6:30 AM Guys, today I have something really special for you! You know I love getting to know people and especially people who inspire me! This guy is definitely an inspiration and I was so looking forward to have a little chat with him! There is so much stuff we could discuss, but today we focus on sports and an active spirit. Get to know my French hero, Jay Smith, and make sure to follow him if you want to see/know more about him.

Who is Jay Smith? Describe yourself for the readers. @jaybkrw If you want to know me, check my socials, Instagram/ Twitter. This is the best definition of Jay Smith you can ever find. I'm the co-founder of Blackrainbow since 2006. I was a journalist since 2000...I'm the most unathletic and trashtalker Nike and Beats athlete, haha.

You guys founded BLACKRAINBOW years ago...did you ever imagine you would be where you are today? When you do something, you do it with passion or not at all. Look where Hypebeast, Freshness or Highsnobiety are today. We all started at the same time and everybody is doing great things - now we are huge actors on the sportswear and street culture / fashion market. Of course it's always cheesy to say passion is driving you higher, but that's simply the truth. All the people of the industry right now are still alive and brilliant; they are all about doing things they love. Then, the tricky parts is to conciliate passion and business. Sometimes the line is becoming blurry and you can mix it up by messing up everything.

What's the greatest thing you have accomplished with it so far? I guess the BLACKRAINBOW print magazine is kind of a sick object and I'm very proud of the whole result, because it's more than a simple magazine. It's the vision of my partner Greg and my artistic director Julien. It has definitely changed the landscape and the classic version of sport and also print magazines. We are working hard to create and produce this. Print magazines are always huge work and in a society where people just consume faster and faster it is sometimes good to say that it is.

Okay, let's talk about some active things. How did you get started with running or being active in general? I have been into sports since I'm a teen. Surfing, skiing, Basketball, Tae Kwon Do...I just love to play, have fun, and sweat. I still bike every day and run once or twice a week and I play Basketball. Some people need weed, food or sex, I need sports to relax myself (I'm not saying that I don't need sex either...).

How did the Paris Running Club started? It all started in 2008 when Nike came to see me to organize a bunch of maverick trend setters and made them apply to their first 10k. From 10 people, we quickly moved on to 20, then 40 and now 140. It's funny how organically it did happen. It's just a massive natural international movement for real! I met so many incredible people and of course I discover more about myself or not, haha.

There are more and more running clubs around the world and people seem to get more active nowadays which is almost like a trend. How do you feel about that? I feel good and excited. Somewhere I feel proud too, because with my friend Mike Saes in NYC, and Charlie Dark in London, we are the origins of that urban running trend. Then of course Nike empowered it! But I do believe that everybody got that in their guts. I mean we didn't invent anything and we were spontaneous about it. It was just the first time, people from street culture, hip-hop culture and graffiti were doing their own things on the running side of the street. 

Tell us about the things you do with the Running Club. How often do you meet etc. We run every Tuesday night, but we also have track training on Thursday and freestyle long sessions on Sunday mornings.

Does Paris offer many great athletes and running tracks? Well, not really. I'm the biggest and chubbiest athlete you can find in Paris, haha. More seriously, Paris doesn't have incredible athletes, but most of them train at l'INSEP next to Paris.

How would you describe the vibes during and after the races? It's all about fun and love. The atmosphere before the race is so amazing. It's such a good vibe - it's really special, a mix of fear and excitation. Then, you also got to cheer the crew.

How do you motivate yourself? It's just in my DNA. People always ask me how I do it and honestly, I don't know...it's something natural. My whole crew is giving me so much love. I guess it must be the most spontaneous real me.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are active? Everything. Hip-hop, Trap, Electro, Reggae, Dancehall, R'n'B. It has to match my mood and the landscape.

Do you have any tips for people who just started running or people who don't know how to start? Just run. Step by step. Start with 1k, then 2, then 3. Take your time. Grab a bunch of friends, grab your headset and just go outside and run. It's always more fun and pain will be softer if you don't run alone.

What are your sports goals for the next years? Triathlon is my new shit, I love it. I'm more and more into it. It's less boring than only run - the biking and swimming is dope. Let's see where it's going to bring me. I'm going to try a longer distance...we will see.



How would you describe your personal relationship to sports? Love and hate, baby, love and hate. It's not a simple road. It's pretty much tricky. Sometimes it's just too much and on the other hand I would not want to live without it.

I'd also like to talk fashion with you. What's your best or favorite outfit to work out to? Short and legging, T-shirt - that's all. A bunch of Nike shoes and my Powerbeats2.

Are there any cool releases out there which you celebrate or like a lot? My last Zoom Pegasus Paris edition and Nike ID ones are pretty sick. I liked the Lunar Trainer in volt or black a lot, too. Gyakusou is still the hottest shit to run with and also stay cool daily.

Besides of running, where do you like to spend time in Paris? In my office or in my shop at BLACKRAINBOW. Otherwise, I like to spend time outside in Paris' suburbs, too. I love to be out of Paris and come back again. Travel is the key! You love your city even more when you are often far away from her.

All pictures via his Instagram
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