There are a handful of good books on street, skate or surfwear out there and I gave up on waiting for a Rizzoli Stüssy retrospective a while back. But that brand archive book via Japan was simple, comprehensive and very effective and on Friday, IDEA drop An IDEA Book on T-Shirts by Stüssy in DSM stores (plus some very nice t-shirt collaborations). It’s 240 pages and I think it retails at 45 quid (which isn’t cheap but with 2,000 copies made, when it’s gone it’s probably not going to appear on Amazon Marketplace for 37p plus 2.75 postage and packing). By all accounts, it’s good and it opens with an essay on graphic tees written by me (I’d be plugging it on here regardless). This i-D interview with Ryan Willms and Alastair McKimm sheds some more light on the project.
Between 1999 and 2001, Juergen Teller was Stüssy‘s go-to photographer for ad campaigns. Picked by Paul Mittleman, his images covered the brand in a variety of global territories. Having shot Kate Moss for a Vogue cover in April 1994 and on the back of his seminal 1999 book Go-Sees, Teller certainly wasn’t a rookie, but the decision to use him led to some arresting images that helped unify that new brand direction’s high and low-end positioning. Influenced by Comme since the very beginning and the daddy of the streetwear designer homage, this appointment seemed like a logical one (and Terry Richardson would shoot some subsequent ads). In 2017, the sullen kid with cheekbones in a hoody is pretty much a go-to for brand lookbooks and blog fodder, and for those with a budget, calling in Juergen is no surprise any more — failing that, a glut of tinpot Tillmans wannabes with a Yashica are ready to shoot their friends in a crap flat for free clothes. There were at least 25 images used in the Teller Stüssy rollout (The Face and Dazed ran a fair amount of them over here) and with some great Tyrone Lebon world tour work of late, it’s great to see that the quality control has been sustained all the way up to present day.
My friend Nick Santora has far greater fixation with sports footwear related imagery and ephemera than me. He runs the Classic Kicks site, social accounts and podcast and used to run the fine NYC store of the same name. He just made the plunge into publishing, but is keeping it as pixels for the time being. That doesn’t stop the visually inclined, 124 page Classic Kicks #1 from being designed as if it was on paper, down to the quality of design and page size. The inaugural issue has a ton of content (that’s content in the good sense as opposed to the gushing stream of content for content’s sake that is making anything useful harder to find using Google). If you’re a nerd, you’ll mess with this project — the old adidas and Fila ads are worth the price of admission, but the chats with Nike ad gods Chuck Kuhn, Bob Peterson and Bill Sumner with accompanying reproductions of some of their work, while — most importantly if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time — renaissance man and reggae archivist Roger Steffens shuts down that rumour that Nike’s mysterious Rasta Man samples were made for Bob Marley. Deeper than the usual shoe coverage and it’s best viewed on a tablet, though I would spend big on a physical copy. Well worth your £2.99 or digital subscription fee.
There are a lot of Larry Clark interviews out there and Marc Maron’s WTF podcast is hardly obscure, but it’s always incredible and his chat with Clark last month is a valuable listen if you’re interested in the life events that informed his early work and career to date. That preoccupation with youth makes a sad kind of sense when he discusses his childhood, but for the most part it’s a spirited near 90 minute conversation that includes anecdote after anecdote and, quite rightly, talks about the superb Bully and high-intensity Another Day in Paradise with the reverence that those films deserve. To rise from that background and multiple relapses to helm the Dior Homme video that launched a week or so ago is a significant trajectory.
I see a lot of photo shoots that feature scowling people in sportswear standing near housing estates. It’s the formula that superseded men dressed like 1940s train drivers in parks for look books, but I’ve never seen it done better post-millennium than with french photographer Patrick Cariou’s Marseillais Du Nord shoot for the winter 2002 issue of THE FADER. Continue reading MARSEILLE 2002
If you’re here, I’ll be presumptuous — and not in that irksome clickbait “You won’t believe what…” way —and assume that you own something by Ari Marcopoulos. Ari is one of the greats, working with the Gucci’s new order as well as Supreme, and his documents of NYC skate culture are immortal. Continue reading ARI UP
The current fetishisation of “roadman” aesthetics frequently seems to miss the strange nuances in functional bits like side bags and double tracksuit bottoms and the solemn-faced eccentricity in a UK goon dress code. Broad strokes end up labelling every part of a working class youth’s wardrobe or modern black British style with a roadman tag, and it’s wide off the mark. It’s about far more than kids with posh names banging on about bunnin.’ Continue reading REEBOKS & HAIR GEL