You know what’s more useful than listening to another wearying roundtable about hype, collaborations or other streetwear-related matters? Listening to someone who has made it in that world who’s willing to discuss it on record. A lot of industry kingpins move in silence or were raised in an analogue world, so it’s strictly soundbites, and Eddie Cruz — the man behind Union LA, Stüssy LA/Las Vegas, Undefeated and Supreme LA — doesn’t tend to dwell on the past. Continue reading CRUZ CONTROL
I’m packing for Paris, so this is being written in between haplessly trying to fill a Supreme rucksack with everything I need. There’s a few slight changes to the site because the old theme was too limiting. This serif font is a bit too folksy for me and belongs with those who read “journals” instead of magazines and “curate” rather than steal. Once I figure out Typekit, those serifs are out of here. My good friend Charlie Morgan made the Ben Davis Moomin after a Twitter conversation about my love of Moomins and Ben Davis goods. So I pilfered it and made it a logo. That is, until Tove Jansson’s goons come and get me in a headlock.
All I can offer the interwebs is an assortment of things I’ve just done. I just finished transcribing this conversation with Eddie Cruz from UNDFTD and Adam Leaventon aka. Air Rev — one of the trinity of sports footwear Jedis alongside EMZ and Chris Hall. Those guys represent the good side of sneaker obsession, but the conversation was interesting — how do you sell a classic sneaker with history to a 15-25 year old audience who couldn’t give much less of a shit about your cast-iron heritage and ‘80s subcultural props? Nostalgia is just for weirdos like me, and it’s not particularly profitable.
That’s day job talk though.
I’ve seen the fruits of a few freelance gigs appear online and on shelves lately. My hobby is copywriting. Some people run, some make model planes and others maintain a drug addiction while their colleagues and friends remain oblivious to their activities. My hobby is writing stuff and engaging in the process of altering it to the point where a client’s happy. For about five minutes I thought about it as a full-time occupation, but I had visions of having to write excitable promo tomes for Jack Wills and Superdry in order to make a living, so I prefer to work with people and product that I actually like. Insincerity is tiring – probably more tiring than a gym addiction, and I haven’t got the energy for it.
I remember leaving higher education with wild, idiotic dreams of being a scribe for the numerous cooler-than-thou publications stacked high enough to make the floorboards creak. That was back when I assumed that you got paid to write for anyone cool. Instead you get the school-leaver reply to money talk; “It doesn’t pay, but it’ll look good in your portfolio.” People are still using that one too on the assumption that more than fifty people in the whole world read magazines any more. Fair play to the industry for tricking itself into thinking it’s still important though. I don’t keep some portfolio either — I just have some bags of magazines in a garage sealed up by hand in a hapless attempt to shield them from rain and insect infestations.
So for me, writing is merely a hobby to stop me from becoming agitated outside of the workplace. Seeing as I don’t keep much of a record outside of Linkedin (and can recruitment consultants stop getting in touch about “retail opportunities”? I’m shit at retail), I figured I would celebrate some good things that I’ve been fortunate enough to write about.
GYAKUSOU for Nike Sportswear S/S 2011 was one thing I worked on for Nike— I just spotted the lookbook on Hypebeast. I salute Jun’s work for this stuff. It’s mostly too smedium for me, but it’s defiantly progressive. As a merger of what Mr. Takahashi does at high-end with something a little more accessible, it’s pretty much unbeatable. Anything that includes skeletal, barely-existent jackets with moisture-wicking pods is cool with me. I recommend the long-sleeve tees: the ones from the first season are some of the best I’ve ever owned. I can’t remember writing a blurb, but it looks like one of mine, so I’m assuming it is. The branding on that stuff is bang-on. After concerning myself that I may be getting typecast as “shoe wanker,” it’s been fun, albeit odd, to suddenly be writing about incredibly technical apparel. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write about anything ordinary.
The new issue of ‘Arena Homme+’ under a new editorial team is pretty good. Mr. Rory McCartney’s Art Direction is excellent, and thanks to Sharma and Rory it was pleasantly odd to see myself listed as a Contributing Editor even though I only contributed one thing to it – in stark contrast to futuristic footwear and jackets that look like androids, it was a piece on the fine work of London-based Antenne Books — a distributor of fanzines, magazines and books who put in sterling work. Shouts to Marius and Sherman. Max Pearmain and Ashley Heath have given the magazine a new personality, and while their editorial shakeups meant we get the S/S 2011 edition a little later, it was worth the wait. I also recommend the new ‘DAZED’ too. How many other style magazines would have a four-page feature on Frank Henenlotter? If you want to survive in print, there’s far worse examples to follow in the magazine department than these two.
On the t-shirt front, now that T-Shirt party is done, where else could I go? Andrew Bunney’s British Remains is a fun press materials project. Only Andrew would create a brand that has a handkerchief and t-shirt set. Mr. Bunney knows more about everything than pretty much anyone else I know. He’s an amusing person to exchange feedback with too and with BR moving into brothel creeper inspired footwear soon and set for sale on Honeyee, Andrew seems to be pushing he and Daryl’s project forward in a way that only he can. As an anti-monarchist I have to concede that I approached this one under the belief that the wedding was April 2012. My shirt is very much upside down.
Finally, Arc’teryx Veilance’s Spring/Summer offerings are out, and they’re typically amazing. Everything’s significantly lighter for the warmer months, and the lookbook coming in its own GORE-TEX envelope (like the trade show press invites last year) is a great way to see some writing displayed. I like this project a lot and writing about it is a fascinating exerience — Conroy at Arc’teryx is a genius in his field. If that sounds like dickriding, I suggest you go check out the product in person. I’m smitten with my putty-coloured Field Jacket LT. As GORE-TEX dirt magnets go, it’s a thing-of-beauty.
That’s my self-promotion quota filled for the year.