MCQ Just Dropped Its First Collection Designed by a Global Creative Collective

Brand: MCQ

Season: Icon 1

Key Pieces: Functional garments like a packable mac jacket complement innovative tie-dyed denim jackets and silk shirting.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: and 100 select retailers worldwide, including END, CNCPTS, Selfridges, SSENSE, and United Arrows

Editor’s Notes:

After unveiling MCQ last month, the new label from Alexander McQueen, its first collection, or ‘Icon’ as MCQ describes, has finally arrived. More than just a label, MCQ is a revolutionary new platform powered by a global collective rather than a single creative director. Titled Genesis II, the theme for the inaugural Icon juxtaposes the ruined world with the living, highlighting humanity’s positive and negative effects on the planet.

Each collaborator plays a different role in bringing the collection to life — London musicians ShyGirl and James Massiah hosted and created the concept for the Genesis II launch party. A written conversation between them is even printed on some of the garments in their own handwriting, further imparting their creative vision into each piece.

The campaign was shot by Alexandra Leese, a Chinese-British photographer and filmmaker based in London, whose work centers on identity and storytelling through a fashion lens. “I’ve always been interested in people [and] the human condition, and I’m quite emotional,” Leese tells MCQ. “Creating work with feeling is very important.”

Legendary British photographer and filmmaker Ewen Spencer has been documenting youth and subcultures for over two decades and lends his talents to MCQ’s new team of collaborators. Award-winning director Duncan Loudon directed the teaser video which helped launch MCQ and even worked with Pantone to create their own signature ‘Hyperlilac’ color.

Check out the Genesis II Icon above and shop the full collection at

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By |septiembre 10th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Saint Laurent Says the Sunglasses Stay ON During Sex

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

It Might Be the First Round of Fall, But We’re Still Loving Basketball Shorts

Our shorts hub is your one-stop-shop for this summer essential in many forms, from workout-ready pairs to budget-friendly options.

With the NBA Playoffs heating up, and The Last Dance rewatches still taking place, everyone’s new favorite sport continues to enlist more and more new hoopers. That being the case, shopping a new pair of basketball shorts is quite possibly on your agenda right now.

Of all the sports, basketball arguably boasts the most wearable of regulation uniforms. Knee-length shorts fit seamlessly into your everyday wardrobe thanks to their laid-back style and often recognizable logos. And they’re also comfy as hell.

You needn’t limit yourself to league-represented teams, either. The simple cut of basketball shorts makes them super versatile and a perfect partner for sneakers. From classic Nike and Mitchell & Ness styles to luxury versions from the likes of Off-White™ and John Elliott, scroll through our round up to see the full range of one of the sport’s most versatile exports.

This sleek pair of Nike Elite Stripe 10″ shorts leaves all the focus on your game. They’re timeless in style and the lightweight build is super comfortable as well as breathable so your performance is as good as your look.

There’s a wealth of high-tech sports gear out there, but a lot of the time it’s the classics that make you as comfortable as possible on the court. This pair of DRI-FIT shorts by Nike is characterized by a punchy black & white color scheme.

Pleasures always has and always will go loud and this pair of motherboard basketball shorts is testament to that. Get your jumper working on automatic with this electronic pair.

Less GOAT, more ZEBRA. Laneus updates the classic basketball shorts with an eye-catching zebra print that might even distract opponents.

Got the spin moves? Allow this pair of PUMA shorts to flare around you as you dance to the hoop. Zip pockets make this pair perfect for transitioning from court to everyday life.

Cut from breathable mesh, this navy-blue number comes from one of basketball’s best brands. Champion brings retro appeal with tricolor detailing to the seams of these basketball shorts.

Whether you remember the ’91 All-Star Game or not, there’s no denying the style of this pair of replica training shorts.

Channel the GOAT with this understated pair of basketball shorts. Seemingly all-black, a closer look will reveal a signature Jumpman grey cement print.

