June 3, 2012 by Will Bundy
Yeah, I know. Writing about the most colossally tragic and complex conflict in human history through the lens of style seems pretty questionable. Still, I think these images, and the iconic gear that was their focus have a lot to offer as a window into wartime America circa 1945. Though the shots of the soldiers are faceless, the jackets themselves reflect the experience of being a fighter pilot during turbulent times, as well as the things that were important to them– yeah, sexy girls and bombs, but also solidarity– putting on for your city, your crew, your country.
A staple of military garb for decades, the flight jacket was initially borne out of necessity, as WWI-era planes lacked enclosed, insulated cockpits, exposing their pilots to extreme cold. It was WWII, however, that ushered in the A-2, the iconic jackets pictured in this particular set, along with the patches and decorations for which they’re now known. Over the years, the jackets have become coveted items, with resurgences in popularity among everyone from mods to skinheads and beyond. I can’t say I’m the biggest patriot in the world, but I suppose a little vintage Americana never hurt anybody.
June 3, 2012 BY Will Bundy
April 28, 2012 by Max Gibson
Working at a copy store by day while frequenting the punk clubs of San Francisco by night, the lifestyle of photographer Jim Jocoy in the ’70s may mirror that of many kids in our generation today. You work some job to stay afloat while you dream of making a living off your craft. While you make your money during the day, the real progress is made at night between the hours of twelve and three. Capturing the colorful personalities that frequented these clubs, Jocoy’s photography reveals a specific and unique era in American culture. Taken primarily between 1978 and 1980, Jocoy’s photos mark America’s transition into the decade of excess and extravagance. Comical, pathetic, glamorous and iconic, the photography of Jim Jocoy helps relate what it meant to be young in the ’80s.
April 28, 2012 BY Max Gibson
April 14, 2012 by Max Gibson
Highlighting the cult following that the Ralph Lauren brand has garnered over the years, this recent edition of Put This On focuses on the ‘Lo Heads, the famed Polo enthusiasts whose love for rare and iconic pieces of Polo gear has spawned a title and culture all its own. Charting the development of the movement, from its beginnings in the 1980s to its prevalence today, PTO sheds light on a unique American culture that draws from the lifestyle that Ralph Lauren embodies. An already intriguing culture within itself, it seems as though the ‘Lo Head culture may also be rooted in materialism despite its aspirational undertones. Makes me wonder what Ralph himself thinks of all of this.
April 14, 2012 BY Max Gibson
March 10, 2012 by Will Bundy
I have to say, I liked those Kobe commercials with Yeezy and Aziz. They were pretty clever. But in watching the marketing campaigns from the ’80s and early ’90s, it’s hard not to feel like that was the golden age for the league, both on and off the court. Superstars, outsized personalities, fresh kicks and classic moments– all of which was presided over by the greatest player ever to pick up a basketball. Along with MJ’s rise, and the ascendance of the Nike and Jordan brands too, came a wave of inspired advertising geared towards a savvy generation of hoop fans and sneakerheads, from Like Mike to Lil’ Penny.
Launched midway through the ’93 NBA season, the Barbershop campaign epitomized Nike’s ability to churn out standard-settingly dope ads. I guess the simplicity of it is what speaks to me now. With a who’s who of the NBA’s most promising young stars, from Chris Webber and Alonzo Mourning, to Dennis Rodman and Latrell Sprewell, and veterans like George Gervin and Artis Gilmore, the ads found the impressive collection of hoopers chopping it up in the Nike barbershop, all to the tune of classic funk staples like “Express Yourself” and “Strawberry Letter 23″. Almost two decades later, Nike Basketball is still coming with high-profile campaigns, but I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic watching these.
March 10, 2012 BY Will Bundy
Charting the artistic pursuits of Stuk Designs founder Brette Sims
January 30, 2012 by Max Gibson
Photography By Max Gibson
What do you think is the value of being fearless?
