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Courtside Kicks

Courtside Kicks

A Lookback At Some Of The Game’s Prolific Forerunners

Thanks to ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ – a docuseries that depicts the mesmerizing star power of five-time MVP Michael Jordan and his team the Chicago Bulls in their ‘90s heyday – basketball’s bygone era has never felt more relevant. With that in mind and given the UK’s new-found affinity for the NBA, we’re digging through our portfolio to shine light on the shoes that first made their debut on the court, comprising the notorious Nike Blazer and adidas Superstar.

Courtside Kicks – History of the Nike Blazer:

In 1973 sportswear newbie Nike was a mere nine years of age when it launched the new kid on basketball’s block, the Nike Blazer. Dubbed the ‘Nike Blazer’ in tribute to local team the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’, the sneaker was specifically tailored to bolster game play, possesing supple leather in its upper, nylon and breathable mesh in the tongue and a robust vulcanised rubber sole underfoot. It’s construction, which employed the vulcanisation process and done so to superlative standards, was deemed hugely popular with players of the era, leading San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin to link up with the Swoosh and subsequently become the first player to front the Nike Blazer courtside.

Cool by name and by nature, George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin possessed the kind of star power that could transcend a silhouette from the hardwood and into favour with global popular culture. In fact, it’s thought that Nike and George Gervin’s partnership initiated the logistics of ‘player exclusive’ deals back then which of course are so ubiquitous these days.

Nike Blazer San Antonio Spurs NBA

Former San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin sporting the Nike Blazer during a game.

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage 77 Sketch

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage ’77 in White/Red and White/Black colourways, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Nike’s quick off the march approach to identifying players and utilising their likeness in such a way would become the cornerstone of the brand’s global operations. Just 12 years after the Nike Blazer debuted, a new courtside crep was preparing to take the NBA by storm; named the ‘Air Jordan’ after gravity-defying Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan. This immensely lucrative and longstanding partnership is responsible for MJ’s title as the richest athlete on the globe and although the Nike Blazer’s basketball invasion was short-lived, it did lay down the foundations for future successors such as Mike’s Air Jordan.

Having paved the way for player endorsements and Swoosh-bearing status on the court, the Nike Blazer gave up shooting hoops and skated into fresh tenure. Turns out, the design’s tremendous traction came in super handy for skaters, and so the Nike Blazer was reincarnated. These days though, the sneaker doesn’t require a specific purpose to make it a modern necessity – it’s now welcomed worldwide thanks to its unwavering throwback feel and logo-laden look.

Courtside Kicks – History of the adidas Superstar:

German heavyweight adidas had already built a great rapport with NBA greats way before rival Nike and its famous Blazer hit the scene. In 1969 the adidas Superstar launched as the first low-profile basketball sneaker to feature an all-leather upper and a rubber shelltoe, this making way for the shoe’s myriad nicknames since, including the ‘shelltoe’, ‘shell tops’ and ‘shell shoes’.

Given that sneaker innovation in the ‘60s was still very much at the inception stage, the shoe’s rubber shell toe and non-marking outsole were in every way unprecedented. The striking nature of the design quickly began to garner attention from some of the game’s most accomplished players, one being Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, whom some claim is the greatest player in NBA history. But these 3-Stripes sneakers weren’t solely reserved for the unstoppable feet of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, as by its third year of production the adidas Superstar was donned by over 75% of all NBA players. Pretty impressive.

adidas Superstar NBA History

NBA players of the past repping the adidas Superstar, including former New York Knicks power forward and Chicago Bulls Head Coach Phil Jackson.

adidas Superstar Sneakers

adidas Originals Superstar Trainers in Black/White and adidas Superstar WS2 Trainers in White/Black, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Just like the Nike blazer, the stellar adidas Superstar eventually, and gracefully, made its way off the court and into the city streets, picking up recognition from Hip Hop’s elite rap group Run-D.M.C. – with the trio paying tribute to the design in a song titled ‘My Adidas’ which aimed to redefine b-boy culture. Later down the line the 3-Stripes label struck up an advertising deal with Run-D.M.C., in turn, marking the first major sports company / hip-hop partnership of its kind. In the decades since this fundamental link up, adidas has frequently employed celebrity industry crossovers as a formula to its success, notably with this very Superstar style and rapper Pharrell Williams, not to mention Kanye West’s dollar seizing Yeezy line.

So there you have it, two of the globe’s most crowd-pleasing footwear styles unearthed from their basketball origins. Shop the featured colourways by checking out our Nike and adidas departments now.

Sneakers ER Brand Guide

Sneakers ER : Brand Guide

THE HISTORY

Sneakers ER is a 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 owe 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 which 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 full-time.

 

Sneakers ER

 

THE PRODUCTS

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

 

PREMIUM CLEANING SOLUTION

Arguably their most popular and sought after product, the Sneaker ER 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

 

NANO PROTECT AEROSOL SPRAY

As the age old saying goes the best offence if a good defence, 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 an extra protective peace of mind when sporting all-time grails.

