I’m a rent-a-quote. I’ve lost count of the amount of quotes I’ve thrown out, despite Mr. Russell Williamson at U-Dox’s warning that they always stitch you up, only to be made to look a wanker. The Times made me look a tit by claiming I said, “Kanye West, the hip-hop star…” in a sentence and the BBM mockery from friends and colleagues was fast and merciless. I’ve been made to look like a prick many times since. I was hyped on Philip Mlynar’s piece on Nike and hip-hop for DAZED’s recent Daft Punk, just because it’s infinitely better than the usual hack-jobs, but also because it didn’t make me look like a dickhead…it just makes me look like the shoe weirdo I am. It’s also humourous to be referred to by your surname.
But I really love going off when the good people of Complex.com let me. The latest top 50 outlet they kindly gave me was a broader remit than usual, but the subjects of sports footwear and pop culture are ones close to my heart. You can check it out right here. I’ve long attempted to evade the “sneakerhead” associations, but I have to concede that it appears to be some strange destiny that I should end up talking trainers for a living. You’ll notice that I used the word trainers…if you’ve ever engaged in any copy writing jobs for American companies or brands, you’ve probably ended up with an identity crisis when you’re typing, post-project. I keep typing “color” by mistake. It makes me feel like a flag burner. So I’m training myself to be British again in terms of text.
It’s great to have put talk of Forest Hills, Liverpool and St. Etienne on the Complex site. It’s a zip-filed summary of a curiously British phenomenon, but at least I got a mention there. Of course, if we treat this blog entry as a “bonus feature” of sorts, there’s two examples of sports footwear and popular culture close to my heart that just wouldn’t travel at all. The adidas TRX that the screws won’t hand over to John McVicar (“Alright, whose get me trainers?”) in 1980’s ‘McVicar’— a glorious mix of grit and likely laddishness and the scene in 1988’s ‘High Hopes’ (“They’re bright ain’t they?” “Shut up, they’re nice.”) where Cyril and Shirley take an interest in Wayne’s Nike Omega Flames. Fantastic footwear highlight scenes—blasts of colour and fluorescent accents in institutional and Thatcherite surroundings. Consider them numbers #51 and #52, lurking to the left of your monitor, just out of sight. I didn’t even know that I knew that Mars Blackmon wears blue and black Air Jordan Is in ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ even though the film’s black and white until I started compiling the list.
Shouts to Kyle, Jo and the Goodhood crew, who’ve opened up the store’s basement—where boxes, sofas and desks once stood—as the menswear space. Continuing the rent-a-quote theme, I say a lot of nice things to people about their stores, just to be nice, but I love Goodhood, I love their brand identity and I love their projects with R. Newbold. I really mean it this time, and the new space is beautiful. Even buying the new issue of Apartamento was an old-fashioned, excellent experience that blitzes any recent online buys. Let’s put this in perspective—last time I bought a copy, it was via the internet via Bruil & Van De Staaij (recommended by Apartamento themselves) who were a Bozo operation. It took a couple of months to arrive and they didn’t pay sufficient postage. Fuck them. When I bought the new issue from Goodhood, they wrapped it up, sealed it, hand wrote the receipt, put in a postcard and placed it in a tote bag. Physical retail—1, Online Retail—0. Long live the good ship Goodhood.