Skater, Dancer, Filmmaker, Visionary, Loyal Black Boyfriend, oh and I can’t forget, Fashion God. These are just a few titles that boldly describe Anthony Prince. The Brooklyn-born multi-hyphenate has been flexing his creative muscles since I met him more than 10 years ago—and he still hasn’t sprained a ligament.
I left BAPE in 2015, and the only way I’ve kept in touch with many of the individuals I became friends with in Soho is through Instagram. I’m not a slave to my home, but these articles can’t write themselves! I’m locked up, typing away in my studio for your reading pleasure (so happy that it’s not in vain). Throughout last year when I did step out, I would frequently bump into Anthony at random places. “Yo bro, we got to have a sit down real soon,” is what I always told him, but it never panned out that way…until now.
Allow me to present my long overdue conversation with the buzzing 28-year-old entrepreneur where we discussed his childhood, come up in the video production industry, storybook love life, and future endeavors.
FRENDY: What’s up, A! Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic production schedule so we can talk. How are you? What time did you even wake up this morning?
ANTHONY: Yerrrr! It’s always cool chopping it up with you. Schedule is a bit hectic at the moment, but all blessings. I woke up at around 6:00 a.m. today to finalize details for this project in Dubai which I’m very excited about!
FRENDY: Damn, that’s amazing. It seems like yesterday when you were attending The Arts Institute of NYC, running around shooting so much visuals.
ANTHONY: *Laughs* I remember like it was yesterday seeing Cudi and you working [at BAPE], and meeting Ye for the first time. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities and moments captured all because I kept my camera on me everywhere I went.
FRENDY: Yessir, Downtown’s golden age *Laughs*. Time doesn’t exist when you’re in the moment and having fun. Speaking of Soho, when did you fall in love with the area?
ANTHONY: I fell in love with Soho when my older sister would take me along to shop at Patricia Field on Bowery. I’d see the types of people shopping there and be inspired. In 2007- 2008, at around 15 I started running with this group called Juice Krew, which was just a bunch of kids that dressed retro, dance (Get Lite), sing, rap etc. I was the skater/dancer. We would always travel from Brooklyn to Soho.
FRENDY: Yeah, I believe that was the first time I saw you skating around the city. Was your brother Brian a part of the crew? Because I know he’s pretty dope on the board. Also, what was the name of your skate team?
ANTHONY: Yes, my brother Brian Prince was one of our best riders! The team was called CHC (Crack Head Central) C.R.A.C.K aka Creative Recreation at Ckost because we were breaking all of our boards like Terry Kennedy on Pharrell’s Ice Cream [skate] team.
FRENDY: Terry is a wild boy *Laughs*. Who else was a part of the skate crew? Are you still in touch with them?
ANTHONY: No, we don’t keep in touch with a few of the members because they went a different route in life. But my blood brothers Brian Prince and Nino, and my boy Joseph still skate every now and then. Brian Prince is still amazing on the board and will bust a few tricks easily. Nino makes music now and It’s actually fire. Nino started off filming us and then we would edit together. He put me on and then I went to film school.
FRENDY: Life is beautiful, man. That’s why we can’t even stress how things are going to come about because the universe has infinite ways to make miracles happen. It’s so dope that your blood brothers and yourself have such a great relationship. Which part of Brooklyn did you guys grow up in? I’m from Brooklyn as well, and I know back in the day you couldn’t just start skateboarding without looking like a madman.
ANTHONY: We grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn (Flossy 80s) *Laughs*. The skaters were considered oreos and would stay in the back of our hood (Seaview gas station). We’re Jamaican and unruly so when people saw us and commented about skateboarding, we’d be open to start conversing about it.
Pharrell made it ok for us to do so because around the time “Mr. Me Too,” ft Clipse was bumping heavy. It turned a new leaf in our neighborhood—you didn’t have to be gang affiliated or a “Shotta” (Jamaican gangster or dancer). Girls in the hood called me skater boy *Laughs*.
FRENDY: So you’re saying no one really stepped to you guys for being “different” ?
