One collaboration I’ve not mentioned here before in all the proto industry model talk is 1990’s Stüssy i-D magazine tees. Created to commemorate the magazine’s tenth birthday alongside pieces from the likes of Simon Foxton, the shirts were sold for 15 quid via mail order. The Stüssy design was pitched to readers as a Shawn Stussy for i-D project rather than a straight-up brand collaboration and offered in white or grey. Given that the brand would take a slightly different, pared-down look, release some tribe-centric videos and host an event in Tokyo (that’s still considered a pivotal moment) the following year, it was inevitable that this project would make a splash far beyond London.
It wasn’t just the pioneering streetwear line that had a significant 1991 making grander Japanese inroads — i-D’s first Japanese incarnation was launched in September that year, lasting 16 issues. As a result, I’ve seen different versions of the shirt, which originally read “Enjoy yourself stupid amounts” on the front in that familiar hand style and included a dense list of predominantly female names on the back that includes the Queen, Sade, Lisa Stansfield, Sarah Stockbridge, Grace Jones and Wendy James. Continue reading EARLY COLLABORATION
For years, some of the brands I associate with a pivotal era of black British streetwear have been the ones that get away in terms of information and insight. Viking shoes? Informational dead-end. Click? Still something of a mystery. The Click suit was a dancehall staple during a time of ragga and hip-hop’s early 1990s crossover and an ostentatious, loose fitted uniform at events like Sting. In my hometown, it used to be used as a general term to describe contrast panelled, oversized patch cord or denim trousers and shirt-style jackets. Some of that stuff was even extreme stone wash with mock bullet holes. For years I never knew whether it was a brand, a custom line or an expression, and the V&A’s collection seems to use the name generally in its outfit that uses the Exhaust Jeans line. However, Steve Bryden, whose knowledge I trust unreservedly, said this beneath the image above on Instagram, “Click was a brand, I still have suit somewhere. Click made suits and jackets A big thing in the raggamuffin era.” I’d like to see a more comprehensive history of those 1989-1995 brands, given the colossal stylistic contribution that Kingston via London look gave us.
A few months ago I linked to some 1990 Foot Locker store visit footage from this Brazilian shop tour show, but the gems just keeps on coming via the frequently updated SHOP TOUR MEMORIAS – COMERCIAIS YouTube channel. While it isn’t English-language, the neon-accented treasures on show are pretty universal. Check these 1991 clips. The trip to A Sports is particularly impressive, with an examination of Mowabbs, a meeting with someone dressed like an Air Max 90 (“Hi Mr Shoe! Are you alright? Okay! What do you think about A Sports — great, no?”), plus a look at Starter jackets. There’s a shit ton of 1990/1991 clips below with lots of repetition, but if your eyes are peeled you’ll catch some gems. Best. YouTube channel. Ever. Excitable presenter babbling about sportswear during a golden era — no vlogger can come close. Even the soundtracks are excellent. Continue reading GOLDEN ERA STORE FOOTAGE
Continuing the holiday theme on here, this four year old upload of some 26 year old footage needs some shine. The Video Music Box episode filmed from Elektra’s Hard to the Left release party — an incredible promo tape of the label’s future stars — was recorded in December 1990, and DJ Iran dug the raw footage out of storage. That footage included some unedited seasonal shoutouts that features a young Apache, Dante Ross, Clark Kent, Nikki D, De La, Funk Flex, Bönz Malone (looking very sharp), Zev Love X (aka. MF Doom) and his wife, plus many many more faces. Carhartt levels were extremely high and that Heavy D & The Boyz promo jacket is powerful, but keep your eyes peeled for some other excellent garments in that crowd. Salutes to Digital Hustle Films for that one.
Blogging in 2016 sometimes feels a little futile, but just when I’m about to leave this site to drift , frozen in October 2016, I find something that only this site’s small (but cherished) readership and I would care about. If I stop doing this thing, then who’s going to dredge up this type of thing? Nobody. I swear nobody’s fishing for strange shoe-related stuff any more. An unnecessarily lengthy Portuguese-language (apologies if I’m wrong — blame my single dialect ignorance) tour of the 3399 Virginia Avenue Foot Locker in Miami filmed in early 1990? That’s pretty much what I made this blog for. Continue reading FOOT LOCKER 1990
We’ve covered this here before, but I buried it with a load of other strange topics. You can see JA and friends’ throwups and tags in a lot of NYC films, documentaries and TV shows from the late 1980s and early 1990s based on their sheer ubiquity, but it’s the other curious on-screen places they’ve ended up that are mind-boggling. If the quest was to find that visible, hard-to-reach spot, an alleyway in the Shrek the Third‘s computer animated Kingdom of Far, Far Away or the questionable future ghetto of Elysium‘s 2154 Los Angeles were pretty impressive seeing as they don’t actually exist. Continue reading XTC MEETS ROCKY
This 1990 news segment via Associated Press discusses the crack epidemic and the spate of sneaker and jacket related violence from that period. Continue reading MY FEET ARE KILLING ME