Monthly Archives: December 2012



For a few minutes today, pondered writing some kind of ‘best of…’ list for today’s blog entry, because the year’s coming to a close. It’s the easy route to content creation. Then I remembered that you, quite rightly, don’t actually give a shit, because nearly every list of that kind is subjective claptrap that’s either stating the staggeringly obvious, an attempt to get the awardees to retweet the fawning praise (it’s always better to reward those with lots of social media followers who don’t need the props in the first place) for maximum traffic, or some tedious attempt to provoke “conversation” with some willfully irksome inclusions. If you, like me, feel like doing something like I did, I recommend carving it on your forearm or something to make it different to the numerous best of the best of’s that are already out there. But it has been an interesting year. One day, a boffin will create some kind of algorithm which calculates the lateness to a “viral” and subsequent Facebook and Twitter shares of every single user and a figure that determines how tedious they are — a reverse Klout score of some kind, that can be passed to potential employers when they apply for some shitbag social media role so they don’t end up polluting timelines and ruining the good name of a brand or reputable organisation.

The hype around the tiny monkey in a Canadian Ikea car park was a perfect catchment incident to log this late adoption social media blabbermouth data, but I have to concede that whereas parodies by the unfunny and time-rich YouTubers of the world of an already painfully wacky PSY song are intolerable, that monkey still amuses me. He amuses me because he, a small Japanese macaque, rocked the shearling better than Tom Hardy in that letdown Batman film or anybody that rushed out and bought that H&M Margiela shearling and Instagrammed the jacket wearing them, rather than the other way around, with some horseshit about #swag. Darwin the monkey made the jacket look frivolous and luxurious. Humans have made the wearing of a slain sheep look way less cool than it should be. Back in the winter of 1990/91, the shearling was responsible for a handful of homicides in the quest to own one. Murder over an item of outerwear (legend has it that NYC police had an eightball jacket unit back in the day to combat the crime that item was instigating) is a nightmarish representation of how low somebody will stoop to own a material object – if people were willing to slay an individual for a $169 leather jacket, it’s little surprise that they were willing to execute somebody in cold blood for something that was worth $450. Sad, but true.

If morals won’t stop murder over fashion, I wish retro culture would. 22 years on and people are still losing their lives over a pair of Air Jordans. Without trivialising the severity of these incidents, everything operates in a rotation — that shoe you might pull a trigger over will be back again in 3 years or so. Put down the weapons and save your pennies rather than facing 25 to life over clothing. I hope, on release, these killers see the gear they’ve had a couple of decades to regret obtaining through such brutal means gleaming at them from a store window to remind them of the true stupidity of their actions. While you were languishing behind bars the item you valued over a human life may well have hit shelves at least 5 times.



The logical end to the camouflage preoccupation is to let it enter your bloodstream by smoking it. Salutes to Milcentric for putting me onto Florida-based Humo del Diablo’s Recon Cigars, with their website that looks like rejected concept art for the ‘Expendables 3’, a tube that’s made to look like anti-aircraft ammo and a case that’s meant to look like an artillery case. That “ECU” wrapper, with added Criollo-Maduro, South American and Candels patches gives this Marine-affiliated brand’s output that camo look (darker in real life than the first image indicates). I’m keen to smoke one to see in the approaching new year.

The only thing worse than misguided #swag Instagram shots and ‘Rainman’ style laid out outfit Instagram shots is Instagram shots of your weed stash (and cheapo rap videos for Tumblr-friendly artists with the mouth to nose weed plumes in slow motion need to stop). There’s no difference between a filtered shot of weed leaf socks and some student twat with a Bob Marley stash tin and scratched copy of ‘Legend’ who sees every object as a potential bong. Smoke it, don’t talk about it like some 14-year-old. Why does a wake and bake get multiple ‘Likes’ and Tumblr love but a morning tumbler of vodka would elicit concern? Instagram weed culture is a good argument against decriminalising marijuana. However, I believe that if anybody ever rolled a blunt using a Recon Cigar and photographed it artfully, it would go triple Instagram platinum immediately and get reblogged from now until infinity.

Here’s to 2013. Thanks for all of the support.



