Not a lot of people that I was actually born in Paris. My Dad had a job that required a lot of traveling, during that time my mum was pregnant with me and unable to fly directly to London from Angola, we stopped off in Paris and boom my massive popped out! We eventually moved to London when I was around five or six years old. I spoke fluent French too but in an effort learn English to stave off the bullies at school I completely forgot it, bummer! I went back to Paris for the first time a couple years ago, primarily to attend Virgil Abloh first men’s runway show for Off-White. I was only in town for a couple of days but I really enjoyed my time there. There’s something about the serene nature of Parisian streets that instantly make you feel at ease, one after particular afternoon without realising I ended up walking around Paris trying to get lost for more 2 hours. It’s undoubtedly one of the best walking cities in the world! And according to this story on GQ Style there’s a brand new scene bubbling up, you can check out the rest of the feature here.
When Kanye West announced his intentions to make YEEZYs more readily available initially everyone was happy. You only have to scour the streets of a metropolitan city during the weekend to see that YEEZY is one of the most popular sneaker brands in the world, which probably helped its billion dollars valuation. Sneaker head culture is bigger than ever, back when I first started collecting shoes it was a fringe obsession you could never quite justify to your friends let alone your mum. Nowadays sneaker heads have turned themselves into self professed celebrities within their own little niche and it’s thriving. It’s a billion dollar industry but for some reason brands can get away with manufactured scarcity under the premise of “more hype, less shoes” but finally it feels like we’re reaching breaking point, hallelujah! You only have to observe StockX growing influence on the scene to realise there’s a huge market for fairly priced hyped sneakers.
The older you get and the more disposable income you have, the less likely you’ll be willing to spend whatever little free time you do have queueing outside of a store. The only other option you have is to enter a raffle for the opportunity to purchase. Some raffles are pretty straightforward, you click a button or two and bang in you’re in, others require you to like, comment, retweet and donate blood to increase your chances of success, fuck that! It’s not worth the headache and more likely than not you’ll receive a big fat L in your inbox on release day. Personally I think the ‘limited edition’ release model has devalued itself, it’s mostly the fault of brands who oversaturate the market with model after model of the same shoe in different colour ways, think Jordan 1 retros, do we really need to see another one? I would much rather see 80% of the so called limited edition shoes be made more readily available with less frequency, the remaining 20% should be reserved for the truly “special” sneaker projects think; Tom Sachs, Matthew Williams, *A COLD WALL, Fear of God, Off-White, Fragment more. This way brands will be able to provide the general and hardcore consumer with specific product without the fuss and ultimately without devaluing the final product. But what do I know…
Response to recent article ‘YEEZYs Are Finally For Everyone and No One Care’.
You’ll often hear music snobs utter phrase “you have to see them live” when waxing lyrical about their favourite live acts and no-one would blame you if you rolled your eyes back to the far depths of cranium whenever you heard such a saying. But there is some truth to it, seeing musical acts live usually results in you a) becoming a bigger fan of said act or b) questioning why you bothered going in the first place. Both reactions are equally valid, the sooner you can free up some room for new artists who can deliver in a recorded and live format the better. One such example is A$AP Rocky, I had the pleasure of seeing him live at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona during the summer. I didn’t expect much, if anything I was anticipating a bit of a shit show. During the early years of A$AP Mob I remember seeing a YouTube video filmed on a potato of them performing dressed in all white to a half empty arena whilst screaming over an MP3. If there’s one thing I hate the most about live hip hop shows is there tendency to “phone it in” and perform their greatest hits with a vocal backing track. It’s annoying to listen and ultimately the height of laziness. Luckily Rocky did none of the sort and delivered one of the best live hip hop performances I’ve ever seen. You have to remember he was performing at festival where people weren’t necessarily there to see him, add to the fact it’s open air festival, all the chips were against him to fail, but he managed to deliver a high octane performance (with special guests appearances from Skepta) that made me realise just how big of a star he is. Add to the fact that whenever a close up of his face appeared an the big screens hoards of women screamed in unison, reminding all the men in attendance that we ain’t shit, thanks mate! Although ‘Fukk Sleep ft. FKA Twigs’ is one of my least favourite tracks from Testing, I absolutely love the music video which released over the weekend. Alongside Travis Scott and Tyler the Creator, Rocky’s videos are easily some of the best on the scene.
