It’s time for another scan from the vaults.
Did you know Dao-Yi Chow, who co-runs the CFDA-winning brand Public School with Maxwell Osborne, is a writer and onetime rap journalist? It’s true. He confirmed it when we asked him recently at the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
Chow used to contribute to The Flavor back in the day, a “real hip-hop magazine” based in Seattle in the mid-1990s. Chow went by Durwin Chow GNS, “graffiti non-stop,” and lived in New York. Most Flavor writers back then contributed their stories by fax machine.
Here’s Chow’s July 1994 cover story, an interview with the brain-twisting duo Organized Konfusion.
Fun fact: Organized Konfusion’s Pharoahe Monch would one day ghostwrite for Diddy, who would eventually employ Chow and Osborne as designers at his clothing brand Sean John–before Public School became one of the hottest brands in menswear.
We’re happy to show you these sneakers. But we wish we could hand them to you through your computer or phone screen.
They’re eerily lightweight. The midsole feels like tapioca, strangely. As with all Y-3 stuff, they look hard but feel soft–and are full of details you need to be physically near to get.
With Straight Outta Compton currently in theaters, we thought you might want to know how to dress like N.W.A.–the legendary Los Angeles rap group at the center of this Hollywood blockbuster.Style notes: black and white everything. T-shirt slightly longer than the bomber jacket. Any Los Angeles sports gear is a bonus.
And if you’re trying to rep N.W.A. around the office, we humbly suggest Raiders cufflinks.
However we can show you a glimpse of the future of streetwear at Nordstrom. Our stylists and merchandisers were on set during the Street Report shoot and laced us with behind-the-scenes snapshots.
Stay tuned for Street Report. You’re going to love the collection we put together.
Shop: The Rail
Redesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.
Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.
And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.
Enter Lunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.
That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.
We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.
You are looking at one of the hottest sneakers on the planet. Meet the Y-3 Qasa High, imported from Japan, now available at Nordstrom.
How do we love it? Let us count the ways.
Backstage before the Public School show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, rock star Twin Shadow talked with us about scoring every Public School show so far and what specifically was asked of him for this spring/summer 2016 collection. He was also a model in the show.
Listen to the score and check the Q&A below.
Shop: Public School
Public School (and Dwyane Wade) at New York Fashion Week: Men’s | S/S 16 Images and Behind the Sceneson July 14, 2015
New York brand Public School won the CFDA award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2014, and since then designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow have seen their star explode into a billion suns, gaining popularity for their progressive yet supremely wearable sportswear. Their history as designers for Sean John now seems ancient, and their presentation at #NYFWM was hotly anticipated. It did not disappoint.
Models included stars: style icon Nick Wooster, actor/seller of fine things Waris Ahluwalia (scroll to the end of this post) and musician Twin Shadow, who scored the event with heavy drums and snippets of Gil Scott-Heron. The room was mobbed at 10:30 a.m. and blew up an hour later when fashion/basketball star Dwyane Wade arrived with Gabrielle Union. After that it was a bit nuts; Joe Jonas showed up, other NBA players, a million photographers with blinding flashes.
As the spring/summer 2016 collection hung on models situated in police lineups, each was called forward individually by the voice of God, or maybe a correctional officer through unseen speakers. The impression was very Usual Suspects. Key components were beefier versions of Public School’s iconic, Jordans-meets-brogues sneakers and new baseball hats with metal fasteners on cloth straps in the back.
A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic, which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).
Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.
Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.
Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.