Brand Focus – Red Wing

Named after the sleepy Minnesota town of its birth, Red Wing is now one of the most highly-regarded footwear brands on the planet. Back in 1905, local shoe merchant Charles Beckman spotted a gap in the market for shoes that were specifically designed to stand up to the demands of traditional local industries such as […]

Named after the sleepy Minnesota town of its birth, Red Wing is now one of the most highly-regarded footwear brands on the planet.

Back in 1905, local shoe merchant Charles Beckman spotted a gap in the market for shoes that were specifically designed to stand up to the demands of traditional local industries such as mining. He therefore crafted footwear that could cope with the rigours of such draining pursuits, whilst providing the wearer with ultimate comfort.

The 8inch boot was the original, introduced in 1953, the 877 was initially marketed as a sport boot but since became the icon of the Red Wing brand, and the inspiration for the sporting spinoff Irish Setter Brand. The 6 inch moc toe we all know and love came into being after a request for the 877 to be made shorter, this re-designed iteration has now become the most sought after shoe in the Red Wing range.

Staying true to their name, Red Wing boots are still lovingly crafted in the town of Red Wing with the brands wide-range of toes and finishes always supported by high-quality leathers and Goodyear-welt construction, Red Wing boots are built to last.

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Style Lessons From The Silver Screen

We all need a bit of style inspiration every now and again and where better to take it from than some of the best movies of all time? Serpico An all time classic, Pachino in Serpico is American workwear at its very finest… also a pretty good excuse to wear a beanie anywhere, anyhow. Get […]

We all need a bit of style inspiration every now and again and where better to take it from than some of the best movies of all time?

Serpico

An all time classic, Pachino in Serpico is American workwear at its very finest… also a pretty good excuse to wear a beanie anywhere, anyhow.

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My Own Private Idaho

A bit of a cult classic and a true homage to the late great River Phoenix.

My Own Private Idaho documents the journey of discovery taken by two young, very well dressed, American teens. From cord shirts to leather jackets and pretty special sunglasses this film has it all and more to boot.

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Trainspotting

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.

Love it or hate it, Trainspotting is one of the best films of recent times. The style perfectly epitomises that early 90’s city grime… and we can’t get enough of it.

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The Great Escape

One of the biggest sartorial icons of all time, Steve McQueen is renowned world wide for his effortless style, weather wearing a roll neck under a perfectly tailored blazer or jeans and a tee his dressing was nonchalant but perfectly styled.

The Great Escape is a prime example of this, and a life lesson in how to make a navy T-Shirt and a pair of Chinos look super cool.

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Annie Hall

Woody Alan is the perfect anti hero, someone whose meandering monologues, at one point or another, we can all relate to.

Not your typical style icon there was definitely always something to him and Annie Hall epitomises it, just look at that chambray.

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Rebel Without A Cause

The ultimate bad boy and undeniable king of cool, James Dean, shows us how to make the iconic Harrington look like the coolest jacket there ever was. Plus, anyone who can pull off jeans and t-shirt like this has to go down in the style hall of fame.

LOS ANGELES - 1955: Actor James Dean poses for a Warner Bros publicity shot for his film 'Rebel Without A Cause' in 1955 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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A chat with Gary Aspden

To celebrate the launch of the latest collection of adidas SPEZIAL we had a chat with man of the moment, Gary Aspden to get a little more insight into this season’s offering. Here’s how it panned out. So, what’s the thinking behind this season’s collection? We used a graphic on a piece of knitwear in […]

To celebrate the launch of the latest collection of adidas SPEZIAL we had a chat with man of the moment, Gary Aspden to get a little more insight into this season’s offering.

Here’s how it panned out.

So, what’s the thinking behind this season’s collection?

We used a graphic on a piece of knitwear in the first season of Spezial that we affectionately called the Modernist Trefoil. This graphic was reproduced for a banner by a group of Liverpool FC fans who were onto the range at the very beginning. They took this banner to a number of European games and in a very short space of time fans from other clubs created their own banners incorporating that graphic. I have since seen Spezial banners from a host of places – from Italy to Russia to Indonesia. There are a couple of really good ones at Old Trafford and there are now a number of banners at Ewood Park (I support Blackburn Rovers). That type of response to what we are doing doesn’t really get any better as far as I’m concerned – its a massive honour. adidas is inextricably linked with the subculture that surrounds British football but a lot of people who are into that are still only just discovering Spezial as distribution is relatively tight and it isn’t widely available. It still feels like a mass produced secret.

