Monday, December 31, 2007

Sneakers Required New Year's Ball

This is the coolest dress code I've ever heard of in all my 80 years. Tonight in San Francisco Mos Def is hosting a show called "Sneakers Required." It's a benefit concert for the H.E.A.R. Foundation whose mission is to bring awareness to all of us dumb kids that listen to music too loud and don't wear earplugs at concerts. What? Exactly. You didn't hear me because you're going deaf. To get into this party you must wear sneakers. This event is all about sneaker culture and gives all those sneaker heads a chance to get those ultra super limited Japanese Nepalese imports from the mountain top a special place to wear their kicks. Imagine what the men's room in this club is going to look like during this party. You dudes are going to be swapping little bottles of specially formulated sneaker cleaner. All ya'll are going to be up in that piece talking about, "Yo, can I borrow your mohair cloth for a minute? Some fool stepped on my toe." There are still some tickets left: Going: Sneakers Required

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Shop Blog of the Week: M.I.A. Skate Shop

There are a couple of a rad spots in Miami that I've heard a ton of good things about. M.I.A Skate shop has one location in Miami Beach and another in Doral that also runs a skatepark. Have you heard of it? Koo-ka-choo. If you're in Miami and don't know what to do...I bet they are a good place to start. Their blog is pretty rad. They are excellent with team updates. They also do a good job of letting people know not only when contest are going down, but also following up with who won them. No one EVER follows up with contest results! I need to know who's winning this stuff so that I know who to hit up for money. I'm trying to come up. Check out some Miami scene here: M.I.A. Skateshops & Skatepark

Friday, December 28, 2007

Green Vans

Melissa Dungan aka Skates is coming out with a new album in Spring 2008. I brought out this completely un-ironic video from her last album in 2004 (when she was going through that post-goth-nu-salem-pre-electrocute phase) just to remind everyone that no matter how far you've come there will always be a jerk around to 'pants' you in front of everyone.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Polite Criminals

One night last week Colorado Springs resident, Tricia McKeehan, woke up to a strange noise in her house. Like every victim ever in the history of the world, she got up to investigate the noise in the dark. What happens next? She saw a dude in a hoodie in the hall. She screamed. He screamed. And everyone ran. She hit up 911 real quick, "Alack! I am being burgled by a burglar!" The kooks where long gone by the time the cops rolled around, but they left a couple of things behind. Two pairs of shoes in her garage. "They were black Vans that had some really bright, new, white shoe strings on 'em. And they had, like, a white design on 'em. Size nines. And then there were some white loafers. Not the tie ones, but the slip on ones." Grateful that the guys didn't track dirt into the house, she happily admitted, "At least they were polite!" Now, here's my question: If you gonna rob somebody, how you leave their house with less stuff than you came in with? Maybe it was Santa! YES! Mystery solved. Don't call the police on Santa or he'll leave your stuff in the garage. Channel 11 News For Reals

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Amanda Lopez Christmas

One of the first posts on this blog was the work of photographer, Amanda Lopez. She's been documenting the life of her checkerboard Slip-ons for a while now. Here's her most recent installment. Nice tree Amanda! Way to decorate. What? No presents? Gonk. Maybe she didn't get anything and is into the true meaning of Christmas...shunning materialism. Me, too. Hang iPhone is ringing. What was I saying? Oh yeah! You can take a look at more of here work here: Amanda Lopez

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Know What You Sayin'

Yeah, it's true. It's ya girl Nikki S checking in. What up? I was peepin' them joints, too. They sick. They tight, and ya heard me 'cause I spit shiz real. One love. Oh, hold on. I'm 'bout to give a shout out to my girl Grits, my boy Tick Bait, and Lil' Purty Mo (it's gon' be alright, girl). Hold up! Hold up! I gotta give ya'll this update. I fully agree with my boy GaTa. These customs is gross. Like ewwww. Like make me sick up on myself a little bit. I'm 'bout to put these things in a museum behind some bullet proof glass with, like, some armed guards from the LAPD before they got reformed, and they would beat up kids for smiling. These kicks are works of art. You feel me? Shout out to Shay from the VA for hooking up the paint job. Go ahead, girl. I tried to hunt down more info on Shay, but she's mysterious. She used to live in Portsmouth. There, the trail ends.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shop Blog of the Week: Niche

Niche is a sneaker/culture/lifestyle store in Charlotte, NC. (Holler at my 'hood, ya'll.) They have an outstanding little site where the locals can keep track of hiptastic events that are neat. They update it all the time. I'm particularly backing their news ticker 'causer they give the heads up on all kinds of events. I'm saying it's not all 'tight pants' or 'yo.' They say, "Yo, I got tight pants." You feel me? They well rounded like the valedictorian and junk. And they have a rad dog. And they don't use sugar in their corn bread. Niche

Dirty Birds Part Doo

Gee Whiz! If someone gives me photos that no one has seen from a show yet may I call it an exclusive? I mean, it might not stay exclusive. However, today -as far as I know- no one else has posted these photos. I am claiming it. Exclusive photos from the 'Dirty Birds' show at Lower Haters right here. There's a little behind the scenes shot, too. After the show, featured artists PNut and Evert Lee made sweet art all night long 'til the break of dawn. That's how artists party. Check out the skulls and flowers painting they made together...

Monday, December 17, 2007

FTC Skate Shop & Lower Haters=Dirty Birds

Drop in to the Lower Haters Gallery if you're in San Francisco. They just put up a new show called 'Dirty Birds' that sounds like it would be nice to look at. It's a friendly-friend bunch of skateboard art with 'birds' as the general theme. Artists involved include more than few people that hang out with Vans... Tony Alva, P-Nut, and Evert Lee to name a hand full. The guys at FTC Skateshop had a big role in getting this group together. Go see them, too. You'll walk in the shop and you'll say, "hey" and they will say, "Heyyyy!!!" And then you'll buy something cool and leave with a big smile on your face. Quick! Look! It's a BIRD flipping the BIRD! AHHHH!!! The End. FTC Skate Shop

Photo by Yewknee

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bellevue Ave, Echo Park, Los Angeles

Last summer Jason Farrell worked on a tv commercial series for Vans called 'What If?" At some point he took the vans mini-bus, the one that has the ramp built into it, to Bellevue Ave in Echo Park. He posted up there with a bunch of young latino street skaters and filmed while they all sessioned a ramp for the first time. It's a short, documentarty style, glimpse in to a fun afternoon with regular kids just hanging out. No, these kids aren't pro. That's not the point, but it's a real nice slice of life. You get to watch kids falling all over the place and making fun of each other. I was watching it & got all nostalgic & the cello music kicked in on my itunes. It warms the cockles of your heart, you know? Shut up. That is totally how you spell 'cockles.' Why do you always argue with me?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finally, More Custom Chukkas and Authentics

There aren't enough people working on custom Chukka Boots and Authentics. I find a ton of people customizing on Slip-ons, but I guess most people aren't up to the challenge of designing around the rivets. Is that it? WEAK, kids. Where's that can-do American attitude? Seth Brau doesn't mind taking a shot. He's been running his own DIY custom Vans biz for the last couple of years. His stuff looks like Keith Haring went on a date with Paper Rad and they ate spagetti and played the piano all night. Seth likes magic markers. I hope he uses the kind that smell like the colors. Mmmm...blueberry marker... Seth Brau's Five Three Footwear

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Darin Bendall is Cooler than Me.

You've seen Darin's work around for the last forever. I'm taking a minute to point out how cool he is. He started out as an illustrator bouncing around within and without the skate world dropping little nuggetrons of art happiness all over the place. Since planting new roots in Japan, getting deeper into animation, and rolling out this video with Joel Trussell for M. Ward, his portfolio has grown a ton. I'd say the body of work is fair fantastic. Make sure to check out the potpourri section of his site where he documents the life of Ryan (his pet beetle) and documents the art made from dreams he had for a year (snowball fights with Lucy Liu...check). Besides all that rad, yes he has an archive of Thrasher Magazine scans from the '80s. Swoon! Skate Skans

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Underskatement Film Festival

Hey kids! Do you like movies AND skateboards? You DO? Imagine the chances? The Underskatement Tour is making the rounds to an independent theatre near you (maybe). As far as I can tell, a bunch of guys that like to kick stuff and say things made some short films and now they want people to go see them. Can you believe the audacity of those guys? Get a job at a bank or something. Anyhoo, one of the top entrants in Underskatement is the new documentary "Fix Push" which explores the budding outsider sport, "fixed-pushing." In his featurette, filmmaker Antonius Dintcho (I think he got flow on the vans skate team back in the day) follows a brave and rebellious group of mavervick fixed-pushers as they fight for their lives in the Sahara Desert (if by Sahara Desert I mean San Francisco). The next stops for the film tour are in Seattle on December 12th and Vancouver on December 15th. Get more info & see their blog here: Zoinks! Underskatement!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Shop Blog of the Week: Flat Spot Skate Shop