Off-White™ head honcho Virgil Abloh has made no secret about how much basketball style has inspired his design direction. This pair of mesh basketball shorts harks back to the ’90s and early ’00s.

John Elliot continues the loud luxury interpretation of the sports shorts with a pair decked in leopard print. A black-and-white waistband mirrors bands to each leg.

Built for comfort and style, this pair of all-black basketball shorts from adidas features moisture-managing, breathable technology and is made from recycled materials. From court to street and back again, this pair does it all.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Seven Times Fire Sneakers Showed Up Courtside at the NBA

The NBA might have returned, but the crowd has not. And while we’re thankful for the fact there’s no risk of Drake repeating his courtside antics of last season, we’re certainly missing celebrity-spotting in general. In particular, though, it’s the courtside-sneaker-spotting shaped hole that has us feeling most empty.

To help fill that hole, we’re throwing things back with some of the very best sneaker displays of recent NBA years, from Jay-Z enjoying some family time in his Jordan 11s to courtside-regular Lil Wayne sporting some loud 4s.

As you probably guessed from the above, as we’re talking basketball fans, it’s inevitable that a Jordan sneaker (or six) ends up on the list. Scroll on to check out the courtside sneaker moments and shop them at GOAT. You can also shop a wide range of sneakers and apparel via the app.

Last year, the Toronto Raptors claimed its first NBA championship crown in the franchise’s history. And whether or not that victory was helped or hindered by Drake’s courtside motivation remains up for debate. The Canadian artist was caught in a rare seated moment here during the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, wearing his very own Air Jordan 4 NRG “Raptors Drake Signature”. The sneaker arrived without warning via the SNKRS app in June 2019, dressed in Raptors’ colors and stamped with Drake’s signature.

Da 5 Bloods and Clockers director Spike Lee has a penchant for loud glasses and vividly-colored accessories, and both were on display at a game between the Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks before the Covid-19 pause. Lee went all out fanboy, pairing his orange glasses and Knicks cap with a pair of Air Jordan 1 “Knicks” — a limited-edition colorway inspired by the team and its jersey colors, which dropped in 2013.

Cleveland Browns football star Odell Beckham Jr. has been known to sport a wild hairstyle or two throughout his career. Hiding it under a Carhartt cap this time, Odell pays tribute to basketball legend with the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard” — a shoe released in 2015. The colorway commemorates a moment in 1985 that saw Michael Jordan dunk so hard he broke the glass in the backboard.

A bonafide courtside regular, there were many Lil Wayne moments to choose from. We went all the way back to 2013 with this one, when Mr. Carter sported the Air Jordan 4 “Toro Bravo” alongside some camo. The colorway, which features a vivid fire red nubuck upper and cement grey details, dropped in 2013.

Courtside celeb-spotting doesn’t come much bigger than this. Michael B. Jordan, Jay Z, Blue Ivy Carter, and Beyoncé turning out for the 66th NBA All-Star Game in 2017. Jay Z wears the retro Air Jordan 11 “Concord” from 2014, a colorway that was first seen on the feet of Michael Jordan during an NBA Championship winners parade in 1996.

Well, that’s embarrassing. Ashton Kutcher and P Diddy sat next to each other at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game in the same sneaker. However, there are far worse faux pas to make, with the pair both wearing the iconic Nike Air Force 1. We’ve included a modern update of the AF1, which was released in 2007 to celebrate the shoe’s 25th anniversary.

Quavo and fellow Migos member Offset were spotted at a Lakers’ game against the Atlanta Hawks last year, with Quavo going for a fit that is hard to ignore. On his feet were the highly-coveted Union LA x Air Jordan 1 NRG “Storm Blue” — a similarly yellow-soled predecessor to the recent Union AJ4 drop.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

So, Is Fashion Week Happening or Not?

The short answer is kinda. This year’s fashion calendar has been ravaged by Covid-19 and the result is a chaotic blend of no-one really knowing whether attending a fashion show is safe or knowing if flying to Paris means quarantining for two weeks upon return (if you’re flying back to the UK, the answer is yes.

