It’s finally time to leave the winter thermals in the drawer where they belong, and book in some seriously fun outdoor activities. When planning what you’re going to do – try and steer clear of the typical ‘beer garden & ball pit’ talk. Book in something fun, active and something your friends and/or family can get involved in too. Sometimes family get-togethers can get a little bit boring, the same old BBQ and picnic options – take the initiative and arrange something they won’t forget!
Set up a soccer match. Mix up the sides so that it could be anyone’s game. Pick up a trophy in advance for the winning team, ready to hand out at the end. You can pretty much do this on any local playing field or park, with no need to spend any cash out at all. Make sure you bring along some bottles of water though!
Hiking – if you are heading to a new area for a few days it might be cool to plan out a fun hike. Try and incorporate somewhere to stop for lunch or make sure you are stocked up on picnic goodies. This one is perfect for all ages, although you will have to pay attention to any routes that have limited access if you have a mixed ability group.
Paintballing, one of those super competitive and fantastic activities. Ideally for old kids and adults. Different courses give a different twist on what you’re doing. Paintballing UK does a range of options so you can build a day out that works for you. (And you can finally put all that Halo game time into practice).
This one might take some planning, but check out archery days. If you’ve even watched Robin Hood and been perfectly sure you could split his arrows, then this one is for you. Aside from it being a really cool skill to have, it works for most ages.
High-wire adventures. A quick google will give you a list of adventure places that cater for your inner Tarzan or Jane. It’s high adrenaline, perfectly safe and all the safety gear is provided. If you tend to carry a GoPro to record your adventures, imagine the footages from 70 ft high!
How about a game of Flag Football? Not as high impact as a typical football match and kids can join in too. Works with smaller groups also! Perfect if you’ve got a few mates over or a range of ages at a family gathering.
Indoor Rock Climbing – with different walls and challenges you can arrive a total beginner and grow in confidence during the session. Each indoor rock climbing centre will have their own feature wall, and some also offer outdoor walls depending on their location.
If you are in the mood for adrenaline without much effort then maybe you should pack up and head off for a day at a theme park. You can pick up tickets that cover the whole of your party, and if you book in advance, you can get some seriously good discounts.
Men’s fashion has continued to take a more prominent role within the fashion industry, with trends becoming more influential and menswear brands becoming more significant. When it comes to wholesale men’s fashion, it’s no exception to this concept. The seasonal lookbooks for men are growing more fashionable and making bigger statements than ever before. The spotlight on menswear weeks is also increasing, nodding towards the idea that we should really sit up and pay more attention to the male gender when it comes to style. So, when it comes to creating a menswear collection, it’s important to include key pieces that are both seasonal and right on trend. As the men’s fashion industry becomes more saturated with urban brands, it’s crucial to make sure your collection stands out. With that in mind, here are some inspirational picks to include if you’re hoping to update your men’s collection for Spring/Summer 2018.
For the summer season, short sleeve shirts are back. Allowing you to maintain a smart appearance while being comfortable in the warmer weather, short sleeve shirts are a versatile piece of clothing for your wardrobe. With a range of creative designs to choose from, from online stores such as ssense.com, adding a printed shirt to your collection for SS18 is a smart idea.
For a seasonal approach, a floral print can be effective in creating a holiday look – or if you simply just want to embrace the weather – choose a tropical take on the usual floral print, with green palm leaves and exotic flower designs.
If that’s not your bag, look out for Aztec, geometric-type prints for an abstract take on summer fashion. A striking design for any occasion, it’ll become your go-to shirt for the summer.
While it’s true that you probably already have half a wardrobe of T-shirts ready for any occasion, make sure they’re fresh and up to date. If they’ve seen better days, upgrade your T-shirts to something of a high quality and fit. T-shirts with contrasting sleeves can create a simple but stylish look, while details like a pocket on the chest or raw edges can make sure you look on trend for the season. T-shirts are every guys’ staple item thanks to their versatility. Wear under an open shirt, or by itself with jeans to create different looks to take you through the summer.