I was putzing around the world wide web and found this shop's blog. The next time I'm in Hamilton, Ontario, I'll make sure to hit these kids up (for a can of Molson...ZING!). Their blog is constantly updated with pics of new merchandise for the shop, good skate clips, local events, and the obligatory photos of their friends partying while flipping off the camera. I betcha they would like to have you over some time. Flat Spot Skate Shop. 220 King Street West. Hamilton, Ontario. Canada. I google mapped it for us, SoCal, so we all know how to get there. Flat Spot Blog

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Made to Order Customs

Everybody always says you can't do anything with an art degree. Duh, you make art. After graduating with her BFA from CSULA, Monica is starting her own DIY (that's a butt load of acronyms, LMAO). If you email her with an idea or design, she'll take what give her and come back with the shoes you can't make because you only draw stick men. It's ok that you're not a good artist. It's not your job. It's Monica's. You're probably really good at something (making pickles? painting bathrooms?), but leave the shoes to her here: MXMINK!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nice Trash!

Our intern's boyfriend's dad found this original gangsta Van Doren Rubber Company sneaker box with reciept in his garage a couple of weeks ago. He'd had it since 1968. No kicks were included in the box. Bummer, but whatevs. It's nice to know that you can be crazy and keep a pile of junk so long that it goes from trash to cool and even a shoe box becomes a collector's item. I am never taking out the trash again. I'll be boss & rich when I'm old! I'll be all, "This pizza box is 65 years old with the original cheese still gunked in there..." I'll make tens of dollars of that racket.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fernando Iglesias Makes Politics Look Pretty

I spotted these Slip-Ons on a sneaker site from Spain (ummm..I think). As far as I can gather from using the fabulous "translator" widget, Iglesias has been doing some heavy hitting comics in Spain for some time now. With his pair of customs, he's turned his pen on his country's current and former prime ministers along with a few other big time controversial faces. "In fact the reason that provoked the interest of means in its works was the customización that on a Vans Slip-On carried out," says Mac Translator Widget, "The spades are on sale in the Vitoriana store Maluko in case you animate yourselves." Never a more true word was spoken, Mr. Widget. Get your Spanish on here: Zapapedia We habla EVERYTHING!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dennis & Pat Learn to Skateboard

The blog that I'm directing you to is both janky and broke off. However, trust me. The content is amazing. Dennis & Pat are two regular guys in Toronto who (at the tender age of 30 years) decided that they must learn to skate.Their blog chronicles this noble mission from March of 2006 through August of 2007. I ain't promising ya'll that the story ends well, but these two guys gave it a shot. A shot in the that black, black, bottom-of-a-jungle-pit kind of dark where a snake will eat you. Dennis & Pat Learn to Skateboard YAY RAD!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

James Brason's Kicks

About 7 years ago, James Brason figured he'd skated everything he could in England and decided to head for San Francisco to change things up. Once there, he quickly found the ultimate truth in America: one could be dumb as a box of rocks but equipped with an English accent, everyone thinks you're terribly witty & dashing. (Crud. James is already a smart fella. Now he has an unfair advantage. We better go to college & junk.) Oh, and he also started coming up in the art scene. James has always skated in Vans and recently began to pair his art with his footwear. The outcome is fantastic. Using a base of acrylic paint with layers of detailing in pen, marker, & sharpie, he achieves a level of refinement in his customs that is quite uncommon. At first glance they look like a print on the fabric. Each pair takes between 15-30 hours to complete. That's a whole week of watching TV or a second job (depending on how slack you are. Ohhh!). If you’re in SF on December 14th, James’ work is featured in a show with Vans custom Alumni, Derek Albeck at The Space Gallery on Polk Street. It’s a Christmas art party! Space Gallery

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The 1st Most Strongest Vans Wearer

Mark Felix is the 9th strongest man in the whole wide world. He wears Vans. That makes him the 1st strongest Vans wearer in the the world because the 8 guys ahead of him don't wear Vans. Hey Mark! Don't let that number 9 get you down! By categorical breakdown you're really still #1. We wouldn't fight you. However, if you were our friend we'd probably be encouraged to fight other people because you'd be there to back us up. Right? RIGHT? Thanks to Beyond Strong for the photo!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Arizona! OMG! I Meant to Call You!

