Allike Blog

    12May
    12May

     

    The existence and significance of Us Versus Them continues to be as important as it ever was. A label that is the better extension of a community, of something very positive that just needs to be shared with the world. We talked with Graham Nystrom, one of the founders of the brand, about values, California, inspiration, what is exactly is the so-called “streetwear scene” and much more. Read below.

     

    'Us Versus Them' – the meaning of it – is it still as important today as it ever was?

     

    I don't see a time when it will not be a relevant, really. The brand name isn't as shallow as some conflict based mentality- because that’s always been something we always were against. PMA ALL DAY. It was always about building something positive with your friends. About not changing who you are to fit into someone else's idea of success or what's cool. When you don’t have anything going on in the small ass town you live in that you can identify with, don't assimilate- start your own scene. Get people involved and build shit. Throw art shows. Invite bands to play in your basement. Build a skate park in the middle of nowhere. Create a community. Definitely don’t do it for money. The most powerful surges in creative culture, whether in music, fashion, art, whatever, have come from groups of people who had very little resources and had to create something where there was nothing previously. We value that mentality and champion it with our designs.

     

    How hard is it to keep up with the values that the brand stands for (DIY, the individual that stands among the masses)?

     

    In our personal lives, not hard at all. This is how we grew up and it’s a hard habit to break. When you spent most of your life not having any money you teach yourself how to do all sorts of things. That learning process becomes pretty addicting and it’s still hard to pay someone else to fix something on my car even if it ends up costing me more time than its worth. When it comes to the business, it's been a great learning experience in not micromanaging and trusting your team. We as humans are stronger in a well balanced team. We learned that we can achieve more by building relationships with people who are better at aspects that we may not be that strong in. Our main goal is to operate as a business that respects every aspect of its operation and how it affects others. There’s a difference between the type of person who takes advantage of other people to get ahead and people who know how to work as a team to reach a common goal.

     

    Do you think that there are values that are somehow inheritable? (Thinking about the new generations of skaters and riders that take it to the streets)

     

    Inheritable culturally? Values are all relative to particular scenes, communities, subcultures, etc. Some are positive and some are negative, depending on whether or not you're involved or an observer. Tradition is important but only as a foundation for further innovation and creativity. The first generation of any subculture creates an initial set of rules and concepts that become a foundation. The subsequent generations build upon this in their own way. Utilizing parts they can identify with and creating their own when they need to. This is how you can have a culture of rebelliousness you find in skating for example, that has persevered, even though the veneer of how it looks has changed. It will continue to attract youth that feels disaffected but they will take that freedom and reinterpret it in a new way. This applies to pretty much every facet of human society.

     

    Regarding California – does it continue to be an endless source of inspiration?

     

    It will always be for us, being that this is our home and we have lived here all our lives. Southern California in general has had the right elements to be a year round melting pot where people have more time and freedom to be creative and pursue new ideas. That progressive attitude and large community of dreamers has meant that California has been at the forefront of so many cultures. People pay attention to that. That being said, traveling the world has definitely affected my own design and appreciation for style and creativity. I feel that there are people and scenes that are pushing it harder than anyone but because they are in some random country that doesn't already get a lot of attention, people will discount what they're doing. We like to use our brand to bring light to people who are trying new things, taking risks, not taking the easy, established road. Like I was saying in the last question- places like California and New York will always be that foundation, and will always be revered for that, but if those are the only two places you pay attention to you'll be robbing yourself of so much light.

     

    The whole streetwear scene has changed a lot during the last decade or so – for better, for worse? What are your thoughts?

     