Everyone’s talking up the animal prints like they’re something new, but in a world where men can walk the street in onesies and some cheetah patterning is considered the height of sophistication, people seem to forget that they’re just into kids’ clothing and footwear on a larger scale. Two years before Nike dropped the Safari, the 1984 release of the Nike Zoo model for kids in a pick of animal patterns including cheetah and some tiger stripes delivered some Velcro fastening playground credibility. No relation to the elite Zoo wing of the Innovation Kitchen, the brand was definitely playing with some casual and pre-teen market at this point in time to claw (pun intended) some market from rival brands. This TV commercial ties nicely in with the ‘Company of Wolves’ and ‘Teen Wolf’ era and couldn’t be much more 1980s if it street planted on a Vision Psycho Stick while downing a yard of Quatro to a Harold Faltermeyer synth soundtrack.

Had I seen this at the age of six I would have been obsessed. But we never had access to this model — we were more liable to end up with a pair of Nike Bongos on out feet. It’s hard to find much information on the mysterious Nike Bongo model, but because this blog is about talking about that rareness that’s not for the usual six-silhouette shoe dudes, it has to be mentioned here. I’m open to more info, but as I understand the Bongo (which I though was a figment of my imagination until somebody else mentioned it online) was a budget kids’ Nike model (much like the PUMA Jopper was a kids’ release) which had a sister shoe called the Nike Rascal and was on sale in 1986. I believe it was a child-size version of the budget Nike Bravo jogger which looks a lot like it and was similarly coloured. I’ve seen some people get excited about deadstock Bravos, but I don’t — it was budget at a time when you could have some Pegasus or a Windrunner. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it was ever cool. The Bongo was better because those who had them were balling on a parental budget. I haven’t seen a pair of Nike Bongos since I was 8, but there’s a few B&W images floating around of my first ever Nikes.



On the subject of revisionist history, why are people pretending that retro Jordan XI ignorance is anything new? Misty eyed nostalgics talk of XIs on UK saleracks (which is because the majority of UK folks got into that model on the second (and even third) round of reissues because the internet told them to be into them (see also, Foamposites). In March 2001, the Cool Greys caused a mini-riot in a Sacramento shopping mall and even the December 2000 Space Jam release was frantic enough to fill several newspaper columns. Nothing’s changed — the 80 pairs to vast angry lines of people ratio, the token guy stumbling in late expecting them to be in stock…nothing. Even the fever for the Concords in December 1995 and Playoffs around Easter 1996 made the papers. The pandemonium is part of that shoe’s D.N.A. And did I imagine the stories back in the day about the NBA scheming to ban the Concords from the courts?



Things got too old-fashioned on this blog lately. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I love how brands exist that don’t seem to exist in the western word still function in Japan. From this year’s blog fetishism, I overlooked is-ness‘ patterned, technical lunacy. is-ness existential outerwear doesn’t fear weird and the thunder god or life force themes of past seasons and Papua New Guinea patterns of the current collection are brave, progressive and strange. There’s collaborations with the likes of Medicom’s Fabrick wing and SP.DESIGN that don’t seem to operate beyond the Far East, plus bizarro Dr. Martens projects. You don’t necessarily need to head to toe is-ness to get the look and you don’t need to go fully space-tribe to appreciate their work. A lot was said about the great asymmetric technical jacket look from a couple of years back and for A/W 2012 it goes a little further out there with the Pygmy Sea Blouson‘s asymmetric upward 3/4 zip fastening, classic performance colour combo and collar zip. The fishtail parka look of the Gokurakucho Coat with SP.DESIGN with the extending width of the zip arms and detachable fur collar that can be worn alone. If a brand like SASSAFRAS or FilMelange are doing simplicity perfectly, is-ness are doing the heavy detailing just as well, with interesting results — they might not be world’s best jacket competitors, but they’re always inspirationally oddball.








Images from here



PYGMYSEABLOUSON3Images from here 




Happy holidays to everybody that looks at this blog and fuck Zwarte Piet. Everybody knows that Santa Claus is a black man — ‘Jet’ magazine’s covers of Christmas’ past are proof of that. James Brown, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and Marvin Gaye donned that outfit well. Esther Rolle from ‘Good Times’, Emmanuel “Webster” Lewis and Sherman Hemsley from ‘The Jerffersons’ (who passed away earlier this year) also rocked that red and white attire nicely, but the Black Santa outfit that ditches the standard colours, from a 1970 issue (with an interesting article on the movement for a Black Santa), complete with beads is tremendous. I hope he brings you everything you asked for tomorrow.

