Your Favorite Brands Are Now Making PPE

cool PPE image

Pre 2020, PPE was a term reserved for scientists, health workers, and anyone venturing onto a construction site. Nobody could have seen it coming, but PPE gear is now firmly woven into the fabric of everyday life and it’s being produced by the likes of Marine Serre and Off-White™.

From face masks to full-face coverings via gloves and hand sanitizer, we’re now accustomed to a range of protective products. And if this stuff’s sticking around then we may as well make the most of it. It turns out there is such thing as cool PPE gear and we’re stocking up.

While our PPE experience began with the arrival of face masks, the world has branched out into a bunch of other departments of personal protective equipment. New runway collections from luxury houses and streetwear labels have even moved to incorporate PPE gear — see Louis Vuitton visors. As such, who’s to say that PPE’s reach won’t continue to grow? We see a future embellished with innovative, stylish PPE, so why not get started on a collection.

Our selection below covers the whole range, from basic face masks to style-centric, luxury iterations. Please remember, though, luxury PPE doesn’t always mean full safety — pair our selections with medically proven PPE to guarantee protection.

Off-White™ shows that when it comes to PPE gear, simplicity is the best policy. This black mask features elasticated loops and a simple, contrasting text logo to the front and center.

By this point, you’ve seen your fair share of homemade face masks, but in the world of stylish PPE, this By Walid mask is up there with the best. The label’s unmistakable patchwork and topstitching reign supreme.

Handmade from recycled nylon jersey, 100% of net proceeds from the sale of Marine Serre’s Filter Air Mask are donated to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. Aside from that, all it takes it a small, white logo to one side to grab our attention.

Berlin-based glasses master Mykita bases its selection around experiment, curiosity, and play. And, when the overarching narrative is a global pandemic, glasses manufacturers turn to PPE to experiment, of course. This anti-fog visor comes with a Medigrey alternative visor to protect from sunlight when you’re on the move, too.

Komono’s Rafaa Annamarie Saric Sunglasses are at once futuristic and retro, streamlined and boxy, functional and luxurious. This pair of glasses is a physical contradiction and we love every centimeter of it.

It may be designed as a sun visor, but we’re nothing if not resourceful when it comes to style. Thanks to the elasticated headband, you can just flick the visor over your eyes for a luxury alternative.

Most balaclavas are hard to justify, but this ASICS iteration looks more nighttime runner than bank robber. Technical fleece promises serious warmth while the minimal design features a small, reflective logo to the temple for understated style.

C.P. Company has basically been training for COVID since it was founded. The hoods with goggles make a lot more sense now — they were five steps ahead the whole time. This wool balaclava features an adjustable rim as well as an inner face covering.

Marine Serre swaps out the signature crescent-moon motif for an all-over lizard design on this second-skin balaclava. The hypnotic pattern is in keeping with the label’s unmistakable style.

Pendleton’s classic Americana motifs position this pair as a timeless accessory while fibers to the fingertips that allow you to use your phone bring the Texting Gloves up to the modern day. Also, your phone screen is most likely covered in bacteria, so keep your gloves on please.

NEIGHBORHOOD.’s Racing Gloves boast a paneled mesh, bonded jersey, and leather construction. Apart from the contrasting logo patches to each hand, this sleek pair fly under the radar in signature NEIGHBORHOOD. style.

Talk about adjustable toggles, this pair of rib-knit gloves from ADER Error feature two of the chunkiest, most substantial, most eye-catching toggles we’ve seen yet. The rugged climbing rope fastenings contrast with a delicate, off-white knit glove.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

This GEL-Lyte 3 Is a Nod to One of the Tallest Buildings in the World

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Brand: SneakerLah x ASICS

Model: GEL-Lyte 3 “Petronas Twin Towers”

Key Features: Inspired by the biggest tourist attraction in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia, the SneakerLah x ASICS GEL-Lyte 3 feature a reflective silver upper with subtle hints of green to symbolize the tint of the tower’s windows.

Release Date: December 19 (global release)

Price: TBC

Buy: TBC

Editor’s Notes: Malaysia’s SneakerLah and Hundred% have teamed up with ASICS on a Petronas Towers-inspired GEL-Lyte 3 to celebrate the silhouette’s pearl anniversary this year. The sneaker’s color scheme is a direct nod to the iridescence of Kuala Lumpur’s biggest tourist attraction, the Petronas Twin Towers. The collaborative GL3 is packed with subtle details, such as speckles on the midsole that represent rain droplets on the building’s windows during Malaysia’s rainy season.

