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.