Yukio Akamine, Classic Life
Over the summer, while surfing the web for Japanese menswear sites that I can’t read, I stumbled upon the news……[ Continue reading ]
“What art does — maybe what it does most completely — is tell us, make us feel that what we think we know, we don’t. There are whole worlds around us that we’ve never glimpsed.” Greil Marcus — Friday April 8th — —
I love listening. It is one of the only spaces where you can be still and moved at the same time. — Nayyirah Waheed — Friday April 8th — —
The idea is to die young as late as possible. — Ashley Montagu — Friday April 8th — —
Over the summer, while surfing the web for Japanese menswear sites that I can’t read, I stumbled upon the news……[ Continue reading ]
Last month this remarkable book was released by German publisher Taschen. Initiated, researched and written by Jim Heiman, executive editor of TASCHEN America, the hefty book is the most comprehensive visual history of surfing to date, marking a major cultural event as much as a publication. Following three and a half years of meticulous research, it brings together more than 900 images to chart the evolution of surfing as a sport, a lifestyle, and a philosophy. The book is arranged into five chronological chapters, tracing surfing culture from the first recorded European contact in 1778 by Captain James Cook to the global and multi-platform phenomenon of today. Utilizing institutions, collections, and photographic archives from around the world, and with accompanying essays by the world’s top surf journalists, it celebrates the sport on and off the water, as a community of 20 million practitioners and countless more devotees, and as a leading influence on fashion, film, art, and music. Such an incredible, well designed insightful gem! [ Continue reading ]
Although we have taken many beautiful things (and memories) with us from San Francisco when we visited two weeks ago, one of our favorite things we discovered is the extraordinary book 'California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties'. Combining both color and black and white imagery gathered from a variety of photographers and private collections, the publication by the expert when it comes to the subject; T. Adler, paints a undeniably appealing picture of an exciting era full of experiment and evolution. Aside from the wide selection of archival photographs, the book features short passages written by Yvon Chouinard, Steve Pezman and Steve Roper, which give personal accounts of what was happening at the time and help to bring the images to life. Each photo is also extensively captioned, noting the individuals involved and their influence on these sports throughout the Fifties and beyond. This information adds an interesting layer of depth and personality to the publication, which ultimately serves as an evocative look back at a golden age, and the growth of two archetypical Californian countercultures. We love this elegant and insightful gem! [ Continue reading ]
There are few places left in Amsterdam’s most central areas that have enough character to weather the ever-growing storm of tourists and people that particularly cater to them. At times, especially in the summer, the city feels like an urban amusement park. With no end of this development in sight, the once authentic center is slowly turning into an empty shell of its former self. Fortunately, there are still some spots that offer some kind of cultural experience (let’s hope it stays that way!), with the Zeedijk being one of our favorites. Located in the small but dense Chinese quarter of the Dutch capital, the street is famous for its restaurants and supermarkets, but also for being the original gateway of heroine into the country in the late sixties — during the last few years it has also been embraced by a growing number of brands, in search of a real environment for their stores.
Among them are streetwear household names like Amsterdam’s own giant Patta, the Comme des Garçons BLACK store, and most recently Stüssy also opened its doors in the street. Next to, for instance, newcomers like Bonne Suits, who shares a space with SMIB and The New Originals. Although we appreciate these streetwear brands, for us the appeal of the street was taken to the next level by another recent addition, as in April our friend Koen Tossijn also found his way to the infamous Zeedijk and opened his first brick and mortar store ever for his brand TOSSIJN — introducing a well needed touch of understated luxury and a toned down color palette, next to all the logos and graphics at his neighbors. [ Continue reading ]
Bringing Cult into Running Culture
In 2001 Brice Partouche became a prominent name (without ever stepping into the limelight) in the so-called ‘rock era’ in fashion when he founded Paris-based jeans brand April77, which played a pinnacle role in bringing the slim silhouette in menswear from the stages of pop venues and runways to the streets of the mainstream. Last Summer, Brice presented a new project named Satisfy, this time infusing a new cultural elan into the perfect, performance orientated, world of running gear. Inspired by Partouche's new exciting endeavor, with the second collection in stores at this moment, we gave Brice a skypecall —fresh out of the shower after his evening run— to ask him about his love for running, the differences between starting a brand now and 15 years ago and what his plans are with his subversive new movement in athletic gear. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, American author Dale Hope presented the reissue of his well sought-after publication, first released in 2000: 'The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands'. The inspirational book is a highly comprehensive printed gem on the most enduring souvenir ever invented: the Hawaiian shirt. Seriously enhancing the first edition: over 150 pages were added to the original; the layout was updated completely; some new stories about other important artists, who originally hand-painted the shirts, were written; as well as the whole Pataloha story (Patagonia's collection of Hawaiian-inspired shirts and dresses) with Rell Sunn is told — making the new book more a true second edition than just a mere revision of the original. As beautifully, yet different, illustrated as the original, the new edition features hundreds of images, recounting the colorful stories behind the colorful shirts: as cultural icons, evocative of the mystery and the allure of the islands, capturing the vibe of the watermen culture and lifestyle. Valued by professional collectors and by millions of vacationers and servicemen, in recent years the Hawaii shirts are enjoying a fashion revival, having been reinterpreted on different catwalks by multiple fashion houses in the last decade.