Additionally, I recommend this two part oral history of Stüssy on Complex if you haven’t already checked it out. The ads with Emma Sinatra Coats’ commentary are excellent too.














Festivus is with us again, which usually calls for a Frank Costanza-esque airing of grievances. For a couple of years I ran some kind of hastily compiled list of things I hated the most — largely compiled from my Twitter feed and exceeding anything of any real importance — in the preceding year. But then the last one did the Twitter and Tumblr rounds and the kind of people that the semi-concealed clumsy subliminals were aimed at were strangely excited about it, oblivious to the fact I wasn’t too keen on them. So I can’t be bothered to do another one. Hate’s too easy too and at this time of year I can barely muster the bile — there’s too much misery out there in the news, so a bunch of poorly built home truths is a distasteful addition. Especially when the world ends tomorrow.

I would have included: People who dress head to toe in hyped apparel mocking people dressed similarly by calling them “Hypebeasts”, people that believe dickriding in Instagram comments is the fast track to success, people that describe their WordPress as an “online magazine,” the death of mystique by brands and stores asking their legion of fans how they’re doing on a Monday morning like a talkative taxi driver, people that start editorial-led projects who can’t photograph, write, style, design or offer any form of Teflon business plan and are subsequently surplus to requirements, any form of middle person who simply slows down the communication and cash chain, people that ask you to follow them on social media, people that write “RT” after Tweets, people that fill Facebook with links to fictional motivational quotes that no great mind of the 20th century ever said, people that want you to phone them back to discuss what they could have emailed you in a single (easier to dismiss) sentence, people that think you’ve turned into a prima donna because you don’t feel like working for them for free, people that get so angry about mediocre sports footwear they wouldn’t be into if it wasn’t hyped up that they call everyone a reseller and make you like resellers way more than “sneakerheads”, people that put a full stop in front of an @ response so they can broadcast a conversation to everyone, nothing being allowed to be “quite good” any more because it has to be a classic or else it’s a crushing letdown, PR companies paid to represent a brand they know or care nothing about excitedly sharing links to sites barely rehashing press releases because said PR company gave them the shoes/jeans/t-shirt/hate (delete as applicable), blogs posting exactly what a bigger blog has posted and expecting anyone (bar the aforementioned PR company) to care, anyone who still clings onto “selling out” as a negative, a Benjamin Button in a snapback world of such regressed adulthood that any normal activity that isn’t prancing around getting hyped over complete crap is deemed “grown man shit”, multiple recaps of launch parties laden with exactly the same fucking people where any right-minded person would have zero aspiration to attend, tiny credits that nobody ever clicks through for the provider of content for an entire post on a blog complete with a click-through gallery of every image (thus eliminating any reason to ever visit the source site), that secret project that somebody heavy handedly alludes to over a period of time that nearly always turns out to be crushingly mediocre, the people that announce to the world pre or just post New Year that “This is my year” and then do absolutely nothing except Tweet turgid guff, people that think they’re being “hated on” or “trolled” and spend much of their time explaining this but are actually just hateful wankers who bring it on themselves and cry themselves to sleep (hopefully), people that call Supreme “Preme,” paranoid people that assume that this blog post is about them (word to Carly Simon), people that think they’re curating things because they take pictures of free stuff and anybody that doesn’t realise that most brands they’re all over are no better than that HYPE streetwear Dave brand.

Aaaaaand, breathe.

Now sneering at menswear and influencer culture is easily available (and more articulately executed) elsewhere, there’s little call for it here at this moment in time, plus Keef said it better than I ever could too. Salutes to everybody who just gets on with it and will quietly make powermoves in 2013. Anyway, how can I be angry while that Estelle Hanania portrait of Giorgio Moroder from the excellent feature on him in ‘PIG Quarterly’ (thank you, Sofarok) exists? Can’t do it. It’s also hard to be angry after BKRW put me onto Yan Morvan’s French gang photography that’s the subject of a new book (‘Gangs Story’), videos and an exhibition soon.



