Since joining the sneaker circuit back in 2015, London-based brand Mallet Footwearhas steadily climbed the ranks of the industry to become the lauded label it is today. Television star, Tommy Mallet, and his business partner, Evren Ozkarakasil, are the talented, driving forces behind the brand; having started the adventure as a means to fill a gap in the British trainer market, and collectively, fulfill their passion for premium footwear.
Fast-forward four years down the line and Mallet Footwear has garnered quite the cult following for itself, no doubt backed by Mallet’s flurry of loyal followers and ardent luxury sneaker aficionados in abundance. But, the mass attention and success Mallet Footwear has acquired since its inception is incredibly well deserved. Mallet and Ozkarakasil are both savvy entrepreneurs in the background; keeping their finger firmly on the pulse of the industry, seeking out emerging trends before they hit the mainstream and spinning their own interpretation of them to present to the world at large.
Aesthetically, Mallet Footwear has anchored an unmistakable identity that rarely strays from its neutral colour palette. This ubiquitous look is widely welcomed by millennials, with the greys, blacks and beiges of each sneaker making for a versatile addition to any rotation. The brand’s continuing efforts to tap into the sneaker zeitgeist are certainly visible throughout each collection, take for instance Mallet’s AW19 offerings, from the Kingsland trainer, to the Diver 2.0 and Lurus silhouette, each design is symbolic of the chunky trainer trend that’s took the industry by storm in recent years.
Amidst contemporary design lines and bulbous outsoles, each Mallet delivery also boasts an immaculate finish which can be owed to the production expertise of Ozkarakasil. With plenty of prior experience on the production side of things, Ozkarakasil is on hand to ensure the product meets the brand’s superlative standards. With this said, Mallet Footwear choose to lean on the competence of European manufacturers to handmake each product, using only the finest of materials, from leather to suede and often, scuba.
As many brands in the business will know, it takes a certain kind of perseverance to truly get an idea up and running off the ground. Both Mallet and Ozkarakasil have effortlessly expressed exactly this in their starting years; pushing ahead with ambition and zero limits. From simply putting pencil to paper, the duo have found their calling and truly established a footwear force to be reckoned with – in Mallet’s words, ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’
Filtered through Olivier Rousteing’s monochrome state of mind, Balmain’s Autumn Winter ’19 collection is set to be a sumptuous head-turner.
In retrospect, although no one could have anticipated it at the time, 2011 would be the year to transform fashion forever. In Paris particularly, operations were following a startling shift; a then 25-year-old Olivier Rousteing had courageously taken the reins at the historic house of Balmain – a move that would go on to redefine fashion’s agenda for the foreseeable future.
In Rousteing’s celebrated eight years at Balmain’s helm, the house has firmly broken into the 21st century. The label’s lauded predecessors such as, Mr. Pierre Balmain himself, and Oscar de la Renta, had already cemented the house’s path to elegance, yet none had quite stirred up the contemporary appeal as that of Rousteing. In the seasons just before Olivier’s succession, Christophe Decarnin tried his talented hand at triggering modernity within the house, falling just short to that of Rousteing’s superlative standards.
Now, for Autumn Winter ‘19, the house calls on a plethora of diverse inspiration – sourced from far and wide. As-ever designs in the collection fuse contrasting themes of grunge and glamour; an aesthetic the label has become synonymous with under the guise of Olivier. Additionally, subtle Eastern influences gently unload into the capsule, no doubt much to the delight of the brand’s vast and loyal following on that side of the globe. And rounding off the lineup is Balmain’s first official foray into footwear; a collection sparking huge significance for Olivier Rousteing and a monumental touchpoint for the brand as a whole.
Kicking things off with a slew of luxe, monochrome pieces, the Autumn Winter ’19 capsule effortlessly blends the realms of luxury and streetwear. For example, the pairing of the brand’s velvet teddy jacket and branded hoodie here creates the perfect balance of sumptuous style and casual layering. Added accents, in the form of a baseball cap and the brand’s B-Troop Strap sneakers, signify the outfit’s obvious urban status, while the logo-laden aesthetic further unravels through simple base layers, including a short-sleeve signature tee and all-black trousers.
