Gucci recently made waves online for a design choice and I’m not talking about their turtlenecks. These Gucci “distressed” low tops going for $870 had Twitter in disbelief.
They kinda look like a worn Nike SB Dunk low, so not the worst thing in the world. I have to think that the people hating on these shoes are either not into sneakers or have a problem with a $870 asking price for sneakers, which I totally get. I don’t think I could ever pay that much for shoes, but isn’t everything Gucci overpriced anyway?
What these fiscally responsible haters fail realize the trends in fashion in which vintage is so popular these days. I’ve seen vintage concert tees go for at least $500 in shops around LA. There are shops, such as Sean Wotherspoon’s Take Two, dedicated to selling used clothing at high markups. Nike has released many sneakers this past year with the vintage worn look and all of them have been praised. All the examples have insane resale value, in some case more than that Gucci sneaker and nobody batted an eye.
I recently saw these Maison Margiela in person. These are best described as trash shoes. In pictures they look like garbage, but in person they are so ugly they are appealing. These shoes retail for $1645, yes that’s right. These shoes are a total flex.
For me personally, I don’t find it desirable, to buy something that appears used. However I totally endorse wearing it in yourself and getting that desired look. The Jordan 1 x Nigel Sylvester was made to look like one that he wore in as he biked. Those sneakers are special to him because he skated in them, he has a special connection to that sneaker because he biked in them endlessly and he became pro BMXer. I could see fans of Sylvester wanting to get the sneaker, but I can’t imagine anybody else wanting them for the right reasons. You just want a used looking sneaker that’s a tribute to somebody you don’t care about? Why???
Nike recently revealed a SB x Air Jordan 1 collab that capitalized on the used aesthetic, not because it is made to look vintage, but because as you wear them and beat them up they change to a different colorway. They go from a a purple/gold color to the classic Chicago colorway. This really should make any enthusiast want to use them everyday.
I’m not immune to the vintage look hype as I customized my own Nike SB Dunk HI. The denim looked nice but after awhile I thought they needed a refresh so I bleached em a little bit and used some sand paper on em to distress em. Now I have incentive to wear them to really give an authentic vintage aesthetic. You like?
Although brands are just making what people are buying, “You should wear yo’ shoes!”
Big Baller Brand (BBB) is back in the news as pictures of Lonzo Ball, their lone athlete, covering his BBB tattoo surface back on March 26th. Rumors have linked Ball with Nike as he posted this IG message on March 23rd:
ESPN.com Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne confirmed that Lonzo had cut ties with BBB’s co founder Alan Foster when he discovered $1.5 million dollars missing from his personal and business account.
From the article:
“Foster has served as the business manager of all of the Ball family’s companies, including Big Baller Brand — which was formed as a limited liability company in 2014. Foster developed a close friendship with the Ball family beginning around 2010, when Lonzo and Foster’s son became friends as seventh-graders. It was Foster, Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, has said, who helped convince him to create a shoe and apparel company featuring his three basketball playing sons rather than allow Lonzo to sign one of the guaranteed multimillion-dollar endorsement deals that had been offered by more-established shoe companies such as Nike and Adidas.”
Surprisingly the outspoken polarizing patriarch, Lavar Ball, has had little say except for “I’ve always believed in the best in people. Regretfully, I put my complete trust in Alan Foster to manage my son’s business affairs,” LaVar said. “At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”
From reading the article it is good to see that Lonzo does have some good people in his corner. It’s always tragic to hear about a athlete that gets in trouble because he has a bad agent or financial manager looking to take advantage of a kid. It’s also incredible to kind of hear some regret on Lavar Ball’s part. He knows that he put his son in a bad situation by setting up this bad deal and it’s refreshing to see a different side of Lavar. What’s even worse is that BBB is probably bound to fail now. Without a star athlete to promote its products and with an “F” score from the Better Business Bureau things are not looking good for the brand. It just goes to show how hard it is to start a shoe brand outside of the heavy hitters. Maybe if you want to start your own shoe company, you just might wanna “Stay in yo’ lane.”
