Maya Angelou

Personal friend of Malcolm and Martin.  Unlikely influence on Tupac.   If you have a chance to catch her on Iconoclasts with Dave Chappelle on The Sundance Channel, don’t miss it.  Both of them are remarkable individuals.  With people like Maya Angelou in our world, it makes you wonder how we ever became obsessed with the celebrities we obsess over.  The other night, Spencer and Heidi were on Larry King.  The world would be a slightly better place had he opted to have Maya on.  Just a thought.

Aging Well – Michael Stipe

This isn’t really a post about Michael Stipe, but more of a commentary on aging. Or getting old. In a world filled with Botox and Rogaine, and where looking young means maintaining that smooth un-wrinkled skin of your younger years, there is something exceptionally cool to see a guy who wears his age well. I think Michael Stipe looks better now, just shy of 50 yeard old, than he did 20 years ago.

Photos via The Sartorialist

Who do you think looks better. Stipe or Simmons?

2008 Predictions… A Look Back

Last year, actually towards the end of 2007, I made some streetwear predictions. As an industry outsider, I deserve a little freedom to get things wrong, but they were not really all that bad. I put together this super slick excel spreadsheet that factors in posts from Hypebeast, Selectism, and other blogs and media outlets coupled with photo sites like Cobrasnake and Last Nights Party to give me a ‘Percentage Accurate” with 100% meaning I nailed it. It is easy to make predictions every year, because NOBODY ever goes back to see how they did. I have nothing to lose, so I did:

Prediction 1
Bulky, dirty sneakers will complement tight jeans. Think Jordan 6-10s with skinny jeans on hipsters. Note: This is not a sneaker-head thing… more of a waify, pasty hipster thing. Hipsters will rebel against the current trend of wearing women’s Keds.

Calculation: 72.5% Accuracy. According to a sweep of major blogs and photo sites, everyone from Lil Wayne to 12 year old skate kids were wearing skinny jeans with bulky high-tops, but they were not necessarily dirty. Keds and the like were still spotted with relatively high frequency on pasty hipsters.

Prediction 2
The lines between streetwear and luxury will continue to blur. The more mature streetwear kids will step their game up, which will no doubt require new jobs. Nigo has been spotted in a vest/tie/jacket combo more in the last 3 months of 2007 than in the last 10 years. You’ll hear streetwear kids rattle off high-end designers/labels with ease.

Calculation: 90.5% Accuracy. Shit! Have you looked at Hypebeast lately. You could slap a Brooks Brothers (shit, even lower, a J Crew) logo on some of the items featured and nobody would question it. This would have been 100%, but the number of new consumers entering the space offset the older streetwear kids’ effort to move towards more luxury to a small degree. Yes, there were a ton new luxury brands that became must-haves, but unfortunately, far too many brands still spit out nothing but t-shirts and New Eras.

J Crew? The Gap? Merona? Nope, it’s a brand called Useless (from Hypebeast).

Prediction 3
Legacy will be the dominant theme of 2008. Brands with a real history will reign supreme. Think Levis, Vans, Stussy, Reebok, Carhartt, etc. The hot new-ish brands will stick around, but nobody will be excited about new brands, and nobody will want to endorse them. That is not to say that new brands won’t give it a shot, but it will not be pretty. Hypebeast has already reached total laughable status.

Calculation: 80.25% Accuracy. According to the spreadsheet, all of the brands above had great years and some superb collaborations. With the influx of newer, higher-end, more sophisticated brands and looks making waves, if your name wasn’t Levis, Vans, Stussy, etc… you simply did not get noticed.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

2009 Trend: Bucket Service

It’s a recession – apparently it has been a recession for at least a year now – but you probably haven’t noticed much a of a downturn in excessive nightlife expenditures.   That is about to change.   Forget bottle service.   Get ready for bucket service.   Of course, I am only partly joking.  I say ‘partly’ because I actually saw a table hip-hop industry types (that will remain anonymous) at one of the super trendy NYC spots rockin’ a bucket of Coronas.   Get ready!   Better start slangin’ some beats.

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