Whether you’re jetting off for the summer or staying in the UK, having a pair of swim shorts to hand is always a good idea. Choosing the right style means you can wear them by the pool in Italy or by the BBQ in your garden.
Stylish designs such as dip dye or ombre shorts create a subtle but visual effect, while block colour can make a statement. Comfortable to wear, swim shorts are often a great choice for keeping cool in the warm weather.
If you’re not so sure about wearing swim shorts in the UK, invest in a pair of activewear shorts which can ensure you’re embracing the weather in its entirety!
A revival of 90s culture has seen once forgotten sportswear brands thrusted back into the fashion limelight. Brands such as Fila, Donnay and Champion are major players experiencing a renaissance from a dying fragment of the industry, due in part, to pop culture and the yearning for nostalgia. Guys raised in 80s and 90s begin their upsurge; re-introducing those sporting labels in an ode to their upbringing. We’ve seen big jackets, retro shirts and sneaker trends all follow suit over recent years. So now is the time of sportswear.
Arguably the greatest factor in sportswear brands rising to prominence again is the multiple streetwear collaborations these brands have been involved in. Off-White x Umbro, Gosha x Kappa, Fila x Akomplice, Supreme x Champion… the list goes on. Some of these brands never really had a sporting heritage in the first place yet were associated with sporting spectators such as the “footy casual” due to designs at the time and constantly in the shadow of the monopoly brands i.e. Nike and Adidas.
Gosha Rubchinskiy is the touted as the godfather of the revival of sportswear, yet brands like Palace and Supreme have been collaborating with these lost companies since they were last relevant in the 90s and throughout the 00s, all be it not entirely legally. Even Balenciaga and Vetements have jumped on the bandwagon of recent styling aesthetics. They released shoes with Reebok that were able to gather quite a cult following due to scarcity of the product, yet being worn by big celebrity names. Celebrities haven’t been ones to evade this retrogression either. With such highly touted designers bringing instant relevance to a fading section of sportswear, they have adopted this nostalgic culture in a way we haven’t seen on this scale ever before.
From A$AP Rocky to the Kardashians, big names are rocking these selective savvy pieces, acting as influential fashion figures for the youth to thrive in search of new trends. Coinciding with the fashion resurgence is the 90s rap and hip hop boom. It’s played in clubs across the country, those party bangers we heard growing up are now staples for any DJ to get a crowd going. Wu-tang Clan, Nas and Tupac all payed vital roles when the brands were first adopted for a streetwear purpose rather than for sportswear, and now those kids who grew up listening to these musical sensations are firmly cemented in the celebrity limelight. Bieber to Lil Yachty and even Gigi Hadid; retro sportswear has infected every aspect of pop culture.
Moreover, this type of fashion is ludicrously cheap. A 5 pack of Champion socks retail for $5. That’s crazy! Modern day shopping has meant clothes are more accessible than ever before, allowing for people from all walks of life to get their hands on them. Once looked down upon as items that had overstayed their welcome in a modern-day wardrobe, the mass exodus of old sportswear began causing an over saturation on the market. I mean charity shops still stock this stuff. Tops, Jackets and headwear are somewhat bargains compared to other fashion trends of recent, you just need to look in the right places.
The trend doesn’t look as though its slowing down either. Expect to see teenagers from Sydney to LA, London to Beijing all dressed as 90s European football fanatics. Online clothing superstores are cashing in too with Urban Outfitters and ASOS releasing exclusive pieces sporting large, printed logos that are selling like hotcakes. Adidas and Nike are joining the party re-releasing classic shoes. Air Max 97’s are a must have, along with the rest of the air max range, with rumoured never before seen colourways making an appearance later this year. All things Adidas is a staple, from Gazelles to Oregon Ultratechs, even Reebok are re-living the glory days with Reebok Pumps coming back. We miss the 90s, no security risks at the airport, superb television, video cameras, film photographs, Britpop, R&B, Grunge, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss, J-LO, a real mixing pot of cultures. What a time to be alive.
