Tag Archives: will robson-scott



I’m late with the updates because I’ve exiled myself to NYC for a week as penance for running an online store into the ground. Actually, I’m here on a holiday. That means I’m not keeping my eyes open for product or any releases, but a few things caught my eye. Will Robson-Scott is one of my favourite photographers and filmmakers — he’s technically great, but he’s curious when it comes to exploring the harder side of life too — I think that fearlessness when it comes to his personal projects sets him apart from the rest. The In Dogs We Trust series was created in partnership with Ollie Grove and explores human relationships with our canine buddies (which is beautifully depicted in Will’s John and George), the age-old belief that they look like their owners. Shot across several cities — from London to LA – it’s being published by Victory Editions this March as an edition of 500. I’m hoping it’ll be kicking off with a gallery show of pooches and their human buddies. This is everything I want in a book and there’s more information here.





The most amusing stories around signature shoes like the Air Jordan don’t come via the people who wore them and want to remind us, in tiresome fashion, how they saved/begged/skated a pair…whatever. Who cares? Every thirtysomething has a Jordan shoe story of one kind of another, even if they hated them. No. the best stuff comes from the behind-the-scenes hustles, and Sonny Vaccaro (who was meant to be played by James Gandolfini in an HBO film that never got produced) was at the heart of getting kids signed by any means necessary. The sports marketeer who pioneered a new breed of shoe promotions that made the canvas and rubber wheeler-dealing of old seem ultra-archaic is getting an ESPN 30 for 30 that’s full-length, but broken into online only chapters for a digital debut. Sole Man premieres on April 6th via Grantland and the Jordan Effect episode about the 1984 Nike deal promises, “…a Hollywood story that features secret phone calls, a six-figure check, a mansion in Oregon, and a plate of ribs at a Tony Roma’s restaurant in Santa Monica.”

Finding out the inside story of how LeBron ended up at Nike over adidas (beyond the monetary one-upmanship) should be interesting too. This talk at Duke from a few years back is a good Vaccaro primer before Sole Man screens.


I was happy to help out on some stuff for Will Robson-Scott’s The Best of adidas tribute to the adidas Equipment range. The end result is an 18-minute documentary (you can see part one here) that features a few folk I respect that you don’t see on video too often — Peter Moore (who, between the adidas performance logo, Air Force, Jumpman and McEnroe logos defined the look of sportswear from the 1980s to the 1990s, even if he’d concede that he’s not much of shoe designer) is a hero of mine for his branding and marketing skills, and seeing behind the scenes at mita in Tokyo is pretty cool too. It all goes out next week to coincide with the reissue of the fan favourite EQT Guidance (the 1993 version, not the 1991 edition.) I’m super impressed with Will’s work. I genuinely hate a lot of modes of marketing footwear these days. I understand that attention spans are precious and that long-form copy isn’t the solutions, but a lot of comms folk would do well to understand why their brand is excellent, rather than some corny crap in the name of engagement or because a budget needs to be blown. You don’t need to be regressive to stay true to your strengths. I like this video because it feels adidas to me — it isn’t the same fucking faces pretending they ever cared about the shoe in question and I think there should be a documentation of the EQT project’s essence, because most bloggers and advertorial magazine dudes aren’t going to tell it. Speaking of pure adidas attitude, this Oi Polloi piece where Nigel breaks down his favourite adidas trainers is excellent — Hans Bitzer’s Viennas are probably the best bit.


I’m on holiday, so I’m taking a holiday from even attempting to make anything in this blog entry particularly cohesive. I forgot it was Wednesday, so I’m just chucking the contents of the tabs on Chrome and what’s in my Gmail up here — I hope it’s sufficient. Anyway, you shouldn’t even be here — you should be on Egotripland reading this piece on the making of the ‘Lil’ Ghetto Boy’ video.

