Comprised of David Macklovitch (Dave 1) and Patrick Gemyel (P-Thugg), Chromeo is best known for their progressive twist on disco and hip-hop, skillfully mastered in each of the four albums they've released in the last 10 years. With the release of White Women in May on Last Gang Records, the Canadian duo presented a critically acclaimed LP showcasing their competence in turning witty thoughts and ideas into 12 fun-loving tracks. HYPETRAK caught up with the duo to learn more about the album, its intersection between fashion and music, and their thoughts on artists like RiFF RaFF and Lil B. Check out a snippet of the interview below and head to HYPETRAK for the full piece.
You’ve said that your new album, White Women is going to touch on the politics of gender and race?
Dave 1: Not the album. With the artwork and the title, we felt liked it opened the door to talk about that stuff if it was needed or pertinent but our music stays true to themes we’ve had before.
What sort of conditions would elicit that response on those sorts of issues?
Dave 1: Um, if someone asks us, “Are there any racial implications to the title,” or “Why does a title like that sound controversial today? Is it controversial in America today? What does that mean for P [-Thugg] and I to get married with one single girl on the cover? Who’s getting married with who?
P-Thugg: Is it us? Is it all three of us? Is it just me and him [Dave 1].
Dave 1: Is our music hetero-normative? Which it isn’t, of course. Stuff like that.
You got your PhD from Columbia in French Literature right?
Dave 1: I was working on that until a couple years ago. I put the dissertation on hold, but I’m still a [PhD] candidate.
You were also a lecturer at Barnard College. What was the motivation for that amidst your music career?
Dave 1: Music was the hobby up until a couple years ago. I started as an academic and then a couple years ago I decided to invert the priorities and try doing music full-time.
Do you have any other projects like that or anything else you’re into besides music?
P-Thugg: I was always doing accounting or running stores. I’m more of a hands on type of guy. Not academic.
On your end Dave 1, it’s easier to blend those two art forms. Do you do that at all?
Dave 1: On one end, our music could lend itself to some academic reading or intellectualized analysis, but in the content of the music we keep things universal, democratic, unacademic, and relatable. I think for a long time there was a cool, nice, relieving dichotomy for me because I would go to school and take part in the academic bubble and feel like an erudite during the week and then play Chromeo shows on the weekend and experience something entirely different. The way Chromeo has evolved, I’m actually able to integrate a lot of my other artistic interests within this band. I think that’s why it’s become a totally satisfying occupation for me.
adidas Originals presents its timeless Campus 80s silhouette in a bold "College Red" colorway. This latest release sees the vintage silhouette done up in red suede with tonal laces and leather heel tab with gold Trefoil branding. Finishing the look is a simple all-red rubber sole. This eye-catching rendition of the Campus 80s is available now at select adidas Originals accounts including Kinetics Tokyo.
Skateboarding outfitter Brooklyn Projects has teamed up with Nike SB again on a new collaborative Dunk High dubbed the "Paparazzi." Inspired by the idea of celebrity personas and the high life of Hollywood, the mid-panel and toe box incorporates a 3M flash pattern to represent paparazzi flashes. We then find a plush red velvet around the collar and heel, while the overlays are composed of black suede. To round out the shoe, a clean white midsole sits above a translucent grey outsole with a subtle splattered star print peeking through. Finishing touches include an embroidered camera insignia and rope laces. The Brooklyn Projects x Nike SB Dunk High "Paparazzi" will be available exclusively at Brooklyn Project locations but a similar QS version will be released in the near future.
A tonal rendition of Buddy's signature silhouette, the Corgi Low Mud sneakers for 2014 are a highlight from the Japanese label's latest delivery, as well as a versatile footwear option for fall and beyond. Eschewing the brand's typical suede materials for felt-based uppers, the shoes feature contrasting colored trims, as well as familiar Buddy features like durable rubber soles and custom leather patches on the insoles. The sneaker's simple, clean lines and trio of versatile colorways, meanwhile, makes it an ideal pairing with any number of casual outfits this season. Look for Buddy's 2014 Corgi Low Mud Sneakers now at the HYPEBEAST Store.
adidas continues to push the limits of what's possible in the footballing world and we are now presented with a new look for its latest top of the line boot, the Samba Primeknit in black and white. The limited edition boot sports a black and white knitted upper which gives the shoe a heathered appearance along with white Three Stripes branding and red adidas logos for a bit of contrast. The black and white Samba Primeknit Boot is now available to purchase at select adidas locations and stockists as well as its online store.
There is no denying that the Nike Air Huarache has made a comeback this year and taken the sneaker world by storm. Designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield, who was inspired by Native American sandals, the shoe is an amalgamation of style and functionality for running (at its original release time). Now we have a new "Gym Blue" iteration to the sneaker featuring an upper clad in tonal blues and juxtaposed with orange details on the tongue and rear. A white midsole is then incorporated, while a black outsole rounds out the shoe. The Nike Air Huarache "Gym Blue" can now be purchased at select stockists including AFEW.
