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Brand Guide

Heron Preston Brand Guide

Heron Preston : Brand Guide

To call Heron Preston a jack of all trades would be the biggest understatement of the year, this guy has endless strings to his bow and wears many hats, both literally and metaphorically. Having dabbled in artistic practices, creative direction, clothing design, content creation, and DJ’ing, there’s not much this Parsons School of Design graduate can’t do in the creative sphere. But perhaps his biggest achievement to date is launching his eponymous, luxury clothing label under the New Guards Group – the global fashion conglomerate that also houses eight more world-renowned brands including Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, Palm Angels, Ambush, Unravel Project, Alanui, Kirin by Peggy Gou and Opening Ceremony.

Heron Preston Bio

It’s 2007 and Preston is fresh out of college, his professional career kicks off with a publishing deal, closely followed by a role as a marketing specialist and social media director for Nike, quite the gig for a humble design grad. A few years later, Heron links up with Kanye West, landing a prestigious job as the rapper’s art director where he’s responsible for creating branded merch and is later trusted to consult for the musician’s seventh studio album The Life of Pablo and lauded adidas offshoot Yeezy.

During his time at Yeezy Preston befriended Matthew Williams, Virgil Abloh, and Justin Saunders who were all working for Kanye West too. Uncovering a wealth of common ground, and all operating at the top of their game, this quartet of talent dovetailed and subsequently launched ‘Been Trill’ – a streetwear imprint specialising in eclectic events and hype-worthy apparel, worn by celebrated stars such as Kanye West himself, A$AP Rocky and Rihanna, to name just a few.

Having racked up a number of high profile gigs and coming off the back of a banner year, Heron Preston was in high demand thanks to his off-kilter aesthetic. In 2016 the New Guards Group acquired the budding designer, giving Preston the means to establish and launch his first full, stand-alone collection.

Most recently, Heron Preston has undertaken an additional role at Calvin Klein as a creative consultant.

Heron Preston AW21

Heron Preston Debut Collection

The first Heron Preston collection debuted at Paris Men’s Fashion Week for the autumn/winter 2017 calendar. The capsule, titled ‘For You, The World’, acted as the industry’s official introduction to Heron Preston; a formal coronation for the rising king of the streetwear realm.

Within the collection, Preston laid bare his design philosophy which entrusted Italian manufacturing, banked function, and simmered on experimental ingredients, including neon accents and emotive callouts.

Heron Preston FW21

Heron Preston Aesthetic

While ‘Made in Italy’ certifications and unique depictions of Herons seem to prove instant wins with the Heron Preston consumer, there’s also the fundamental factor of eco-friendly production that draws in a millennial generation. When and where possible, the multifaceted creative instils sustainability into his styles, take his 2016 UNIFORM collection for instance.

Pre New Guards Group, and presented at the Spring Street Salt Shed in collaboration with the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), this fine selection of apparel welcomed a zero-waste policy – initiated to promote and aid NYC’s 0x30 initiative which hopes to send zero waste to landfills by 2030. You see, Preston is hyperaware of fashion’s impact on the environment, unlike many designers who seemingly exude an ‘ignorance is bliss’ demeanour. While swimming in the ocean in Ibiza Heron had a shocking realisation about plastic pollution. A plastic bag floated by his leg, and though this wouldn’t be significant to some people, it was the wake-up call the San Fran native needed to protect the earth and its many inhabitants.

Alongside eco-conscious cues, the Cyrillic word for ‘style’ and vivid orange embellishments have together transcended the Heron Preston identity, bringing it into the hands of streetwear’s finest followers and high-profile stars – such as Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Lewis Hamilton, AJ Tracey, and many others.

Heron Preston Brand Guide

The Latest Heron Preston Collection

Here at Aphrodite we have a wide selection of Heron Preston garments and accessories on offer from tees, to trousers, beanies, and belts. Suitable for both men and women, the unisex AW 21 collection is called ‘Between Two Worlds’ and is mostly based in black with unpredictable pops of colour sprinkled throughout. Whatever it is you’re hunting for, you’re sure to find something suitable amongst the lineup, just take a look and you’ll see!

A pro at tapping the zeitgeist, Heron Preston single-handedly defines the streetwear scene. Shop the latest Heron Preston collection now.

Rains : Brand Guide

Promising to make inclement weather seem like a breeze, Danish brand Rains should be on your radar if you live in a location where the weather is unpredictable day-to-day. If you’re yet to become acquainted with the label, get to know more about them in our Rains Brand Guide below.

