Hope that you have been good. That two years of mandatory military service is a real drainer, ain't it? I also have some experience with that; not the best of times for sure, but not the worst. You might not know me or would ever read this, but I thought I would write you this open letter to share my disappointment with your recent collaboration with Nike.
First up, before going into the sneaker, I just want to put it out there that I really respect your craft, style and your influence on culture man. I won't comment too much on your music cause it would be disingenuous to talk about something I haven't heard much of. But when it comes to style, you are a true icon. It is more than just being versatile. You take clothes and elevate them by making it your own. It is always you wearing the garments and never the clothes wearing you.
You are a true style vanguard, leading us into realms that we didn't know existed before. There is nothing like you before, and probably no one would come close to your influence in the future. So it's all love on that front. But that begs the question: what is this disappointing sneaker that you put out with Nike? For a lack of a better word, this sneaker is boring. It looks like a worse version of general release sneakers that goes directly from the warehouse to the sale section of Footlocker.
It might sound harsh, but here’s why. When the teasers for the sneaker first came out, it was a rendition of black Air Force 1s with this unique lacing that ends with a bow on the front, contrasting black upper and white soles with paint marks on it, finished with floral embroidery. But when the actual product images were launched, they were so boring. They just look like any regular Air Force 1s with a black upper and white soles.
View this post on Instagram
#Repost @nikesportswear with @make_repost ・・・ A vision of utopia from @xxxibgdrgn ? ⠀ The Air Force 1 Para-Noise blurs the lines between reality and utopia with a black painted upper that wears away over time to reveal personal artwork created by G-DRAGON. ⠀ Releasing globally on Nov. 23. #af1 #allfor1
It is so painfully boring, that it looks like any general release Air Force 1s with a hint of your input. What got lost in translation? How did it go from looking decent in the promos to this product we see right here? Credit where credit is due, the styling of the shoe made it what it is, and there is also an element of the black paint on the sneaker chipping away over time and revealing your artwork underneath. But it is too close to the ethos of the Margiela x Converse sneakers from 2014. To be fair, if it was another artist to put this out, we would be heaping praises.
Maybe we hold you to a higher standard than most, and rightfully so. You push boundaries, not co-op used ideas and call them your own. We know you have a bejewelled version in the works, but like come on G, you can do better. Where is the new silhouette that you could have created—as Kayne West did with the Air Yeezy 1 and 2, and Jerry Lorenzo with the Air Fear of God 1s?
Putting out a product that looks like something we can DIY is not enough, especially from a creative force like you.
Commodity: G-Dragon PEACEMINUSONE x Nike Air Force 1 ‘Para-Noise’
G-Dragon's take on the classic Air Force 1s from Nike sees a black upper with white contrasting soles featuring black paint marks, daisy embellishments on the tongue, and a PEACEMINUSONE logo embroidered on the inside of the collar. The black paint chips off over time, revealing an artwork by G-Dragon underneath.
Where: Dover Street Market Singapore
When: 23 Nov
How: Online Raffle
Price of the G-Dragon PEACEMINUSONE x Nike Air Force 1 ‘Para-Noise’ on the resale market in the last 7 days: peaking at SGD1,236 with lows of SGD523. The average retail price is SGD938.
Recommendation: Short it.
As you can tell from the open letter to G-Dragon, we are not the biggest fan of the collaboration. The best part of the sneaker is one that requires you to remove the paint, which alters the product so much that it devalues it tremendously.
But from a commodity standpoint, it is valuable. If you are part of Team Early and have a pair before the global release date, we recommend cashing in on your stock immediately—a crash in price is imminent.
When it comes to marketing a new product, nothing generates more buzz than a collaboration. It is a great conversation starter; so good that it is starting to distract from the product. Let us paint you a picture–right now there is no bigger news than the upcoming collaboration between Nike and Dior, and Adidas and Prada. The fact that information on the actual products is scarce is not stopping the hype train.
We are at the point of oversaturation when it comes to collaboration; you can already hear the old heads bemoaning the fact that collaborations these days are just 'slapping on a logos on products and calling it a day'. If you take the emotions out of it, the question that they are putting forth is, 'where is the creativity?'
But if you harken back to the days of customisers, like Dapper Dan who famously appropriated the emblems of European luxury houses into his work, slapping logos on to products is more than a cop-out, but rather a subversion and elevation of a symbol of luxury. For context, those were the days when monograms were always exclusively seen on accessories than garments. Perhaps the most famous piece from Dapper Dan is a fur-lined jacket with balloon sleeves covered in the Louis Vuitton logo, which Alessandro Michele of Gucci referenced and replaced with the double G monogram. For a more recent example, take the famous Supreme lawsuit when they bootlegged the Louis Vuitton monogram print or their skateboard.
The point we are trying to make is that even a simplified expression of the cross-pollination of ideas is great. What is not to like? Case in point: the last collaboration between Rimowa and Supreme. If you are a huge fan of their luggage as well as Supreme, it is a straightforward and direct manner of having two things that you love, combined into one. That drop was simple and effective, with a crazy demand that was reflected in the sky-high resale prices.
The problem with most collaborations is the proliferation of the 'logo-slapping' way of designing. Which brings us to the latest iteration of the Rimowa x Supreme collaboration.