By insisting on the injection of sportswear cues throughout Balmain looks to not only hit a home run this season but also shoot some hoops on the hardwood and the proof is in this next outfit. With a sweatshirt that wouldn’t look out of place on the baseball field and the aptly dubbed ‘B-Ball’ sneakers on foot, the look is wholly sport-luxe.
The sweatshirt, in particular, unites Western and Eastern influences; not only does it shine the spotlight on one of America’s beloved batting games, thanks to its striped base and colour-blocking formula, but it also introduces Japanese design language into the mix – tooling Rousteing has displayed an affinity for in the past. Together with the distinctive cultural elements, an all-black Balmain belt bag gives the look a functional, finishing touch for urban dimensions.
The lack of ostentatious hues throughout the collection is sure to be welcomed by all those wishing to curate a versatile wardrobe, with plenty of pieces up for grabs that can be effortlessly mixed and match. The adaptability of the following look is demonstrated through its monochrome palette. Made up of a woollen blend sweater and taped joggers, the ensemble deliberately leaves bold colours behind for a sleek, street-led look which is without question cut for comfort.
Altogether, the Balmain AW19 collection makes a superb case for versatility. The high-key to low-key contrast of the garments ensures you’ll stand out in the streets while giving you the opportunity to experiment with mixing and matching a number of pieces from the lineup. Hats off to design favourite, Olivier Rousteing, yet again…
Steeped in decades of glamour, French fashion house Balmain has become a byword for Parisian prestige and the label’s latest AW19 piece – a luxurious Balmain Teddy Jacket – does everything to bolster this perception.
Brought to life under the reputable hand of Japanese craftsmanship, this Balmain jacket is made from a plush blend of velvet and rayon fabric. Cast in clashing black and white hues, the design presents a decisively high-key and low-key construction that’s destined to command attention and the brand’s knack for drawing in the crowds, each and every season, can only be owed to house helm, Olivier Rousteing.
Since taking the reins in 2011, Rousteing has successfully filtered through his penchant for Eastern influences, intricate detailing and powerful proportions, while reinstating the global acclaim of Balmain. With this Balmain Teddy jacket, Olivier fuses the house’s taste for the finer things with a varsity-inspired look – demonstrated by the striped detailing at its collar, cuffs, and hemline, coupled alongside bordered articulation at the sleeves which are braided in a delicate monochrome thread.
To the reverse, a metallic medallion operates as the literal silver-lining of the garment, holding the label’s rich identity in a crest-like formula, while to the front, Rousteing’s team spirit graduates with the letter ‘B’ woven into the chest. Detail wise, a two-way zip closure will enable the wearer to reveal further luxe layers hidden under the design, complete with the addition of two side pockets for carrying smaller valuables.
Opulent in every way, the Balmain Teddy jacket is drenched in Olivier Rousteing’s deluxe design codes and is sure to be a winner for the streets or elevated occasions alike. Purchase yours at Aphrodite online or in-store now.
Would you be more inclined to buy a garment if you were sound in the knowledge it was crafted sustainably? In 2019, as the demand for fast fashion continues to spike, this question is something the industry must actively ponder.
Until recently, fashion’s impact on the environment had been seldom spoken of. The more well-documented pollution players are frequently exposed to blame in the press, but who should really be taking all the rap? With over 10% of the world’s carbon footprint falling on fashion, changes – evidently – need to be made. Here at Aphrodite, we caught up with some of the key brands in our line up to find out how they plan to kick-start the journey to sustainability.
If you’ve ever visited us in store or browsed our plethora of footwear pages online, you’ll certainly be familiar with Slovakian label Novesta. Renowned across Europe for its quality craftsmanship, the brand’s trainer offerings are immensely clean cut and timeless. Of course, aesthetics are positioned at the forefront of the label’s operations, but the topic of sustainability scales pretty high on the brand’s agenda too.
Novesta’s ethical efforts spill out and into the manufacturing process, where they choose to handcraft their products solely using natural materials. The employment of natural rubber, cotton and linen make Novesta’s products thoroughly sustainable. As a result, the brand’s ecological actions have caught the attention of animal welfare charity PETA. Now dubbed officially VEGAN by PETA, Novesta is proud to promote the switch to ethical fashion throughout the globe. Shop Novesta’s sustainable styles here.
