Even excluding international affairs, there was definitely no shortage of news this week. The attentions of the sports world and beyond has been focused on All Star Weekend for weeks; the event has finally arrived, bringing with it a deluge of product tie-ins, major ad campaigns, and celebrity events. Nike was obviously a major player, releasing not only All Star themed shoes, but a high-budget film short featuring Kobe Bryant (plus a peek at round 2 of one of the most hyped up shoes ever – the Air Yeezy). A more artistic tie-in was the AJ 1 as customized by Dave White, to be auctioned for charity. And basketball obviously isn’t the only focus of attention this week, which also included New York Fashion Week, a supernova of creativity, buzz, and gossip. One of the many events was hosted by VMAN, invitations to which included a cash insert, to play on the recent Kanye West issue of the magazine. Honors for the most groundbreaking show go to Moncler, however, and if you didn’t hear about it, read below. There was quite a bit of notable news from the street fashion side of things this week too; one main highlight were images of the soon-to-be-released Spring Summer 2011 collection from Supreme. Spring collection previews also came from CASH CA and adidas Originals, while Dr Romanelli released a capsule collection with A Love Movement, which is as stunning as usual. Ye wasn’t the only musician whose shoe project got attention this week; more information about the collaboration between Swizz Beats and Reebok came this week. In art news (and BAPE news), KAWS released images of a new BAPE/Milo mashup on his Facebook page. Plus, ALIFE made art news too, with a concept vending machine installation at The Hole, featuring work by some darlings of street art. Finally, Nike didn’t deserve the only advertising award this week; Porsche also deserves honorable mention for an innovative campaign which leveraged it’s social media presence (and compromised a GT3).
Kobe Bryant x Nike Basketball “The Black Mamba” | World Premiere
The Nike Basketball short film “The Black Mamba,” much hyped in the runup to All Star Weekend, was released this weekend. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, it’s essentially a hyper cliched exploitation-style plot multiple villains (Danny Trejo as “The Crippler,” Bruce Willis as “Mr Suave”), set against an urban wasteland reminiscent of Sin City (which Rodriguez directed). The film cuts between action scenes, and shots of Kobe and Rodriguez running through the story boards. The grand finale is firmly tongue-in-cheek, and as sensible as a Mortal Kombat movie: Kanye West as “The Boss,” commanding a team of demon ballers, a helicopter escape, a basketball bomb. Yes, this is a sneaker commercial that runs nearly six minutes. But Nike has figured out how to make these things very fun to watch; this is nearly as good as the “Write the Future” campaign during the 2010 World Cup, for which Nike retained another high profile auteur, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. The Black Mamba movie spot is being shown at theaters throughout the LA area, and obviously making the rounds on the internet. Definitely worth watching, if only to see Danny Trejo, Bruce Willis, Kanye West, and Kobe on screen together. On terms of actual sneakers, Nike graced three of it’s top basketball athletes – Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant – with special All Star themed versions of their signature shoes. And Dave White, probably the preeminent painter of sneaker art, created a series of amazing custom painted Air Jordan Ones, which will be auctioned off to benefit the WINGS For The Future youth outreach and assistance program. Finally, no mention of Nike sneakers this week can omit the peak at the Air Yeezy 2, which showed up in the Black Mamba movie. Stills from the video are being blow up, and the resulting grainy pictures are being analyzed; it’s hard to imagine this being done for any other sneaker.
Moncler Grenoble Fall 2011 Dance Extravaganza At New York Grand Central Station | Video
The event is ostensibly about what gets walked down the runway (or through Grand Central), but that’s just a small part of the coverage of New York Fashion Week gets. One of the funnest shows this year at NYFW was by Moncler, who staged an impromptu show in Grand Central Station. The show was the idea of Etienne Russo, who has done other over the top shows in the past (including shipping a Swedish iceberg to Paris for Chanel). There were 363 non-professional models, who staged a loose dance routine wearing pieces from the Moncler collection, including ski goggles, much to the surprise of the tourist throngs. Anther attention getter was Jeremy Scott, who announced a collaboration with Swatch via Twitter. Scott also outfitted the K-Pop group Wonder Girls, who made the rounds of the shows, stopping at Anna Sui, Y-3, and got a mention by Teen Vogue. Kanye, a regular presence at the shows, enforced a personal cone of silence as he made appearances at the GQ Best New Menswear show at the Ace Hotel, the Alexander Wang show, Band of Outsiders, the Purple Magazine party. He also attended the VMAN party, at which the crowd was showered with dollar bills (though Ye reportedly staked out a corner with some KFC). Mr West took a day off from the shows to attend a Knicks-Lakers game at Madison Square garden (earning him a Fresh Celebrity post).
adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Spring/Summer 2011 Collection Lookbook
adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Ian Brown ZXZ | Preview
adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Plants KZK
Fans of adidas Originals apparel may be unimpressed by the recently announced Blue Collection. The collection got a shot of energy from a risque ad campaign, but in terms of style, the collection is stunted. Those who have come to appreciate the synthesis of technicality and style that Kazuki Kuraishi brought to the line got a second chance this week, as the latest Originals by Kazuki collection was released. In addition to the O.T. Tech capsule, adidas Originals put out images from the new lookbook for the Spring/Summer 2011 Kazuki collection, along with two new footwear options too: a second installation in the deceptively simple Plant Pack, and a ZXZ inspired by British musician Ian Brown.
>>adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Spring/Summer 2011 Collection Lookbook
>>adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Ian Brown ZXZ | Preview
>>adidas Originals by Originals Kazuki Kuraishi Plants KZK
Supreme Spring/Summer 2011 Collection
Each season, as Supreme releases a new collection, the streetwear world takes notice. The forums start heating up with discussion about the “must cop” items, or about how Supreme is just an overpriced, over the hill skateboard label aimed at people who will pay premium prices just to be Hypebeasts. The truth is, in 2011, Supreme is different. It simply cannot be the same underground tribe that James Jebbia fostered in 1994. The brand once connoted an absolutely singular mix of New York grit, skateboard culture edge, and an awareness of haute fashion. Harold Hunter has passed away, and Supreme sells on the web. There are some valid criticisms, but at the same time, 17 years is long time to stay relevant in the most fickle clothing segment, where the smallest loss of credibility means death. And Supreme has done so admirably, while evolving with the times. The Spring/Summer 2011 lookbook again features Jason Dill, who has an image as a do-it-my-own way New Yorker, and also happens to be one of the best New York City-based skateboarders. The collection itself is solid and wide ranging; lots of Supreme staple pieces: Camp hats, button down shirts, and of course the graphic T-shirts, and quirky accessories (including a dog bowl, roach clip, and knitted Cinelli cycling gloves).
CASH CA x NEIGHBORHOOD Spring/Summer 2011 Collection
CASH CA x immun x Liberty Spring/Summer 2011 Bag Collection
British label CASH CA has made a strong impact on fashion and blogs in just a few collections. The label began global distribution in 2008, and is represented at a number of accounts in Japan, plus some ritzy accounts like Harrods, Selfridge, Harvey Nichol. To those who don’t know better, the label might be mistaken for a contemporary Japanese brand (note the western-style shirts); a fact explained by design done by Kazuki Kuraishi (whose work is much in demand – see our coverage of his work for adidas Originals). Highlights from this collaboration with Neighborhood include floral patterned shirts, and a straw bowler style hat; the Neighborhood influence is visible under the surface, but is very toned down. CASH CA is also releasing a set of bags done with new label immun (a company headed by Kazuki), which incorporate fabrics from the traditional British mill Liberty. It’s a great look at a label that seems destined to go on to greatness.
>>CASH CA x NEIGHBORHOOD Spring/Summer 2011 Collection
>>CASH CA x immun x Liberty Spring/Summer 2011 Bag Collection
Dr. Romanelli x A Love Movement Dr. Love Collection #3
Dr. Romanelli jumped back into the news this week (it was a very short absence, after his high profile involvement at (capsule) and with his Military Collection redux for UNITE). This week he released the third installment in his collaborative with A Love Movement. The collection of down vests sticks to some standard Romanelli specs: limited to just one account, each piece absolutely unique, and composed of vintage materials. The amount of detail and work that went into every piece is immediately apparent – as usual. Notably in this collection, each pieces features a strong and seemingly abstract message emblazoned across the back – “Bush Hunter,” “Invest Now,” “Chase Rainbow,” “I’m So High,” etc. Another interesting feature, in addition to all of craftsmanship that is customary for Romenelli, is that each piece has a fabric tag on the interior, which matches the theme and key fabrics used (in this collection, it’s a mix of vintage Lee denim, Pendleton plaids, Harris Tweed, and Paul Stuart pinstripes).
