Note: This was written for Sneaker News’ print project ages ago. I can’t quite recall whether it ended up in issue #2 in a truncated form or never ran at all. Browsing through it, I realised that my attitude has changed, but I couldn’t be bothered to make major amends this evening. Expect typos.
There are too many collaborations on the market. This isn’t just embittered old-timer talk, because positives currently outweigh negatives. There’s never been so much choice, information and opportunity when it comes to shoes and their connecting cultures. Continue reading COLLABORATIONS: THE RESPECT WAS MUTUAL
We’ve been down this road before, back when I used to dig up old newspaper promotions because I couldn’t think of any other stuff to fill the site with and justify an update. I ran out of ideas again, so I thought I’d get a little festive this evening. Nowadays you can tell what’s getting its price severed before it even goes on sale. You know if a product is doomed commercially from the second it’s leaked half a year ahead of release. Continue reading LATE TO THE SALES
I wrote a piece for 032c on the subject of non-skate shoes being used as skate shoes a short while ago. It was actually meant to be part of a bigger interview with some people, but we struggled to get the Q&As in time, making it more a stream of consciousness than a cohesive history. Continue reading THE ART OF SKATING THE WRONG SHOES
The speculation around the Nike MAG shoe as the date depicted in Back to the Future II rolls around is increasingly tedious. As a design, I think the shoe is amazing, and prescient (or at least, so influential on post-1989 design that it seemed prophetical), but it’s also food for the dullest kind of footwear-addled folks and their childish nostalgia and click bait headlines. Still, self-lacing shoes are an appealing prospect that I want to see. Continue reading THE OTHER SCI-FI SHOES
I recently spoke to Lou Stoppard at SHOWstudio on the topic of hooded sweatshirts as part of their sportswear series. If I had the funds, I’d pay Michael Watts to chop and screw my voice so I could listen to it without dying inside, because I can’t bring myself to watch the video with audio. Does anyone enjoy the sound of their voice droning, umming and tripping over itself? Continue reading DRONING ON ABOUT HOODIES
I like adidas Superstars a lot, even though I rarely wear them after overdosing on them a decade ago. When Woody asked me to write something about them for an anniversary project, I wrote too much. The edited down and tidied version is widely available elsewhere, but this is the one that will probably appeal to about seven people. But that’s what this blog is about, right? Factually, I still think a few points on source countries and dates of releases could be off (my searches for hard facts sometimes came up short). I waited six months or so after the launch to up this, and I couldn’t think of anything to write today on any other topic. Expect typos, a slightly corporate tone (it was partly written with official use in mind) and the occasional repetition. Most of the imagery was borrowed from adidas’s Archive resource.
Iconic is thrown around a little too much. You don’t seem to have to put a lot of work in to be iconic any more. Nowadays your face is iconic because you #amassed #lots #of #social #media #follows. Even your lunch could be iconic. But to be a real icon, you need longevity, not some throwaway, fast-food, buzzword attachment moment in the iPhone spotlight. The adidas Superstar’s 45 years as a favourite on the courts and into a whole heap of subcultures during its retirement from the game make it a strong contender for the finest design of its kind ever. It’s liable to still be relevant when it turns 100. Continue reading THE ADIDAS SUPERSTAR & PROMODEL: A BRIEF HISTORY
Long before A$AP and adidas crossed paths, the connection between Rocky and the three-stripes helped pave the way for hip-hop history. After Nike endorsed Stallone in 1982’s Rocky III, adidas had made friends with the Italian Stallion in subsequent years , leading up to the fourth chapter. Before the strange bit where it claims that he discovered Run-D.M.C. breakdancing in the mid 1980s (probably not true — b-boying was never their forte and they’d put out an album by 1984), Barbara Smit’s Pitch Invasion is a great source of information on “Mr. adidas” himself Angelo Anastasio. the entertainment promotion man behind that pioneering footwear deal. Anastasio went from a mid 70s pro with New York Cosmos to the Ferrari-driver schmoozing around Hollywood. From Paulie’s robot (after Paulie went from violent woman beating drunk to loveable oaf in line with the franchise’s increased shine) to Vince DiCola’s War — a composition capable of getting a pacifist pumped enough to put their fists through a kebab shop window —it’s understandable that this heavy-handed red menace tale is a fan favourite (I’m a Clubber Lang man myself). I can’t help but think that the only thing more 1980s than Rocky IV, is the thought of Anastasio making power moves around 1985 on the streets of Los Angeles? The world needs a documentary on that pre-Yeezy heyday of entertainment marketing.