For men, socks have gone the way of the power tie: A way to break up the monotony of a corporate-approved charcoal suit and blue dress shirt. Flashed only at the ankle and often obscured by a structured trouser leg, a bold pop of colour or print hints at your individuality, especially when workplace dress codes squelch nearly all forms of self-expression on the job. Somewhere around 2013 or 2014, attitudes toward socks started to shift. At the time, NPD Research Group found that 73 percent of men wear socks every day, versus 41 percent of women, and on average, they’re more likely to spend more on a pair, regardless of whether it’s a casual or athletic style. Their popularity has only grown since, with statement socks now seen at both luxury menswear shops and discount department stores, crossing classic and trendy prints, and geared toward practically.
In another sense, the statement sock reveals that you can be formal yet still fun, professional yet understanding the boundaries of flair. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau generally provides the example for doing it correctly: For instance, during various appearances, he’ll show up in a solid-colour, well-fitting suit, yet accent it with a striped or check pattern around the ankles. Yet, aside from that now-viral Chewbacca print spotted at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum last September, the pattern doesn’t appear overly distracting – rather, it’s a splash of something extra, a print to break up the expected solid shades, and is less predictable than a pocket square. For men in 2018, even when you work in a more creative environment, the question remains, “Should you attempt statement socks?” as opposed to wearing traditional black, white, or navy or even foregoing them entirely, exposing your “mankles” in the process. However, if you’ve ever tried printed shorts, a bold-coloured shoe, or even men’s jewellery, a sock with an equally flashy print seems like less of a stretch.
Tastefully Breaking Dress Code Rules
For decades now, the rules for men’s dress socks were simple: Dark shades and match them with your trousers. As such, black trousers called for black socks, navy for navy, and so on. It didn’t matter where you were: No one wanted to be the guy in the room sporting white athletic socks with his dark-coloured work getup. As workplace dress codes loosen, so have attitudes toward socks. Although these older rules still apply in suit-and-tie situations, a statement sock pushes the boundaries without bulldozing over them. Although someone like Trudeau toes the line between tasteful and tacky, the colour scheme makes it work: For instance, even the most gaudy, outlandish prints seem less so when you pair its shades with your trousers and footwear.
The Statement Accessory
No, men don’t have the same degree of choices that women do, but the principle remains the same: A well-picked accessory or two transforms the most basic, standard outfits. Think of the navy suit with a paisley pocket square, or a bomber-tee-and-chinos ensemble with a snapback. In these scenarios, the accessory essentially makes the outfit, and statement socks fall right in line as a subtle but deliberate choice that adds a quirky character. And, adding that touch of effervescence isn’t such a challenge: Sometimes, a solid, bold shade or a striped print is all it takes.
With this last point in mind, the first step toward breaking away from the typical black-navy-charcoal trifecta is selecting another, less-standard solid shade – red, bright blue, royal purple, or even forest green often adds just enough emphasis. A nudge further, and you’ve got the classic print: Two or three shades for a hint of colour-blocking that’s rarely noticeable until you sit down. For a few examples, Thomas Pink’s stretches the spectrum from narrow to wider stripes while boldSOCKS.com does multiple variations on an argyle print. But, with statement socks having their moment, why be ordinary? Men’s socks now feature an array of geometric, repeating, and digital prints, or are intentionally branded – think Vetements taking a solid-white shade and adding its brand across in bold black lettering. As a fusion of these concepts, Vans has taken its recognisable checkerboard print, and applied it to an over-the-calf silhouette.