History of Rains:

Founded in 2012 in the quaint town of Egå, Aahaus, outerwear company Rains has climbed from strength to strength since its humble inception almost a decade ago. Inspired by the temperate climate of their native Denmark, founders Philip Lotko and Daniel Hesselager became fascinated with the rubber raincoat – an enduring staple that is especially favoured by those located north of the equator. Keen to reimagine tradition, Nordics Lotko and Hesselager set themselves a target of modernising the silhouette, and so then Rains was born.

Rains Classic Jacket

Concept of Rains:

With a shared intent to rethink quality rainwear, the name ‘Rains’ was a natural starting point for student pals turned business partners Philip and Daniel. The duo’s core focus became about interpreting rainy days as a blessing rather than a curse, as they’re so often viewed across parts of Europe. Launching with just one product, a simple but sleek poncho, Rains encouraged its early customers to see the opportunity that lies within dreary weather; if you can’t take any positives from a gloomy forecast, at least you can take a day of good dressing from it.

Rains Products:

In the collections that followed the brand’s first drop, the Rains aesthetic emerged as very obviously Scandinavian; silhouettes were of a minimalist nature with little fuss except for a whole host of impressive colourways which were almost immediately on offer to the public. The label’s family of products gradually grew and soon that simple poncho acquired many siblings, including fully-fledged jackets, gilets, bags, and other waterproof accessories which were all imbued with the same DNA and built super practically to shield the wearer against the elements, especially rain.

Our Collection:

Here at Aphrodite, we’re lucky enough to have added Rains to our list of lauded designer brands, and it’s landed just in time for the harsher autumn/winter months arriving. Our introductory Rains collection brings with it a range of items, suited to all kinds of adventures. Particularly appropriate for urban settings, the Rains Classic Jacket is currently available in taupe, black, and rock – a versatile trio of shades that can all be easily paired with your everyday rotation. Developed using a sleek, waterproof matte fabric, the design falls just below the hip and features two angled, mesh-lined pockets, complete with branded studs. The central closure is also a branded snap fastening which makes it easy to slip the silhouette on and off, or button it up over additional base layers.

Rains Accessories

Speaking of base layers, Rains recently turned their attention to layering with the delivery of their fleece line and their vest collection. Rains jackets are great for futureproofing your wardrobe and are immensely handy when you find yourself caught in light or heavy showers, but when you add one of the Rains Fleece Jackets or the Rains Liner Vests also into the mix, the level of functionality turns up a notch. Adding substantial amounts of warmth to your look, these designs can be sported under one of the label’s jackets to keep your ensemble uniform, or you could match them with various other pieces from your collection, the choice is yours but be confident in the fact that extra insulation is always guaranteed.

Rains Long Jacket

If you’re on board with the brand’s aesthetic but were hoping for more of a longer silhouette, count yourself in luck. The company’s classic jacket is also available in an elongated style and is aptly dubbed the Rains Long Jacket. Boasting the same no-nonsense construction, the garment stretches down towards the knee, offering wider coverage and more of that Scandi’ sensibility you’ll come to know and love from the imprint. Elsewhere in our offering, you’ll discover the Rains Rolltop Rucksack and Rains Backpack, again served in a variety of different yet dependable hues. Made to weather any storm, these accessories are sustainably crafted using recycled materials to construct a sheen-imbued, waterproof construction that is capable of seeing you through the cityscape or off-trail adventures alike.

Get serious about future-proofing your wardrobe with the latest Rains collection, available at Aphrodite in-store and online.

About Lanvin Paris

Lanvin Paris Brand Guide

Find Out About Lanvin Paris

A mainstay on the Parisian fashion week lineup and an integral part of the industry’s history, Lanvin remains France’s oldest and most storied maison. Established in the 19th century by Jeanne Lanvin, the label has worked hard to embrace a series of generational and trend shifts during its 131 years in operation, not forgetting to mention the plethora of prolific creative directors it’s called family over the decades.

History of Lanvin:

With strong roots to the hat industry, former milliner apprentice Jeanne Lanvin humbly set up the eponymous brand in 1889 after clothing she had hand produced for her daughter, Marie-Blanche de Polignac, started to command attention on the tangled streets of Paris. Soon after, mothers in their masses were requesting garments for their own children, and eventually, due to overwhelming demand, Jeanne opened up her own boutique on the iconic rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré which steadily drew in some of Europe’s finest clientele.

