The NPC has been referred to by it’s initials for so long, that it’s easy to forget that NPC stands for Newport Classic, after the Rhode Island town famous for its opulent mansions, nautical culture, and the Tennis Hall Of Fame. In short, Newport is staunchly and proudly part of the tennis old guard. The original all-white colorway of the NPC is the kind of staid traditionalism guaranteed not to provoke disapproving glares.
All-white may be just fine for immaculately manicured lawns, where you never have to worry about a stray divot, slick spot, or standing puddle, but on the city hard courts, that pristine surface is just begging to be scuffed, splashed, dirtied, and gouged. With that in mind, Bodega’s NPC opts for a brasher approach to luxury. The standard white leather is replaced by a rich, blue suede. A royal purple heel accent adds a touch of class that doesn’t sacrifice personality, while the gum bottom is just plain classic. Ten stars, five on each heel, celebrate the Boston fixture’s tenth year in business.The Bodega x Reebok NPC UK ‘Decade’ is now available at Bodega. Each pair will come with a branded tennis ball.
In celebrating their 20th year, Concepts has teamed up with Diadora for a patriotic take on the Intrepid model. The Italian-made shoe has been treated with a timely nod to the 90's Olympic games. This motif was kept strictly period correct, using traditional 90's athletic materials on Diadora's 1989 classic. An Italian-made track jacket, t-shirt and duffel bag are also offered to compliment the sneaker with Diadora's notorious dedication to quality and Concepts' meticulous attention to detail. All pieces will be available August 20th, exclusively from Concepts.
Meet Bobbito Garcia: Sneakerhead, architect behind the rap-boom in the 90s, street basket player, hip hop radios most important voice and cratedigger of international sounds. This autumn his documentary about the legendary radio show with Stretch Armstrong; “Stretch and Bobbito” is available. Interview by Endre Dalen
The Radio show Bobbito Garcia initiated in 1990 with Stretch Armstrong, which also included Lord Sear and Kurious at different times, was important for Bobbitos direction in hip hop. With humor, passion and energy they created what The Source dubbed the best hip hop radio show of all time. They where backed by the entire hip hop scene in New York. At the Stretch and Bobbito Show you could hear young hungry rappers like Nas, Jay Z, The Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu Tang Clan, before they where signed and went global.
Bobbito worked several years with promo and A&R for the influential record label Def Jam, but he never managed to convince Def Jam founder Russell Simmons to sign the artists he recommended. The music the record companies still wouldn’t touch, Stretch and Bobbito played for an enthusiastic New York audience. Soon Bobbito got the idea to start his own record label, which first took shape as Hoppoh Records and later the independent label Fondle ‘Em. Fondle ‘Em released eccentric quality hip hop by amongst others; Godfather Don and Kool Keith (as The Cenobites), Sia and Yeshua tha PoED, The Juggaknots, Cage, MF Grimm and maybe most importantly for the dawning independent scene: MF Doom.
Bobbito Garcia is one of hip hops most important personalities. Nevertheless it is more likely that you will hear salsa, jazz or afrobeat classics than fashionable rap music when he DJs. At Oslo Sneaker Fest he contributed as the host for the evening and performed a DJ-set. In between I got the chance to have a conversation with him.
«Where’d you get those» are one of my favorite coffee table books, from the cover design by Brent Rollins to the content and all the pictures of sneakers you probably can’t find anywhere else in the world. Why was it so important to you to write a book about sneakers and the culture surrounding it?
My book explored a really special period that is completely unknown to the media unless you lived it. Today the sneaker culture are well documented, you have lots of blogs and magazines. I also had a TV show (“It’s The Shoes”). There’s a lot of information now, but in that era there was no information. I felt it was my duty, since I lived it, to tell the story. For the tenth year’s anniversary in 2013 I added a chapter and we changed the cover, which this time was done by Todd “REAS” James who is a painter and graffiti writer.
In 1991 you published an essay called “Confessions Of A Sneaker Addict» in The Source. How has the game changed since then?
I wrote the very first article in history about sneaker culture. It was for the Source Magazine, which had just started. I called it that because at that point I was fiending for sneakers.
If you go to my era it was extremely important to wear the sneakers that you bought, and wear them well. Now there are young people who just take pictures of sneakers and post them on social media, and maybe they become known outside of their own town, city or country for their sneakers. Actually, that’s kind of cool. In my day you had to wear sneakers and be very strategic about when you are going to wear them.
Another thing that has completely changed is people’s ability to resell sneakers. I mean we never sold them. We bought them. If we bought them we wore them, at the most we might trade with a good friend. But the option to resell sneakers has created a new foundation of people who make money of these great designs, and I think that’s cool as well. It’s not just the sneaker companies and the stores making money. It’s almost become democratized.
