These Valentino Chunky Sneakers Are Low-Key Fire

Under the creative direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino has clearly been tapping into the athleisure trend lately. After dropping athleisure-influenced collections, including a pair of sock-like sneakers, the Italian powerhouse is now dipping into the chunky sneakers trend.

When compared to other luxury brands like Balenciaga or Gucci, Valentino is arguably an underdog in the whole chunky sneaker game. However, these New Runner sneakers are actually fire – Valentino may be on to something here. From the mesh and leather upper, the camo details, to the extra chunky sole, these sneakers are actually worth copping.

Retailing for $845, the chunky creps are available to buy right now.

Check out the sneakers below.

Will you be copping? Let us know in the comment section.

For more on luxury sneakers, check out our round-up of the best luxury chunky sneakers available right now.

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Jude Law’s Son Is Behind One of London’s Best Kept Streetwear Secrets

Any young artist who has lived in London will know how distant their dreams can seem. Often, the city seems hellbent on excluding its younger, less established voices from the larger artistic conversation, choosing to pay attention only to the older, more esteemed ones instead.

As such, it can be hard for young creatives to break through, whether they’re designing clothes, making music, or giving us new ways to party. But fresh-faced collective Something to Hate On wants to change that. Founded at the start of 2017, the collective is headed by a trio of guys in their early 20s comprising Dolce & Gabbana model and musician Raff Law (son of actor Jude Law), nightlife and design impresario Max Clarke, and model and streetwear lover Dan Mould. Together, they’ve spent the past 18 months gathering a team of their most talented friends to try to reinvigorate the city and give young artists a platform to show what they’re all about.

The Something to Hate On journey started almost accidentally. Having built up a steady if hardly earth-shifting following on Instagram (Mould remembers the collective having roughly 1,000 followers at the time), the boys released a line-up of hoodies emblazoned with the Something to Hate On logo. They sold out within hours. Stories passed from fans to journalists about a young streetwear collective that was conjuring sell-out hype on Instagram almost out of nowhere. In reality, however, that wasn’t the trio’s intention. “It was literally [because] we didn’t have enough money to make any more than 20!” says Mould.

A few months later, and with a little more money in their back pocket, the group threw a party in an abandoned building on Greek Street, just around the corner from London’s Supreme store. “The building was due to get demolished in two weeks,” Mould laughs, looking back on how Something to Hate On — often abbreviated by the guys to SHO — grew out of that one night. “We had 30 or 40 artists come through, and we started by putting massive sheets of paper on the wall. By the end, there was no white space left. It was so unrefined, like a mad house party.”d

“It’s really refreshing to see a load of young people all striving to produce work and express themselves in their own way,” Law chimes in, commenting on how London’s young creative renaissance is starting to spread, even if it’s still fairly underground. “It’s been a long time since there were so many great collectives, events, or just things to be positive about. People all want to achieve, but now they want to do it together.”

That spirit of open-minded collaboration is what makes SHO so interesting. While Law, Clarke, and Mould are the collective’s spearhead, the group itself is wide-reaching and wildly impressive. New members join for every showcase or streetwear drop.

An upcoming collection titled “Harmacy,” in collaboration with mental health charity MIND, exists to raise awareness about the prescription drug epidemic among young people. While the boys have dealt with the business side of things, up-and-coming designer and illustrator Will Winter has created the images, and model Sonny Hall dons the tees and sweatpants in the lookbook. “SHO brings together and exposes creatives from all walks of life,” Clarke tells me. “We offer the chance to experiment and collaborate, which is sometimes hard to come by in this city.”

I wanted to touch on that idea of collaboration, and how exclusionary art collectives can be. While SHO wants to demolish the idea that young people can’t become part of London’s art scene, now more than ever, there’s an element of privilege that stems from being comfortably able to follow a creative career path in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Many don’t have the kind of social or economic background to support it, and there are people who might instantly dismiss the legitimacy of Something to Hate On’s message based on the background of its founders. Law is, after all, the son of Jude Law and Sadie Frost.

“Our parties are made to attract the people that desire to be there,” Mould responds diplomatically when the idea of SHO being elitist crops up. “We make them as inclusive as possible. We never charge [entry]. Everything costs you something in this city and we try to get drink sponsors because it’s expensive going out. I’d never host a party that I wouldn’t attend. I’d rather just stay in.”

