Category Archives: Footwear

FLIGHT

Alongside some other strong projects of late, Nike and Virgil Abloh’s ten silhouette collaboration (and it’s been entertaining witnessing the volume of begrudging respect for the output, even from some of the staunchest OFF-WHITE haters) feels like the antidote to the conceptual mass of the same old same every weekend. As the NYC workshops start, the accompanying “In Conversation” series (with some deep chats on the Air Force 1 and Blazer planned) allows for some history as well as the budding futurist, rip-it-up spirit. Virgil, Spike Lee (“Some people are faking the funk on the culture“), Don C and Aleali May’s “FLIGHT” panel talk contains several irreverent gems during its 48-minute duration. This YouTube broadcast of “FLIGHT” is a good example of when content goes right, down to the ill-timed R Kelly reference and candid audience participation (that Bloody Osiris observation from Tremaine is correct) that probably had someone at Nike Digital sweating. Continue reading FLIGHT

STUFF I LIKE

socialfabric

There’s a lot of content out there right now that isn’t just garbage reactionary editorials, brand money blown for the sake of it (does anyones actually buy anything because of a group of hastily gathered young “cultural disruptors” leaning against stuff shot in a sub-Tillmans style?) or Google sating SEO padding to get that ranking. I’ve been enjoying episodes of Red Bull TV’s Social Fabric, the micro histories of key garments presented by Brain Dead’s Kyle Ng. Kyle is a charismatic frontman, and the decision to split the 25 minute episodes into roughly three perspectives means it highlights some global scenes, smaller brands and crafts without being bogged down by a need to be encyclopaedic. The camo and plaid ones are particularly interesting. Whatever your opinion of its CEO and his questionable politics (like Vice, it’s a shame knowing that even the most left-wing messaging bankrolls bad-minded billionaires somewhere down the line), RBMA and Red Bull TV seem to be the content kings on niche topics — I knew that this would be decent, but I wasn’t expecting almost 5 hours of footage on tap for series one.

Seeing as the Skepta Sk AIR logo was all over IG during the last few weeks, we should probably pay respects to the man behind the original graphic language for Nike’s AIR family (Tuned, Total, Zoom, Max and Low) in 1998. The creator of the original Tn logo (as well as the Griffey Swingman) is Derek Welch, and the story of his career, illness and recovery is both sobering and life-affirming — the Adventures in Design podcast spoke to him at length for an April episode and I can’t recommend it enough.

British hip-hop journo Andrew Emery of Fat Lace, HHC and plenty of other periodicals had a stab at rapping in his younger days alongside Mr. Dan Greenpeace and friends. He just put out a memoir of his time growing up as a rap fanatic just outside of Nottingham and in Leeds — an experience shared by legions of earnest young pre-Internet folks getting it wrong through their attempts to be down when retail resources and posses are somewhat limited. What a glorious struggle it was to emulate Compton, Philly and Brooklyn using local amenities. Wiggaz With Attitude: My Life as a Failed White Rapper is out now and available here. I’m interesting to see Emery and Greenpeace’s The Book of Hip-Hop Memorabilia if it ever happens. Incidentally, this is liable to be the only autobiography ever include a paragraph on the Hi-Tec Tec basketball shoe.

REPRESENTING BK

burgerkingtrainer

Forget the tired Workout vs Powerphase/Jet/Magic (and whatever other names it went by) what-came-first debates (incidentally Reebok did that design aesthetic first), and let’s celebrate the stranger side of that aesthetic. I just want to know who was creating the blank panelled custom knockoffs that brands as disparate as Luther Campbell’s Luke Records and Slush Puppie were using in the late 1980s and very early 1990s (those Apple ones were a little more advanced). SNKR INC took a trip to legendary Newport box reappopriator, creative mind and artist Ari Saal Forman‘s shoe stash for an interesting chat that touches on Philly-centric styles, old favourites and the Burger King shoes they used to equip some staff with. Give it three minutes of your time.

slushpuppieshoes

THE F-WORD

Apologies for the singular update this week. Here’s a quick Fila-centric filler piece. This commercial from 1997 (when those Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse endorsements had the brand up there as a contender rather than a heritage line) for the then popular Just For Feet chain (which had expanded significantly at that moment in time) with its “Where Your 13th Pair is Free!” promotion. By 2004, Just For Feet was no more and Fila was largely out of action as a premium brand, but at least we’ve got this alliteration riddled promo piece uploaded by Tuck Watts — “FIND FANTASTIC FINER FILA FOOTWEAR FOR FAR FEWER FUNDS

GORE

goretex

My friends at Being Hunted (whose original site is the reason this blog exists) let me edit a little book for GORE-TEX that’s the result of some conversations with Virgil Abloh, Errolson Hugh, Andrew Bunney, Erman at adidas and some other good folks. Six Stories of GORE-TEX Products Vol. 2 is the follow-up to the GORE-TEX Japan book from a couple of years back. I’m assuming that it’s just a promo ting for partners and staffers, so I have no idea where you can get it from, but there’s more images over at Hypebeast. As a longtime fan of the brand, this was another wish list entry ticked off.

YET ANOTHER AD BREAK

Apologies for the delay in updates. In the meantime, here’s a 1989-era Champion commercial via the superb Analog Indulgence channel, plus a 1992 trip to Dom’s Outdoor Outfitters in Livermore from Keith Richardson and a 1995 visit to Bay Ridge Brooklyn’s Legends Sporting Goods. It’s good to see that both Dom’s and Legends are still very much in business, unlike most of the mum and dad spots that only exist via YouTube sightings and old newspaper ads. Normal bi-weekly business should resume once this jet lag is done and dusted.

SPORTING GOODS ’94

Didn’t have much to add here, but this footage from a sporting goods show (possibly filmed around early 1994) has some brief gems in it. Presenter Mark White upped the clip on YouTube and the interesting stuff arrives near the end — legendary Nike spokesperson Liz Dolan introducing the Air Max2 system and the CB 94, plus the obscure Tinker Hatfield designed sandal called the Nike Free that would, apparently inform the Nike Free technology his brother helped helm several years ago. Reebok — then caught up in a war with Nike — debut BOKS hikers and the InstaPump technology via the Pump Fury. Blink and you’ll miss those Jordan III retros too.