Up at 6am. Home by midnight. This is how you do San Francisco in a day.
Southwest Airlines has got to be the worst airline on the planet. The landings are consistently Six Flags-worthy, they don’t assign seats (?!!), their planes were made before airplanes were invented, and their pretzels taste like woodchips.
But they’re cheap. So, ok, sure.
Tyler is a morning person (and an afternoon person. And yeah, an evening person.)
This doped-up lady bumrushed me at the BART station with her 5 kids (who were all the same age), and asked to borrow my phone. She then proceeded to bark and scream and spit into my Blackberry for 15 minutes at some dude who refused to pick them up. Her boys looked up at me, desperately, and one by one, started to cry. All the bystanders turned around to watch the awkward Asian guy with a crackhead baby mama and 5 black kids. Tyler took this photo with his iPhone and proceeded to email it to everyone.
And that was when I realized that I must have done something truly terrible in my past life.
Late afternoon at Ace’s. (Open from 6am-2am. 365 days a year.)
Julianne just moved from LA to the Bay.
“What are you doing up here?,” I ask.
“I dunno” she shrugs, “… just playing my guitar I guess.”
The neverending story.
I have this weird thing where if I’m at a window seat, I’ll spend the entire flight watching the wing quiver and shake. Half the time I imagine it just snapping off, as the plane tosses itself into a downward spiral into the canyons below. I’ll replay this visual over and over in my head, so that by the time I step off the plane, I feel as if I’ve miraculously escaped death, and I congratulate myself on a job well done.
All in a day’s work.
BENJIE’S SOCKS WIN. EVERYONE ELSE LOSES.
Josh and Dante Ross from NY’s 10Deep camp are in town this week to set sale. “Crazy Murko’s 10 DEEP Sample Sale” goes off this Saturday and Sunday between 11 and 7 at 645 N. Martel Ave., on the corner of Melrose and Martel. Cash & Credit accepted!
But don’t just take it from me.. take it from Murko!
The last 2 days of the Agenda Trade Show in San Diego, through the lens of Scotty iLL:
Glen (Epidemic Skateboarding)
Jerry (510 Skateboarding)
Greg and Brian (Palace 5ive and Elite Boardshop)
Justin (Empire Distribution)
Barak and John (Skatepark of Tampa)
Johnnio (Altamont / Etnies Plus)
Stickelman (New Era)
Matt (Transworld Business)
The Animal (SGV)
Sick Jackson (Twelvebar)
Brian Jones and Chris Hall (SoleTech)
Zach Wagner (Stereo)
Ashley and Ben (Krew / Supra)
Mr. Lee and Tony (Kasina)
Nick (King Stampede / Boundless), Danny Supa, Jovan
Paul and Greg (Prestige Boardshop)
Raul and JG (Satellite Boardshop)
The mighty Irons.
photos by Scotty iLL
The Scotty iLL Tradeshow Worldwide Tour of Death and Mass Destruction has stopped in San Diego for our personal favorite, the Agenda Show. From what I hear, the show has gotten even more refined from the streetwear boom, with most of the industry’s most noteworthy labels on board. Here’s a look at some of the personalities that are running the now, and future, of the game.
(Yeah, you’re not the only one. I can’t wait to get home to get one of those stickers.)
Eddie (FTC Sacramento).
Ollie (Willy’s Workshop) and the mind-bogglingly fantastic Willy x Commissary collab!
The Gaslamp Killer
Grotesk! This is the dude that did the artwork for our SMART tee from the Fall.
You remember Tatiana (Brooklyn Projects). And I’m sure you remember Stash (Recon).
Cory (Coup de Grace) and Mirko (Univ / Alphanumeric).
and Duk-ki’s minors.
Joshy’s (Rebel 8) the homey.
and Eric from WESC.
One of the most surprising things I’ve learned over the years is that streetwear exists and thrives in the most unexpected pockets of the world. Take for instance, the island of Taiwan, which has had it’s own burgeoning streetwear market for years. And unlike other countries that base their streetwear scene around notable Japanese or U.S. brands, Taiwan’s successfully exists off of its own domestic labels and retailers.
Just a couple weeks back, Hong Kong streetwear favorite Subcrew opened a flagship store here in Taipei, named UNITY. The opening day drew a massive line around the block for a set of limited items, and that pace has continued, considering much of the product was already sold out by the time I arrived.
Subcrew’s entire offering lines these rails, from strong cut/sew pieces to classic graphic tees to their ubiquitous trucker caps.
This is my man Fai, Frankie and Sam’s partner that brought Subcrew’s station to Taipei. He pretty much got lucky with the location, and gutted the building out to make way for UNITY. Fai told me that when he goes out on the balcony and looks down at what he’s accomplished, he feels like a king.
