Tag Archives: byron crawford

POSING

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I’ve been waiting for adidas to open up the Herzo archive as an asset after that site they had up that was full of rarities vanished for no good reason. Fortunately, adidas seems to have seen the light and launched a site — adidas archive is a nicely collated mass of shoe images, rare prototypes and samples (complete with notes on the uppers) and old ads. There’s a 1989 TV ad in there that’s incredibly Germanic and indicative of its era, a rare adicolor spot, ice hockey boots, a 1961 catalogue, some insanely rugged looking 1934 hiking boots and plenty more. It’s the sort of thing I could spend a great deal of time browsing. I never knew the Adilette flip-flop dated back to 1972, but now I do. Folks right now are on a quest to eat up information like a fatso inhales biscuits and regurgitate it like they’re supermodels, so the more brands can put up there to showcase their histories and stories, the better.

My first ever copywriting jobs were for adidas, and back then I was disappointed that the brand’s incredible history was only being hinted at beyond some great little ZX, Originals apparel and tennis shoe campaigns. This site is great and if you don’t respect this company’s legacy, there’s not a lot I can do for you. While I anticipated great things from the RL Vintage Tumblr and website, very little has been updated at time-of-writing. I hope the adidas archive gets the updates it deserves. While I knew that Dikembe “Who wants to sex?” Mutombo’s adidas line was bigger than just some shoes, looking at a 1993 catalogue on the archive site, I had no idea how much apparel and accessories bearing the big man’s print were planned — it was an Air Jordan-scale exercise and 20 years on, with a retro of the shoe looming, I wonder if — in a world dominated by animal prints and throwback looks – that apparel will make a comeback too?

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On the print topic, Japan’s Minotaur brand (who, with their mastery of technical outerwear and bookshop, leave me pleasantly befuddled, as the best brands always do) are continuing their long-running relationship with JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to put some satellite imagery as all-over prints on jackets. What? You never wanted a reversible jacket with a picture of a Belize coral reef shot from space all over it? What’s wrong with you? Actually, it had never crossed my mind, but this is an amazing creation with a high concept (literally) applied to it. Salutes to brands like Minotaur for creating the alternative to another poorly executed camo on a coat.

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Remember — ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Check out the characters frequenting Kings Road in this footage from 1980’s Posers — the New Romantics of Rock N’roll Fashion documentary that had fashion and sociology mastermind Ted Polhemus involved and Gladiators‘ commentary king John Sachs on narration. I’d seen the punks at BOY London footage before, but not this documentary in its entirety. Plus it has European Man by Landscape blasting, men in mascara moving like robots and some very rare club footage from Philip Sallon’s Planets spot in Piccadilly where Boy George used to DJ. It’s a good way to spend 23 minutes. Salutes to WL1964 for the upload.



Byron Crawford’s second book, the Rick Ross baiting Infinite Crab Meats, is on Amazon for £1.99 in digital form. In a world where rap journalists are more shook than ever about dismissing anything, dedicate videos to discussing a solitary MP3 and seem to be facing their own mortality by hopping on music that’s for an audience half their age 3 months after kids get into it, Byron writes like a man who has nothing to lose. Rumours, facts and discussions of blogging for a living, scandal, indie rapper encounters, Chief Keef, podcasts, rapey hipsters, the state of journalism and more is pleasantly reckless couple of hours’ reading. Somebody actually having an opinion is a novelty and Crawford applying common sense (as well as some incendiary opinions) to a strange and stupid world makes this book pretty fucking compelling.

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Steve Bryden and Sofarok have reminded me how powerful the imagery within the The Face‘s November 1991 (Vic and Bob cover) is, via Norman Watson who also shot the greatest Wu Tang session ever for Vibe. When the cold snap ends, the streets will be awash with Nike Air Huarache reissues. The New Skool shoot featured Chrome Angelz’ Zaki Dee showing everybody how to wear some laceless Huaraches properly as well as some folks in Pervert and Hysteric Glamour. Somebody really needs to put out a book of The Face‘s finest moments, because moments like this were pivotal street style moments for outsider townies like me rubbernecking via magazines rather than being involved.

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CLOTHES

Another MacBook is unleashing the spinning wheel, so I’m using an Acer that doesn’t have PhotoShop and doesn’t seem to want to accept the card from my camera. So you can make do with over stylised, untrustworthy Instagram shots with the filters that make terrible things look acceptable. I’m grateful that as yet, no magic haze has made writing look much better, though we hobbyist copywriters were hit by nobody actually reading anything over two sentences any more and people trying to tell us to write with Google in mind, so I think we’re all equally screwed by social media in 2012. I visited Jacket Required on Friday and got to wander around a tradeshow devoid of men who look like Zucchero and the guy from Nightcrawlers wielding multiple Wrangler and Superdry goodie bags. There were plenty of beige and camo things on display, plus lots of people seemed to be doing animal printed Y’OH-alikes without Kara’s reference points, but highlights came from Wood Wood’s technical-looking, sporty stuff, Our Legacy’s athletic pieces and Soulland’s Versace faux house of Soulland style sweats.

