BEHIND THE QUARREL

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Image via Andre Grossman for a 1986 Spin magazine shoot

If, like me, you find yourself fascinated by artist and inter-band feuds, you’ll have seen a lot of musicians banging on about setting the record straight with a non-existent documentary or never-published book. I’ve found myself waiting for some releases for nigh-on a decade before I finally decided to call off the Amazon search and declare the project dead. Continue reading BEHIND THE QUARREL

IT’S A DEMO

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Not much to report here that hasn’t been reported elsewhere. I just spent 15 minutes hunting for footage of the short-lived Latimer Road half pipe that was situated by the Westway in London. To my understanding, the ramp existed from 1987 to 1989 and some strong Vision and Powell-Peralta demos took place there. A very young-looking Gonz skated there alongside Joe Johnson and Kevin Staab around 1987 and the Bones Brigade visited as part of their UK tour in 1988. Continue reading IT’S A DEMO

THE SPIRIT OF AN ERA

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To typify London’s the stock of Sign of the Times store as rave gear would be a gross oversimplification. Having opened up as a stall in Camden in 1986, before moving to Kensington Market, Fiona Cartledge’s business/passion project was the summary of a young life spent participating in multiple scenes. The moment it signposted was the dawn of dance music as big business, with house’s DIY boom, the early signs of riot grrrl, dressed the discerning side of British indie music when Creation popped off, while heralding the high-end meeting with club and street gear that spawned spots like Pineal Eye and Kokon To Zai and the ensuing world that allowed creative powerhouses like Kim Jones and Nicola Formichetti to help alter popular culture. Continue reading THE SPIRIT OF AN ERA

WHEN NIKE WENT TO SEA

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Nike has had some peculiar categories throughout the years. We tend to think of sportswear brands in terms of the obvious activities — football, tennis basketball, football, training (and, of course, posing), but there was a time when they dipped their toes into anything that looked like potential profit. Continue reading WHEN NIKE WENT TO SEA

STUFF ON OTHER SITES

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Not much to report here this evening, but you can find my rambling on why the late 1980s and early 1990s were sillier when it came to athletic footwear than 2016 over at Hypebeast, plus a quick chat with Don C about bootlegs, dope boys and other reasons why the Air Jordan II is underrated for Complex. That lazy use of links makes this the shortest entry on here in a while, but both pieces would have ended up here if the editors of those respective sites had rejected them. The HB piece is the first in an ongoing monthly column, so keep an eye out for another one.

SO UNOFFICIAL, IT’S OFFICIAL

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If the popularity of bespoke bootleg legend Dapper Dan in defining the union of high-end and street style taught us anything, it’s that fakes can actually be fun in some cases. I’m not talking the replicas, the toys with lead paint or the cons — I’m talking the weird pieces that could never have been legit. It’s interesting that a lot of brands would ultimately take cues from fakes and streetwear to put out authentic gear later down the line too. Continue reading SO UNOFFICIAL, IT’S OFFICIAL

TOMMY’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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It’s good to hear that Tommy Hilfiger’s memoir is dropping at the end of this year. American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business is going to be published by Ballantine on October 16th and promises to be a definitive, despite weighing in at a slim-sounding 240 pages. I’m hoping that it’s not the usual dumbed-down, reiterate-a-point business book, because I want at least 10 pages on his time spent designing Coca-Cola clothing and at least a chapter on the moment when he spotted Puba and his boys clad in XXL Hilfiger gear at JFK airport and got his brother Andy to make the introduction. Continue reading TOMMY’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY