Archive for February, 2008

Goose Hunt, Paris

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I first came across double goose through a link from the daily diggers blog, like most people into hip hop or with some knowledge of the culture, I knew of the double goose style jackets from seeing photographs of people like run DMC and rakim sporting them on record sleeves and the like.. And when I found out that three French guys had bought the company with the intent to recreate these classic jackets I knew I had to have one.. So after a bit of research, part of which included a chinwag with DWG’s own kid dyno (who also sports a doublegose in cold weather) I decided I would have to go to Paris and get my mitts on one of these jackets.. Now luckily not only is Paris home to the double goose boys, but also one of the worlds finest cities, which boasts history at the turn of every corner, with art galleries adorning the river front, and spires and cathedrals lining the horizon.. Plus a shit load of cool sneaker spots and record shops.. The euro star was booked, hotel sorted, maps of said sneaker spots drawn up and a stack of euros tucked inside my pocket for the goose. Paris is one of those cities, like new york and London that has always had a deep rooted hip hop culture, and that is very much in evidence the second the euro star glides into the Paris suburbs, as either side of the train tracks, from top to bottom of the walls, you can see some seriously dope graff, from simple tags to proper wild styles. This goes on literally for the entire time it takes to arrive at Gare du nord, Paris, an early indication that this Paris trip is going to be an enjoyable one, sadly at the speed the train is going you cant really take photos or get to gaze on any one piece for more than a second, combine that with the views of the French tenements that line the northern Paris suburbs, all of which evoke scenes from the film ‘LA HAINE’ and you immediately get the feel that Paris is very much a hip hop city.

mrfresh.jpgSo after navigating the metro and adding a few ‘Mr Fresh’ stickers to the subways and insides of trains we arrive at our hotel and immediately put in a call to Thomas, my man from double goose, eager to make his acquaintance and arrange a hook up. Unfortunately for me Thomas is a busy man so my meeting with him at the double goose workshop will have to wait for a couple of days. So what to do now? In one of Europe’s finest cities, with time to kill and a girlfriend eager to explore all the wonders that Paris can offer! Sneaker shopping! Armed with my map and list of shops (courtesy of the DWG forums) we set off in search of the likes of Colette, opium, wall kicks and more. First up we stumbled across a record store called silly method, which also housed a nice little clothes shop selling some nice original graf canvas, as well as some tees, hoodies and some nice graf mags. Upstairs the record shop had a nice selection of hip hop, funk, soul, jazz, reggae, and some nice home grown French hip hop, but apart from the local French stuff, no real records that you couldn’t pick up over here in London, which was a shame, but bearing in mind my double goose was going to cost me a few euros, it was just as well. So back to the map and the hunt for the first name on my sneaker shop search, which was a shop called ‘sneaker gallery’. A nice looking shop, similar in appearance to SIZE? but without the moody mulleted staff, a gaze at my foot patrol t-shirt by one of the staff gets me a smile and a knowing nod.. sneakergallery1.jpg‘Sneaker gallery’ has some real nice shoes, with a leaning, surprisingly I thought’ to Reebok, none of your Reebok classics here, but a wide selection of other Reebok styles, combined with a decent amount of new balance and adidas, but with few Nikes, but a nice shop non the less, and with friendly staff. So after some snaps of the shop, and a ‘tick’ on the map we move on in search of our second destination, shinzo. Which on first appearance doesn’t look much like you’d expect it, as it actually looks like one of the shitty shops that line Oxford Street selling the latesneakergallery2.jpgst phat farm, ecko and Karl kani! But on spying a pair of AM87 Amsterdam’s and a pair of AM87 kid robots you quickly realise that this store wont be selling the latest FUBU range! The Amsterdam’s and kid robots i’m informed aren’t for sale, and purely for decoration. (One thing I did find interesting was in pretty much all the sneaker shops I went in, nearly all the shoes on the shelves were wrapped in plastic packaging, to stop any gathering of dust and damage done by mucky fingers i’m guessing) Shinzo was cool. shinzo.jpgBut of all the shops I went in, was the most ordinary. Amsterdam’s and kid robot aside, there wasn’t a great deal to get you excited. So after the snapshot from outside we move on. After a quick consultation with the map we amble up towards wall kicks, which, it has to be said, had the best selection of all the shops I saw. And seriously tempted me to part with some cash. The shop consisted of a small counter at the far end of the shop, and both walls full with trainers, wall kicks being an apt name. As well as the usual selection we’d seen in the previous shops, wall kicks boasted some seriously nice shoes that I hadn’t seen around before. Every type of Jordan 3 and 4 you could think of, and a particularly tasty pair of brown tan leather/suede adidas forums, it was these that made the money in my pocket itch! wallkicks1.jpgPeople with little kiddies are also well catered for in here, as well as the vast selection for us big kids, a nice range of adidas, Nike and puma kid’s trainers were also available. So after staring at numerous pairs of kicks and cursing the state of my bank balance we reluctantly departed, and made the short trip round the corner to Opium,one of the more well known shops in Paris.