Update 4/3/19 Via SoleCollector.com
According to official paperwork obtained by NBA insider Shams Charania, Zo is suing Foster for damages “in excess of $2 million” and “funds taken by Foster from BBB…to purchase assets in Ethiopia in means of, among other things, secreting stolen funds.”Read More
Get ready to fight some bots, some moms, hypebeasts and resellers, the Travis Scott x Jordan 1 is set to get a restock May 3rd according to the often reliable app, J23. I remember being so disappointed watching this year’s Super Bowl, not because the game sucked, not because Maroon 5 is bleh, but because these didn’t release during Scott’s guest appearance during halftime. Many sneakerheads and I thought Nike would release like the they did the previous year with the Jordan 3 JTH, which released during Justin Timberlake’s performance. However they did the surprise release while the popular rapper performed at the Grammy’s on the SNKRS app selling out almost instantly. This is one of four collabs that Scott has worked on with Nike as well as his third Jordan. All four sneakers have remained super popular, the Jordan 4 was thought to be one of the best releases of 2018, his Air Force 1 with the detachable swoosh logo aesthetic have been used on other sneakers, and Scott’s name on a Jordan 33 even sold out!
“Travis established aesthetic, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG NRG “Cactus Jack” features a mix of earthy brown nubuck and white leather accented by an interesting backward Swoosh design. Another unique detail comes in the form of a hidden stash pocket at the stitched ankle collar. Cactus Jack heel embossing, retro Nike Air tongue tags and mismatched insoles serve as additional branding elements. Finishing up the design of the shoe is an off white midsole and dark brown rubber outsole”
I know that these are gonna be virtually impossible to get and although I’m not too familiar with Scott’s work, I’m definitely gonna try and cop these. The oversized backwards swoosh makes for an interesting simple touch that is unique yet also doesn’t overshadow the iconic Jordan 1 aesthetic. Keep an eye out for it on the Nike SNKRS app and enter yourself into as many raffles as you can and expect that “L”.
Sneakers, like anything else, go through design trends. Some are great, some I look back on with disgust, but something that i’ve definitely been loving is recently is the trend in sneakers using different materials and the fact that it’s being highlighted now with different colors so it really accentuates the silhouette of the sneaker. The first sneaker that I can vividly recall seeing this in is the classic Nike Cortez. In the picture below you can see how the shoe is predominantly made of nylon, with a suede top, and leather check mark. It just adds a different touch than an all leather upper and the nylon definitely makes it a more breathable shoe, which I’m sure was a vast improvement for runners, it’s original audience.
Probably the reason for this recent trend is Off White founder/designer, Virgil Abloh. Abloh’s collaboration “The Ten” with Nike that started in 2017 and ended in 2019, was probably the most successful collaboration in recent history, both artistically and commercially, as they look great, sell out instantly and the resale is insane. “The Ten” features Nike’s most iconic sneakers with a deconstructed/reconstructed look. Abloh sought to make sure that you can see all that goes into the sneaker construction and you can see all the materials and details that go into an everyday product. Below you can see a picture of my Off White Air Max 90s. You can see all the different layers from the nylon, suede, and translucent soles. Little details like the tape look on the check and the details written on the instep of upper pay homage to the original samples and the designers.
I can confidently say that “The Ten” line probably influenced the latest Russell Westbrook Why Not Zer0.2. What do you think? Sure the colors are a bit crazier, but each color highlights a different part of the sneaker.
Adidas isn’t immune to this trend as the recently release Futurecraft 4d ZX 4000 is a perfect example of this. The 4D printed sole doesn’t overshadow, the similarly looking deconstructed upper. Little details such as the two tones of blue used on the mesh as well as the lightly used pink stitching really make this shoe stand out as whole, whereas in most of the other 4D shoes, the sole steals all the attention.
Finally even Yeezy is getting in on the action as you can see this in the Yeezy 500 and 700. You can see how the different colors of mesh, leather and suede build upon one another for a unique layered look. If you are seeing these for the first time, you probably don’t see it as me and many other people felt that same, but trust me when I say these particular chunky dad shoes grow on you.
I’m sure there are hundreds of other examples, but these I think are a few great ones. I wonder how much longer I’m going to continue to enjoy this aesthetic? Tell me what you think. What did I get wrong? What can I add? Let me know!
With the first wave of millennials slowly becoming decision makers in the business world, Nineties nostalgia is back in full force. Many brands that we thought were dead, such as ESPRIT, Juicy Couture, and even JNCO (briefly), have made a comeback, in some way, to remind us of our childhood and to capture our money. Most notably in the sneaker and streetwear scene Champion and Fila have come back roaring in popularity as you can find their logos everywhere again.
I’m writing this out because I’m conflicted. I like to think that I really appreciate the nostalgia aspect, but at the same time I’m a different person now and looking back… 90s fashion wasn’t so great. I just remember big logos on everything, baggy jeans, turtlenecks, ball bearing necklaces, a visor, and cargo pants, all things I would never consider wearing these days, although I probably did hold onto cargo pants too long. Nevertheless I purchased a pair of sneakers recently strictly based on nostalgia as it reminded me of my middle school. I had been looking for a pair at the right price ever since I got back into sneakers, I finally found them at retail, ant they are the Fila Grant Hill 96 (GH 96).
