08.04.2013 by Calum
On Friday 5th April Amsterdam was lucky enough to have advertising legend and street culture guru King ADZ give a presentation of his latest book: The Stuff You Can’t Bottle: Advertising for the Global Youth Market. Erik Kessels from the advertising agency KesselsKramer joined King ADZ giving insight into their practice and views on the contemporary youth market, advertising and street culture. If you didn’t make it down to the event on the day, don’t worry, I was lucky enough to get an interview with King ADZ, check it out below.
For the people reading this who don’t already know, can you give an introduction of who you are and what you do?
I am a writer, film-maker, and street middleman – which basically means I’m the conduit between brands and authentic street culture/talent.
You played a part in Blek Le Rat’s rise to recognition and fame, how did that come about?
I was making a pilot for a TV show and needed a pioneer. I discovered that Blek had been getting up with his stencils on the streets since the 1980s, and tracked him down to his house in the country, where he couldn’t get arrested. He was in the wilderness, lucky if he could shift a painting for £200. I made a film about him and this led to Thames & Hudson asking me to write a monograph on his work. This put him on the map. Despite all of this, what was really important, was that Banksy gave me a quote for the cover of the DVD, and this has been used ever since to back up the myth of Blek. The Banksy quote made Blek famous.
Street Art really took off a few years ago when everyone went a bit mental for it, how do you feel about Street Art today? Has its popularity from mainstream culture tarnished its reputation?
I don’t have anything to do with street art any more. I have some great artists on the walls of my house as a testament to the great journey and times I had, but as I’ve written three books about it and shot a million films I think I’ve done and said all there is to say. It was interesting when it was a sub-culture. Now it’s mainstream I couldn’t give a flying fuck. Saying that, the only street artist who I still talk about is Amsterdam’s own – Laser 3.14 – he’s the business. Love him and his work.
Do you see any similarities in the Streetwear market today? Its definitely picked up a lot in the past few years and gained widespread followers from all over the world, what effect do you think this will have on the industry?
I love streetwear. I’m 44 and by rights I should have stopped wearing street shit, but I can’t. I once said I’d give it all up and buy a couple of classic suits, but that was a lie. Streetwear till the day I die. It’s an integral part of my cultural DNA. I’m so happy that the industry has boomed. I’ve worked in and out of it since the 90s and I love that it has become a bone-fide part of the fashion world. I don’t give a toss about haute couture, unless it’s a colab with someone from the street. And for ages – just like the art world and street art – the fashion world refused to accept that streetwear was just as important as what they were doing. They were so fucking snobbish about what was ‘real’ fashion. I think one of the turning points was Stephen Sprouse’s LV graffiti bag. A lot of folk took notice of the street after that
Whats your favourite brand?
Stussy. But I have the upmost love & respect for A-life, Supreme, and Patta.
Nike is by far the most popular sneaker brand we sell in store, can you put your finger on how they achieved the success that they have seen over the past 3 or 4 decades?
They have a lot of very clever and intuitive people working for them around the world, who understand that advertising and brand sustentation is not just about making content that looks like an advert. Plus they sponsor artists, designers, and whatnot. They got that it was about embedding their brands into the hearts and minds of the youth a decade or so before anyone else was doing it. They looked way into the future and understood. I usually only wear Vans half-cabs, but recently bought a pair of Nike Challenge Court McEnroes, cos I used to rock them in the 80s.
Compared with style tribes from previous decades the youth of today just doesn’t seem to have the same sort of pride in labelling themselves like the Mods and Punks of the 60′s and 70′s or the Casuals and B-Boys of the 80s did. Do you think the days the youth branding themselves and rolling in a pack of easily distinguishable tribes are over?
No. It’s still there, it’s just a bigger movement. Sneaker heads are the mods of today, but because of the internet it’s a global phenomena.
How big of a part do you think the internet has played in this? Streetstyle is no longer contained to your city, by simply cowing the right blogs you can see the latest trends from most big cities. Has this had a positive or negative on youth culture?
The internet is omnipotent. It created the platform for what street culture has mutated into. Just like the intent created a platform for street art, it also provided a channel for streetwear. It’s good and bad. A lot of people think they’re hip to something cos they read a blog. You need to do way more than that to become part of our culture. You need to actively participate and add to what we’re doing. Rather than just consuming. You get back what you put in. If you just buy stuff on-line then all you’re going to get back is just that – a parcel in the mail and an empty feeling in your stomach when you seen someone else wearing the very same thing.
As well as your passion and books on street culture you also have a book that documents your love for street food. Can you tell us your definition of ‘street food’ and where is the best place in the world to get some?
Street food is my heart. Street food is the most uncomplicated, authentic food you can find in any city. I like a bit of high-end tukker from time to time but street food is the only way to get an authentic insight to any city. From sabich in Tel Aviv to borrie rolls covered in Chakalaka in downtown Jo’burg to Dim Sum in Singapore, it’s all good in my hood. Nom nom nom.
Your work has seen you travel the world documenting and researching for your projects, where is the most inspiring place you’ve been and is there anywhere you still haven’t been that you would like to go?
South Africa is the most inspiring place. I’ve been living and working in and out of the place since the mid 90s and I can’t shake it! There is no-where like it as the street culture is fresh as fuck. Hard to beat. End of.
I’d like to go to anywhere that is media dark. Not sure that exists anymore, but wherever that is I want to go. I took this photo in Mali 6 hours from the capital in the middle of no-where. They didn’t have running water but this kid was rocking a Nike headband.
Finally can you give any advice to any young creatives reading this looking to make a career within the youth street culture industry?
Carve a niche with your uniqueness. It’s easy to say and hard as fuck to actually do. You have to really believe in what you do and do it differently to everyone else. Personally, some of my biggest successes have come from my biggest mistakes.