It has also resulted in some designers flinging tradition out the window and trying out something new altogether. Virgil Abloh, for example, elected to take his Louis Vuitton SS21 menswear collection to Shanghai and Tokyo, while Jacquemus continued with an off-schedule collection presented in a glamorous field of wheat.

To compare, the much smaller menswear season, which typically falls in June, was replaced with a “digital fashion week.” It saw brands experiment with online presentations (to varying degrees of success) in order to present their SS21 collections in lieu of a traditional fashion show. Highsnobiety’s Not In Paris digital exhibition also provided a platform for brands to showcase the new garms during unprecedented times.

And now, here we are, several months later, and it appears that a hybridization of IRL and NON-IRL fashion presentations will be the MO for womenswear, too.

In light of the potential risks involved with staging a fashion show during a pandemic, it’s worth revisiting the simple objectives of Fashion Week. Firstly, press (and influencers LARPing as press and vice versa) are invited to the shows to write about them or stream them to Instagram. Secondly, buyers are there to put in orders for what they think will sell when the collections are released in approximately six months’ time.  Lastly, a lot of people earn a living from styling, photographing, and modeling the clothes presented, too.

As of writing, France and Italy have recently logged the largest daily spikes in Covid-19 cases since March, and the UK has reported the highest number of daily cases since May. With that in mind, it’s tricky to predict if the upcoming fashion weeks will be postponed or not.

Moving forward, it seems that brands will begin distancing themselves from the shackles of an arbitrary fashion week calendar and simply present new clothes when they feel like it. The “in these uncertain times” discourse has also opened up questions about whether we still need fashion week at all — but until then, here’s what’s planned for each city for the approaching womenswear season (with some menswear showing too).

When: September 17

Who is showing: Danshan (film), Vivienne Westwood (film), Qasimi (film), Molly Goddard (film), Liam Hodges (film), JW Anderson (film), Xander Zhou (film), Bianca Saunders (film), and others.

What else is happening? Burberry is staging a co-ed fashion show without a live audience in the middle of the British woodlands on September 17.

When: September 28

Who’s showing: Wales Bonner (new addition) S.R. Studio L.A (new addition), Dior, Kenzo, Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, Marine Serre, Loewe, Hermes, Balmain, Y/Project, Rick Owens, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Maison Margiela, Louis Vuitton, and others.

What else is happening? Virgil Abloh has left Paris to present his Louis Vuitton collections for men in Shanghai and Tokyo as part of his plans to challenge the current fashion system. These shows were the closest to “a pandemic? What pandemic?” vibe as you could get, as models walked unmasked, with the clothes being a little overshadowed by an ongoing beef with Walter Van de Beirendonck.

When: September 23

Who is showing: Fendi, Prada, MSGM, Versace, Valentno, Armani, and A-COLD-WALL

What else is happening: You can expect the first highly anticipated first look at Prada under co-creative direction of Raf Simons, under the conditions of a pandemic no less.

When: September 13

Who is showing: Maisie Willen (digital activation), Sandy Liang (digital activation), Eckhaus Latta (digital activation), Tom Ford (digital activation).

What else is happening? TBD

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Power, Corruption & Jizz: 100 Years of Tom of Finland

2020 marks the centenary of the legendary gay erotica artist Tom of Finland. Ahead of an exhibition recreating his first gallery show in Berlin (a welcome dose of bondage while Berghain itself turns into an art gallery), FRONTPAGE spoke to Durk Dehner, co-founder and president of the Tom of Finland Foundation, to discuss the artist’s enduring – and arousing – legacy.

It’s hard to say how one gets to know the work of Tom of Finland. To start with, his aesthetic is, quite literally, all around us. His distinct style of man-on-man action has penetrated pop culture to an extent few other forms of erotica (if any) have come close to, reaching a level of ubiquity that is almost Warholian in terms of sheer exposure. Tom’s mustachioed muscle daddies can be found on everything from art books, tote bags, and coffee mugs, in addition to a world of branded erotic supplies encompassing dildos, butt plugs, and fisting gloves.