Hi Phoenix & Tempe, Arizona. I feel like we never hang out anymore. Sure, I try to set up get togethers with you, but it never seems to work out. You guys are so BUSY all the time! I hear you guys are really doing great, though. Let's give it another shot. For real this time. There's this thing on December 8th, 2007. Cowtown Skateshop & The Hot City Destroyers are hosting a bike race from Domenic's Cycle in Tempe to Cowtown on Central in Phoenix. After the race, they'll premier the bike film, MASH. It's the best thing in fixed gear riding since, um...bikes. Most of the footage is from San Francisco. Do you guys have any idea how hard it is to ride a bike with no breaks in San Francisco? It's nutz with a 'z' because there are many hills with an 's.' Get all the info you need here: Big Wheels in Cowtown.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

TSA Says Wear Slip-Ons to the Airport

The Transport Security Administration says wear slip-ons to the airport. It makes it easier to get throught the security line during the holiday season. Amazing! We got that on lock. Finally, TSA is getting radical instead of just drinking our bottles of water and playing with our confiscated pocket knives. Granted, maybe they didn't specifically endorse Vans, but everyone knows what those cheeky tarts meant. Happy Thanksgiving! TSA Travel Tips

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chile, You're Hot and All But..

There is a Vanks store in a mall in Chile. What? Vanks. The logo even looks like Vans from a distance. Let's think about this for a moment. You're walking along drinking a soda and slapping your friends high-fives, when you run into someone who looks exactly like you...but crappier. You think, "Ew. That was weird, but whatevs." Then everyone in town starts talking about how they saw you out at the club. And you looked sooo broke off. And you were rockin' a trash bag and a belt. You say, "No way! It wasn't me," but sadly, the damage was done.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christina Aguilera's Ugly Vans for Sale

I can't make TOO much fun since these things are being auctioned off for charity, but it looks like whoever customized these sneakers for her didn't like her very much. The only excuse I can come up with is maybe Christina's cousin is a 10 year-old little girl and gave her these for Christmas last year. Chris was all, "OH! These are awesome! No, no. I can't WEAR these. They are your art for display only." And then the family would sing Christina's hit, "Dirty." And then she stored them in that weird cabinet over the fridge that no one uses. Now they can be yours for $561.00 here: Christina Aguilera's Vans.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Film: Punk's Not Dead

By filmmaker Susan Dynna with Todd Traina (if you recognize that last name you get 5 million core points), here we have what looks to be a fantastic DIY film whose objective is to prove punk's relevance today. Dang. Tough row to hoe, but based on film festival reviews these guys were up to the challenge. The film is a who's who of every band you ever had on tape, but not leaving out the new kids who started their recording lives on compact disc. There are even interviews with Vans' own Steve Van Doren in the mix. The film hasn't gained wide distribution yet, but you can check it out at art theaters around the country. In true punk spirit, they need to you call your local independent theatre and let them know you want to see it. Check out the screening schedule at Punk's Not Dead.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sir Parker LeGrand Jacobs & Grik

Huntington Beach, California has a lot going for it. I've found a few more things. Parker Jacobs, artist & music maker, surfaced on the radar with his artwork on a pair of slip-ons painted by his friend & GOGO13 bandmate, Grik. Grik doesn't normally work on shoes, but it looks like we lucked out. Grik's illustrated sneaks are the first 2 shoes in a series of 4 based on set designs by Jacobs. Set design, you say? Yessiree. Recently, Jacob's focus has shifted from the print world to an interesting new animation/live action project. It's a sharp-looking kids show with Nickelodeon Networks called "Yo Gabba Gabba!" with guests like Biz Markie and Shiney Toy Guns. Yeah, he's a card carrying member of the Orange County Rad Dads Club. Look for the next pair in the Grik & Jacobs collaboration here: GOGO13and find out more on Parker Jacob's new work here:Yo Gabba Gabba!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shop Blog of the Week: Tuesday Skateshop

There are more than a few interesting shop blogs out & about in the world. I've decided to start showing off ones that are particularly good. My pick for this week is Tuesday Skateshop in London, UK. It's a neat glimpse into what's going on in their area. These guys post skate clips, good art, pictures of people who stop by their shop that they like, or whatever happened at work that day. It's cool 'cause it's like spying. Tuesday Skateshop Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whoa. I'm a Psychic for Cool.

