Edson Sabajo is ADCN’s President of the Year in 2022
Photography by Martijn Kuyvenhoven
Edson Sabajo is ADCN’s President of the Year in 2022. The co-founder and owner of independent label Patta is taking the helm for one year in the first instalment of the President role, during which time he will help mould ADCN’s creative agenda. As a visionary involving his community at every turn, Sabajo’s achievements converge between the worlds of entrepreneurship, design, streetwear, music, art, sports and education. ADCN finds inspiration in Sabajo’s unwavering positive attitude, interdisciplinary working methods and focus on community building – together creating the ideal conditions for infectious creative growth.
The goal of the President is to inspire the Dutch creative community with an annual theme – a vision of where creativity is heading and what it can achieve. Edson Sabajo will execute his vision in four acts; publishing an essay to introduce his theme, hosting a creative event, an open competition for the special Presidents’ Award, and conducting a Masterclass.
Community, Creativity and Patta
Patta’s slogan, “Out of Love and Necessity Rather Than Profit and Novelty”, was the disruption brought to market when Edson Sabajo and his creative business partner, Guillaume 'Gee' Schmidt, opened the streetwear brand’s doors in 2004. With his community fully behind him, the Patta store soon became the beating heart of a creative youth culture in Amsterdam. Where friendships and connections – from the early days of working as a DJ in the cities hiphop scene – turned into creative collaborations with brands like ASICS, adidas, Converse, Nike, New Balance and Reebok, as well as social visionaries like Surinamese resistance hero Anton de Kom, and Emory Douglas, creator of the Black Panther Party’s visual identity. In 2021 alone Patta conducted 29 creative collaborations, each immersed in heartfelt relationships and born from like-minded visions – out of love and necessity rather than profit and novelty.
A Hiphop Frame of Mind
Hiphop is intertwined in everything Edson Sabajo creates. More than just the music framing its foundations, hiphop is an attitude that respects ingenuity, self-reliance and a fearlessness towards new ways of knowing, being and learning. Kinship, community, merging different worlds and refusing to be pigeonholed are only some of the culture’s attributes, where creativity is key. Raised at a time when wearing sneakers to clubs was forbidden and hiphop was far from mainstream – Sabajo used the mentality as a tool to meet the right people, relate to the outside world and eventually bring his many layered visions to life.
Converging and Expanding Worlds
With a hiphop attitude and the force of Patta behind him, Sabajo soon expanded to other passions such as his love for sports, art and music. In 2010 he launched the Patta Running Team that has today grown to include countless creatives encouraging each other over the finish line. In 2019 he and Schmidt were invited to curate an exhibition at the cultural institute Het Hem, where they initiated a boxing clinic that encouraged anyone in the city - with or without experience - to sign up for free training towards a boxing gala the likes of which no one had seen in a cultural space. Keeping true to his roots, Sabajo also launched the Patta Soundsystem that blends the world of streetwear and underground music culture. And most recently the Patta Academy, aiming to give the next generation the tools to develop their own unique creative visions. For Sabajo, giving back all the knowledge and experience he amassed with Patta over 18 years is the only logical next step for his community to continue blooming.
Edson Sabajo & ADCN
“Patta is not just an international streetwear brand,” says Sabajo, “it is a community of creative souls who have created a new lifestyle together.” We could not agree more at ADCN. With Edson Sabajo as our President of the Year, in 2022 we plan to discover, unite and celebrate manifold creative worlds, learning and growing with each other along the way. Guided by Sabajo’s positivity, interdisciplinary nature and love for community.