I was so hyped to finally get my hands on these, opening that box reminded me of Christmas. I’ll say the quality is great. The leather was soft, the patent leather glistens in the light, it was everything that I remembered. This Fila retro true to the original, too true to the original.
Putting these sneakers on makes me realize how far sneaker technology has come since the 90s. The materials are just so much sleeker, lighter, breathable, and just overall more comfortable today. The GH 96 just seemed to be too bulky and confining for me to really enjoy.
I thought putting these sneakers would bring back the same joy I had in middle school and it did for a moment. After that though, it just became another sneaker of an ever growing collection, destined to be lost among the dozens that don’t get worn. It’s effectively a $120 paperweight. I’m not telling you not to buy nostalgic retros, do whatever makes you happy.
For me I’m just gonna buy the retros that fit my style now. For instance I purchased a plaid colorway of the Air Max 97 and I love those. I just got so wrapped up in the chase for the GH 96 that getting them at the right price was the challenge, not getting gouged by a reseller was the true victory for me here. Going back to these sneakers is like getting back together with an old girlfriend that you fought with all the time, but you had enough time away that you just remembered the good times.
What excites me in sneakers these days is the new technology that they put into the shoe or crazy and unique designs. The imagination of designers’ wearable art is what I find magical. I was just able to purchase my first pair of Adidas 4D Futurecrafts, I can’t wait for those. So before you buy those retros, think about why first.
There have been a few sneaker documentaries produced over the past couple of decades that try to fully encapsulate the sneakerhead mentality, but Unbanned: The Legend of the AJ1 might very well do it the best. This documentary was recently released on Hulu to stream and I think it’s a must watch for anybody who considers themself a sneakerhead or a fan of streetwear culture. This documentary shows how this single shoe changed how people perceived shoes and how the Air Jordan 1 would go on to influence culture from its inception to today.
A great aspect of the documentary is the host of people that they interview. You can hear stories directly from Michael Jordan himself and people directly involved with its creation, such as Peter Moore (designer), Phil Knight (owner of Nike), Tinker Hatfield (Legendary Jordan designer). We also get to hear the real story behind the “Banned” Jordan from NBA commissioner David Stern himself. He finally gets to set the story straight and tell his side of the story. There are also a number of influential designers and entertainers like Anthony Anderson, Kenya Barris, Michael B. Jordan, Vashtie, Lena Waithe, Ronnie Fieg…you get the idea.
Unbanned: The Legend of the AJ 1, is by first time director, Dexton Deboree. It’s a successful and seemingly unbiased look at a subject, which is more than I can say about a lot of documentaries released the past fifteen years. The movie effortlessly weaves all the interviews into straight forward digestible narrative that can make any viewer understand the importance of the AJ1 and maybe convince any naysayers to buy a pair.
What really makes this documentary succeed is that Deboree takes the time to first establish the the sneaker world pre-1984, how the social dynamic of the country was different, as well as give an accurate portrayal of Michael Jordan before he became a legend. Most people don’t remember, or know what the world was like. It’s because the viewer sees that, that we can truly see the revolution this sneaker caused. You’ll see some interesting facts like Jordan initially didn’t want to go to Nike or that once he was signed, Wall street thought that it would be the death of the company, to make the face of Nike a black athlete. So many things about this partnership could’ve gone wrong.
From there, Unbanned, explores the problems Nike and Jordan ran into with the NBA, and how the sneakers were banned, but Stern is also able to give his version of the “Banned” legend and how Nike took that and used it in the marketing of the shoe which made it explode in popularity. This was the first time a sneaker company sold the public a story to make their shoe a must have.
Unbanned tells the story of how one shoe man’s shoe became a shoe for everyone and how everyone who wears them has their own unique connection and reason for what makes it so beloved to them. I don’t want to tell you everything because you should watch the movie and learn some sneaker history. Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 can be found streaming now on Hulu.
Here’s the trailer:Read More
March 26th is gonna be much different for Nike and its fans. Much to the chagrin of many, Nike is doing something different with “Air Max Day.” Instead of releasing some hyped new colorways or collabs of its venerable Air Max line, like they have since the inception of the promotional event in 2014, they have chosen to focus on a charitable endeavor. They are asking that people donate new or gently worn shoes at local sneaker shops so that they can be used by partnering local organization to bring some good to their communities.
