Training the mind more than the body
As my focus is shifting towards running (while training for my first ultra marathon), my colleague Thomas showed me the Distance shops in Paris and Lyon and got totally hooked by what they do, the brands they cary and the projects they initiate. One of these projects is The Distance Book Series by photographer and artistic director Thibaut Grevet with the aim to produce a singular vision of some of the world’s most emblematic places related to running and its culture. The first volume of this collection is devoted to the mythical village of Iten in Kenya. [ Continue reading ]
In the midst of last week's presentations of the Spring/Summer 2018 collections all over Paris, one of the things we liked most that came from the French capital was the release of the Summer 2017 chapter of the ongoing collaboration between Pigalle and Nike, that next to his own brand's interesting Spring/Summer 2018 collection forms another significant addition to founder and designer Stéphane Ashpool’s ever-growing legacy. In the shared vision of the Parisian brand and the American athletic giant, which first saw light in 2014, basketball continues to be the constant factor. While themes have varied since the beginning — from weathered courts to the tick of the shot clock — Ashpool’s undying love of (nineties NBA) basketball remains the leitmotif, which he took to new interesting heights with his latest creations.
His new collection with Nike explores new grounds within the fundament of basketball, not only introducing new garments and shoes, but broadening the scope of his creations to include silhouettes that work seamlessly for men and women. Ashpool estimates for every 10 customers at his Paris store, three are women, and while his aesthetic draws heavily from women’s haute couture, this is the first time he’s consciously pushed a NikeLab offering in a softer direction. Next to a change in the pieces itself, a new color palette of pink, blue and white marks the new phase of less gendered boundaries in a perfect elegant way. And it doesn't stop at just the clothing, as the famous basketball court in the Parisian neighborhood that gave the brand its name — which Ashpool, his friends and Nike first renovated in 2009 and subsequently became a significant tactile element of their earliest collaborations with NikeLab — was given a complete color make-over in a collaboration with Ill Studio to beautifully mark the latest developments directly in the place where it all started. [ Continue reading ]
Another release that took place while Joachim and I were away on holiday last month (but we need to share as it's so good) came from one of our favorite magazines on the market. The Los Angeles-based FRANCHISE Magazine, that was incepted in April of 2016 to bring a new elan into the world of basketball publications, celebrated already the third edition and it proved to be another incredible addition to the catalogue of the magazine that, without a doubt, is among the most playful and creative printed publications writing about sport.
The third issue features a front and back cover shot by the very talented New York-based photographer Pete Deevakul. Deevakul shot basketballs from the Japanese-based basketball manufacturer Tachikara Japan with a unique twist on ikebana. Inside it holds stories like the day in the life of the New York KNICKS City Dancers shot by Daniel Arnold and one of our favorites; Australian artist Mark Whalen bringing his neon-infused style in a watercolor series. In the magazine one also finds a profile on the Barcelona-based duo LLobet & Pons’ art installation series 'No One Wins', in which New Orleans native Ashley Teamer uses a variety of mediums for her art including collages featuring WNBA imagery. One also finds the work of Isa Saalabi: a Los Angeles-based photographer who documents emerging high school talent of which a selection from the Tarkanian Classic is showcased. And finally Photographer Gary Land’s work is highlighted showing his legendary images of Allen Iverson and Streetball, amongst a list of other inspirational stories.
In our eyes this is the third W in a row by Justin Montag, Chris Dea and Brock Batten, make sure to pick it up one way or another! [ Continue reading ]
When we spoke to April77 and Satisfy founder Brice Partouche last October, he promised that the coming third collection of his new subversive movement in athletic gear would embody the complete ambition that formed the incentive to start the new endeavor, launched about a year ago. Despite taking up a rather unique position in the existing field of performance-focussed running apparel from the very beginning, in his own words; the first two collections still missed something, whether that be in the cultural references infused in them or the high performance elements, being as strong a component in the Satisfy products as all the other brands doing running gear.