The project is set to be released on December 19 globally. Stay tuned for more information before then.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar, and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning-quick updates to your inbox.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

The Artist Known as Italy’s “Banksy” Has Been Caught

After an 18-month search, authorities in Italy believe they’ve finally identified Geco, a mysterious Italian street artist often referred to as the country’s Banksy, The New York Times reports. His blocky moniker has adorned Rome’s subway stations, bridges, buildings, and parks – infuriating the city’s mayor.

“Hundreds of spray cans, thousands of stickers, ropes, fire extinguishers, cords, locks, six mobile phones, computers, brushes, rollers and buckets of paint,” Mayor Virginia Raggi wrote triumphantly on Facebook last week, “This is the material that the Environment and Decoro Nucleus of our local police seized from the Roman writer known as Geco.”

Once considered “uncatchable,” the elusive street artist now faces up to two years in prison and fines. Though he might not have achieved the same notoriety as Banksy, and though he hasn’t yet been formally charged, the Roman police and the city’s mayor have been celebrating Geco’s recent unmasking.

The city authorities didn’t directly disclose Geco’s real name, but according to Italian news outlets, the artist is thought to be in his late 20s and originally from Rome.

The Geco sting was carried out by an 18-month-old environmental police task force that works directly for the mayor’s office (Geco landed in the crosshairs of the mayor after he accidentally tagged Secret Service hide-out thinking it was an abandoned building). They claimed damage to city property as well as various other buildings and green spaces.

But not everyone is impressed with the allocation of resources. While graffiti is a problem in the Italian city, many Romans believe that the city should have been working to address potholes, infrequent garbage collection, and the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic rather than hunting down a street artist.

Geco’s lawyer, Domenico Melillo, is also a street artist known as Frode. He argued that Rome’s mayors have historically cracked down on graffiti as a way to forge a political consensus, adding, “They want to show that they’re doing something.”

How to Pick Out the Right Pair of Winter Boots

It’s easy to end up with winter boots that don’t really do their job. That is, something on-point for the office – read: no polyurethane outers and bulky insulation – and a pair that knows how to hold onto warmth. Finding them turns into a tricky balancing act between fashion and function, with detours into hiking guides that prove to be of little use to you. First, let’s define what makes a good pair of winter boots. For one, it needs to be suited to everyday wear: Ideally, a lace-up or taller Chelsea silhouette that falls under your pants. Its exterior must seamlessly blend into your work wardrobe, to the point that, visually, it looks almost no different from something you’d take out for autumn or spring. Maybe a darker hue, waterproof treatment, and a somewhat-lugged outsole suit the weather better, but that’s as far as you want to go.

How to Pick Out the Right Pair of Winter Boots

The interior, by contrast, should have some performance elements. While you won’t wear these out into the backcountry, a thin lining should provide some combination of: insulation, preferably offering a moderate degree of warmth for a low weight, moisture-wicking properties to avoid that sweaty sensation, and a waterproof membrane, to supplement whatever’s on the outside. Complementing this, cushioning could be an asset if you’ll be on your feet all day and need something ergonomic. As an AW17 trend, the workwear-influenced boot hits most of these qualities, but as you’re shopping around, what factors should you look for?

How to Pick Out the Right Pair of Winter Boots

Start With a Tough, Good-Looking Upper 

When you focus primarily on dressing sharp, your eyes automatically go for the visuals. While that’s going to get you a firm foundation, it’s not enough. Think about finding yourself in a pair of leaky boots as you’re shoveling snow or walking to the subway, and you’ll understand the reason tougher construction is essential. Yet, few will be amused when you show up in hikers or traditional work boots. The key, here, is striking the right mix. Ideally, the upper features a leather exterior – anything from full-grain to nubuck should do – or fully seam-sealed synthetic with at least a 6 inch height. Visually, look for something with more of a wingtip style – Brogues or Oxfords – and go with laces over a side zipper. Getting a closer, more secure fit is easier with the former. But, beyond avoiding a style with perforations, make sure its protective nature begins from the exterior. Yes, a waterproof boot on the inside might be enough, but double up with a treated outer. Aim for something at least water-resistant, if not made out of waterproof leather. In a pinch, spray your boots with a waterproofer a few days before you head out in them.