But regardless of its commercial appeal, the Tom of Finland aesthetic holds a significance that dwarfs even the most celebrated iconographies of contemporary art. In his unabashed celebration of gay sex at its most hardcore, Tom empowered generations of men by creating a visual language which validated underground practices into a sensuous realm of aspiration. So much of what we consider “fetish culture” today sprung from the pages of Tom’s illustrations, his work giving rise to real-world manifestations in gay clubs and sex shops around the globe.

“[Tom] stands for freedom,” says Durk Dehner, nicely summing up his appeal. A passionate devotee of Tom’s work who served as the artist’s right-hand man for decades, Dehner co-founded the Tom of Finland Foundation in 1984 and still serves as the organization’s president. He also looks every bit the part, bringing a grizzled, beefcake charm to what, at his age, must technically be considered not a leather daddy so much as a leather granddaddy.

“He was the equalizer,” Dehner continues. “He wanted an equal playing field for everybody to be uninhibited. It takes a brave artist to draw things that are not politically correct, to actually express things as they are. Artists must all go through this process, thinking of how much they are willing to actually subdue, subject, or restrict themselves. But this was so simple to Tom, and that’s why young artists are so inspired by him.”

Dehner is speaking to me from Los Angeles, where he oversees the Tom of Finland House – a registered historical landmark which includes a gallery space, a vast archive of erotica by Tom and others, and a program offering residencies to artists from around the world (their list of collaborators includes everyone from JW Anderson to Cali Thornhill-Dewitt). The pandemic has of course disrupted operations, and Dehner stresses the loss of community resources that the Foundation offers to all walks of life, not just the strapping, muscled kind. “Young people come here and they are so enthralled and inspired by what hangs on the walls of the Tom house,” he says. “It transforms them.”

It is particularly devastating that the Foundation’s plans have been so affected in 2020, as this year is one of a landmark celebration – the artist’s centenary. And though many of the events honoring Tom’s legacy have been downsized, a very special exhibition arrives in Berlin on September 12 and will be on view through the end of the year. Titled ‘Tom of Finland: Made in Germany,’ the show is an exact recreation of Tom’s first solo exhibition in Germany from 1976, which was held at sex shop called Revolt in Hamburg, along with a selection of some of his other works shown in the country at the time. In faithfully duplicating the era in which Tom shot to mainstream prominence, it pinpoints just how timeless his work remains.

Born 100 years ago in the small town of Kaarina, Finland, Touko Vallo Laaksonen was by all accounts a shy young man. The subject that would come to dominate his life appeared early on; at the age of five, he spied on his neighbor, a muscular farmboy, who along with other laborers at the time would be the inspiration for his initial forays into erotic drawing, completed in private and later destroyed. Another formative experience was the onset of WWII, in which Laaksonen served as an anti-aircraft officer. It was here where many attribute his fascination with men in uniform, seemingly confirmed by the fact that wartime conditions facilitated his first homosexual encounters.

After the war, Laaksonen supported himself with freelance artwork, including for the legendary advertising firm McCann Erickson, while continuing to craft erotic drawings in his spare time (a nearly exact parallel career path afforded to fellow erotica maestro Hajime Sorayama). This being the 1950s, homosexuality constituted a serious criminal offense and, likewise, any pornography pertaining to it was strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, nature finds a way, and those seeking pictorial representations of semi-nude men for personal use had plenty of options in the form of fitness and outdoor magazines. At the persistent urging of a friend, Laaksonen caved and submitted some of his drawings to one such publication – the US-based Physique Pictorial – and adopted the moniker ‘Tom’ to maintain anonymity. The Spring 1957 issue of the magazine was subsequently emblazoned with a scene of hunky lumberjacks courtesy of Tom, the first of many such collaborations, and by winter of that same year he was given a new nickname by the publication’s editor. Hence, Tom of Finland had arrived.

