Industry News – Nike Sells Umbro

With the unsettled global economy and its effects on retail markets it is interesting to see that even powerhouses such as Nike are impacted. In recent industry news Nike has sold football company Umbro for $225 million USD. This comes off previous news that Nike was looking to unload two of its more recent acquisitions, Umbro and Cole Haan. I thought that Umbro would be a good move for Nike in the long run, I had a cleat or two from the brand back in the day and they have some serious history in the sport but Cole Haan, even I saw that as a terrible idea. What I am getting at here is the fact that this global economic crisis is affecting even the biggest players, even the untouchable Nike. This is worrisome for smaller brands that are trying to etch out their place in the market, but instead perhaps they have the advantage of being small. All said it will be interesting to see as more and more companies feel the pressures of the global economic contraction, who will survive and who will fall victim, only time will tell. One point of note from all of this is to buy products from brands that you truly love, your money is what makes the difference between your favorite line sinking or floating.


Yohji Yamamoto: Bankrupt

A bit of shocking news making the internet rounds today; designer Yohji Yamamoto, famous for his epoynomous line and the Y-3 brand, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a Tokyo court. With annual profits exceeding 100 million, it’s hard to understand how this could have happened… then again, we are in ‘this economy,’ where his avant-guarde pieces (and their high pricepoints) may have simply fallen out of favour with consumers. It seems as if the strongest players in the menswear market right now are the toned-down, workwear oriented lines, as ubiquitous as they may be. Very few people I kn0w want to flaunt ‘fashion’ in this economic climate; people want to look like they’re working, or ready to work. It’s definitely tragic to see someone with Yamamoto’s legacy have to suffer through hard times financially, as his influence on the current generation of designers is undeniable. However, this recession is reshaping the way the clothing market operates, and perhaps Yamamoto is simply an unlucky victim of time, place, and consumer direction.


Everything Must Go

More recession photography, this time in the form of abandoned retail spaces across the US: Mother Jones recently ran a photo essay by Brian Ulrcih entitled ‘Everything Must Go,’ which was part of his larger project ‘Dark Stores.’ And while the Ruins Of Detroit may have been a long time coming, this series shows spaces where the business has been abruptly ripped out, leaving a fresh shell where money recently flowed. I find the visuals of abandoned big-box stores and malls really striking, as it documents a final break point to the rampant expansionist consumerism of the last 50 years in America. Hit the jump for more.  


The Ruins Of Detroit

Out of any major American city, Detroit has been the most hard-hit economically over the past generation, with the rampant urban decay now glaringly apparent during this current recession. Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre have done an amazing job of documenting this disintegration, showcasing structures that were formerly a source of pride, and now stand as monuments to the city’s fall from grace. In their words;

‘Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies 
and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.
The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at 
some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires.
This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time : 
being dismayed, or admire, making us wondering about the permanence of things.
Photography appeared to us as a modest way 
to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.’

More photos after the jump.


affordable summer style: sunglasses

now that summer is OFFICIALLY here (it was 28 degrees in MTL today, and I laid in a field all day, drinking ice tea..), it’s time to get your sunglasses game in check. I’ve been rocking a pair of think black Gucci’s for about 6 years now, and I thought it was time for something else to enter the rotation (plus Gucci’s aren’t too hot for my dirtbag cred). I narrowed it down to options by Cheap Monday and Vans – the CM models go for about $40 and have a great shapes, from Wayfarer-ish looks to classic half-rimmed styles to big round joints for the ladies. I eventually went with the all-black ‘Spicoli’ model from Vans, which retails for about $30 and has that same Wayfarer shape with a cool lens tint. paying $200 – 300 for Persols or Ray Bans is fine if you have the money, but hey, we’re in a recession here! more looks after the jump.