The Duffer project that caused a nostalgia wave at the close of 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign has finally emerged. Screened recently for some folks who were there, the feedback was good and ‘Style Brokers‘ is on Vimeo right now — uniting Barrie Sharpe, Marco Cairns and Eddie Prendergast, it does a good job of telling several stories in that sub ten-minute running time. The world that Duffer helped create is big business, so it’s important that pioneers aren’t lost in a scrum of chancers. This and Alex Turnbull’s ‘Rise of the Streets‘ documentary (currently in production) give some folks whose contributions are hard to sum up in single paragraphs in these “cool story bro” days of low attentions, the opportunity to speak. Duffer was an inspiration for Union and Union inspired…well, you can check Hypebeast right now for the last hour’s feed of apparel and footwear whose lineage is traceable back to what Duffer did. London is the city right now, but it’s always worth noting that it was always a city that created trends. That Duffer DUCCI tee is still a classic too. Salutes to Stroma Cairns and the team: you can watch the film right here.
“I might have been in my Shazam mode or something and shit. I just wanted some bangles, ‘nah mean?”
Ghostface, from this excellent Juan Epstein interview.
I’ve never known exactly why the brand knockoff tee or sweat seems to be marginally more tolerated than the knock off trainer. Maybe it’s because as kids, we didn’t have access to fake Jordans (unless you counted those godawful Abdul-Jabbar LA Gears), even though there was plenty of access to terrible Nicks and Matchstick releases that feigned fanciness and failed. My first exposure to designer garments was a t-shirt from some sunburned-Brit riddled part of Spain that featured Nike, BOSS, adidas, Cerruti and Lacoste on the same garment in rainbow fade reinterpretations of the recognisable logos. SCAT on Bedford town’s High Street shifted fake swoosh and Futura font pendants a year or so after i-D’s 1987 ‘Bootleg Fashion’ shoot with Barnzley in the fake Hermes tee and the fake Chanel shirt in the mix. Stüssy taught me the power of the linked ‘C’ homage shortly afterwards and Dapper Dan was giving rappers some defiantly fake gear that dared to go where the brands wouldn’t officially go aesthetically and locating itself at a spot where the average high-end consumer would be scared to visit.
Some of the best shirt (Duffer did their ‘Ducci’ and took a bite from Hermes too) designs over the years have been none-too-subtle designer rips and there’s a certain joy in the brazen thefts that don’t even feign legitimacy with phony holograms and bullshit disclaimers on everyday leisurewear. While I want the ’88 era MCM tracksuit that Tyson wore more than anything (which I believe is authentic), the spirit of loungewear with logos lives on in the Marriani sweatsuits with some phony Givenchy, Versace, Hermes and Chanel looks, with multiple branding to evade any semblance of subtlety via the mythical “Marriani Sampelle.” The tank tops and sweats homaging boutiques and fancier department stores (the Neiman Marcus releases are particularly fun) create a garment that never actually was and, in a curious way, they feel more legit than the logo gear the brands bang out specially for the outlet stores. Like Ghostface’s legendary truck jewelry (and as that interview reveals, you can thanks bags of wet for his finest moments) this gear is some Shazam mode apparel.
Elsewhere online, go check out the trailer for ‘We Out Here’ (an annoying phrase when it’s uttered by middle class kids, but hard to knock if it’s the mantra of kids from Brownsville) which looks like the best thing Airwalk have bankrolled since the Jason Lee pro model, this list of Nikes at Complex that will probably anger the kind of people who write more than 100 words in blog talkbacks, this piece on Western European basketball I done did for some obscure sportswear brand and LTD’s quick chat with April Walker of Walker Wear (who also schemed to start a Team Tyson line with Mike). Did April put the Air Pressures and Shirt Kings gear on Audio Two during her styling days? Fair play. This piece on brand authority by multi-brand veteran Bob Sheard that man like Glenn Kitson just sent me looks like the start of a fine series too.