Woah, woah, woah, stop the presses... Am I the only person willing to call utter and absolute bullshit on Nike Blue Ribbon? What the hell is this shit? The White Label stuff has never been mind bending, but the idea is simple enough; classic apparel. What's the idea with this line? Insta-Kanye? The items are almost verbatim translations of outfits Kanye was wearing in Complex. Two years ago. And Kanye's not even wearing that shit anymore; he's wearing Bape and Vuitton and would probably call his mom crying if he found himself in a pair of $110 jeans. Generally, I don't get into criticizing a brand; if it's not for me it's for somebody else (usually dorks). However, in this case I am undeniably Nike's target demo (young male with disposable income who buys Nikes) yet the line has zero appeal to me. The pricing would indicate "moderately sophisticated consumer" but the actual items are fully generic... button down shirts? They've been the radiating chest pain of urban lines for about a year now... Faggy denim for straight guys? Well, let's just say it's been done. Sweaters? yeah dude, sweaters, great...
Basically, what's going on is that Nike has created an aspirational brand for the "urban" market and Niketalk types. Blue Label is a brand that's utterly conservative and at the same time more expensive, while having just enough cues in pricing and design to signify up-marketness from brands like LRG & Rocawear. Kind of sounds like a good idea right? Established loyalty, capitalization on the popularity of the Air Force One, and best of all the urban market is where it's at, right? Yes, maybe, and not at all respectively. The urban market is not hot these days, despite how many ads you seen in XXL; sales have leveled off, and brands are going to start folding fast and soon. So now is the time that Nike moves? Slow to market my brothers.
So is Nike going to lose money? No way, but these clothes fucking suck. Am I going to stop buying Nikes? No way, but these clothes really really fucking suck. Overall though, I think the main issue is that with all the totally free blog and message board coverage Nike is getting these days, not many people have pointed out how mind blowingly contrived and beyond weak this collection is. I mean this is the company who has worked with fashion contemporaries like Union, Supreme, Mita, Foot Patrol et al. And now this? What's next, Nike Christmas ornaments at Clientele?
- Ever go to a show, and once you get there look around and say "God. Everyone at this show is a dork." Those of us more attuned to deductive reasoning naturally second thought with "Oh wait, I'm at this show, therefore I'm a dork." You go get a scotch and Coke, look around for any hot chicks, and get over it; but it's always in the back of your mind, humping your cerebral cortex whilst smoking a joint. Needless to say, having spent the last two nights being entertained by nerd royalty, Kid 606 and Patton Oswalt, I've had the opportunity to consider dork self-realization. I gotta give Kid 606 proper respect though, he really brought 'em out; geeks that is. All 13 guys at the show were obviously staunch celibates. No lie, as soon as we rolled up we saw this dude walk in sporting a Nintendo Power Glove. Can't front on that. Oh wait, you totally can front on that.