Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Collaborations

DC, Converse give Batman and Bane the All Star treatment

Batman bane converse
Just in time for Comic-Con -- and in advance of the movie's July 20 release -- Converse is rolling out its "Dark Knight Rises" Chuck Taylor All Star collection, which will be sold exclusively through Journeys boutiques and website.

The latest collaboration between Converse and DC features a Batman shoe printed with an image of the Caped Crusader from the movie and a sneaker that pays homage to the villain Bane, with his image screen-printed on the canvas upper, and, as befits a baddie, a predominantly black shoe with a red racing stripe accent. 

Both versions feature QR codes hidden in their woven labels that can be scanned to access special comic-book downloads and have a suggested retail price of $59.99.

Both shoes are supposed to be available as of today, though, as of this writing we could only locate the Bane hi-top at Journeys website.


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Photos: The Converse "Dark Knight Rises" Chuck Taylor All Star collection includes a new Batman style, left, and the first sneaker to bear the likeness of Batman's new nemesis Bane. Credit: Converse

Jeremy Scott gets digital for Longchamp


If you've been on a Southern California college campus recently, chances are you've seen a sort of accessory uniformity among the female students. Layers of chunky jewelry clank and chime in the hallways, Tory Burch flats crowd the pathways and the signature Longchamp Le Pilage handbag is a campus staple, seen plopped down on classroom desks in every color.

Taking into account its success with the college crowd, it's only fitting that the new Jeremy Scott for Longchamp Le Pilage bags feature a colored computer keyboard print. The bag design, inspired by the growing digital world, is Scott's 12th collaboration with Longchamp. The bags, which retail for $355, are slated to hit Longchamp stores by the end of this month.

Scott's keyboard design showed up in his New York Fashion Week fall 2012 presentation when a male model walked the runway in a shirt and pair of pants covered in the colored keys.


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Frugal Fashion: Gwen Stefani goes rocker glam in L.A.

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Jeremy Scott for Longchamp colored keyboard bag. Credit: Longchamp.

NBA, Quiksilver partner for team-branded board shorts

NBA Quiksilver Boardshorts

The National Basketball Assn. and Huntington Beach-based surf brand Quiksilver have inked a multiyear merchandising deal that will put NBA team logos, designs and colorways on Quiksilver men's board shorts, both companies announced Thursday.

The initial collection includes eight designs featuring seven of the NBA's 32 teams. That's one style each for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and reigning NBA champion Miami Heat, and two versions (yellow or black with purple) for the fashion-forward Los Angeles Lakers, on 22-inch outseam boardies that incorporate Quik's "Diamond Dobby" fabric technology (basically a weave that uses a raised-diamond pattern to decrease skin contact and cut down on rashing and chafing while surfing).

The NBA Quiksilver board shorts retail for $65 and are available through Quiksilver's flagship stores and website, and will eventually also be sold through the NBA's online store (which currently has team-branded boardies by G-III on offer). Quiksilver also makes pro football-branded board shorts through a partnership with the National Football  League.  


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— Adam Tschorn

Photos: The first team-branded board shorts rolling out to retail as part of Quiksilver's multiyear deal with the NBA includes designs catering to fans of (from left) the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. The initial offering also includes the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic (not pictured).  Credit: NBA  

Missoni for Converse Auckland Racer debuts on Milan runway

Connverse Missoni Auckland Racer Runway

The latest collaboration between Italian luxury label Missoni and Converse, which made its runway debut at Missoni's spring/summer 2013 men's show Monday in Milan, riffs on a '70s-era running shoe called the Auckland Racer.

Although we couldn't be runway adjacent to check out the kicks ourselves, we're told they're constructed with Missoni's signature multistitch fabric in two different versions, one multicolor (top center, above) and the other a "grayscale gradient-fade" (bottom center, above). 

Converse describes the Auckland Racer as a running shoe introduced in the 1970s that "carries a lineage associated with early pioneers of the jogging movement." 

Which is fine by us -- just as long as the '70s-era track suit silhouette doesn't plan on making a comeback.


Missoni closes Rodeo Drive store

New Missoni for Converse collection drops April 14

Undefeated for Converse Jack Purcel collection drops May 25

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from Missoni's spring/summer 2013 runway show Monday in Milan, at left and right, special-edition Missoni for Converse Auckland Racers, center. Credit: Missoni 

Nike, Kanye West's Air Yeezy II drops June 9

Nike Air Yeezy II

The Nike Air Yeezy II, the follow-up to the brand's 2009 collaborative shoe with rapper/designer Kanye West, will be released June 9 at select retailers worldwide, Nike announced Wednesday.

According to the news release, while the original Yeezy used a late-'80s basketball shoe as its starting point, the II is built on a tennis shoe outsole (the Air Tech Challenge II, to be specific), and the overall silhouette is comparatively slimmer than that of its predecessor. Part of this is thanks to the elimination of unnecessary padding and partly due to the fact that it's tailored to the shape of Kanye West's (presumably narrower) foot. 