Fai also took me up to the roof. If you haven’t noticed by now, this setup’s just aching for parties. (This looks like that final scene in Blair Witch Project.)
Then back downstairs, as Fai guided me around the neighborhood and introduced me to some of the locals.
This is Overkill, a Taiwanese streetwear brand that’s been up and running for 4 years now. Along with the apparel, their accessories program is pretty dope.
And here’s a classic Taiwanese brand called REMIX, which I can most closely compare to Carhartt, in terms of offering street-savvy basics. Subcrew recently collaborated with REMIX as well.
Here are some more sights from the general vicinity.
I’ve noticed more graffiti in this city than anywhere else in Asia.
This restaurant is themed entirely around toilets. All the food is served out of miniature porcelain shrines. Chocolate soft-serve is the hit.
I’ve been hearing about it for quite some time now, but in person, it was inescapable. Even when I was here a year ago, it was dead obvious, and compared to all the years I’ve been coming here since 2000, glaringly so. Streetwear is most certainly dying in Japan. And I don’t mean “dying” as American streetsnobs like to reference streetwear’s death by its mainstream success and explosion. I mean “dying” as in DYING.
Long gone are Japan’s glory days of ’99. Yes, Neighborhood, Visvim, Wtaps, are strong and steady, and Bape is in a category all its own. But aside from that, American streetwear is all but a rarity and alternative domestic brands are equally scarce. Most of the streetwear retailers I talked to this past week echoed these sentiments, shaking their heads and emitting sighs. There were even several prominent stores which had boarded up their windows. A distant memory of Tokyo’s streetwear boom at the turn of the millenium.
But that just means a door’s closed, and another window is bound to open. And as is notorious from within Japanese culture, they’re just waiting on the next big thing to be flipped and enhanced. They’ll patiently watch us, and then once more, we’ll end up watching them do what we did, …but better. So give it some time folks, because it won’t be long ’til you’re nipping at their heels again.
As great as the Bape headquarters are, my favorite stores in Japan actually aren’t adorned with the apeface. Every year it’s something different, but this year, the most rewarding experience was found in Jun Takahashi’s Undercover store. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the interior, but the basement is a dizzying hodgepodge of artsy fartsy, vintage ornate furniture, bizarre installations, a makeshift runway projection.. and that’s even before you get to the clothing.
Last year, my topshop was Loveless, which is still a serious contender. I was happy to see that Sean and Marcus got some priority placement in the store with Rockers NYC. Half the staff was decked in the apparel as well, and the bright colors were an effective contrast to Loveless’ Pirates-of-the-Carribean-esque motif.
How convenient. Goyard right upstairs from Loveless.
Inside another Bape store in the Aoyama-Minami district. This one operates off bouncing mirrors to add depth to space, and a smart sneaker room that I can’t do justice with words. A nice touch is the stairwell to the top floor where the Ape camo plastered on the walls gradually transitions into a solid, darker plane.
In the same vein of themed retail experiences, the Original Fake shop is another fantastic voyage.
The first thing you run into is the massive KAWS statue, and sure, it’s easy to get fixated on this guy. But if you’re ever in this shop, touch the walls. Go into the dressing room to watch KAWS animated shorts within the mirrors. Just some of the countless well-executed details that in sum, add up to nothing short of captivating.
Hey Tony. Look.
Everyone has a decided opinion on A Bathing Ape, but as far as I’m concerned, they have some of the most interestingly designed stores in Japan (the international locations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. are also largely impressive, yet in my opinion, not as strong or strategic as the Japanese bases). Whenever I come to Tokyo, I make it a point to stop by the Harajuku Busy Work Shop, but this time, I was greeted with:
I guess the Ape had migrated (and upgraded to a rockabilly coif as well).
So over on the other side of Harajuku, away from the nauseating streetwear retail hysteria, directly next door to an elementary school and tucked behind a residential neighborhood, this behemoth was beheld.
3 floors of Bape, and all it’s sub-labels for men, women, and children.
Depending on which side of the building you enter, this is either the basement or the first floor, showcasing most of the women’s range, Apee and the like. For those who don’t know the story behind the phrase “A Bathing Ape,” here’s another piece to the puzzle.
The second floor’s facade is structured similarly to the first, also capitalizing on monochromatic tiles, fluorescent lighting, and glass, except displaying the men’s product, as well as accessories.
If you walk out the side-door, you end up in this limbo room, and your stairway to heaven.
This is the best part. The entire space has a nostalgic American ’50s diner feel thanks to the stainless steel and neon fixtures, but collaged with a variety of unexpected textures, like stone slabs, and wood.
The top floor masquerades as an East Coast veranda, while inside, it’s a Hawaiian theme.