Usually I don’t put things I’ve been sent up here — especially when they’re made by friends. I know that in their heads everybody thinks they’re Drake blowing five stacks with his boys when in reality they’ve paid to get into some fleapit playing deep house, surrounded by a mixture of fancy footwork and threatening looks. Everyone’s stuck on that whole crew love hetro romance and banging on about their clique on social media. But just because a friend makes something, doesn’t make it awesome — it can be awkward instead. Friends starting brands is like friends starting bands — who hasn’t stood and watched their buddies shame themselves on stage and been the only ones clapping?
Badmouthing items made by total strangers who can’t sadface emoticon you before bedtime to ruin a night’s sleep is way easier. I made an exception for a Golden Axe though, because it’s great and it’s ambitious. When the man behind it told me that he was getting into a brand that was on a cashmere wave and was putting out cardigans, I was impressed. Not banging out a screenprint on a Gildan (though done right, that’s a powermove too), but going straight in on 100% cashmere I was sold.
I like to know the cultural provenance of garments from a brand and I know that Golden Axe has a person behind it who appreciates Cage’s early works, Sam Keith and Joe Quesada and— crucially — is a cardigan kind of dude. Plus he also appreciates the power of the Nike Double Team, the ’02 ‘Sheed AF1 Hi and the women’s white and citrus XI Low. I know I can trust anything that comes from anyone with those tastes. I believe the brand name is based on the old Sega game too (it also reminds me of the Ye Olde Axe strip pub on Hackney Road, but that’s my own psychological association). I’m reaching that cardigan time in my life because age is creeping up on me — I’m rocking the Jeremy Clarkson stonewash denim because by the time my next pair of dry denim would have worn in, I’d be dead of old age. The arrival of this design was timely. The pearl buttons and drum-dyed lambskin elbows are some grown-man flamboyance and I’m happy to add Golden Axe to my slowly expanding armoury of clothes that aren’t made of grey cotton fleece.
It’s not cheap, but it’s fucking cashmere, so what do you expect? And you don’t have to know about a legacy of mutual nerdery to appreciate this stuff either. Even the gold print on the box is of a standard that would make Patrick Bateman go split some skulls in retaliation. Salutes to the Golden Axe squad for making a brand that’s very London without collapsing beneath the weight of its desperation to represent the city. There’s no greater honour I can bestow upon their impeccable attention-to-detail than by upping atrocious iPhone photography on this blog. Check their site for the bigger picture.
The amount of Crooked Tongues forum alumni seem to be making some serious moves in fashion, publishing and several other sectors is pretty staggering. We definitely seem to have let that forum gather tumbleweeds in recent years (though a slight bug problem doesn’t help), but as a networking tool for a load of people that never realised that they were actually networking it certainly redefined the knowing-someone-through-the-internet thing and made it seem significantly less weird. Well, until they introduced themselves by a username. Crazy to think the denizens of a forum dedicated to sports footwear could make such powermoves. Looking at Superfuture and Hypebeast (bear in mind that Odd Future came up through their forum) it’s good to know that you can still make forums work for you in 2013, when they’re supposed to be extinct in favour of Instagram comments.
Speaking of CT, after the Seinfeld Complex feature, this was the other shoe-related thing I always wanted to be involved in.
If you’re going to do grey fleece, Fuct’s O.G. Logo Yard Suit is clearly the winning choice. That logo in blue down the leg of a Champion base? This is in stock at Hypebeast right now. It’s pitched somewhere between good design, conventionality and obnoxiousness like all the best Fuct stuff is. Sweary oversized romper suits are an important part of a wardrobe. It also looks like something that you would have sold your body to science for circa 1992. All these factors make this kind of necessary. People really don’t recognise just how tough the original Fuct logo is.