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?
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.
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.
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.