How to Pick Out the Right Pair of Winter Boots

Think About Insulation 

Where will you be wearing your boots? Is it just for your commute, work, and the weekend, or will you be spending at least a few hours outdoors shoveling snow? In the latter scenario, just having that interior layer of insulation makes the difference between being moderately comfortable and literally shaking in your boots. So, when you find yourself in this situation at least a few times per season, look for a pair designed to trap warmth. Insulation generally comes in one of the following forms: Fabric Lining – The most basic and thinnest, all this creates is an extra layer, usually enhanced with moisture-wicking properties to control perspiration. Some liners may be built-in, while others can be removed to suit your comfort level. Fleece – Typically synthetic, this material offers more substance – and therefore more warmth – than fabric alone. Synthetic Insulation – Materials like Thinsulate and Polartec are known for offering a high degree of warmth for their weight, and as a result, are staples of workwear and outdoor boots. Shearling – Much like with your jacket, natural, completely authentic shearling is like wearing a blanket around your foot. But, should you encounter faux shearling or Sherpa, realise that the style is generally a fashion boot and not built to handle repeat use through winter. Understand, though, that insulation alone seldom offers waterproof protection. To supplement it and avoid that wet-sock sensation, seek out a style with GORE-TEX or a waterproof lining with breathable, moisture-blocking construction.

Go Below 

Without a quality outsole, your boots are essentially useless. Who wants to be slipping and sliding around on the sidewalk, when you’re just trying to walk to your car? With this in mind, don’t just look for texture; rather, rubber, TPR, or Vibram with slip, oil, and abrasion resistance keeps you far more stable. You’ll still have to watch your step, but the chances you’ll go flying drastically decrease.

Also, so you’re not tracking mud into the office or back into the home, consider deeper lugs. Generally, this feature – another outdoor and workwear staple – helps shed any dirt or debris, which not only keeps your floors looking decent but further eliminates extra maintenance later on.

Our pick!

Our pick is this contemporary DM take on the Chelsea boot. In particular this pair which as well as being fleece lined for those cold winter walks, also feature DM’s WinterGrip Sole which provides more grip on Slippery surfaces! Remember, Size down in DM’s, or wear thick socks!

Check out the full Dr Marten Chelsea boot collection here!

DM Chelsea Boot

UK Breakers Discuss Why the Puma Suede Is an Icon of Their Global Dance Community

A timeless shoe evoking effortless style with layered cultural significance – and no need to adhere to trends or hype tactics to impress – it’s unsurprising that the PUMA Suede has weathered decades as the trademark shoe of the global underground breaking community.

Between its ties to Tommie Smith’s iconic black power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, and New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier who would effortlessly rock the Suede on and off the court, the shoe was naturally embraced by the hip-hop movement that emerged from DJ Kool Herc’s rec room parties at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in 1973.

When hip-hop culture began spilling out of the Bronx and making its way across the continents so did the popularity of the Suede: but for international fans, they were initially difficult to find. British b-boys and b-girls would have to find a hook-up in the US to ship them over the Atlantic, which led to them initially being re-named PUMA States when they were finally released in the UK in the ’80s.

As breakers all over the world have continued to innovate and push the boundaries of their dance form – to this day Suedes remain a staple footwear choice. Echoing Walt Frazier himself, contemporary b-boys and b-girls are as likely to wear the shoe in the heat of battle or during a gruelling training session, as they are an everyday sneaker.

We spoke to some of the UK’s top breakers about travel, mentorship, style, and their first pair of Suedes.

PUMA / Vicky Grout

PUMA / Vicky Grout

“You wasn’t a real b-boy or b-girl if you didn’t have a pair of Suedes,” says Karam Singh, a world champion b-boy from Derby who represents the SMAC 19 crew. Known as Kid Karam, the 22-year-old first started breaking after he saw the Trinity Warriors crew performing at a local funfair when he was just seven years old. Due to his age, he had to wait a year before he’d be allowed to take classes, and by 10 he was already dancing at a competitive level.

“The atmosphere was amazing, but being so young I stayed to myself,” he remembers. “I was always really quiet. But on the dance floor, I used to blow it up.”

Karam’s first time out of the UK would be aged 12, when he flew to France and won the kids battle at Chelles Battle Pro. “Some people would never have got outside of their country,” he says. “But it opens the doors for opportunity.” Karam has since won titles at a number of globally recognised competitions, including World Bboy Classic in Eindhoven, KOD in Changsha and the UK B-Boy Championships in London.

PUMA / Vicky Grout

PUMA / Vicky Grout

Vanessa Marina started breaking in her native Portugal and studied dance in Lisbon before relocating to London in search of new opportunities. She’d met Spin and Manny of the London crew Soul Mavericks at Eurobattle in Porto, and they introduced her to the local practice spots. “Breaking is kind of small, worldwide, everybody knows everybody,” she explains. “If you are active and you can go to every jam to represent yourself, it attracts you to events in other countries.”