One of the most interesting things I’m currently looking at is Will Robson-Scott (the man behind the lens on ‘Crack & Shine’ 1 and 2) and James Pearson-Howes’s ‘Top Deck’ project with Mother and London clothing brand Utile (all London everything) of images shot from the top deck of London buses. Having spent more hours than I’d liked to have spent gawping from double deckers down at London, the traffic choked leisurely pace has given me some interesting perspectives of the city and the behaviour of those who dwell in it. It’s a shame that I’m usually too irate to appreciate them, but Will and James’s images should resonate with any of us who aren’t stupid or rich enough to attempt to navigate it by car.

Launching as an exhibition downstairs at Mother (Leonard Street) on Thursday and being printed and collated in a newspaper format, ‘Top Deck’ celebrates a ubiquitous but oft-squandered view. Two years of dreary journeys documented is proof that we take our surroundings for granted and if I didn’t only use buses over the underground in a hapless attempt to save time, meaning I’m too agitated to relax and just absorb the overhead view. At least the Routemaster (and the new reworking of it) offers more scope to get lost in a flight of fantasy than the curious tension — of wild-eyed fidgeting loners, screwfacing women having to stand with a pushchair and sweating fare dodgers — that’s present on each and every bendy bus. Go grab the publication here or attend the exhibition and grab it while you’re there, but make sure to check out the tie-in Tumblr.

What could be more British than staring from a bus? How about a mug made to commemorate a UK hip-hop favourite? Like a ‘Fat Lace’ joke made physical, the ‘Serve Tea Then Murder’ mug from Style Warrior sees the makers of tie-in Brit rap merchandise with the nod from the referenced artists and labels shift from cotton to glazed ceramics. It started as forum banter, but now Style Warrior is taking pre-orders on them. Brilliantly at odds with the po-faced, harder than hardcore content of the record, the 1991 Music of Life release provides the no-nonsense imagery and lettering here. Consume enough caffeine from it and you too can be a No Sleep Nigel. While plenty of Britcore releases leave me a little cold in 2012, creations like this hot drink receptacle remind me of the kind of mad merchandise I’ve seen in Tokyo hip-hop outlets over the years.

In fact, the quest for the Sophnet Nike ACG Mt. Fuji jacket from ’07 in an XL led me to hero and all-round nice guy, DJ Muro’s King Inc. site and its Diggermart pages again. But I’ve blogged about them a couple of times before. What caught my eye was the bizarre key charm from Lil ‘ Limo in association with Muro and for Warp Magazine’s birthday last year. ‘Sesame Street’s Elmo in multiple colours with a ‘King of Diggin’ tape and 45 attached? Why the fuck not? Only in Tokyo could something like this exist, yet it sits alongside the Elmo that Raekwon cradled for Supreme, or Agallah’s ‘Crookie Monster’ as a strange piece of Jim Henson hip-hop tie-in. Anyone else remember the official Cookie Monster DJ Muro sweat with the crazed creature munching on vinyl. Nobody got quite as sick with the hip-hop imports as Japan did, and I’m preoccupied with the footage — from the ‘Wild Style’ tour to that eye opening 1994 Yo! episode where Fab 5 Freddy returned and did his awkward language barrier thing to look at amazing record stores, and beyond.

While we’re talking YouTube videos, every Onyx video between 1992 and 2002 is on there as a compilation in cleaned-up quality, plus the Bad Brains CBGB show from Christmas Eve, 1982 in better quality than the hundredth generation VHS look of most hardcore show documents from that era.

And for the sake of it, here’s a Shawn Stüssy interview from ‘Spin’s December 1991 issue. It’s not the most enlightening feature, but it was available and this blog entry’s lacking, so I upped it.


“It’s a graffiti book presented like a Louis Vuitton catalogue.” That’s a 10-word pitch that had my attention from the early stages.

