Tag Archives: arcteryx veilance


I’m packing for Paris, so this is being written in between haplessly trying to fill a Supreme rucksack with everything I need. There’s a few slight changes to the site because the old theme was too limiting. This serif font is a bit too folksy for me and belongs with those who read “journals” instead of magazines and “curate” rather than steal. Once I figure out Typekit, those serifs are out of here. My good friend Charlie Morgan made the Ben Davis Moomin after a Twitter conversation about my love of Moomins and Ben Davis goods. So I pilfered it and made it a logo. That is, until Tove Jansson’s goons come and get me in a headlock.

All I can offer the interwebs is an assortment of things I’ve just done. I just finished transcribing this conversation with Eddie Cruz from UNDFTD and Adam Leaventon aka. Air Rev — one of the trinity of sports footwear Jedis alongside EMZ and Chris Hall. Those guys represent the good side of sneaker obsession, but the conversation was interesting — how do you sell a classic sneaker with history to a 15-25 year old audience who couldn’t give much less of a shit about your cast-iron heritage and ‘80s subcultural props? Nostalgia is just for weirdos like me, and it’s not particularly profitable.

That’s day job talk though.

I’ve seen the fruits of a few freelance gigs appear online and on shelves lately. My hobby is copywriting. Some people run, some make model planes and others maintain a drug addiction while their colleagues and friends remain oblivious to their activities. My hobby is writing stuff and engaging in the process of altering it to the point where a client’s happy. For about five minutes I thought about it as a full-time occupation, but I had visions of having to write excitable promo tomes for Jack Wills and Superdry in order to make a living, so I prefer to work with people and product that I actually like. Insincerity is tiring – probably more tiring than a gym addiction, and I haven’t got the energy for it.

I remember leaving higher education with wild, idiotic dreams of being a scribe for the numerous cooler-than-thou publications stacked high enough to make the floorboards creak. That was back when I assumed that you got paid to write for anyone cool. Instead you get the school-leaver reply to money talk; “It doesn’t pay, but it’ll look good in your portfolio.” People are still using that one too on the assumption that more than fifty people in the whole world read magazines any more. Fair play to the industry for tricking itself into thinking it’s still important though. I don’t keep some portfolio either — I just have some bags of magazines in a garage sealed up by hand in a hapless attempt to shield them from rain and insect infestations.

So for me, writing is merely a hobby to stop me from becoming agitated outside of the workplace. Seeing as I don’t keep much of a record outside of Linkedin (and can recruitment consultants stop getting in touch about “retail opportunities”? I’m shit at retail), I figured I would celebrate some good things that I’ve been fortunate enough to write about.

GYAKUSOU for Nike Sportswear S/S 2011 was one thing I worked on for Nike— I just spotted the lookbook on Hypebeast. I salute Jun’s work for this stuff. It’s mostly too smedium for me, but it’s defiantly progressive. As a merger of what Mr. Takahashi does at high-end with something a little more accessible, it’s pretty much unbeatable. Anything that includes skeletal, barely-existent jackets with moisture-wicking pods is cool with me. I recommend the long-sleeve tees: the ones from the first season are some of the best I’ve ever owned. I can’t remember writing a blurb, but it looks like one of mine, so I’m assuming it is. The branding on that stuff is bang-on. After concerning myself that I may be getting typecast as “shoe wanker,” it’s been fun, albeit odd, to suddenly be writing about incredibly technical apparel. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write about anything ordinary.

The new issue of ‘Arena Homme+’ under a new editorial team is pretty good. Mr. Rory McCartney’s Art Direction is excellent, and thanks to Sharma and Rory it was pleasantly odd to see myself listed as a Contributing Editor even though I only contributed one thing to it – in stark contrast to futuristic footwear and jackets that look like androids, it was a piece on the fine work of London-based Antenne Books — a distributor of fanzines, magazines and books who put in sterling work. Shouts to Marius and Sherman. Max Pearmain and Ashley Heath have given the magazine a new personality, and while their editorial shakeups meant we get the S/S 2011 edition a little later, it was worth the wait. I also recommend the new ‘DAZED’ too. How many other style magazines would have a four-page feature on Frank Henenlotter? If you want to survive in print, there’s far worse examples to follow in the magazine department than these two.