I wanted to reciprocate the love that has been shown for the Mod Trefoil by centring this latest collection around it. In many ways it’s become the unofficial Spezial logo. I love the fact that the popularity of the Mod Trefoil came from the people that buy the range as much as from us. There is nothing commercial or contrived about the way it has happened – it’s been organic and there is a purity to that. That deserves to be celebrated….

What’s your favourite piece this time around?

Today it’s the Sudell suit … it sums up what Spezial is all about. The fabrication is really slick and the linear Mod Trefoils across the chest are a subtle nod to the Lendl top. Spezial is about echoing and reinterpreting products from an era of adidas that I believe to be on the whole timeless.

What made you decide to reintroduce the Manchester?

There were a few reasons. They were originally created to be worn but only minimal quantities were originally available for retail due to the shoe being created outside of the traditional product creation/sell in cycle. The prices for the 2002 shoe had become so high and the chances of seeing them on foot were steadily becoming slimmer. I wanted to address that. Furthermore I was never 100% happy with them and whilst to some it had become a ‘sacred cow’ I knew there was room for improvement.

Why do you think the Manchester is such a sought after shoe?

It’s a good looking shoe that has never been overly distributed. It is associated with one of those cities that have played a huge role in the history and culture that surrounds the brand.

How do you decide what to bring back and when to introduce something new? Is it a pretty hard process?

People think I get to sit with the entire adidas back catalogue and just choose what I would like to bring back but this really is not the case. There are practical considerations that have to be navigated – primarily, does the tooling exist? And do we have appropriate lasts to match that tooling? These are the starting points. The cost of creating new toolings for sole units that don’t currently exist is not an option for such a niche range. Finding the correct last is crucial to the shape of the upper – a lot of lasts that were used for OG shoes no longer exist as they belonged to localised factories (many of those shoes were produced by licensees). We then have to ensure that what we do with Spezial has a point of difference from what the inline team are doing – hence why we on the whole reissue lesser known vintage shoes alongside new hybrids that have that vintage aesthetic. I am constantly being asked on social media to reissue stuff that has previously been put out by the inline team (particularly the ‘city’ series) which really would be a pointless exercise – that is not what adidas have brought me in to do.

A lot of talk has surrounded the Manchester but the Indoor Super looks pretty special too, what made you decide to bring this one back and how different is it from the original?

The simple answer is that I was not a fan of the 2004 reissue and thought that the Spezial team could improve upon it. Reissues are much more sophisticated now than they were back then. The Indoor Super is quite a well known archive shoe but historically these type of shoes were never that popular beyond the U.K. I personally believed that if we could get them right then they would be well received as they are a design classic. The good thing about classic designs is that if they are recreated with accurate specifications then they won’t be reliant solely on nostalgia for their popularity. We looked at several OG pairs with slight differences and took what we thought were the best bits from each. The upper specs are much more true to the vintage shoes, as are the materials/colours, but for me it is the improvement to the toe box that makes these. The resulting shoes and the response to them speaks for itself.

The collection has become pretty popular with some very prominent musicians and you have Wolf Gillespie as the face of this campaign. Is there an intrinsic link between SPEZIAL and the music scene or is it just coincidence?

I am a huge music fan. My first job in adidas was in Entertainment Promotions and consequently I have known a number of musicians (some of who I am a fan of) for many years now. I am pleased that some of those people really like what I am doing and have been very vocal in their support and love of it.

We chose Wolf for a number of reasons – primarily I don’t know any other teenagers who have hair like that and that was what we wanted for the styling of it. We like to present the range in ways that aren’t easy to pigeonhole so Wolf’s look fitted well. Kevin Cummins photographed his dad Bobby for the very first season so it was a nice continuation of that. It is a reflection of the fact that whilst Spezial is popular with a slightly older and more mature audience we are seeing more and more younger lads getting into it.

Do you keep one of everything for your personal collection?

Of course. adidas never had a long term plan for Spezial so I personally kept one of everything for posterity initially. Spezial has continued to roll through the love that it’s customers have shown for it so that archive is steadily growing.

Last but not least, if you had to pick your one favourite shoe of all time… what would it be?

Oh not that question … it’s like asking for my favourite album – it changes from day to day. I haven’t yet made my favourite adidas shoe of all time  – but I am going to try. Watch this space.

See the collection here.

