This one’s for the hardcore TH heads only, which is why we’re telling you about this at the last possible minute. Tomorrow (Sunday) is our 2-year Anniversary of The Hundreds Los Angeles store on Rosewood Ave. To mark the occasion, we pressed 50 commemorative t-shirts, which will only be for sale from 12-6pm tomorrow, only at The Hundreds store here in L.A.
*And a disclaimer. This is the only item that willNOTbe 50% off for our Half-Off Everything Sale, which coincidentally ends tomorrow.
Friday was back-to-back-to-back with cameos at TH headquarters. Ray (Mighty Healthy) and Arsen (Hall of Fame) swung through, posted on the rooftop, flexed the new DVS collabs, and threw down on the carpetboard, before we La Taquiza’d it up. Oh and I think I had 4 separate conversations today about Kogi BBQ. Which ups the 3 conversations I had about the hipster/Angeleno food phenomenon yesterday. Korean Taco Trucks are the new Korean Fried Chicken is the new Korean frozen yogurt is the new Korean BBQ.
Yoshi (Foreign Family) lurked through to drop off a batch of the new FF collab tee I drew up. I’m not sure when it’s dropping or where you can go to see it, but trust me, it exists. Unlike the photo of Yoshi I forgot to take while he was here.
Regardless, Rhandy and AJ capped off our Friday afternoon by finally introducing us to ROYCE LEGEND. He’s like the Pinoy Buddy Lee. The raddest kid with that sneaky-sneaky eye. He’s gonna be a terror, but that’s what Rhandy gets for ruining everyone else’s lives all these years!
Check out Royce’s baby Levi’s denim, with the selvedge at adult proportions.
When I was 15 years old, I had a close friend named Melissa Brown. Melissa was usually dressed in baggy clothes that were fashionable for the ’90s, her sandy brown hair unkempt, but too pretty to be called tomboyish. She was from a small town called Stratford in Connecticut, she was a fan of the second wave of punk rock music, and she was also an avid skateboarder… (Not a run-of-the-mill pro-ho or skate girlfriend who’d wantonly twirl her hair curbside, but yes a girl who actually skated. Well.). And Melissa’s favorite skater at the time — by far, almost borderline obsession — was a wiry, raven-haired Ichabod Crane-type dude named Heath Kirchart. Oftentimes, I would snail-mail her photographs I had taken of Heath skating locally here in Southern California back to her on the East Coast.
My good friend Melissa passed away, unexpectedly, when we were both high school sophomores. Her mom called and told me that she buried her with all my skate photographs and memorabilia, she mentioned that Heath’s skateboarding was the thing that made her happiest in life. I thought that was kinda rad, and it proved to me that skateboarding reached a lot further to some people than just the plywood and urethane wheels.
Fast-forward 14 years to Royce Hall, on the UCLA campus. 3-and-a-half years in the making, Alien Workshop’s new skate video MIND FIELD premiered tonight to a VIP crowd of skateboarding’s biggest names and personalities. The buzz had been building for months, and finally came to a head with the bagpipe-driven opener, an unorthodox jumpstart to an epic skate video. AWS came correct, with comprehensive montages by Arto Saari, A.V.E., Josh Kalis, Omar Salazar, and Grant Taylor (amongst others) and abbreviated, punchy clips from veterans Rob Dyrdek, Jason Dill, and Steve Berra.
MIND FIELD’s obvious two highlights were am Tyler Bledsoe’s piledriving lines and the grand finale, yes, the aforementioned Heath Kirchart’s compelling performance. It’s really like this guy has ignored a decade of aging. Underlaid with Morrissey’s syrupy “Speedway,” Heath’s section was a ballet of ridiculously fast, controlled/reckless skateboarding. His bluntslides alone deserve to be archived in the Smithsonian.
Needless to say, I think Melissa would have enjoyed this one.