A fair point. While London has more than its share of cliquey creative collectives, Something to Hate On is going out of its way not to be one of them. Instead, there’s a mix of cultures and backgrounds contributing. Talent, drive, and a willingness to collaborate seem to be the most important things to the three leading the group. “Everyone is so selfish because they feel like they need to be,” Clarke says of the unnecessary hostility between competing young creatives. “Creative platforms like ours break that barrier down.”

Having announced themselves as new young leaders in London streetwear and nightlife, the next step is for SHO to champion the musicians around them. It’s here that Law takes center stage. Frustrated at the way major labels toy with the hard work of young musicians — “They take loads of your money, and if [it doesn’t work out] then they leave you in the dirt,” Mould says — the collective has decided to launch its own SHO Records.

“I set [it] up as a way to release my music the way I wanted to, and then to build a community of young musicians,” Law, who released his first single “Support Network” through the label, tells me. “No matter what genre it is, if the artist has a great work ethic and I can appreciate the time they put into their work, I want them involved.” Later this year, the label will launch its first mixtape, SHO Volume One, a collection of tracks from an array of London-based musicians. And, of course, its release will be marked with a killer party.

“We plan to start dropping [them] four times a year, with a really diverse selection of music that represents London’s youth culture as a whole — not missing anyone out,” Law says. “From working on the first [one], it’s been so brilliant seeing people meet and speak about their work. It feels like we’re building this really positive community of talent.”

Away from home, the group has become prolific with its cross-continental link-ups, too. Eager to discover what other cities are up to, Law, Clarke, and Mould have organized parties and pop-ups in Paris, New York, and Tokyo over the last 12 months. These aren’t just examples of how the group can flex the power of SHO, these events play a pivotal part in making the group bigger. Clarke hit New York and came back with a list of young people eager to collaborate on creative projects. Mould will head to L.A. this month and do the same.

At a time when London’s art scene is being overrun by poser-ish, hipster kids with an obscure idea of what creativity should look like, a collective such as Something to Hate On — diverse, proudly positive, and far from disingenuous — is mad refreshing. Cop the drops, listen to the music, and let loose at the parties. You can catch Something to Hate On’s London Fashion Week Men’s showcase on June 11.

 

Latest Leak Hints That Apple Has Abandoned Plans for a Budget iPhone X

As previously reported, leaks and industry insiders have been indicating for some time now that Apple is planning to overhaul its iPhone range this year, possibly with three new iPhone X models.

A new leak, however, suggests that Apple might U-turn on any decision to make one of the three new models a budget variant. Production leaks picked up by the website of UK tech magazine T3 suggest the company is preparing a new iPhone X with a 6.1-inch OLED screen.

While the expected 5.8-inch, second generation iPhone X and the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus have been all but confirmed by prior leaks, this latest leak contradicts previous reports that the 6.1-inch model iPhone X would come with a cheaper LCD screen. It is now being suggested the model will carry a superior, more expensive OLED display, meaning its price — originally rumored to be $799 — could be upgraded as well.

Check out the original article here and remember that nothing is official until Apple announces it directly.

Let us know your thoughts on this year’s rumored iPhone X lineup in the comments.

In other news, Nicki Minaj might not actually be dating Eminem. Read more about that (very weird) story here.

Limitless: Smino Goes Global in Tokyo

While the world is divided by different languages and cultures, music can be felt and understood no matter where you’re from. Whether it’s the beat, melody, or energy of a performer, music has the ability to travel far beyond its source. St. Louis-born rapper Smino experienced this recently while on tour with producer Monte Booker, performing in places such as Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia for the first time.

Fittingly, Smino describes his sound as “limitless,” with no borders. He takes inspiration from hip-hop, soul, R&B, and gospel among other genres. Through releases such as 2016 EP blkjuptr and 2017 debut album blkswn, he has used his voice and eclectic influences to start a dialog on universal topics such as love, everyday struggles, identity, and rising above a social-media driven world. He has also collaborated with OGs such as T-Pain and toured with SZA.

Despite a packed schedule filled with studio sessions, press, and sold-out shows, Smino took the time to sit down with Highsnobiety in Tokyo and reflect on his experiences away from home, from new audiences to his own personal realizations on the road.

Smino is no stranger to taking risks and stepping outside his comfort zone, having moved to Chicago for college after high school, only to drop out and pursue music full time. And, in light of his recent experiences in East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, it would seem to have paid off. “I was in South Korea, and it’s super crazy to hear people scream a song that they damn near don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” he says. “They feel that it was written for them, or they feel like it was something that they were supposed to enjoy, take in, and live with, and they actually appreciate that shit. Over here, people like music more. Especially in Asia.”