Drawing from hundreds of interviews, newspaper and magazine archives, and personal memorabilia, the author evokes the world of the designers, seamstresses, manufacturers, and retailers of the Golden Age of the Aloha shirt (from the 30s through the 50s), who created the industry and nurtured it from its single-sewing-machine-shop beginnings to an enterprise of international scope and importance. Here, too, are the fun-loving 60s, interviews with collectors who preserve these shirts as fine works of art; and insights into the roles of coconut buttons, matched pockets, woven labels, and exotic fabrics in the evolution of the Aloha shirt. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, iconic Californian streetwear brand Stüssy presented its 7th seasonal Biannual — the magazine that celebrates the new upcoming collection. Where initially it stopped at being only that, over the years it has grown into a standalone publication in which the whole context around the brand is shared rather than just focusing on its own products and stories. It changed radically with Vol - 6, when the very talented Ryan Willms (of the recently stopped Inventory Magazine) took over as the editor of the magazine. Next to a new framework for the scope of the content, Willms' vision also included a new aesthetic for the publication to communicate the new ambitions for the Biannual. All of these elements put together makes the just released Vol - 7 a wonderful standout, the best they have put out so far, promising a lot for the future.
On the pages of the magazine its reader is taken to the island of Jamaica, which has been an inspiration for the brand from the very start through its rich culture, music and grounded lifestyle. On the island, photographer Tyrone Lebon shot his fourth series for Stüssy —very likely his best— exploring Jamaica’s great variety, spending time between Port Antonio and Kingston. Immersed into the Rasta, Reggae and Dancehall cultures of the island, the images convey an honest and exciting perspective of the country. Also dancehall superstar Popcaan is represented on the pages of the magazine. Next to these stories one will find enfant terrible and Bianca Chandôn mastermind Alex Olson, publisher Tom Adler (California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties!), collage artist Tomoo Gokita, fashion designer Daiki Suzuki, and Hoffman Fabrics, alongside features photographed by James W. Mataitis Bailey, Antosh Cimoszko and Joyce Sze NG in the magazine.
To learn a little more on the interesting new creative direction for the Biannual we connected with Ryan, who in turn gave the word to the brand's in-house designer Chris Glickman, who was kind enough to answer some questions from us right before he took a trip to Japan. [ Continue reading ]
Maybe it is because Spring is finally showing its face with the first sunny days behind us in The Netherlands, or it is just because of some excellent milestones celebrating the sport we discovered recently; what ever the reason, recently we have become slightly obsessed with surfing (again). It remains without a doubt the most aesthetic sport, both as a discipline and source of inspiration, with a persisting unique lifestyle, continuing to be deeply engrained in global culture — one of the few real subcultures left. After Taschen released the highly remarkable 'Surfing. 1778 — 2015.' last month, now we discovered another remarkable book celebrating the sport in all its richness named 'Fly Black Bird — More Than A Surfboard Edition 1'. Released last year by Portugese surf enthusiast Pedro Falcão, who started Fly Black Bird as a surfboard brand in 2013 and decided to mark his love for the still young sport in Portugal with the brand's first book. With its 228-color pages, the soft cover book was designed perfectly, showing a great balance between imagery and text, which are both in English and Portuguese. It features contributions by a lot of - for us - new names for Portugal, but also familiar creatives as Moderate Distractions, the great John Witzig and illustrator João 'Capitão' Neto. As it's unlikely we'll ever skillfully step on a surfboard ourselves, 'Fly Black Bird — More Than A Surfboard Edition 1' helps us continue dreaming about this unparalleled sport. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, the New York City-based Robert Miller Gallery closed the first major solo exhibition of the inspirational American painter Ran Ortner, forming the perfect showcase of his incredible talent, which we encountered online recently by chance. Using oil paint, the painter plays mastefully on the lights, the focal length and the details of the huge waves he represents on canvas, making the result very realistic. The artist's process focuses on his unique relationship with the ocean which is reflected in large-scale paintings of bodies of water. His new work examines the tender and terrifying interplay that occurs as waves crash against one another. An autodidact, Ortner has spent the past two decades creating a singular language with the ocean. It is in moments in the rhythm of moving water where Ortner finds inspiring potential. The intoxication he experiences through the elegant rage of the endless sea is what sparks each intricately layered painting, being some of the most impressive hyperrealistic work we have laid eyes on in a long time. [ Continue reading ]
