BEAMS seems to manage a curiously Japanese ability to balance credibility and nuance with a retail empire, so it figures that their 40 YEARS OF TOKYO FASHION & MUSIC campaign was going to be good. I wasn’t expecting this level of good though. The WHAT’S NEXT? TOKYO CULTURE STORY video and site are styled nicely, calling out hundreds of specific trends year by year (note the 1999 “UK skater style“) that are still echoing in fashion right now. Continue reading BEAMS DOES IT BETTER
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 meant to up this here yesterday, but the gloom of being too slow and old with the keyboard to buy the Zoom Spiridon when it rereleased the other day dampened my spirit. Going forward, I might post more shoe-nerd bits here in this vein, though the cult of reposting and my own laziness might stop me doing that.
There’s something about the Zoom Spiridon that two solid reissues hasn’t dampened.
Released in 1997, promoted by Michael Johnson, and named after Greek runner Spyridon Louis — winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 — it’s a lightweight training model and a fan favourite from a golden age of design. It wasn’t the first Nike shoe to carry that name either — around 1984, there was a gold swoosh racing shoe called the Spiridon in the line that was followed by the Spiridon Gold a few years later. Continue reading SPIRIDON-DADA: A TRIBUTE TO A CULT CLASSIC
A few weeks ago I covered the Converse All Star Modern launch for 032c and we had to leave out a fair chunk of historical talk regarding the Converse All Star. Seeing as it’s such an important design (whether you care much for shoes or not), here’s the part of the rough draft that was excised. As always with these kinds of things, I encourage all feedback and corrections. It still blows my mind that this shoe is a century old next year.
Converse’s in-house archivist Sam Smallidge is deeply enthusiastic about the All Star and the brand that made it despite no previous inclination towards athletic footwear. Having previously been an Ernest Hemingway Collection Intern at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, trading Papa for Chuck has been a new outlet for his love of discovery for research, “My favourite part of the job is joining the dots — my personality type is getting obsessed with whatever collection I’m working on to obsessive detail.” Continue reading A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONVERSE ALL STAR
After briefly being lost in the Rizzoli publishing matrix, the UNDERCOVER book has dropped at colette ahead of its wider release in a couple of weeks. Jun Takahashi’s brand has such a deep history in connecting cultures doing the streetwear to higher fashion crossover better than pretty much any other brand hoping to bridge the gap has ever done. The book doesn’t skimp on the archive images, from invites to pieces to those Last Orgy articles that helped write the Ura-Harajuku blueprint during the early 1990s.
Photo by Yamandu Roos
Three things that I’m a fan of: Patta, Futura and Converse Chuck Taylors. I figure that if I’m going to be a sellout and post campaign-related bits here, it may as well be about a project that’s true to the topics we discuss here. The new Futura Chuck II (the low/Ox editions win) drops this weekend and Patta worked with Lenny to hand write translated lyrics from Dutch singer Ramses Shaffy’s 1978 hit Laat me onto 50 tees that they’re giving away with purchases of the shoes. Continue reading A CHAT WITH FUTURA
It goes without saying that Michael Kopelman and Gimme Five have been essential to my career progression (and I don’t think I’m alone in being grateful to Michael either). Given the company’s admirable reticence to do nostalgia, I always thought that a few stories in British streetwear were lost and the importance of what they did was overlooked. Thanks to Gimme Five, we were first when it came to discovering a lot of brands and the Gimme Five line itself was experimenting with Champion tees, parodies and collaborations way ahead of several others. Continue reading GIMME FIVE’S ARCHIVE