SUPPORT

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Rest in power to Freddy Mack. I can’t profess to have known the man well and I don’t want to come off disingenuous, but from brief encounters, both digitally and in the real world, I know that he was a real one. From his WHAT YOU WRITE labour of love to everything else, he embodied the hardcore Parisian mentality that few other nations can match. Speaking to him in the early hours at the Supreme store opening party about some niche topics dear to my heart was like chatting with the Tasmanian Devil (when I speak to someone more excitable about strange shoes than me, it tends to linger in the memory) and he was extremely supportive of this blog. Freddy’s passing leaves a gap within several subcultures, but through sheer passion in those waking years it leaves a permanent presence too. I’ll be lacing up some co.jp Terra Humara in his honour. In honour of his contributions to the worlds he represented, Freddy’s friends have rallied together to launch a Go Fund Me that will help his family with funeral expenses.

FOOT LOCKER 1991 SALES

Salutes to Hugh MacEachern and Rewind Eats the Tape for uploading these 1991 Foot Locker sale ads, with enthusiastic men in referee shirts banging on about bargains. You think trainers are a big deal now? Slicing cash off Air Jordans was enough to justify a moment in between primetime TV shows decades ago. That said, America seemed to get the good stuff that was omitted from the Brits. I never saw the grape Jordans (back before the numbers you had to just state the year as a differentiator) on sale where I lived, let alone with money off.

UNDERWORLD CHAMPION

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Image taken by Cory Slifka for the DECKAID Tumblr

Chris Hall is many things — a director, the skater’s skater, antique dealer and the sports footwear connoisseur to end them all for starters, and his defiantly D.C. aesthetic and East Coast mentality helped drive the look of the region’s skateboard scene. Believe it or not, there was once a time when a tag, some drips and a graffiti character on a deck or tee seemed different and progressive (it’s worth noting that “underground” was genuinely applicable to the scene 24 years ago), and while that look is very much of its era, Chris’s 1993 Underworld Element Champion parody deck was remarkably ahead of its time. Right now, we’re almost at breaking point with homages to the legendary C branding, but this design manages to embody now and then. On that East Coast skate note, without Supreme, I doubt Champion would be enjoying its current renaissance. I noted almost unanimous derision and laughing Emojis by the ton when size? posted some Champion Reverse Weaves on their IG a few years back, but since those doing the mocking shed their Hollister and elasticated chinos for streetwear, a shot of that label is guaranteed likes. Chris has been on that look since day one and images of this board were elusive or particularly pixellated until he was photographed by Cory Slifka with it as a loan to the excellent DECKAID show that benefits youth-based charities. Very rare. Very good. Always early.

MALCOLM ’83

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I’ve seen shots of a Malcolm McLaren in 1983 wearing his long-sleeve tee with PUNK IT UP on the chest and DUCK ROCK on the arms in that familiar but still-unnamed iron-on font for a few years now, but I hadn’t seen the footage before until this Spanish TV chat appeared on YouTube via masterhitsi84. As ever, Malcolm doesn’t project modesty and some of the same punk tales are told, but there’s a few good soundbites beneath that translated voiceover. My friends who are still working on the Heated Words project have tapped into something that seems to link a lot of pivotal popular culture, and clips like this just reinforce that.

HARAJUKU 1997

I haven’t got a great deal to write today, but the LuckStaPosse YouTube account has a couple of gems in Japanese like a minute of UNDERCOVER’s A/W 97/98 show and this Harajuku 1997 footage of the folks gathering to buy some goro’s and some chats with UNDERCOVER and BAPE clad NOWHERE visitors is pretty interesting too. Remember when we used to marvel at a Tokyo streetwear consumer’s willingness to queue? We’re all at it now. The rumours of a goro’s webstore feel like the end of the last real-world only experience in this world.

REGIONAL VARIATIONS

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There isn’t much to talk about here that can match the greatness of this Medium entry (shouts to Gotty for the heads up) by mauludSADIQ that’s absolutely mandatory if you’re interested in learning a little about those days when there seemed to be staggering amounts of regional variation, however fleeting, when it came to athletic footwear (Atlanta having a brief love for the Champion 3 on 3 shoe was news to me — I thought that was a Euro phenomenon). Read and take notes. Incidentally, the above image is part of a page from a 1998 issue of The Face magazine and Paul Gorman’s long-teased book on that magazine, Legacy: the Story of the Face apparently has a November release date, though, from my few experiences with publishing, that is liable to change. Then change again.

THE 2ND PLACE

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2nd magazine is always pretty consistent, and their themed issues and specials are always worth adding to those teetering piles of publications you deemed necessary but haven’t fully digested yet. We single dialect doofuses used to justify buying Japanese magazines for the imagery alone, but with a new and improved Google Translate on the phone, we can glean a little extra information from them nowadays. Continue reading THE 2ND PLACE