Parisian fashion house Kenzo gives Vans' all-American classic Era shoes a Euro makeover for Summer 2012 with a collaboration that looks very new-90s. Using colours from the French label's SS12 collection, the playful primaries and bold prints lend themselves well to the mainstream skate trainer's design and are perfect for pepping up an outfit - for guys and girls. The unisex sneakers will have a phased release with different styles dropping in waves from mid May through June and prices start from £80. Get them in the UK from Harvey Nichols, from Opening Ceremony or various other selected international stockists.
How cool is this??! SuitSuit specialise in making your luggage easy to spot on the carousel and making it big, bag and bright enough to make it less of a target for pesky airport thieves. Their designs are available as suitcases or suitcase covers (too cool given how much I want one of these but how much I love my current case) which protecting your cases in a more obvious way. I ADORE this rockin' boombox speaker design which is only €29.95 for the case cover or €99.95 for the 40 ltr hardshell suitcase. Have a look at their ranges on www.suitsuit.com
When the news came in about a Converse x Stussy capsule footwear collection I was really excited but sadly, in reality the designs are a bit safe. Converse's deck style boat shoe/sneaker hybrids - the Sea Star LS - feature Stussy's signature camo print and ripstop cottons, whilst the hiking-inspired ELM LS, pictured above with the D-rings and red laces, comes in black leather with Stussy logo indented into the heel. They're clearly more guy-oriented than unisex (which is a shame) which is maybe why they're pretty standard and solid every day shoes, but I'd really have hoped for something more exciting, fresh and colourful from these two great brands. Maybe next time, eh?
Converse x Stussy footwear drops 1st May and will be available from Cooked Tongues, Hanon, End Clothing, Selfridges and at London retailers Hideout, Size? Carnaby Street and FootPatrol.
Liberty continues on its mission to colour the whole world floral with this latest collaboration as the famously tough Dr. Marten's boots get a ladylike makeover in classic 'Strawberry Thief' print Liberty fabric. Despite loving a bit of edgy DM style, I'm not really feeling these - the Liberty x Nike colab is more my thing - but it's definitely an interesting, if somewhat oxymoronic, design project. Liberty London x Dr. Martens boots are released 1st May 2012 from www.liberty.co.uk.
Adorable. This 3 inch Harlequin style 'Arlequine' vinyl Dunny by French artist Koralie - one of a limited edition run of just 1,500 specially designed figures, is going fast. They only came out yesterday but already they're down to the last few at Kid Robot's London store. Get down to Kid Robot, 19 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9LL or click here to find your nearest store outside the UK.
Where would indie boys and girls be without their trusty Vans Authentic plimsolls? Opening a dedicated Vans store on the old Footlocker site opposite Camden Town tube station on the High Street side is a genius move by the American skate brand. The US-style shop fit - the first of its UK stores to have this edgy, raw wood and wire, artisan warehouse style interior - gives it a more urban feel well suited to the North London muso vibe.
Although the official launch was last night, the store - which sells both men's and women's apparel, skateboards, longboards, accessories, luggage, some great snapbacks and, of course, shoes - has been open for two weeks now and the super helpful staff tell me they've been run off their feet every single day with a mixture of tourists and Londoners.
Possibly the best news from last night's launch was that the super hot, long awaited Vans' Waffle Sole iPhone Covers which started off as a promo item then went cult, selling for crazy$£ on eBay, will finally be getting a general release this August.
This new Camden store has a similar feel, interior-wise, to the Vans x DQM General Store in New York (although it's far less mainstream on the product front), so I'm hoping it's a step towards bringing this kind of upmarket, skate inspired street fashion boutique to the UK.
Vans Store, 191-209 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BT. www.vans.co.uk
Hats off to Arena Homme+. The latest issue brings together two worlds you never thought you'd see collide: Final Fantasy, Square Enix's long-running role-playing video game full of dwarves, elves, Dragons and Robots, and Prada, the ultimate in high end fashion.
In an inspired CGI editorial celebrating creativity and innovation, as well as the best-selling game series' 25th anniversary, Square Enix worked with the Italian fashion house to produce these amazing images showing some of Final Fantasy XIII-2's main characters - Hope, Noel, Snow, Sahz and Lightning (a girl, oddly, pictured top) - model pieces from this season's golf-inspired Prada menswear collection.
Admittedly you wouldn't necessarily get the golf references from this crazy clever shoot, but you do get the trademark Prada eccentricity and offbeat luxe feel, although I'm not sure Final Fantasy gamers - typically seen as late night bedroom-based nerds - are necessarily the target market for the clothes, but maybe as a non-Final Fantasy player myself, I'm just stereotyping. After all, if there's one thing Prada does very well indeed, it's a slick line in geek chic.
All images produced for Arena Homme+ ©2011, 2012 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA NOMURA.
For more information on the latest Final Fantasy game, see: www.finalfantasy13-2game.com
This issue of Arena Homme+ is out 12th April 2012, RRP. £6
Ballistic because of the toughened nylon uppers and UNDFTD because Undefeated is the LA sneaker store and lifestyle brand behind the Puma collaboration which puts a zingy, pick 'n' mix lick on the classic Clyde shoe style. All colourways for these Puma x UNDFTD Clyde Ballistic trainers also come with the option of white laces in case you're not feeling the matchy-matchyness. I love the parma violets shade (aka Bloom/White), especially the cute suede toes, but the unusual mint green with sherbet lemon versions are up there too. Catch them at Size? for £60 a pop.
OK so it's hardly the chocolate and packaging porn that is the Vivienne Westwood for Fortnum & Mason collection, and it was swiftly eschewed by a 10 year old in Tesco who's "so over Glee" because "all they do is sing", but I love this Glee Easter Egg! More specifically I'm totally taken with its surprisingly tasteful, fun rainbow mug which really made me smile - and at £4 is a right bargain - I just hope there isn't a group shot of the gurning cast on the other side...
With this sell out (literally - it's totally sold out already - booo) hoody rucksack PUMA by Hussein Chalayan has come up with the ultimate urban street fashion accessory. The HC Backpack (also, confusingly, referred to as the UM Backpack) means you no longer have to worry about that awkward hoody-coat-bag bundle at the back of your neck and can tote your laptop around in style too, with it's specially designed padded compartment. Originally available as a US-only item, I'm really hoping PUMA re-release this worldwide, or at least in the UK. Have a word, Hussein!