Here are some bits and pieces from the screening. You can’t see much of the skating, and that’s because you should get out there and pick up the movie yourself at your local skateshop on February 6th. Just vibe off the energy in the room tonight, and keep your eyes peeled for Heath’s backside-flip closer. Everyone had to pick their brains off the floor once the lights went up.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been uploading a lot more HD video content to the blog, which I know many of you have been stoked on. However, I know that a lot of you are having trouble viewing the vids, or the quality is choppy, since the technology is so new. If that’s the case, just click on the Youtube HD video embedded in our blog, which will take you to a low-res version of the movie on Youtube.com, which should load smoother on your computer. Plus on that page, you will find a “watch in HD” link under the window to watch the video in its original, full-screen, HD format.
*Our videos are no longer hosted on (what was previously kinda awesome) video-hosting service VIMEO! Over the weekend I criticized their services after I failed to hear from Customer Support for 4 days, and subsequently, “Community Director” Dalas Verdugo pulled our Vimeo account. Yup, our entire video library is now gone because my man Dalas couldn’t take the heat. As if Vimeo’s obsoletness wasn’t incentive enough to stop using their services, last time I checked, Mr. Verdugo’s actions run parallel to good old-fashionedfascism?
Bummed you can’t find some of our past movies anymore (Disney behind-the-scenes, Bomb Hills, THSF teaser, etc)? Let Dalas Verdugo know about it and give him props for Directing the TH Community into the toilet.
Last weekend was the semi-annual Agenda Show in San Diego, California, — still the #1 street/skate tradeshow worldwide — and our very own Scotty iLL and Baby D were downtown to pimp our wares at The Hundreds booth. Here are some of Scotty’s flicks, as well as additional coverage by Craig Fowler (Agenda).
I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely zero about cars. Outside of the Delorean DMC-12 and the A-Team van, I generally couldn’t care less about ‘em either. As long as they get me from Point A to Point B without killing me, I’m okay with that.
Vito and B-Rad, on the other hand, are all about those fancy automobiles. B-Rad drives a Benz with an AMG kit. Vito’s got a Subaru WRX STi 2.5L Turbo, AWD, Java Black Pearl colorway only offered in ’04. And the only reason I know all that is because he told me. I just think it’s nice and shiny.
While we were in Hong Kong, the guys were pointing out all the crazy cars to me, educating me on which ones were the Autobots or the Decepticons, whatever. And so when we got back, I had them take me for a spin in their respective cars. Morgan came along for the ride and was gripping the seat so hard that I think his fingerprints were embedded in the fabric.
Sometimes, I sit back, observe our staff and wonder, at other companies, are their employees as big of characters as ours are? Seems like every single person that works for The Hundreds is an absolute weirdo in their own way. Even the ones that start off being innocuous, plain, bores turn out to have all kinds of obscure interests, or noted talents, or experience in things that no one else can make heads-or-tails of.
Right now in the office, I’m looking at a Guatemalan who used to be a world famous drum-and-bass DJ but has the same interests as a Japanese schoolgirl, a Canadian who has a tattoo across his ribcage of a human heart with hairy arms punching a robot, and an MMA-trained ex-convict who has the largest sneaker collection in the world.
Even our interns are unique. Like Nate, who came onboard not too long ago to help out in the graphics department. It was all good until we discovered that he’s made a name for himself in L.A. by throwing the most insane parties at his parents’ house (really), and that he’s a you’d-never’-ever-guessrapper by the moniker Nathan Nice.
Every morning, the taco truck pulls up on our street, peddling all kinds of breakfast foods and Mexican roach-coach food packaged in recycled Jack-In-The-Box wrappers. Nate was headed out to do the daily burrito pick-up for the crew, so I tagged along:
I got back to my desk to find some nice care packages. Subcrew x Clot x ACU jackets, hats, and incense, DVS x Mighty Healthy Original Intents, some Nike SB dunks with an owl on ‘em, and speaking of Dunks..
These are the CORALINE Nike Dunks. Inspired by Laika’s first full-length animated film, Coraline, directed by the same guy who did The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick. The film actually looks pretty spectacular in its cinematic effects, and that magic translates nicely to the shoes’ handcrafted construction. The high-end canvas has a turned edge and the seams are hand-sewn, resulting in each pair being unique. The sole is glow-in-the-dark and the liner is sublimated with stars, corresponding to certain elements of the movie. Plus, the oversized buttons that adorn the sneakers were designed by Selick himself and only exist on 100 pairs.