I PROMISE I didn't know yesterday that Hypebeast was doing a feature on Manuel Angot aka Manu Custom. Pretty awesome, eh? I told you he was good. Neener, neener. Ok, sorry. Enough with the horn tooting. Check out his interview on Hypebeast. He doesn't go into great detail, but it's fun to know that his career started from spray paint dripping on his shoes a long time ago. I just spilled coffee all over my pants. Hmmm. Maybe I can parlay that into an enterprise? Si Senior, this is America. Manu's photo courtesy of the Hypebeast feature.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Manu Custom's Site Launch

One of my favorite custom sneaker artists finally got his site up & running this past weekend. Most of the shoes he's done are sample size, and a few pairs are available online for purchase. Take a look through his gallery of Nikes & Vans to brush up on your French skills.
Manu's Site

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Second Life: When Real Life Doesn't Quite Cut It.

There is too much to say about why this is outstanding. Shall we start with what the guy does? He surfs. Sky surfs. Parachutes while sky surfing into a fortress of doom. He surfs more at a tropical resort. Then, he finishes it all off on a deserted tiny island, obviously pleased with himself. He is so tan. I can't wait for the day when someone asks me what I do, and I get to say, "Oh! Real Life or Second? I'm in marketing, but I'm really an international trillionaire in spaceship building. I shoot lazer beams from my eyes."

Vans vs Veens

Continuing the webtronic globetrotting today, let's head south of the border. Have you guys seen Veens? Mexico seems to be peddling these things pretty hard. Say, you get mad about peeps coppin' your steeze. You complain about it, but there's always someone to give you the old "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" line. I call bosh on that. It's total Single White Female with Vans as Briget Fonda, and Veens is all creepy Jennifer Jason Leigh stealing underwear. Icky. By the way, let me give props for this find to Seattle lawyer Michael Atkins because maybe he'll sue me and take my 1990 Honda if I don't.

Wrocław Rocks Polska so Hard

I felt like taking a trip today so follow me to Wrocław, Poland. Where Rock is Law! Uggghh! For all you nerds, Wrocław has been the administrative seat of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship since 1999. What ship? Exactly. While exploring their virtual city I found these cute girls who look like they would be fun to hang out with. (Anyone who dresses like a candy party is fine with me. Sheesh, I bet they have rad bikes, too.) Meet Videlec and Karolina- she's the one with the old vans. They run around their school/town taking pictures of people that they think are hip. There are 2 good things about their blog: it is completely undesigned, and they ask the people they photograph their favorite colors and hobbies. I also like that Karolina says she will be a famous photographer. Thanks for the heads up, K.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Okat is Okay!

Taking time out from his busy schedule of hanging at Starbucks drinking lattes (skinny of course) and being a pundit for the current administration, Okat designed and painted this pair of barefoot slip-ons. I especially like the toe hair detail. It doesn't seem like Okat is the kind of guy to pull a punch even if it means owning up to hard truths like having ugly feet. Hey boy, good for you. Corn chip toes are why most people wear shoes in the first place. Kick stuff with Okat here: Thanks, Okat!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Here's the Kicker

A mess of artists in Miami got together to have a sneaker show. Ok, cool. Nice art. However, the interesting thing is, one artist in the show actually created a working stereo speaker integrating some slip-ons a cardboard box full of cotton. MacGyver+Sneakerhead=something I ain't seen before. This is like when that kid in school made a science fair project, and you thought he was dumb, and then he unveils this thing and everyone is all, "Whoa." First place. All you did was make that papier mache volcano.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

EXTREME Cast Crafting: for Extreme Dudes

Not willing to see their fallen comrade, Rhett King, with a willie-bobo cast on his leg for months on end, Rick Koutzoukis & Jon Strattan sat down with a few beers to do some redecorating. What options did Rhett have? Limited. It wasn't like he could run away. Ouch! Sk8-Hi cast recipe as follows: one busted leg (ankle may be substituted) in a black cast. Add paint markers and Sharpies as needed. Use gun to hot glue laces to cast. Cut the toe from a sock. Spray paint the little toe sock white. Then, hot glue the paint-crusty sock to the end of your friend's cast. Give a swift kick to the recently glued sock portion to ensure that it is indeed held fast by the hot glue. Finish illustration.

And the shorts? No story there. Rhett is obviously extremer than you, duh.