Gang story



Salutes to Alex Dweck for reminding me about the Givenchy Pervert piece’s parallels with a pioneering brand from the past.

As time goes on, what was once the shit — something worth seeking out — can disappear into anonymity. Due to streetwear’s cyclical nature, a healthy dose of reverence whenever content creation’s constant sprawl looks for an industry retrospective, the majority of brands I grew up loving have maintained longevity. Stüssy is still powerful, Supreme evolved, Holmes morphed into Silas who reappeared a little less appealing but seemed to transfer that old spirit into Palace, Fuct stays excellent, Nigo’s role in BAPE was minimized but the brand still has some clout, X-Large is big in Japan (or at least it seems to be), Gimme5 still has distribution clout, Fresh Jive does whatever the fuck it wants, Eightball and Droors gave way to DC, Union still does great work in Los Angeles, SSUR is on a wave right now, former Phat Farm and PNB operatives have huge roles in the industry, Zoo York fell off but the key people there made their own mark, STASH and Futura made good livings post NFC, Kingpin was great (R.I.P. Bleu Valdimer) but seemed to stop in the transition to Project Dragon. There’s a whole lot more, but for the most part, they’re either still in business or there’s a reasonable explanation as to why they shut up shop. All except Pervert.

Obsessing over stock at Planet in my hometown, Slam City, Bond and Dr Jives, Pervert was always a brand I actively hunted — it seemed to have the hip-hop and rave crossovers, captured the acid jazz craze of the time and had skater appeal too. Harking from Miami’s South Beach they had that beach life authenticity that made Stussy seem so authentic back when it debuted. That was a region that never seemed to be represented by anything this credible (Miami’s Stray Rats has done some strong work for the city in the last few years with a healthy respect for Pervert’s work), but Pervert had the name, had a photogenic frontman (and a great BMXer in his youth) who got some profiles in mainstream magazines like ‘Rolling Stone’ (see below) back when being in print was a huge deal in the shape of founder Don Busweiler who started it in his late teens. Trademarking Pervert branding in mid 1990 for “hats, T-shirts, shorts, pants, jackets, shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, footwear, headwear, and swimwear”, Busweiler can be considered an elder statesman of streetwear (I don’t use that hated umbrella term lightly, but when a brand isn’t necessarily a skate brand but trades in printed and embroidered cotton, it’s all I can do).

Pervert’s Animal Farm store was an operations base (stocking Stussy, Fuct, Fresh Jive and the rest) and they were actively involved in the local club scene. It’s a testament to Pervert’s role locally that anyone I’ve met from Miami who’s 30+ years of age seemed to have something to do with the Pervert crew in one way or another. The brand would have cleared up in any number of streetwear booms, the rise in Mo’ Wax and the affiliated toys and tees — even multiple quick cash crazes for parody shirts (next time you see a PUMA tee in a tourist trap souvenir store, think of Don and his team), but it never lasted long enough, because in 1995, after a relationship breakup, Don Busweiler ended Pervert and joined Jim Roberts’ Brethren cult (also know as the Garbage Eaters) with its Christian values that pretty much deem anyone doing anything different a practitioner of perversion.

The beards and bikes of male Brethren members might seem hipster-esque, and the cult’s famous bin-dipping is bizarre, but there’s a real tragedy to this story — the comments on this post hint at the emotional damage of Don’s (apparently calling himself Micaiah) or disappearance and his parents have been quoted in documentaries and articles on Roberts’ activities. ‘God Willing’, a recent documentary (screened on PBS) documents the anguish of the parents of children who vanished to join the nomadic Roberts group and it’s powerful stuff. The ABANDONED status code of Pervert’s trademark hints at the sudden end of the brand. It’s a sad story of what could have been, but the impact Busweiler and the team made in those few short years is significant, but alas, it all occurred before the internet became an extension of the world we live in, so informationally, it’s as if it barely ever existed. I guarantee the influence of Pervert has corrupted your wardrobe in one way or another — bear in mind that Supreme’s creative director Brendon Babenzien started his career at Pervert.


If you haven’t already watched everything on the Gasface’s channel. including all five ‘Think B.I.G.’ installments, you’re slipping. Everyone with an SLR with filming capabilities might be a filmmaker now, but these French hip-hop obsessives are masters of their art. Somebody should just give these guys their own channel as the prove that only the French can do rap nostalgia and digging without coming off corny.

