Tag Archives: air jordan

FOOT LOCKER 1991 SALES

Salutes to Hugh MacEachern and Rewind Eats the Tape for uploading these 1991 Foot Locker sale ads, with enthusiastic men in referee shirts banging on about bargains. You think trainers are a big deal now? Slicing cash off Air Jordans was enough to justify a moment in between primetime TV shows decades ago. That said, America seemed to get the good stuff that was omitted from the Brits. I never saw the grape Jordans (back before the numbers you had to just state the year as a differentiator) on sale where I lived, let alone with money off.

HIT AND RUN

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There’s plenty of little moments scattered across publications that altered the course my career would take in one way or another. Back in mid 1998, The Face ran a ‘Fashion Hype’ (and hype would become a word attached to these objects like a particularly excitable Siamese twin in the decade that followed) piece on the newly opened Hit and Run store (which would be renamed The Hideout for presumed legal reasons by 2000). This two page spread was a rundown of things I’d never seen in the UK and sure enough never seen them with a pound price next to them. I immediately rushed out and asked a couple of Nottingham skate stores if they’d be getting any Ape, Supreme, GoodEnough or Let It Ride gear in, only to be met with a blank stare. lesson learnt: Kopelman had the hookups that the other stores didn’t. This Upper James Street spot was selling APC jeans for 48 quid, while Supreme tees were only a fiver less than they are now. The 1998 season when Supreme put out their AJ1, Casio, Champion tee, Goodfellas script design and Patagonia-parody jacket was particularly appealing, and it was showcased here, while SSUR keyrings, BAPE camo luggage and soft furnishings were a hint of things to come. I guarantee that once you made it to the store, a lot of the stuff that you assumed you could grab with ease would be gone — an early life lesson that hype just isn’t fair.

YOU'VE GOT MAEL

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I’ve collected Air Jordan sneakers since 1984; there are 23 different pairs in plastic display cases in the living room. I’ve also got cereal boxes and movie posters: good design, you see.
Ron Mael, ‘It’s the season for art-buying, but who would you buy if you could afford it?The Sunday Times, June 03, 2008

Seeding programmes mean that all but the most keenest and corniest of bloggers and the most undiscerning audiences should care about whether an actor or musician under the age of 35 is wearing Air Jordans. The Hulk Hogan connection is one bad, nostalgic joke, but Ron Mael of Sparks, one of Morrissey’s personal favourites, being a Jordan collector is intriguing, unlikely and brilliant — something that seemed to crop up in interviews since the 1990s. Ron in Concord XIs and Chicago Is is something to behold — you might see hilarious dudes in Instagram trousers with the metre-long ankle cuff wearing these classic designs, and cool guys (especially the ones that use hashtags) just aren’t cool any more. That’s why the uncool guys have become the greatest brand ambassadors — you don’t see a Tinker creation and a toothbrush or pencil moustache in tandem too often. This is why Jerry Seinfeld’s epic stash became so mythical too — the less likely the connoisseur, the more credible the endorsement, and it gets no whiter than Mael. I want to see more pictorial evidence of this fabled horde of original shoes. (Both images jacked from Getty.)

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SUPERHERO APPAREL…

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Minimal update today because I’m working on some Nike Basketball stuff. Staying on that theme, here’s an ad I’d forgotten about that I haven’t seen online. This one advertised Nike Air Jordan kidswear in 1990, back when anything with the Jumpman on was necessary, even if it was some questionable apparel (shouts to the shell suit fabric/faux leather/mesh hat I used to wear) or a bootleg chain. You had to be seriously spoilt to be getting the children’s gear though. The Batman theme was doubly relevant because this arrived just after Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight wore specially modified Air Trainer SCs (A.K.A. the Air Trainer III) in the 1989 Batman and Jordan VIs in Batman Returns.

That’s your lot. I’m heading back to the editing process.