>>Dr. Romanelli x A Love Movement Dr. Love Collection #3
Swizz Beatz x Reebok Reestyle Collective | Video
Swizz Beatz x Reebok Kamikaze | Preview
We followed the breaking news of the Swizz Beatz x Reebok collaboration earlier this winter, when the first images of the shoe came out on Swizzy’s twitter account. This week, we got a more clear picture of what the partnership involves. Starting with the shoe itself: it has design elements taken from various generations of the Air Jordan family, and a grey/white/bright geen colorway that will be familiar to fans of the OG Air Max 95 (there is an alternate version in red snakeskin and purple patent leather too). Swizz Beatz is also the inspiration for a broader capsule collection under the Reebok umbrella, which is being called Reestyle.
ALIFE Art Machine
There’s a new vending machine at The Hole, but no snacks available. The Hole, an art space at 104 Greene Street in Soho, is host to the ALIFE Art Machine, which serves as a unique interface between art and guests of the venue. The Hole is no stranger to experimental installations; it’s the brainchild of Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman, both former directors at the legendary and now-closed Deitch Projects. ALIFE‘s vending machine is a sleek matte white box, and aside from it’s avant garde design, the relation to it’s break room ancestors is clear. Inside are a number of pieces of boxed art and T-shirts, price from $10 to $1200; each is “blind-boxed,” giving purchases extra excitement the machine is stocked with art from a roster of the most unique and cutting edge artists (Bast, Eric Haze, Goeff McFetridge, Kenny Scharf, Neckface, Romon Yang aka “ROSTARR,” Ryan McGinness, Todd James and the list goes on and on). The machine is a reminder of ALIFE’s cultural and creative role something that gets overlooked amid the retail focus. Check out the machine at The Hole, until February 22nd, and more images after the jump.
BAPE x Original Fake KAWS MILO Dissected Companion Toy
If the Robert Lazzarini inspired Companion represented the foray by KAWS into avant garde art with a vinyl toy, the BAPE x Original Fake Milo Dissected Companion is the street style antithesis. Just as he did with the Lazzarini toy, KAWS used his Facebook page to release images of the dissected Milo. The toy combines two of the preeminent memes in vinyl the cartoonish BAPE Milo character, and the pseudo-gruesome Dissected Companion with a jarring effect. We’ve seen this mashup before, on one of the most sought after T-shirts in streetwear, the BAPE x OriginalFake KAWS MILO T-Shirt. In vinyl, the juxtaposition truly pops though, with a very jarring effect. The toy is done in three colorways, which essentially match the “classic” Companion and Milo colorways featured on the T-shirt. Release info is still forthcoming, but clearly a limited release, and an eBay investment. Check out the complete set after the jump, and stay tuned for more information.
Porsche GT3 R Hybrid One Million Facebook Fans Edition
Unsurprisingly, Nike took most of the advertising thunder this week, but the most innovative campaign award might go to Porsche. Over the past few weeks, the German car company ran a campaign on it’s Facebook page, in which fans could submit their names to be painted on a GT3. The GT3 sits at the pinnacle of the German automaker’s street legal lineup; a car that is unsullied by Porsche’s foray into the SUV market, or by the company’s compromises to daily driveability that start popping up further down the 911 family tree. This project revolves around an edition of the car devoted to 27,836 of Porsche’s “friends.” The car, in addition to being a race-ready hybrid drive vehicle, is decorated with the names of 27,000 people who took part in the Facebook promotion. The vehicle is now on display, both at the Porsche Museum, and on a dedicated microsite, where participants can use a search tool to find their name on the car. For purists, it’s an abomination. For admirers of innovative marketing, it’s an absolute coup.