Right now, the online incarnation of every men’s fashion magazine is putting up some generic streetwear list to get that traffic. Where you might once have memorised that moment Stüssy got a Sunday supplement mention or Supreme got the Vogue treatment early, it’s pretty much everywhere. Unless New York Times affiliated, not much of it seems to tell you much at all (salutes to the folks at Supreme and Palace who generally seem to leave bad rag journos hanging for soundbites, meaning it has to be some friend-of-a-Facebook-friend-of-a-friend who has to contribute some loose insight). Back when Loaded seemed revolutionary, it ran a 1994 four-pager that left an impression on me, talking streetwear with dons like Shawn Stussy, Rick Klotz, Erik Brunetti and Eli Bonerz, that starts with talk of the mystery Beastie Boys Slam City show and incorporates Curtis McCann and James Lavelle as models. Plaid shirts and chinos aplenty.
Between 1999 and 2001, Juergen Teller was Stüssy‘s go-to photographer for ad campaigns. Picked by Paul Mittleman, his images covered the brand in a variety of global territories. Having shot Kate Moss for a Vogue cover in April 1994 and on the back of his seminal 1999 book Go-Sees, Teller certainly wasn’t a rookie, but the decision to use him led to some arresting images that helped unify that new brand direction’s high and low-end positioning. Influenced by Comme since the very beginning and the daddy of the streetwear designer homage, this appointment seemed like a logical one (and Terry Richardson would shoot some subsequent ads). In 2017, the sullen kid with cheekbones in a hoody is pretty much a go-to for brand lookbooks and blog fodder, and for those with a budget, calling in Juergen is no surprise any more — failing that, a glut of tinpot Tillmans wannabes with a Yashica are ready to shoot their friends in a crap flat for free clothes. There were at least 25 images used in the Teller Stüssy rollout (The Face and Dazed ran a fair amount of them over here) and with some great Tyrone Lebon world tour work of late, it’s great to see that the quality control has been sustained all the way up to present day.
Bringing two longtime obsessions together, I wrote a brief cultural history of GORE-TEX for issue #8 of the Stüssy Biannual which is out right now. That membrane is something I’m insane about and I’ve been impressed by Stüssy’s output of late. Continue reading GOREHOUND
The abundance of 60 minute plus podcast conversations out there, soundtracking my working day, means that a lot of behind-the-scenes characters are getting their opportunity to tell the stories I’ve always wanted to hear — familiarity from another angle always seems fresh, instead of the usual assumptions or third-hand storytelling. Tremaine and Acyde’s No Vacancy Inn Soundcloud account is an informational treasure trove if you pick the right episodes. Chicago-raised model, producer, DJ and doer Lono Brazil’s name has cropped up over the years, but I’ve always wanted to hear his story in a more comprehensive way than the brief videos and bios on the web. Brazil was an original Stüssy Tribe member (Albee Ragusa is another Tribe legend I want to hear more about too). The self-proclaimed subcultural Forrest Gump has been in a lot of interesting situations at the right time, and his role at Capitol Records put hm in the middle of some very interesting mid 1990s hip-hop projects. We might focus on the youth when it comes to cultures, but with age there’s anecdotes and an abundance of inspiration.
Despite Bedford being my birthplace, I’ve long assumed that, despite being the longtime breeding ground for a lot of talent throughout the years, even minor recognition for the town was unlikely. One local hero is producer and musician Lil Silva who’s making credited and uncredited power moves while making some sounds that evolved locally into elements of some globally popular music. Continue reading BEDFORD TOWN
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
This blog is rapidly looking like a Patta fansite, but I love talking to those guys about culture. Plus Gee is one of the select few whose book recommendations I trust 100%, and this site is also transforming into little more than a set of gushing paragraphs about the printed word. A book just dropped that documents Amsterdam’s street style through the long-running Appelsap festival. Continue reading TITANIUM SHELVES