After my friend Charlie lent me Brookynite Nov York’s self-titled 2002 book my imagination was fired. The stream-of-consciousness intensity in that first person prose was infectious, even if that take no prisoners confrontation and the outsider over thinking was going to send me over the edge beyond the final page. As a topic, graffiti takes well to words over pictures when it’s visceral tales of beefs, chases and anti-authority ranting. I’ve read a few pieces by Nov since and all I’ve ever seen of the author is that State Your Name section that just added to the mystery. But here’s the man himself on OG Huskey Radio a few months ago, making a 20 minute appearance to promote last year’s What Do One Million JA Tags Signify? I would have preferred to hear him answer deeper questions on his work rather than having to engage in an earnest conversation about hip-hop’s elements, but Nov York, who now resides in Europe, is as intense and very, very Brooklyn as I expected him to be. Interesting guy, interesting books.
Almost a year after Tommy Hilfiger’s memoir American Dreamer comes out, it would seem that we’re getting a Ralph Lauren autobiography. Releasing next September via Simon & Schuster to coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary, my earlier speculation about whether the Alan Flusser Lauren book that drops the same month was going to be an autobiography was wrong. Just as 2016 spawned two Lo-Life books, 2017 is going to be all about publications regarding the man himself. Hopefully, just as Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog offered personal insight that complimented the unauthorised Swoosh perfectly, hopefully this one will be as interesting as the almost authorised Genuine Article. In the meantime, YouTube user Tenaciously Procrastinate’s upload of Ralph’s 1993 Charlie Rose appearance is worth watching.
God bless social media. Even a modest following contains some knowledge kings and Nick Woj (of Cold World/Nervous Juvenile) is no halfway culture kid. Nick cleared up an age-old mystery for me with the most logical answer I’ve heard for it. You’ve probably seen Dennis Hopper’s 1980 film Out of the Blue if you visit this blog a bit, because it’s a cult favourite round these parts (not least for Hopper’s mad performance, that matches Frank and Feck for wild-eyed mania) — this Canuck production one-third slow-burner, one-third teen punk classic and one-third memorable melodramatics. Continue reading PUBLIC ENEMY & STENCILS
I seem to stack up sportswear related ephemera to the point where it’s going to be the cause of my Collyer brothers style demise. There’s been plenty of curiosities that bear the swoosh or the three stripes throughout the years (foodstuffs, torches, jewellery etc), but the recent NikeLab ACRONYM Presto Mid release instigated some solid tie-in gear with the assistance of the excellent Kostas Seremetis, whose artistic vision is as prone to occasional aggression and disruption as Errolson Hugh’s design. Continue reading UNNECESSARY GREATNESS
I wrote a little piece for my friends at Complex on the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and its subsequent influence on sports footwear and the Air Jordan line. You can read it HERE or by clicking on the image above. A couple of bits that never made the final edit are below, because this place is a good place to dump unwanted paragraphs. Continue reading 30 YEARS OF SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT & MARS’ AIR JORDANS
I haven’t got too much to say this evening, but I’m always surprised that a lot of the more interesting Nike apparel hasn’t made a return in these thrift-and-resell hype days. Some old creations resurrected using Tech Fleece or F.I.T. fabrics with accompanying shoes from the eras? I’d be down. Though it’s unlikely that I could pull off a Sharks basketball vest. These snippets of catalogue line art from between 1987 and 1988 are the tip of a particularly lurid and excessively patterned iceberg. Continue reading MORE OLD GARMS
Nowadays, there’s a shoe-related video charting those crazy queuing kids and reselling and zzzzzzzzzzz being made every week. Back in 2005, ESPN was a little ahead of the curve with their It’s the Shoes series — a show dedicated entirely to sneakers – fronted by Bobbito Garcia. Continue reading IT’S THE SHOES