That was a lazy blog post, right? Here’s a load of old RRL and Polo Sport ads to pad it out. I know you love that stuff as much as I do (except that white guy with dreads).












With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves. As a result, I’m reflecting on the tragic younger form of me in 1985 and in 1994, when I requested amazing things I never got. On the back of a TV showing of ‘First Blood’ and the release of ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II’ everybody wanted a Rambo-style knife and sewing kit for mending yourself post self-surgery in the wild while on the run for knocking a policeman out a helicopter with a well-aimed rock. When novelty stores started cashing in by selling badly made weapons with a compass at the end of the handle and an enclosed wire that was meant to cut down trees, but everybody knew was for garroting enemies, everyone suddenly decided they needed one and we got on that camo hype early. I was denied one, but my brother was allowed a “survival knife” which he subsequently ruined while away at camp while throwing it at a tree to show off (or so he claims – maybe he killed a man and had to dispose of the weapon). Not only did it not stick in the tree, but the self igniting matches are alleged to have somehow lit themselves in the process and melted the handle. And that was that.

I wanted a pager because rappers always had them, name checked them and made them seem important. The fact I only needed to get hold of about two people who were glued to their Super NES anyway was irrelevant and after coming close to getting hold of a Motorola numerical pager that would involve elaborate number codes and some premium price to contact me, the plan was dropped. Looking at ads like the ones above, you can’s blame me for willing Santa to gift me the goods though, can you? The brilliantly-named Knifeco also made the more expensive and even more terrifying Survivor model that was like a grown-up version of the Survival Knife Kit. In 2012, the “Answering machine for your pocket” is totally redundant and I’d be arrested and face a custodial sentence if I marched around with Knifeco’s handiwork in a sheath (though I want this official version). There’s still part of me that wants to receive both of them on the 25th of December, just for some closure, but it’s safe to say that the ads are better than the actual items. They don’t do ads like this any more. What can I link this talk of bowie hunting knives to?


Putting together the Christmas list, there’s plenty that’s due to drop after the big day. If we fast forward over a year, Mike Tyson’s autobiography has a publication date of the 22nd of May, 2014, but to tide us over, ‘The Undisputed Truth’ by Mike Tyson and Paul Sloman (presumably based on the Broadway show) is released on the 16th of July 2013 and yes, there’s an audio book of it too. Hopefully there’ll be an audio book of the autobiography too. I’m also saddened to see that the ‘David Bowie Is’ book doesn’t come out until a couple of weeks before the exhibition of over 300 items picked from Bowie’s art, outfits and objects that the book ties in with starts at the V&A museum (sponsored by Gucci). Seeing as the majority of men’s fashion editors appear to have just noticed that mid 1970s David Bowie looks awesome, despite the rest of the world knowing this several years prior, this exhibit and book should give them more to copy a little too late, thus defeating the object of Bowie’s masterful re appropriation and ability to stay ahead of the curve.

Image taken from this Flickr account.

Mr. Matt Collett upped a link to a Flickr collection of Nike archive visit images from a few years ago via Facebook and it opened up a whole can of nerdery for me. We’ve all seen the Mag, the Batman boots made from Air Trainer SCs and the Batman Jordans created specially for films, but even on a trip to those fabled vaults recently I didn’t spot the ‘Jurassic Park’ raptor shoes (and I’m not talking newcomer slang for a particular pair of VIIs) there. In Donald Katz’s ‘Just Do It’ it mentions these models as an inspiration on the Air Carnivore because they were supposedly loosely related to, “…a shoe that Tinker Hatfield had worked on for the people running around inside some of the animal costumes in Jurassic Park (Tinker called those shoes Air Dinos and had since encouraged an “Animalistic” design motif).”

Oliver Hutton’s Flickr account is excellent and worth checking out, but is this image of an object credited to the Hulk, the mysterious “Air Dino”? Was it created for motion capture of raptor actors (inadvertent double rhyme) in the original ‘Jurassic Park’? I know there’s a few Beaverton-based boffins who can help me out here and the gift of weirdo knowledge would be gratefully received this Christmas.