Now he wants to take his sound even further. He shared his recent adventure abroad with booker, manager and engineer Chris “Classick” Inumerable and DJ Nosidam, all of whom he met in Chicago. For Smino, it felt right to tour with Booker, the Soulection-signed producer who has played a key role in shaping Smino’s sound and that of other artists such as R&B singer-songwriter Ravyn Lenae.

He credits much of his success to Inumerable for believing in his vision before much of the world did, allowing Smino and Booker to use Classick Studios in Chicago. Smino explains the group dynamic: “Classick taught us all to just work as a family, you know what I’m saying? It’s never a competition thing. If your family is moving forward and winning, the best thing you can do is help and assist them in winning until you’re winning.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” he continues. “Everybody falls behind each other and that’s how we do it. They are all rocking with me, bruh, and I appreciate it. But, it’s the same for them. If they need me to go anywhere in the world with them, I’ll go. So it’s like our relationship is just straight up — we family.”

On tour, Smino kept a journal of his thoughts to better understand his feelings and experiences abroad. “I’m a lot more aware of how I feel at times — I’ll even write the date on my notes so I can remember the time,” he says. “It’s been helping me kinda put my mind in front of me. You can’t fuckin’ see what’s in your head, but I’ve been putting it on paper and it’s, like, coming back and reading through it and reading up. I’ve been learning a lot about myself and it’s been inspiring a lot of crazy and different music. So, yeah man, shit, it’s all about self-growth on this tour.”

While in Australia, Smino got the chance to see real black swans for the first time, a big deal for someone who named an album (blkswn) after the bird. The rapper feels people back home are fascinated by the things African-American culture creates, but rarely try to understand the black experience and where African-American art comes from. “I was just observing the swans and peeping how they’re known as an aggressive bird, an aggressive species,” he says. “But it’s really that they’re so rare that everybody wants to flock to them, everybody just keeps trying to see them. So they get this whole ‘I’m aggressive’ thing and I’m like, damn, that just ruined it. They remind me of us.”

While Smino is still early in his career after wrapping his first ever world tour, he believes his work ethic, his Chicago family, and mentors such as his musician father have allowed him to get this far. “I waited my turn man,” he says. “I definitely deserve this. I worked my ass off, bro. Like, I can confidently say that, you know what I’m saying? People who are from where I’m from, they know me. In high school, I won ‘Most Likely to Be Famous’ and ‘Best Rapper.’”

“I was always on that shit with the music,” he continues, “so I’m not trying to say that I’ve always been a great artist, but I was always practicing. I was always trying to make up a song. All my songs weren’t tight. I was making wack-ass music for so long. But the more you work, the more you do something bigger than you imagine.”

On this subject, we imagine Smino is right. Watch this swan fly.

For more of our interviews, read our chat with production duo DJDS right here.

Get a BTS Look at Appelsap Festival’s Incredible 2018 Campaign

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Amsterdam’s Appelsap Festival, the premier showcase for up and coming rap talent on the European continent, recently unveiled their 2018 campaign, and it was a stunner. The shoot reimagined some of the most iconic imagery in hip-hop history with this year’s lineup of featured artists, a big up to celebrate the landmark 18th year of the music event.

Now, Appelsap has provided a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible shoot, getting you up close and personal with the campaign’s ravishing images. Browse through the gallery above and check out a video accompaniment below:

Appelsap Festival takes place on Saturday, August 11 at Flevopark in Amsterdam. Head over to their website for tickets and more information.

This Nigerian Rapper’s Powerful Rework of “This Is America” Is Diddy Approved

Following a wave of analysis, parodies, mashups, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” has now been followed up by Nigerian rapper Falz’s own Diddy-approved take, “This is Nigeria.”

As seen above, the Lagos-born rapper and actor emulates the warehouse set-up used by Gambino and director Hiro Murai, only, unlike Gambino, he’s wearing print pants and an iced-out chain. All around him, chaotic scenes of violence, illicit dealings, worship, and dancing take place, satirizing the Falz’s homeland: instead of a gun, there are machetes; replacing the dancing schoolchildren are four young women in chadors, an apparent reference to the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko Haram in 2014.

