Thursday, 19 July 2018

Anti Social Social Club Riot Shield.

Neek Lurk has shown his wry ironic sense of humour once again.  In the "Positive-Negative" capsule he repeated his poke at haters, with tops emblazoned with "People Love Reading Negative Reviews".  ASSC gets a lot of stick for it's products, customer services, unoriginality. But people, people, buy through paypal, get a refund if you have a problem, and don't buy it if you don't like it. 

Announced today, is a novelty item, a Riot Shield.  Joked about on blogs as a drop-day essential for dealing with crowds, we think its another nod to the haters.  

"I'm ready for you come at me, I got a branded riot shield to deflect all those negative comments".

The average price of a riot shield is £100, so expect this to go for £300.  But honestly, thats not the point.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Rimowa Complete Re-Branding And Possibly E-Tag Luggage Discontinued.

Many people may not be aware, but LVMH bought an 80 percent stake in Rimowa in 2016.  This means that if they wanted to they could just auction it off for parts.  It's theirs, full-stop.  Apparently, the acquisition was encouraged by Alexandre Arnault, long-time Rimowa enthusiast, and grandson of the LVMH chairman, and billionaire, Bernard.  Rimowa was bought not only for Alexandre, but actually for Alexandre.  The 25 year old engineering graduate is CEO.

No doubt Alexandre was keen to make his mark, and decided what the brand needed was a big old shake up.  So he re-branded, redesigned the product, centralised the shopping experience online, created new corporate stores, and discontinued many lines.  In essence, a total and complete overhaul.
At first, we bemoaned the rich-kid-making-his-mark adage.  Oh woe is us, our beloved Rimowa ruined!  But the thing is, it's actually better.  There's no subtlety to what Alexandre has done,  he has not "tweaked and prodded", he took a sledgehammer to the Rimowa cases.  But when a Rimowa case gets damaged, a sledgehammer is exactly whats needed to get it back in shape.

First the re-design.  A sharp redefining of the full length stripes so they stop short of the end, quite simply, looks better.  Now the updated text.  Frankly it was so 80's it hurt.  The new Sans Serif is elegant and timeless.  The new packaging, considering they charge £1,000 for a case, the old cardboard box wasn't swinging it, the new packaging feels like the price point.  Online shopping, finally! It was so frustrating jumping between Rimowa and other sites checking serial numbers to make sure you are buying the case you want.  The corporate stores,  again, a necessity at the price point.

Now onto the big changes.  The most often seen logo will now be the "M" in a diamond.  This logo is inspired by both the cathedral spires of Cologne, and Rimowa's own original logo from the 19th century.  Does it look like Moncler?  Yes.  Is it nice?  Yes.  They could have gone crazy, but this is a look back and forward.  That's what makes it so nice.  Alexandres goes on and on about wanting to make something that lasts.  It's easy to be cynical about this when he rebrands, but by making a logo that is actually a re-creation of the original logo, it shows he really cares about the brands history.

Re-naming also brings some big changes: Topas - Original, Salsa - Essential, Salsa Air - Essential Lite, Limbo - Hybrid, Salsa Deluxe - Essential Sleeve, Classic - Still Classic.  All other ranges - Discontinued.  Frankly, this is welcomed, the old names were confusing, and redundant. 
And anyone worried about the five year warranty offered previously, fret not, still in place under Arnault junior.

Finally, onto the negative.  While the new M logo on the wheels is great, unfortunately, the new Sans Serif logo on the add a bag holder sees on all ranges the same solid block of metal that the Classic range has.  The new design has done away with the add a bag holder completely.  You will need to buy a separate one if you liked this feature.

And last but not least, the new website has no mention, nor images, in relation to the E-Tag Electronic luggage that Rimowa released just two years ago.  This revolutionary addition was supposed to be the future of luggage tags.  It was meant to provide consumers with convenience, and also with a form of location tracking, as you can bluetooth connect to the bag on the plane to know it's boarded.  Currently the old Rimowa site still functions, and there are 4 airlines supporting it, but no dice on rimowa's shiny new corporate e-commerce site. 

All in all the new look Rimowa is amazing.  It looks and feels as premium as it always has been.  It now deserves the price just a little more.  Is it worth rushing out and upgrading?  No, especially not if you like the add a bag holder!  Is there bad?  Yes, the E-Tag luggage was always exciting, loosing it feels odd.  But is it a big thumbs up?  absolutely.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Nike And Parra 2018 Capsule.

Dutch artist and designer Parra has become more well known for collaborations than artworks, but that doesn't stop those collabs from being awesome.  And in the latest Nike x Parra collab, we have more than merely a pair of sneakers, as previous collabs provided, but rather, an actual little capsule collection of Parra Air products.

