One of the fashion world's foremost visionary designers ALEXANDER McQUEEN was found dead today in his London apartment, an apparent suicide just days after the death of his mother, and the suicide of one of his close friends Isabella Blow, who discovered the young designer and helped forge his early career:Read More
Photographer RYAN McGINLEY has been keeping busy with beautiful, high-profile corporate work lately (see his visual tribute to the 2010 winter Olympics), and his photo essay and short film celebrating the new LEVIS x OPENING CEREMONY collab is a prime example. The legendary denim brand has laid dormant on the creative culture side of things for some time now, but under the leadership of new marketing director CHRISTIAN PARKES, Levis is now poised to reassert itself in a culture it has always been an organic part of in the coming years.
Kehinde celebrates the glory of African football without breaking a sweat...
Gearing up for the massive global throwdown that is WORLD CUP, fashion sportswear brand PUMA has teamed up with KEHINDE WILEY in a poignant celebration of African football. The company sponsors a total of 12 African teams, four of which have qualified for the World Cup being held this year in South Africa. Wiley created portraits of three Puma-sponsored football stars; Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Emmanuel Eboué of Ivory Coast with each player wearing their national team kits.
A fourth "Unity" Portrait was painted with all three players together, symbolizing the united countries of Africa. The players’ pose was inspired by a pendant Wiley discovered while touring the Continent. In the "Unity" Portrait, the players are wearing the Puma Unity Kit, a limited edition uniform designed to be a third kit shared by all African teams, symbolizing greater African unity. The brown pigment in the kit is a customized Pantone created by mixing actual soil samples from four different African nations—Ghana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Mozambique. The brown to blue color gradient represents the soil to the sky progression. In each portrait, Wiley captures the essence of each player using the rich heritage, customs and people of Africa as inspiration.
The individual portraits, measuring 5 feet by 6 feet and the "Unity" portrait measuring 9 feet by 12 feet, were unveiled in Berlin on January, 20 2010. The portraits will then travel as an exhibition beginning in February to Paris, London, New York, Beijing and Milan, ending in South Africa in June for the World Cup.
Born in Los Angeles to an African American mother and a Nigerian father, Wiley describes his relationship with Africa as “one of searching and longing.” Kehinde, which means “second born of twins” in Yoruba, grew up without knowing his father and curiosity led him to Nigeria at the age of 20 to retrace his roots. Upon meeting his father, Wiley completed a series of portraits of him, and later, in 2007, returned to Africa to compile a body of work entitled “The World Stage: Africa Lagos-Dakar,” which was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Kehinde's distinctive patterns (taken from local African sources) will appear in Puma's Spring/Summer 2010 Africa lifestyle collection of apparel, footwear and accessories. The Seven graphic patterns from Wiley’s existing work are integrated throughout the bright, bold, color-blocking patterns of the collection, including a limited edition Kehinde Wiley football boot. HAVE A LOOK:
Love it or hate it the iconic (and iconoclastic) streetwear brand SUPREME is consistently one of the most innovative and on-point brands on the planet. Its reclusive founder, Supertouch buddy JAMES JEBBIA is the driving force behind this underground powerhouse and an extended interview with the NYC resident in this month's issue of newly-relaunched (and much improved) INTERVIEW MAGAZINE provides the most revealing look to date at the man behind the machine:
JAMES JEBBIA IS SUPREME
By Glenn O'Brien, Interview Magazine
Supreme is a different sort of fashion company. Some people would call Supreme street fashion, some would call it skater fashion, but really it’s beyond classification. They make clothes and accessories, but they also make skateboards, and the skateboards are collected like art. In fact, they’ve put out skateboard decks by artists such as Larry Clark, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Christopher Wool, Nate Lowman, and most recently, Damien Hirst. Their shoes and other products are collected as fanatically as art. Sometimes when a new item comes in, customers line up on the sidewalk for 24 hours, sleeping on the street to be among the lucky few who are able to buy it—there’s a big secondary market for Supreme stuff, in part because it is produced in only very small quantities, but also because Supreme has just two shops in the U.S. (one in New York and one in L.A.), five in Japan, and they sell to a very limited number of other stores, like Hide Out in London and Colette in Paris.