ANTHONY: People respected us already. It was more of people having someone they knew who skated to be able to make themselves more familiar with it.
FRENDY: How many siblings do you have altogether?
ANTHONY: I have about 22 siblings in total. My mom had 8 of us, five from a previous marriage (older brothers and sisters), and three with my pops who was a rolling stone aka a “Gyalis”. Separately, he has 13 other kids.
I interact with mostly the younger ones on my father side because they look up to me. On my mother side, we are all very close. She protects us so much that I had to break out of her house. Big shouts to her for finding the time in her busy work schedule to graduate college this year. ❤️
FRENDY: Wow! That’s a whole football team! Shout out to mom dukes for real. Which HS did you go to? Most of the cats I knew who lived in Canarsie attended their zone school: South Shore.
ANTHONY: We skated at South Shore because they had four steps with a good lead up *Laughs*. My mom wouldn’t allow me to go to South Shore and I don’t blame her. I went to Talent Unlimited HS for Drama. TU changed my life and helped open my eyes to dreams people in Canarsie didn’t have access to.
FRENDY: Your mom came through with the clutch decision! Where is Talent Unlimited HS located?
ANTHONY: Talent Unlimited is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Very different from Canarsie, but it was the balance I needed. TU was very diverse, not only consisting of different races but the LGBTQ community was introduced to me. I realized that Homophobia was a norm in my culture and it challenged me to understand other people's perspective on the world.
My mom supported me because my older sister, Princess (hence the name), was a vocal major at Laguardia HS for the Performing Arts. I remember her going to Spain to sing. I’m sure she wanted me to have that same access.
FRENDY: I’m sure it was an eye opener for you. Is the school still open?
ANTHONY: I believe it still exists and I hope to go back and speak. Maybe even start a program where young black boys can seamlessly enter the school.
FRENDY: Seamlessly enter the school? Is it specifically hard for young black boys to get accepted there?
ANTHONY: There is less access to the arts in Canarsie. If there was an after school program in JHS that was connected to a HS, it would make a difference in the opportunities they seek.
FRENDY: I totally agree. Growing up in Brooklyn after leaving Haiti, I always knew there was so much more to experience. Being at the right places changes lives. Soho was my gateway to see it all. Exposure definitely is everything. Did you attend The Arts Institute of NYC right after graduating from TU?
ANTHONY: I completely agree, and yes, straight out of HS that following August. Funny thing is I was in and out of court since graduation for a crime I didn’t commit. Little did I know that my case would last until college graduation. Cops said I did a shooting because I matched the description of someone with a red hat—that was just a classic example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Film was a place for me to get away from it all.
FRENDY: I had no clue you had to go through all of that. I’m sure everyone reading this conversation right now is shocked because you’re the furthest thing from a menace. Besides dibbling and dabbling with editing during your skateboarding days, what inspired you to go harder in the field of production?
ANTHONY: One thing that really inspired me was the process of trade. One hand shakes the other. Getting to be a sponsored skater is a prime example because if you skate well, and able to show the brand you wear in the same light…you both win. To an extent, there is money involved with the brand’s product but all you have to do is have the skills and that’s how you pay people. To this day I’m collaborating with people this way and bigger companies notice. Then you get the check.
FRENDY: Very interesting, but I’m sure you aren’t filming just for a check. What do you love about producing and shooting visuals?
ANTHONY: I love bringing an idea to life. It’s crazy to dream something up and then see it in reality even better than how you visualize. Bringing a team together should be considered a superpower. Look at “Do The Right Thing,” the movie had an amazing cast, direction, cinematography, story, styling, makeup, hair...a great production team can shift culture. I see myself shifting culture with my debut film.
FRENDY: Aw man, creating is why we’re all here on earth. When should we expect your debut picture to come out?
ANTHONY: My film is set for 2020. I’m spending time finding ways to recreate the narrative structure.
FRENDY: Looking forward to it! Speaking of which, how was your time at The Arts Institute of NYC? Do you feel like it taught you everything you know now about filming and production? Or did your hands on experience triumph what you learned in the classroom?