Nike Air Yeezy IIThere are nearly enough animal references in the Air Yeezy II to stock a zoo, including anaconda-textured leather quarter panels and eyelets, a molded area above the heel with raised bumps that resemble the armored underside of a reptile, a bird design on the tongue, and a parade of critter hieroglyphics (spelling out 'YZY' we're told) across the loop strap.

Nike Air Yeezy IIThe limited-edition shoe, with an MSRP of $245, will be released in two colorways -- "platinum" (we're going with "two slightly different shades of gray") with the sparest of orange accents, and black with accents in pink. Based on the photos we've seen, both versions of the shoe have a sole in a shade of minty green.


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Undefeated for Converse Jack Purcell drops May 25

New NFL Uniforms: Seattle Seahawks get neon makeover

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The Nike Air Yeezy II, scheduled for release June 9, will be available in platinum, top left, and black, top right, at a price of $245. Details include a bird design on the tongue, middle, and a green sole, bottom. Credit: Nike

Undefeated for Converse Jack Purcell drops May 25

Converse Undefeated Purcell
The Undefeated for Converse collection that hits retail this Friday isn't the first time the Los Angeles sneakerhead heaven has teamed up with the 104-year-old Nike-owned footwear brand, but it does mark the first time the classic Jack Purcell silhouette has been part of their collaboration.

The Undefeated for Converse Jack Purcell collection tweaks the rubber and canvas shoe -- which was originally designed in 1935 for the badminton court (it's named after a world champion badminton player) by adding simple red and navy racing stripes to the rubber rands, a terrycloth lining and footbed, and a barely noticeable Undefeated logo pull-tab at the heel. (Don't worry Jack Purcell fans, the signature "toe-smile" detail remains untouched.)

The limited-edition kicks will be available  in a white, black or red canvas upper through Undefeated stores (including the La Brea, Santa Monica and Silver Lake locations locally) as well as select retailers of Converse First String merchandise at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $55. (If you're looking for a pair that's slightly more unique, go for the red version, which is exclusive to Undefeated doors.)


Decades designs shoes for Modern Vintage

New Missoni for Converse collection drops April 14

Macy's Bar III hits the Rose Bowl flea market on Sunday

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The spring/summer 2012 Undefeated for Converse Jack Purcell collection (MSPR $55), which hits retail stores on Friday, will be available with a red, black or white canvas upper. Credit: Converse.

Macy's Bar III hits the Rose Bowl flea market on Sunday

Macy's is taking its private-label Bar III brand on a cross-country jaunt to hip and happening flea markets, including the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena
Macy's in-house Bar III brand has taken to the great outdoors -- or at least tented parking lots -- with a traveling pop-up road show that will be decamping to the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena on Sunday.

It's part of a tour that's taking the label's ready-to-wear, menswear, jewelry and home collections to hip, vintage street fairs, bazaars and flea market locales across the country and kicked off last weekend at the Hester Street Fair on Manhattan's Lower East Side. After departing Southern California, it will continue on to similar venues in Chicago and Denver before returning to New York City.

The only hitch is, if you pop into the branded Bar III tent and find something that strikes your fancy, you won't be able to take it with you -- the merchandise on hand will consist only of a run of sizes for customers to try on, with purchases being completed on site through Macy's website. (The upside is free shipping and the fact that dropping $100 or more earns you a free tote.)

Along for the ride is Los Angeles-based fashion blogger Aimee Song (Song of Style) who, in her role as event host/brand ambassador will be on hand to consult with customers.

Until as recently as last week, the notion of a gargantuan retailer such as Macy's trying to seem hipster-level cool and street-style savvy by tapping bloggers as brand ambassadors and setting up shop at flea markets might have struck me as kind of curious. Then, on May 6,  another massive retail chain -- Target -- took the wraps off its latest initiative: the Shops at Target, a collaborative effort with a handful of boutique retail brands from across the country (including Privet House, the Webster and Polka Dog Bakery).

Two days earlier, New York City-based publishing company Sandow Media announced that it had purchased worldwide rights to the Fred Segal brand -- a name that has become virtually synonymous with the carefully curated, style-savvy, Southern California shopping experience -- with plans to open retail centers like the ones here in Los Angeles and Santa Monica (which weren't part of the Sandow purchase) around the globe, as well as put the Fred Segal name and logo on a range of apparel, houseware and beauty products.

It feels almost as if the frenzied collaboration strategy of the last several years (Banana Republic wine bottles, anyone?) is shifting focus from the talents of the fashion designer to the talents of the boutique buyers and street-fair organizers in the quest for curating -- instead of creating -- the cool.

Given the ever-increasing clutter on the retail -- and e-tail -- landscape, it's not hard to see the appeal.


