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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

Aphrodite Isolation Playlist

Aphrodite’s Lockdown Playlist

Aphrodite’s Lockdown Playlist: Songs To See You Through Isolation

We’re currently eight weeks deep into lockdown and we’re sure that by now you’re all feeling frustrated with the process – as are we. But, as with any trying time life throws our way, it’s vital to search for the positives. We don’t know about you, but we’ve actually grown accustomed to the slower pace of life. There’s finally time to read that book you’ve heard so many great things about. There’s time to lose an entire day binging Netflix. There’s simply more time to do things we couldn’t find the time for before.

Another silver lining of the lockdown process is the ability to spend more time listening to music. Here at Aphrodite, we’ve sought solace from songs, both old and new, that are able to lift our moods or take us back to happier times. With that said, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to curate a playlist to keep your spirits up in the days and weeks that lie ahead in lockdown. From Fatboy Slim’s ’90s anthem ‘Praise You’ to the late Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ and Midland’s ‘Final Credits’, discover a variety of tracks below to take your quarantine mindset to the next level.

Lockdown Playlist

 

Classic Records:

  • New Radicals – You Get What You Give
  • David Bowie – Heroes
  • James – Sit Down
  • Primal Scream – Loaded
  • Bill Withers – Lovely Day
  • David Bowie – Changes
  • Fatboy Slim – Praise You
  • Kasabian – L.S.F.
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – September
  • Jimmy Cliff – Wonderful World, Beautiful People

 

 

Feel-Good Records:

  • Soul Reductions – Got 2 Be Loved
  • ESG – Dance
  • Floorplan – Tell You No Lie
  • Jamiroquai – Love Foolosophy
  • Mathame – Never Give Up
  • Finn – Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough (Ferreck Dawn & Robbosonic Remix)
  • Room 5 – Make Luv
  • Midland – Final Credits

 

Lockdown Songs

 

Uplifting Records:

  • Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up
  • Andra Day – Rise Up
  • Sampa The Great – Final Form
  • Candi Staton – You Got The Love
  • Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  • Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn
  • Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked
  • LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

 

LCD Soundsystem

 

Mellow Records:

  • Courtneers – Hanging Off Your Cloud
  • Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song
  • All Saints – Pure Shores
  • Liam Gallagher – Stand By Me (Acoustic)
  • Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
  • Lovebirds ft. Stee Downes – Want You In My Soul
  • Ross From Friends – John Cage
  • Catching Flies – When The Sun Bursts
  • DMA’s – Time & Money
  • Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side
  • Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

 

Primal Scream Vinyl

 

As ever, stay safe and sane through lockdown everyone – we’re looking forward to seeing you all once our Sunderland store can re-open!

 

 

 

 

adidas Hamburg ‘Fish Market’

Aiming to capture the unique intricacies and subtle quirks of cultural hot spots around the globe and condense them into extremely eye-pleasing trainers,  to say the City Series is a fan favourite collection would not only be a monumental understatement but a disservice to this extremely nice adidas Hamburg we recently found in our possession.

 

adidas Hamburg City Series

 

Originally introduced in the ’80s the Hamburg quickly found its place nestled comfortably among adidas’ selection of terrace classics, boasting the low-profile, three striped, uncomplicated design that football fans couldn’t, and still can’t, get enough of. For this iteration however, the Hamburg swaps out the suede, instead choosing to employ a plush leather construction for a more lux feel and robust finish. Blanketing its uppers in a coating of minimal white, the sneakers feature classic elements such as the t-toe overlay, trefoil tongue and three stripe markings alongside subtle nods to its German eponym.


adidas Hamburg Fish Market

Referencing the North German cities famous Sunday fish market, the trainers employ a  textured ‘fish scale’ effect as well as bespoke branding to the in-sole and a metal interpretation of Hamburg’s iconic flag insignia to the heel. With gold inscription situated both to the lateral and medial side, proceedings are brought to a close with a gum midsole underfoot for that all important hit of heritage class.

The adidas City Series Hamburg are available now online at Aphrodite.

 

 

 

 

REPLAY Fit Guide

Replay Brand Guide

ReplayBrand & 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

Barbour Beacon Aphrodite Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Win £150 Worth of Barbour Beacon Products

Win £150 Worth of Barbour Beacon Products at Aphrodite

Good news, we’ve teamed up with a close neighbour of ours to give you the chance to WIN £150 worth of Barbour Beacon products. Yes, you read that correctly – £150 worth of new-season gear from our mates up the road at Barbour Beacon! And in even better news, the lucky winner will get the pick of the entire bunch… Once selected and announced, the competition winner will be offered the chance to pick out garments of their choice, totalling an amount of £150 (RRP).

So how exactly do you enter this stellar giveaway? Well, it’s actually very simple. All you need to do to enter the draw is hit this LINK and follow the on-screen instructions. Once we receive the details required you’ll automatically be entered into the competition. So, what are you waiting for? Stop your lockdown blues in their tracks and give your wardrobe something to look forward to this coming season.

Starting today 05/05/2020 you will have 1 week to place your entry as the draw closes at midnight on 12/05/2020. Please see the competition terms and conditions below and in the meantime why not set your sights on the prize by checking out the Barbour Beacon SS20 collection at Aphrodite.

GIVEAWAY Barbour Beacon Aphrodite Clothing

Win £150 Worth of Barbour Beacon Products – T&Cs:

1 Entry per person will be entered. The competition will run from 02/05/2020 to 12/05/2020 (midnight). One lucky winner will be selected at random. The prize must be chosen from the Barbour Beacon collection only and up to the value of £150. No cash exchange. No other alternative. Items chosen must be in stock on Aphrodite’s website at the time of choosing.

Thank you, good luck and take care during these extraordinary times!

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.

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.