Due to censorship laws, Tom’s work of this era did not depict any overtly homosexual acts, yet their enormous erotic potential was self-evident. But what cemented the appeal of Tom’s work was its unbridled masculinity, an enshrinement of the male form that, at the time, was wholly separate from a homosexual identity. “The younger generations, some of them didn’t really understand Tom’s male masculinity,” Dehner explains. “Some of them interpreted it as just trying to fake that you were straight, and we clearly needed to educate them on what that was about. In that, [masculinity] was the thing that was denied to us from the 1940s, ‘50s, into the ‘60s. We were denied male masculinity in that it was reserved for heterosexual males. If you were a gay male, you had to be flamboyant and a ‘sissy’ or ‘fairy.’ He empowered that whole generation to feel good about themselves as they were, as gay men, and to feel proud of their identity. He prepared them for what was next really, which was gay liberation and standing up for our rights.”

As an individual who identifies as queer/trans-femme, I admittedly can be quick to dismiss elements of gay culture that are focused solely on the cisgender male gaze, finding it inarticulate of my experience at best, exclusionary at worst. Yet the context in which Tom created his work could not be any less exclusionary. His ‘leather daddy’ figures, for example, are now seen by many as lying on the more intimidating side of gay fetish culture, and yet this imagery finds its roots in Tom’s liberal adoption of the aesthetics of 1950s biker culture. Crystallized by Marlon Brando’s iconic, drool-worthy performance in the 1953 film The Wild One, this subculture was readily embraced by gay men for its anti-establishment status in post-War American society in addition to legitimizing a form of empowerment, of reclaiming toughness as a means to combat discrimination.

TOM OF FINLAND Untitled, 1963, Graphite on paper, ©1963- 2020 Tom of Finland Foundation

In 1962, the landmark Supreme Court ruling MANual Enterprises v. Day decided that nude male photographs were no longer obscene, paving the way for the gay pornography industry and a glut of new work for Tom, whose drawings now took a turn towards the more explicit. By 1973, he was able to fully support himself with his erotica alone, and it’s around this time that Dehner entered into the picture. The foundation director can recall the exact moment he first saw a Tom of Finland artwork: “It was in a bar in New York in 1976, and I just happened to be going past a small poster on the wall and I absolutely gravitated right to it, I was fixated on it. To this day, I can’t really say that it was the image, but what was within that image. Tom had the ability to embed his messaging into his drawings, a feeling that really evokes something in people. That’s what it did for me that day in that bar. I actually stole it off of the wall and hid it in my pocket!”

Through some connections, Dehner tracked down Tom’s address and wrote him a fan letter expressing his admiration, something Tom had grown accustomed to from his growing legions of fans. Their relationship had solidified to such an extent that by 1978, Dehner was acting as Tom’s liaison and hosting events for him around the country. “I got to witness dozens and dozens of young guys at that time who were like 20 years old,” Dehner recalls, “They were saying, ‘You are so important in my life. You were the father that I never had. You were the one that gave me the role models that I could grow up and feel good about being homosexual.’ Really what Tom was for those young generations then was a role model of positivity, of sex positivity, of feeling happy and well adjusted.”

Dehner helped Tom establish a mail order company, a publishing firm, and eventually, the Foundation. As it continues to do today, the Foundation’s chief aim was to provide a space for the community outside the more hedonistic realm of nightlife. And the resources it provided could not have come at a better time when it was founded in the mid-1980s; the vilification of gay sex and homosexual culture at large reached new heights with the ensuing AIDS crisis. After fighting their way from the “back of the bus,” as Dehner puts it, the ‘80s provided a painful set of challenges for those issuing a message of sex positivity – especially when the term “sex positivity” itself would take on a mournful new meaning.

“The phone wouldn’t stop ringing a minute,” Dehner remembers of that era. “He had to survive the guilt because his young models were dying, and he had been the one that had encouraged them to be out, to be free, to enjoy sex and to really not feel guilt. I was encouraging him that it wasn’t his fault and that what he was doing was good, it was still good. What we needed to do now was to save as many lives as we could. We did a whole program where he encouraged the use of condoms, and we did that for the rest of the six years of his career. He regained his composure about this, about being proud. But he left with a little bit of sadness.”