 

Sneakers ER

 

SUPER HYDROPHOBIC SNEAKER PROTECTOR

A liquid based alternative to the Aerosol spray, the Super Hydrophobic Sneaker Protector supplies a complete defence 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 amount 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-frienly, solvent free and both non-irritant / non-toxic.

 

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

 

MIDSOLE PENS

For those more niche, precise jobs, the 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.

You can Shop our full selection of Sneakers ER Products.

 

Sneakers ER

Astorflex Brand Guide

Astorflex Brand Guide

All You Need To Know About Astorflex

We recently had the pleasure of adding esteemed brand Astorflex 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, Astorflex 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.

How To Relax Your Home Wardrobe With Barbour Beacon

Barbour Beacon SS20

If you’re feeling like your sense of style is pretty limited at the moment, don’t stress – the whole world is with you on that one. Just like the rest of the globe, here in the UK a state of lockdown has imposed a ‘new normal’ for almost six weeks now, which has presented a whole host of unprecedented circumstances.

While we all continue to strictly follow the government guidelines and adapt to this new state of being, it seems that in the madness of it all, our wardrobes have hit the back burner. I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s only so many pieces which can be deemed ‘appropriate’ for home office working or that daily exercise allowance we all treasure… In fact, does anyone remember the last time they donned a pair of jeans? No, us neither.

Fashion at the moment is certainly not the pressing priority it once was, and nor should it be within the grand scheme of things, however, it is just one of several adjustments that we’ve all gotten used to in recent weeks. With that said, we’ve taken a brief break from our new reality to help you implement a more relaxed approach to dressing with a helping hand from our trusty North-East neighbour, Barbour Beacon.

So, what exactly is on the agenda? Well we’re leaning on comfort, comfort and, you guessed it, a little more comfort. For the time being we recommend that you put the restrictive traits of denim, tailoring and outerwear to the back of your mind in favour of clobber that’s stretchy, soft on the skin and cosy – because let’s face it – downtime is the only memo scribbled on our calendars right now.

Barbour Beacon T-Shirt

To start off we’re placing our attention on finding the ideal base layer. Whether short-sleeved or long-sleeved, a comfortable t-shirt is the foundation of any great loungewear ensemble, so you’ll be pleased to hear that Barbour Beacon have plenty in their SS20 vault for you to feast your eyes on. For the most part, the Barbour Beacon tees here at Aphrodite are crafted from comfy cotton, opt for a short-sleeved cut and bear iconic credentials from the South Shields native.

In case you didn’t know, South Shields is nestled just up the road from our base here in Sunderland, with the region’s coastal backdrop informing many of Barbour Beacon’s garments, not to mention their entire global identity, which is why you’ll see a lighthouse emblem across the sub-brand’s whole collection. Below we’ve picked out a selection of breezy, unrestrictive t-shirts that will add a dose of Northern heritage to your rotation along with no-nonsense reliability.

Barbour Beacon Lighthouse T-Shirts

Of course, you can’t always rely on the days and weeks ahead to deliver t-shirt weather, so it’s always a good idea to build up your layers, whether you’re lounging around the house or seeking a breath of fresh air – warmth and comfort should be key during quarantine. Thankfully, #StayingAtHome with Barbour Beacon means exactly that. The brand’s SS20 offerings boast the perfect balance between versatility, insulation and street-ready styling, although the streets may have to hold on until they can claim their turn.

Barbour Beacon Fleece

Below we’ve picked out three snug silhouettes that will come in handy while self-isolating is still advisable. Our personal favourite is the Barbour Beacon Foley Fleece, not only does it have an outdoorsy, retro vibe to it, but it’s also reversible, meaning it can take you from one place to the next with ease. In the case of lockdown, opt to interchange between the textured sherpa fleece side and the smooth, cobalt poly face as you juggle working from home, your weekly food shop and accompanying man’s best friend for his daily stroll.

Barbour Beacon

Although it remains unclear when exactly we’ll be granted the green-light back to our old lives, we hope that for now you can find some creativity through the crisis by striving to relax your home wardrobe with Barbour Beacon. As always, thanks for taking the time to read this feature and be sure to stay safe through these extraordinary times!

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

Innovation & The 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 stormfleece 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 SS20

Bridging 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 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 Set

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.

Stone Island

Stone Island: 5 Things You May Not Know

Known for their fiercely innovative approach and long list of refined fabrics, complex treatments and expert dyeing procedures, Stone Island are undoubtedly one of the most widely recognised and influential brands in modern day existence. Having permeated into sub-cultural movements around the globe the brand have spent the past 38 years putting out some of the most strikingly sought after garments in fashion history.

Many of us may think we know all there is to know about the Italian powerhouse’s history but, much like many of the iconic jackets they devise, there’s a lot more hiding beneath the surface that, dare we say, even the most die hard of Stone Island fan may be unaware of. So with that in mind and to test your knowledge on all things compass patch we thought we would compile a list of 5 things you may not know about  Stone Island.

 

Massimo Osti

Photo credit Pinterest

 

Stone Island Wasn’t Intentional

As many people may already know Stone Island was founded by non-other than the legendary designer Massimo Osti, but did you know that the brand was originally a diffusion line? Before laying the foundations of what we now know as the modern day Stone Island in 1982, Otsi was hard at work researching, manufacturing and engineering a selection of textiles and fibres to use in his various CP Company collections having established the brand 11 years prior.