 

Lanvin Sneaker Collection

 

Exactly two decades after the brand first transcended the fashion scene, and became one of France’s most revered monikers, Lanvin officially became a member of Syndicat de la Couture – the regulating body for haute couture. The term haute couture has a longstanding history and a tangible prestige within France. It’s widely understood that only the crème de la crème of the fashion industry produces a haute couture line, so when Jeanne officially became a couturière in 1909, and the house an atelier, it was a monumental move that would go on to shape the brand’s identity.

Having gained huge recognition in the haute couture sphere, Lanvin ushered in its first menswear line in 1926 which further articulated the house’s ability to challenge all creative genres. In this same era the brand expanded its boutiques to carry home décor.

Creative Directors of Lanvin:

Over the years Lanvin has evolved and steadily adapted to the times, with lauded designers including Lucas Ossendrijver, Olivier Lapidus and Bouchra Jarrar taking the helm at various pivotal moments. Most notably, Alber Elbaz, an Israeli-born fashion designer, who held tenure at the company for a total of fourteen years, bolstered the esteem of Lanvin within contemporary culture.

A true labour of love, self-confessed workaholic Elbaz revived a true ‘sleeping beauty’ within the house when he was handed the reins in the early noughties; allowing the collections to acquire a distinctly younger taste, with many of his signature styles becoming trademarks, such as exposed zippers and button plackets in the reverse – hallmarks which still inform Lanvin designs to this day.

Since early 2019 Bruno Sialelli has steered the ship, having arrived from Loewe and with previous positions at Paco Rabanne and Balenciaga under his belt, it’s safe to say that Lanvin is in safe hands with Sialelli on board.

 

Lanvin Bumpr Sneakers

 

Lanvin at Aphrodite:

We’re delighted to welcome Lanvin to Aphrodite’s expansive designer roster for AW20. The initial drop comprises a spectacular selection of footwear alongside a preview of the brand’s unrivalled apparel. Lanvin’s Low Top DDB1 sneakers feature, and although these kicks are refreshed each and every season, the agenda always remains the same – clean lines, neutral tones and a healthy dose of deluxe fabrication.

 

Lanvin DDB1 Sneakers

 

Bruno Sialelli’s design temperament particular shines in the clothing on offer, playful graphic branding adorns colourful cotton sweats while spliced and striped aesthetics tackle the shirt realm.

Browse the latest Lanvin collection online or, alternatively, pop by our store which is situated in Sunderland.

Sneakers ER Brand Guide

Sneakers ER Brand Guide

Sneakers ER Brand History

The Sneakers ER brand that aims to provide a direct solution to the everyday wear and tear placed upon even the most cherished members of our footwear rotations. Established in 2015 through a shared love of all things sneakers, the brand owes their existence to Rob and Al, two long-time Glaswegian friends who not only boast impressive credentials in the trainer community but spotted a gap in the market when it came to the upkeep, care, and maintenance of those all-important kicks.

Better know as @Glasgowrob on Instagram, Rob has not only been a trainer collector for most of his life but has earned somewhat folklore levels of notoriety amongst his peers for his ability to bring sneakers back from the brink of the discard pile. Famed for his sole transplants, capacity to reshape even the most worn in of silhouette, and his soft spot for New Balance, Rob co-owns the wildly popular New Balance gallery Instagram page and boasts an impressive selection of his own dating back several years.

Al on the other hand prefers his kicks decked out with three stripes, beginning his journey down the sneaker rabbit hole during the ’80s with his involvement with football terrace culture. Co-writing ‘DRESSERS’ in 2012, a book that not only cast a fashion lens over the movement as a whole but detailed many of the most sought after adidas models in history, Al was also a footwear buyer before focusing his efforts on Sneakers ER brand full-time.

Sneakers ER Cloth

Sneakers ER Products

With an ethos that revolves around only creating products which they themselves would use, the Sneakers ER brand has garnered a robust selection suited to a vast and varied list of materials, styles, and requirements. Sourcing the majority of its base ingredients locally and placing an emphasis on quality, the brand is known for its wide assembly of premium shoe care must-haves.