Cross a thousand miles or so across the European continent and you’ll discover Swedish imprint Nudie Jeans. Pledging to uncover ‘the naked truth about denim’ since its inception, the label has actively pursued the journey to sustainability for some time now. Brand founders Maria Erixon Levin, Joakim Levin and Palle Stenberg have always been impassioned by the promise to pursue a sustainable planet, doing so while supplying some of the best denim styles we’ve ever laid our eyes on.
In a substantial effort to create a safe working environment for its staff, Nudie Jeans opts for the use of 100% organic cotton across its collections. Unlike conventional farming, organic cotton is grown without the exposure to harmful chemicals, creating in turn, a safe environment for employment, while also encouraging purity of the eco system. And the brand’s efforts don’t stop there.
Many of you may be familiar with Nudie Jeans’ repair services, we ourselves have hosted one of the label’s repair shops, much to the delight of local denim aficionados. The purpose of these repair shops is to provide the garment with longevity. In Nudie Jeans terms ‘we don’t believe throwaway and jeans are words that belong together.’ The introduction of repairs means that your investment can be sustained, without the need to purchase time and time again. In total, Nudie Jeans repaired 55,173 pairs of jeans in 2018 – a 6,000 increase on 2017. Pretty impressive we must admit! Browse Nudie Jeans’ approach to sustainability here.
In Britain menswear brands are also aiming to spread the word on sustainability. Eponymous label Oliver Spencer endeavours to improve the environment with an array of sustainable movements. Bleue Wickham-Burnham, Head of Sustainability at Oliver Spencer, explored the topic with Aphrodite.
“Any waste effluent from the dyeing and treatment of fabrics is cleaned in-line with European standards. This basically means it’s crystal clear when it leaves the factory. One of our mills in the north of England is fed by a river, where the water is put back afterwards – you could literally drink the water as it’s being put back into the river!”
Similarly to Nudie Jeans, the London-based brand also operate a repair service, allowing costs and unnecessary waste to remain at their lowest. On top of this, Oliver Spencer continues to strive for the use of eco-friendly fabrics: “For winter 41% of the cotton we use by volume will be organic. We hope to continue this until we get to 100%, unless we start using regenerative organic cotton before then.” Take a look at Oliver Spencer’s eco-friendly designs here.
Across town at Paul Smith, activities and operations are being tweaked all the time to ensure transparency and the utmost social responsibility. The label’s PS Paul Smith collection, a favourite with Aphrodite customers, is growing more and more sustainable each season.
Brand Financial & Sustainability Analyst at Paul Smith, Jessica Halsey, weighed in on the label’s strategy: “We are proud to announce that almost 85% of our PS collection jersey is made from organic cotton. Using organic cotton means that we can be sure the cotton farming is non-intensive and no harmful pesticides have been used in the process.”
On top of this, you’ll be interested to know that Paul Smith is doing even more to pursue ethical operations. And what we mean by that is, if you’re hitting the beach this season you may well find yourself in the possession of Paul Smith’s sustainability efforts.
“Recently we have introduced recycled polyester into our garments, most notably our Paul Smith collection swim shorts. They are part composed of post-consumer plastic bottles. We love the idea that something can be recycled and repurposed into something completely new whilst reducing the impact consumer waste has on the planet.” Catch Paul Smith’s organic cotton collection here.
Across the pond, outdoor pioneers at Patagonia live and breathe the essence of sustainability. ‘Worn Wear’ is an initiative the brand introduced to alter the relationship people have with their clothing. Avoiding a ‘throwaway’ stance at all costs, Patagonia ‘keeps your gear in action for longer’ at their repair base in Nevada – the largest repair facility in North America. Each year, the brand repairs over 40,000 items back to new, we certainly can’t complain with that!
Textile use and treatments are also of high interest to Patagonia and it’s something the brand continuously re-evaluates each season. From using recycled materials to craft its garments, to choosing PVC and phthalate-free inks and searching for non-harmful alternatives, the brand has become synonymous with sustainable production. Purchase Patagonia’s ethical styles here.