On the t-shirt front, now that T-Shirt party is done, where else could I go? Andrew Bunney’s British Remains is a fun press materials project. Only Andrew would create a brand that has a handkerchief and t-shirt set. Mr. Bunney knows more about everything than pretty much anyone else I know. He’s an amusing person to exchange feedback with too and with BR moving into brothel creeper inspired footwear soon and set for sale on Honeyee, Andrew seems to be pushing he and Daryl’s project forward in a way that only he can. As an anti-monarchist I have to concede that I approached this one under the belief that the wedding was April 2012. My shirt is very much upside down.

Finally, Arc’teryx Veilance’s Spring/Summer offerings are out, and they’re typically amazing. Everything’s significantly lighter for the warmer months, and the lookbook coming in its own GORE-TEX envelope (like the trade show press invites last year) is a great way to see some writing displayed. I like this project a lot and writing about it is a fascinating exerience — Conroy at Arc’teryx is a genius in his field. If that sounds like dickriding, I suggest you go check out the product in person. I’m smitten with my putty-coloured Field Jacket LT. As GORE-TEX dirt magnets go, it’s a thing-of-beauty.

That’s my self-promotion quota filled for the year.


So, print’s demise was down to most publications turning terrible these last few years? I can buy that. It’s a theme that crops up a couple of times in the new ‘Gym Class Magazine.’ I won’t pretend I’ve picked up this magazine before – I’d seen the covers of earlier issues, assumed it was a gay-themed magazine and then paid more for something perfect-bound and defiantly hetro that I never actually read. Stupid me. I was wrong about the theme of the magazine (but as Jerry and George were keen to maintain, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”) and I suspect I’ve missed out on some print fanboy masterpieces.

This magazine sits alongside ‘Manzine’ and ‘Proper’ as a fanzine-style affair that get more reading time from me than ad-heavy creations 10x bigger. Issue seven’s George Louis homage cover drew me in and the subsequent interview is excellent. It’s good to see former Pointer designer Rose dropping knowledge and the chats with Rich Boat of House Industries, Guy Andrews from ‘Rouleur’ and Simon Mottram of Rapha are non-fawning, deeply informative affairs. The whole publication is affiliated with the very necessary magCulture site and while there’s extensive talk of design and papery matters, it’s far more than that – once underlying them is the precision and obsessiveness of those highlighted.

The chat with ‘Monocle’s Andrew Tuck provided enough background and enlightenment on Tyler and the crew’s business model to bring back March 2007’s level of enthusiasm with regards to a publication I’d been stacking but barely reading. There’s plenty of ‘Monocle’ coverage, whether it’s jabs at the ideal of a perfect shopping precinct where an aged craftsman proffers a wave and update on the progress of your bespoke breakfast table as you wander towards a local coffee shop that serves jet-black espresso shots in a very specific kind of cup (I have been known to grimace at the monied twee-ness of it all) or fawning about the fucking podcast. But this certainly upped my appreciation for what’s clearly a lot of work – and the imitators miss the point somewhat.

Still, while the magazine is back in my life, the “Monocle man” in all his Aryan woodcutter finery and grooming can fuck right off.

A brilliant magazine worth supporting…and for once, you may find yourself actually reading something you’ve bought, rather than solemnly nodding at a picture of a coat. Those behind it obviously spend a lot of time preoccupied with monthlies, weeklies, quarterlies, bi-annuals and those strange labour-of-love publications you assume have gone under that reappear all-of-a-sudden with little fanfare. That preoccupation seems to have fueled some superb writing, editing and design.


