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Virgil Abloh, (celebrated creative director/DJ/fashion mogul) has taken the time to show the receipts of his labor of love with the extremely detailed book ICONS on his contribution to sneaker culture through a longtime relationship with Nike.
Starting with the groundbreaking "The Ten'' series back in 2017, where Abloh transformed favorite Nike models: the Blazer Mid, Air Jordan I, Air Presto, Air VaporMax, Air Max 90...flipped them on some inside-out, rip the guts, show the stitching, add a zip-tie and bam! An all-star line-up was born for sneakerheads all around the world. The part two of that series to complete the ten were: Nike Zoom Fly SP, Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Air Max 97, Nike Air Force 1 Low, and Nike React Hyperdunk 2017.
He explained his vision for these top price point, iconic kicks styles to Nike back in 2017 as, “in one gesture, I wanted to underscore how the design system and manufacturing of Nike are so perfect.” Abloh continued, “by combining these shoes with design that amplifies their ‘handmade’ quality, we’re intensifying the human element and expanding the emotional connection of these 10 icons.”
Having such enormous success in shifting sneaker culture with those monumental designs, Abloh's star shined even more from behind the shadows of his close friend, style mentor and former business partner Kanye West. Soon Abloh's OFF-WHITE clothing/accessories brand was doing even more high-end collabs that lead to a history making creative director position at the famed house of Louis Vuitton (view his LV Fall-Winter 2021 show here)
All of that leads us to the times of today, where Abloh is so entrenched in pop culture, his every move on social media or new world offering is met with fanfare and long lines (both physical and digital) for his lettered productions and acquired taste creations. The one constant though is Abloh's dedication to detail and the full package of explaining his process with heart and passion. Thus, ICONS being the perfect book to learn the tactics and thoughts of a true creative.
"The foundation of my practice isn’t nearly the end result — it’s rigor and process of the logic. The archive is the paper trail of those artifacts," says Abloh. "The ICONS book is, in a way, the only revealing lens to understand that the catalog of the 50-plus Nike shoes I have designed are in my mind 'one shoe.' One story."
Abloh isn't the only mastermind behind ICONS. You'll find words and descriptions by designers, historians and writers like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Glenn Adamson and Troy Patterson, respectively. There is also art direction by Zak Group which rounds out the visual connection to the words and wizardry of what Abloh has launched in our inspiration sphere. The ICONS tome will be available on January 22nd on the Nike SNKRS app and on Feb. 5th you'll be able to cop it from Off-White, Canary Yellow and the TASCHEN.com websites.
You hear the name Bob Marley and you automatically become one with all good harmonies that speak of positivity and togetherness. The Reggae superstar's legacy continues to live on in the hearts of his fans around the world and now through this new collaboration with denim brand Cult of Individuality, Marley's true comrades can show their love in style.
Meshed with the color palate of his Jamaican roots, the designs on the collection (t-shirts, hoodies, denim pants and jackets) are true to the rugged but realness that one would expect from the Marley brand. Images of a youthful Marley to a mature melody maker is mixed with bright paint splashes on the tees and well placed distresses on the jeans enhance the quality of the garments.
It wouldn't be a true collaboration if Marley's wise words weren't placed on them to be inspired by the masses. So right on the leather biker jacket we find the life lines from his classic tune "Redemption Song": "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery/None but ourselves can free our minds."
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Cult of Individuality has been a hot brand for the people since 2009, their mantra is simple: "We craft new takes on the classics, using old methods mixed with new, producing fresh ideas, styles, washes – all uniquely worn, weathered and personalized with Cult’s particular take."
To purchase the gear and support the movement, visit cultofindividuality.com
Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has taken a moment to address the backlash surrounding the leaked cover image choice of Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris for their February 2021 print issue.
In an interview with The New York Times, the tenured fashion editor released a statement explaining her team's decision to go with the more casual photo of Harris dressed in a black blazer, black slacks, and a pair of black and white Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. "Obviously, we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the Vice-President-elect’s incredible victory," she says. "We want nothing but to celebrate Vice President-elect Harris's amazing victory and the important moment this is in America's history and particularly for women of color all over the world."
Wintour also brought up how both parties—Vogue's editorial staff and Harris' team—did not come to a collaborative decision prior to the revealing of the print cover image, one that Harris' squad was reportedly not expecting.
"There was no formal agreement about what the choice of the cover would be, and when the two images arrived at Vogue, all of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the vice president-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in, which we were in the midst, as we still are, of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute," she clarified. "We felt to reflect this tragic moment and global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible and approachable and real, really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign and everything they're trying to, and, I'm sure, will achieve."
Although the initial, underwhelming image was leaked as the official print cover, Vogue revealed the more fitting image of Harris wearing a powder blue suit as a digital cover on Sunday morning (Jan. 10). Tyler Mitchell, the young Black photographer commissioned for the cover shoot, posted this version along with another. According to The Times, Vogue is considering printing the formal version as a second edition.
Meanwhile, many Harris supporters are pushing for every woman to dress casually like the vice president-elect in honor of her on Inauguration Day. "My cousin BeBe @bernadettemarsh sent this to me," wrote Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson under her Instagram post. "She asked that every woman dress like this on Inauguration Day to honor Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Jeans, blazer, Converse tennis shoes, pearls. I think it is a great idea! I will do it! What do y'all think ?"
The cover on the left (with the Chuck Ts) had no business being selected or even offered as an option.
This speaks volumes of how you view our Madam Vice President.
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) January 10, 2021