Thoughts on the Air Jordan 1 Banned

On September 3rd the Air Jordan 1 Banned re released for the first time in three years, bringing back the iconic silhouette in its most famous colour way.

While this shoe was released in a number of retailers  stock was still limited making the shoe just as rare and sought after as past releases this evidently increased the hype in the sneaker community.

I was lucky enough to be able to purchase myself a pair from Nike.com and I have been wearing them for the past two weeks.

The quality of the leather was one of the main topics surrounding this release, this is because when the shattered backboard colour way released for the Air Jordan 1 it set the new standard for quality expected from Jordan brand.

A lot of debate has occurred in the community whether this releases has been up to par, honestly I could not be a hundred percent certain as I do not own the shattered backboards, however I am very pleased with the quality.

The red leather is tumbled and incredibly soft to the touch and truly has a premium feel to it, while the black leather seems average at best there could be improvements made but for the price point it defiantly meets expectations.

My other thought on this shoe is that the comfort is actually rather surprising, they are comfortable, really comfortable especially for a shoe designed in 1985.

I have been on my feet all day in them twice now and I have loved the comfort, I am accustomed to running trainers such as the Adidas Ultra Boosts which prides itself on their comfort and honestly these Jordan 1’s did not disappoint.

My feet did not ache at the end of either of these long days, the support they give around the ankle feels great and the Nike Air certainly makes them feel light and responsive when walking.

An added point is they fit rather wide which for me is a blessing as it gave me a greater support which a lot of narrow shoes do not offer.

A further side note is that I love how this release of the shoe has attempted to stay as close to the 1985 release as possible.

Little details such as having the original higher cut of the shoe, the white insole, the trademark logo on the Nike Air and the sample stamp on the inside have made this shoe feel all the more special.

This has been may favourite shoe for some time now and for good reason, they have been a staple in both the sneaker and street wear community.

The shoe has a lot of history surrounding it in both in fashion and sport they have remained truly timeless and I would recommend them to anyone.

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Instagram: anthonywolny

 

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Hidden clothing shops in Huddersfield

After having spent the last two years studying in Huddersfield, I have defiantly had more than enough time to find some great clothing shops that differ from your regular high street stores.

For such a small town Huddersfield is definitely not lacking great shops. If you keep your eyes peeled you are sure to find some of the best shops for streetwear in the country.

Skating culture is relatively big in Huddersfield, meaning you do not have to look too hard to find some of the hottest brands like Supreme and Palace. Walk round the town centre and within minutes you will see some of the hottest pieces in fashion.

The first shop you have to visit is A Shop Called Wood located in Westgate, it was established in 2004 and has been gaining popularity on the underground for the last 12 years.

It is a fantastic shop for basic pieces, you can find all your staple brands here, as well as some new ones you have never heard of that you will instantly fall in love with.

You will find the classic brands like Reigning Champ, Stussy, Cheap Monday, Adidas, Nike and Jordan as well as smaller less known brands like Iuter, Ylati, Brixtol and Milkcrate. Taran Rayt the store Director said “When I look for brands I look for exclusivity and price, but most importantly it has to fit the shop”.

A Shop Called Wood has always had a close relationship with their customers, you will always be able to have a chat and get advice from whoever is working at the time. Taran Rayt also said “I think customer interaction is a major play, if you don’t talk you don’t sell”.

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Taran Rayt the store director of A Shop Called Wood inside the store.

The second store you must visit if in Huddersfield is right around the corner from A Shop Called Wood, it is the Endemic Skate Store located on Station St.

This is an independently owned skate shop that was established in 2006, here you will find all you classic skating brands that have gained mass popularity such as Palace, Vans and Independent.

Alongside the main brands they carry you will also find their own clothing brand Endemic and some smaller lesser known brands, one thing is for sure; this shop carries some of the best design I have seen in a while.

Something Endemic does right is having a hefty amount of stock for brands like Palace that always sell out online, but you do not have to worry as Endemic always carries a surplus of the latest season.

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An inside look of the Endemic Skate Shop

The last store you have to visit when in Huddersfield is SOI77 this small boutique can be found in the Imperial Arcade, SOI77 was opened in 2005 and has been a staple in Huddersfield’s underground fashion scene ever since.

SOI77 really is just a well-rounded store, the shop is the smallest out of the three however you will still undoubtedly find some great pieces there.

While being a small store it manages to pack a hell of a lot variety so rest assured if you visit there will be plenty to see.

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An inside look of SOI77

Hopefully this list has given people unfamiliar with Huddersfield a reason to visit as the small town has plenty to offer and many more hidden gems waiting to be found.

An Adidas Ultra Boost six months later update

After religiously wearing the Adidas Ultra Boosts for half a year now I thought it was time to give a update since in my earlier blog post I praised them very highly.

Now while I do still love this shoe to death I cannot help notice specific issues which have occurred after wearing these shoes for while.

The main problem is the sole, it has worn down extremely fast, granted I do wear the shoe a lot however I cannot help but feel disappointed since this was a £130 pound shoes. Now that is not a cheap shoe by any means so a part of me expects better, I simply wanted them to last a little longer.

The problem does not lie with the lack of traction or grip on the shoe, the problem is that the sole has worn so thin that it has split completely. This is a major problem as it leaves the boost material exposed, boost is such a soft and fragile material that I hate to think what damage has been caused.

Now this does not apply to the newer models of the Ultra Boosts as Adidas has completely changed the material on the sole. They now use Continental rubber, Continental is a brand of car tires so as you can imagine this new stuff holds up pretty well.

Do not let this deter you from purchasing Ultra Boosts as they truly are my favourite shoe on the market the comfort and style is unbeaten in my opinion. However simply bare this in mind if you are looking at the older models they could wear down on you a lot faster than you expected. I do 100% advise you to opt for the newer model with the Continental sole.

I have included a photo of my damaged Ultra Boosts, however the damage does not translate into the picture to well, as they have been super glued together in an effort to try get as much life out of them as possible. Due to this the damage may not appear as severe however I can assure you the split in the shoe was shockingly deep.IMG_6482

Reselling in the community

James Marriott a popular fashion blogger lives by Dame Vivienne Westwood’s motto: “Buy less, choose well, and make it last”, when it comes to buying clothes. He looks for quality brands and tries not to fall prey to reselling.

A lot of brands popular in Streetwear sell out so quickly people have to resort to a secondary resale market and purchase products at inflated prices. Egalia3 is a reseller who has bought Adidas shoes for £150 and sold them 24 hours later for £450.

These price increases are extremely common, specific products such as Supreme Box Logo t-shirt will consistently sell for at least four times the retail price. Most resellers know which items will have value and which will not, they use this knowledge to effectively control the market.

Certain brands guarantee high resale, a supreme box logo t-shirt will retail for £35 however it will always sell out in seconds once it hits the online store. You can be assured that literally minutes later you will find them posted on eBay for at least four times the price.

Shoes usually produce a greater profit. Yeezys are a trainer Kanye West made in collaboration with Adidas, the retail price was £150 but you can now find them on eBay for as much as £1200. In Hypebeasts most expensive shoes of 2015 article it says: “The YEEZY Boost 750 “Triple Black” came out on top as eBay’s most expensive sneaker, averaging an extortionate $1,876 USD at resale”.

The resale market buys extremely limited items and then sells them at inflated prices, most people believe reselling to be a curse put on the community. However it is viewed as a double edged sword while people hate paying the inflated prices, they need resellers to acquire items they could not get when they originally released.

Fashion graduate and blogger Styles by Nico said that buying items just to sell them instantly for a quick profit is ruining the community:” I think it’s very unfortunate that people can buy things at retail then sell them two hours later and obtain a couple hundred dollars in profit”.

Fashion writer and blogger Riley Tenglar says reselling is acceptable he said: “because I personally have made a lot of money reselling shoes (specifically Yeezys) and it’s been relatively good to me”. A lot of people buy items just to make profit enabling them to purchase more products.

The majority of resellers use bots to purchase these extremely hard to get items. Bots are a computer program in which you put your payment and delivery details. Bots enable the user to checkout and purchase items faster than any human ever could.

A lot of the community view bots as an unfair advantage, they make it incredibly difficult for the average person to buy popular items. Style by Nico said they are an unfair to the average customer: “The problems with bots are that it gives users unfair advantages over everyone else”.

They are a common method, Mathew Pike editor of Bucket and Spade said bots should only be used for personal use: “if you’re planning to use the product, but if it’s just for resale purposes then it’s not cool at all”.

However realistically for reselling to be an effective way to make money, resellers need to be able to buy a large amount of stock. Since a lot of stores limit customers to only being able to purchase one of each item resellers have resorted to find what the community call plugs, these are back door dealers.

People like Riley Tenglar have these options at their disposal he said: “I’ve been lucky enough to figure out other ways of copping hyped items like backdoor links or knowing the right people”. The deeper you go into the Streetwear industry the more connections you make, your success as a reseller truly depends on the people you know.

Resellers are able to continuously sell these items at the hugely inflated prices because people often prefer to have an item that has a lot of hype around it, rather than something that actually is more fashionable or suits them better. It is this mentality that is cemented into the culture which has given reselling its fuel, a lot of people view it as showing off but there is a more to it.

People desire these items because they admire celebrities and want to own the same shoes or t-shirt as certain celebrities. When influential celebrities like Kanye West wears something people immediately want it, the product sells out and a resale market for that specific item or brand opens up.

The attraction for these types of items also comes from owning something that very few people have. For a lot of people it is not a bragging right that they have something others cannot afford rather they have something that others physically cannot get. Jain Deleon who is Complexes style deputy editor mentioned in the “Sold Out” documentary: “Resellers are a bi product of a culture fuelled by the need to sort of have one thing that not necessarily everybody else have”.

Currently there is not much you can do to combat reselling, if you want to get certain items you either have to be lucky or willing to buy them for the inflated prices. However as Riley Tenglar said: “it is not the end of the world if you miss out on an item, stunt with what you have and cherish your grails”.

Are designer brands worth the money?

Mathew Pike the editor of Buckets & Spades said: “If the quality is there I have no problems paying a higher price” he is always placing the quality of the garment above everything else. In society there is a negative stigma when it comes to spending a lot of money on basic pieces of clothing, is it truly worth paying £150 for a plain t-shirt?

Designer brands can cost anything from £60 to £250 for a plain black t-shirt. For this price you could buy 100 t-shirts from Primark. This poses the question are designer pieces worth the price? How can they justify such a price tag?

Is it the quality of the garment? Designers such as Rick Owens use cotton blends that have either silk or viscose woven in, while Fear of God use a Japanese cotton for a lot of their pieces. Lucas Lee Tyson a popular fashion blogger said that the noticeable quality difference justifies the price: “the quality is definitely noticeable to myself and those around me”.

The quality of these pieces help extend their life span as they will hold up for a lot more years even when worn and washed regularly. Harrison Gering a popular fashion blogger,  says it is this extended life time that justifies the investment. He said: “if I spend $15 on a shirt that loses its shape/color after a few washes I’ll have to buy another one in say 3 months”.

However it is not just the materials used that drive up the price. A lot of innovation is put into these articles of clothing designers put their own twists on the classic plain t-shirt, hoodie and shirt. This can take form in a boxy fitting t-shirt, a cut and sew flannel or an elongated hoodie. People buy into these designers because they become fans of the designers they appreciate the work put into the clothes that give  the clothes a subtle difference. It is these minor design features that appeal to people. James Marriot a popular fashion blogger said: “these simple pieces have features that make them stand out above and beyond the likes of HM, Uniqlo etc.”

Jerry Lorenzo, the creator of the brand Fear of God, said in a GQ interview: “We created an entirely new silhouette, which comes with a lot of costs”. It is this extended design process and the risk designers take that can inflate the price as the process is a lot more expensive and time consuming compared to releasing a regular plain t-shirt.

It is this innovative design these brands create, that cheaper brands such as H&M and Uniqlo mimic on their clothing to make them more current. You can find things such as slits in the side of tops, dropped shoulders and oversized fits all made popular by designers such as Haider Ackerman in your local H&M stores.

This again poses the question why are people spending so much when they can get similar designs for so much cheaper. People buying these designer clothes view them as an investment, popular Youtuber T Blake covers this in one of his videos when he discusses the brand John Elliot. He said: “a piece of clothing were you can wear it a couple times and still sell it afterwards”. These clothes retain their value, you can buy a John Elliot t-shirt for £150 wear it for two years then still be able to sell it for around £100.

Most designer brands retain a lot of their value some even rise in price as they stop being produced and become a rare collectors’ item. This is why people view buying a £150 t-shirt as an investment, you get a quality garment that if need be can be sold for most of its base value.

It all comes down to whether you have the funds available to spend this much money on basic pieces of clothing. The fashion community believes they justify the price tag, if you have the money you definitely will not regret buying high fashion pieces.