Shouts to the Platform crew, Mr. Stan Still of T-Shirt Party “e-fame” and Nina Manandhar for being the sort of folks who put an idea out there and come through with a polished final product. Video lookbooks make me want to vomit up a lung and they feel the same. As a reaction they’re trying to bring back the street style video, with a nod to the olden days of that one good look on ‘The Clothes Show’ or the outfit that got the Mr. Normski co-sign on ‘Dance Energy.’ I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the project, entitled ‘I Saw You Standing’ but it’s certainly placing an emphasis on those who – unlike me – don’t spend their time twatting about on WordPress babbling about cultural pointlessness. Those are the people who make for interesting video portraits.*

Jacket and big boot season is officially here. Not a moment to soon. Fools complain about southern England’s light dusting of the white stuff. For anyone who’s been waiting to replace canvas and cotton with something a little gnarlier, it’s time to justify all those strange excuses you bandied around before breaking out the credit card. I’d like to salute Arc’teryx Veilance on the Patrol Insulated Coat for having some glorious contrast between GORE-TEX gloom and the burnt orange lining. The attention-to-detail is, as with all their output, unnerving yet unfussy. Even the removable lining makes for an excellent jacket in itself. Jackets within jackets is some cold-weather flamboyance. No matter how many different hikers come and go, the Danner Mountain Light as bought for £75 in the Danner factory store remains king. Even if the suede changed texture dramatically between left and right shoe. That Mr. Viberg himself lent Danner his Hiker design to make the Mountain is some old-fashioned industry buddydom too.

*On topic, if you want to see the increasingly ubiquitous merger of bearded man and expensive outerwear done correctly, check out ‘The Rig Out’s ’30th Century’ Man’ video online this Friday. It’s very good. Unless Glenn put in CGI robots and sorcerers during post-production. As with the above trailer, the soundtrack goes HARD.


After peeping the Nike archive, I’ve been pondering some near-mythical forays into the musician-footwear realm. While Nike’s emphasis in the 1970s seemed to be to step on adidas’s toes as much as possible (which is well documented in the book ‘Swoosh’), but it also ushered in some oddities that have been whispered in collector circles for a few years. The Yeezy? That’s new-jack stuff.

Next year that mania’s set to reappear, but looking back to the brand’s early days, in 1975 Sir Elton John got himself a proto-pair of Nike Bespokes—Geoff Hollister made him a multicoloured platform pair. I’ve never seen that actual pair, but the recently unearthed Cortez-sole, Roadrunner upper looking pieces—placed on eBay by an ex bouncer from a club that had them on a wall display after a visit by Elton – fit the mid ’70s year of origin by silhouette and described makeup.

That relationship seemed to flourish, but the later release for a full tour crew that seems to date to around 1980 with shades of Daybreak or Tailwind in the upper is a personal favourite in terms of makeup and execution. The fantastic Gallic video from sneakers.fr showing Edymalawi’s phenomenal collection offers a couple of extra musician SMUs—the aluminum swoosh runners for Rod Stewart’s band that seem to be on the same sole unit as the Eltons from the same era (the sole looks like a Nike Leisure’s sole). Imagery of the mysterious Bob Marley rastas that were reputedly made for the legendary adi-head still eludes me, but the Devo versions (again, looking like the Elton and Rod silhouette) are another revelation.

I need to find out more about the mysterious Nike musician rollout.

It’s magazine season again. The highlight of this month’s offering is a new issue of ‘Manzine’ that ups the content, stays irreverent (and non-cunty in that approach too) and incorporates a great pieces on the Berlin doner kebab, female pubic hair, nuclear bunkers, everyday glass design classicism, fatherhood, driving etiquette and misspelt names on Starbucks cups. It’s fucking brilliant and a hotbed of experienced writers let loose without being tethered by ad money or ABC circulation. The illustrated Oi Polloi advertorial is a highlight —the antidote to the solemn treatments to clobber elsewhere. That’s why Oi Polloi keep their lead while everyone else copies their buying policy. Just fucking buy ‘Manzine’.

