Every now and again I put together the kind of thing that would traditionally be here for somebody else. My friends at size? asked if I could throw together something on Helly-Hansen’s moment in the spotlight back in the 1990s, and its subsequent trend-level moments. It’s kind of a celebration and cautionary tale. I’ll always respect the brand for trying to take that Nautica cash and embracing its hip-hop audience to the point where they ran HH Dead Prez promos.
“Got back to the mansion, to divvy up the paper/Helly-Hansen was the brain of the whole entire caper”
Q-Tip ‘Drink Away the Pain’
“I went from Helly-Hansen to mini mansions”
Mase ‘Top of the World’
“Had on the Helly-Hansen and a knot that was fat/Had the spotlight beaming on my Astro Black hat”
Quasimoto, ‘Hittin’ Hooks’
“I’m holding up for ransom, still rock the Helly-Hansen”
Action Bronson ‘Brown Bag Wrap’
Continue reading HELLY-HANSEN & HIP-HOP
A couple of things drove me to think about the Nautica jacket era this evening — old Gino Ianucci coverage (if you take the Chris Hall Champion homage, the Salvador Barbier Polo graphic and the Ianucci Nautica bite, you’ve got a holy trinity of sorts) and this great Proper interview with Steve Sanderson from Oi Polloi that dabbles in discussion of classic nautical gear. It seemed fitting to chuck this 1993 Yachting magazine piece on technical windbreakers up here (surprisingly devoid of Helly Hansen, though that might have been considered a weightier, more traditional sailing option.) This model is killing it — you can keep your normcore irony and pay tribute to this guy’s array of expensive outerwear, because he looks like the sort of guy who really would own a yacht and blast Hall & Oates from a Bang & Olufsen system as he glides across the water, quite rightly without his tongue in his cheek. And naturally, this stuff got reappropriated brilliantly.