During his experimentation Osti was inspired by the fabric which was used on the tarpaulin of military trucks, drawing from it as his source material to develop a two-tone, durable membrane that gave the now signature worn-in finish found on many of the brand’s garment to this day. Officially dubbed Tella Stella, despite struggles to align the heavyweight cotton with his CP endeavours, Osti knew he was onto something special, making the decision to instead piece together 7 individually crafted jackets that would become the first ever Stone Island branded collection.

 

Joseph Conrad

Photo credit Harvard Magazine

 

Origins of the name

From the beginning Osti knew he needed a strong name and identity to regiment his latest creations under. The name Stone Island was actually derived from the novels of Ukrainian born writer Joseph Conrad. Delving into his novels they extracted the two most recurring words from his texts, ‘stone’ and ‘island’. There are also those that say it was named such due to their use of pumice stones during the washing process to break down the rigidity of fibres, such as the brand’s debut Tella Stella material, or to symbolise the brands’s close affiliation with the use of water during several stages of the fabrication process.

 

Stone Island Patches

Photo credit Pinterest

 

More Than Meets The Patch

The Stone Island patch is arguably one of the most iconic and easily distinguishable features of the brand. No matter how left-field and exploratory their fabrics, cuts or silhouettes get, a garment can easily be identified from a circular flash of black, green and yellow. Purposely made fully removable nature due to Osti’s fascination with the details of military pieces he found during his many visits to the flea markets of the ’70s. Officially named the wind rose, much like the name itself, it conjures up nautical themes and represents Stone Island’s never-ending pursuit of evolutionary endeavours.

Originally framed by a green border up until 2000, Stone Island make use of a number of subtle changes in appearance to differentiate their troupe. From the blacked out Shadow Project patch and monochromatic ghost patches to the scarcely seen mesh patches, one off anniversary patch and the white / black, ‘champagne’ patch that signifies limited pieces which utilise in-house fabrics.

 

Stone Island dyes

Photo credit Stone Island

 

Colour Chemistry

Garment dyeing is no doubt the bread and butter of Stone Island’s masterful output so it should come as no surprise to hear that they have their own dedicated colour laboratory which focuses on researching new hues but different techniques in which they can be applied to finished pieces to best suit each fabrics unique properties and make up. Through hard-work and dedication they have currently created over 60,000 bespoke recipes a number that continues to grow season to season.

 

 

Technical Fabrics

We’ve said it once but we will say it again Stone Island know their way around a fabric or two. With a strong functional and militaristic undercurrent to the majority of their output the brand have fashioned everything from thermo-sensitive garments which fluctuate in appearance based on the temperature – such as the ICE range – to garments coated with a stainless steel / bronze film and even, in the case of the Liquid Glass collection, jackets which employ thousands of glass microspheres to reflect light as the wearer moves. If that wasn’t enough the brand have also been know to implement some of the worlds toughest materials like Kevlar and Dyneema, create glow in the dark finishes and even combine polar opposites such as leather and aluminium into one creation.

So there we have it, let us know in the comments if you knew any already or if you have any fascinating Stone Island titbits that we missed. If you would like more information to satiate your Stone Island cravings check out our brand guide or you can shop our latest arrivals here.

adidas SL7600

adidas SL7600 : Vintage Meets Modern

The adidas SL7600 are set to surface on our shores very soon so in preparation for their arrival, and to show off some of their best bits, we thought we would share some words on what is sure to be an instant footwear classic.

As the age old saying goes you can never have too much of a good thing, and adidas’ Super Light lineup is the perfect example. Originally conceived during the ’70s to service the needs of athletes taking part in the Munich Olympics, not only was the SL series responsible for supplying the goods when it came to the age old question of weight vs performance, but it held its own in an era long turf war with arguably some of the fiercest competition in running history.

adidas SL7600

Utilising a robust array of stellar three stripped source material, adidas’ next addition to their featherweight family comes in the form of the SL7600. As forward thinking in name as they are in construction, the sneakers mix a best of both worlds culmination of vintage old school class, cutting-edge ingenuity and on-trend multi-faceted design that is sure to please even the most traditionalist of trefoil fanatic.

adidas SL7600

Crafted using both rugged suede overlays, nubuck accents and a breathable nylon base, the trainers boast a D-ring lacing system, similar to those found in both the Trimm Star / SL76, as well as iconic T-toe detailing. Further enhanced with a blanketing of minimal white which serves to add a subdued touch to the overall proportions of the silhouette, the SL7600 truly shines when it comes to underfoot cushioning.

adidas SL7600

Not only can an authentic jagged traction outsole be found to improve on-foot grip but an EVA midsole sees its already superior cushioning properties bolstered by a selection of comforting BOOST foam inserts. Finished with a branded tongue and tonal three striped sides, the SL7600 is a true homage to some of the key defining moments in adidas history, highlighting pivotal moments in the brand’s past and perhaps making nods to their not so distant future.

The adidas SL7600 is available online and in store at Aphrodite very soon.

adidas SL7600