Lots of colour, lots of embroidery and a look of diffusion line that should set of something in the head of multiple generations who grew up desperate to amass labels. Soulland make beautiful, brilliant clothes and Silas Adler just gets it – I would have thought this brand was amazing for collaborating with Jacob Holdt a few years back, but for continually evolving, surely it’s due to blow up imminently? The orange sweat in particular had me bugging out the most. The blogs are about to go wild for technical apparel (which only a handful of factories in the world can execute properly) and food, but these sweats hit the sweet spot between older brother wear nostalgia and simply being bold and brilliant and confident in those tonal embroideries. US men’s magazines are all over Scandinavia at the moment, but they make it sound like little more than blonde women, slicked back hair, beards and rolled up pants, which I suppose it is, but additionally the clothing coming out of there leaves your heritage brand sprawling by evolving into the perfect mix of basics, avant-garde and detail.

What also had me hyped (though it wasn’t necessarily on display) was the UK-made Palace gear. Being a non-skater doofus who still wears the shirts, I was accosted with regards to the source of my Palace shirt during my recent NYC holiday and the brand seems to have gathered hype at an alarming rate. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch either. See those eBay prices for the Chanel tribute sweats? The way the Trail Blazers snapback is everywhere and how the afterthought New York Giants tee became a bestseller? Crazy. Now the brand has been bootlegged multiple times, people seem to think the comedy surf line is a fake too, but they’re mistaken. British made shirts (are we allowed to use that term “cut and sew” with its visions of gun print tee brands switching to preppy chambrays and chinos really badly?), jackets, plus trousers and other stuff is a nice expansion of the Palace brand and a nice Tango slap to anyone who thought it was just about bolshy screenprints. That’s’s something to look forward to over the next month.

If you know central London, you know that Camissa & Son does the best sandwich in the area at a good price. My friends at Slam City know that and they’ve contributed that recommendation to Vans’ Syndicate newspaper, ‘These Days’. I’m on Syndicate’s dick because it always gets things right. That LXVI stuff? I’m not convinced yet, but Syndicate’s packaging, risky choice of collaborators and hard-core approach to distribution is always appreciated. Their paper (supplied to me by Mr Charles Morgan) reminds me of Berlin’s fine ‘Aspekt Ratio’ in its broadsheet execution, but the lengthy Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen interview, guide to making your own tattoo machine, W(Taps’ TET on his first Vans (a pair of Sk8 His), an Ice-T interview (bringing the whole $YNDICATE thing full circle), chat with skate ‘zine legend Gary Scott Davis and a Mike Hill Alien Workshop design retrospective are all tremendous. I know creating a tangible piece of print media is this year’s equivalent of the dull video lookbook and teaser, but this is absorbing, passionate content that should resonate with multiple generations.

Lots of people hate Byron Crawford, but you can’t deny that his musings are the perfect antidote to a world where everybody’s toadying with hip-hop so they don’t get locked out the listening party. He’s just put out a Kindle book, ‘Mindset of a Champion: Your Favorite Rapper’s Least Favorite Book’ charting his rise from proto-blogger to-day jobber and internet, sorry, internets, star. It reads like one vast, sprawling, semi-proofed blog entry, but it’s a fun read. Crawford has a knack for capturing mundanity that matches his appetite for controversy (“KRS-One himself has never been on crack, as far as I know. he’s just crack-ish. he used to be homeless. He’s know for making off the wall statements.”) and there’s tales of rap board wars, talkbacks and hip-hop journalism that justify the £2 outlay within just a couple of chapters.

This interview with Brent Rollins is excellent. Like me, he wishes he came up with the UNDFTD logo, but unlike me, he’s a design genius and it’s revealed that he’s the Jordan IV and orange sock dude on the ‘Do the Right Thing’ poster. On a Complex-related note, this rant from the perspective of some chisel toe shoes is also worth your time.

The Kate Uptons of this world will come and go, but people will still get excited about Kate Moss. Yayo footage couldn’t stop her and neither can any number of sket upstarts. There’s a whole book about her called ‘Kate: the Kate Moss Book’ dropping in November via Rizzoli delivering a full retrospective of her career thus far. Jefferson Hack and Jess Hallett editing, plus an $85 pricetag and 368 pages indicates that it might be pretttttttty good.