Though sustainability within the fashion arena is still in its inception stage, evidently, it’s of great concern to many brands who are continuously making crucial improvements to their operations to care for the environment, the staff they employ and the communities they work within. Enjoy shopping the featured styles with a clear conscience…
In today’s fashion zeitgeist it’s near impossible to imagine a world without Nike trainers. But, in the bygone days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, before the Swoosh locked down sartorial status, the footwear industry wasn’t quite sure what it was missing without the sporting stalwart’s sneakers.
Jump 40-something years and Nike trainers have reached the pinnacle of footwear culture in 2019. Having etched their presence into society and sportswear alike, the brand’s kicks, ranging from the nostalgic Cortez, to the Waffle Racer ‘Moon Shoe’ and the ever-popular Air Max dynasty, are true style icons.
Therefore, mastering your Swoosh style is essential if you’re hoping to keep up appearances in the sneaker scene. So why not source inspiration from our styling team and take a look at how we’ve approached this season’s Nike Trainers below…
Ideal for city dwellers – our first look bets on a relaxed wardrobe for urban settings. With the help of trailblazing label CP Company and all-American brand Ralph Lauren in the mix, this outfit takes on an effortless smart-casual stance. Boasting a double dosage of technical layers on top, including a short-sleeved CP Company polo shirt and CP Company arm lens jacket, the outfit further unfolds with comforting Ralph Lauren sweatpants.
Completing the look is a pair of Nike Air Max Light trainers; offering colourful pops to an otherwise monochrome teaming. Since these sneakers have been seldom-seen since the ‘80s, give them the attention they deserve through the streets.
If you’re more focused on turning up the dial for nostalgia, look two is a winner. Featuring Nike’s Air Zoom Alpha trainers, *cult classics from the ‘90s*, the outfit channels an elevated approach to dressing. It’s imagined with several layers stacked atop each other, including a Nudie sweatshirt, Albamshirt and cosy Folk sweatshirt. Although warmth shouldn’t pose a problem with this look, choose to add or remove layers depending on the temperature. Meanwhile, embrace this Zoom sneaker’s wavy uppers and retro status in your chosen stomping ground.
Cast with a colour palette made up of only two tones, this black and white ensemble is undoubtedly a head-turner. Bringing urban accents into focus, the look aims to secure the streetwear scene with a range of logo-charged accessories. With Dsquared2’s ICON bag by your side, not only can all your essentials be kept close, but your status heightened thanks to the brand’s signature slogan. Adding to the clashing vision is a Ralph Lauren baseball cap, boxy Maison Margiela t-shirt and Champion sweatshorts.
Finished off with the power and stability of Nike’s Vapormax 2019 trainer on foot; we’re sound in the knowledge that this look will confidently pursue the city or summer festivals in equal measure.
Slick, smart and suitable for weekend wear – outfit four is fiercely trend aware. Taking to terrain with the energy of a springy Air Sole unit, Nike’s Air Tailwind 79 sneaker hits the floor with the Swoosh sported at all angles. Up top, a lightweight Paul Smith shirt and neutral Albam overshirt drape the body, teamed alongside versatile Norse Projects chinos. Signing off the sophisticated streetwear look is Moncler’s Theo pouch in olive, styled here across the body.
Wholly inspired by the game, this next look captures traditions from the hardwood and prepares to hit the tramac. Using an unusual approach to layering, the outfit invites a striking Nike jersey atop a cosy Ralph Lauren hoodie. Nike’s Air Force 1 ‘07 low trainers serve timeless appeal on foot, while the sporty styling is broken up with beige Norse Projects chinos. We reckon this one will give off duty dressing a whole new meaning.
Showcasing the sporty flair of the ‘90s, this final outfit looks to apparel icons of the past. Pounding the streets with nostalgia on foot, Nike’s Air Max 98 trainers inject old-school quality to the ensemble while Ralph Lauren’s half zip sweatshirt serves up a cosy layer for easy throwing on. Edwin’s ED55 63 jeans soften the athleisure theme with their clean-cut feel and turned-up cuffs.
So, whether you’re running errands from day-to-day, dressing to impress or cutting a casual figure, celebrate the Swoosh in superlative style. Shop a wide range of Nike trainers in-store and online at Aphrodite.
