouble figuring out what to give people, but my dude Mel Peralta from FLüD Watches is in the spirit and will be giving some dope gifts to a few fans. I caught up with Mel to discuss hoops, the company and his ties to the streetball scene:
How did FLüD start?
FLüD was founded in ’07 by Doug Cohen and Naim Brown. I came in about six months later, after we met through mutual friends and they needed someone that new the business.
What were some of the early designs and who did you market them to?
The very first watch we made was The TableTurn and it’s almost like we’ve been living out our dream and building our company ever since. FLüD’s always been for the youth. It’s either for the super-fresh high school kid or for that college kid can’t who afford the $500 Movado and he wants to look good when he’s going to work.
What inspires the designs?
Part of it is looking at what others are doing and committing to NOT doing any of that. I don’t wanna sound corny but we’re inspired by the city. We’re inspired by the people we’re around, like athletes and sneaker heads, which helps us get feedback and make
our product great. Our company is still small enough that you can reach us; our accessibility is there and that’s kind of dope.
So you’re still able to deal directly with the people who cop your watches?
I was walking with Doug a while back and we randomly see a kid with his mom, and the kid had on The Table Turn watch and we invited them to lunch. They didn’t believe us at first and it was like ‘yeah right,’ but we convinced them to come eat with us as a way to say thanks. It still blows our minds that people are rockin’ what we create.
So when we first met, you had almost as many hoops stories as me (laughs). What’s your basketball background?
I prolly grew up in one of the best periods in NYC basketball. At any point in time, you could run around and catch a game. I couldn’t play like all my friends but I could maybe make a team. I remember making it to tournaments out in Lefrak, Uptown and if you were a good enough player, (playing ball) can open up the city to you and I just came up in the basketball culture.
Can you hoop, though?
I can hit a jumper once in the blue (laughs). I still hoop out in Eastchester.
How’d you get linked up with Together We Chill?
It goes way back, shout out to Tato Gonzalez, George Gonzalez. I just kind of saw the different neighborhoods and blocks and I loved the energy. The people there take pride in having the best in the city come to their area. In fact, I was there when Ted smooth broke (Ron Browz) ‘pop champagne’ there and this is like three years back. My boys went out and told the other tournaments and slowly but surely you herd it at different tourneys before it hit the radio and the club.
Other than TWC, where are some of your favorite spots to catch a game in the summer?
Hoops In The Sun; it’s hot as hell there, man (laughs). Dyckman on a Friday night is live. You can’t shoot a baseline jumper because the crowd is a part of the court. Those two and shout out to my dudes at the Watson (Classic) tourney.
What does basketball mean to you?
I kind of always felt that ball shows who you are. The guy that always hogs the ball is kind of like a jerk, the guy who has talent but wilts under pressure, I don’t feel comfortable doing business with him. We play ball the way we hoop. Our company won’t stick to any strict formula but we love to win and find ways to do so.
Did you hoop when you met your business partners?
Naim and our designer Garry can hoop, but Doug can’t hoop for **** (laughs).
Who are some of the athletes that have rocked FLüD watches?
D-Wade, Melo, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, KD, Jrue Holiday, those are some the basketball guys off the top the head. That tells me that they’re willing to take dope chances on style.
Is there a special story with any of the players?
Jrue Holiday wore one of our watches for the 2009 NBA Draft Dime x Levi pictures. Aron featured us in Dime, shout to AP, and wanted us to do a colabo.
Will we see more basketball inspired designs in the future?
I think so. We’ve been trying to work on more team themed items and away from something as in your face like the scoreboard on your wrist. We need it to be a little subtler, like something in teal/magenta and white that’ll match the CP3’s. I think toward the end of ’11 we’ll figure out what makes the most sense.
So what should we expect in the future from FLüD?
We have some dope stuff for next year that I can’t get in to right now. The Holiday line just dropped and the response is dope and we’re going to Berlin after the New Year. I feel like the best is so far ahead of us. Every next step feels better then the last.
FLüD is drowning the competition and is a must-have complimentary piece for every baller, sneaker head and street-wear aficionado.
For your chance at a free FLüD Watch, go to www.fludwatches.com, check the site and answer this question:
In the Fall/Winter-Spring 2011 Lookbook, what is the name and color of the watch in the center of the 24th page?
Hit me on Twitter @lowereastscribe or the FLüD Boys at @FludWatches
with the answer for a chance at the prize.