During COVID, Vanessa has been using Zoom to help develop b-girls around the globe with her Tiny Room Workouts attracting participants from as far as Columbia and India. For her, this is even more rewarding than winning competitions like the world-famous Red Bull BC One, where she won their first-ever B-Girl Cypher last year.

“It was not so much about winning battles,” she explains. “But helping other girls achieve the best version of themselves. I always say that shining is more important than winning. If you enter a battle and don’t win, you still shine for someone: they will connect with you in some way, and you don’t necessarily need to win to do that. There are other kinds of winning.”

Jackson Watson, who represents Newcastle’s Battalions Cru, spent the majority of 2019 developing his craft overseas, hitting 11 different countries across the year. His travels would take him to Mumbai, India where he was the first UK b-boy to reach the top 16 of the Red Bull BC One Last Chance Cypher, Nanjing, China where he’d win the Champion Jam and Los Angeles where he’d win the Styles No Jokin 2-on-2 with LA native b-boy Panda. But it wasn’t the wins that made his year so memorable.

“The best times I had last year were not necessarily going to the competitions, but being able to cypher and dance with people like Stripes from Florida, and the guys I met in LA and India,” he says. “That’s what really helped me, being able to exchange and chat to these guys that I look up to.”

Arran Green, also of Battalions Cru, is focussed on exploring how far he can push himself creatively, with breaking at the core of his practice. Now a teacher at the London Contemporary Dance school, he’s also the director of photography at Breakin’ Nest – a cultural exchange between b-boys in the UK and Korea, which he says questions, “How do we explore more artistic ideas using our home vocabulary of breaking?”

PUMA / Vicky Grout

PUMA / Vicky Grout

During a six week tour of Korea, they’d develop their first zine, and continue to expand into other mediums including podcasts, film, live events and parties – one of which was attended by Game Of Thrones’ Maisie Williams.

“Being a b-boy gave me the self-confidence to explore other movements, without feeling shy or connected to what other people might think,” he says. “If you’re engaged with hip-hop culture from a young age, you can build a very strong sense of self.”

With talk of breaking being introduced to the Olympic Games at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris, the dance could soon receive unrivalled attention from the world of sports. Having recently completed his degree in sports coaching and development at the University of Derby, Karam is hopeful about the opportunities that this could present. “I want to be the best,” he says. “And I want the best for breaking. So no matter where breaking goes because I love it, I’ll follow. If it goes all the way to the Olympics, I’ll follow it all the way to the Olympics and hopefully get a shot to represent.”

Jackson agrees and hopes that the emphasis on competition doesn’t overshadow the rest of the culture: “It’s going to bring a lot of exposure to the breaking community,” he says. “I just hope it’s done in the right way so that it’s not in the public eye without showing the true art form of it. I don’t think it’s ever going to be just a sport.”

While breaking makes space for individuals to seek out their own goals and represent themselves, the PUMA Suede has played a part in each of the dancer’s journeys: Karam remembers that his first pair was a size too big, but that he had to have them regardless; Jackson recalls wanting to mimic the colour co-ordination of his avatar on the 2006’s B-Boy for PlayStation 2 when he bought his first pair in red; Vanessa remembers seeking out a purple and blue pair to match the bright colours she’d wear to enter competitions; Arran recalls seeking out a fresh pair to attend Bad Taste Cru’s annual Just Jam International. Through various aspects of breaking culture – from travel and community, to mentorship and style – the dancers have all gained a sense of identity that they can all be proud of.

PUMA is now re-releasing a new iteration of the Suede, The Suede Classic XXI, hoping to inspire another generation of cultural game-changers to make an impact on the world in the same way as the many legends who have worn the sneaker have before them.

Check out PUMA’s latest Suede Classic XXI collection here.

Braindead’s Second Converse Collab Takes Things to a New Level

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Brand: Braindead x Converse

Model: Chuck Taylor and Bosey Boot low

Key Features: Braindead’s take on the Chuck Taylor features a double-stacked sole that reminds strongly of sacai’s work with Nike and Converse’s own work with Feng Chen Wang. The Chuck comes in two colorways — an all-black version and a louder, cow-print version. The Bosey Boot is a 1950s wading boot-inspired design that features Braindead’s characteristically loud patterns and colors.