The Stone Island brand name has many different connotations for many different people; for some, it is inextricably linked with football culture, in particular the casual movement — either in a positive or a negative sense; for others, it has become associated with the grime music scene, and has extended its reach beyond the terraces and onto the streets. But first and foremost, that iconic Compass badge on your sleeve is a symbol of quality, innovation and style — the principles on which the brand as we know it was founded back in 1982.
Stone Island Spring/Summer 1983 Catalogue
Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti is from a family with long ties to the clothing industry. By the 1980s, though, he had grown restless within the world of formalwear, and sought to diversify into something he found more appealing: sportswear. He and his sister established a firm — the creatively-named Sportswear Company — and scoured Italy looking for companies that shared their vision for innovative casual clothing, where they discovered (and promptly acquired) CP Company. Stone Island itself, however, was conceived almost by accident: Massimo Osti — founder and designer for CP Company, and household name for those in the know about technical sportswear — had conceived a new fabric dubbed Tela Stella, a heavyweight, oilskin-like material impregnated with different pigments on either side, and was determined to make something out of it. He couldn’t find a way to make it fit within CP Company’s collection, however, and so decided to craft a small collection of just seven jackets. In keeping with the military and nautical inspiration behind the Tela Stella fabric, he chose a compass as the logo for his new diffusion line: Stone Island was born.
Stone Island and Streetwear: From the Terraces to the Streets
Moving forward from this inauspicious start, Osti pushed ahead with fabric innovation, endlessly researching new textiles and ways to implement them, coming up with often outlandish, off the wall fabrics that no-one else had even thought of: heat-reactive weaves; nylon fabric laminated with hundreds of glass beads to change the colour in different angles; earth-dyed, acid-corroded canvas. This over-the-top approach, along with the masculine, military styling of the brand’s offerings was a large part of ‘Stoney’s’ appeal to the football casual crowd: fans travelling abroad for away and international games were always on the lookout for new and exciting garments to bring home and show off. Stone Island, with the one-off and unique nature of a lot of Osti’s fabrics, fit perfectly into this culture of one-upmanship, and the brand’s popularity was cemented from then on.
Because of this association with the hyper-masculine world of football casuals, the brand’s enduring legacy has been as a symbol of manliness. In more recent years, it has been adopted by inner-city kids in the UK as a status symbol, and in turn became associated with the grime music scene. Buoyed up by high-profile collaborations with streetwear giants Supreme and Nike, the brand’s appeal has diversified beyond connoisseurs and collectors, particularly across the Atlantic. Urban music superstars like Drake, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott have all embraced the ‘Stoney’ look of late, skyrocketing interest in a brand that was previously alien to those not living in Europe, and launching its appeal to a whole new generation of streetwear fans.
Stone Island Fabrics: Continuing Innovation
These days, far from being helmed by a single visionary like Massimo Osti or later designer Paul Harvey, Carlo Rivetti has assembled a team of designers to better embrace its newfound worldwide popularity and the diversity of its fanbase, stating “It [is] necessary to be multicultural in order to be truly contemporary … I felt that in this era it is this possible to face all aspects of a world only with several minds and several visions.”
Stone Island Heat Reactive Jacket
This ethos has lead to the continuation of the innovation and research that Massimo Osti started all those years ago, and Stone Island holds its reputation for using unusual and technologically-advanced fabrics and finishes. Some recent examples:
Micro Reps: Stone Island Micro Reps is one of the brand’s staple fabric constructions. A classic nylon, the warp and weft fibres are of different thicknesses, allowing for a much tighter weave than a traditional nylon fabric. This not only provides natural weather resistance, but serves as the ideal base for the brand’s garment dyeing experiments.
Nylon Metal: We’ve written about this one before: nylon fibres with an irregular structure are woven as grey weft and white, ready to dye warp threads, and undergo an elaborate double-dyeing process to produce a fabric that has an iridescent sheen in different lighting conditions. This can produce a subtle three-dimensional effect, or be used with bright, contrasting colours to provide some pretty wild results.
Tank Shield: Crafted from matte polyester fabric, the whole jacket is first assembled and then internally laminated with overlapping panels of a weatherproof, breathable membrane, giving superior weather resistance and a near-seamless look.