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Again friendly staff and a decent selection of sneakers, with a whole row dedicated to original sneakers, these again were not for sale, but purely to emphasise that opium is a serious sneaker spot, as well as original AM87 in various colours opium also sports a display of every single pair of Jordan’s from about Jordan 1’s to 7 or 8’s (I didn’t actually check!), and all originals. But other than the original kicks not for sale, the selection wasn’t really much different than any of the other shops we’d visited. At the moment, wall kicks was still holding down the number 1 spot.

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Here we take a pause in the sneaker shop search. To take a call from Thomas (double goose) and to rest our weary feet and consume some local French cuisine. Thomas informs me that Thursday (our last day in Paris) would be best to meet up to pick up my double goose leather jacket, so with a time and place sorted (place being the double goose workshop) we continued the journey for sneaker shop enlightenment. I should point out that my girlfriend wasn’t just being dragged around Paris on my quest, there are more than enough clothes and shoe shops to keep even the most ardent female shoppers occupied! Up next on the list was starcow. starcow1.jpgConveniently found next door to one of the two carhartt shops in Paris. A potential spanner was thrown in the works here as starcow was closed. So a trip next door to the carhartt store was in order. Where my resolve was broke and I purchased a new pair of jeans, Which look pretty fresh I have to say! It was in carhartt that the previously mentioned spanner was removed from the works. One of the carhartt guys, knowing the starcow guys, and knowing of my eagerness to get a look in there, disappeared out of the shop, to return a few minutes later to inform us he’d spoken to the guy at starcow and he was going to open up for us. Who said these Parisians aren’t welcoming? Just as I was about to consider myself on a ‘posh spice’ level, having shops opened especially for you to view, I realised the starcow guys had just been in the cafe opposite eating lunch! I felt special for a few seconds anyway. Starcow continued the trend set by the previous shops in that it was dope! And also the first of the sneaker shops to be selling tees and hoodies, with brands like undefeated and stussy adorning the rails… starcow3.jpgPicked up a copy of a nice sneaker Culture magazine (streetwear today, http://www.stw2d.com), thanked the guy for cutting short his lunch, took the customary snaps and moved off in search of Colette, the last store on my list. starcow was cool. On a par with opium as the second best sneaker store in Paris. Maybe just edging it, due to our special treatment.

So off to Colette. The store id been looking forward to visiting the most. Now most of the other shops were within a five-minute walk of each other, but Colette was a good 20mins walk from our last stop. And housed in an area of Paris usually reserved for the likes of Dior, chanel and all the posh expensive high fashion brands. So after passing shop after shop of couture fashion we arrive outside 213-rue st. honore. And on first look I was convinced id written the address down wrong, as Colette isn’t just a sneaker shop, it’s more like a department store. Three floors of books, art, sneakers, clothes and a basement café. And also a shop as busy as any department store. After a quick browse around the books and CD’s (spits on floor. vinyl for ever!) I was starting to believe Colette had gone all ‘uptown’ and discarded its sneaker roots…

but after a closer inspection I unearthed the corner that was the home of all things sneaker related. Although to my disappointment the space dedicated to the sneakers and accompanying tees/hoodies was tiny. And wasn’t really worth the trek we’d made. So after a quick browse through the many books and mags we headed off to find another coffee shop and reflect on the days search.No pics of collette im afraid as it was so mad busy in there i doubt i would have got anything good, and i doubt i would have had the room!, it was that tight in there.

