Friday, April 25, 2008

Kicks: Chaser Napa Grey, my first Alife sneaker purchase, possibly my last.

Not that I don't like em. They feel pretty comfy, and have some pretty good insoles. The design, though clean and simple, is pretty nice and good quality all around. Call me out of the loop in fashion, but I had no idea what Alife was, up until a friend of mine told me they opened up a shop here in Vancouver, in the super hip district of Gastown.

The streetwear fashion boutique has made its way to the west coast of Canada, so I decided to check it out. No surprise, I wasn't too wowed by the stores current lineup of sneaks. It seems as more of these high-end sneaker lifestyle stores open up, the designs start going downhill, either over designed, under designed, or just impractically designed, or just UGLY designed. You have to ask yourself... this is what I'm paying for?! Alife, a brand out of New York and backed by many a celebrity from John Mayer to Wu Tang, have a retail and distribution philosophy that they feel sets them apart from the other brands out there.

"Strictly New York Shit"... yeeeeah.... shoes made in Korea, with denim washed in Japan. How authentic New York is that? I know its next to impossible to find shoe and clothing factories that aren't in Asia, but still, a Korean kid is making your overpriced shoe! It's not actually worth that much, and it's unavoidable regardless of brand name. The price we pay for style. That's what I hate about fashion, and how streetwear has become just as pricey as the other mainstream brands. Hip hop fashion has become mainstream, leaving behind the whole humble history of coming from the streets. Can low income people afford this stuff? Nope. What would someone do to take part in this fashion frenzy? Stab someone for their shoes? Yes. So while the people with money can afford this stuff, the people who cannot, may result to criminal actions to get themselves a pair. That's not a generalization, it's being realistic. I went to high school with kids who stole from their jobs as retailers, and tried reselling that stuff to students.

These Chaser shoes came with additional Red and Blue laces, on top of the grey ones (which I replaced with white Laces in the pictures)... If I wore these in Compton California, I'd probably get some deathly stares. It's a good thing I'm in the safety of wannabes and posers in Vancouver, who regurgitate fashion from other cities because this city simply has no unique style of its own.

I still can't get past the tendency of typing "Alfie" instead of Alife.

Please don't tell me this is the next Fubu??? Whatever happened to Fubu anyway?

Related: Sneaker Confidential, Alife on Label Lab.

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