If the popularity of bespoke bootleg legend Dapper Dan in defining the union of high-end and street style taught us anything, it’s that fakes can actually be fun in some cases. I’m not talking the replicas, the toys with lead paint or the cons — I’m talking the weird pieces that could never have been legit. It’s interesting that a lot of brands would ultimately take cues from fakes and streetwear to put out authentic gear later down the line too. Continue reading SO UNOFFICIAL, IT’S OFFICIAL
British skaters are getting it bad this week from the press. The week started with the usually likeable Billy Bragg defending the Southbank against those pesky kids and turning it into a class war (and getting himself thrown out of Slam City Skates for causing a scene) situation as part of the Southbank Centre’s decision to win a debate by rolling out people who incite you to flick to QVC when the crop up on the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage. To end it, the Evening Standard‘s ES magazine unleashed its own awkward take on skate chic, with puns in the header and a miserable looking model awkwardly clad in high-end and low-end cluelessness. A mall grab would have been the perfect finishing touch, because fake skater is very in right now — I haven’t seen these levels of grommet fashion section infiltration since the 1980s. This is the outfit that an undercover cop might sport to bust a skatepark weed dealer. Don’t be surprised if Julian Lloyd-Webber disguises himself in it for the next round of Southbank/skater skirmishes.
You can actually unsee the outfit above by spending some time reading this excellent Red Bull Music Academy piece on the Zoo York Mixtape and checking out the FWDMTN/Forward Motion auctions for Heart Research UK in memory of king of the North-East, Steve ‘Bingo’ Binks. If, like me, you eat off skate culture, but you don’t want to come off like the Evening Standard’s idea of a skater, then you owe it to yourself to click here or on the image to see the auctions, where there’s some Nike SB hype, Vans Syndicate rarities, signed reissue decks and some Supreme goodness to bid on. Salutes to all who put this together and contributed. This kind of thing is what pointless polemic in a broadsheet will always omit — skateboarding is one of the few activities where everybody knows somebody who knows somebody and in that can be used to raise some money for a good cause. R.I.P. Bingo and Bod.
Why is the Slam City affiliated Holmes brand that Russell Waterman, Sofia Prantera, Ben Sansbury and James Jarvis brought to life pre-Silas pretty much excluded from the internet? Looking for some of the old Jarvis Holmes catalogue reminded me of how much better the now defunct Select magazine’s Greed section was in showcasing gear that Slam City stocked. Back in summer 1994, this spread had me scheming ways to get hold of this shirt.
This guy’s 1989-era multiple brand bootleg sweatshirt is a crime against authenticity, but it’s so blasphemous that it reminds me of a happy time when Fila and Troop were way out your price range and this kind of thing was peddled in some fly-by-night retailers. The do-it-yourself pirate collaboration to end them all got phased out beyond holiday resorts eventually, but the brand gang bang prints went harder than most of the contemporary apparel from sportswear brands.
Can somebody send me some cans of the AriZona Richard Prince Lemon Fizz collaboration from late last year please? Watching the ESPN Arnold Palmer mini-documentary, with its footage of the AriZona production line has reminded me that my aborted NYC trip meant I never got round to handing over 99 cents to get some. I have to concede that the post New Year downer is in effect and that sugary concoction looks like some much-needed sugar assistance to jumpstart my enthusiasm again.
The industry is boring, but only boring people get bored. However, I suspect the time has come for me to slowly shift from sports footwear retail (unless it’s for brands who want to pay me a decent sum to write about it) into other subjects. It’s a young man’s game and selling shoes is not something I have much of an interest in. I also suspect that not working with the damned things day in, day out would probably re-up my interest too and improve any work I’m involved in pertaining to sportswear. That doesn’t stop me feeling the urge to throw shoe-centric matters up here alongside the other stuff, because I’m too far gone (Dostoevsky’s, “It seems, in fact, that the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half” quote is applicable here without seeming too much like tinpot intellectual showboating) on that topic. I can’t resist 1989 newspaper ads like the one above, with their ridiculous lineups, images of Eric Dressen, my childhood hero and current Epicly Later’d subject matter oozing 1988 style in the Nike Court Force for a ‘Thrasher’ shoot. If you’re interested (and I would never be able to listen to my own voice), there’s a phone conversation with me over on the Sneaker Fiends Unite podcast (shouts to Dallas Penn and Pete).
This nonnative jacket is needed. The majority of the SS 2013 line is impressive (the pig suede Laborer Jacket is serious), but the Trooper Jacket with the overdyed treatment and Windstopper treatment reworks a military standard and makes its mark on it without getting too fussy. That pick of the purple and the button-down lapel give a basic some extra identity without getting unwearable or overdesigned. At Yen/Pound translation, it’s approximately £440. Add on taxes and shipping and that price probably doubles. I really need to wrangle a Tokyo trip somehow that’s based around a pilgrimage to Tsutaya Books and exploiting the lack of Parcelforce depot visits buying direct from the source can entail.
After the pre-Christmas talk on here of bootleg tees and sweats, ‘Slogan T-Shirts: Cult and Culture’ by Stephanie Talbot was released last week and it explores the culture of bootleg shirts in far more authoritative detail than anything I could muster. DisneyRollerGirl (a contributor to the book) upped the piece where Barnzley breaks down how he saw the real tees, banged them out as bootlegs, then felt infuriated at seeing his idea bootlegged. Well worth a read. Seeing the Palace Versace design copied and sold in a Camden marketplace is not dissimilar — a copy of a copy that still feels like a violation.