If, like me, you insist on spending thirty pounds on magazines which only get a brief browse and you justify them as a future research investment, you’re probably deluded. Berlin’s ‘032c’ marks its twentieth issue by including a vast feature on Rei Kawakubo with an essay my Mr. John Waters to introduce it, an interview with David Simon that isn’t wooly like a Guardian chat and a great piece on Arc’teryx Veilance that lets Conroy make himself heard. Veilance is awesome. Soon, everyone will realise this. Having to travel to DSM rather than my usual news stand near Carnaby Street to pick it up was symptomatic of the strange, staggered approach to dropping publications that hinders casual discovery. This issue is great.

b Store’s ‘b’ magazine is still better than it should be too. A store’s magazine should be a glorified self-promoting lookbook. That’s how it’s meant to work, and I’ve never assumed otherwise. ‘b’ doesn’t do that—instead it offers product without the hard or soft sell. That’s supreme confidence. The piece on collectors is good, as is the Stephan Schneider piece. Obviously, the incorporation of Champion (which you should buy from the Original Store on these shores) in shoots is a strong look. Blending athletic wear and casual coats are in every spread I see at the moment.

Along with sunglasses I have issues with gloves. Padded ski numbers are a simpleton look, but traditional leather numbers make me look like a Nazi sadist or Giallo-style murderer. I can’t pull that off. Thank you to Mikkel and the Norse crew for creating those tan deerskin numbers with Hestra. My hands are safe as the temperature prepares to plummet, but this video from a few months back from the aforementioned Arc’teryx brand makes me want Alpha gloves from them too. GORE-TEX gauntlets are my kind of thing.

Here’s a picture of John Lydon in the PIL era wearing a pair of Air Flows too. It’s an odd pick…but somehow it makes sense. If there’d been a Lydon SMU, that would have been one to track down.


After prison films, college campus films are another of my peculiar preoccupations. It’s doubly odd to think of the rich jerks being sartorial inspirations. I favour the slobs. I still think the current brace of bellends in bow ties look like a simpleton’s imaginary friend and I’m still with Two-Bit Matthews on the state of trousers (“Hey check out their pants!”) these days. Still, I feel bad for you folk that spent big on ‘Take Ivy’, only to see a reprint turn up with English translation for next-to-nothing with an inexplicable K-Swiss endorsement…yes, the same K-Swiss that was founded a year after the book was published. You’re probably feeling like Carl Carlson did with the Stonecutters, “Well, it was a real nice secret organization we had once…” Shit happens.

Half of the biggest whiners are Ivy new-jacks anyhow, and the Film Noir Buff folk got there a long time before you did. I’ve been watching a few documentaries about the darker side of college life in the States too…honestly, the whole fraternity culture is baffling. Can’t you guys just form informal groups and get shitfaced? Does it have to be steeped in ritualistic twattery? Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland’s ‘Frat House’ and Billy Corben’s ‘A Question of Consent’ don’t depict youths in elegant clothes wandering from lecture to lecture in a refined fashion. None of that Ivy stuff here—just braying cretins in reversed baseball headwear hi-fiving and acting the tit. It’s curious to imagine that the attire of college students was aspirational. Things have changed, as to be compared to a contemporary student is sartorial slander.

I’d like to see ‘Take Former-Polytechnic’ depicting the hungover, clipboard wielding sports science students of Hertfordshire shuffling around in G-Star t-shirts with scarves, bootcut jeans and flip-flops. Even in an institution like Oxford, I’m reliably informed that the levels of atrocious brands like Jack Wills are extensive. It’s odd to think that folk don’t actually dress like Ryan O’Neal in ‘Love Story’, Wendell Burton in ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ or Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson in ‘Carnal Knowledge’s early scenes (incidentally, Jack’s “Answer me, you ball-busting, castrating, son of a cunt bitch! Is this an ultimatum or not?” line includes Hollywood’s first use of the C’ word). It looks like date-rape chic overrides the aspirational look of learned elegance in the real world’s campuses.