Laaksonen passed away from emphysema in 1991, and though his final years were spent aiding a dire public health crisis for his community, he lived long enough to see his work grow into an empire whose legacy was built on giving back to those who had been marginalized their entire lives. It is a remarkable accomplishment, artistic or otherwise, and Dehner feels that Tom left contented. “Tom was very proud of being a pornographer. He felt like he was the avenue to reach younger generations coming to terms with their sexuality. He acknowledged that right from the beginning, it had always been his intention to change the way people thought about themselves. And he did.”

With the advent of Grindr and other hookup apps, not to mention the world of internet porn, gay sex culture has undergone a seismic shift in how it is both marketed and consumed since Tom’s lifetime. And, accordingly, public attitudes towards Tom’s work have presented a number of scrutinies and analyses in the time since. Much criticism has been levied toward the predominantly white cast of men depicted in his work, and an even more vocal contingent of critics have expressed dismay that his figures of men in power – policemen, soldiers, and, in a few very incendiary drawings, Nazis – are in fact glorifying the negative attributes of these dynamics.

Such arguments are sound in theory, but time and again, Tom defended his most controversial pieces, urging detractors to view them in context. He repeatedly expressed his repulsion towards fascism, quipping that he had drawn Nazis only because they had “the sexiest uniforms” in his menagerie of military studs. And while few could deny his figures of policemen are anything but a glorification, his drawings were ultimately an extremely subversive affront against one of the burgeoning gay community’s most violent oppressors. In turning them into sex objects, Tom was able to deconstruct and objectify their power, making them a bit more toothless to his audience in the process.

Dehner can’t stress enough that Tom’s work was created solely as an expression of desire, specifically, the notion that many desires thrive and exist simply because they are taboo. “So many desires are not politically correct, yet they exist,” he explains. “They exist because humanity in our form wants the desire in and of itself; they have urges, they have cravings. I have had Israeli men who I’ve had sex with who want me to be a domineering Nazi for them. Do they think badly about themselves? I don’t think so, but they have something inside themselves that craves that and wants it, and wants to experience it. There’s no logic to it, there’s no rationale to it. It just is; it just exists.”

It is hardly an exaggeration to describe Tom of Finland as one of the most influential visual artists of the 20th century, but we’re not likely to ever see his work canonized in the manner of any of his peers – throbbing crotches and spank boys don’t seem to translate well to family-oriented museum crowds. So it is perhaps more important to assess his work in terms of how it affects the psyche of those who have been drawn to it throughout the years: its capacity to be freeing. This is of course apparent at a surface level, where the pastimes of his well-endowed hunks are depicted in a level of detail usually reserved to toilet stall scrawlings and online chat rooms.

But such an entertaining carnal cornucopia belies the powerful sense of inhibition as revolt; the sense of radical sex as radical protest. The human heart (read: genitalia) works in mysterious ways, and few artists seem to have come as close as Touko Vallo Laaksonen to understanding it. Or if not understanding it, at the very least, knowing how to get it off.

‘Tom of Finland: Made in Germany’ opens in Berlin Saturday, September 12.

Support the Tom of Finland Foundation (including erotic merch) via their website.

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LVMH Isn’t Buying Tiffany Anymore & There Are 16.2 Billion Reasons Why

When LVMH inked a deal to buy Tiffany & Co for $16.2 billion back in October last year, it was touted as the biggest luxury deal ever. And it was, until earlier today when Business of Fashion reported that the trade wasn’t going ahead after all. By the sounds of things, it’s because of that eye-watering price tag.

LVMH cited a number of reasons behind the U-turn, primarily pointing fingers at “mounting trade tensions with the US.” Apparently it received a request from France’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to delay the acquisition from November 24 to January 6 because of a US threat to impose new tariffs on French and European products. It doesn’t state how much those tariffs will be, but on a $16.2 billion purchase, it ain’t gonna be cheap.