    The streetwear "scene" was created in the last decade. It did not really exist in the states until the early 2000's. I know that sentence is going to cause an argument with most people- "Stussy's been around since the 80's! What about Freshjive, Fuct, Conart, etc, etc." And I get it. Those were all "streetwear" in some form or another. But those clothing companies evolved out of distinct cultures that existed on their own. Stussy came from the surf world and evolved into hip-hop and anything else Shawn was into. All of these clothing companies were extensions of the creators’ particular lifestyles, and that continues to this day as the main inspiration for many people to create new brands. But to talk about the "streetwear scene" is to talk about consumerism and the culture of buying shit. This grew out of the collector world- more directly from Niketalk and the Japan streetwear scene of the late 90's. Before the internet took over how most people consume goods, you had to be physically present to purchase most streetwear brands. You had to make the trek to Lafayette St, Melrose / La Brea Ave, Harajuku, etc., walk into a store and interact with people who had a direct connection to the brands they were selling. This kept the customers more closely tied to the subcultures that spawned them. Enter collector messageboards/blogs, a culture of WDYWT and exclusivity grew around a small number of brands; within a short few years most of the customers who bought these brands had nothing to do with the subcultures the clothing represented. There was a huge backlash against this new consumer, but the brands saw more money coming in, so they ended up catering to it. A huge group of people who were part of this "scene" left and moved on to other things, leaving a void for a new group of kids to move in and build their own. The positive result of this was that most of the "cool-guy" shit died out. The negative aspect was that there was a market that made or broke brands based on largely superficial reasons, rather than how involved the brand actually was in contributing to any sort of culture. "Streetwear" as it stands today is largely no different than the established fashion industry. Not a bad, or good thing in my opinion. Just not the same.

     

    How do you foresee the future for this whole business? Do you believe that change is inevitable for some brands to survive?

     

    Change is always coming. Adapt or die. Existing brands are going to continue on their respective paths, and as they grow, another crop of more creative brands will rise from the bottom. We're currently changing how we manage our production and distribution to have more control over how our customers receive our products and connect with our brand.

     

    US Versus Them delivered some impressive collaborations with brands like Chrome Industries, Black Scale – can you share with us about something in the works?

     

    We're in the process of changing our business model over the next year, so we're taking a break from any major collabs with other companies right now. We are focusing on doing more work with individuals so keep an eye out for a number of interesting projects with some amazing artists and creatives in the near future.

     

    What about the future? What can the people expect from US Versus Them?

    Quite a bit actually. Gonna have to keep an eye on us.

     

    Check out our US Versus Them complete selection.

     

    12May
    12May

    The word flamboyant could easily be used to describe the new colorway of the Nike Flyknit Roshe Run. The model combines Flyknit technology with the Roshe Run, one of the swoosh brand’s most notable models in recent years. It comes with a green and turquoise (neatly called ‘hyper jade’) upper, orange laces and lining, and a pristine white sole. The Nike Flyknit Roshe Run Total Orange/Hyper Jade is now available

    04May
    04May

    Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max "Marty McFly"

    Nike takes the Janoski one step further with the ‘Marty McFly’ take on the Max version. It is literally ‘Back to the Future’ with this clear Air Mag inspired silhouette. It comes with a lightweight mesh upper and a wolf grey and light retro color combination. The clean white Free sole and the Air Max unit complement the look. Find the Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max ‘Marty Mcfly’ now online.

    Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max "Marty McFly"

    04May
    04May

    The new Nike Air Huarache Light in University Red / Neutral Grey is the latest addition to the Huarache Light range and adds yet another great addition to the hugely popular Huarache family. The Huarache range was first started by Nike in 1991 and has recently enjoyed a huge comeback. This latest colourway consists of a Neutral Grey/ White mesh upper & Grey lace holders which make up the base of its design. What differentiates this design apart from the rest is the use of Red suede detailing which runs along the whole shoe and heal. The design is finished off really well with a White on Red swoosh and White midsole. This latest model is now available to buy online.


     

    Credit: Trainer Addict


    23Apr
    23Apr

    adidas originals zx flux weave grey prism


    The compelling geometric print is the main feature that pops up when looking at the new ZX Flux Weave Grey Prism. It includes a woven upper, EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning and the futuristic and iconic TPU heel cage. The black rubber outsole, laces and the three stripes on the side complete the look. The new adidas Originals ZX Flux Weave Grey Prism is now available


    adidas originals zx flux weave grey prism

    17Apr
    17Apr

    Asics 'Summer Kite Pack'

    Posted in Sneaker By Allike Store

    Asics just released the ‘Summer Kite Pack’ consisting of two versions of the Gel Saga and one of the Gel Lyte III model. Presented in all fluorescent yellow pink and blue colors, all of the three silhouettes come with a fresh nylon upper. Get ready for the summer with the new Asics 'Summer Kite Pack’.

    16Apr
    16Apr

     

    Following the successful release of the original Roshe Run, Nike Sportswear now brings forth some new colors of the Flyknit version of the silhouette. Brightness is a concept that comes to mind when checking out this Hot Lava/Volt Orange iteration. It features an all knitted upper with a fresh combination of orange and neon yellow that gets just the right amount of contrast with a clean white sole.