Sneakers ER Premium Cleaning Solution

Arguably their most popular and sought after product, the Sneaker ER brand premium cleaning solution is a necessity when it comes to dishing out generous doses of TLC. With a hint of marshmallow fragrance for a fresh and unobtrusive finish, the solution can be applied to anything from suede, to leather and nubuck. Easily applied through the use of water and good old fashioned elbow grease, the solution is capable of turning back the hands of time on even the most feared sneaker stains like denim bleed, grease, and oil. For those looking for the complete package, grab yourself one of the handy cleaning kits which come with the addition of a natural fibre bristle brush, very nice indeed.

Sneakers ER Cleaner

Sneakers ER Nano Protect Aerosol Spray 

As the age-old saying goes the best offense if a good defense, and that’s exactly where the Sneakers ER Nano Protect Spray comes in. Providing simple on-the-go access to a fast-drying, breathable barrier that doesn’t alter the feel and look of your shoes, it excels in the art of keeping unmentionables such as dirt, grime, and liquids firmly at bay. Able to operate on multiple surfaces including mesh, canvas, and suede the spray is perfect for those looking for extra protective peace of mind when sporting all-time grails.

Sneakers ER Brush

Sneakers ER Super Hydrophobic Sneaker Protector

A liquid-based alternative to the Aerosol spray, the Super Hydrophobic Sneaker Protector supplies a complete defense from an impressive number of unwanted external influences. Utilising a futuristic-sounding nano-technology, the spray covers individual fibres in an invisible coating of silicone dioxide, repelling dirt, liquid, and just about anything else that keeps sneakerheads up at night.

Made in the UK, the protector much like the Aerosol spray works on a large number of surface materials, not only ensuring a long-lasting, breathable and durable lining but preserving the feel and look of the fabric on which it is cast. If that isn’t enough, it is also eco-friendly, solvent-free, and both non-irritant / non-toxic.

Sneakers ER Protector

Sneakers ER Eraser Block

One for the suede and nubuck lovers out there, the eraser block is made for the sole purpose of repairing scuffs and revitalising tired fibres. Made from a 100% natural caoutchouc rubber, it comes constructed with a multi-textured dual side finish that sports both a crep and synthetic side for more versatile applications.

Sneakers ER

Sneakers ER Midsole Pens

For those more niche, precise jobs, a midsole pen is a great option. Coming in a variety of colours, they utilise a permanent, acrylic based, water-resistant paint that is ideal when it comes to adding vibrancy to faded hues. Equipped with a 10mm chisel tip, pump-action flow control and optimised valve system for simple administration, you can use them to breathe new life into faded hues or get creative with some customisation.

Sneakers ER Midsole Pen

REPLAY Jeans Fit Guide

Replay Brand Guide

Replay Jeans Fit Guide

Along with its sister labels REPLAY&SONS and WE ARE REPLAY, denim powerhouse REPLAY is situated under Fashion Box S.p.A.’s umbrella – an Italian company which prides itself on the mass production of denim, dating all the way back to 1981.

In the decades since its launch, REPLAY has redefined the jean sector by manufacturing styles which not only work great on the surface but that also carry so much more than the standard superficial requirements. We’re sure you’ll all agree, jeans are a crucial component within your rotations; not only do they see us through myriads of occasions, but they also help bolster the fabric of our own personal identity. REPLAY recognises and responds to this factor by continually toying with fits, fabrics, colourways and environmental needs which all meld to fulfil the wearer’s individual criteria.

Replay of Recent

In 2012 REPLAY and its parent company Fashion Box built a new path for itself after footwear maestros Matteo and Massimo Sinigaglia acquired a majority share within the business. As fresh-face CEOs of the business, the brotherly duo geared millennial-tuned matters into the company, for example, striking a four-year long deal with FC Barcelona’s first team and officially enlisting Neymar Jnr as one of the brand’s ambassadors, in turn grasping mass market appeal across the globe.

As well as injecting star power into the brand’s new-found formula, Matteo Sinigaglia additionally brought REPLAY up to speed with the ever-changing status of the industry, stating “we understood that denim has an authentic origin but needs a contemporary relevance.” With that said, the Sinigaglia family proceeded to launch the REPLAY Hyperflex line – a responsible denim range that strived to revolutionise the industry as we knew it. In doing so, REPLAY’s jeans uncovered tenancy at the epicentre of innovation, employing a three-layer manufacturing strategy that combined elasticity, fabric recovery and comfort. This leading-edge composition of a Lycra central corespin, wrapped in polyester with an outer cotton layer, helped engineer and then protect their jeans’ ability to stretch.

REPLAY Jeans Fit

How Do Replay Jeans Fit?