Yet, regardless of which print you select, the rules of power dressing still apply. Colours should reflect some element of your outfit – for instance, a purple-striped shirt with solid-purple statement socks. Or, select from a similar colour group – blues or reds and purple, in this case. If you’re deliberately creating a clash or contrast, let your socks be the only piece to do so. Otherwise, your ensemble ends up being too busy or, worse, looks like an eyesore full of distractions. On the other hand, there’s the question of how much sock to show. Ideally, even as you stand, they remain slightly visible – above your low-cut shoes and below a slightly cropped or rolled trouser leg. If the trousers go too high, however, it looks like you can’t dress yourself – or, worse, like you’re cosplaying an early 20th-century golfer. By contrast, if your trousers are too long or your footwear too tall, there’s almost no point in adding a print to your socks – no one, except for you during your morning routine, will actually get a glimpse.
Kah-Lo – the rapper, singer, and songwriter hybrid born Faridah Seriki – is planting her seeds in Western soil. The Nigerian-born artist has been making music back home for some time, but only got noticed on this side of the world two years ago with the single “Rinse and Repeat”, a bumpin’ tune she made with British electro DJ vet Riton. Last year, the track was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the Grammys, and its respective music video currently has over seven million views on YouTube. The golden nod is considered the ultimate sign of prestige for many artists, but Kah-Lo’s conscientious of the subsequent pressures that come with fast fame. And upon chatting it up with her, it’s apparent that her humble approach to stardom will result in a career that stretches beyond a mere fifteen minutes.
Kah-Lo is not your archetypal African musician, either. While most artists coming out of the continent are riding the Afrobeat wave, she’s in her own lane. Her roots are prevalent and can be heard in her tone and vernacular, but musically, she’s on a different tip. She lays down vocals over bass-heavy house tracks like “Fasta” and “Fake I.D.”; both songs easily could have been from London, or NYC, or Chicago or Detroit. Reminiscent of the ‘90s, an era when dance music was brimming with colors and birthed a new form of self-expression – primarily for black underground artists who were creating movements, well before the genre went global. Her astuteness, both sonically and geographically, speaks volumes. It also doesn’t hurt that her music is pretty damn good.
We caught up with Kah-Lo shortly before the release of her newest single with Riton, “Ginger”, to chat her illustrious place in the music world.
I have a closet in Lagos, Nigeria. I have a closet in New York. I don’t have a closet in London. I pretty much live out of my suitcase.
That’s a good question. I would say ‘no,’ because as far as house music, that comes from DJ Riton. He’s been doing this for like, 20 years. He knew all these branches of house music that I’d never heard of in my entire life. The melodies, lyrics and hooks are mine, but what you just described is Riton.
With the music we’re putting out right now, it’s mainly Europe. Those guys vibe to it the most. New York comes second, and Lagos last.
When it comes to my music specifically, it’s mostly more Nigerians from the diaspora who went abroad and moved back, or who are more open-minded, that get my music. It’s not a lot of them, really. But there are those that really appreciate the sound. Unfortunately, I haven’t done a show out there yet. So, I can’t really say ‘Okay, it’s this amount of people.’ But it’s not comparable to Europe or New York.
Yeah. It would be nice to have a bigger presence where I’m from. But for now, I’m just naturally letting it ride out. I make music that I like.
When I first started I was in Nigeria, but when I started taking it more seriously I was in New York.
When I was a kid, people who inspired me to become a musician were American. It was mainly an American dream, almost. I didn’t come to America specifically to pursue that. I came here for school. I had already told my parents I wanted to make music, but as African parents, they are like, ‘School first.’ So, I did school, and then that finished, and they were like ‘Law school’, and I was like ‘Nope! You said school first – school is now finished. I’d like to do what I originally what I wanted to do.’ I ended up staying for another three or four years to make that happen.
