Thursday, 30th

T-shirts. IRAK

IRAK is a graffiti crew based in NYC and was started long before it all began in the country with that similar sounding name (or for some languages the same name). "It all began" - ok, strange things have been going on in that area for decades, so we could get into a discussion about the context but that shall not be our subject for today.

IRAK have been turning up quite frequently during the past couple of months. We saw them in the book All Most Famous photographed by Kai Regan and produced by alife (one of our top 10 books for 2004), Ryan McGinley took a series of pictures of the crew, and then we watched as they invaded Stockholm together with their Retail Mafia buddies.

Before we get into describing the graphics and hypothesizing about their meaning, look at the slides and make up your own mind. Those of you who are familiar with Barbara Kruger's work might recognize the "attack irak" visuals. As always, we'll round up this piece with a couple of helpful links. If you're interested in finding IRAK's tees, drop us a note. And, by the way, the name derives from the activity of taking spraycans from a store without leaving money...

NYC Graff
Barbara Kruger
Wednesday, 22nd

Retail. House 33 & Commonwealth

We put House 33 and Commonwealth back-to-back for this feature. Let's see how it'll work out...

The people behind House 33 all have a history in the creative fields: Andy Cruz and Rich Roat are founders of the US-based type-foundry House Industries; Simon Armitage's CV includes work for ID, Stüssy, Duffer, and his own labels People's Wardrobe and Zoltar the Magnificent; Jeremy Dean also has a House-history - "Crackhouse" is the keyword - and gained merits as art director at Urban Outfitters. "Perfect basis!" - is what we say.

Head across the Atlantic now to take a look at Commonwealth. The store was set up by [A] Omar Quiambao, former Creative Director for Foursquare and Special Blend, Art Director and one of the founders of Alphanumeric and - briefly - Creative Director for Zoo York. The [B] stands for Larry Incognito who as General Manger of the NYC design mecca Totem helped to turn this venture into a highly acclaimed brand in the design community. 'Yes, please, retail... now!' - don't you think?

Now that you know about the people behind these two stores, we believe that talking about the actual locations and the quality of their products is more or less redundant...?

House 33
Friday, 17th

Garments. Acronym fall/winter 04-05

There are two problems with samples when you see them too far ahead of time: 1) you could forget about what you saw or lose interest over the time and 2) you will have to do something you just cannot do. And that is... to wait. For weeks... for months...

For those among you who have been waiting for the second collection by Acronym - for weeks... for months... - the wait is almost over. Their new gear was just delivered from production and is currently inspected and prepared to be sent out to all four corners of the Earth.

Just to show you that there are no robots involved, and that Acronym really is about the highest level of quality/control, they were so kind as to let us document this stage in their production/distribution process. You'll get to see how each piece is packaged in accordance with the material specifications. Their season highlight, the Gore-Tex® [Cashmere] GT-J6 jacket, for example will be shipped in larger bags, to keep the folding of the fabric to a minimum.

You can start counting the days now until the new Acronym gear reaches its final destinations.

Tuesday, 14th

Printed Matter. Relax #92

If you are trying to look behind things, to get to know the details, then Relax magazine should be on your list of monthly "must-reads" ("must-look-ats"). Passing through artwork by Alex Katz we learn about Nitrow merchandise, visit NYC for "man watching" by Relax regular Taro Hirano (Gallery No.12) and get stuck at one of the three main features of the issue - "Printed Matter by Comme des Garçons". 30 pages strong.

The second feature will take you behind the scenes of LA's newest skateboard store. You'll see the exterior, details of the interior and the construction of the indoor pool at its various stages. If you are a Supreme fan you shouldn't miss this bit - especially because of the exceptional photography.

90 x 90 by Hermès is the subject of the third major section. They present you with a wide range of "Carrés", the most classic of scarves, you'll study the dying-process and get to meet Pierre-Alexis Dumas-Hermès himself. The piece ends with 90 x 90s by artists such as GM, S. Cianciolo, or M. Mills.

Two things about Relax: A) When do we ever get to see/read an international version? B) Could they have a poster printed of the cover and put that with every issue? Would save us a lot of time...

Friday, 10th

Retail. Supreme LA

With their new store in LA Supreme make one thing clear: their stores are about skateboarding. With all the sneaker- and logo-madness some people might have overlooked that fact. So how do they back this? They built a freestanding pool right into their new location. Supreme it is - if you consider the craftsmanship involved in putting together such a huge construction and then also taking the efforts of 'polishing' the parts one usually won't see.

The store will officially open on Saturday (11 am) fully stocked with the new Supreme line - new back packs, duffles, tees, and - most important to some - the new Supreme/Vans collaboration skate shoes (Chukkas, Old Skool Hi & Low, Half Cabs). You might have to keep your tents up until October for the new Nike Delta Forces...?

<!-- Box logo related info here --> At the night of the opening - which was 3 hrs ago - a new box logo T-shirt was given out to the guests. This time the word "Supreme" is written in Hebrew. Now why would that be? Maybe the info on the back will give you a hint...

Supreme LA is located at 439 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Slides (Reynes)
Tuesday, 7th

Footwear. Callous S/S 2005

Our second footwear feature this month is a follow-up on the US-based British/Japanese brand Callous. The guys have just shipped their first collection which was very well received by the press and the actual retailers all over the globe.

Sure enough, Callous have been everything but idle since we first introduced them to you back in the spring. If you were suprised/amazed by the appearance and quality of the first models, these new ones will definitely have you take a seat. "We'll have a battlefield as a sole" is what we were told during the earliest stages of the design-phase. 'Yeah, right' is what we thought. 'Maybe printed on the insole'. But when we were sent some grainy camera-phone shots from their sample mold, we knew that Tom and Tomo were serious. They actually had put a battlefield on their sole - with soldiers, cannons, castles, moats, and snow-covered mountains.

Let's not get too carried away with the soles, though. The uppers of the new models are amazing, too. As before, it's obvious that the Callous crew know how to manufacture excellent footwear by hand and also how to have it mass produced so as to keep that 'hand-crafted' feel.

Sunday, 5th

Footwear. New Balance - Harris Tweed

Currently we are seeing sneaker development headed for two opposite directions. One path leads us into the future where we are wearing close-to-nothing but technologically so advanced that we will all outperform today's top athletes while the other path takes us back through the history of sneakers and presents us with classic models.

After having issued all possible colors from the Pantone® formular guide, we are now seeing every available material being processed on retro footwear. New Balance, manufacturers of some of the most classic sneakers on the market, have chosen to work with Harris Tweed to produce a set of their model 576. If you are looking for the most 'British' pair of sneakers - you shouldn't let these pass.

Harris Tweed is also used by Nike for an upcoming release. They had ordered 9,500 meters of the fabric from Luskentyre in Scotland. This order, however, presented the small company with a slight problem: It would have taken them over two years to produce it on their handloom. Check the Harris Tweed site for the rest of the story...

The 576 - Harris Tweed will be available from Solebox/Berlin shortly.

New Balance
Harris Tweed
Wednesday, 1st

Printed Matter. HUGE - No. 009 1st Anniversary Issue


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