If you’re yet to invest in a pair of the brand’s jeans, we highly recommend doing so since there’s a plethora of styles that cater to all sorts of different needs. Discover the fit of REPLAY Anbass, REPLAY Rocco and REPLAY Zeumar in the jean guides below.

Replay Anbass Fit

Just one of the imprint’s signature silhouettes, but by a clear mile the most popular – REPLAY Anbass is a slim-fitting jean that will remain an evergreen piece within your roster. Subject to 44 pre-finish washes, the Anbass is constructed with a regular waist, tight cut through the leg and comfort-rich seating within the thigh. Often found carrying a five-pocket build and faint, sandpapered whiskers on its base, complete with a reverse leather brand patch.

REPLAY Anbass Jeans Fit

Replay Rocco Fit

In contrast to REPLAY’s Anbass, REPLAY Rocco is subject to just 5 pre-finish washes. Rendered with a regular waist and comfort fit construction on the hips, this straight leg jean boasts five classic pockets, a zip fly and plenty of everyday versatility.

REPLAY Rocco Jeans Fit

Replay Zeumar Chino Fit

In a brief but slick blip from their jean offerings, the Italian brand turns its attention to chinos with the REPLAY Zeumar. Regular on the waist and slim through the leg, this fitted design utilises the brand’s stretch-imbued Hyperflex 11.5oz denim and two production washes – comprising an old colour garment dye and stonewash. Choose the Zeumar chino for unrestricted movement through elevated occasions.

REPLAY Zeumar

Astorflex Brand Guide

Astorflex Brand Guide

The Astorflex Brand – All You Need To Know

We recently had the pleasure of adding esteemed Astorflex brand to our footwear repertoire. Packed full of heritage history delights and sitting proudly toward the upper echelons of the production quality scale, Astorflex not only offers up an all-encompassing array of sturdy shoes but have been dubbed by many as having, ‘the best desert boots in the world.’ With such bold claims flying around and a newly cultivated arsenal of swish suede stompers at our disposal, we thought it only right to showcase the brand in all its storied glory.

Astorflex
History of Astorflex

When it comes to rich historical relevance and masterful levels of craftsmanship few do it better than Astorflex. Originating way back in the 19th century, and having since been passed down from generation to generation, the company started its humble beginnings specialising in the making of wooden clogs. Years later the patrimonial brand established their first factory in the Italian town of Mantova amongst a selection of other small family run business’, quickly making a name for themselves when it came to producing high-quality handmade leather shoes bolstered with wooden solos.

Fast forward to the ‘80s and following both industrialisation and the rise in demand for a more diverse selection of footwear many manufacturers began experimenting with different ways in which shoes could be put together, with many trying their hand at what was dubbed the ‘ideal method’. Bringing with it a sleek modern look and sturdy build, this new technique utilised external stitching to the outer edge of the sole to connect the upper and lower portions of the shoe.

Naturally, the Astorflex brand couldn’t help but try their hand at this new approach and since 1984 it has been their go-to method of construction, fitting seamlessly into their core values of quality, wearability and flexibility which sit central to their ethos.

 

Astorflex Boots
Craftsmanship

From the outset Astorflex has always placed emphasis on the calibre of their products, shaping their footwear around a stringent set of foundational blocks that pay close attention to elements such as detailing, materials and above all else comfort. With the main body of their offering comprising of timeless shapes such as deserts boots / Chelsea boots, a variety of different fabrics employed and constant innovation across now 6 generations it’s easy to see why they have become a mainstay in the men’s footwear landscape.

Take for example their Greenflex Boots or Bitflex Boots. Made using the finest locally sourced Tuscan suede and leather lined, the Greenflex keep traditional features such as a two-hole lacing system intact whilst the Bitflex equips both an elasticated side panelling and heel pull tab for easy application. Below both pairs sit atop a classic crepe sole that moulds to the foot with every wear, ensuring additional cushioning and a signature finish.

 

Astorflex Footwear
Sustainability

Currently operating under the watchful gaze of great, great-grandson Fabio Travenzoli, the brand has recently made steps toward becoming more sustainable in their approach, allowing for greater transparency at every stage of the business and placing additional significance on developing an eco-conscious methodology.

Using strictly Italian sourced components, water-based adhesives, natural rubber and vegetable dyeing techniques, that not only omit dyes and artificial colour finishes but makes the finished product healthier and more absorbent, to create something 100% ecological, Astorflex continue to look ahead, researching new ways to adapt their responsibly charged mantra.