The collection will give two shoes for retail, a pair of Air Max 1's, and Zoom Spiridon's, one pair of "Friends and Family" Air Max 1's. and a Nike tracksuit jacket.  The retail Nike shoes feature a patchwork type finish, incorporating a lot of the frequently seen Parra details, such as vivid colours, stripes, dots, pink, orange and sky blue, and the "Friends & Family" edition rather daringly decideds to do away with the Nike Swoosh, instead featuring a bold cloud design on the side panel.  The track jacket echoes the patterns of the shoes.

The shoes are a big change, as the previous Parra designs were always dark, and the removal of the swoosh is pretty major.  as for the track jacket, it looks very, very eighties. In a good way.  Prices are not known at this stage, expect them to fly however when their July 21st release date comes round, and re-sale prices to go sky high.  The first Parra collab, the "Amsterdam", it was on sale at a recent sneaker convention for £3,000, and sold.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Palace Bag For Life.

From Palace, a brand not known for it's affordability, comes ultra cheap "Bag For Life" bags.  at only £10, it is still 10 times the price of a supermarket bag for life, which usually comes in at £1.50, but it is Palace, so it could be £100 times, and still sell.

Bold, yet simple in white and green, with a recycled logo repurposed into a Palace triangle, with Palace writ large on one side and Bag For Life on the other.  And in typical Palace style, rather than product information, the site has on the normal product info bullet points, "The most jarring - Noises - In the world - Are foxes sessioning - And your mums voice".

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull.

Taking inspiration from the warrior pirates of old, and historically long before that, the skull has been a symbol of bravery in the face of death.  We all return to bone after death, so what better way to laugh in the face of death than by wearing his grinning visage on your body as a emblem, or better still, as a tattoo?

Bell & Ross know and understand this, and have four times released Laughing Skull edition watches, nodding the military roots and inspiration of the brand.  The fifth generation model of this wrist-watch repeats the tourbillon movement of the previous generations, but adds an animated surprise, the previously static skull, this one "laughs" as it's wound, and extremely clever addition.

A crossbones type face, croc strap, BR-CAL.206 In-House movement, and a light diamond and full diamond edition and priced from £7,000 this is a real statement piece.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Louis Vuitton FIFA World Cup 2018 Collection.

Continuing the partnership that began with Louis Vuitton creating the World Cup trophy travel case in 2010, LV have produced a special edition leather goods collection to commemorate the tournament.  The capsule has everything from small leather goods up to keepalls, and all pieces are constructed from football leather shaped hexagon pieces of textured Epi leather. in contrasting black, red, blue and white, as a nod to the colours of country flags.  A final touch, the luggage tag can be embossed with any of the 35 participating country flags.  Expect proces to be from £300.

Frankly, while the world cup trophy case had a sense of occasion to it, this collection is more  of a cynical cash grab.  Not since the ugly LV cup collections of the late 1990's to early 2000's have such ugly collections been seen by the house.  But more than that, Louis Vuitton is a brand that is supposed to be about tradition, and quality, which is able to demonstrate a selection of quality products imbued with qualities that exist due to their history.  Words like heritage, respect, timelessness are supposed to come to mind.  

None of this is evident here.  Just like the "so-hot-right-now" Supreme collab which will be meaningless in 5 years, these ugly bags have nothing of LV other than the branding and price tag, and it is truly sad that they will be written about with glowing effusive praise, bought and sported by celebrities due to being provided to them by their stylists, desired by consumers, and purchased by those with too much disposable income.  They will be profitable for LV, which is the problem, another nail in LV's coffin, as they move further from their roots, and cease to be respectable.  It's looking like Goyard is one of the only houses left with self respect at this stage.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

COMME des GARCONS CDG Line And Breaking News Capsule.

COMME des GARCONS is launching a new mid-priced capsule, titled "CDG" it's reminiscent of the "shirt" line in terms of target audience, but bang up to date with the street wear silhouette so popular right now.  

The initial launch collection contains oversized hoodies, sweats, bombers, stadium jackets, and tee's, all with the new "CDG" logo.  Also, they are launching the line with a "Breaking News" capsule, of six collaborative tees with artwork from Adam Lucas, Anti Social Social Club, Better Gift Shop by Avi Gold, Brain Dead, Cactus Plant Flea Market and Dreamland Syndicate, all featuring CDG printing.  The concept being announcing the new line.

Pieces will cost from £50 to £500, and all available from July 20 in Japan, and worldwide from late October.  Pieces will be stocked in COMME and Dover Street Market stores