Did ESPN just give me an excuse to fill a blog post up with Nike Air Trainer images via last night’s ‘You Don’t Know Bo’ documentary? It sure looks that way. One of those ad-heavy ones that content hungry bloggers who credit the source super small at the very bottom seem to like? Okay. I wish I was in NYC for the AF1 festivities, but once again, an Air Force anniversary party has passed me by. Maybe I’ll be there for the 35th birthday of the shoe to commemorate some remix of it in one way or another if a hip replacement and advancing age doesn’t hinder my visit.

The hip replacement talk is a nice seque into the Bo film talk too — while Saturday’s 30 for 30 offering was more of a celebration of the Jackson era than a character portrait like last season’s excellent and occasionally disturbing ‘Unguarded’ piece on Chris Herren, it still represented the fabled subject matter in an entertaining, honest way. After all, with a lack of steroids or philandering, the only thing you can talk about with Bo is — as one talking head explains — the man’s aptitude to make remarkable feats look easy. From the apocryphal tales or a young Vincent Jackson dunking a stick in eighth grade, leaping a 40 foot ditch and an unmatched crab apple throwing aptitude that could send the airborne fruit through a screen door, to the triple jump, high jump and pole vault feats in high school to Steinbrenner’s Yankees scout seeing Bo collapse a batting tent during an impromptu trial, his early days were represented by animations from my friends at Doubleday & Cartwright (when was the last time you saw a cartoon of a boy dunking a stick?) in Mickey Dusyj’s unique style.

Little stories, like neighbors visiting to gaze at a phone just because a famed coach called it nailed the community nature of the poor community from which the great man emerged, but the parallels with the apple hurling, the distance hits that got him pro baseball career, that throw and a candid demonstration of Bo’s knack with the ‘bow at the film’s finale bring structure to a tale of a man who subverted sport just by doing his own thing. Playing in the NFL as an off-season hobby? That’s not normal. Excelling there and redefining the running back position? Sonning Brian Bosworth at the height of his tough guy schtick (‘Stone Cold’ is still classic though)? Okay then. Every now an again, somebody excels to the point where I have no other choice but to pay attention and it’s usually by making the superhuman look easy — I’m not interested in the nuances and the things that sports connoisseurs notice because I have no athletic ability or casual game experience that would allow me to gauge the difficulty. As a result, I want people to play like it looks in the movies or do some really, really bad stuff in their spare time. Bo did the former and for once, we Brits knew the name of a baseball player.

It was ‘BO KNOWS’ that put me onto Bo though. The Air Trainers and the cheaper non-Air variants, plus that W+K engineered Futura bold sloganeering and it was, for an Air Trainer nerd like me, good to see some sketches and moodboards for the 89-91 Bo-endorsed SC offerings on display in the film, as well as a Tinker Hatfield appearance. There were even some OG Air Trainer pre-Bo sketches shown that indicated the line was a riposte to arch rivals Reebok and their Workout concept (look at those white shoes) and even included a loafer. Strangely, it’s constantly reinforced throughout ‘You Don’t Know Bo’ that — bar the painstaking post-hip replacement rehabilitation — Jackson didn’t actually train, despite being the poster boy of the whole Nike Cross Training category. It’s more of the man’s innate knack for contradicting popular performance wisdom, but that versatility and the snappy nickname still made his involvement extremely relevant. He even got his own video to accompany the ‘Bo Knows Bo’ autobiography as part of the newly created Nike Sports Entertainment line with Fox.

It was also good to see that director Michael Bonfiglio also managed to include the pop cultural Bo moments beyond the fields and footwear, with talk of the infamous Tecmo Bowl advantage and his role in the ‘Pro Stars’ cartoon, where his destruction of evil practitioners of illegal deforestation by wielding an entire tree didn’t seem as over the top as some of his real life antics, like the bat snapping acts of exasperation what spawned thousands of bruising failed imitations. Culminating with Jackson contently carving arrows for his hunting habit in his “man cave” where a bull’s head resides next to an MCM holdall, the what could have been nature of the man’s career after that premature retirement at 28 doesn’t feel like a tragedy, because the dual career, the achievements and the fact he did it his way is something too otherworldly to mourn — the world just needed a reminder as to what Bo knew, and ESPN provided a perfect refresher.