Sure this is disappointing for any Air Max fan, but I think that it is definitely refreshing to see a multi billion dollar company encouraging its followers to give back. I know I have a few pair of sneakers that don’t bring the same joy as the day I copped them as I’m sure you do too, so I totally plan on Marie Kondoing my collection to donate some pairs. The great part of this is that Nike has partnered with small local retailers. You can’t tell me this is not also a way of helping the small businesses, to get buyers into stores.
I’ve read complaints from the cynics that say Nike should just donate money directly to the local charities or why don’t they give money off a new pair of shoes for every pair that they donate and that’s just petty to complain about. People will always complain whenever a multi billion dollar company tries to do something good. Nike is trying to promote unity. One should want to give back to the community that they are a part of. If anything people should just try to flex their collection by giving a coveted pair of shoes away. Can you imagine someone donating a pair Off Whites just to show off how good of a person they are? I think it would be amazing to see quality footwear get into the hands of people that would truly appreciate something that we “collectors” take for granted.
Check out the details below, Direct from Nike. See if your local store is accepting donations.
”GIVE FRESH AIR”
With the launch of the Air Max 1 in 1987, a revolution began. In the years since, Nike and “Air” have become synonymous while expanding its loyal following.
Although March 26, 1987, marks the beginning of the epic Air Max journey, this Air Max Day launches a new chapter focused on taking action. We know that change happens when people come together. Give Fresh Air is a rally cry to unify sneaker culture around a shared passion to ignite change. Nike and our partners in North America will create ways to give “Air” to support local organizations and champion the power of community.
Starting March 18, 2019, donate your new and gently worn sneakers at the following locations during the noted dates. Each store is partnering with a local organization to give back.
● Undefeated (LA) 3.24-3.26
● Bows and Arrows (Bay Area) 3.18-3.26
● Laced (LA) 3.18-3.26
● Likelihood (Seattle) 3.18-3.26
● Sneakersnstuff (LA) 3.26-3.28
● Bait (San Diego) 3.18-3.26
● Saint Alfred (Chicago) 3.23-3.26
● Xhibition (Shaker Heights) 3.23-3.26
● Sneaker Politics (New Orleans) 3.23-3.26
● Oneness (Louisville) 3.23-3.26
● Livestock (Toronto) 3.18-4.5
● Ubiq (Philadelphia) 3.18-4.5
● Ubiq (DC) 3.18-4.5
● Kith (Soho) 3.22-3.26
● Kith (Brooklyn) 3.22-3.26
● Concepts (NYC) 3.18-3.31
● A Ma Maniere (Atlanta) 3.18-3.26
● Social Status (Charlotte) 3.18-3.26
This week Nike quietly dropped their new “Gold Ranger” colorway of their much overlooked Nike Element React 55 line. They look super clean and crisp, and retail for $130 and I have no doubt that these will be slept on by most sneakerheads, so you should pick them up if you see them. The only thing I don’t like about these sneakers is the name because these should obviously be called the “White Ranger”. Obviously with white, being the primary color, they should have gone with White Ranger as opposed to the Gold Ranger whose primary color is black.
I kinda both love and hate what Nike has done with the Element silhouettes. For those of you who don’t know the Element React 87 was ComplexCon’s 2018 sneaker of the year winner. It wasn’t the first Nike shoe to use the React foam midsole, Nike’s answer to Adidas Boost. It was a hyped sneaker considering the new technology. After the initial success of the 87 with the two original Sail and Antachrite colorways they followed it up with a wide release collab with Undercover by Jun Takahashi.
Those colorways are still highly sought after and the resale prices on them shows.
But to further capitalize on the success of this silhouette, Nike then released the Element React 55, the same shoe but with a more traditional upper (no translucent upper) and without the cork insoles and for $30 less. It seemed like a great thing for the consumer, a high fashion, comfortable sneaker for the masses, but that’s when people stopped caring.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love how these sneakers look, I have two pairs, and I’m happy to see it so widely available for everyone to get without a problem. I just hate the fact that hypebeasts hate it for the exact same reason, meanwhile last year it’s all they wanted. Not only that but they trash it like they never wanted it in the first place. It’s like that annoying friend that was super into that indie artist, but once they hit it big and got popular they stopped listening because they got too popular.
Don’t let haters dictate what you buy. So if you like them too, don’t hesitate to buy them, the React sole feels great, and the shoes go great with a pair of jeans, joggers, or khakis. There are so many colorways now you’re bound to find something that suits you and I’m sure in a few months time you’ll be able to use a coupon code for them on Nike.com.
Nike just released pictures of a tie dye React 55 and they look pretty awesome. They are said to be releasing soon and you should keep an eye out.Read More