ANTHONY: AI gave me the tools to experiment with and a community of people who wanted to learn more about film. We were able to rent equipment and shoot whatever we wanted. I took advantage of that. In class, we learned about structure and what an ‘L cut’ was, but to me it was a reference because all of the best filmmakers broke the rules. They didn’t tell us that.
FRENDY: As they say: rules are meant to be broken. AI officially closed down in 2017, were you shocked by the news?
ANTHONY: No, it was very expensive and they were taking everybody’s money. I started seeing less passionate students, teachers, and no real support before and after graduation. I graduated December 2012, and was depressed for the first 2 months because I didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, a close friend of mines built a recording studio with a backdrop and asked me to run the photo section.
FRENDY: Wow, the universe always provides. When exactly did you conjure up your production company, Equator Productions?
ANTHONY: My sister Emily who was gathering the paperwork for an LLC could not get “Crack Head Central” approved so we had to brainstorm. The one thing that stuck was ‘Equator’ because it’s the hottest part of the earth and the imaginary line that splits the world in half. When I went to film school in 2008, it turned into Equator Productions. That imaginary line over time grew into that median between all cultures—those things that unifies us all, being human.
FRENDY: “Crack Head Central” was the name of your skate team, right?
ANTHONY: Yes, CRACK, Creative Recreation at CKost because we would break our boards and rip our sneakers.
FRENDY: On the homepage of your company’s site of there is a list of prominent clients displayed. Which of them was the most enjoyable to work with?
ANTHONY: Ashya + Nike, Ashya because I was able to help them develop their look and vibe visually so I had more creative freedom. Ashley and Moya are the creative directors/ designers behind Ashya and they have such great taste, designing concepts, and naturals at trend forecasting. They highlight cultures around the world via their brand and this is very similar to Equator. I love traveling with them *Laughs*.
Shouts to Anthony Bones and Thomas P. at Nike who trusted me with the vision to bring Rox Brown’s campaign for her AF1’s to life. During that whole shoot, life kept presenting these mini gifts that helped me bring the story together. The part where I reversed from the stairwell to the train station, I planned none of it.
FRENDY: How do you pick projects to work on? Is there a specific criteria?
ANTHONY: I get a lot of my work from word of mouth, so it’s always a lot of socializing involved. When I can bounce back and forth with my collaborators on what the vision is, it’s usually a great sign. Can’t always gauge it that way but 75% it works *Laughs*. I like to work on documentaries, short films, campaigns and sometimes music videos (depending on the artist). I’m continuously working on my formats and defining the aesthetic, but anybody who want to allow me to play (with real creative control) gets my best work.
FRENDY: I totally understand. Who else is a part of your creation team?
ANTHONY: In Equator’s core team its just myself and Ashley Cimone. We have a full roster of directors, editors, graphic designers, producers and retouchers that work with us on projects based in NY & LA.
FRENDY: Yes, your partner Ashley Cimone is quite an artist in her own right. How did you guys initially meet?
ANTHONY: Soooo, *Laughs* I was at an Opening Ceremony event with a friend during Fashion’s Night Out in 2013, and she was there supporting her friends (William Okpo). I danced all night, but when I spotted her I had to speak or else I would regret it. My friend Domo, who is gay, decided he would lighten up the situation so I could get an in. We walked over and he introduced himself. I was very shy *Laughs* but kept it cool, and he just was overflowing compliments while I thought them.
Finally she gave me her Instagram. I was worried she would think that I was gay and not take me seriously, but after two years trying to link up, she commented on one of my Instagram selfies: “that face”. I direct messaged her immediately after! We started talking like we knew each other and then exchanged numbers. That same day she came to my office at Wallplay in the Lower East Side and we became best friends ever since.
FRENDY: Classic Boy meets Girl story right there *Laughs*. I’m glad you stayed persistent! When did you decide to add her to the roster of your production company? What compelled you to do so?