The only thing I’m worried about now is that I get a sense that some people are drawn to certain shoe releases only because of the profitability, not because of the great designs and the hype. Before you felt attached to the sneakers emotionally whereas now it’s just commerce.
I’m going to recite a great MC, you know him well:
“I like Nike but wait a minute
The Neighborhood supports, so put some money in it
All corporations owe, they gotta give up the dough
To my town or else we gotta shut ‘em down”
That’s Chuck D, Public Enemy, “Shut ‘Em Down”. I actually promoted that record when I worked at Def Jam from 1989 to 1993. I know Chuck D very well, he’s one of the hardest working people, forget artists, that I ever met. He has always been a voice for hip hop who is critical of what’s been going on and that’s necessary. I think it’s important, when you are a fan of something, to be able to take a step away from it. And it’s good to not always accept everything, but do research and question the authority and the status quo. I think hip hop is best when it uses its voice to attempt to transform knowledge and make social change.
Chuck D said this over twenty years ago, and maybe it still holds true? Even here in Oslo many of the sneaker brands refuse to collaborate with community based events like Sneaker Fest, even though they promote their products. What do you think about that?
I don’t think that’s problematic. Of course it would be a great idea for the brands to advocate what happens in Oslo Sneaker Fest because the passion and energy grows towards sneakers out of events like this. Off course it’s only going to help their sales in the long run. But that said, I mean I don’ think anyone should produce an event with the goal or vision of having a brand sponsoring them. I think events like this should be made for the love. It should just be a community of people who share the love of sneakers. It should just be innocent. Sometimes when the brands come in it takes the innocence out of it.
I read somewhere that you donate sneakers on a bi-monthly basis to Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Brazil. Can you tell something about this?
I was running a sneaker shop in the 90s (Bobbitos Footwork) and after having done collaborations with Nike and all that, a lot of people misinterpret my emotional attachment for sneakers. I always get the question: How many sneakers do you have? I don’t have that many sneakers.
Now I feel that it’s my duty to encourage and advocate people to donate. There’s a lot of people that has a lot of shoes that they never wear, that they are not attached to, just sitting in their closet doing nothing. And so there are a lot of people around the world that would love to have a pair of sneakers, but who can’t afford it. Maybe they play basketball and then having a pair of Nikes or any shoes would help their performance. Eventually I decided to help the non-profit organizations I’m familiar with, such as Soles 4 Souls and Hoops 4 Hope. They do great things. Look them up online and support them.
You are directing a new film about the legendary radio show, the Stretch and Bobbito Show. Is it released now?
“Stretch and Bobbito – Radio That Changed Lives” was released worldwide in October on digital download and will be streamed directly from our website Stretchandbobbito.com. The film was a joy to make, because I experienced all this in the 90s and we had all these artists who came through unsigned and unknown. This is the story behind the explosion of hip hop in the 90s.
The Stretch & Bobbito show broke artists like Biggie, Wu-Tang, Nas, Big Pun, Redman, Mobb Deep, Jay Z and lots of others before they where even signed.
At this point these artists, has sold over 300 million records combined. And you can put the Fugees on that list as well. We sold them all as kids basically, hungry kids. We have a lot of great archive footage and archive audio that is used in the film. Hopefully we will premiere in Norway at the Tromsø International Film Festival in January.
How could you and Stretch prophesy the future like this? Did you have to go to the artists or did they come to you?
It was an exchange. We had an open platform for artists, we didn’t care if they was signed or unsigned. Some of the artists who came to the show where not even trying to put out records, they just wanted to rhyme. If you loved hip hop and loved to express yourself you had a home. It wasn’t about coming up when you had a record release. If you had a new rhyme and wanted to share it with the listeners, come. That’s what created that whole movement. It was deep.
Ice T famously said: "Rap is really funny, man. But if you don’t see that it’s funny, it will scare the shit out of you". Your approach to radio through the "Stretch and Bobbito show" often had a funny, lets say quirky edge to it. What role does fun and humor have in hip hop?
This certain moment in hip hop was very intense and dangerous. But me personally, I’m a nerd, I’m a goofball and I love to laugh. Stretch and I, we would just go on the air and be exactly who we were. We didn’t try to be anybody else. I think our listeners appreciated that. We had guys that were real criminals coming to our show and they would joke around with us. Its natural, everybody loves to laugh.
