Sometimes first impressions are wrong; take for example, the Nike Air Footscape. First released in 1995, the Footscape was designed to be Nike’s premier ergonomic running shoe. It boasted light-weight, breathable materials, a foot-forming  sole, and the indistinguishable side lacing. The Footscape captured the best of Nike innovation and their ability to recognize what’s best for athletes. Since being released, the Footscape has been welcomed with lukewarm interest in the States, with most appeal coming from diehard sneakerheads. However, the Footscape is widely popular in Asia (i.e Japan) especially the woven design shown below. And we all know, when it comes to gear the Japanese know what’s fresh.

So why do I like these? Because they’re just different. The materials, shape, and lines of the sneaker are unique and silhouette the natural shape of the human foot.  Most first impressions start and end at “ugly,” but there’s so much more to the sneaker. The story of it alone is worth a second look

The pics below are of the recently released Nike Air Footscape Woven TZ “Striped,” but I doubt this colorway and style will hit the shelves in the States. Don’t worry though, the Footscape is making a comeback this season so watch out for other releases…and while you wait here’s all you could ever want to know about them here.

nike-air-footscape-woven-tz-striped-1nike-air-footscape-woven-tz-striped-3

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Pharrell is a PC

October 13, 2008

What the hell is going on. Pharrell might be cool, but I’m still going to be a Mac.

Keep Company

October 2, 2008

I recently stumbled on Keep in the latest issue of Nylon. A clothing, shoe and apparel company, Keep was originally started with women in mind and continues to tailor most of its products towards women. Interestingly though, Keep recently became inundated with requests from men to begin carrying their footwear in men’s sizes. Intrigued, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Keep’s footwear incorporates mostly classic styles and patterns, often reminiscent of the timeless designs of Clarks and the Converse All-Star hi. Yet two designs really caught my eye. First, the Nuss—pictured above—stood out for combining a solid color midsole with the patterned fold-over. It reminded me a bit of Visvims, a brand highly touted by my pal Soybomb. I really like the use of traditional plaid, argyle and southwestern patterns on this particular shoe.

I was also a fan of the Benton—pictured left—which looks like a moccasin/dock sider hybrid. Not sure if I’d ever actually wear this style, but I really like the concept. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed Keep shoes in stores, but according to the website, you can find them at shops like Reed Space, Atrium and even WeSC. Who knew. To peep the rest of their collection, check out http://www.keepcompany.com/

Clae footwear

September 8, 2008

I’ve recently become enamored with the “athleisure” footwear company Clae. This romance started when I realized that I haven’t really branched out of specific brands (Nike) and styles (retro basketball, running shoes). I would describe Claes as skateshoes with an influence of Clarks design. Almost all Clae styles feature high grain leather, in a range of colors, and are finished with a midsole reminscent of old school Vans.

If you have the time, I suggest checking out their site at clae.com. Clae’s history is filled with inspiration from other footwear companies, mainly due to it’s founder Sung Choi. Prior to starting Clae in 2001, Sung Choi worked at DC Shoes and Lakai footwear. Supposedly, they even took a three year hiatus to work on revamping the styles and quality of shoes. I’ve heard these sneakers can be found at Reedspace in NYC, so I’ll be stopping by soon.

I’ve attached my personal favorites:

Black Romare Highs

Pavement McQueens

American Apparel

September 3, 2008

By now it’s no secret: American Apparel sells hip, comfortable clothes, but uses very suggestive images of women in their ads to do so, a practice that seems contrary to the company’s claims of being a socially responsible brand. I stumbled upon a Newsweek piece from a while back that discusses this very issue. It even mentions a particularly provocative billboard that used to be at the corner of Houston and Allen and one that we would always comment on walking past. Turns out the reason it came down was because someone had tagged the phrase “Gee, I wonder why women get raped” across the top of it. Jeesh. That’s one way to make a point. Take a look at the Newsweek article HERE, it’s pretty interesting.

Deth P. Sun @ Giant Robot

August 27, 2008

Last Saturday, a few friends and I went to check out Deth P. Sun’s installation at the Giant Robot gallery on 9th and A (at the behest of Soybomb of course). Though I recognized Sun’s work, I had never known the Oakland-based artist by name. The pieces on display were primarily painted wood panels of varying sizes and prominently featured Sun’s signature feline character, often wandering through treacherous landscapes. I might just be insane, but his art reminded me somewhat of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, if only Peter Rabbit took acid and got lost in the woods. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool stuff and several of the pieces probably made statements that I’m too dumb to comprehend. Peep Deth P. Sun’s website HERE.

At the very least, go check out the Giant Robot store next to the gallery. They have some sweet posters, books, toys and prints, and one item in particular that shall remain nameless because I still might go back and get it. The t-shirts are cool as well, I’ve bought two in separate visits this week.

Supreme x Tera Patrick

August 13, 2008

Occasionally my roommates and I will cut out clippings from newspapers and magazines that we find interesting or provocative and post them on the fridge and kitchen wall (ok fine, I’m pretty much the only one that does this, but still). One such clipping that’s been on display for several months now is a striking Supreme ad that I tore out of Vice. It features a busty brunette woman scantily clad in a bikini hugging a skate deck. Her expression is…suggestive. I cut it out simply because I thought it was fucking awesome. What’s not hot about a sexy woman posing with a skate deck?

The ad has become somewhat of a fixture of our decor, and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it in a while until today. That is until I read in the latest issue of Complex that the woman is in fact pornstar Tera Patrick. I must admit that I was taken aback by this discovery, not so much that Supreme would use her in one of their ads (their mantra as a brand seems to be “If you don’t like it, step off”) but that a pornstar would be in an apparel ad to begin with. Supreme is a brand that prides itself on existing on the fringes and I’m wondering if we’ll begin to see a similar trend with other such “cooler than thou” brands. Are pornstars and other societal outliers the next way to earn street cred for your brand? It’s funny to think about, but in this day and age, where every brand is looking for a way to make a name and turn heads, it might not be that far from reality.