ANTHONY: It happened by accident *Laughs*. We created a monthly nude figure drawing class called ‘Sip & Sketch’ when we met. We understood that we could work together. Ashley was working for Net-A-Porter so she had a business background. I was having issues with the owner of Wallplay being indirect and passive aggressive. Ashley took it upon herself to interfere on one of her rants which landed us both into a meeting. She then wrote a contract for our split that allowed for me to have my first gallery show after I’ve fully moved out of the work space. That was in December 2015, and then In January 2016 I had about over 300 people come to my solo show. Top of that year, I got a call from Laquan Smith for New York Fashion Week and she handled my contracts ever since.
FRENDY: Watch out Hov and Bey! Besides the potential project in Dubai you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation, what else are you guys currently working on?
ANTHONY: That project is good to go! I’m heading to Paris on February 26th to shoot with Law Roach and Zendaya for her Tommy Hilfiger collection release during Paris Fashion Week. Very excited about that. And we just shot Ashya’s AW19 Campaign, fashion film and documentary in India. I’m in post for the documentary at the moment, but it’s going to be crazy. The previous documentary will be featured in Nowness very soon but here is a trailer.
FRENDY: You’re a major globetrotter. What are the top three places you’ve ever visited?
ANTHONY: Top three?! Jamaica (home), South Africa, Italy and India. Top three!
FRENDY: That’s actually four, but it’s totally fine *Laughs*. Your passport is more tatted than you! Let’s talk about your swag for a second. You’ve always been fresh to death, but in recent years your fashion sense has quantum leaped into a higher dimension. What propelled your elevated style?
ANTHONY: Damn, is it that good? Dude, you don’t have to feed my ego *Laughs *. I care less about what people have to say. I grew up in a Jamaican household and was encouraged to wear Diesel leather pants in the eight grade.
My three older sisters were the biggest source of inspiration because they were always fly and coordinated. I started getting hand me downs from my father and sisters from the 90’s which was high end fashion, a physical capsule. My dad had a rude boy, flamboyant swag and my sisters had all the dope denims. Their wide hips allowed me to have enough room to sag *Laughs*. Over the years myself manifest itself. Now, I love fashion because it’s a way for me to communicate my feelings and personality. I’m giving people a cover to judge.
FRENDY: Did you cop anything from BAPE back in the day? Because I know you were a huge BBC/ICECREAM rocker.
ANTHONY: Yes, I bought jackets, sneakers, pants and hoodies from them but was loyal to BBC/ICECREAM since BAPE sold it in store. Season Zero canvas hat BBC logo is my all time fave and the Hulk Bapestas. Skated in those until the bottom was worn out.
FRENDY: Triple OG fashion head right here. You’ve modeled before as well, right?
ANTHONY: Kinda sorta. I tried it because being a fashion lover brings you in front of the lens, but it didn’t really make sense until this ‘influencer’ world started coming to life. I will make an appearance in my film like Spike [Lee] though!
FRENDY: Let’s get it! One of your latest and greatest accomplishments was documenting the exciting BTS happenings ahead of Cardi B’s historical Grammy award winning night. Where were you when you got the call for the gig? How did it come about?
ANTHONY: *Takes breath and then exhales* Cardi’s stylist, Kollin Carter, hit me at the top of this year with a great idea. We talked regularly about a fashion film we’re planning, and then he told me about the possibility of getting Mugler to say yes to him pulling some archival pieces, which is huge! They said no to Rihanna and Beyoncé if I’m correct. I was at home and told Ash immediately! We were mad excited in the house, running around and screaming *Laughs*.
FRENDY: Crazy! I remembered you posting a series of clips detailing what went down on your Insta story. Everyone on Cardi’s team worked super hard. What was your shooting schedule looking like?
ANTHONY: I was there every step of the way. There was no real way to prepare but be present and understanding of Cardi’s space. She had so much pressure from dancing, making sure she can move in her outfits, and being human. To be Grammy nominated is a big deal. She and her team handled it very well and my IG story don’t do it enough justice. I respect the whole squad!!
FRENDY: You’re constantly in motion. How often do you find the time to lay low, relax, and simply reflect on all the blessings that have occurred in your life?
ANTHONY: I really love what I do so it’s hard to not do it. Most recently in India, I watched the sunrise from a mountain and just talked to myself. I felt free.