Shop Full Astorflex Collection

Stepney Workers Club Brand Guide

Stepney Workers Club : The East-London Brand On A Mission…

Stepney Workers Club Brand Guide

Easily identifiable thanks to its liberal tagline of ‘Freedom of Sport, Freedom of Thought’, Stepney Workers Club is a London livin’ label hell-bent on delivering some of the most timeless kicks you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Now well-regarded for churning out vulcanised classics in their thousands, this relatively new footwear brand has proved itself quite the conversation starter since joining the ranks of the industry a mere two years ago in 2018. But where did it all begin for the proud East End native?

Well, the concept behind the brand was actually established through a genuine link to the original ‘Stepney Workers Sports Club’ – an anti-fascist, anti-war group born in the heart of Stepney Green many moons ago. In more specific terms, one of the brand’s founders uncovered that he is, in fact, a descendent of this exact sports club… his own grandfather turns out to be one of the original members of the 1920s startup! The connecting of these personal dots would lead the label to dig deep into the cultural significance of working men’s clubs, hoping in turn to cultivate its own unisex interpretation of the movement with a contemporary footwear offering.

Stepney Workers Club Varden

While delving into the ‘Stepney Workers Sports Club’ archives, head of design Roger Pereira and his peers came across a photograph – dated 1936 – which coined the slogan ‘Freedom of Sport, Freedom of Thought’, and so the now-famous SWC mantra was surrendered to a fresh purpose. The phrase itself gave birth to the brand’s ‘liberal undertone’ from the outset. This matched with the desire for an all-inclusive image, and a strong determination to fill a gap within the vulcanised market set Stepney Workers Club up with a foolproof brand strategy from the get-go.

Stepney Workers Club Dellow

Working as an antithesis to the frequent sneaker drops and unattainable hype of the current climate, Stepney Workers Club’s aesthetic is with all its being timeless and free of unnecessary fuss. Clean lines, emphasised proportions, and not an unsightly ‘Dad sneaker’ insight; the label’s portfolio proves immensely wearable among many generations. Centreing solely on just two silhouettes, either low-profile or high-top – to which the brand resists over-expanding for fear of endangering their appeal, the latest capsule toys with a multitude of versatile but dependable colourways whilst also experimenting with unique textural elements.

Stepney Workers Club Footwear

To get the SWC ball rolling here at Aphrodite the brand has kindly acquainted us with its signature ‘Dellow’ and ‘Varden’ silhouettes. Both designs are the result of a vintage reference point; paying tribute to the vulcanised styles that were so ubiquitous between the ‘50s and ‘80s. Each is crafted using a combination of traditional and bygone methods, with a cotton drill canvas upper, vulcanised rubber sole, high-wall foxings, and the brand’s symbolic handshake logo which represents the unity and liberal mindset from which the brand is born.

If you’re on the hunt for a staple and refined sneaker that won’t age, look no further than the realm of minimalisation that is Stepney Workers Club shoes. Hit the brand up via our online roster now.

Gramicci Brand Guide

Gramicci Brand Guide

History Of The Gramicci Brand

Formulated out of functionality, the Gramicci brand specialises in clothing tough enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor pursuits. Founded in the ‘80s by experienced Californian climber Mike Graham, the brand owes its name to Mike’s role in the first all-Italian ascent of the world-renowned Half-Dome.

Found nestled amongst the wonders of Yosemite National Park, Half-Dome is famed for its unique shape, tricky routes, and sheer size. Towering at a knee-shaking elevation of 8.842 not only did the intimidating heights and unavoidable physical strain of the job at hand pose a threat to the group’s goals but so to did their non-European origins, with a grand total of 0 Italians found within their ranks.

Undeterred, Mike and his friends pressed on employing both advanced skills and a selection of newly invented trans-Atlantic pseudonyms to complete their mission. Half-Dome conquered, Graham no more and Gramicci born. Needless to say, the name stuck, and in the years that followed Mike used his experience gained as an active participant in the rock climbing community to set up the brand we see before us today.

Gramicci

The Gramicci G Shorts

Releasing their first pair of Gramici shorts in 1982, the brand quickly became known for its penchant for super practical legwear, putting in place a plethora of innovative features that still stand as signature trademarks for more than 30 years later.

