That time of year again. My choice for top 10 sneakers of the year.
That time of year again. My choice for top 10 sneakers of the year.
Stussy was established in 1980 and has since remained on the top of the food chain of streetwear. All important milestones in the development of the culture we live, breath and work in, can be traced back to the brand started as tees to support a surfboard company.
Stussy recently sent out 30 or so personalized International Stussy Tribe varsity jackets produced by Golden Bear. This black version will not see retail – strictly friends and family. Amazing gift and I’m honored to be a part of the small crew that received the jacket.
Many good friends over at Stussy – Thanks Scott, Fraser and David for your continued love and support.
Photos by Billy Fischer | OHWRD
My collaboration with New York’s own 40oz will drop on this Tuesday (10/9) at noon. The web shop will only be open until midnight.
The cap was produced in limited quantities and will never be produced again.
Buy it HERE on Tuesday.
Peep the interview I did with the Sneakerology Studio which is a college course on sneaker design.
Shouts to Elliot
New Balance “Liberty, Justice & Freedom”
In early 2011, I started a new journey and began to develop what now is The Boylston Trading Company. Fresh off the success of the New Balance x Concepts project (The Kennedy 999), my relationship with NB was in a great place. The office is near by and the lifestyle product team and I had become close over the few years of working together. It was a no brainer and took little discussion to agree another collaboration was appropriate.
As always, the first convo is “what shoe and why?”.
NB was looking to re-intro the 1600, which was popular in Japan, into the states with a special project. I had no issue with that. Good shoe, nice shape and great panel placement for me to get busy on. It was a plus that no one used the shoe in any other colab situations.
I went to work and the “Liberty, Justice & Freedom” 3-shoe project was born. “Liberty & Justice” was to have a normal distribution situation with the “Freedom” slated to be released as a Friends & Family only shoe. The release date was tentatively set for around Independence Day. This design process was smoother and more refined than any other project I’ve ever done with the NB team (or any other company) moving like a well-oiled machine. Amazing selections of leathers and suede were presented to me and I chose incredible materials. Straight butter. My design incorporated a star emboss motif (my favorite feature!) that was executed near flawless on the first round of samples.
Now this is when things took a turn. In November 2011, the unfortunate news was broken to me that due to some misunderstandings and Boston retail politics, arguably my best project to date had to be cancelled. Relationships, other’s insecurities and red tape became the death of an amazing, well thought out and beautifully executed project.
Believe me I was fucking mad and extremely disappointed.
I don’t work to cancel out the next man’s progress and do not plan my projects to clash with retailers in my city or beyond. I work to grow and if my growth makes others uncomfortable, so be it. To me this was a travesty and a total cop out and no matter how hard I argued, pleaded and clarified – nothing could be done and no one could help (some tried and others…).
Either way, I love this project and feel like everything I’ve learned leading up to that point went into this design. I feel it’s my best project to date and wanted to make sure I shared what could have been.
All good though, the world doesn’t stop spinning and it’s BAU.
Peep the project, hope you enjoy and thanks for the continued support.
Look out for my next best shoe dropping soon.
Frank “The Butcher” Rivera
Photos: Billy Fischer / OWRD
Life is good for Nasir Jones. Riding off of the wave of 3 super solid singles, his 10th album ‘Life is Good’ is highly anticipated and God’s Son sounds rejuvenated and ready to tackle today’s musical landscape. What’s good about this go round is that Nas did what we all want him to do – stick to his strengths (sans the leaked sequel to ‘Black Girl Lost” which thankfully didn’t make the album). With the majority of the LP produced by Salaam Remi and No I.D., we can be confident the production will be taken care of so Nasir can show people why he’s illmatic.
To celebrate the new album, Nas teamed up with my people at Sneak Tip to produce promo only (for now) cap, tee, hoodie and tank.
Life is indeed good.
Photos by Billy / OHWRD (except Nas photo)
I am proud to present my Nike Destroyer jacket built at the Nike Sportswear Stadium MFG shop in NYC. All patches and embroidery tie back to something personal. Homages include my wife, children and my brother who passed away in 2005. The chest features a “BAU” embroidery hit which stands for “Business as Usual”, while the back features the ‘Love Wolf’ graphic that is also a tattoo on my forearm.
A big thanks to Nike / Stadium MTG for the opportunity and a SPECIAL nod to Mike Cherman who helped me put this amazing varsity together.
Love Wolf design by SPACEKNUCKLE
All photos by: Billy Fischer / OHWRD
Business As Usual is the crew and mantra. The Love Wolf is the mascot.
“IX” heart represents my wife. The stars are my children.
Memorial for my little brother who left us in 2005. Love you Franco.
“Then we got the Ol’ Dirty Bastard, cuz they ain’t no father to his style, that’s why he the Ol’ Dirty Bastard” – Method Man
Let me start by saying that it’s easy to “like” something when millions support it. So yeah, you like the Wu currently, of course you do. In the beginning it was a journey to understand the madness.
I first was put onto the Wu-Tang Clan in 9th grade — around 1992. I first heard Protect Ya Neck off a local DJ’s white label (independently pressed record usually identified by it’s plain white label) he bought while in NYC. At first listen it was an organized mess with a chaotic sonic backdrop that served as a no topic free-for-all with each clan member sounding like they had separate points to prove. What was the point? I wasn’t sure at first but that became the point. Members had distinct personalities that were revealed in their rhyme style, tone, temperament and voice. Someone like GZA maintained a monotone chokehold on a track without raising his energy level above a Central Park chess match while Method Man was jumping out of his seat during his verse.
Everyone had a different preferred swordsman but no one can deny that the Ol’ Dirty Bastard commanded attention. Meth said that there wasn’t a paternal claim to Dirt’s rhyme style, hence the moniker, which was evident by his freestyle like rants that were only held together by his charisma. Did he always make sense? No. Did he stick out like a sore thumb during posse cuts? Hell yeah. But that’s what made him special. He was a bastard.
It made perfect sense for Method Man’s ‘Tical’ to be the first out the gate after the Clan’s grand entrance. Next up was Ol’ Dirty with his debut ‘Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version’ that was launched on the back of the broken piano loop’d single Brooklyn Zoo. The album felt as if the Rza understood that Dirt had to run lawless to get the best out of him but figured a way to filter the madness into a focused effort – his only focused effort. The album featured most of the clan and some affiliates and was truly a glimpse into the psyche of the drunken master.
What made Dirty special is what ultimately made him self-destruct. His genius was often over shadowed by a history of alcohol and drug abuse that helped him create a rap sheet as long as the list of Wu-affiliates. Over a dozen kids with multiple women, crashing the stage at the Grammys and coming to the aid of a little girl trapped after a car crash are some of the things highlighted in his legacy. Let’s not forget the most important factoids – he is one of the founding fathers of arguably the most important group in hip-hop history and his debut album is nothing short of a classic.
16 years after it’s release, ‘Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version’ will be re-released with commemorative limited edition packaging celebrating one of the brightest figures to ever grace rap music. Ol’ Dirty wasn’t just the clan’s resident live wire but was truly a one in a lifetime character who captured the attention of the world, one rant and incident at a time.
The album with extra goodies, including the infamous food stamp card featured on the original album art, will be released on Get On Down Records distributed by Traffic Entertainment on November 22nd.
Russell Jones | Rest In Peace