So looking back wall kicks was definitely the first store id head to if I was going to pick up a pair of sneakers… and would maybe stick my head into starcow en route, just in case. Colette was the biggest disappointment.

So now id visited all the sneaker spots Id wanted to, all that was left was to get my double goose. A post breakfast walk up to the double goose workshop ad we were greeted by Thomas and shown around the workspace occupied by him and the other guys, whose names i’ve sadly forgotten! sorry guys.. All nice fella’s and all very welcoming. doublegoose1.jpgThomas being the only one who spoke good English, so he was our guide as to what’s was going on with the label, its origins and where it was going. So while I tried on the ‘classic short black jacket’ Thomas proceeded to tell us how himself and the other guys, all solid hip hop kids, had been to new York back in the day trying to find some of the original double goose jackets, and had found a company that was on its last legs. So seeing the potential demand for these old school classic styles, the old double goose incarnation was bought by these French hip hop kids intent on returning the name and styles to their former glories.

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So the company was bought and the french incarnation of the DG fam was born. taking the time and energy to take apart the coats piece by piece in an effort to truly understand how the jackets were put togethert and to realise just how the quality went into the jackets, slowly and surely, thomas and the guys then began to update the original design concepts with their own to make the jackets even better than the originals. And as a new owner of one of the jackets I can vouch for the real quality of these jackets. Not only do they look and feel dope, you can see the quality in them (incidently, i picked up the classic short black jacket). Thomas also informs me that they are working on a special jacket for Nicolas anelka, who currently ply’s his trade for the France b team over in west London, Thomas also informs me he’s an arsenal fan, and on finding out my allegiance to the mighty west ham we discuss the pro’s and cons of some of Frances footballers that have graced the Upton park turf. As you can guess this conversation doesn’t last too long! doulegoose3.jpgThomas also tells me that the boys and himself are heading over to London next week (mid Feb.) to attend a trade show, hoping to get double goose distributed in the UK, Which would be great, both for the guys and for the true hip-hop loving kids in the UK. So after parting with my cash, a fair swap for the leather jacket topped off with the fly fur collar, and hand shakes all round. we bid our farewells to chez double goose and leave Thomas and the guys to work on the next generation of styles and colours. I walk out happy and contented… I have successfully hunted down the goose. Vive La France, or as we say in manor park, Peace Paris.

Anyone interested to anything double goose related should hit up Thomas via http://www.doublegoose.net

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Planet B-Boy – Movie

Anyone who has seen the trailers that have been floating around on the net for a while now will know what im talking about.. well from what i hear the film is done and dusted and in the process of seeking distribution.. at the moment cities are being line dup in the Us for special screenings, and hopefully the film will make its way over to the UK and Europe, you can help achive this by clicking on the link below:

http://www.planetbboy.com/ml_test/pbb_mailing_list.swf

And making sure the people behind the movie know your interested.. already added my name to the list. check the vid below for one of the trailers

Spraymasters – movie

On browsing the WWW i came across some info on this new film, a documnetary. The film features interviews with seminal graffiti artists Futura 2000, Lee, Lady Pink, and Zephyr, plus rare footage of painted trains from the late 1970s and its original soundtrack from Studio Chill includes Mark Shine, J-Illa, The Cultures of Rhythm, Ezekiel, Al Street, and Matt Ray. The film, made by Manny Kirchheimer
(an award-winning independent filmmaker based in New York) is a follow-up to the underground classic “Stations of the Elevated” (1980).. from the preview it looks well worth checking out, a must for any real hip hop kiddie out there

peace


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