Making a strong statement with its debut collection, New York-based No. 288 focuses on creating modern footwear while respect traditional methods of footwear construction. Graduates of the Parsons School of Design, Jung Suh and Benyam Assefa insisted on sourcing premium leathers from Portugal and Italy for 2014 fall/winter, which is used across a series of rubber-soled sneakers, with high-tops, trainer styles and a chukka option included. Suh and Assefa, from South Korea and Ethiopia respectively, chose to shoot their inaugural lookbook in New York's SoHo. Drop by the No. 288 homepage to browse the collection in full.
Bleacher Report examines the world of professional athlete endorsements in this latest piece. As we are well aware, corporations have been lavishing world-class athletes with watches, cars and more for decades, and today we can take a closer look at some of the most prolific co-signs in sports. Touching on the big four of North American sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), the presentation does not overlook NASCAR, Golf or even Tennis in identifying athletes with the heaviest endorsements.
Readers of cosmopolitain lifestyle imprint Monocle will be pleased to hear of the latest "Mediterraneo" newspaper for 2015 summer. Continuing to uphold print media to the fullest. this edition of Monocles "Mediterraneo" includes the first piece of original fiction commissioned by the publication, scribed by Anne Zouroudi as a murder-mystery set in the Greek isles. The fifth of Monocle's yacht-sized newspapers includes additional sartorial commentary for the discerning reader, and will be available on newsstands starting in July for $8 USD.
Formerly notable for their work in early 2000's electro-dance classics like "Where's Your Head At" and "Do Your Thing," British duo Basement Jaxx makes a notable return with the release of "Never Say Never." The music video for the group's latest single has just dropped, which humorously finds scientists attempting to save dance by developing a twerking robot. Interestingly enough, the song itself is a house-driven, ambient affair, with a groovy undercurrent that keeps an irresistible rhythm. Enjoy a look at Basement Jaxx's latest music video and look forward to their forthcoming Junto full-length on August 25.
For all the brand's rhetoric about innovation and progression, Nike always does well to honor its past. The sports behemoth teamed up with Australia's Sneaker Freaker to produce a limited-edition book. Coming in at 240 pages, Genealogy of Innovation chronicles Nike's evolution over time, starting with Phil Knight's first running silhouettes and ending with modern classics like the Magista and Mercurial Superfly. The book contextualizes all of the footwear with R&D sketches, and features in-depth interviews with former and present designers. While not officially for sale, Sneaker Freaker is giving away 10 copies of the book to select members. Head here to find out how to add Genealogy of Innovation to your collection.
Air Jordan returns to its early hybrid creation with the rerelease of the Spiz'ike OG. Drawing inspiration from the 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 20 models, the Spiz'ike becomes the ultimate concoction of Jordan's most iconic silhouettes. Starting with a white base, green accents appear on its outsole and liner, while red pops out on its midsole, eyelet and toe guard to create a Gucci-inspired color combination. Rumored to be exclusive to the European market, the Air Jordan Spiz'ike OG will release August 9.
For the latest drop from LEGO's fan-favorite Architecture Landmark series, the iconic toy brand will soon release the Trevi Fountain edition. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed 30 years later by his friend and sculpture Pietro Bracci in 1762, the Trevi Fountain is the largest baroque monument in Rome and one of the most famous in the world. Measuring five inches tall, seven inches wide and five inches deep, the above model includes the facade of the Palazzo Poli, the statues of Ocean, Abundance and Health, and translucent blue water-like LEGO bricks. The LEGO Trevi Fountain will be available here on August 1 for $49.99 USD.
Following up our recent look at Jil Sander's 2015 spring/summer collection (seen here), the German fashion house offers a closer look at its accompanying range of accessories. Remaining true to its signature streamlined aesthetic, the above grouping showcases a bevy of familiar toting silhouettes constructed from premium materials in mostly muted tones. As a slight deviation from its hallmark minimalism however, Sander chose to incorporate a tonal all-over print, previously seen on a three-button blazer here, in yellow and grey. Each of the above items will begin retailing sometime during the late winter/early spring months.
Although loyal allies to the world, and innovators within our creative culture, Japan and the United States of America have many obvious differences when it comes to the realm of commerce. Having already compared consumer behaviors in Part 1 and how those polar opposites affect retail strategies in Part 2, we move on to the third and final installment of our case study. In the forthcoming passage we’re going to look at the future of these two distinct consumer cultures and how the internet will affect their markets.Growing Similarities
"I’d like to think Japan will soon find ways to incorporate its superior customer service into these online shops and apps, thus revolutionizing e-commerce."
