No update today because I’m busy selling my soul elsewhere. With ‘Air Max Day’ (possibly created by Mayor Quimby) looming, for which I supplied some writing, it had me wondering why some Air Max models have never made a comeback. The AM1 has been played out for a minute, but there’s other chapters that deserve attention — Sergio Lozano (designer of the Air Max 95) had one of his finest non-95/Air Mada moments with the Air Tuned Max in 1999. I recall going to short-lived club Home late the year that these released and the hefty queue being heavy with Tuned Max. Then, despite having some of the best ads ever, the technology seemed to vanish. Those Alpha Project designs were ahead of their time. When the excellent Air Max Deluxe appeared the following year, the sole seemed to switch back to the 97 unit, which seemed like a regressive touch, but the Air Max 2000 and Air Max 2001 (or was it the Air Max Ecstasy?) brought back the five-dotted Tuned Air. Three years of the same unit seemed questionable. Then the overlooked Air Max 2002 got all progressive and dropped tubular Air on us. The failure of that instalment meant that the 2003 reverted back to a six-year-old air unit. That always seemed like an admission of defeat to me. I’m guessing that bringing back the Tuned Max unit wouldn’t be cheap, given the weird piston-powered, multiple pressure, multiple chamber nature of that particular technology.
Before you waste your energy here, on the assumption that you like the same stuff I do I implore you listen to this podcast on the porn industry and its mafia ties back in the early 1970s. There’s a film to be made here regarding Larry Revene’s experiences with the mob (including the infamous Roy DeMeo). Sure, there’s some technical talk here, but the anecdotal content is gold, Ashley West is an excellent interviewer and Revene’s book is full of some interesting facts if you’re intrigued by the business before it became a billion-dollar industry (and that Linda Lovelace loop they’re talking about is not something you want to be Googling in the workplace).
This is such a rush job of a blog entry that I never bothered to look for whether the contents has been upped on other blogs, so I apologise in advance if it’s a repeat or a repeat. I know I spotted a blurry image on Flickr and while my copy is more creased than discarded park pornography (and I’ve already put up scans of the photoshoot on this site before), I Love Labels from summer 1999 is one of the last memorable features I can recall from The Face (actually, the Larry Clark piece a couple of years later was a good one too, so I’m talking shit), which came from an issue with a good Air Jordan retrospective by Fraser Cooke. The union of Silas, Inspiral Carpets tees, Le Shark and Moschino, plus Supreme (“…a kind of Gap for Mo’ Wax fans…”) is memorable and the use of the letters from the logos to set off each paragraph in the intro was a nice touch. (Insert paragraphs of “I miss The Face” nostalgia here, even though it would be a paler imitation of its old self than it was before cancellation).
Watching the BBC4 Bowie documentary at the weekend, the early 1980s footage of David Bowie’s Japanese appearance showed quote a few copies of David Bowie Black Book being wielded. A visual bio that’s got a few images you don’t see too often, Miles and Chris Charlesworth’s book is being reprinted for the first time (I think) since the updated edition from 1988 in July. There’s a lot of Bowie books out there, but this is one of the better examples. On that topic, one of the best pieces unearthed from the archives for the David Bowie is exhibition was a World Industries Corporation patch from The Man Who Fell To Earth — a great piece of cinematic corporate logo design.
This one’s for the shoe weirdos only. When it comes to online retail, once a fearful domain where my bank details disappeared and I was left waiting for months for product to arrive (or not arrive in some instances), it’s curious that I should get nostalgic, but most men’s fashion retailers are fucking dull online. It’s the same stock as everybody else, a blog tagged on with brief features as an afterthought and I can’t get excited at all. Sports footwear’s even weaker — exactly the same options, pretty much globally, where once the US got some unexpected SC releases and co.jp was a mystery, now it’s all the same.
Staggered releases, but ultimately the same old stock. That’s why I pine for the grey retailers of old who actually had the untethered power to surprise a customer. Now we know what’s coming in advance and shocks are few and far between. If you lurked on the internet for Nikes between February 1998 and 2001 (though it started in 1996 and was online until 2010), you probably came across Shoetrends.com, with its mix of older and newer releases, import colourways and no-frills looks, plus the biggest amount of Air Max 95s, Dunks (a couple of years before their wider release and hype burnout) and Jordan retros the majority of us had ever seen in one place. It was riddled with some of the worst clip art ever, appalling fonts and other strange touches, like this:
…but the stock that passed through the store’s inventory was pretty spectacular. ACG and Terra fans were well served indeed, as was anyone with a thing for visible air. Sure, a ton of the good stuff was always sold out and while the secure server of the store with the Cerritos, CA P.O. Box address felt safe, the import taxes purchases incurred were often brutal. The basic looks and mind-boggling stock beats a million sites padding out mediocrity. To this day, Shoetrends is one of my favourite sites ever. After an early ’00s dalliance with consignment selling, those terrible looks remained until at least 2007. In early 2011 when i went to visit, stock had been liquidated and it sent me to DeadstockShoes.com — the new Shoetrends,com.
In honour of the greatness of this site and because I’m too lazy to write much this evening, I’m retroing http://www.shoetrends.com circa 1999 and 2000 as a reminder of the greatness it peddled. Note the ’99 Air Jordan IV Black/Reds sitting around. If this gets you hyped, you’re probably a likemind. Waaaay before Nike Sportswear, that SC abbreviation had retros on lock. Look at this and try to tell me colourways weren’t better in 2000. Women still got some amazing variations back then. In fact, I wouldn’t begrudge you if you find yourself sitting there, silently weeping, pretending to buy navy and orange 97 by clicking blankly on the screen.
This had to go up, because I get the feeling that pre 2004 footwear imagery is being slowly eroded (this content has been gone for nearly a decade) and the ’95 and Terra Humara fans might get a kick out of it. Those Uptempos are no joke either.
On the nostalgic wave, salutes to T-Shirt Party for celebrating that market knockoff era of Spliffy, adihash and the mysterious Naff Co 54 (Naf Naf for tramps, basically) brand with their latest releases. So widespread that they were, undisputedly, British streetwear for those without expendable dough, T-Shirt Party are shifting them as a three-pack. Those from the UK and of a certain age will get the reference — it was never good, but it sure is evocative.