Wednesday, 28th

Garments. Acronym A.D. 2004

Even though the big corporations have the money and manpower, we feel that just now it is more the smaller, independent ventures that are the driving force behind innovation on the clothing and footwear markets. Acronym is one of the best examples for this.

In May 2002 Acronym made its first appearance with an 8 page feature in Relax magazine, showcasing their now mythical box set "Acronym First Edition" (120 pcs in existence). Considering the page count and the fact that Relax had picked up on Acronym speaks for them, as well as the comments by Greg Dacyshyn - Burton, Hiroki Nakamura - Visvim, or Tet -
w)taps. Now, two years and one collection later, Acronym are travelling the globe to present their new line for fall/winter 04/05.

We're not going to squeeze in all the details of the new pieces into this limited space, we'll have a proper feature for this shortly. We would just like to show you a preview of what's to come. Giving you enough time to save on t-shirts or sneakers to get one (or more) of these valuable pieces of art that are Acronym's jackets, tops, pants, and accessories.

Everything about Acronym is outstanding: the design, the technology, the fabrics and materials, and the number of people involved: 2... Enough said for now, more to come soon. Acronym will be available from outlets such as: Colette, The Hideout, Union L.A., Recon & Hectic Tokyo, Ambush Singapore, Hanon Shop.

email for Information
Tuesday, 27th

Garments. Subsurface UK

Two weeks ago we were talking about black and white t-shirt graphics to show you how important it was to take great care in the design when you have only two tones to work with. All your design skills won't help you though, if you do not have the right garments and an experienced partner for the production process itself.

Subsurface handle all of these aspects very well. We were fortunate enough to be able to take a look at their latest collection and we recommend that you do the same. Often you are told by a printer that you cannot do multiple colors over sleeves/collars, that you have to keep to a minimum line width, etc. etc.. However, when we look at those Subsurface shirts, it seems as if none of these rules apply. At least not to them or not to their printer. The details are incredible, they don't care about seams, collars, sleeves, and they do combine quite a number of colors on one t-shirt...

It's always great to see that boundaries are being pushed. With developments like this, doors are being opened for new ideas. Subsurface have some excellent designs and teaming up with Protoype 21 as their producer was definitely a perfect choice and they are lucky to have one such skilled printer within their reach.

Subsurface UK
Prototype 21
Monday, 26th

Retail Space. Undefeated Santa Monica

After Slam Jam, Italy, we continue our series of outstanding retail spaces. This time we're headed almost halfway around the globe from Ferrara to Santa Monica, USA. Here we find the youngest child in the Stüssy/Union/ (Supreme) family - the new UNDFTD store (2654 Main St., 310 399-4195).

Like its counterpart on La Brea., the interior of this sneaker specialty store combines elements that reflect today's sneaker culture. On the one hand there is the sleek and modern approach to the overall structure (glass, steel, concrete) while on the other hand the tiles and wooden furnishings refer us back to where sneakers traditionally belong - the locker room and the basketball court.

Added to that, of course, are the athletes for whom sneakers were originally produced. Different sports are joined in oversized black and white collages that decorate the actual "shoe wall". Reminds you that these shoes were built for a purpose...

All in all, a concept that works perfectly, and which hopefully will be recognized by the customers, since nowadays it often seems that it would be enough to sell those ltd. models straight from the delivery truck other than to put them in a well designed store...

Thursday, 22nd

Printed matter. Autograf by Peter Sutherland

"I still remember the first time I saw graffiti. I was probably five or six years old. My grandparents lived in a housing development in a small town in Michigan called Colonial Acres.

My grandmother would take my brother and I for walks around a nearby pond when we weren’t too busy arguing over ownership of our Star Wars figures. One day, we got to the far side of the pond, and there was a small drainage ditch that funneled water into the pond. Someone had scrawled the word OZZY in large black letters with spray paint, just as they appeared on Ozzy Osbourne’s early albums. I thought, “Who did this? Why did they do it?” My admiration for such a flagrant act of juvenile delinquency placed the author of those OZZY letters on a high pedestal in my mind.

From that point on, I had an appreciation for phrases that were carved on school desks, bathroom walls, and picnic tables. Phrases like FUCK YOU or SLAYER RULZ or I LOVE PUSSY are classics..."

The above is only a part of Peter Sutherland's introduction to his new book "Autograf" (with an essay by REVS) which is currently showcased at Colette in Paris. Featuring old-school icons as well as the leaders of the new school, Autograf will confront you with raw and honest portraits (all tagged) of those who truely represent the spraycan movement of NYC.

Tuesday, 19th

Sculpture. Coarse Toys & Vans

Michael Lau, Eric So, or Tim Tsui are some of the names that come to mind when thinking of vinyl art figures. It's basically the game of these well-known heads and for newcomers it seems to be an almost impossible task to reach the level which these guys are working at.

When the first images of Coarse Toys' figures surfaced on various websites and in magazines last year, many suspected that those were digitally rendered. The details and meticulously crafted body parts and clothing were just too intricate. Fact is, that these toys were indeed hand-made and because of the immense working hours to finish one figure, they were also high priced. Only very few collectors were fortunate enough to be able to get these ultra rare one-ofs.

For 2004 Coarse Toys have teamed up with Vans to open the next chapter for Flake and Fluid (the two main characters). Together the two companies have produced limited sets of these figures that will be available from June at selected Vans stores ("Revolt" and "Pain") as well as through the Coarse Toys website ("Cream" and "Switch") . Besides being more widely available, this series will also be more affordable to the average toy collector with a set price of approximately € 120.