Release Date: November 19

Price: $140

Buy: Converse and select retailers such as Afew. The black pair will be exclusively available at Dover Street Market

Editor’s Notes: Kyle Ng’s Braindead teams up with Converse for its second collaborative capsule. The first collection covered the classic Chuck ’70 in crazy Braindead-style patterns. This collection, on the other hand, takes things a step further, as Ng and his team have reworked the sole of the Chuck Taylor to feature a double-stacked effect.

The Chuck Taylor arrives in two colorways — one a safer all-black and the other featuring a cow print pattern — while the other shoe is a low top Bosey Boot, inspired by archival wading boots from the ’50s.

In addition to the collection, Braindead has set up Luminous Sound, a fund that aims to ensure future generations have equal access to music education and resources. The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) is the first recipient of the fund.

A special charity shirt is available for pre-order for 48 hours via Brain Dead’s website starting at 10 AM PT Thursday, November 19th, profits will be donated to help ICYOLA provide their students with access to reliable internet, technology for continuing their education, and private lessons.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar, and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning-quick updates to your inbox.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

Wales Bonner’s Debut adidas Originals Collection Is Spot On

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Brand: Wales Bonner x adidas Originals

Model: SL 72 and Samba

Key Features: Wales Bonner’s entire collection explores the influence ’70s Jamaican music had on British culture. Both the apparel and footwear feature a distinct ’70s aesthetic — a hugely popular trend at the moment — that has been paired with elevated details such as corduroy uppers and crochet and hand-stitched elements.

Release Date: November 20

Price: Ranging from $100 to $300

Buy: and select retailers globally

Editor’s Notes: Wales Bonner and adidas Originals’ partnership, first previewed on the runway during London Fashion Week in January 2020, is finally being released. The collection focuses heavily on the ’70s and how Jamaican music, at the time, had a huge (and lasting) influence on British culture.

The ’70s aesthetic seen throughout this collection is one that has been hugely popular across the industry over the past year, most notably in footwear, as the New Balance 327 became one of the sneakers of the year following its launch this past spring.

For this collection, Grace Wales Bonner taps her own Jamaican heritage to rework adidas staples such as the football jersey, tracksuit, and Three Stripes T-shirts. The entire collection will go on sale from November 20 via and other, select retailers.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar, and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates to your inbox.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

Harry Styles, Marine Serre & Off-White™ Face Masks Dominated Fashion in 2020

Global fashion search platform Lyst has shared its Year in Fashion report. The dossier looks back over a most unusual 12 months, charting the biggest trends, brands, viral products, collaborations, and more.

If you told someone this time last year that an Off-White™ face mask would wind up being one of 2020s most in-demand fashion items, they’d have laughed. But it was, with searches increasing by 502 percent year-on-year (the logo face mask was the hottest item with a 496 percent increase in searches January to March). COVID-19 had a predictably profound effect on the world’s most wanted category: home-office friendly Arizona Birks, Nike sweats, and UGG slippers scooped second, fourth, and ninth, respectively.

Marine Serre was named the world’s number one breakout brand thanks to co-signs from the likes of Dua Lipa and Kylie Jenner, as well as appearing in Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” video. Telfar — buoyed by its shopping bags — ranked second, while a gamut of blue-chip collaborations helped propel 1017 ALYX 9SM into third. Fear of God, Pyer Moss, Casablanca, and Martine Rose all cracked the top 10.

The pandemic is the defining global health crisis over our time, but 2020 will also be remembered for Black Lives Matter and the call to action against institutionalized racism. Fashion as activism was stronger than ever as consumers made a conscious effort to shop black-owned businesses. In the US, searches for terms including “vote” rose fast — 29 percent week-on-week in October — and T-shirts became the most wanted political fashion statements.

Despite all this, Hollywood continues to exert a huge influence in the fashion sphere. Newly minted Vogue cover star Harry Styles headed up the list of celebrities whose style choices drove the biggest spikes in searches, sales, news coverage, and social media mentions. Beyoncé, Kim Namjoon of BTS, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Travis Scott were some of the other names to feature.

It’s often said that Kim Jones is the king of homage and collaborations, so fittingly, Dior’s tie-ups with Air Jordan (first) and Rimowa (fourth) were two of the year’s biggest. Gucci x Disney (second), Casablanca x New Balance (third), and Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock (fifth) topped up the section.

Other notable takeaways are the year’s hottest sneaker, the Air Jordan 13 Retro Flint, and the logo of the year, Marine Serre’s moon print.

Lyst arrived at its results by crunching the data of over 100,000,000 users’ searches, views and sales metrics. As you’d imagine, there’s a ton to unpack and the above only scratches the surface. Find the full report here.