What may come to a surprise to many is that Japan has not fully adopted the ways of e-commerce to the extent Americans and other Western worlds have. Kinfolk’s own Jey Perie explains why: “The level of merchandising and quality of the retail experience is still hard to reproduce online. In addition, the language barrier makes it difficult for most Japanese kids to use the internet to explore new movements outside of their own cultural perimeter.” Reed Space owner jeffstaple adds, “The customer service that the Japanese offer is something you can’t put into an app or website. They want to feel that sense of luxury, service and pampering.” On the contrary, “[if] you ask anyone to go shopping on a weekend in New York City, you’re not excited about it because you know you’re going to have to go through a lot of bullshit in that experience.” That “bullshit” Jeff speaks on was discussed in part two, and for the sake of word count, it refers to subpar customer service commonly seen in American retail environments.
Nevertheless, e-commerce will continue to grow parallel with technology to become more simplified as well as creative in its execution. As a very modern nation with a shrinking population it’s only a matter of time before young Japanese realize the importance of this retail segment and welcome it with open fingers. Otherwise, it will fall swiftly behind the rest of the world - a sacrifice Japan rarely takes. I’d like to think Japan will soon find ways to incorporate its superior customer service into these online shops and apps, thus revolutionizing e-commerce as we know it.Looking to the Future
"The question now is how will this affect Japan’s world-class customer service?"
With all of that said, trends are suggesting that American and Japanese buyers and sellers are beginning to behave more and more like one another as we go through a similar period of growth, crisis, then rebuild. Having both sat atop the capitalist world for decades, to then be knocked off the throne with separate, yet equally severe recessions – America’s more recently - consumer confidence has taken a drastic hit. And yet “hope in the future is the motor of consumerism,” says Perie. The Kinfolk creative director continues, speaking on both cultures this time, “The new generation raised in the 2000s has learned to live frugally, minimizing foreign influences and focusing on local cultures and subcultures.” This can be interpreted to mean that not only are Americans beginning to seek quality, domestic goods with an ethos that suits their lifestyle, but the Japanese have ditched the need to purchase luxury items to claim their socioeconomic status.
Similarly, Japan’s aforementioned shrinking population will surely disrupt the traditional workplace ethics that have made it the superpower that it is today. As the post-WWII baby boomer generation continues to grow old and as a result take all of the better paying jobs based on tenure, young Japanese are becoming equally discouraged and rather hopeless. Frightened by the uncertainty of their future and possible immobility on the corporate ladder, younger, employed Japanese are constantly seeking new opportunities to advance their career. Combine this with a generation that lives much more frugally than its predecessors, loyalty to the employer will surely become a thing of the past. Money will then become the source of motivation and not pride in one’s work. The question now is how will this affect Japan’s world-class customer service?
So as we watch Japan and America move forward with their transformations into two very similar consumer cultures, we wanted to finish this piece by asking, what’s typically important to you when shopping for an article of clothing? Is it convenience, quality, ethos, design, authenticity, etc.?
PUMA launches a new iteration of its laceless Future Disc Lite with a neutral "Quarry Sea/Camo" colorway for the season. The designers opted to balance the sneaker's already eccentric appearance with a classic combination of grey mesh and suede at the upper, complimenting this with camouflage at the footcage. These features rest atop a clean, cushioned FaasFoam midsole, which works with the Disc system to cradles the foot for supreme comfort. Look for this release from PUMA at retailers like atmos now.
For Azuma Makoto's newest series, the Japanese artist photographed a white pine bonsai and an arrangement of flowers floating above Earth's bed of clouds. Working with a team of 10 people, the 38-year-old creative attached each plant display to a collection of giant helium balloons that were capable of rising to 91,800 feet before bursting. Rigged with a number of still and video cameras, from Fuji Film to GoPro, each ascent into space was recorded with 360 degree views. Speaking on his unique installation, Makoto told the New York Times "the best thing about this project is that space is so foreign to most of us, so seeing a familiar object like a bouquet of flowers flying above Earth domesticates space, and the idea of traveling into it."
British outlet Lodown Magazine teams up with Pointer to create a quirky collaborative rendition of the brand's Crago silhouette. The "LODOWN" edition is adorned with a creative squiggle print through the side panels of the sneaker, making a bold homage to the base tool of all design – the pen. The silhouette itself has been stripped down to its barest structure, composed with a premium leather upper and resting atop a flexible crepe outsole. The "LODOWN" Crago is also unlined on the interior, adding breathability to this handsome collaboration. Limited to just 250 pairs, pick these up on either Pointer's website or Lodown Magazine's webshop now.
Location: New York at Liberty Trade Show
Initially previewed back in June, here we offer a closer look at the Nike KD7 "Easy Money." A tribute to Kevin Durant's nickname as well as the man who graces the $100 USD bill, the "Easy Money" iteration sports a mystic green hue with orange accents throughout and a light brown, gum-colored outsole. Additional details on this particular model includes a silhouette of his home state of Maryland embedded on the outsole, while the forefoot strap features the names of his mother Wanda, his grandmother Barbara, his father Wayne and his brother Tony. The Nike KD7 "Easy Money" is slated to release September 10 at select retailers as well as Nike.com.