Last week, Josh Suhre's new brand Operativ dropped their brand new Web site, complete with an apparel line and team announcement. The announcement was well received in the BMX world, but we decided to get Josh on the phone to discuss the impetus behind the brand, his future plans and team selection. And to round it out, Josh was kind enough to share his prototype Wethepeople Irish setup with us. Read what Josh has to say about Operativ, then check out his latest ride.
ESPN.com: What gave you the desire to start a clothing brand in BMX? Where did the idea and/or the inspiration come for to start Operativ?
Suhre: After being a rider for 14 years, traveling around meeting different people, riding and working for different BMX companies, you begin to pick up on consistent elements that define the BMX "experience." I think everyone obviously has their own viewpoint of the lifestyle it entails, but there are consistent shared perspectives, practices, and experiences that tie everyone together. My inspiration for Operativ is to embody the key unique perspectives we share as riders, and use this as the focus for the foundation upon everything we build. I think this idea speaks to a larger audience and a range of interests; whether you're involved in art, photography, music, BMX, or anything where you have to look at your environment from a different perspective, and reinvent it. It's inherent to what we do, and I think one of the most genuine aspects of BMX we all can appreciate.
You have a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati, worked at various design firms over the years, as Creative Director for DK Bicycles, and now work as a freelance designer for different action sports brands. Has all of that helped in the way you developed and run Operativ?
I feel it gives me the necessary skills/knowledge to represent something so ineffable as BMX, in an honest and interesting way. The all-too-common practice of ripping off other brands, recycling logos, scribbling on a piece of paper and trying to sell it to the world, as something authentic and "real" is a thing of the past. We're seeing an evolution throughout BMX in design aesthetic and companies putting more skill, time, and heart into their products, artwork, publications, events, etc. It's an exciting time for BMX and I'm amped to be a part of it.
You have a really heavy hitting team already, was it tough deciding on whom you were going to put on the team at first and any particular reason you chose all street riders?
There are obviously so many good riders out there. I just wanted guys that inspired me and were fresh faces to the progression of BMX. Chad Ring, Bobby Simmons, and David Grant are all very low-key guys -- sometimes they're in the spotlight and sometimes they're just doing their thing and laying low. I chose all street riders because it's personally what I enjoy the most and find most interesting.
What can we expect from Operativ for the rest of 2011?
Operativ video edits from the riders, team trips, fresh apparel, and lots more releasing throughout the year. And then big plans for 2012.