My pair came with actual props from the film, some crazy cotton-candy things, and the Dunks are decorated as cat and mouse characters from the film. These are 1 of only 50 pairs like this in the world.
You might be able to get your hands on a pair as well… watch Coraline when it hits theaters February 6th, stay until after the credits, then visit Coraline.com to find out how.
The morning I left Hong Kong, I jetted over to the Swire Island East in Quarry Bay to catch the final week’s showing of VIVIENNE WESTWOOD : A LIFE IN FASHION. In collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the exhibition celebrates the voluminous career of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. From her early collaboration with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and their revolving King’s Road boutique (Let it Rock / Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die / Sex / Seditionaries / World’s End), through her evolving collections that traveled from music subcultures to traditional British motifs, to her recognition as the UK’s queen of fashion, Vivienne Westwood’s history is as diverse as it is influential.
They say that Vivienne Westwood’s work and insight laid the foundation for Punk Rock, and her fashion has both inspired and impacted modern clothing design. To give you just one example, her capitalization on the traditional Scottish tartan pattern (which was first re-appropriated during her punk phase and then revived later in her career as her clothing matured) has seeped into my own design choices with The Hundreds. In North America, we call “tartan” plaid, and it is because of her vision to flip the antediluvian pattern and interpret it through punk rock culture, that plaids and check patterns successfully work within our brand’s boundaries today.
The Hong Kong exhibition runs until the end of this month. For more information, check the website.
So, this weekend kicks off the Chinese Lunar New Year, so the atmosphere is sorta like Christmastime back in the States. Everyone’s a little more relaxed, family-oriented, and not so interested in work. In fact, in mainland China, the factory workers take the entire next month off, which kinda makes up for the whole working-on-Saturdays thing (still not worth it, if you ask me).
Throughout Hong Kong, they have these New Year’s festivals all over the place, with the biggest one going down in Causeway Bay. So we headed out there tonight, and it was the biggest mistake of our young lives. I’ve never seen so many people in one place before.. it was kinda like being at a concert, stuck in the moshpit, but everyone is all moving forward at the same time. It was the perfect environment to simultaneously develop a healthy combo of claustrophobia and agoraphobia.
The vendors were selling pinwheels, red silk boxers, blow-up hats, and since it’s the Year of the Cow in the Chinese calendar, all kinds of cow paraphenalia. Cow toilet seat covers? Cow foam trucker caps? Even beef jerky.
Anyways, check the vid. Takes a minute to load. Patience, my young Padawan.
Everyone is always on the move in Hong Kong. The craziest thing is rush hour, not in regards to traffic, but in terms of human bodies. After work gets out, the sidewalks are clogged like backed-up plumbing, people everywhere, spilling over into every side-street and corner. What would normally be a 5-minute stroll, can turn into a half-hour crawl by early evening.
Aside from foot, there’s countless other ways to travel in HK, and everyone’s got their weapon of choice. The bus, the MTR subway, taxicabs, suped-up rice rockets, luxury cars, motorcycles.. It’s a hassle to drive here, the gas prices are some of the highest in the world and the license application process is arduous. Then there’s the issue of having to pay for your own residential parking spot no matter where you live on the island, and don’t even think about trying to find parking in the city itself. If you own a car, it’s usually reserved for weekend use. Or you can just go with a Barbied-out bike to squirrel through the streets.
After work, we headed over to the Subcrew studio to link up with the dudes for dinner.
Right when we got to the crew’s headquarters, KS was glued to The Berrics. We all gathered ’round and watched Marc Johnson swiss-cheese fools. Really, best website ever.
Deacon’s (Daily Dozen Creative) always got something to say. He shares the studio loft with the Subcrew guys, where he works on his own fashion range,.. he’s a true, thoughtful Hong Kong designer who has a broad knowledge of clothing and style, and an even more extensive repertoire in the global marketplace.