Part of what you said leads to the next question: The outstanding underground classic sometimes dubbed the "Clear Blue Skies LP" by the Juggaknots was released on your label Fondle ‘Em. It showed the more grimy sides of life like drugs, paranoia, racism, stillbirth and violence. Why do you think this album still is so acclaimed by connoisseurs?
I got the Juggaknots album maybe in 92-3 as a demo, so I started playing “Clear Blue Skies” (the song tells the story of a young boy and his racist father discussing his black girlfriend) on the radio and it made such an impact. Even Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest called up one night and requested it. He was a “die hard” listener. Breeze, the MC of the group was such a brilliant writer. There was a lot of great writers in that era inspired by the era that preceded it with (Kool) G Rap and Rakim, types who really experienced life and who were able to express that in their lyrics. It was a good time for rap and The Juggaknots were part of that.
Through «The Stretch & Bobbito Show» you got a lot of demos, tracks was even produced strictly for the show and some of these tracks was later released through Fondle ‘Em. The show was of course the more important of the two in the mainstream, but I don’t think anyone can imagine underground hip-hop today without Fondle Em? Can you?
There was a lot of independent labels in the 90s that meant a lot, like ABB Records, Eastern Conference and Stones Throw. We all started out of our bedrooms basically, out of our trunks if you will. And Stones Throw has done very well, but they started as a home label. If I had not put out those records on Fondle ‘Em, the independent era of hip-hop would still have developed. Me, and Stretch, we defined the spine for it all though, also because we supported the record shop Fatbeats, who became a major distributor for independent releases from the mid to late 90s. A lot of people also sought our approval and a lot of people learned about demos and unsigned artists through our show. We’re happy to have been at the right time and right place.
One of your latest projects was the film "Doin it in the park" soundtracked by Eddie Palmieri. His vintage 70s album Harlem River Drive is an important meeting point between African-American and Latin music. What can people learn from Harlem River Drive today?
People are still learning from it. There’s a great documentary that just came out called “We Like It Like That» about the boogaloo movement of the 60s, which combined the R&B of that era with latin rhythms. Many times you hear about different communities, nationalities, regions mixing music and ideas and concepts together. It is usually a good thing.
Kyoto Jazz Massive out of Japan is a phenomenal band. Jazz was born in New Orleans and now it’s in Japan. Red Astaire is an excellent producer who does Latin music, funk, house you name it. He’s from Sweden. Constantly you encounter these crossroads, these blends of different people creating something special. It just brings people together. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it just does.
Tonight you will hear me playing some hip-hop, some Brazilian music, some African music, some Latin music and some folk music. Always when I DJs I try to open up people’s minds. The foundation of hip-hop is to be open-minded. In the 70s when Afrika Baambaata cultivated what we now know as hip hop, he played calypso, reggae, salsa, he played whatever was funky.
You remember the lyrics from “Play That Beat Mr DJ” by G.L.O.B.E. and Whiz Kid?:
“Punk rock, new wave and soul
Pop music, salsa, rock and roll
Calypso, reggae, rhythm and blues,
Mastermix those number one tunes”
(Beatboxing) Yeah, that makes sense, exactly, that’s the spirit of Baambaata right there!
Thanks to Bobbito Garcia for hosting our event. If you want to know more about the legend, check out koolboblove.com.
The Afew Online Raffle is going into the next round. For the 20th of August they present an exclusive re-release of the Adidas NMD R1 Boost Runner OG. If you did not get the chance to cope the fist colorway of the almost legendary NMD series , you now have the chance to sign up for the Afew Online Raffle. The raffle the winners of the Afew Online Raffle will be revealed on August 20 between 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. CET.
The vibrant colors of the Olympic rings come to life on the classic Diadora Intrepid model, featuring a different color on each of the four form-stripes with the black ring represented by the premium suede and leather of the uppers. Additional details come by way of a gum outsole, metallic gold lace tips and debossed Packer branding on the heels. As a final nod to the international games, a collage of flags of the world is printed on the insoles. Made in Italy. Limited to only 500 pairs worldwide. Available exclusively at Packer on August 20.
To commemorate the 2016 Summer Olympics, Ronnie Fieg partners with Diadora to unarchive the Intrepid silhouette as part of the From Seoul to Rio initiative. Diadora had an impactful presence during the late 1980’s, creating innovative product designed for some of the most elite runners at the time. The Intrepid showcases this forward-thinking mentality with its low profile dynamic shape.
