Tag Archives: hermes



To commemorate 140 years of the Levi’s 501 jean, there was a visit to London from archivist Lynn Downey. But nobody invited me to see her talk about the history of the 501, so I’m not going to write about the video and other assorted PR stuff here. That doesn’t stop me loving the 501 though. Back before forums came up with wild theories on how to maintain denim to get the fabled fades, LIFE ran a feature on denim’s style status as of November 1972, accompanied by some amusing images — retired cattle rancher Ben Cambron’s custom Levi’s denim car seats are the ultimate in mobile denim bleed proto swag and there’s plenty of talk of a Gallic love for denim and the de Nîmes connection – images of Johnny Hallyday in double denim, cool kids in Paris and a flea market stand shifting jeans. Paris’ first real Levi’s fashion show was apparently at the Crazy Horse Saloon and there’s pictures here to prove it. Peter Haas, Levi Strauss — HNIC for several years and an employee of the company from 1945-2005 — makes an appearance in front of a San Francisco factory workforce too. The piece also talks about a Russian denim line called Super Rifle, which sounds like the kind of brand that’s still lurking in the denim hall at a Euro trade show. Happy 140th to a shape shifting design classic and kudos to LVC and Levi’s for creating lookbooks and video content that’s actually worth a few minutes of your time.






The Hermès’ Festival des Métiers is also worth the energy you need to commute against a swathe of old money haired people in colourful corduroys as you brave Sloane Square to visit the Saatchi Gallery. I couldn’t give too much of a shit about factory tour videos (in fact, sometimes, that plexiglass aura of transparency makes me like a brand less), but I’m interested in the Hermès’ brand’s legacy of craftsmanship and it’s one of the few brands that emerged unsullied from Dana Thomas’ Deluxe. To watch someone set precious stones, make a neck tie, create a leather bag or put a watch together from close range is absorbing and goes some length to justifying at least some of the costs. I took (along with everyone else who was in the vicinity) the opportunity to take some obtrusive iPhone pictures to prove I visited. It’s curious to know very little about a brand’s workings and then see it in this context, so I recommend visiting before it leaves London early next week. The Hermès’ showcase’s gallery proximity to an exhibition that showcases Boris Mikhailoiv’s explicit depictions of Ukranian poverty was probably a coincidence, but it created a disorienting microcosm of a colossal gulf between rich and poor.





Finally, a cover for the Slam Kicks book has appeared. With Scoop Jackson on board, I’m hoping for something akin to Sole Provider, but there’s few details out there (the book isn’t published until early 2014) right now. I guarantee that none of the 2013 Jordans will age like a pair of 1985 AJ1s.




“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.

Vol 3 31




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.


It’s CT party time tomorrow, so this blog got updated early. At my usual Sunday blogging time, hopefully there’ll be some puke stained streets in east London and I’m anticipating the usual wave of negative tweet feedback over the 6pm queues. It’s over ten years since the first Crooked event (for the launch of ‘Cavemilk’) at the Great Eastern Hotel in January 2001 that was pleasantly decadent, debauched and an introduction to freeloading for me. There’s some stuff that the Nike/CT crew’s cooked up this time that should generate some positive hype.

Today I’ve been preoccupied with Dr. Martens, Hermès, Japanese mooks and horror films. Before you go any further, read this piece on Hermès and the rumours of LVMH interest, complete with CEO Patrick Thomas’s shots at LVMH as he tells the Wall Street Journal they’re not compatible because, “Hermès is a human experience.” Between that and Rei Kawakubo‘s, “I don’t feel too excited about fashion today. People just want cheap fast clothes and are happy to look like everyone else” quote, WSJ was heavy on the fashion soundbites last Thursday.

Nobody told me about this Dr. Martens video from last year (late pass please). Usually I avoid brand-sanctioned videos because they seem to play out like marketing duties rather than offering much insight — the process of brand managing out the interesting stuff rarely helps either. I was surprised at how this one didn’t shy from naughty words or the far right associations that the boots amassed, and through that honesty it elevated my appreciation of the brand. Impending projects from the brand sound interesting, but if you want some extra sub-cultural Dr. Martens material, I recommend FRANK151’s DMS issue from 2008 (available through their site as a PDF) and this phenomenal blog post on the relationship between Dr. Martens and skateboarding.

Linking tenuously to that ’92 ‘Thrasher’ shot of Matt, I’ve been pondering old skate publications and this 1997 ‘Big Brother’ interview with Fabian Alomar is one of the gnarliest things I’ve read. Fabian went to prison for eight years a few years later and got out in 2010. This Crailtap interview from a couple of months back is an anecdotal goldmine that also includes an amazing Gonz impression.

If you’re a horror film fan (you might have guessed that I’m quite keen on the genre), you owe it to yourself to invest in Kim Newman’s ‘Nightmare Movies’ — the greatest tome on a single cinematic genre ever written (though ‘Destroy All Movies’ is still astonishing). Operating as a series of flawlessly written essays on the many facets of the celluloid scare and as a film guide via the index and the time Newman takes to dissect a film, it’s the best source of recommendations too.

While Kim bloodily impales some perfectly good b-movies in the process, he’s taken the time out to write post chapter notes that expand on each subject and incorporate a second half of the book made of entirely fresh material called ‘New Nightmares’ that clocks in at just under 300 pages, just in case anyone was looking to conquer Newman’s crown as the subject’s true guru. It’s the volume of video shop cheapies that Kim lists that really piqued my interest in the topic all those years ago, and I still spot gems in there that even the most ardent z-grade flick torrent-heads haven’t uploaded. Even the geek’s paradise that the internet offers can’t match the content here.

Now that cereals throw freebies in the bag as incentives because they’re a choking hazard, it’s down to those Japanese magazine book catalogues (mooks) to offer the giveaways that matter. Umbrellas, Moschino bags, wallets and some awesome crap accompany these publications, but have to concede, that despite suffering tote-irritation, I like the A.P.C. camo bag that accompanies their effort (with the ladies in mind rather than the men). I wonder if it’ll end up in a rap video like the Supreme towel from book #5 did in that ASAP Rocky video that led to free towel beef between him and Left Brain. This blog lists a lot of these mooks and their giveaways and even has a poll: “Do you think unauthorize ripping open of Japanese Mooks or Magazines should be tolerated” (93% said no) — serious business.