Summer Beaters

IMG_2495

There are certain days in the Summer when you simply are not allowed to have plans. You roll out of bed sometime around 11:48 to the sound of your cell phone ringing underneath your pillow. You probably fell asleep in the same clothes that you were wearing last night, and most likely you were planning on sleeping off whatever night time antics occurred the previous evening. The cell phone has very different plans however, and is absolutely relentless in requesting that you open your eyes.

When you finally get around to finding the phone and picking up the call, without doubt it is one of your close friends who, unlike you, is already wide awake and in front of your house to pick you up to head down to the beach for the rest of the day. Because it is far too early in the morning to formulate any sort of effective argument as to why you can’t go you roll out of bed, you throw some water on the face, brush your teeth and proceed with going downstairs, grabbing a poptart, throwing on your summer shoes and jumping into the car.

The reason for my narrative (Besides the fact that I just like writing a whole bunch with a generally uneeded amount of extravagance and fluff.) is to speak on the idea of the “summer beaters.”

 

When it comes to the Summer schedule there has to be a shoe/shoes that get worn absolutely every single day regardless of the destinanation and without a second thought. The shoes will usually start off the Summer in great condition: brilliant color, fresh laces. Than by the end of the season they will most likely be fully destroyed with holes, rips, tears, stains, and exsisting in a completely different color than the one they started as. It’s all part of the beautiful process that only comes about in summer…i guess.

I went with 2 pairs of Jordans this year. A pair of Jordan 3 “True Blues” and a pair of Jordan 9 “playoffs”
and in a way I feel kind of bad, They both were completely unaware the amount of pavement, skateboard grip tape, grass, sand, and utter life that they are about to come into contact with the last couple months.

Super Street Kineda II

slideshow_1_1024x1024
Had a chance to check out Kineda’s SF Hyper Collection yet? It’s signature Kineda art, plus you’re favorite Street Fighter II characters. The only thing that can top that is if they made more tee’s with SF4 characters… *cough, cough CODY…ahem.

I’m not big on graphic tee’s anymore, not since 05/06 or so but, Looking through the Kineda Store. I must admit i’m tempted to pick up a few things (I personally like the “Shoryuken” snapback). So if you’re big on Streetwear, still “hypebeasting”, a Capcom supporter, Street Fighter fanboy/girl. I suggest taking a look at the store and dropping some of that tax return money on some fresh shit.

Alife like no other.

As evidenced by the fact that ye olde Americana doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, I may be speaking mostly for myself when I say I miss the days when streetwear was streetwear. And when I say streetwear my friends, I mean streetwear. Reminisce with me for a moment back to a time when one could find the youth of the city draped in all-over print hats, jeans in varying states of full blown day glo hues and t-shirts that demanded a particular sort of attention (most often through clever combinations of conventional logo’s and that tried and true stalwart of the English language, “fuck”). It was a special moment. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and when it came to those defining years when streetwear was pushing culture, not a mainstream part of it, nobody did it better than Alife.


Alife was without question one of the more daring and innovative streetwear lines in a genre that was already seen as something of a loose cannon in a world that was still recovering from 3XL’s t-shirts or mainly concerned with SB Dunks and Levi Shrink to Fit’s. The line was a statement of color blocking mastery, with the occasional experiments in ridiculous logo jacking, Cookie Monster eyes, polka dot crews, and impressive heather’s and basics. Basically, it was everything a great streetwear line should be, irreverent, brash, innovative and immaculately conceived. If you saw someone else with Alife in 2006, you know they put in groundwork to get their hands on a piece.

Before I get emotional describing how genius it was for Alife to be producing selvedge jeans in 2006 with a plaid cuff lining long before everyone began dressed like a J.Crew catalog, or how they moved before the market, flipping traditional oxfords and khaki’s into flippant all-over print takes on classic pieces before you all traded your Jordans and Street’d your Etiquette, let me just say this. It’s sad to see some of the once dominant streetwear lines reduced to pale imitations of basics you’d be far better off buying at the Gap.

There’s a reason we were all attracted to these brands back in high school and college, and it’s not because they could find an innocuous way to sew their logo along the waist line of a half assed, cheaply produced chino pant. Streetwear was glorious when it still knew that it was streetwear.

Applause for one of the best to have ever done it.

Just Around the Corner: 5&A Dime

5&a Dime from EQ Culture on Vimeo.

For the past couple of years, I have been working w/the store 5&A Dime. Many of my friends would ask me what that store was and what it was about – some people even thought it was a bar because we have monthly parties where booze is usually present. To be honest, the 5D store and family is something I only recently got to know. I, like many of my other friends, initially turned away because we thought their steeze was all about Filipinos and dance crews. When I walked in two years ago, it was way more than that.

First off, I found out the owner was white. I didn’t necessarily expect Filipino – but I certainly was not thinking white! That was surprise one. Second surprise was that 5&A Dime was actually cool. Not only is everyone chill there, w/a crazy sense of humor that is in the style of my own family, but their aesthetics and interests were nothing short of… and I hate using this word again, cool. That’s the best word to describe walking into the store and seeing all their products.

I’ve been helping w/their marketing and public relations (I even interviewed Ellen Wong for them – there is an awesome pic of her w/a mustache pillow floating about somewhere) and I can tell you that they are a mix bag just like Team Mixed Nuts. It’s skate culture, hip hop, a little old timey, w/a dash of nerdiness (they love Comic Con and sell vinyl toys in addition to mens contemporary apparel).

I’m quite proud of 5D, even if they frustrate me sometimes. But watching this video makes me feel all tingly to be a part of something that feels so genuine. I am sure many of you have at least stopped by the shop at least once, but even if you have – linger a little longer and get to know everyone. I promise, everyone is chill. Even if you’re weird.

– Eileen

Dear “The Pack” Shut Up

Image

Just about everyone I know has come into contact with a good old classic pair of Vans at least once in their life, the vast majority of these people probably a good deal more than one pair.  The classic thick rubber soles, thin canvas body and endless array of colors have combined to create a classic silhoutte that has graced the feed of everyone from the Z-Boys of California to Sean Penn as “Spicloi” in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Sneaker Freaker an amazing interview with Jason Le of Vans that details the  history of the company.  What stated out as a small manufacturing company pushing out simple shoes has grown into an international sensation that has evolved from merely being a shoe company, to a veritable staple in the industry. Vans quite simply are essential streetwear.  Click here to read the interview, definitely well done.

-Jusin