Edwin x The Hip Store at Headrow House

Earlier this month we joined forces with our friends at Edwin  to throw a little party at Headrow House in celebration of the first Friday of the month, any excuse right? With Greg Wilson and Everton providing the soundtrack to the night, we all had a great time sipping our very own “Takayama Blue” cocktail […]

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Earlier this month we joined forces with our friends at Edwin  to throw a little party at Headrow House in celebration of the first Friday of the month, any excuse right?

With Greg Wilson and Everton providing the soundtrack to the night, we all had a great time sipping our very own “Takayama Blue” cocktail made with Brockmans Gin, Elderflower liqueur, lemon and thyme gomme and blueberries.

Thanks to everyone who made it down, we’re looking forward to the next one already.

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Read more about this event on the Edwin Blog.

Interesting Instagrammers

To celebrate world photo day we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite Instagram accounts, take a seat, put your feet up and get your thumb ready for some serious scrolling.     Food A food editor based out of London, @clerkenwellboyec1 has become the Di Niro of the foodie Instagram world with […]

To celebrate world photo day we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite Instagram accounts, take a seat, put your feet up and get your thumb ready for some serious scrolling.

 

 

Food

A food editor based out of London, @clerkenwellboyec1 has become the Di Niro of the foodie Instagram world with over 140K followers to date. Heading to some of the best know (and unknown) restaurants around the world, he takes beautiful pictures of beautiful food… what more could we ask for?

 

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Photography

You’d expect Instagram to be every photographers dream but this isn’t always the case. It can be very difficult to get your style across on this social platform… it’s not just about taking a nice picture of a sunset and tagging it #nofilter you know.

That being said, @gess8 is one of the most visually outstanding Instagram accounts we have ever come across.

 

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Style

We all know how trendy the Scandinavians are and @fredrikrisvik is a prime example. Based in Norway he works with some of the nicest brands around to create his menswear blog.

His style is clean cut and simple, just the way we like it.

 

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Coffee

If like us, you consider coffee to be a life essential then you’re going to love this one.

The brains behind @manmakecoffee is New Yorker Andy ,who busies himself with exploring the coolest coffee spots and sampling their wares.

Dream job? We think so.

 

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Art

If you’re looking for something slightly controversial, but always interesting, to liven up your Instagram feed then look no further than @anthonylister.

This Australian born painter is anything but conventional and produces curates some amazing shows across the world. Luckily for us he documents these on his Instagram account, bringing a little bit of culture to your daily commute.

 

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Design

Probably the strangest of our choices is @darias88. A graphic designer from Columbia Daniel Aristizábal’s creations are always bright, fun if not a little out there.

Regardless of your artistic tastes there’s always an interesting project to get lost in on Daniel’s feed.

 

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How to take better photos on your phone

For some – such as the on point urban photographers we profiled recently – photography comes easy. However, this is not true for everyone. Despite the fact that everyone now is walking round with a HD camera in their back pocket, most people still don’t know how to get the most from it. Poor framing, […]

For some – such as the on point urban photographers we profiled recently – photography comes easy. However, this is not true for everyone. Despite the fact that everyone now is walking round with a HD camera in their back pocket, most people still don’t know how to get the most from it. Poor framing, lack of focus and thumbs over lenses are still common place, and no amount of Instagram filters will solve those.

To help you nail those perfect shots this summer, we’ve pulled together this quick guide which will have you taking better photographs on your smartphone in no time.

Gridlines

Probably the simplest trick of them all. Using the rule of thirds principle (putting points of interest at the cross-sections of the lines), your image will be more visually stimulating for the viewer. The gridlines also help you to ensure everything is lined up nice and straight, and you aren’t chopping off half of your missus’ head in front of that iconic landmark.

Reflections

One of the good points about the unpredictability of the British weather is that you almost always have puddles, even in summer, which instantly opens up scope to have some fun with reflections. There’s something instantly appealing about a mirror image, so always keep one eye out for the chance to snap one.

Symmetry

Like reflections discussed above, there’s something deeply satisfying ingrained in the human psyche about symmetry. Symmetrical photos always look great, and if you’ve followed step one and have your gridlines turned on, it’ll be really easy to make sure everything is lined up and looking on point.

Don’t zoom!

It may be tempting to start pinching at that touchscreen to get a little closer in on your subject, but you’ll almost always end up with a blurry, pixelated image which is almost unrecoverable. Instead of zooming, simply move closer to your subject, or embrace the fact it’s going to be smaller in the final shot. Framing it in a lower quadrant, embracing negative space or adopting an irregular angle for the shot can all make a feature of the smaller subject matter.