Street fashion: Rose Bowl flea market

New Missoni for Converse collection drops April 14

Lucky magazine hosts conference about business of fashion blogging

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Macy's private-label Bar III kicked off a cross-country flea market tour at the Hester Street Fair in New York City last weekend. Photo: G. Ascencio

New Missoni for Converse collection drops April 14

Missoni Converse SS12 Collaboration
The fifth collection of collaborative kicks from Italian luxury brand Missoni and U.S. footwear brand Converse is set to hit retail on Saturday, Converse announced Thursday.

The Spring 2012 Missoni for Converse Chuck Taylor All Star collection includes two women’s-only silhouettes with uppers in Missoni’s signature zigzag knit --  one in green and white with a dash of silver and gold metallic sparkle and another in more muted shades of white and tan with accents in pale peach, silver and gold. The unisex silhouette is rendered in the Italian label's signature multi-stitch space-dyed cotton in a color palette of navy blue and white. 

The shoes, which retail for $200, will be available locally at Missoni's 469 Rodeo Drive flagship, the Fred Segal Center on Melrose, Undefeated's Santa Monica, La Brea and Silver Lake boutiques and online at starting April 14.


Sitting down with three generations of Missoni

Missoni for Converse zigzagging to market in April

DC X Converse kicks for spring: Wondcer Woman and Killer Croc

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The fifth Missoni for Converse Chuck Taylor All Star collection includes two women's-only silhouettes featuring zigzag designs (left and center) and one unisex silhouette in a multi-stitch space-dyed cotton (right) for Spring 2012. The sneakers will retail for $200 a pair and go on sale April 14. Credit: Converse

DC X Converse kicks for spring: Wonder Woman and Killer Croc

DC Converse Collaboration

The sixth season of collaborative kicks from Converse and DC Comics brings two versions of the Chuck Taylor All Star silhouette for spring 2012 -- a red, white and blue pair emblazoned with the image of Wonder Woman, and a green and yellow pair depicting a Batman villain named Killer Croc.

Wonder Woman DetailWonder Woman's low-top sneaker is done up in a pop art motif, with the heroine's image on one side of each shoe and her Wonder Woman logo scrawl on the other, some patriotic-looking American flag detailing wrapped around the heel, and a footbed of black polka dots on red (Why polka dots? We'd like to believe they somehow represent WW's alter ego Diana Prince, but that's sheer conjecture on our part.)

Killer Croc gets a high-top version, the better to display both a reptilian scale pattern and a green splatter paint effect, with an image of said homicidal reptile leaping to attack from the ankle. 

Both retail for $59.99, available online through Journeys e-commerce site now (according to a note at the website, the crocodile shoe won't ship until April), with Wonder Woman stepping out to stores (including Burbank, Santa Monica, Cerritos and Lakewood locations locally) on April 2, with the Killer Croc version hitting hot on her heels on April 9.


Wonder Woman and MAC lasso a cosmetics deal

Converse X Dickies collaboration is twill on heels

Menswear designer Andrew Buckler to head Converse design team

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos, from top: The newest DC Comics collaboration with Converse includes Chuck Taylor All Star silhouettes featuring Wonder Woman and Killer Croc, both available exclusively at Journeys retail stores for $59.99.

Detail of the Wonder Woman Chuck Taylor All Star low-top sneaker. Credit: Converse Inc.

Decades designs shoes for Modern Vintage

1950s shoeDecades, the popular Los Angeles vintage boutique owned by Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos, is taking a step into the shoe design arena. The duo created four styles of footwear each fittingly inspired by a 1960s shoe different decade for Canadian footwear company Modern Vintage.

There is a '50s shoe with a dainty pointed toe and curved heel, a '60s shoe that is based on a color-blocked mod flat (but modified with a T-bar and stiletto heel), a '70s shoe with a cork platform sole and woven leather straps and a chunky '80s-inspired pair with a thick wedge heel, sling back strap and lighting-bolt-looking leather inserts that feel reminiscent of the glam rock of the era.

“The challenge was to distill the essence of each decade,” says Silver, adding that they were conscious of making each style indicative of the era being represented, while also keeping them modern and relevant to today’s fashion. “This was a lesson in accessibility and still being stylish.”

1970s shoeGuests and shoppers who attended the collection’s launch party Tuesday night at Decades seemed to like what they saw. Many of them purchasing a couple pairs (the shoes range from $250 to $300) on their way out of the store. Models showed off the footwear while also wearing vintage clothing by Biba. And celebs like Lisa 1980s shoes Rinna and Ashley Madekwe showed up wearing styles from the collaboration. Rinna made the '80s wedges work rather well, pairing them with a very '40s-inspired brown and white printed dress, proving that everything old really is new again.

The Decades for Modern Vintage shoe collection is available exclusively on and Decades L.A boutique.

-- Melissa Magsaysay


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Photos: Decades for Modern Vintage 1950s shoe, top left, 1960s, top right, 1970s, bottom left, and 1980s, bottom right. Credit: Courtesy of Decades


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