Fieg presents a retro palette inspired by the colors of prominent world class track clubs of the late ’80s. Teal, light orange, washed navy, pale pink, and soft grey sit comfortably beside one another on this model in a way that feels genuine to the Intrepid’s origin. The upper features a premium material execution by combining rugged pebbled nubuck with a lush pigskin suede forefoot. Branded tongue and heel pulls are added for increased accessibility, which is a detail exclusive to Fieg’s model. Other details include a colorblocked trail-running outsole, asymmetrical From Seoul to Rio footbed branding, two sets of multicolored woven laces, and custom packaging. Lastly, only 500 pairs of this model were produced worldwide, each of which were handcrafted in Italy. The Ronnie Fieg x Diadora Intrepid releases August 20 at KithNYC.
German based DJINN'S just dropped their newest lookbook. This time DJINN’S went to Antwerp, Belgium to shoot their lookbook. As usual DJINN’S works with different material mixes, patterns and colors. For Fall/Winter 2016 they are offering several matching items such as sneakers, caps, beanies and backpacks. New versions of their already known models such as the Easy Run and the Moc Lau are back, but also new silhouettes, such as the Lau Run and the Innu Low. The collection is set to release soon. Pictures by Stefanie Soho.
Bringing together some of the most recognisable runners from their extensive archive, Nike present the ‘Ale Brown’ pack. A culmination of 90’s runners that represented the peak of technology during that significant decade, a combination of premium materials and colour themes have been brought together and applied across the whole pack. The selected icons include the Air Max 90, Classic BW, Air Max 95, and Air Huarache, and the designation of each color and material varies across each shoe. The Nike ‘Ale Brown’ pack is now available at selected retailers such as Size?
Feature introduce their latest collaborative project with Los Angeles based footwear brand, CLAE. Designed with the concept of simplicity and premium craftsmanship, this pack consists of CLAE's Bradley silhouette with Leopard and Snake accents. The minimalistic Bradley style is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, making them the perfect sneaker for any occasion. The sneakers sport a soft tumbled leather upper in black or white, contrasted by an off-white rubber cupsole. The two-tone makeup is highlighted by animal-print neoprene heel tabs which embody the street-meets-luxury design. Further details include a contrasting leather tongue, minimal 'Feature - All Things Good' text on the side panels, and a set of colorful insoles with embossed dual-branding. Limited to 100 pairs per colorway and now available at Feature.
Moscow’s annual sneaker convention and exhibition Faces & Laces are the next to celebrate the Year of Court with the Reebok Certified Network and this release also celebrates their own 10th anniversary. This release is the studio’s first Reebok collaboration and also their first collaborative international release, taking their home city of Moscow as inspiration. Going with the name “City Under Construction” the three main colors used – hero yellow, black and a speckled white (intriguingly named “reactive asphalt gunpowder”). The yellow represents the city’s signal lights and is also a key color used in Faces & Laces anniversary exhibition, whereas the black is representative of Moscow’s dark and mysterious nights whilst the reactive asphalt gunpowder represents the concrete from the City Under Construction. Now available at selected retailers such as hanon.
Carrara marble. A rare form of metamorphosed limestone found exclusively in the most northern tip of Tuscany, Italy. A covetable, luxury material used throughout history to create some of the world’s finest works of art and architectural wonders; Carrara marble forms the bedrock of END.’s inaugural collaboration with New Balance.
The sneaker’s upper is dressed in smooth nappa leather, contrasted with sandy pigskin suede overlays, all finely crafted in England. A crisp white heel counter sits atop a two-tone foam midsole built with ENCAP technology, providing both strength and stability through the sneaker’s back quarter, with a gum rubber outsole rounding out the sole. Sign off comes in the form of a powdered metal lace lock bearing the distinctive END. logo.
The END. x New Balance M575END ‘Marble White’ launches on 20th August at END. A highly limited specially commissioned Carrara marble END. x New Balance box has been created to house the collaborative sneaker, one of which will be given away to one lucky customer.
For Fall/Winter’16, the Clyde and Suede Mid are getting a dose of street style attitude after teaming up with New York City son, world- renowned DJ and Clyde historian, Bobbito Garcia. Puma found the perfect partner in Bobbito to tell the story of playground basketball and street culture. Working on two true classic Puma shoes- the Clyde and the Suede Mid, the end result is a clean cut, sublime aesthetic that is both court savvy and stylish.
Bobbito Garcia is the critically acclaimed author of ‘Where’d You Get Those? New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960- 1987’. The Suede Mid takes inspiration from the book and Garcia’s basketball experiences with a certain gold touch etched on the mid upper when many people on the block would ask “Where’d you get those? ”. Typical outdoor b-ball slang has been applied to the innersole and upper quarter of the Clyde, continuing this theme. The Puma x Bobbito collaboration continues to highlight one of Puma’s most epic sport-inspired styles with its rich material and streetwise swagger guaranteeing its enduring appeal for generations on. Dropping August 13 at selected retailers such as hanon.