It’s what separates a brilliant artist from an artist that’s like, “Hmm okay”… almost touching you, but not really. It’s hard to put your art out there. It’s like putting your soul out there to be judged by people.
Read our full interview with artist, designer and Stuk Designs founder Brette Sims here.
January 30, 2012 BY Max Gibson
January 20, 2012 by Max Gibson
I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve copped clothes from a store. I had to let Urban go once I realized the thrift shop down the street had the same gear for half the price. Nonetheless, there is still room for the dope brick and mortar in the 2012. Enter New Jack City. Stumbling upon it one day while walking through San Fran, I was pleasantly surprised by the intimate shop. Dedicated to the world of vintage streetwear, New Jack City sports one of the best collections of vintage pieces I’ve ever come across. Vintage Ralph Lauren pieces hang next to Starter jackets and caps, that lay next vintage tees that’ll have you reminiscing about the 90s. In short, New Jack City is that spot to make that special cop that everyone will show you love for. Read on for brief Q&A with store founder Bryan Walsworth on his purpose and motives for creating the store.
January 20, 2012 BY Max Gibson
A conversation with L.A. based stylist and model Justin Barco
January 16, 2012 by Max Gibson
Why do you think it’s so hard for people to present themselves as individuals and stand out?
I don’t know. But that’s what it’s about. That’s what life is.
But people have trouble doing that….
And that’s what hopefully people can see when they read this. Hopefully they reflect on themselves, and they’re like, “Oh shit, I’ve got some gear in my closet that I got with my girlfriend so we can have a twin day.” But it’s very important for an individual to be an individual. We’re on this earth for a reason. We might never know the reason, but there’s this quote that I read, that said, “If God is watching, the least we can do is be entertaining.”
Read our full interview with stylist, model and socialite Justin Barco here.
January 16, 2012 BY Max Gibson
January 12, 2012 by Max Gibson
“If I have fun when I’m designing something, and I love it, and I’m passionate about it, you can actually transfer that to whatever it is you’re working on. And a woman flipping through a rack will stop, and say, “Wow, that looks cool, I want to try that on.”
Celebrated for rejuvenating the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent brands, launching his own, and then turning around to direct an Oscar nominated film, it seems as though Tom Ford’s creativity knows no boundaries. Born in Texas and raised in New Mexico, Ford always had an idea of where he wanted to be, “I had imagined a certain life for myself so when I turned 17 I moved from New Mexico to New York,” he remembers. From there Ford blossomed into the creative he is today, using a background in architecture to inform his designs. In short, it worked. Catapulted to the pinnacle of high fashion Ford’s work has become synonymous with success. In this short documentary, we get a glimpse into the mind of Tom Ford, sharing insight into the importance of uniting passion and work, the perils of design, and why he takes up to five baths a day.
January 12, 2012 BY Max Gibson
October 21, 2011 by Max Gibson
The year was 1997 and the Gap was in need of a spokesperson for their “easy fit” jeans. Soliciting the rapping prowess of one LL Cool J, Gap executives commissioned LL to perform a 30 second freestyle for their nationwide television commercial. But little did they know, LL had ulterior motives.
Rocking a light blue Fubu cap in the commercial, executives foolishly disregarded the LL’s subtle clothing item, allowing him to visually promote the urban brand within the television spot. Initially referencing the easy fit jeans within the first few bars of the freestyle, LL continued on, “G,A,P gritty ready to go. For us, by us, on the low…”
“For us, by us, on the low”? The significance of the phrase is undeniable. What transpired was one of Gap’s biggest marketing blunders, and subsequently FUBU’s introduction to the world. It took Gap executives a while to understand exactly what LL had pulled off, but once they did they were furious. Plugging the FUBU brand on Gap’s dime, LL managed to introduce FUBU to a national audience, telling that same audience to buy it “on the low.” The following year FUBU earned upwards of $350 million.
October 21, 2011 BY Max Gibson