I was browsing through his inspiration board and was curious to know why the fixation with technical, progressive athletic apparel.. for example, imagery of sleek wrestling uniforms or Michael Phelps’ swimsuit in the Olympics. He proceeded to expound on the marriage of fashion and technology, why Facebook is key to branding, and why Coco Chanel might very well be responsible for streetwear. Listen:
The guys were hungry, time to hit the HotPot restaurant. It took us a minute to find it, turns out it was in the same narrow building as a “massage” parlor. The sex industry is huge in HK, and in the seedier corners of the city, you’ll find neon pink tubes adorning doorways. That indicates that there’s a $40 massage upstairs.. except, this massage is less about acupressure and more about cheap perfume, showers, and stilettos.
Season (Hypebeast) and Kobe (Subcrew) point out the obvious.
The restaurant was tucked away deep in the corner of a space with 5-foot ceilings… Sorta in-between floors I guess you could say. The low overhangs were padded with cushions, which probably come in handy for people’s foreheads after 20 rounds of Tsingtao Beer blow out.
So the HotPot was kinda gnarly, but tasty. The traditionalHong Kong hotpot dinner is kinda like a Japanese shabu-shabu, but with more diarrhea involved the following morning. The waiters bring out plates of raw food, beef, shrimp, dumplings, vegetables, tofu, etc. You dip the food in the communal boiling pot of water in the middle of the table to cook it, then enjoy.
Sam serves up the giant shrimp (which was still alive and wiggling pre-dunkage *gasp*). As I noted the other day, Sam is a huge star in Hong Kong film and rap music. The entire restaurant turned around when he walked in, the pretty girls gasping and giggling at the sight of the youth icon. Sam’s story is straight storybook status.. All these dudes grew up being local skaterats (kinda awesome), and Sam was spotted one day skating by a filmmaker who cast him in HK’s first true critically acclaimed independent film. From there, he kinda blew up, and now he’s a movie star, musician, popular DJ, and oh yeah, he also has Subcrew.
After dinner, we stumbled back over to Subcrew HQ where we cleared out the space for Sam’s DJ’ing, a more interesting round of shuttlecock and darts, and a popular HK drinking game involving dice and a lot of screaming.
We’re not just in Hong Kong to eat chicken joints and play shuttlecock with the locals. Believe it or not, we actually make apparel for a living, and you’re looking at ground zero for clothing manufacturing here in the Sham Shui Po district of Hong Kong.
This neighborhood is known for the open fabric market that acts as the sourcing hub for fashion designers from around the world. Whether you’re looking for a camo twill, perforated patent leather, or wet nylon, these shops have it all.
Here we’re running through poplins to source a proper weight and color material for possible Spring/Summer 2010 pieces. Poplin is woven with a basic natural cotton, but also semi-synthetic rayon and silk to provide a softer hand-feel and slight sheen. Basically, its purpose is to hold its form and structure, while still being cool and comfortable. A good idea for a short-sleeve woven, let’s just say.
B-rad is cool and comfortable. Hand-feel, maybe not so soft.
Sham Shui Po is also surrounded with a flea market of sorts. A sea of vendors who are peddling specialized collections, everything from used kitchenware to Japanese porn to power drills. One man’s trash is another man’s .. trash.
A couple nights back, we met up with Kevin and Eugene from Hypebeast over a genuine German dinner. Sausage, sauerkraut, pork knuckles, pate,..
Yesterday, spent the afternoon with our Chinese counterparts, Subcrew. These fellas have become our HK family over the years, and remind me so much of the crew back home. Their branding and business structure run parallel to TH, from their stores to design to overall personality and core mission, and all their dudes lock up similar to us. We even met up with one of their UNITY store managers, who is like the Tony of China. Except for the dirtbag part. *Wink.
After dim sum, we sat down with KS, Frankie, and fellow HK fashion designer Deacon (check his blog for rants on stale high fashion!) to start formulating a collaboration project for the upcoming year. These are the best projects to work on, natural, organic, with the homeys. And especially since both of our respective brands are at similar places on opposite ends of the world…
Last night, late-night drinks with Poon (CLOT) and actor/rapperSam Lee (Subcrew), who just flew in from mainland China off a DJ gig.
Poon hates being blogged, but his toys are open game. Check it out RIM fanatics, Poon’s test-driving the Blackberry Curve part 2. I thought it was a Bold, but it’s like 3/4 of the size, miniature styles. It also has a fricking laserbeam attached to its head.