Supreme’s founder James Jebbia was in on the first wave of skater fashion, partnering with Sean Stüssy. When Stüssy left the business, Jebbia opened up Supreme in 1994 in a small storefront on Lafayette Street in downtown New York. Fifteen years later, Supreme is at the pinnacle of populist youth fashion. It’s as big as it wants to be in New York and L.A. and huge in Japan. It’s got a renegade eye, outlaw good taste, and a sort of cult following that lives on the razor’s edge of fashion, art, and sport.
GLENN O’BRIEN: So how is the recession treating you?
JAMES JEBBIA: Our business is really good. We didn’t plan for a financial crisis, but we were
already working hard, trying to make really good product, and we’ve always tried to keep our prices as reasonable as we can.
GO: We’re seeing an interesting moment in the marketplace. I think it’s a time for new values. I think some of these empty luxury brands are going to disappear.
JJ: I agree. I don’t wish for anybody to go out of business, but I think there are far too many things in New York that really shouldn’t be here. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for more than 20 years, so three or four times I’ve been through things where it’s like, “Wow, it’s a tough time.” Ever since September 11, I’ve been quite conservative in what we’ve ordered. We’ve never really been supply-demand anyway. It’s not like when we’re making something, we make only six of them. But if we can sell 600, I make 400. We’ve always been like that—at least for the past seven or eight years. For every season, we put in a lot of work to try to create exciting stuff. So it’s not like in these difficult times we’re going to suddenly pull up our socks—we’ve always been busting our asses every single day to try to get it right.
GO: Was it like that in the beginning?
JJ: Not really. We opened in 1994—
GO: That was during an economic downturn, right?
JJ: Yeah, but we did good in that environment . . . It was really a different time. I had the Stüssy store right here on Prince Street, but Sean Stüssy, the designer, didn’t know whether he was going to do it for that long. He’d made a ton of money, and then I think he decided to retire. So I thought, Shit, I’d better be doing something else, too, because I don’t want to count on this. I’d always loved what went on in skateboarding. I’d never skated myself, but I loved the graphics—I really liked the rebelliousness of it. And a lot of kids who worked for me skated, but it seemed to me that there were no skate shops around. So I was like, “Okay, cool, maybe I’ll do a skate shop.” It cost me, like, $12,000 to open the store. Rent was two grand. It was like, “Hey, if we do five grand a week, then great!” We didn’t really do any business at first, but we did okay. I really liked all of the hard goods—the decks, the wheels, the trucks. But all of the clothing that the skate companies put out was crap. These companies had to sell to a wide range of people, and a lot of them were very young. When people think of skaters, they think of, like, the 12- or 13- or 14-year-old kid. But in New York, it was the 18-to-24-year-old hardcore kid who wasn’t wearing any skate stuff. They’d wear a hat or whatever, but they wouldn’t wear the clothing,because it would fit badly and was bad quality, and skaters want to look good and pick up girls. So we slowly started making our own stuff. It was a time when it was a lot easier to do that kind of thing. It was easier to make a sweatshirt in Brooklyn, or do these hats locally, because you could get nice things made fairly easily. And because we didn’t have to worry about appeasing a 14-year-old kid in a mall, we spent a lot of time trying to make the right stuff. We didn’t dumb it down—we only made things that we really liked. I feel like kids in New York appreciated that, and after a while we got a bit of a following in Japan and in Europe, and we’ve just kind of done it the same ever since. We’ve kept on that same mission of just being a small company, but really trying to make our product as good as anybody else’s and concentrating on what we can do well. That’s why I’ve appreciated you as a customer. A lot of people dismiss what we do. They think, Well, it’s skate, so it’s got to be, like, big baggy pants, cap backwards, big chain . . . They don’t understand that just because skating is the culture we’re working in, it doesn’t mean that we can’t make good things. Click HERE to continue reading…