    The Nike Flyknit Roshe Run Hot Lava/Volt/Orange is now available

    09Apr
    09Apr

     

     

    Technology continues to be one of Nike's major allies. When the first Air Max 1 was released back in 1987 it marked a major breakthrough, a whole new world for all things sneakers.

    The new Nike WMNS Air Max 1 Ultra Moire takes that innovation tradition even further. It features a soft synthetic laser perforated upper, a new unit sole with reduced weight that ultimate creates an even lighter walking experience. Completely flexible, utterly light, the new Nike WMNS Air Max 1 Ultra Moire Hot Lava/White is now available.

    26Mar
    26Mar

    adidas Originals Supercolor


    The great creative venture between adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams continues. A few days into spring, it is just the perfect season to get to know the adidas Originals Supercolor. Presented as a celebration of equality and diversity at the same time, the Supercolor is all that you can see and much more, a new and versatile way to look at an essential silhouette that is part of sneaker history. Choose your adidas Originals Supercolor



     

    25Mar
    25Mar

    Ken Hake - Marine Machine

    Ken Hake is the creative mind behind Marine Machine. After more than a decade living the US, in southern California to be more precise, Ken decided it was time to go back to the old continent. Following a long work experience with a leather jacket company he decided to establish his own brand. The process included selling most of his sneaker collection via Flightclub, and the rest is just one of the parts of Marine Machine’s history, the all leather label that he then founded.

     

    We talked with Ken about the establishment of the brand, the design and production process of their pieces and more. Check out the complete interview below and find out more about Marine Machine

     


    When did the Marine Machine adventure begin?

     

    It was a long process of me moving back to Europe in 2009 after living/working in southern California for over 10 years, not really being happy with what I was doing, traveling & working non-stop for somebody else.

     

    At the time I was a product manager for a company that arranged other companies leather jackets, from small local brands to big international companies. Meanwhile there were always small personal projects that I wanted to do more with. I then decided to sell 90% of my sneaker collection via Flightclub and finally maned up in 2012. Quit my job and instead of going back to the US, I started Marine Machine out of Hamburg/Germany, where I currently live with my wife and baby daughter.

     

    Marine Machine Jacket


    What can you tell us about the name of the brand?

     

    Marine Machine’s influence stems from the associated leisure activities of the water versus concrete way of life and the name just reflects that. It’s a combination of the authentic soul behind the brand. I’ve been skating and surfing for the past 25 plus years and since a young kid had a strong passion for air-cooled Porsches and the sneaker/streetwear scene. It’s never changed.

     

    Your pieces are designed in California - can you share with us a bit more about the whole design and production process?

     

    Marine Machine is a one-person gig, it’s just me behind it. I was fortunate enough to work through all departments at my old job from sales to production to design, to be able to take my work on the road. It’s usually at the beginning of the year that I go out to California to meet with some partners in crime and do the planning for the year. I am not really following the “normal” two-season approach to collections, a simple classic leather jacket is supposed to be timeless anyway.

     


    Marine Machine also claims to have its pieces clear of all unwanted substances - can you please better clarify that statement?

     

    It means what it says and it’s what unfortunately not a lot of companies do. I go well beyond the point of what’s required by the European law to make sure each fabric, leather, zipper, lining et cetera of a jacket is tested free of any unwanted chemical.

     

    Marine Machine 

     

    What are your impressions regarding the current state of the art of street style subculture? Is it possible that in the future high couture could be overcome by street fashion?

     

    I don’t think so. The high couture is getting a lot of its input from the streets in this digital age and time, not the other way around. Each little movement or direction will keep on creating it’s own niche only to phase out and then one day be recycled again through different eyes. Some people are all for progress and others go back in time to get inspired. As long as you never let fashion triumph function, I am cool with it.

     

    Can you share with us some inside info regarding the upcoming collection? Any important info about the brand or collaborations to come you might want to share about?

     

    I worked with The Ampal Creative from L.A. on a jacket that I am really stoked on, which we will drop in July. There are also some new accessories in the works and a new locally produced jacket that’s in the planning stages, always keeping it quality over quantity.

     

     


    Image credit: Cecil Arp

     

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