Some handheld snapshot digicam with a super wide-angle attachment. Nicey.
Sam went nutso with the hairjob for the upcoming Chinese New Year. But when you’re Sam, you can do anything.
On the other side of Sneaker Street in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong is Ladies’ Market, which is my favorite place to go to buy $3 punkrock belts, insect taxidermy, and travel-sized alarm clocks. Stuff. There’s a lot of it. There are also plenty of street performers.
Whatever you’re looking for, Ladies Market’s got it. Oh, one thing. It might not be .. you know, “real.”
So, it’s one thing to walk streetside and pick through the bootlegs, but it’s all about the secret stockrooms upstairs in the dingy buildings that run along the back. A password and the knowing nod can take you into the down-low bootleg stash rooms that are swimming with fake grade-AA designer labels, far from the eyes of any government authority. Spycam steez:
The Chinese New Year is fast approaching, with the annual festivities beginning one week from now. The days leading up to the lunar calendar new year are frenzied in China as the people flock to shoe stores to buy a brand new set of kicks. The tradition goes that you gotta kick off the new year (no pun intended) with a fresh start, and one of the symbolic ways of doing so are getting laced with crispy sneakers.
The last time I took you down Sneaker Street in Hong Kong was almost 3 years ago. Brad, Vito, and I headed back over to the Mong Kok district on the Kowloon side to jump in on the weekend’s raging sneaker bender. Both sides of the street are lined with cluttered sneaker boutiques, stocking the freshest, rarest, and most up-to-date Nikes, Adidas, Vans, Red Wings, Doc Martens, New Balances, etc..
World-renowned Agit-Pop Artist Ron English released his famous Abraham Obama busts at DNM here in Hong Kong a week back, and was even in-store for a signing. First thing I had to do upon arrival was check out the exhibition on its final day.
The world loves this guy.
This is still one of my favorite Ron English characters:
The Red/White/Blue bust is releasing at Toy Tokyo in New York in a week, and Ron will be there for a signing as well.
There’s also a Barracuda pop-up shop next door to the Mindstyle gallery in DNM.
Plus the MOCA CHINA.
Check out the bathroom in this space:
All that incredible art was inspiring, so I showed my appreciation in the Comments book.
HONG KONG. WIth a population of 7 million people, HK is easily one of the most densely populated regions of the world. It takes a bit to get used to, but after a while, you kinda get accustomed to having thousands of people swarming around you at all times of the day. At a certain point, it even gets comforting.
Taipei, Taiwan is noted for many things… The night markets, psychopath taxi drivers, the scooters, foot massages, unusually tall Asian people.. but my favorite landmark is the National Palace Museum, Taiwan’s comprehensive art museum that houses 650,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and art. People come from all over to witness one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. There are rocks that look like slabs of pork, rocks that look like cabbage, and there’s also a huge collection of China’s most famous calligraphy work. Gives me some insight on where my mom’s whole style came from. Anyways, they ixnay’d the photography, so all I got are shots from the outside. Still, just as awe-inspiring.
I’m in Taiwan. And right off the plane, had to head over to DTF aka Din Tai Fung, the o.g. dumpling spot in Taipei.
True, there’s a DTF outside of L.A., but it’s just not the same as actually eating it in Taiwan. There were a lot of white people at this particular location tonight, mmhmm kiiinda touristy, but everything still had the same great taste. Steamed dumplings stuffed with meat, shrimp, vegetables, or any combination of the 3.
I call these guys saggy bottoms because they pack that junk in the trunk. See how the hips sway in the nether regions? Each sack is filled with a light soupy broth, so you get to eat and drink with the same bite.
For the aforementioned white people, they give you an instruction manual on how to consume and enjoy DTF’s signature dumplings. The best part is the recommended ratio of soy sauce to vinegar.
Look like miniature nuclear power plants.
Some of the best dishes at Din Tai Fung aren’t even dumplings. I generally don’t like fried rice.. at most chinese restaurants in the States, fried rice is made of the stale leftover rice from the day before. But THIS fried rice was on another level. The hot-and-sour soup is also bonkers. Next time you’re just driving by Taipei, Taiwan, make sure you get down with the DTFeezy.