For the final installment of the Copa America inspired Dreamworks series, BAIT taps Masters of the Universe’s Skeletor to design the N.9000. Blocked in a deep purple along with his Skeletor blue, the upper is composed of premium nubuck, velvet suede, and luxurious leather, crafted with quality in Italy. An all Iced transparent oustole runs across the bottom, while detailed embroideries brand the shoes. An exclusive Skeletor artwork lives on the insole, along with a special Masters of the Universe box to the package the collaboration. Lace options come in deep purple , Skeletor blue, and 2-tone rope laces. The BAIT x Dreamworks’ Masters of the Universe x Diadora N.9000 “Skeletor” releases August 13 via raffle.
Selecting three of the most celebrated shoes from their storied back catalogue, Reebok Classic present the ‘Butter Soft’ pack. The collection applies the same colour and material theme throughout the whole pack, utilising premium off-white leathers atop translucent midsoles.The key shoes in question are the Classic Leather, Workout, and the most recent popular reissue, the Club C. The buttery hide used across the uppers on all three harks back to the kind of premium ‘glove’ leather used on some of their famed range of aerobic products from the 90’s like the Freestyle Hi and Workout. The Reebok Classic ‘Butter Soft’ Pack will release at Size? on August 12.
The Naked x Reebok Summer 16 collection draws inspiration from 90s athletic wear with a modern approach. Consisting of apparel and a pair of sneakers, the collection features a classic tracksuit, a gorgeous fitted dress, lightweight mesh shorts, premium heavyweight cotton tee and crewneck, socks with co-branding, and a sleek Club C 85 in white premium perforated leather. Bold Reebok embroidered logos and co branding on labels accentuate the partnership, adding subtle details to the collection. With a dominant white color palette, dark green and burgundy accents, the collection is easy to mix and match, catering to the relaxed yet fashion forward female. Dropping August 10 at Naked.
This month the Consortium Tour hits South Korea, arriving at sneaker emporium Kasina in Seoul. With each edition of the Consortium Tour adidas has offered an established retailer a footwear silhouette as a blank canvas and asked them to develop something new and unique.
Construction is a cornerstone of Korean design and so is the idea of embracing traditional methods in the creation of modern styles. Set in the mid-20th century, Kasina imagined this time as the birth hour of the Superstar. Their archetype version is inspired by that period’s aesthetic, the generation-old craft, and takes cues from classic saddle shoes. There is vintage colour, high-quality leathers, narrow, understated stripes, but still the shape and the unmistakable shell toe. The Kasina Superstar represents heritage footwear from an imagined past – it works with stunning effect. Releasing August 20 at selected retailers such as END!
In honor of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Diadora has partnered with 7 boutiques from across the globe (24 Kilates, Hanon, Solebox, Concepts, Packer, Kith and Patta) to create 7 unique collaborations. Each set consists of a model from the brand's 1989 running shoe catalog: The Intrepid or the I.C. 4000, both first made to mark the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The packs are further supplemented with an athletic track jacket, sports shirt, and is completed with a duffle bag, all made in Italy. Patta’s take on the pack uses a color combination of plum, rose, blue and grey to create a fresh and energetic look overall. While presenting the same construction as the original model, the Diadora x Patta I.C. 4000 sneaker mixes premium nubuck and nylon mesh set atop a clean midsole. In addition, the lining of the shoes as well as the jacket are adorned with “9:79”, referencing the controversial world record set (and later rescinded) by former Diadora-sponsored sprinter Ben Johnson. The Diadora x Patta “From Seoul to Rio” pack is set to launch in at Patta on August 5.
24 Kilates joins forces once again with Diadora to present a new collaboration called “From Seoul to Rio” taking inspiration from the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio. 24 Kilates pays tribute to the rise and fall of Jamaican-born Canadian former sprinter Ben Johnson, who win the 100m final at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds and who was disqualified three days later for doping, losing the Olympic title and other records he won before on this event. The shoe uses a color palette of navy blue, red, white and gold to create a fresh and Olympic look overall. While presenting the same construction as the original model, the IC4000 mixes premium leather with perforated leather and 3M details. This edition comes with two additional sets of laces. A capsule collection of apparel will be also released for the launch of the IC4000 “Gold Medal Crew”. It contains a track suit jacket, a T-shirt and a duffel bag, all made in Italy with the best choice of materials available. The 24 Kilates x Diadora IC4000 “Gold Medal Crew” will be available exclusively at 24 Kilates on August 6.