Like everything else beautiful in life, the next level to be found in the Spring/Summer 2017 collection —in stores very soon— lays in the details, both when it comes to the individual pieces as which ambition the new designs overal represent. The new collection still finds itself aesthetically akin to the earlier designs, but the extreme refinement presents the high future ambition for the brand. With Partouche referring to Martin Margiela as a key inspiration for what Satisfy could be, the way space blankets (used to warm up marathonrunners after the race) have become part of the collection, still fitting the overal punk aesthetic, honors the high stakes inspiration in an ambitious, elegant manner and exemplifies the extraordinary vision where Partouche wants to take Satisfy in the future. (Which can't be said for most people that currently find their 'inspiration' in the work of the genius Belgian visionary...)
We can only look forward where Partouche will take Satisfy, the soon to be released collection can only lead to more greatness, taking up a unique and highly ambitious position in the running universe, which we find a lot of inspiration in and therefore applaud loudly. [ Continue reading ]
Although we aren't big basketball aficionados, when Justin Montag (Editor-in-Chief), Chris Dea (Art Director) and Brock Batten (Business Development) launched FRANCHISE magazine six months ago, a complete new perspective on the sport opened up to us. With the current state of basketball publications still being dominated by high definition, high gloss visuals, the trio found inspiration for their magazine in the European independent magazine equivalents from the world of football, who for some years now have brought a much needed contemporary vision to the traditional world of that sport, which FRANCHISE aims to introduce for basketball. Last month, marked the highly anticipated presentation of their second issue, after successfully finding a significant audience since April. The incredible new edition follows up on the debut of the magazine in the best possibly way, showing a next level in the creation of a distinct, artistic visual language and content-wise featuring an interview with legendary NBA fan James Goldstein, a fashion collaboration between Phil Oh & Kalen Hollomon, features on Stephen Baker, Sporting Life and a series named the 'Pixel Hall of Fame', amongst others.
Make sure to pick up and support this unique and exiting voice in the world of basketball. [ Continue reading ]
In the words of Satisfy founder Brice Partouche; "running is like meditation," which might very well the best medicine to keep your mind in the right place at the moment. In that particular realm, the Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Holiday 2016 collection just dropped as part of the ongoing collaboration between Nike and Undercover's Jun Takahashi, that has entered its sixth year. Each Gyakusou collection builds upon the last, blending innovation with Takahashi’s creative punk spirit and athletic sensibilities. The new collection notably reflects Nike’s approach to transformative design, as select items are designed to reduce distraction by being easily packable. Since the very beginning, Takahashi made the Gyakusou color palette to blend well with both the urban and natural landscape using earthy colors and the traditional colors of Japan, this season also debuting some contrasting colors in the palette. Another first time is the fact that Takahashi features in the lookbook created for the new collection. Next to the photography, an impressive video was additionally produced, in which the Japanese visionary expresses his vision for what he has been aiming to create with Gyakusou in the last six years. Very impressive, if you would ask us. [ Continue reading ]
Talking (sub)culture with April77 and Satisfy founder Brice Partouche
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, a unique new basketball magazine saw light in Los Angeles, taking a bold position in the extensive existing world of the popular sport full of metrics and predominantly presented through a slick aesthetic. Named FRANCHISE, the beautifully designed magazine approaches the sport strictly from an artistic point of view, having created a raw and diverse visual language far from the usual for their debut issue. The magazine was created by editor-in-chief Justin Montag and creative director Chris Dea, two co-workers up in the Bay Area who both love the sport dearly. During a trip to London, Montag saw how many elegant magazines are being printed in England about football (with the Green Soccer Journal as the prime example, no doubt), which inspired the two Americans to create something similar about the game they love, adding third founder Brock Batten for business development. For the debut issue this resulted in portfolios of UNA Studio’s sharp illustrations, Theophilus Mensah’s beautiful photography of pickup players in Ghana, and NBA Injury R3port’s bizar comics rendered massive. It also features a conversation between Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and the team’s longtime supporter Diplo, as well as a short interview with artist Lauren Fisher, who has created 3D court projections for NBA. The result is by far the most interesting publication on the sport we have ever seen. We don't have much affinity with the sport of basketball, but FRANCHISE might very well inspire some change in that area through its inspirational approach and perspective which we really appreciate. [ Continue reading ]