Tiffany is now reportedly suing LVMH in a Delaware court over the delays, claiming that the French luxury conglomerate is stalling the deal in a bid to renegotiate the price. While this has not been officially stated by Arnault, reports published back in June alleged that he harbored concerns that his company was “overpaying for Tiffany.”

Of course, the world is a much different place now than it was when the deal between LVMH and Tiffany & Co was first signed back in 2019. With Covid-19 and Gender Reveal Parties savaging the globe as speak, it’ll come as a surprise to literally no-one that brands are being particularly cautious with their wallets at the moment.

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Marc Jacobs & Friends Are Up to Something Very Very Extra

As we explained in our special report, brands are not just brands anymore but entire universes, spawning subcultures and avid collectors. There’s few brands more dedicated to the cultivation of its own universe than Marc Jacobs – as evinced by its new collection, “HEAVEN.”

Whether it’s the now-memeified sweater tags, or the fact that Winona Ryder was blithely cast as the face of MJ Beauty after she was caught shoplifting the brand years before, Marc Jacobs sticks its tongue out in irreverence while keeping it firmly in cheek. The brand eschews the haughtiness of competing luxury labels in favor of having a sense of humor – which is where Ava Nirui and the new “HEAVEN” collection comes in.

Better known as @AvaNope, Nirui’s high fashion bootlegs – Dior inhalers, Gucci x Champion hoodies – accelerated an aesthetic sensibility of recontextualizing luxury, and elevating the “high-meets-low” mantra to new, IRL extremes.

Marc Jacobs tells Highsnobiety how the partnership began: “Ava did a sweatshirt for Marc Jacobs, a kind of bootleg thing, and I was just charmed by it. She seemed to be really sensitive, interested and curious about this emerging creative community of young people and young artists. So we approached Ava last year about actually being a part of the Marc Jacobs family and giving her carte blanche to create a world within our world that would continue this kind of momentum, something in the early days of ’90s Marc Jacobs with a real respect for the spirit in which we built the company but done through a lens that was completely of this moment, you know?”

So now, in perfect ouroboros, Nirui, the serial bootlegger is at the top of the chain, holding titles such as head of Helmut Lang’s digital creative strategy, and overseeing Special Projects for Marc Jacobs.

“I discovered Marc Jacobs around 7th or 8th grade, I think” says Nirui, who’s calling from Long Island, “One of the first things I bought was a Marc by Marc Jacobs knit with detachable sleeves at a local thrift store. After I became familiar with the brand, it opened up doors to so many other interesting, secret subcultures. His foothold in the world of grunge introduced me to a lot of music I still love to this day — Courtney Love, Manson, Sonic Youth. His ties with Sofia Coppola and Harmony Korine led me to explore their films and form an obsession with cinema. This discovery was partially the catalyst for eventually enrolling in film school. To me, Marc and Marc Jacobs (the brand) were and are the epitome of all things cool and New York, and I am still so taken by his subversive roots and legacy.”

This collection sees collaboration with a range of artists including illustrator Eri Waikayama, Australian brand Pelvis, Alake Shilling, Chris Cadever, Robert Engvall, and film director Gregg Araki, who lent his iconic graphics and slogans from his lo-fi cinematic universe to the collection’s graphic tees.

Nirui notes how Araki’s depictions of decadence, desire, destruction, and LGBT youth bears parallels to Marc Jacobs’ affinity for the more unpalatable subcultures. “With Gregg, the first of his films that I saw was Mysterious Skin, and I think I was in my first year of high school and going through an identity crisis,” says Nirui, “So I felt that movie really spoke to me. And I obviously, as a twisted teenager, I was really drawn to how fucked up it was.”

At the crux of the collection is a two-headed teddy bear which is available as kitsch backpack as well as a graphic print on ribbed tees, “It’s cute and it’s really demented. I feel it’s a really good representation of the brand. Because Marc Jacobs is classic, but there’s also something very weird and freaky about it, provocative.”