After being out of the limelight for a few years, American streetwear has been making a gradual comeback out here in Japan. Much of it thanks to good retailers, like the new ALMOST FAMOUS boutique in Shibuya.
It’s round the corner from the landmark Tower Records after the famous Shibuya crossing, you can’t miss it. You WILL, however, have to go through this to get there.
ALMOST FAMOUS just opened its doors a couple months back, and stocks the finest U.S. streetwear brands: Alife, Huf, Hellz, and Diamond to name a few. There’s also a good selection of Oakleys, Incase product, and Gonz and Dennis Calvero original paintings lining the wall. Nice, clean space, tasteful combo of fanned-out UV lighting fixtures, variety of wood, and usage of mirrors. A must-see stop on the Tokyo streetwear circuit:
I know I usually just banter about the street style daily news from Japan, but it might be worthwhile to take you on a cultural trip through this historically rich nation. Just across the street from where Harajuku’s fashion alleys sprawl is the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine that’s almost 90 years old. Embedded deep within a forest, visitors from around the world come here to worship, pray, sightsee, get married, relax, or collect information for blog write-ups.
The trail winds tortuously through the woods, and the thousands of daily visitors kick up a dust storm that blurs the afternoon’s hazy sunshine.
Today they were having an ice sculpture show along the path. I guess ice artists from all over contributed some of these intricate pieces.
It was interesting to watch the sculptures throughout the day as sunrays pierced the treetops and sliced through some of the figures..
And eventually got the better of some of ‘em.
Nothing lasts forever.
The main gate.
Visitors leave prayers for loved ones.
Today was a national holiday here in Japan.. the Coming-of-Age day, which celebrates all youth who turn 20 this year. All the girls who’ll be hitting the double-decades in 2009 wore traditional kimonos and zori slippers out in public and in ceremonies,.. you could spot them from a mile away. I know much of our crew back home would appreciate a day like this.
Unexpected social groups that I witnessed making the pilgrimage to the Shrine: Korean golfer dads, Australian white girls, teenage hesh skaterats, lowrider chicks, and Japanese rockabillies.
Here’s some footage from the Shrine. As you’ll see, there are a lot of practices being observed that I’m not educated enough to speak on.. so I won’t even bother trying to explain what is happening here.. Maybe this will help.
I try to come out here at least once a year.. it usually helps me to think differently, a bit sideways. The Japanese fashion and retail experience have traditionally been unrivaled. The attention to detail, precision in construction and superb quality, the emphasis on packaging, presentation, and delivery.. providing the consumer with an experience…
A decade ago, it was an incredible place to get lost in, and absorb, or be absorbed. Streetwear was so pervasive and progressive in Tokyo, street culture in general was a living, breathing phenomenon. But over the past few years, much of the culture’s disintegrated to a mere shell of what it once was.. And streetwear generally now falls amongst the uber high-end NBHD and Visvim tail of the spectrum, or the dookie ropes/Cazals/Fresh Prince cap combos that were over in the States 3 years ago. It’s rather disappointing.
In any case, TH is still alive and well in the streets of Harajuku.
There are way too many people. Darwinism is doing a C+ job out here.
If you eat this and live to tell about it, that means you’re a robot and your owner’s gonna be pissed when he finds your robot diarrhea all over the cardboard box.
The Comme Des Garcons store in Aoyama is one of my favorite stops in Tokyo. One of the last bastions of unbridled fashion creativity and artistic ingenue.
Tokyo Z-Boy out in front of BEAMS.
Yohji Yamamoto. Brilliance.
The Prada store across the street is still an architectural masterpiece.
A view inside one of the windows. Art and Commerce collide.
Huge & Massive.
Somewhere, Superman lives inside.
Back in Harajuku, the streets that criss-crossed through this neighborhood used to crawl with the most elaborate, dramatic street fashion.. Mostly girls dressed up as weirded-out maids, or Christian Death-era Goths. But those days have finally come to an end, long gone are the Lolita girls, Ganguros, Cosplay participants, Gyarus, and other Visual Kei costumed attention-seekers.