Normally Sunday is a day for easily distracted blogging, with multiple topics in a single post, but today the subject is singular because ‘Crack & Shine’ went in with such gusto and have created something that justifies a certain level of babble

I always feel like a charlatan when it comes to writing about graffiti-related matters. At least I recognize my toy status — plenty of blogs take a tumble when the paint and markers come out, falling over themselves in a mass of hapless outsider analysis that rings false. I just enjoy looking at destruction and find it insane that anyone would risk their wellbeing to get their name on a wall, overpass or train. Glorious acts of ignorance are the best gestures. Sometimes hearing the writers talking about their motivation is the only way to go, and ‘Crack & Shine’s debut in 2009 gave some London legends an aesthetically beautiful but defiantly uncensored voice.

The BOZO DDS recollections in the first volume were phenomenal and Will Robson-Scott’s photography was stunning. If you have even the faintest interest in any “street” related matters and didn’t pick up that hardback volume, you made a grievous error. We’ve all amassed the core texts — the ‘Mascots & Mugs,’ ‘The Art of Getting Over’ (a huge influence on ‘Crack & Shine’), Nov York’s streams-of-consciousness and ‘Also Known As Vol. 1’s elegant presentation of total damage, but too often, the image-heavy train-centric European tomes that are (quite rightly) for bombers by bombers go over my toy-head.

I rely on word-of-mouth for the real book recommendations. On the Run’s output is extremely consistent, but the second ‘Crack & Shine’ with an international theme has been something I’ve been waiting on for a while now. If you don’t pick up ‘Crack & Shine International’ (named after the publisher’s preferred mode of no-frills, British approach to getting up) when it drops, then you’re making a grievous error. This is more hardback, high-end presentation of the hardcore, this time with a tasteful fashion magazine style art direction that makes it an even more compelling artifact.

The task of getting writers to submit their inner-thoughts for a deadline isn’t something I envy, but after several years of work the team have come through. As a sub-culture that’s prone to moans and online debates, talk of notable omissions is inevitable, but for Fred and the team to come through with the book they’ve been promising since part one was released in a world that’s a conversational elephant’s graveyard of product, writings and brands that never materialize is immensely heartening.

Themed on the wanderlust of artists with a hunger to paint, connect and develop a greater understanding pre-internet, there’s a focus on folklore and deeper meanings that’s not silly and romanticized, nor offering any sugar-coating or flawed sociology on why the scene’s kings do what they do.

The likes of ESPO, NOXER, TOMEK, SEL ONE, ROID, KATSU and NASTY are strong subjects as the book shifts from NYC to Amsterdam via Paris, before Berlin, London and Los Angeles. The squint-worthy lists of every street in each spotlighted city hint at a masochistic production process. Mr. Powers’s “If you can’t describe what you do in 10 words or less, then hit the reset button” quote is something to live by, ROID is a dusted genius and NASTY submits one of the highlights as he explains that he might have developed a “Spider Sense” against being apprehended and bookends that thought with plenty of common sense. Every piece of submitted writing is strong, with the obsessive-compulsive nature of writers ensuring that their message is lucid, with anecdotes to top the original.

But this is all giving too much away. 288 pages of premium content makes this one of the best books on the subject matter to date, and it drops in a few weeks. Expect plenty more promo around the time it arrives, but shouts to Freddie and company at Topsafe for creating something that tops a standard that they went and set.

By all accounts, the ‘Crack & Shine’ project ends with this one, but in an era of 140 characters and homogenized blog content, a project like this is even more essential than ever. Each image is gallery standard (the amount of photos that never made the final edit is staggering) and getting Stephen K. Schuster involved is a wise move too. Buy local and support ‘Crack & Shine.’ Did the paragraphs above read like an advertorial? Pick up the book and I triple dare you to tell me that my enthusiasm is unjustified in any shape or (letter)form.

There’s too much bullshit out there — I hope this body of work influences people to cut the crap across-the-board. Keep an eye out for the imminent launch of www.crackandshine.com for further information. There’s big things planned.