Those documentaries also had me digging for some hazing gone wrong b-flicks. There’s been some well-documented deaths from campus initiations—particularly in the mid to late ’70s—and in 1977, two films emerged on the topic. ‘Fraternity Row’ is set during Hell Week at a wealthy college in the 1950s. It’s surprisingly low-key, and if you’re some kind of apparel nerd, the wardrobe throughout might be of some interest. I was a little disturbed at the lack of visible breasts, ‘Louie Louie’ on the soundtrack, or general debauchery, but it you’re in the mood, it runs through some curious rituals pretty effectively. Even though it’s far from star-studded, it makes me yearn for a time when Paramount would afford the most budget of films with superb poster art like the above, but its flop status meant that it stays in non-VHS and DVD limbo. Maybe K-Swiss might show up with some sponsorship moolah.

‘The Hazing’ is also known as ‘The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse’ and is actually a half-decent b-movie based around a bad situation, hapless planning and a twist at the end that you wouldn’t see coming if I hadn’t told you there was one. Now you’ll probably just work it out. It’s all based around a hazing accident, but whereas ‘Fraternity Row’ ends on a moral note with a tragedy, this one pretty much commences with one after an excess of unnecessary near-nakedness. Both flicks really did disappear into limbo, barely amassing a cult following—more like an enthusiastic gathering, indicating that folk liked their university movies to be a little more anarchic, or at least heavy on some bloodshed.


Nike, your Terra line confuses me. It has done for a long time. So we know that the Terra T/C unleashed Phylon in the early ’80s and remains inexplicable un-retroed in the VNTG line, and Japan got the TERRA Rainbow. Conventional nerd lore tells us that the Terra ACG from 1991 was the only ACG Terra design, and that Terra would be reborn as a non-ACG off road running line circa. 1996 with classics like the Outback, Sertig and Ketchikan. However—people tend to forget 1992’s ACG Terra Mac or 1996’s ACG branded Terra Tor, looking a lot like the Nike Air Terra designs that would follow. Perhaps it was the Tor that passed over the Terra torch.

And getting a paragraph reflected in a pool of water is the new blogging. Odd to see something you wrote in these circumstances, but props to Stephen, Arc’teryx and team Firmament for putting this presentation together. I like Veilance jackets a lot.

Must-see TV nowadays is the done thing. You could blackout under the pressure of watching drug, sex and crime-related US imports where people do bad things, or simply act sophisticated. That teetering pile of boxsets is probably mocking how out-of-touch you are each time you pass it, like some shiny, less-bloody ‘Telltale Heart’. It’s not easy to keep up with what you’re supposed to be watching, and a fair amount of “edgy” television reeks of desperation. However—if you like John Cassavetes, jazz, awesome guest stars, effortless cool and old NYC, you should buy the boxset of forgotten pianist turned PI show ‘Johnny Staccato’. It’s as lightweight as much of the TV of 1959 and 1960 was, yet it’s hugely entertaining too, with John seemingly calling in favour after favour and making it fall in line with his characteristic quest for authenticity. It’s on sale now, and you can add it to that stack of things you’ll get round to watching when the flu comes-a-calling this winter…


Last year if you were short of a blog post inspiration you could just go and plunder LIFE’s image archives or go steal something from A Continuous Lean or The Selvedge Yard and add your own half-baked commentary on it. You could also up a lookbook that had been posted several times already, again, with a sprinkling of pointless opinion. But Google Books – aka. the print industry’s nemesis (don’t worry print, techno-book won’t replace pulped trees in my affections any time soon) just made blogs even easier. I plead guilty to abusing this online resource. Vibe’s up there almost in its entirety (a few holes in the mid ’90s), as is Spin, but the crown jewel is New York Magazine’s back catalogue. Shouts to Sofarok for putting me onto some pieces from the magazine’s past pages last year. It still packs a kick, with some excellent writing – the KAWS cover last year and the Dash Snow piece a few years prior were good, but over the years its been in the proximity of some zeitgeist moments by mere blocks, while we wannabes were soaking it up from a distance.

