Just a couple of days into New year and I’m already slacking. For that, I apologise. Blame my addiction to Christmas gift autobiographies and biographies. I’d sooner read Schwarzenegger’s tale of smashing a chair from the Napoleonic era to pieces while accidentally falling backwards as he took his trousers off, or discover that a 9-year-old Slash was taken to see Iggy Pop in a psychiatric ward by his mother and David Bowie than do much writing. When I’ve sated my ink (and pixel) lust, my work rate might be up again. Or I might put this blog to sleep for a while to proceed on another project.
I’m also trying to watch the atmospheric and deliberately paced ‘Berbarian Sound Studio’ (the fictional Italo-horror film opening titles, ‘Suspiria’-style witch impressions and studio logo alone makes it worth watching) while I write this. Something’s got to give. All I can offer you is a load of offcuts from a Champion-related post I put up here a couple of years ago — 1930s ads when it was Champion Knitwear, with the Champion Knitwear Mills store triumphantly talking of acquisitions from another sportswear store (the Gennessee Sportswear store from the same street), giving away a $15 Wilson tennis racket, optioning a suede wind breaker as a holiday gift and reminding us that, in their earliest days, Champion made leather jackets, plus a 1960s ad looking for a plant manager and a 1980 ad for the legendary Reverse Weave apparel.
There’s a lot of history to the brand, but in the brief interim between this blog and whatever the last entry about the brand was (and this blog was practically a Champion fan site), I’ve given up any hope of Champion mustering a modicum of integrity or sense of premium with its European licence. Miracles can happen on the brand front, but you miss heritage opportunities as well as a high-end preoccupation with all things fleecy, casual and cosy, that’s when you’re officially lost. At least Champion Japan knows what time it izzzzzzzzzz…sorry, I’ve repeated that point so often that I just dropped off.
After years of throwing up scraps on Harlem’s own Dapper Dan up here, his Tumblr-based reappearance (perfectly timed, and I’m assuming it was down to his son’s realisation that his pop helped create a substantial slice of authentic street culture that even the brands he bootlegged have been eating off lately) has ushered in some more comprehensive information on the man and the store. We should be excited that ‘Cocaine Cowboys’, ‘Broke’ and ‘The U’ (plus the impending ‘Dawg Fight’ on Kimbo Slice’s former bodyguard, exploring the backyard fighting scene) director Billy Corben recently tapped him up for an interview.
The new ‘Sneaker Freaker’s more shoe-centric Dapper Dan conversation is cool, touching on some AF1-related topics, teaching me that the Fat Boys’ shoes on the ‘Crushin’ cover were commissioned Nike customs to match the Dapper Dan garms and that he reworked some New Balance 572s, the shoe that was huge in the UK for a minute in UK-made form circa 1998 alongside the 576. A strange choice for a custom shoe — maybe I need to investigate the origins of that model right here in a future post. Maybe my declaration of this blog’s possible conclusion was a little premature.