The eponymous label from the emerging footwear designer Steven Ma has a chokehold on fashion’s glitterati — fashion weeks far and wide are littered with Steven Ma Studio boots, loafers, heels and pumps — and now the designer has his eyes set on domination, producing a short film that captures the angsty, camp, self-expressive spirit of the brand.
Titled Pump Fiction after the Quentin Tarantino-directed film Pulp Fiction, Steven Ma draws from pop culture and lived experiences to create a narrative around O-Ren, a character inspired by Kill Bill‘s Oren Ishii. As the TikTok star, fashion personality, columnist and consultant Brenda Hashtag narrates, iconic lines from Gossip Girl, American Horror Story, and The White Lotus are uttered, working alongside visuals shot by Anni Bread in a short film that doesn’t just highlight Steven Ma Studios’ upcoming footwear collection, but a story of finding oneself.
High school cliques and cliches — the bully, the popular kid, the quiet and reserved one — are depicted throughout Pump Fiction with the ultimate conclusion being their shared love for Steven Ma Studios’ shoes. Set in four chapters — “The 2 Headed Lion,” “The Boys,” “A Short Horror Story,” and “The Plot Twist” — the story unfolds to show how O-Ren, the protagonist, finds her own identity while going against gender norms. Likewise, boys fight it out on the sports court in a state of suppressed feelings for each other, Steven Ma footwear in tow.
Speaking on the project, Brenda Hashtag said:
“It’s the first time in years I’ve done any sort of creative writing for someone else and I am grateful for the trust from Steven, and for laughing at all of my bad jokes I’ve submitted for this. Anni and Steven approached me when the film was already shot, so I was able to create a storyline with already existing visuals, which was really fun. Even though the film touches on a lot of serious topics such as high school bullies and mental health, we felt like we wanted to approach things with irony, as we all were in serious need of a laugh in this moment of time. Steven and I would always bond over pop culture moments and tend to communicate entirely through TikTok sounds, so we felt like we had to incorporate sentences that are currently stuck in our heads into the movie. I think what we appreciate about each other is the similarity of having this serious front or exterior while we’re mostly the least serious people in the room, and we hope that shows in Pump Fiction.”
Steven Ma Studios’ short film, Pump Fiction, will air on February 17 at the Close Up Cinema in Shoreditch, London. Take a look at some stills and teasers from the brand throughout, and find more from Steven Ma online.
Elsewhere, JW Anderson and Pol Anglada’s collaboration also explores identity.
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