Heat Reactive: A highly limited capsule, the Stone Island Heat Reactive jacket from SS19 was a cotton ripstop construction, printed all over with a three-colour fractal camo design in a heat reactive pigment. As the wearer’s body heat warmed the fabric, the pattern became brighter and more prominent, also revealing a large Stone Island logo to the back.
This is just a tiny fraction of the scope of the brand’s vision: the brand’s own historical archive consists of over 7000 pieces, while their research archive is larger still, at over 40,000 items of vintage sportswear and militaria.
Stone Island Badges
Aside from the high-end fabrics and construction, perhaps the most important element of a Stone Island product is the removable badge, normally found on the left side of the garment, with the Marina collection breaking the mould and not featuring the badge at all, instead opting for bold text printing. There are a number of different versions of the badge which denote different aspects of the brand. The standard, most commonly recognised badge is the yellow and green compass rose badge (above left). Despite switching from a green border to a black one, the classic badge has remained unchanged since the brand’s inception, and is a tribute to both the military inspiration of the brand and the sense of adventure and exploration driving Osti’s research.
There are a number of monochromatic badges (above centre) that were originally used for what the brand dubbed Ghost Pieces: with fully tonal designs in a variety of colours, including black, red and white, they were conceived as a kind of modern camouflage, allowing the wearer to blend in while still keeping the unmistakeable Stone Island aesthetic. More recently, the tonal black badge has been used to denote pieces from the Shadow Project diffusion line: combining Stone Island’s technical fabric expertise with directional, futuristic designs from ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh.
The White Compass badge (above right) is seen on limited edition pieces, often known as ‘Champagne Pieces’ because of the colour of the badge. These jackets often use even more innovative fabrics and construction that can only be created in small quantities, and are often at a higher price point to the normal line, due to the limited nature of their production. Of course, the flipside of this limited aspect is that the pieces become collectors items in years to come, holding their value for a lot longer than others, if not increasing it.
Celebrities Wearing Stone Island
Drake with Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti
The Weeknd in Supreme x Stone Island
As mentioned above, Stone Island has been spotted on more and more celebrities recently. One of the more high-profile representatives of the brand has been music superstar Drake, who seems to wear the brand almost exclusively these days, even going so far as to have custom pieces made for his Boy Meets World tour. Drizzy is joined in his love for Stoney by fellow Canadian star The Weeknd, who was recently spotted wearing pieces from the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration (for extra streetwear kudos), as well as rap mainstays Kanye West and Travis Scott.
Jason Statham in Stone Island
Back over in Blighty, grime artists are often spotted sporting the Compass, including Tinie Tempah and Skepta, while Hollywood hardman Jason Statham is another of the brand’s high profile fans.
Stone Island Headquarters Tour Video
In this unique video, Carlo Rivetti opens the door to the Stone Island empire and allows the public a sneak peek at the research and experimentation that goes on behind the scenes. It offers a fascinating glance into how the brand operates behind closed doors.
Streetwear stalwarts Stussy have always drawn from their home turf of Laguna Beach for inspiration; specifically, the artists, skate kids and surfers that inhabit the California locale. Less concerned with fashion than with projecting a level of tribal awareness for whichever subculture or crew they might roll with, thrift shops and surplus stores were the go-to spots to replace the latest shredded sweatshirt or pair of trousers. Stussy’s latest collection captures this effortless spirit to perfection, combining a wealth of influences to create something quintessentially Stussy, which we’ve highlighted in our latest photo editorial, shot on location in that most laid-back of locales: the laundrette.
Vintage-style sweatshirts and hoodies — in looser, period-appropriate fits — form the core of the collection, boasting graphics and embroidery inspired by everything from thrifted varsity sweats to old motorsports memorabilia. Sticking with the preppy theme, wide striped rugby shirts also make an appearance, cementing their spot as one of the best layering pieces a man can have in his wardrobe: a bit smarter than a sweatshirt, but more robust than a polo, the rugby shirt is the perfect workhorse for the transitional months.
Keeping things versatile for the warmer weather, the outerwear includes a deep indigo coverall jacket in heavy canvas and a pullover ripstop track topin a bold, 90s-style colourway. Running the gamut of collegiate style, sportswear and vintage workwear, this is one of the Stussy’s most eclectic, yet wearable collections yet.