Commodity: Supreme x Rimowa 2019 Cabin Plus
This time, the duo went for a more in-depth design process. The all-black aluminium luggage comes in two different sizes: the Cabin Plus and Check-In, and it features an all-over anodized spiderweb print. The luggage is complete with a blacked-out Supreme box-logo on the luggage. Make no mistake that the luggage is made by Rimowa, which means the quality of it is as solid as they come—multi-wheel system wheels, TSA combination locks, two internal Flex Dividers to secure belongings and maximize packing space as well as a co-branded black leather Italian leather luggage tag.
While you might not think that the print is groundbreaking, it actually turns the usual wear and tear on the black aluminium luggage into a design element. Unlike the first edition where it looks better pristine, this iteration follows the ethos of both Supreme and Rimowa, where the imperfections are celebrated and prized.
Where: Rimowa stores in Singapore
When: 16 Nov
How: For more details, call the stores for enquiry
Price of the Supreme x Rimowa 2019 Cabin Plus on the resale market in the last 7 days: peaking at SGD3,155 with lows of SGD2,997. The average retail price is SGD2,900.
Recommendation: Short it.
Let's dive into the pros and cons of the Supreme x Rimowa 2019 Cabin Plus as an investment piece. We really like the fact the collaboration tries to expand on the ethos of both brands and the fact that it looks better with use. But what makes it great, also makes the design quite niche. A lot of product that does great on the resale market, requires little digestion, In plain speak, if it looks great and you can understand it just by looking at it, more people will be interested in it, driving up the price on the secondary market.
That being said, a joint-venture between Rimowa and Supreme is still noteworthy, and would still draw fans. Just do not expect to land a huge profit.
A big part of streetwear culture is queuing for a drop. You know the drill: camping out outside the stores a couple of days in advance and praying for the best. But even before the rise of streetwear, Singaporeans were already familiar with the notion of queuing. We spent so much of our lives queuing that when we went to Disneyland for the first time, and they told us that the average waiting time for the rides was 2 hours, we scoffed. For us, that's what we call a casual weekend activity.
Do not believe us? Here is our top 5 list of things that Singaporeans have queued for:
You see a theme developing, we love queuing for food. But the most insane queue of all time was the McDonald's launch of a collection comprising of six sets of Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel dolls in different ethnic wedding costumes on 1 January 2000. There was such a huge frenzy over the launch that people came to blows. Yeap, you read that right, we began the new millennium on a greasy fast food high fist-fighting each other over a pair of dolls.
But that is not the first and last time that McDonald's has launched items that caused a stir. Case in point: the return of the Hello Kitty doll set in 2014, a bottled version of their curry sauce, and a hoodie that commemorated the return of the McGriddle earlier this year. Every single one of these releases were so hyped up and sort after that it puts any Supreme drop to shame. In our local context, McDonald's is Off-White and Ronald McDonald is Virgil Abloh; they have a Midas touch that is unparalleled.
Commodity: McDelivery Night In Loungewear Collection (Pyjamas)
Not the type to quit when they are on top of the fast-food/hype-merchandise game, McDonald's will be launching the McDelivery Night In Loungewear Collection. The launch is part of the McDelivery Night In service that they will be rolling out (nobody knows how that service differs from their current McDelivery service and, to be honest, nobody cares).
In a bid to promote the new initiative, McDonald's will be selling a bundle set that consists of the Happy Sharing Box B (six-piece Chicken McNuggets and four-piece McWings), as well as a camp-collar shirt and a pair of shorts. The collection is available in both male and female silhouettes, but comes in one size only.
While we are talking about the loungewear set, the highlight is definitely the shirt. The camp-collar shirt comes with a print of the Big Mac burger and fries.
Where: McDelievery app and the McDelivery website
When: 11 October 2019, 6pm
How: Pre-order via a special site that will be announced on the afternoon of 11 October.
Retail: SGD24.90, excluding delivery fee
Price of the McDelivery Night In Loungewear Collection on the resale market in the last 7 days: peaking at SGD75 with lows of SGD40. The average retail price is 60 dollars.
Recommendation: Short it only if you wouldn't mind ending up with it.
It is hard to quantify what makes this collection so appealing. For one, the design leaves much to be desired. The sleeves are cut too short, and how the item would fit seems body-built dependant. The collection echos the subversive trend of weaponising brand symbols into a fashion statement—much like the DHL range of items from Vetements. But while the garments were the punchline to the zeitgeist then, then the timing of this delivery is a tad off. Meaning, this loungewear set looks more like a bad joke. But as you know, great design is not always a prerequisite for demand and in the case of this drop, it was overwhelming enough to cause both the site and app to crash.
But if there is a lesson to be taken from the Hello Kitty x McDonald's craze, is that this market is as volatile as they come. Right now the market is cooling in anticipation of the second launch this coming Friday, but expect those who missed out the second time to go hunting on the secondary market. That is the best time to let go of your wares.
While we recommend shorting it, only go into this game if you do not mind owning it. If you are purely in the game to make a buck, then consider this—while you stand to make 100% profit assuming that you can sell it for SGD50 dollars; sounds great in percentages but it is only a profit of SDG25. Sounds like a lot of work for SGD25. Why not let the people who are lovin' the collection enjoy it and make your money somewhere else.