I would say universal because like I said, the artists that inspired me were American. Sade also inspired me; she’s British-Nigerian, and she’s never shied away from that. But her talent transcends where she’s from. Even if we go away from that for a second and look at Lupita Nyong’o; her acting talent transcends where she’s from. I want that to happen, because a lot of the Nigerians who made it on that global scale were Nigerians that grew up abroad. It’s very rare to see ones who grew up in Nigeria. Like, no matter how far we go they still say, ‘You’re still this African/Nigerian artist.’ But if I had one dream, it’s to be properly global. The only artist that I can think of who achieved that is Rihanna. She’s from Barbados, and she’s become one of the most successful artists of our time. She’s unashamedly Bajan. That’s what I’d like to do.
Well, as I said, I just want a place where my talent transcends all of that. I didn’t even think it to be an issue until I googled black female artists of the past, like, 20 years, and I realized that 90, if more of them, are light-skinned. I was properly shook; I didn’t think it was that big an issue, but the Beyoncés the Rihannas, they’re all lighter-skinned. Amara La Negra is really pushing that right now. And she’s a dark-skinned artist speaking out; she’s become the most successful cast member of the Love and Hip-Hop Miami cast. People are seeing her as an example, and they’re really looking up to her. You would think with the internet we can transcend that and not dwell on it as much, but I have seen that it’s something that we darker skinned artists should be very much aware of… it just makes me sad inside.
I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s been smooth necessarily. I’m also new to the industry. I can’t really complain about the pay gap, for example, because I’m new. I don’t have the clout to do certain things, but at the same time… I do try to be as assertive and aggressive. But there are those little challenges where you’re being assertive, but you’re still considered soft-spoken. It makes me feel like I need to be an outright bitch for people to understand that I’m being assertive. If I say I want two buns in my burger, but you didn’t hear me, and you give me one bun, do you want to me to bitch-slap you across the counter before you give me two buns? [laughs]
Stay tuned for more from Kah-Lo. Catch she and Riton on tour this year at one of the following dates:
May 21 – Wonder Ballroom, Portland, USA*
May 22 – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, CAN*
May 26 – Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, USA*
May 27 – Observatory North Park, San Diego, USA*
June 1 – The Nines, Dallas, USA ^
June 2 – LooLoo, Mexico City ,MEX ^
June 9 – Splash House, Palm Springs, USA ^
July 20 – Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay, AUS
July 20 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, AUS
July 21 – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne, AUS
July 22 – LIMF, Liverpool, UK ^
August 11 – Boardmasters, Newquay, UK
August 11 – Sailors, Newquay, UK ^
August 17 – Pukkelpop, Belgium
August 24 – Leeds Festival, Leeds, UK
August 26 – Reading Festival, Reading, UK
August 26 – SW4, London, UK
Sept 11 – Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza, Spain
For more of our interviews, read our recent print feature with Kelela.
Key Pieces: The second drop of Jakarta-based Public Culture’s “Lucid Dream” collection serves up an array of graphic pieces that take inspiration from vintage film posters and advertisements. The graphics are further punctuated by floral imagery and mixed typography throughout, presented via a visually compelling lookbook shot on film.
Editor’s Notes: For more under-the-radar hits, check out Sagittaire A, the anonymous brand that doesn’t need a logo.
American studio Parts and Labor Design has used lush foliage, creamy white walls and varied tones of wood to create a West Coast feel inside the new Pacific Standard Time eatery and bar in Chicago. Read more
Supreme and Levi’s are back for Spring 2018 with a new range of denim goods that includes a pink, pinstriped jacket and accompanying jeans.
The beloved New York City skate brand has worked again with heritage label Levi’s, this time creating a custom-fit stonewashed pinstripe Trucker jacket and custom-fit stonewashed pinstripe 550 jeans. As always, the goods are made exclusively for Supreme, with three colorways to choose from. While you’re waiting for the drop, catch up the previous release from Supreme and Levi’s, which included snakeskin-printed overalls for Fall 2018.
The collection releases in-store in New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, London, Paris and online on May 24th, while the Japanese drop follows on May 26.