In the Summer of 2014 we discovered the highly inspirational Victory Journal, which instantly became one of our favorite magazines being printed today. Founded in 2010 - the same year when that other elegant frontrunner in sports magazines; Green Soccer Journal first saw light - the three New York-based creatives Christopher Isenberg, Aaron Amaro and Kimou Meyer started their magazine concerned with the eternal glories and ignominies of players and pursuits the world over. Published by design studio Doubleday and Cartwright and printed on unusual large-format unbound pages, every one of the issues they have released in the following five years makes you feel the excitement of sport, yet never losing its elegance and somewhat classical feel through an excellent curation of imagery. At the end of last year the magazine celebrated the release of their 10th issue, which is totally based around the intersection of sport and art. Victory Journal stays winning. [ Continue reading ]
The all new sportswear brand AEANCE aims to bridge the gap between working out and going out. Designed in collaboration with German fashion designer Hien Le - known for an elegant clean cut colorful aesthetic - for this first collection, the brand makes its debut with a 19-piece running collection for men and women with a timeless appeal. Despite the dominant rhythm of fashion having to present twice a year, AEANCE decided to produce on a non-seasonal basis. The upcoming collections will feature further fashion names to work with the brand and its clean cuts and rigorous attention to technical and athletic detail. Keep an eye on this elegant newcomer in sports apparel. [ Continue reading ]
Last year Nike introduced its ambitious and innovative NikeLab to the public. One of the first collections launched via the new platform and chain of select retail outlets were the Holiday 2014 designs of its super impressive collaboration with Jun Takahashi, founder of avant-garde label Undercover. Last week, the two presented their latest joint endeavor with the Holiday 2015 collection. As always the designs show a blend of leading Nike innovation and Takahashi’s creativity and unique sense of individualism. This particular collection was specifically informed by data from the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab and inspired by insights from Takahashi’s GIRA (Gyakusou International Running Association) crew, resulting in gear which was designed to layer. The pieces form not just some of the most elegant designs in run wear, but they are just as cutting edge in its pragmatism as aesthetic: providing elegant protection against the elements in the best possible way. [ Continue reading ]
Some months ago we were asked by Utrecht-based studio Autobahn to participate in their '26 Creative Characters' project, which yesterday had its official debut in the newly opened Autobahn Gallery. The ambitious initiative celebrates the typographic diversity of todays graphic design, marking the 10th anniversary celebration of Maarten Dullemeijer and Rob Stolte's design studio. As part of 26 contemporary (typo)graphic designers - among which are Studio Airport, Baster, Jaap Biemans, Martin Pyper, Max Kisman and Thonik - we were invited to create our vision for the letter 'X'. The diverse outcome is a unique mix of styles, materials and ideas, with our design being directly inspired by and executed on a collection of 22 vintage wooden baseball bats, all individually numbered, carrying a little hand painted piece of the X. While creating the project we received numerous inquiries about the unique bats and therefore we decided to make them available for everyone in the newly revived Another Shop (with more coming in the near future!), where you can select your personal favorite numbered piece of the X. [ 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 ]
Since last June Nike has been opening very inspirational new consumer destinations in 6 major cities all over the globe and online named named NikeLab. The new outlet is a place to showcase how Nike interacts and collaborates with other innovators as part of its larger journey of exploration. It will present a curated collection defined by product never before imagined paired with new variations of existing performance styles. Among the first line of new products presented within the new framework is an all new beautiful Nike Gyakusou line for the holiday season of 2014. Mirroring designer Jun Takahashi’s progressively more serious approach to running, this collection exponentially combines top Nike Running and Research Lab innovations with the designer’s athletic insights, which resulting in a collection combining its signature sharp aesthetic with the latest innovations in performance wear: we love it! [ 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 ]