King ADZ book The Stuff You Can’t Bottle: Advertising for the Global Youth Market is a must read for anyone with an interest in the youth market, street culture or advertising and is available to buy now.
- 08.04.2013 by Masta Lee
My crew consisting of Patrick, Milo and FS Green are currently fully enthralled and captivated by the city of Tokyo. I remember experiencing the same feeling during my first visit years ago and I wish I could be there to witness their Tokyo cherry pop! No matter how many times you’ve visited, Tokyo remains a special place unlike any other. Pat sent over some first pictures to share with you.
- 08.04.2013 by Patta
Club 75 is the fruit of a collaboration between three friends: Pedro “Busy P” Winter, Michael Dupouy and So-Me.
You might have heard of Busy P. He’s been in the dance music game since 1995. DJ, manager and producer, he is renowed all around the world for his musical flair and dancing skills. DJ international, weak skateboarder between 1989 and 1997, he is also a gay icon in Paris, but let’s not reveal too much… Busy P created his own label, Ed Banger records in 2003, hosting the likes of Justice, Dj Mehdi, Breakbot, Mr Oizo and a few others. So yes, you counted right, in 2013 Ed Rec is happy to blow 10 healthy candles, and the adventure still goes on!
Some rumors are saying he was a stylist for trendy magazines, some say he could have been a professional football player. Michael Dupouy founded his communication agency, La MJC, back in 2001. Expert and creative design authority in sub-cultures, curator of cool, he is the author and publisher of world famous bible, All Gone, a rich and comprehensive yearly book with main purpose to document and pay tribute to the finest of street culture.
Last but not least, Bertrand “So-Me” de Langeron, long time Busy P collaborator (he designed every piece of image coming out of Ed Banger since day one) is in charge of all graphics at Club 75. Art director extraordinaire, illustrator, multi talented cat, he published is first photo book called “Travail Famille Party”, and directed music videos for the likes of Justice, Kanye West, MGMT, Major Lazer and many more.
Clothes, graphics and music lovers, the three team up together to deliver quality items aiming at what they would love to wear themselves.
We proudly present the very first Club 75 collaboration. This varsity jacket is specially made with our good friends from Paris and comes in very limited numbers. Made in Europe, in wool and leather, with two beautiful Patta and Cat Head embroideries on the chest. Limited edition, only available at Patta and Club 75.
- 08.04.2013 by Patta
- 05.04.2013 by Patta
The Patta Spring/Summer Collection 2013 is scheduled for release soon, but to hold everybody over, Patta presents a small pre-season collection containing various t-shirts and button-down shirts. The tees vary from tonal Script prints to sporty logos to all-over prints, while the button-down shirts come in lightweight denim or all-over graphics, which might look familiar as they were featured on the inner lining of previous Patta items. Patta recruited photographer Robbie Baauw, stylist Bonne Reijn and the young guns from The New Originals (founders of Secluded Clothing) to shoot a lookbook. All items are now exclusively available at patta.nl.
- 05.04.2013 by Patta
BAPE and UNDFTD have been working with adidas originals on opposite sides of the world since the respective launches of both seminal streetwear brands. with unique perspectives – largely shaped by their home cities of Tokyo and Los Angeles – the merging of the two streetwear heavyweights for adidas has them creating three Consortium shoes, continuing the growth of a partnership that has already spawned some classic pieces.
The union brings a strong army influence done tastefully using BAPE’s signature camouflage print, blocks of khaki, taupe and off white, the occasional splash of bright colour, and special gold leaf detailing on suede – a rare execution. Two favourite adidas styles have been given the midas touch: the Campus and ZX 5000 and as always for Consortium, premium materials are used throughout, such as super soft leather and suede.
The khaki Campus will only be available at No. 6 London, No. 74 Berlin, No.42 Paris, BAPE and UNDFTD, while the black Campus and ZX 5000 will be at these stores and select Consortium partner boutiques including Patta.
This time, streetwear specialists BAPE and UNDFTD take over the reigns to create two versions of the Campus sneaker for adidas Originals Consortium collection, taking cues from the army battlefields with camouflage prints and khaki tones throughout.
The black version comes in a suede upper featuring serrated 3-stripes on the side panel, along with tonal black laces and a premium leather heel tab. A gold leafing UNDFTD/BAPE callout sits vertically over the first stripe, while further gold leafing is used to emboss each brand’s logo on the heel tab – BAPE’s is on the right shoe and UNDFTD on the left. Running throughout the collection is a signature BAPE camouflage print and on this shoe it is used on the tongue and sockliner. A fabric loop tag sits on the tongue featuring a khaki Trefoil on the front and a Consortium handshake logo on the back, while a white vulcanised rubber outsole completes this simple, refined shoe.
ZX5000 – UNDFTDxBAPE €150,00
The ZX 5000 was technically ahead of the game upon its release in the mid ‘80s, and now adidas Originals is bringing it back, giving the silhouette to two streetwear specialists, BAPE and UNDFTD, to design their own version for Consortium.
The labels pay homage to the camouflage trend using BAPE’s signature camo print throughout. The suede print is predominant on the upper and tongue, with colour blocks of khaki and taupe on the toe box and side panel and a khaki lace jewel. Technical details that were inherent to the original also appear on this version, too: an extended plastic wrap-around heel counter and a Torsion bar that can be seen in red on the outsole of the shoe.
interestingly, the serrated 3-stripes have been treated with leather in bright colours: blue, white and red, which pop against the upper. gold foiling makes the shoe extra special with each brand’s logo stamped on the heel tab – BAPE on one foot and UNDFTD on the other.
The black Campus 80′s and ZX5000 will be available in store-only at Patta April 20th, one per style per customer.events
- 08.04.2013 by Masta Lee