Rounding off the collection is a collaboration with FRUiTS, an iconic Japanese fashion magazine founded by Shoichi Aoki. In 2017 Aoki shuttered the magazine because “there are no more cool kids to photograph” – a depressing reflection on the state of organic street style – and one which “HEAVEN” is hopefully rectifying with its new lookbook starring, among others, Yoon Ahn of AMBUSH.

“Some time ago, when I was in Tokyo, I met with Aoki and he took a liking to the psychedelic spirit of Heaven,” says Nirui, “We then commissioned him to capture 12 icons and friends of the MJ brand, self-styling Heaven in their own way. People like Hiromichi Ochai, Gin Satoh and Haruka Hirata are icons in Japanese creative landscape, and we also recruited the next gen and former MJ models like Daisaku and Kurebashi. It was beautiful to see mutual respect between Aoki and each of the subjects. Many of them grew up idolizing Aoki and wishing to be selected by him to grace the pages of FRUiTS. This was a “bucket list” project for many of those photographed.”

You can shop the collection, priced between $35 – $395, here.

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Stüssy Tapped Gore-Tex for Your 2020 Winter Jacket

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By |septiembre 9th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments

Giveaway Alert: We Teamed up With Amazon Prime Video on Five Prize Packs Valued at Over $25,000 for the Launch of ‘Get Duked!’

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On August 28th, Amazon Prime Video dropped Get Duked! on Prime Video, an Amazon original film that premiered at SXSW in 2019. It was met with rave reviews, picking up the Audience Award in the Midnight Section at SXSW, and then earning additional awards at international film festivals.

Written and directed by Ninian Doff (who’s worked with the likes of Migos and Mykki Blanco, to name a few), tells the story of four teenage boys who enroll in the Duke of Edinburgh in Scotland, a real-life program similar to the Scouts in the U.S. Their plans to kick back and smoke up in the Scottish Highlands are interrupted by menacing characters determined to ruin their lives. The film is a commentary on youth culture and the importance of questioning the establishment; it’s as politically thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

To celebrate the launch of Get Duked!, Highsnobiety teamed up with Amazon Prime Video to give away five jaw-dropping prize packs – valued at over $25,000. Each pack is themed around the film, from its characters to its Scottish landscapes. Here’s a taste of what you could grab:

Giveaway Pack 1 – Camping for Hypebeasts (8/31): This prize pack includes a Supreme S&M 1995 BMX dirt bike in red, a Supreme advanced elements packlite kayak, a Supreme x The North Face snakeskin taped seam stormbreak 3 tent in green, and much more.

Giveaway Pack 2 – DJ Beatroot Starter Kit (9/01): This prize pack includes a 13″ Macbook Pro 2.0 GHz with Logic DJ software, a Pioneer XDJ-RX2 CDJ, a Bose X1 wireless portable loudspeaker, and much more. 

Giveaway Pack 3 – A High-End Picnic (9/02): This prize pack includes a Louis Vuitton monogram canvas World Cup soccer ball, a KAWS HOLIDAY JAPAN x Herschel Supply tent, an Alyx camping backpack, and much more. 

Giveaway Pack 4 – Producer Starter Kit (9/03): This prize pack includes a 21.5″ iMac with Logic Pro X, a Rode condenser microphone package, Pioneer Studio monitor speakers, and much more.

Giveaway Pack 5 – In the Woods With Bape (9/04): This prize pack includes a BAPE x Helinox alpine dome in green camo, a BAPE x Helinox tarp in green camo, a Bape x Porter camo waist bag, and much more. 

Check out the images above for a closer look at the prizes. The giveaway kicks off on August 31st. To enter, stream Get Duked! on Amazon Prime Video and head over to our Instagram account to answer the question of the day. Good luck!

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By |agosto 29th, 2020|Art&Design, Beauty, city, Fashion, lifeStyle, Music, new media, TV|0 Comments