New York City-based Studio Zung is an inspirational design studio with a focus on architecture, design and branding. We became familiar with their work through the latest project of its founder, architect Tommy Zung, who recently designed an incredible collection of surfboards (and skateboards for that matter, which were initially designed for Zung’s 13-year-old son, Kaikoa) collection, the Zung Ride. After having surfed in Montauk, Mundaka, Biarritz, and far beyond for over 30 years, the designer decided to translate his love for surfing in boards from his own aesthetic vision which he feels have “very good shapes that make you surf better.” Designed in-house, and hand-shaped in Southern California, the 7, 8, 9-foot-long boards are made from polyurethane foam and fibreglass and finished with either paint or resin tint, with the graphics being inspired by the incredible work of Ellsworth Kelly. We love both the colors and shapes and how the two elements make the Zung Ride some of the most aesthetic boards out there. [ Continue reading ]
And yet another extraordinary analogue series by the super talented Berlin-based Croatian photographer Katja Kremenić. For the beautiful series which she named 'Lush Life', Katja once again finds herself in paradise, on the beaches of Central American Costa Rica - where she also shot her 'Rip Currents' series, through which we discovered her work - this time creating a visual narrative in her signature romantic free-floating style for the inspirational Australia-based travel platform The Adventure Handbook. Kremenić continues to excel in translating a broad field of emotions into her photographs, making the fragmentations of her gaze almost tangible through the frames of her images. Her continuing fascination with the beach both proves to be an everlasting source of aesthetic inspiration in the creation of her highly appealing images as the perfect environment for her to create in. We can't wait for more beautiful stories by Katja Kremenić. [ Continue reading ]
Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater has just released the name and first imagery of his new, and highly promising looking, ready-to-wear brand named Outerknown. The name Outerknown references the furthest reaches of our knowledge today. It challenges the people behind the brand to build better, more sustainable products. It asks to lift the lid on the supply chain bringing the consumer along on our journey to transparency. Slater has put together a world-class team that includes co-founder John Moore as Creative Director overseeing product and marketing. Moore has collaborated with Slater in the past, and was recently named as one of GQ’s best new menswear designers of the year for 2014. [ Continue reading ]
We love this amazing collaboration between Alexander Wang and Australian Haydenshapes to outfit the latest Soho flagship store's Cage installation. The project features five marble print surfboards, exclusively created by the leading Australian surfboard brand Haydenshapes for this installation. The insanely beautiful marble boards, being also a typical element within Wang’s aesthetic, are suspended from the cage wall, while a monolithic, large black wave sculpted from black sand looms occupies the other area of the space. We just can't keep our eyes of the tremendous boards and their graphic patterns, photographs of unique marble slabs developed by Haydenshapes founder Hayden Cox and Wang himself, which were digitally printed onto silk, then onto the award winning 'Hypto Krypto' boards; to create one of a kind visual art pieces of exquisite beauty. [ Continue reading ]
For the second installment in their Off Map series in which they partner with brands and craftsmen, accessory label Octovo has collaborated with Southern Oregon-based Tilley Surfboards of Jason Tilley. This resulted in an extraordinary series of five custom board designs. Constructed out of hand-shaped foam combined with custom-milled wooden skins, each board has its own beauty, showing both color and the natural beauty of the wood. The boards feature a leash cup made of titanium or bronze and come in a tailored bag made out of UV and water-resistant material. The bags are padded and reinforced at the nose and tail with leather covers for added protection resulting in a utmost elegant collection bringing together craftsmanship and aesthetics. [ Continue reading ]
Back from LA I find myself packed with super nice good vintage found on the Rose Bowl Flea Market, lovely chocolates by Mary & Matt, a beautiful vintage Japanese Kokeshi figure from Tortoise General Store, the memory of the good food at… [ Continue reading ]
I instantly want to go surfing after seeing this trailer of Tracking – a new surfing film by Jimmy James Kinnaird. Inspired by the transitional period in surfing in the late 60’s and early 70’s Kinnaird followed the surfers Ellis Ericson, Jason Salisbury, Niah and Mia through wild… [ Continue reading ]
The Endless Summer is another great post by Still Stile. ‘If you love the seashore and if you’re fond of surfing you will definitely like Bruce Brown’s documentary, one of the first ever shot on surf culture. Still if you don’t like surfing or even the… [ Continue reading ]