I’m a huge Jordan Peterson fan. I’ve read his book and watched all his interviews, but this is easily of his best performances yet. Although he comes across prickly and dare I say aggressive, I personally think it’s riveting defence of every position he holds dear, it sounds like he’s had enough of the constant media mischaracterisations and unfortunately the interviewer from British GQ had to bare the brunt of it. Although I don’t agree with a lot of her view points I really appreciated how she pushed and probed JBP throughout, Helen Lewis contributed greatly to the interview. Even if you don’t agree with many of Jordan Peterson’s arguments you have to admire his ability to debate an ideological possessed person hell bent on proving him wrong as opposed to uncovering truth(s). I implore you to watch it in its entirety!
It feels like politicians nowadays scaremonger more than they ever did in the past, the motives are complicated but for the most part it can at times feel like one big distraction after the other. I sometimes catch wondering “what should I be paying attention to instead?” Thankfully someone more intelligent than I’am has been mulling the same thing and for our benefit covered various aspects across three books. His name is Yuval Noah Harari and I’m sure most of you have heard/read is his most popular book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which chronicles the history humankind whilst questioning commonly beliefs. Next in the series is Homo Deus which I’ve recently got around finishing last week. I read for at least 1 hour per day but sometimes I don’t get around to finishing books, so towards the end of the year I like to revisit some books and attempt to finish them! I’m not sure why it took me so long to finish Homo Deus, I probably just got distracted, but wow, what an amazing book. I answers so many questions I have about the looming job crisis but also makes contemplate other things I haven’t thought about such as consciousness. I also recently finished listening to the audiobook of version of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by the same author, it’s a been a hell of a year for reading for me, I’m really enjoying it.
My fascination with Berlin is obvious. I love underground electronic music and there’ no better city in the world to experience than Berlin. Although the city is beautiful in it’s own unique way, what really captured my imagination is the clubs and culture that surrounds it. You could throw a stone and hit a club in Berlin this much is true, but what really separates clubbing in Berlin to any other city in the world is the culture. The community is vibrant and inclusive, all colours, races, creeds and sexualities are welcomed to a judgment free zone where you’re summoned can let go of your inhibitions and surrender yourself to the bass or lack thereof.
Back home in London I made the decision a few years to focus my energy and time to clubbing instead of going to dive bars. I had always liked clubbing but only did it 2x a year and usually to see top tier DJs such Dixon and Ricardo Villalobos. But with the rising costs of tickets in London and necessity to plan your big nights out months in advance it didn’t seem like something I could carry on doing on a regular basis. But luckily various underground promoters popped up and filled the void, now every weekend in London if you know where to look there’s tons of amazing raves going on and a 24 hour club such as FOLD who provide a safe spaces for clubbers in London, super!
The more I’ve gone out lately the more I’ve want to upgrade my “clubbing clothes” to reflect the dimly lit sweat box that most underground electronic music venues frequent. But from my limited research I haven’t found many options for dudes who wanna dress up but don’t want to go full Berghain, maybe there’s opportunity for me to design something and offer to the world, but for now I really enjoyed seeing NAKT vision of club-ware highlighted in this awe-inspiring video, you check it out above. I’ve watched it about 10x already and I think i’m going to stop now, i’m getting serious FOMO vibes, although I recently visited Berlin in September i’m already itching to go back after watching this video, ha!
It’s a great time to be sneaker head, gone are the days when collaborations were merely an adult version of painting by numbers, colour way flips aren’t enough to entice discerning customers, you have to them offer more. There’s no better example in recent years than the collaborations between Nike and ACRONYM, Off-White and my personal favourite Tom Sachs Mars Yard. Back in the day when I studied Product Design at Central St Martins I somehow managed to stumbled across Tom Sachs studio. The first things I saw from their studio was this amazing video called 10 bullets which focused on virtues of great studio etiquette, if you haven’t watched it I highly recommend you do, it’s great!
Their first Nike collaboration (Mars Yard v1) came out last year and it was one of my favourite shoes of recent years, it’s incredibly versatile and unlike other shoes looks better the more beat it is. If you don’t believe check out my pair below, i’ve worn these months at time through various weather conditions and they still hold up! They just announced the 2nd iteration of the Mars Yard now dubbed an ‘Overshoe’ it looks crazy and I doubt it’ll be as popular as version 1 but i love them and I can’t wait to get my hands on them!
Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Overshoe is available to purchase now on StockX.