I see a lot of photo shoots that feature scowling people in sportswear standing near housing estates. It’s the formula that superseded men dressed like 1940s train drivers in parks for look books, but I’ve never seen it done better post-millennium than with french photographer Patrick Cariou’s Marseillais Du Nord shoot for the winter 2002 issue of THE FADER. Continue reading MARSEILLE 2002
Having been raised on old-world advertising, I understand that things had to change, but the modern stuff in the world of athletic gear doesn’t even come close. Across every brand, everything seems to be distilled into a two-word mantra of SPEED/STRENGTH/INNOVATION/TECHNOLOGY/COMFORT/CONTROL/DESIGN/FIT/CLASSICS followed by DEFINED/REMIXED/REDEFINED/PERFECTED/MASTERED or prefaced with REVOLUTIONARY/UNBELIEVABLE/INCREDIBLE. Two word blasts of superlatives are everywhere. I might take a William Burroughs cut-up approach to copywriting and see if it creates a classic. Continue reading DESIGNER BOOKS
Big up Kyle Lilly for uploading a little slice of locally broadcast hip-hop fashion history. Video Explosion was a Yo! MTV Raps style show that, as I understand, was screened regionally from Queens. There’s a lot of great footage from the program out there, but this clip features DJ Finesse getting his Fab 5 Freddy on and visiting the Shirt Kings store in Jamaica Queens’ Coliseum Mall to interview Kasheme and Nike (this seems to be a post-Phade iteration of the business) from the crew with a giant microphone. If you haven’t already picked up the book from a couple of years back, do it before it becomes extortionately priced in specialist stores or on Amazon Marketplace — it’s an essential document of an important moment in streetwear history. An expansion into London is mentioned here and it’s something I wish I’d seen happen. You don’t see a lot of footage of the Shirt Kings store in action, even if it’s a later version, so this is very rare indeed.
Given the glut of found footage films released over the last decade (none of which touch Cannibal Holocaust for a sense of witnessing something we shouldn’t have done and, with the exception of [REC], a couple of V/H/S segments and Chronicle, mostly terrible), you might expect this footage of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s former residence to conclude with the spirit of the legendary coach and inventor pissing down someone’s leg (read Kenny Moore’s excellent Bowerman and the Men of Oregon for more information on that) or making a waffle iron open and close. None of these things happen in these research videos by former Nike designer Bob Smith, but shoe nerds will love the guided tour by another Nike legend, Geoff Hollister, of Bowerman’s old house (featuring Bill’s son Tom and Nelson Farris), garage and some bonus footage regarding the creation of those iconic outsoles. This is gold.
I meant to up this here yesterday, but the gloom of being too slow and old with the keyboard to buy the Zoom Spiridon when it rereleased the other day dampened my spirit. Going forward, I might post more shoe-nerd bits here in this vein, though the cult of reposting and my own laziness might stop me doing that.
There’s something about the Zoom Spiridon that two solid reissues hasn’t dampened.
Released in 1997, promoted by Michael Johnson, and named after Greek runner Spyridon Louis — winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 — it’s a lightweight training model and a fan favourite from a golden age of design. It wasn’t the first Nike shoe to carry that name either — around 1984, there was a gold swoosh racing shoe called the Spiridon in the line that was followed by the Spiridon Gold a few years later. Continue reading SPIRIDON-DADA: A TRIBUTE TO A CULT CLASSIC
There’s a lot of pavement outside the gig bootleg style shirts doing the rounds right now, but I think it’s something that’s still effective in the hands of those who overstand the cultural touchstones they’re playing with Continue reading NERVOUS
For a while, Phil Knight interviews were few and far between. There was him having his lunch interrupted by Michael Moore, a Sports Illustrated cover story, that piece on The Word about his son’s brief rap career, some business shows, a scattering of speeches and that Oprah appearance. Continue reading THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION