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Take creative director/designer Zak Hoke, who masterminds retail store visuals for some of the world’s leading brands, and pair him up with professional skateboarder turned rapper Dave Willis/Black Dave from the Bronx, and you get a dynamic duo that loves to stand out as much as their Casio G-Shock watches.

Dave Willis understands how fortunate he is to do what he loves to do for a living. After kicking and pushing hard enough to become recognized and rewarded with a professional skateboarding career, one would think that was enough to satisfy the New York City native’s creative will to win. But growing up in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, it’s no surprise that beats and rhymes are a huge part of his life. After receiving positive feedback for music he initially released as a joke, Willis has been rockin’ mics nice under the moniker Black Dave.

What drives you to be a great artist and a skater?
You just gotta excel at everything you do. I don’t wake up every day like, “Oh, I’m a great skater” or “I’m a great artist.” I wake up every day like, “I’m hungry, I gotta get more.” That’s how you achieve anything or get better at anything.

What do you try to convey in your music and in your whole style?
Just be yourself. Not everybody is as privileged as me or my homies being born and raised in New York City, East Coast, and having our hands on everything and being able to figure out what we wanna do. So wherever you’re from, no matter low budget, high budget, whatever you got going on, just be yourself. And that’s what I’m representing for all my fans and all my listeners.

You like G-Shock’s style.
Tell us about that. They’re just classic. G-Shock has been around since I was a little kid, so when you see it, you know what it is from far away. There’s a lot of watches out there that you have to look at real close to see what brand they are. G-Shock just got that classic style, and they always switching it up, coming with new patterns, new designs. It’s an all-around classic watch.



As a creative director/designer, Zak Hoke has helped brands subliminally tell stories as soon as you lay eyes on their products’ design and packaging, and experience the organic theme of visuals in their retail space. Dissecting how Hoke conceptualizes the colors, shapes, textures, props and materials necessary to communicate a client’s mission can be a bit complex. For those having problems following along, he makes stuff look cool.

Describe how you conceptualize the artistry of your designs.
Tinkering at the intersection of art and commerce.

What drove you to design retail spaces?
My desire to design experiential retail spaces is rooted in my passion for architecture, interior design and in-store marketing. At my core, I’m a storyteller. Transforming shop environments is one of the privileged ways that I get to engage “audiences” and guide them on a journey.

What’s the fastest you’ve ever completed a space?
I’ve rolled out 36 factory stores within an 18-month time span.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I am very blessed to be in both a position and in an industry where I get to express myself creatively and literally see the positive impact that my work has on peoples lives. It’s beyond gratifying—it’s addictive. I’m addicted to retail. What do you like about the G-Shock? Casio G-Shock watches fuse sport-style with a futuristic aesthetic that’s aligned with my personal taste.