The focus this week depends a bit on perspective; there were a number of notable announcements, spanning a number of themes. For the Cult of Mac, the biggest event this week was obviously Tuesday’s unveiling of the iPad 2, by Steve Jobs, who came off a leave of medical absence from Apple to emcee the event. For fans of Nike geekdom, the week’s top story was the announcement that an old rusted waffle iron was found. Which happened to be the very same waffle iron that Bill Bowerman used decades ago to create the iconic Waffle Racer sole, which defined Nike running shoes for decades. On a more contemporary note, Nike also released the second installment in the collaboration with Roots drummer Ahmir Thompson, better known as ?uestlove; fanfare included an launch event at 21 Mercer with music by ?uestlove himself. Nigo, who has been front and center in the news for weeks after the much-publicized firesale of BAPE, was back in the news, with an interview conducted by BEAMS, focusing on Nigo’s efforts to keep moving forward with the HUMAN MADE project. Fellow Japanese designer Hiroki Nakamura deserves a mention this week as well, with the release of the Spring/Summer women’s collection from visvim, in which the native theme is very strong, but not cliche. There were a few notable art stories this week too: KAWS stealing the show at Armory Week 2011 in New York, and the 2011 Ted Prize being awarded to street artist JR. With the Geneva Motor Show in full swing, it’s hard to not take notice of at least a few of the over-the-top cars; two of our favorites were the BRABUS Biturbo 700 and the new model from Lamborghini. Fans of Supreme who don’t live in LA or NYC – and who don’t want to pay the exorbitant eBay markup – got their chance at the Spring/Summer 2011 line when the webstore opened this week. Jeremy Scott, another name much in the news lately, got more Freshness coverage this week as the lookbook for his Spring/Summer 2011 collection for adidas Originals. And finally, Lady Gaga released a new video this week; it’s as insane as anything the artist has released to date, which is to say, quite insane. For the complete recap of the week, check out all of these stories in detail after a jump.
Nike Holy Grail Bowerman Family Unveils Long Lost Waffle Iron
From Oregon this week comes a relic of massive importance to The Swoosh. Melissa Bowerman, daughter of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, stumbled across an decades-old hunk of rusted metal. Which would be absolutely worthless, if it wasn’t the very waffle iron that Bill Bowerman used to create the very first “waffle sole” that became a fundamental building block of Nike running shoes for the next few decades. Bill Bowerman, who passed away in 1999, would have been 100 years old this past Wednesday, so the unveiling of the original waffle iron on Monday was a timely reminder of his contribution to Nike, but also to sports and sports culture. Nike, of course, has the waffle iron on display at the beautiful Beaverton, Oregon, campus. The full story is available at The Oregonian.
?uestlove x Nike Dunk High Pack
That ?uestlove is a multi-talented individual, no one would question. The Roots drummer is recognized as a master musician, in hip hop and far beyond. Less well known in the mainstream – but well known by sneakerheads – is the ?uestlove’s appreciation for sneaker culture, and eye for sneaker design. 3 years ago, ?uestlove created a major hit with the Air Questo, a shoe which combined amazing materials, colors, and patterns into one of that year’s greatest Nike sneakers. Now, three years later, ?uestlove has found the time to inspire another collection of Nikes. This time around, the musician chose the Dunk as his canvas, and while it’s color scheme is more reserved than the Questo, it’s undeniably a very unique shoe, well conceived and well executed. Drawing on the world class musical chops of the designer, the release party at 21 Mercer, which was held this past Friday, featured music by ?uestlove himself.
Apple iPad 2 Announced
The tablet wars are heating up, and Apple has a strong contender in the iPad 2. This Tuesday, Steve Jobs temporarily came off a leave of medical absence from Apple to oversee the even. Jobs cut a fairly familiar figure on stage; possibly a bit thinner, but clad in the trademark outfit. This week’s iPad event was certainly a major event in technology, but the iPad 2 is no longer the only well-designed, powerful tablet computer that the original was. The focus quickly turned to comparisons between the iPad 2 and competitors, notably Motorola’s Xoom, and the HP Touchpad. While the jury is still out, and each has it’s pros and cons, Apple has an eye on corporate profits: it’s already got a very well designed case for the iPad 2, clearly aimed at preempting the myriad 3rd party accessory manufacturers. With some predicting that the adoption rate of portable tablet computers will exceed that of cellphones and smartphones in coming years, by both business users and personal users alike, the real-world performance of the iPad 2 is destined to have major implications on corporate fortunes.
BEAMS Interview with NIGO
Just as Steve Jobs is the masthead of a design-driven movement, Nigo is arguably the face of another distinct culture. It’s been a rough year for the Bape General so far – we’ve covered his tribulations in detail. At least in the short term, though, Tamoako Nigao is proving his resilience by staying busy with work. Nigo describes some of that work in an exclusive interview with BEAMS, in which he discusses the HUMAN MADE line, his inspirations, and his personal history with BEAMS. It’s not hard to feel a bit of empathy for Nigo; while the full-zip Shark hoodie is groan-inducing, the man behind the movement has been a nearly constant presence in streetwear culture for nearly 15 years. For fans and observers, it’s good to see this larger than life character not unraveling under the pressure – here’s to hoping Nigo keeps it up.