The standout piece is the aforementioned coverall jacket. A staple of American workwear for decades, the jacket’s ready availability, hardwearing construction and utilitarian look have made it a menswear favourite, and this version is one of the best we’ve seen. Subtly differentiated from the originals with a more robust fabric, contrasting stitching and a printed Stussy Stock logo to the chest, the jacket is the perfect throw-on piece for any time of year.
Paris has long been regarded as a cultural epicentre; not just of fashion, but of style. While some of the world’s biggest luxury brands call the City of Lights their home, it’s Paris’s inhabitants that have captured the world’s collective eye. Whether taking a break at a café, running errands or just strolling around the arondissements, there’s just something about Paris that brings out that laid-back style. Get some of that style savoir-faire for yourself with the latest fromA.P.C. and Maison Kitsune.
Both hailing from Paris, these two brands capture their home city’s vibe perfectly through their use of classic patterns, relaxed cuts and playful graphics. We’ve highlighted some of our favourite pieces in our latest editorial shoot. It may not be Paris, but it comes pretty darn close.
Higher or Lower?
There’s no simpler men’s style technique than ‘high-low’ dressing: that is, pairing something considered traditionally smart with more casual pieces. Take the combo above, for example: while the APC coat is of a classic ‘Balmacaan’ style, the custom-woven fabric is spring weight and lightens the silhouette considerably. Meanwhile, the Maison Kitsune t-shirt is one of the more subdued pieces in the brand’s lineup, but holds its own thanks to the slubby cotton jersey and superior Portuguese construction.
Both pieces complement each other effortlessly for a smart-casual double whammy. Combine this with the glen-plaid check pattern of the A.P.C. coat and the muted graphic on the Maison Kitsune t-shirt for extra Paris-points.
There’s probably no more stereotypically ‘French’ garment than the striped long-sleeve t-shirt, so it’s no surprise one would appear here. For decades, actors, musicians and general cool people have turned to the classic mariniere as part of their daily uniform. It’s no surprise — they pretty much go with anything, from workwear to cutting edge capital-F Fashion. This version from Maison Kitsune is a beauty, constructed from a satisfyingly weighty jersey fabric and finished with the brand’s signature Fox logo.
We paired it with A.P.C.‘s upscale take on the traditional bleu de travail French worker’s jacket, which elevates the functionality of the original with a textured fabric and metallic buttons for a contemporary take on classic Gallic garms.
The Parisian Job
Still on an elevated workwear vibe, the above outfit is based around A.P.C.‘s two-piece Job set. Comprising an overshirt and a pair of straight-leg carpenter pants, the ensemble swerves away from painter-decorator territory with the use of a luxe striped fabric, delivering the typically Parisian skew on Americana that only A.P.C. can provide.
Wear the full set or mix and match the pieces with your existing wardrobe — the trousers in particular are something special, complete with the full complement of utility pockets and hammer loop. Throw on one of Maison Kitsune‘s beefy-yet-refined hoodies for the chillier days and you’re set for Springtime in Paris (or wherever else you happen to end up).
Check out the brands’ pages for even more of the good stuff, and make sure to keep an eye on our social feeds for the latest drops.
Every now and then it’s nice to take a step back, take a deep breath and just appreciate how far things have come. Whether that be the leaps and bounds we’ve made in technology, immense feats of human ability or just a really good pair of trainers. Since we’ve yet to break any world records or develop the next advancement in modern computing we opted to stick to footwear, taking a deep dive into a sneaker that’s left a footprint on many of our hearts, the adidas Gazelle.
Launched onto the scene in 1968 the adidas Gazelle paved the way for the modern day, 21st-century perception of adidas being the first to pioneer the suede and accompanying three-striped contrast design. Not only did this new material choice offer a much lighter alternative to the more commonplace leather but, it lent itself perfectly to the dying process making it capable of producing a spectrum of bright colours, first of which was the OG blue and red variations.
Despite the latter being adopted by the world of handball, there is actually a fair amount of mystery and intrigue surrounding the Gazelle’s true purpose. Was it an indoor football shoe? running sneaker? handball trainer? No one truly knows, but what we do know is that the Gazelle presented enough technical know-how and clever complexities to jump from sport to sport earning itself the title of an all-around athletic training shoe, with an understated, clean and streamlined wedge shape design that set a precedent for low-top performance footwear.