STYLE & SUBSTANCE

VINNYPONTE

There’s few topics that recur on this blog as much as skaters skating in non-skate footwear. Workboots were covered here a while ago and while every skate brand seems to be peddling a runner-style shoe as an off-board comfort option, that’s a copout. I’m all about the pick of big basketball shoes (which, in turn, inspired plenty of releases from the likes of DC) being worn as a true demonstration of no fucks given, with their hefty price tags and barely-there boardfeel amplifying the sense of show(shoe?)manship. Keenan and Harold deserve their place in the hall of footwear fame, as does Gino, but without getting all Quartersnacks-lite (because they do this kind of thing way better), I don’t see enough credit for Vinny Ponte‘s pick of the oft-dismissed but genuinely incredible Air Jordan XI Low IE (International Exclusive) in the Zoo York Mixtape (he wasn’t alone in that selection of shoe either) or Brad Johnson in Western Edition videos from the early 2000s rocking the Retro+ Jordan XIs (as in the real deal with the patent toe), Vs with the debut of the heel Jumpman and, like Mr. Iannuci, a pair of AF1s (albeit Lows rather than the Mid). Ponte and Johnson deserve their place in the glorious history of Jordans worn for skate that goes way beyond Mountain or Gonz’s reasons for wear and it’s a joy to see sacred shoes being annihilated. I want to see a book of non-skate shoes being worn for skate — remember when the budget Nike GTS court shoe had a moment there? If someone had broken out the Air Seinfeld cast and crew GTS for a session, I would’ve caught the holy ghost.

BRADJOHNSON

I’m a keen enthusiast when it comes to movies that are style way above substance and Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire is an overblown, occasionally miscast masterpiece of that genre that boldly elects to create its place in time — neon 1980s excess and 1950s ducktail hair for an anachronistic rock and roll fable that’s part thriller, part musical — flick knives, Willem Defoe being weird, exploding cars, soul groups, Jim Steinman, trenchcoats, near lawlessness, Warriors-style heavily choreographed dust-ups, the beginning of my lifetime crush on Diane Lane, Lee Ving from Fear…everything collides to create a film that’s far too well-executed to be a folly. Hill gets the Peckinpah comparison, but I can’t imagine Sam creating something like this. They really, really don’t make things like this any more and its failure at the box office in 1984 probably has something to do with that. Streets of Fire gets a Blu-ray outing this month in the UK and they’ve brought back the original poster art too as well as compiling an 80-minute documentary specially for the release. If ever a film deserved Blu-ray, it’s this one.

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I have to interview people occasionally and while frequency has made me immune to my idiotic voice, more often than not, the constant uncertainty of “like” breaking up my questions and fawning, obvious questions make me want to punch myself in the temple. The only solution to bad interview technique is to study the masters, and while the Playboy interview books are good, Jan Kedves’ collection of interviews with the likes of Jurgen Teller, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Diane Pernet and Bruce Weber for a selection of magazines (Kedves was former editor of Spex) are compiled for Talking Fashion and are a masterclass in interrogation as an artform, asking intelligent, well-researched questions and getting some incredible insight as a result. This guy goes into the meeting equipped, but there’s a fluidity to his follow-ups and conversational skills too. Some things can be learnt and other things are just innate, but there’s plenty of lessons in the pages of this book.

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OLD MUSIC

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Forget a pop-up store or concept “space.” In 1986, they were shifting Air Jordan 1s from DIY stores. Lightbulbs, a grass trimmer and some cut-price metallic swoosh AJ1s were all available in one Sunday afternoon shop. No queuing needed.

After What We Do Is Secret and The Runaways turned out to be quite good despite my skepticism, I should be optimistic about CBGB. Crap poster aside, Malin Ackerman looks the part for Debbie Harry and there’s a slew of regular-looking folk playing some iconic degenerates, but I bet it’s not close to being as good as Times Square was or that scene in the otherwise abysmal The Beat where The Cro-Mags play at the Ritz. Not looking forward to the Evening Standard putting a model in a Television tee, studs and Chucks around the time of its release though.

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I’m hyped for this mysterious Soulland and Goodhood collaboration project, right now — definitely keen to find out what it is. I’m also hyped for any footwear that uses retroreflective sheeting in excess at the moment. Scotchlite can improve most footwear just like GORE-TEX does. A flash test can make middling shoes excellent — a case in point being these Cris Carter Nike Free Trainer 5.0. Break out the flash and the speckled 3M weave is an atomic blast that the Vikings colourway completely conceals. Sports shops should unleash random flashlights to reveal this kind of thing.

