Sneakers a fashion fundamental for men
a toothbrush. The white pairs receive special care: bleach, soap and a toothbrush. The proof is inside the box: The last pair he wore is still damp from cleaning.
He’s even changed his gait so that the soles of his sneakers don’t wear unevenly on one side.
“ They say clothes make the man, but to me, sneakers make the man,” says Ali-Trotman, a journalism student at Centennial College.
Sneakers aren’t just in. They’ve become a fashion fundamental for men and an obsession for sneakerheads like Ali-Trotman.
Sneaker stores as chic as jewellers dot Toronto’s urban landscape. Adrift Skate Shop and Livestock, two big names for sneakers in the city, sit side by side in basement locations on Spadina Avenue. Around the corner is GoodFoot. On Queen Street West, Groovy and Stolen Riches hold court.
The downtown stores foster the quiet, hushed atmosphere usually reserved for art or Prada or transfiguration. The shoes sit on glass or blond wood shelves with recessed lighting. Overhead water and heating pipes are exposed and painted white. The feeling is loftlike.
Colour pops off the shelves in Nike swooshes and Adidas stripes: glaring green; purple; orange, transparent shoes, vintage-treated and distressed, ranging roughly in price from $50 to $500, but more typically around the $100 to $200 mark. Sneakers have release dates, like music.
The sports shoe market is a $17billion industry. Liftoff began in 1985 when Michael Jordan began wearing black-and-red Jordans designed for him by Nike. Sales rose 13 per cent at Nike that year, to more than a billion dollars.
Now websites about sneaker news and sneaker shops draw millions of hits a month, allowing their founders to rent offices in Manhattan and ignore mainstream media interest. They post their shoe and clothing sizes to their contact pages. Size 9 please, medium.
In fact, it seems the only thing better than having great kicks is having great kicks you didn’t pay for, or didn’t pay full price for. Those who work in the industry claim they don’t pay retail. They get employee discounts and haunt sales and the Internet for deals.
Talented amateur athletes sometimes get “sponsored” — a drink or clothing company or shoe manufacturer will give them free products in exchange for being seen using them. If they appear in a newspaper or magazine or online with the goods clearly identifiable, they get a bonus of cash or merchandise. TORONTO — New York stylist Ashley Javier used to have a code word to ease the pain for young clients going prematurely grey.
He’d call the unwanted hair “sparkles.” Now he calls them stylish.
If you think it’s been a grey winter, just wait until summer when silver strands that have been sprouting up on the fashion runways are expected to hit the streets and the heads of fashion-forward 20-and 30-somethings.
“A lot of these women aren’t old enough to remember blue rinses and those beauty-school granny colours — the women they thought of as ‘ older’ didn’t do that,” says Javier. “So for their generation, (grey) seems a little undiscovered.”
Supermodel Kate Moss showed up at a Longchamp handbag launch in Paris last month sporting silver streaks, causing fashionistas of all ages to wonder whether hard partying was coming back to haunt the 36-year-old. Young models were sporting steely streaks in elaborate bouffants at Chanel’s recent haute couture show.
Even 13-year-old fashion blogging phenom Tavi Gevinson had gone grey at last week’s New York fashion week — a look that Javier describes as more Golden Girl than It Girl. “She looked just like Estelle Getty (the elderly star of the 1980s sitcom) with her glasses and pillbox hat,” Javier chuckles.
Toronto hair stylist Mike Baronowski bleached his brown locks platinum last fall and loves the light look, which he says has started catching on among young Asians because it’s such a break from black.
His boss, Yorkville stylist Greg LONDON (AP) — British media reports say supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell have joined Alexander McQueen’s family in London to pay tribute to the late fashion designer.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper says the models were among about 100 people who gathered in a west London church to mourn the death of McQueen. The 40-year-old designer was found hanged in his London apartment on Feb. 11.
The Daily Mail’s report on its Web site showed photos of Moss, Campbell and Stella McCartney attending the event dressed entirely in black.
McQueen’s family lawyers had issued a plea to the media not to publish photos or footage of the designer’s funeral.
Kris Ali-Trotman holds up a sneaker in his home in Toronto.