I’ve got technical jackets on the mind right now, but I’ll up more on that here another day. Let’s cast our mind back to a time when the raised collar and extra visibility of a HH design was the stuff of dreams. I think the sheer nostalgia a Helly-Hansen jacket instigates makes folks forget how hardcore they were in the face of inclement weather. I imagine that they were pretty good for sailing in too, but anyone who remembers their reign in hip-hop and jungle, just after Nautica and Tommy seemed to boom, will get all emotional at memories of cigarette/spliff burns and un-fixable synthetic materials. Helly Hansen’s popularity wasn’t just down to aspirational cost and a degree of inner-city functionality — Loud-founder Steve Rifkind was paid to promote the brand and its sales boomed as a result, with the jackets defining the late 1994 to late 1996 rap video. It never fails to amuse me what difference a decade made — from the whitest ad of all time in 1984 to a former member of Brand Nubian as the frontman for a 1996 campaign (here’s another image from the Wild Cowboys and Hansen ads). After we all moved on, I don’t recall returning to Helly for more and I’ve always wondered whether the mansion and a yacht (rap nerds will clock the connection) brigade were alienated by the company’s courtship of hip-hop. I’m sure I recall it being sold in JD Sports for a minute, but I spotted it on a recent episode of The Deadliest Catch too, and I’m fairly certain that those guys weren’t wearing it because they paid close attention to Flex’s 60 Minutes of Funk.
Tag Archives: brand nubian
This is a pretty unfocused bout of blogging that would be better off on Tumblr, but it can stay on WordPress for the time being. I wasn’t aware of the ads above and below — 1984’s duck camo Chuck Taylors from an Olympic year when a pattern on an All Star got its own advertisement and the 1971 ad for their camo duck hunting parka (I never knew they made hunting gear), complete with some J Peterman style writing (“Your quarry’s doomed. You see it, but it won’t see much of you”) from a time when camo was for hunters, soldiers and crazed loners rather than aspiring blog-dandies.
Just when you worry that graffiti has become a carefully placed bunch of stencils depicting David Cameron bumming Bin Laden or something or a hapless Coca-Cola mural for the Olympics, it’s refreshing to see a different kind of Olympic runner out there competing in the 91 mile Bedford-Brighton race. I haven’t seen this much damage on trains stopping in my town and I’m assuming that it’s a mission to get some extra fame while First Capital Connect (or Thameslink to people that still call Snickers bars “Marathons”) is full of imbeciles with picnic bags, dithering at the ticket barriers and clogging the left side of escalators across London. Salutes to SLANG and company for their work and the KCRUSH tributes. I haven’t seen a train like this in a few years, but then again, I don’t get out much.
Greece’s Giorgos Lanthimos makes gloriously odd films with amazing posters. ‘Dogtooth’s was a masterpiece and ‘Alps’s eccentric look at the grieving process has an equally beautiful promotional design too.
The Trilogy Tapes keeps on bringing it — the R Kelly Devo design by Nick Relph for Hot Chip they sold last year was one of the best t-shirts ever, they recently linked to a Gherkin Records t-shirt — a superior piece of house-related merchandise — and the ‘2012’ design they just upped on the blog looks good too. Still willfully obtuse in their taped output, Will Bankhead is a don.
Like some curious crossover of the kind of thing I up here and something a lot more professional, my friends at Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear let me work with them (salutes to Leo, Nate and Chad) to amass some content to celebrate the last 20 years of shoe designs. I think there seems to be a hunger for content that might have been confined to a handful of nerds (like me) a few years ago these days — possibly down to a volume of content aggregation/unnecessary middleman sites. So far there’s been Force 180 Lows, Huarache Flights and Raids. Raids are a shoe dear to my heart and the shoe originally known as the Air Jack was accompanied by some amazing 1991 questionnaires with inner city kids (“FAVOURITE GROUP: BRAND NUBIAN”) and the original VHS pitch tape somewhere. For the oddballs who stress out over these things, there’s no Jordans in the official top 20 because they’re a brand of their own nowadays and suddenly stopping including them post-1998 would be odd. Check them out here. Wilson Smith, Tinker Hatfield, Aaron Cooper, Mark Smith, Tracy Teague and Eric Avar had stories for days.