Tuesday, 13th

T-shirts. Black & White

Those among our readers who have experiences with t-shirt design know, that colors are always the big issue. If you're not going for the 4c/photo-print you have to keep in mind to stay low on the number of colors. Three to four is the rule of thumb if you're not aiming at a $40+ price tag in the stores.

There are some tricks - you can work with shades of a color by using a dot matrix or you could include the color of the shirt as part of your design. When it just seems to work out fine, you will notice that you would like to have more than one t-shirt color for people to choose from. Again, if you don't have the cash to spend on your printer changing the inks every half hour, you need to find a scheme that will work for various bases... Very often the result will be a compromise which doesn't really resemble your original idea.

Is b/w the answer to all these troubles? In a way, yes. The conditions are clear, you know exactly which base you're working on and you definitely know what the outcome will look like. However easy black and white might seem, working with only two tones will demand so much more from your design. We picked a few of our current favourites that will show you what we're talking about.

Monday, 12th

Sneakers. adidas Forum RS hi

Limited edition sneakers are cause for trouble these days. Mainly so for the retailers who have to handle the masses of camping sneaker heads and resellers. Whatever has been done in the past to ensure a fair distribution - quiet launch, raffle, etc. - none of these concepts could appease the growing annoyance or even anger on the customers' side.

With the new Forum RS hi, adidas are trying a different scheme: at their Berlin Flagshipstore one pair of this limited Forum hi - constructed out of vintage adidas track suits - is auctioned off over a period of two weeks. After the first week - on April 10th - the current price was disclosed. From then on bids will be kept secret until April 17th when the winning bidder is announced.

A few aspects make this procedure well worth considering: a) the true value of a shoe is determined b) by those who play the game out of love for the product and not for reselling purposes and c) people have to get away from their computers and enter real-life retail scenarios in order to purchase it. Unfortunately, the rest of those 100 pairs are sold regularely through stores like Colette, Foot Patrol, or Sneak Preview... Maybe/hopefully this example will catch on - at least until this whole business will quiet down and return back to normality.

Thursday, 8th

Printed Matter. Relax #87

The above is a detail taken from this month's Relax magazine. What you don't see is the little "NOKIA" header in the upper right-hand corner. From all of the covers that we've seen so far, this could be one of the strangest. But it's not only the cover it is more the fact that this issue has a 16 page feature on the mobile phone giant from Finland. Imagine being surrounded by something almost day in day out. Everyone has this "something" and uses it almost constantly (short messaging is a disease in Europe). There are ads in almost every magazine and newspaper - this "something" is just everywhere.

Fine, a bit of exaggeration slipped into the above, however, Nokia phones and gadgets are omnipresent. And while in general electronics are more the field of nerdy tech-geeks, mobile phones seem to have everyone fascinated (can someone please stop the ringtone mafia...). It's not such a strange subject after all, if you consider the popularity of cellular telephony. And with Nokia, Relax have picked a company with a exotic background, it seems.

Apart from Nokia, Relax #87 also takes an in-depth look at the Beautiful Losers art show in Cinncinati. If you're not able to make it there until May 23rd - you might want to get this Relax as a reference. Or try catching it in San Francisco from mid July.

Beautiful Losers
Monday, 5th

Sneakers. Hidden treasures

Every sneaker collector's dream is to find an abandoned warehouse, garage, attic, or cellar full of deadstock vintage sneakers. There would be some obscure models, some unbearable colors and some extreme sizes. A few pairs could be sold off but most would be kept, maybe displayed, maybe hidden from daylight to preserve their pristine quality.

We've found such a place - a cellar stocked up to the ceiling with one of the most amazing collections of vintage sneakers and clothing. Shoes that we only have faint memories of from when we were kids, colorways that even in the 80s were considered 'loud', track suits that our parents wore. It would take hours, if not days to go through it all and we can only give you a few quick snapshots now. One thing, though: someone before us found these gems, and put them right where they are now. The part about finding a cellar etc. works out only to the point where it says 'abandoned'...


adidas NZ. Every trefoil has a story

Sneaker culture is a global phenomenon. We've shown you images from all over the globe from parties, summits, and exhibitions. After L.A., NYC, or Singapore we'd now like to show you images of a show that took place in Parnell, New Zealand last month, where artists from all over NZ had their adidas inspired artwork on display.

Thursday, 1st

Beinghunted. FYTK.M.

From the second quarter of 2004, Beinghunted will run under a new claim - For you to know. More. The development of this phrase didn't come about spontaneously but it has evolved over a long period. With so many newssites, bulletinboards, and newsletters shooting info-bits into the aether, we believe that taking a little more time, giving a few more details here and there suits us better. That doesn't mean that we'll get too serious with everything. There will always be quick things, teasers and short notice announcements... 'First' was good - now, 'More' is better.


Garments. Infantile

Before we get too philosophical, here is a regular review targeted at younger parents or their friends and family. Infantile, a project by Craig Melchiano and Robert Kissinger, takes a cultural approach towards children's clothing, transforming them into little pieces of art. Better said - transforming them by applying to them little pieces of art: Their current line features a league of well-known and respected graphic designers such as Dave Kinsey, Evan Hecox, or Jeremy Fish. If you have resentments ("My kid will get sucked into this street-art-fashion-frenzy soon enough!") - just look at those pics, these kids are happy in their shirts - and probably know poopoo about who those artists are.

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