GWARIZM relevant highlights of a casual browse? A Valentines issue from February 1986 with the romantic tale of Futura 2000 and then-wife Christine Carrie, a tiny piece on Supreme from May 1994, a couple of weeks after the store opened, some coverage of the Phillies Blunt phenomenon from August 1992, a lengthy Ralph Lauren interview that’s actually picked from a conversation from the out-of-print, but pretty good (get your Amazon Marketplace on and you’ll find it for a penny plus P&P) ‘Fashion: The Inside Story’ by Barberalee Diamonstein on Rizzoli from October 1985. Mark “Search all issues” and bookend your terms with speech marks to stumble across gem after gem. Considering the excellent Rolling Stone magazine archive cost around £40, that New York Magazine hands it over like this for nada is a major bonus. You want more? Hunt down Craig Unger’s ‘Attitude’ article from July 1982, Unger’s ‘The Lower East Side: There Goes the Neighborhood’ piece from May 1984, ‘Prep-School Gangsters’ by Nancy Jo Sales from December 1996 and ‘Hard-Core Kids’ by Peter Blauner from May 1986.

But the absolute best part of a trawl is Anna Wintour’s work as then-fashion editor of New York Magazine between 1981 and 1983. There’s a lot of reasons why she commands such respect, but look to the ‘New York, New York’ shoot from March 1982 to see Ali, Dondi White and Zephyr getting involved – also note the use of a bike courier in the same shoot – prescient of the current editorial clichés used in efforts to look edgy. Go article hunting right now, right here.

But I’m conscious I’m dwelling on the old, so here’s a new concept – retrospective offsetting. To counteract the old stuff revisited, here’s some newness that gets me hyped:


I heard about this method of promoting the excellent Arc’teryx Veilance line at Capsule earlier this year. Conceptually a GORE-TEX envelope sounds like something Ghostface would mention in a lyric back when he spat lines like “Meet the black Boy George, dusted on my honeymoon/Bitch like my wife, she popped my Ghostface balloon.” As a result I needed to own this. Steve Mann kindly gave me one of these oddball promo artifacts. That the envelope inside it tough to remove is irrelevant – this is one of the best pieces of PR ephemera this year, and when the year is out, you’ll all be cock jocking Veilance. Trust me on that one.


Australia should, with that hazy, slightly sweaty atmosphere that comes built in with any motion picture shot in any of the country’s suburbs, churn out some brilliant crime films, but bar ‘Chopper’ and the deeply disturbing but necessary ‘The Boys’ (hunt it down if you can stomach it), the curse of the knockabout Guy Ritchie twattisms meant films like ‘Two Hands’ and ‘The Hard Word’ fell short despite their potential. Post ‘Underbelly’ there should have been a new breed of flicks. With good buzz after a Sundance showing last Summer, the Melbourne-based ‘Animal Kingdom’ looks intelligent, beautifully shot and deadly serious. This full-length trailer is slickly edited, culminates with a nice matter-of-fact typeface and uses Air Supply’s ‘I’m All Out Of Love’ to winning effect. do we have a potential classic on our hands?


Nike seem intent on getting you excited with their new releases if you got bored to tears with the Air Max 1 tsunami (Patta are the exception to that boredom) – the SFB Mid Boot is a more crowdpleasing use of the military technology the brand’s been pushing and it’s another Free soled classic in the making. Is it getting a UK release? Apparently not. This is to the Revaderchi what the Wildedge was to the Wildwood, even if, wisely, it steers clear of anything corny like ‘Air Revaderchi 2010’, it’s an update of both versions of the whimsically titled ACG release. Ace.