Designed with the young explorer in mind and paying close attention to the motions of a climber’s body, the G shorts / G pants boasted a gusseted crotch for unrestrictive movement as well as a built-in nylon belt and rugged cotton twill construction.

Using this as a foundation, the brand has since expanded into other clothing-related forays, experimenting with a variety of different cuts, fabrics, and silhouettes whilst cultivating a rich community of like-minded individuals through an ethos of exploration.

 

Gramicci Clothing

Gramicci Performance Range

No more present is the brand’s exploratory approach than with their performance line. A space to delve deeper into new ideas and try their hand at some of the most groundbreaking materials in the industry, this offshoot proving ground allows the preservation of classic ideals whilst ensuring Garmicci’s forward-thinking edge is continually sharpened.

Made to support whatever activity and elements the wearer embarks on, the collection takes advantage of everything from UV protective Sheltek, comfortable storm fleece, and versatile RECTAS / SOLOTEX fabrics to insulating Pertex, durable Cordura and waterproof GQRD 3 layer materials. In short, if you happen to find yourself halfway up a rather large granite face or hiking in the wilderness, this is the stuff to do it in.

Gramicci SS20Bridging The Gap

Aside from the finer specifications, Gramicci has also made waves when it comes to cultural significance. Thriving in overseas markets such as Japan and finding acceptance into the streetwear tribe, they played a substantial role in changing the widespread perception of utilitarian clothing.

Unlike today when you’d be hard-pressed to point out a brand that hasn’t yet dabbled in Goretex, outdoor clothing of the time was largely deemed as a bare-bones, necessity driven, and uninteresting when casting through a fashion lens. With the worlds of aesthetics and function rarely crossing paths Gramicci, among others, were some of the first to place an emphasis on not only the methodology of their clothing but how it looked, allowing lifestyle and performance to coexist, opening their craft to an entirely new audience and perhaps setting a precedent for future styling trends.

Combine this with their rock climber insignia, that coincidentally draws close resemblance to another of their ‘80s Californian neighbours Stussy who were at the forefront of the early streetwear movement, and the brand found itself quickly adopted as a permanent fixture of skate and surf shops, forming collaborations with the likes of Mastermind and having their unique cornerstone features referenced time and time again.

Alife Brand Guide

Alife Brand Guide

American streetwear imprint Alife ® may be new to Aphrodite’s shelves, but in actual reality, The Big Apple-based brand has been in circulation for way longer than you may think. In fact, the design studio stands as one of the true originators of streetwear – read on to find out how.

Alife Brand Guide

Inspired by the downtown culture from which it surrounds itself, the lifestyle label is the product of four friends – Arnaud Delecolle, Tony Arcabascio, Tammy Brainard and Rob Cristofaro – who each observed and strived to fill New York City’s ‘creative void’ many moons ago… Enter, the realm of Alife.

Conceived in ‘99, Alife® began its humble beginnings as a creative workshop on Manhattan’s Orchard Street. There, like-minded individuals would share and unite their ideas, in turn, cultivating an exclusive artist collective and fresh, expressive designs that were soaked up by all who were willing to make the initial investment. Quickly transforming from a simple passion project to a household name, Alife® – which is named after the desire to enliven animate objects – uncovered mass appeal, having bolstered a rivalled rapport with America’s most stylish, street-ready and forward-thinking denizens.

Alife

But although the entire essence of streetwear is so ubiquitous now, back in the late nineties and early noughties the culture was much less of a universal phenomenon. The original streetwear zeitgeist was brought into existence by not only Alife, but a multitude of its now world-renowned peers, who themselves started out life within the city’s diverse boroughs, such as Supreme and 10.Deep. The neighbouring nature of these exclusive boutiques within the city and the hype their names instantly induced would help to lay the foundations of streetwear culture and transcend the fashion industry forever.

Alife SS20

These days Alife® is fresher than ever. Having undertaken a brief hiatus a few years ago to level out its ethos and re-tune to the current climate; the skating/streetwear brand not only maintains its status with the pioneering generation but now accounts the millennial age as one of its greatest allies thanks to a slew of high-profile collaborations with the likes of Nike, adidas, Dickies and more.

Alife Clothing

Here at Aphrodite, you can expect the first roll-out of products to comprise a range of urban-minded gear. Pre-shrunk, 12oz fleece fits make for cosy, off-duty staples, while branded five-panel caps ensure accessibility and a rotational start point. The tees, in all their looks and colourways, distinctively hark back to the downtown status Alife® was born and bred for.