On the 3M topic (in so far as it has a mention of a shoe with a Scotchlite tongue), catching the 3rd Bass reunion show made me feel deeply old and reminded me to be careful what I wish for. Rappers who made it look effortless in 1990 need to make more effort 23 years on, but these guys look like they’ve been chanted up during an office Christmas party. Daddy Rich still seems to deliver, but I wish this had happened around 1999 when Ichabod’s Cranium was on the cards. Shit, I think I liked it when it was all patchy 1992/93 solo albums and threats. Is there any footage of them performing at Andy Hilfiger’s birthday party anywhere online so I can pretend that was the last live performance from them? I choose to remember them like this: a Jordan V clad Serch presenting Keenen Ivory Wayans with a Shirt Kings likeness of himself on a white sweat and Pete lurking around that stage in a tan suit while Jim Carrey looks on. Where’s rap’s Bruce Springsteens who can just deliver a better show with age? That downtime can make you into rap karaoke. Still, I bet I’d be beating my chest like that NWA dude when the 21st century 3rd Bass performed Brooklyn Queens. If you’re gonna be older and revisit past glory, you need to come correct like this.

1990:

2013 (via Grandgood):

SOME STUFF I SAW THIS WEEK

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One-week between blog updates is bad form, but a trip to Nike’s WHQ for some Crooked Tongues and INVENTORY work got in the way of me and WordPress. In Portland I saw some interesting things – beyond the shoes that were being launched (and I can testify that Free Hyperfeel and full-length denim looks terrible, but the Flyknit Free is good to go with pretty much everything), I picked up some more trivia from wandering the campus and talking design out there. I learnt more about Kukinis (a shoe that reminds me of the earliest days of Spine and CT and the people I owe my career to) than ever before, I saw some Foamposite prototypes (presumable from a little later in the process than these and these), a display showcasing Tinker Hatfield’s first ever shoe design (a kid’s shoe for his own children from 1980, half a decade before he switched from architecture to shoe design), a prototype Nike shoe pre-swoosh with a bad-looking ‘N’ logo, an Inspector Gadget style experiment in Shox technology from 1984 that makes the Internationalist into something from Saw, Jordan’s injury editions of his first signature shoe. Thanks to Mr. Josh Rubin, I also visited the Portland outpost of Japan’s Snow Peak stores – one of those rare retailers that can make you want things you don’t need through beautiful packaging and dual purpose functionality. I never knew I needed a titanium coffee mug or spork until I set foot in the shop. Now I want all titanium everything.

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The fruits of my few days away should manifest over the coming months, but in the meantime, there’s a Reebok Classic collaboration coming soon (late September?) that was the brainchild of some friends and I. Having a personal connection with that silhouette, it was fun to create something using it.

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Southbank Centre Limited director (amendment: Nihal has informed me that this is wrong. He’s a governor of the board) Mr. Nihal Arthanyake’s wide-eyed and patronising plea for London’s skaters (video removed after this blog went live) to embrace their holy ground being redeveloped and relocated is excruciating. He’s keen to point out that the youth can visit the new facilities, “…not just to hang out, but to be actively engaged in the creative process – whether that be street dancing, whether that be theatre, whether that be circus skills…” While Mr. Arthanyake (usually a smart chap) purports to be a, “hip-hop guy” –after making skating sound like a supplement to street dance, he gives it an “urban” affiliation for extra faddishness – he fails to understand that sub-cultures need to defend their strongholds. The joy of the Southbank undercrofts is that they’re a piece of reappropriation. If Nihal understood hip-hop, he might grasp that. Some pre-graffed spot down the road defeats the object entirely.

He also sees skaters opposing the development as irrational. Those irrational kids taking an organised stand against their heritage being demolished eh, Nihal? It’s all about teaching the teens to get their big top skills up. Another suit who thinks a Supreme Being garment will act as a sign that they’re down – back when our man was presenting shitty Clothes Show segments on trainer hoarding, they weren’t above filming in the Southbank for credibility.

electricboogaloo

Cannon Films has been mentioned on here several times for both their schlock and their rare detours into quality like Barfly. After the 1986 BBC Omnibus episode on the Golan-Globus empire, Electric Boogaloo: the Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is coming soon from Mark Hartley (director of the excellent Not Quite Hollywood and the impending remake of onetime late-night BBC staple, Patrick) – this will almost certainly be excellent and shed light on some B-movie gems.

championsweatshirttoddsnyder

While we wait for Champion Europe to get it together, now Champion USA seems to have smelt the Nescafe and understood that they’ve got a powerful logo and realised that there’s mileage in fleecewear with a heavier pricepoint. Made in Canada, Todd Snyder + Champion has some interesting moments. The tees are a little too Euro for my liking, but a Reverse Weave crew that’s literally in reverse and the pocket sweats and cut-off shorts are interesting. That sleeve branding that unites the classic stitch-on ‘C’ with a 1950s Champion logo works well too.

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