NIKE has always given 100% of the proceeds from their innovative and comprehensive LIVESTRONG apparel & foorwear collection to the anti-cancer foundation LANCE ARMSTRONG founded in 1997. With their new "Stages" collection designed by JESSE LEYVA, the company has moved to incorporate the cream of the crop of NSW's coveted offerings to expand the reach of a program that has already generated over $10 million for the cause. Kicking off the lineup are reissues of some of sneakerdom's most sought-after DUNK and AIR FORCE 1 releases by FUTURA, MISTER CARTOON, and SO ME, all in the trademark yellow Livestrong colorway. Backing them up are the corresponding AIR MAX PACK (Ones, 90s, and 180s), the new hybrid EVERYDAY LUNAR RACER, the CUTTERS PACK TIEMPO created especially for urban fixed gear cyclists, the original LUNAR RACER, the rare FOOTSCAPE WOVEN, and apparel pieces like the M-65 and FIREFLY jackets. First offerings hit shelves in the coming months with lots more surprises to come. Stay tuned to ST for updates on the way. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More
We've said it many times before on ST: We don't do streetwear collabs here, but this one's bulletproof (and guaranteed to leave a nation of young sneakerhead zombies scratching their heads wondering who LOU REED is). Too bad the old man’s not still in his "Transformer" period...
Supertouch homies RVCA have teamed up with anti-supermodel ERIN WASSON to create a new line of womenswear that premiered at FASHION WEEK in NYC on February 18th at the Milk Studios Penthouse to critical acclaim. A native of Dallas, Texas, the 27-year-old has become the bad girl of fashion that Kate Moss wishes she actually was with her take-no-prisoners approach to style. The show attracted a crew of hipsters and tastemakers who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with fashionistas to catch sight of Wasson’s to-die-for frame as much as the new gear she and her cadre of drool-worthy models were wearing.Read More
Graffiti writer and artist ESPO (aka: Stephen Powers) weighs in with his thoughts on the so-called world of "street art" with his January design for monthly T-shirt subscription service, T-SHIRT MONTHLY. Subscribe now and wear yours with pride...
Must-have OBAMA streetwear on the streets of DC...
Undoubtedly, a legion of young hipsters, streetwear fashionistas, and luxury goods junkies would be left scratching their heads in bewilderment if pressed to elaborate on the legacy of STEPHEN SPROUSE. Luckily, the legendary downtown art shrine known as DEITCH PROJECTS, in collaboration with Parisian luxury brand LOUIS VUITTON has provided an immersive introduction to the late artist's indelible legacy in the form of their epic "Rock on Mars" retrospective exhibition that opened its doors to a cadre of NYC's illuminati last nite. A pioneering designer who cut his teeth in the fertile late '70s & early '80s downtown scene (his earliest client was downstairs neighbor Debbie Harry), Sprouse daringly infused day-glo graphic elements of crucial counterculture scenes like graffiti, punk, and hippies into an array of groundbreaking and always rock-centric fashion statements over the course of his roughly 20 year career. Forever plagued by soaring highs and crushing financial lows, the designer was rescued from the brink of obscurity by Marc Jacobs when the designer tapped him to create a new line of instantly sold-out designs for Louis Vuitton in 2001, effectively revitalizing his name in the process. Unfortunately, lung cancer would claim the Sprouse's life in 2004 exactly at the precipice of a major comeback that would never be. Funded by Louis Vuitton as a grand homage to the oft-underappreciated visionary, the Deitch exhibition collected previously unshown fine artworks originally created by Sprouse for an unrealized show called "Rock on Mars," with vintage fashion drawings and iconic clothing designs to provide the most comprehensive overview of the artist's prodigious oeuvre ever assembled. Opening to the public this weekend, the show is the first must-see event of the New Year, shining a much-needed light on an otherwise gloomy art scene still coping with the "morning after" of 2008’s crippling economic collapse. HAVE A LOOK: Read More