The true OG Trainers. Image credit: Shelf life
Perhaps the true beauty of the Gazelle story, however, lies within its ability to break down the barriers that separated fashion and sportswear with its acceptance into the quintessential uniform for a variety of subcultures and styles. Its first taste of such comradery was when it found itself quickly rising to prominence with football fans and the casual audience, sitting nicely amongst the adidas three stripe terrace offering which included other such greats as the Munchen and Forest Hills.
From aways days to locals, rain or shine, cider or lager the Gazelle was on foot for it all becoming a status symbol amongst brands such as Lacoste, Fred Perry and CP Company, forming an unwritten code for admittance into the football stadium. Even to this day over 40 years later, the adidas Gazelle still remains synonymous with football culture and you’d be hard pressed to go to a game without spotting a pair of brightly coloured suede trainers pounding the pavement in or around the ground. But, perhaps a true testament to the Gazelles affiliation with the beautiful game was when Daniel Baddiel wore a pair in the Three Lions music video. Case closed.
Noel Gallagher sporting the blue adidas Gazelles. Photo credit 80s Casual Classics.
If someone asked you to sum up the Gazelle in a sound what would you say? Well chances are after a brief moment of confusion and a few questioning glances you’d probably go for Oasis, Blur or, no pun intended, Suede. Britpop undeniably played a huge part in the Gazelle success story not only because this was the music that serenaded the ears of the Gazelle clad masses but, the people who were strumming the guitars and banging the drums were wearing the trainers themselves, taking them from the feet of working-class season ticket holders to those of celebrities and musicians alike.
The Gallaghers, Damon Albarn, Kate Moss and many, many more were all well and truly the face of the adidas Gazelle optimizing the look, attitude and edge that helped the trainer skyrocket from humble sneaker to cult classic. In fact, their association was so entwined with the retro classic that the iconic 1993 shot of Moss in her crimson pair of Gazelles was recently used to launch the 2016 reissue of the ’90s model when the sneaker was arguably at its cultural prowess.
The image in question, Kate Moss sporting Gazelles in 1993. Photo credit: Denzil McNeelance/adidas
However, it’s not just the footy and learning the chorus to Wonderwall the Gazelle was concerned with as it set out to fulfil its unsatisfiable urge to become best mates with everyone. With the likes of Superstars and the Campus cropping up in America thanks to its affiliation with basketball, the adidas Gazelle became the next best thing for European hip hop culture adopted by amongst others, UK b-boys such as Broken Glass who used the shoe and their US influences to carve a distinct hybrid style.
But that’s not to say the Gazelle didn’t make it stateside. With the help of Run-D.M.C who undeniably opened the adidas floodgates, being the first non-athletes to collaborate with the sportswear brand with the release of a limited edition Superstar, the hip hop spotlight was thrust firmly onto the sportswear brand. Among the masses of diagonal rectangles across the pond the Gazelle reared its head, being considered a connoisseurs choice when it came to footwear with the likes of The Beastie Boys powerless to its plush suede fabrication with Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock seen donning the trainer in their fight against early bedtimes.
The Beastie Boys in a triple Gazelle ensemble Photo Credit: Pinterest
Since its inception, the adidas Gazelle has seen countless iterations, in colour, materials and design each bringing a fresh twist to the table – see for example the Supers below – but staying true to the original winning formula of minimal detailing, quality materials and a smart low silhouette. Throw into the mix its rich history styling the youth tribes of yonder year or its countless celebrity sightings – we haven’t even mentioned Jackon 5 era, Michael Jackson rocking a pair, Bob Marley doing keepy ups in them or their brief stint mastering kickflips – and it’s fair to say no matter what angle you look at it from the Gazelle was and still is an unequivocal cultural powerhouse capable of generation-spanning heritage charm and irresistible universal appeal.
So, back to the big question. Is it a dancing shoe? A free-kick curling mastermind? Or a species of very fast antelope? We think it’s a bit of a Jack of all trades but contrary to the popular saying the Gazelle has managed to master them all.