ALIFE has always been a brand we've admired and having worked with the New Yorkers in the past we've enjoyed watching them grow. 2013 feels like the right time to usher ALIFE back into our brand mix as their output seems stronger now than ever. It's focus is on art and creativity using some of the world's most talented individuals to help make their product so unique. Rather than a simple streetwear label ALIFE is to be looked upon as a concept, a concept to communicate the Downtown NY way of life to a global audience.
ALIFE thrives on diversity and in recent years the NY staple has hooked up with Nike, adidas & Saucony to name just a few. The future will undoubtedly see them team with many more as this season alone they've enlisted graffiti heavyweight Cope2. Some of you may recognise the name from our recent Obey drop but if you don't know then Cope2 is a name to get familiar with. Plying his trade on the walls of downtown New York and the city's subway system Cope2 quickly became NYPD's most wanted before garnering appeal commercially with brands like Converse.
We've just taken delivery of ALIFE's Holiday '13 delivery and all pieces are now available in the brand's section. All ALIFE pieces are also available in-store. Stay tuned to our Facebook & Instagram accounts for more ALIFE updates in the coming weeks.
Few brands names resonate in the field of footwear like Red Wing and absolutely none have such a storied legacy. The brand began in Red Wing Minnesota at the turn of the 20th century and since then they've left an unfillable footprint on footwear. The brand have kept production on their own soil so along with quality and durability each style comes with integrity too, something ardent consumers can get on board with.
Supplying the demands of hardworking tradesmen business was booming for Red Wing and by 1909 the company was expanding recurring yet more skilled workers to handmake their renowned products. Although technology has moved on since then the company have retained the same level of craftsmanship and the majority of their footwear is still made with pride by hand. Although each style is aesthetically considered, each has been made for a reason and all are more than fit for purpose. If a Red Wing boot can withstand the brutal day to day rigour of a woodsman then you can be more than confident they'll last an English winter.
The first of our three styles is the above Chukka, a slightly lighter silhouette designed with carpentry in mind. It is sturdy yet flexible as carpenters working in homes and offices are traditionally required to work on their hands and knees to create their product. With this in mind the leather upper is slightly more malleable and a crepe sole has been used to avoid leaving unsightly impressions on wood surfaces. Today's consumer will obviously appreciate the sole for it's resilience but it's always nice to be reassured by it's historical attributes.
Our second style is the so-called Postman shoe, also known as the 101 Work Oxford. As well as a dressy aesthetic the Postman shoe is bestowed with comfort as it's designed to benefit the Postman'a lengthy 8 hour shift and still meet the uniform requirements. Over 2 million units have been sold since 1954 and it's winning combination of style and comfort has kept it in the catalogue and made it one of the brand's best sellers.
Arguably we've saved the best until last as the Six Inch Boot is undoubtedly one of the brand's most distinct silhouettes. It's original purpose was gruelling farm and factory labour but since then it's become a reliable option for the modern customer thanks to it's durable leather construction and withstanding crepe sole. Teamed with a pair of selvedge jeans the Six Inch Boot is as hard to beat as it is to wear down.
Although each style is aesthetically considered, each has been made for a reason and all are more than fit for purpose. If a Red Wing boot can withstand the brutal day to day rigour of a woodsman then you can be more than confident they'll last an English winter. You can find our Red Wing Autumn & Winter '13 collection here as well as our remaining Spring & Summer '13 styles over in the sale section.
Patagonia is a storied brand and one with an incredible legacy. Yvon Chouinard's brainchild has come a long way since it's beginnings as a piton company and a huge facilitator in the brand's success was Yvon's trusty tin shed. Although it was a premises so old it's origins can't be traced, Chouinard acquired the lease in 1966 and with his band of friends grew his business there for four solid years. All good things must come to an end though and eventually Yvon's business outgrew the shed that housed it and a larger location on the same plot was secured.
The Tin Shed although a humble studio was witness to the remodelling of almost every piece of equipment imaginable. Along with business partner Tom Frost, Yvon Chouinard set about expanding and soon after the The Great Pacific Iron Works Company came into fruition, along with a larger premises and gang of employees. Whilst the team continued changing the face of mountain equipment they continued travelling and enjoying life in the outdoors. Soon after a trip to Scotland would see Yvon develop a taste for colourful rugby shirts and from there he realised the gap in the American market. Patagonia as we know it slowly began to take shape, abolishing the drab trends of mountain wear in favour of bold and vibrant colours as exciting as the adventures Chouinard embarked upon.
Although not in use the Tin Shed still stands, acting as a container for memories rather than equipment. To coincide with our Autumn & Winter '13 selection we've had a replica of Yvon's Tin Shed installed at our Albert Road store. Our respectful recreation showcases the best the brand has to offer and although the product it holds has evolved the beliefs and ideals behind it are exactly the same. As well as the in-store display our full Patagonia collection is also available online.
The Nike Air Max 180 is a timeless silhouette and one that we dare say needs no introduction.Tinker Hatfield's brainchild has come a long way since 1992 but the same visible air unit and mesh panel construction is still part of the design today. Last week we dropped a Terra version but this week's Quickstrike release takes the silhouette back to basics, all the way back to the early 90s with two legendary colourways.
The first colourway is an appealing Summit White & Magenta combination, two hues which compliment each other well and particularly when they decorate such a sleek shoe. The pop of magenta comes at the heel counter and is also found on the tongue and the sock lining. A bold affair which seems to work well on the classic 180 silhouette.
Secondly and much to the delight of MJ fans is the 'Bright Concord' iteration, a colourway notably worn by Michael Jordan during the Olympic Games of 1992 at which he starred for the dream team. Jordan wore few shoes beside his own so this high flying endorsement brings the colourway some serious credibillity further to aesthetic beauty.
Both colourways from the limited edition QS release will be available at 00:01 Friday November 22 and stock permitting will be in our Albert Road store the following morning. As you may anticipate, numbers are limited with this one and we don't anticipate these hanging around for long. Also available this Friday is the previously mentioned Cortez NM QS, another limited edition release taking us all the way back to the early 70s.
The Nike Cortez is a truly iconic silhouette and one of the earliest credited with meeting the needs of the distance runner. The design is the work of Nike 's co-founder Bill Bowerman and it came to light in 1972, an Olympic year contributing to the shoe's unprecedented appeal. Sales in it's first year set new records and many deem the Cortez instrumental in Nike's success.
With it's timeless design it's no surprise that the Cortez has remained a proud mainstay for the brand, constantly seen in new guises but essentially maintaining the same principles and aesthetic. For 2013 and this Friday's Quickstrike release Nike have blessed the retro runner with a Natural Motion sole, essentially the same as a Free sole but more respectful of the original Cortez sole unit. As well as the contemporary sole a further update comes courtesy of the reflective hits positioned at crucial visibility points like the front and back. The Cortez was enjoying a bit of a collectors item honeymoon and have actually used it for purpose in recent years but the QS's modern capabilities should see them as running shoes once again.
November's QS release is comprised of two Cortez colourways the first of which is a bold heritage inspired 'Challenge Red'. Secondly and much to the delight of hardened sneaker-heads is the coveted 'Forrest Gump'. As the name suggests this is the colourway gifted by Jenny that Forrest unboxed in the film and the same colourway he rocked on that memorable run of his. Film features aside it's an undeniably classic colourway few will be able to fault.
Both colourways will be available from 00:01 in limited numbers priced at £80. Stock permitting they will also be available at our Albert Road store from 9.30am the following morning.