The video is directed by Prodigeezy and the song’s lyrics blend English with Yoruba, touching upon corruption, religion, and economic strife: “This is Nigeria / Praise and worship, we singing now / Pastor put hand on the breast of his member, he’s pulling the demon out / This is Nigeria / No electricity daily, o / Your people are still working multiple jobs and they talk say we lazy, o.”

For the full video, press play in the gallery above.

For more on “This is America,” check out this Carly Rae Jepson mashup here.

In other music news, Ameer Vann has been kicked out of BROCKHAMPTON. More on that here.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos Is the Internet’s New Favorite Meme

On Saturday night, Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to claim its third Champions League title in a row. And while the Spanish side ultimately deserved the win, it was Madrid defender Sergio Ramos injuring Liverpool’s key attacker, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, that sparked the biggest reaction on social media.

Salah, who is revered in his country and finished second in Egypt’s presidential election recently, is now in a race against time to be fit for next month’s FIFA World Cup.

While Ramos was dragged on social media, some users were able to find some humor in the situation, posting memes likening the Spanish defender to UFC fighters, Game of Thrones characters, and more.

Check out the best memes below and leave your thoughts on Ramos’ wrestling moves in the comments.

In other news, Nigeria’s World Cup jersey has broken pre-order records. Read more on that here.

The Must-Have Streetwear Pieces From the GORE-TEX Archives

You’d be forgiven for thinking that GORE-TEX, the legendary waterproof fabric, has been present in streetwear for less than a hot minute. Before Virgil Abloh brought it to the runway in his FW18 OFF-WHITE menswear show, a lot of people probably hadn’t realized that the innovative, breathable material had been part of the streetwear scene for more than a decade.

Invented in the late ’60s by father and son team Bill and Bob Gore in Newark, Delaware, GORE-TEX has become a staple component in the wardrobes of sensible dads everywhere, keeping the old man’s outdoor jackets and hiking boots dry. It was long synonymous with the unsightly — practicality over style — but as consumers of all ages became more practical with their purchases, the GORE-TEX logo gained an unlikely “cool” status.

This leaves us with a burgeoning back catalog of cool GORE-TEX pieces that we previously — perhaps criminally — didn’t give enough shine to. And thanks to high-profile co-signs, these days GORE-TEX couldn’t be cooler. So we’re now scouring the archives to find pieces from the last 15 years that fans and collectors are desperate to get their hands on.

Past GORE-TEX pieces are much more subtle with their brand logos than those we’re exposed to today. “I remember when brands would try to keep the official branding off of their jackets, [limiting it to] the small embroidery at the cuff or the woven tabs,” Jörg Haas, founder of creative agency BEINGHUNTED. (which is behind GORE-TEX’s biggest collaborations), tells us. “There was a strict policy from GORE that brands had to include such branding — but some circumvented this.”

Today, however, it’s not unusual for brands to be much happier flaunting their cooperation. GORE-TEX has become a cool brand to collaborate with — just look at the way OFF-WHITE is presenting it. Right now, one of the brightly colored cross-body bags that OFF-WHITE handed out at its FW18 show in Paris, complete with GORE-TEX branding and iconic zip tag motif, will set you back a cool $290 on Grailed. Thanks to its sheer exclusivity, it has earned a coveted spot among the brand’s must-have streetwear link-ups.

But if you’re looking for the truly sought-after pieces, and have a decent buck to spend, it’s better to go further back. Haas, a longtime GORE-TEX fan from before his time working with the brand, reminisced about his favorite pieces to us. His personal favorite is an original ACRONYM GT-J4 jacket from 2003, a now rare piece made even more special by a personal addition from ACRONYM founder Errolson Hugh. “We spent a lot of nights at his old studio in Munich,” Haas tells us, “and when my jacket came in, he did a custom ‘BGHD.’ velcro cover — [the kind] that can be exchanged for the ACRONYM Sound Forcelock.”

It’s worth mentioning that Errolson was the first fully-fledged streetwear designer to reach out to GORE-TEX directly, back in 2002, a big deal back in the days before functional fashion had been translated into something stylish. “We trusted in Errolson,” Andreas Marmsoler, head of GORE-TEX’s global PR, tells me, “and he proved to be right.”

Another GORE-TEX item that comes a close second to Haas’ ACRONYM number is his camo Sherpa jacket from Tokyo brand WTAPS, a piece that comes complete with two killer tiger-stripe patterns on the arms. Released in 2008, the jacket occasionally shows up on Grailed, and based on previous prices, it’ll set you back around $300.

There are a handful of early adopters that jumped on the GORE-TEX trend before it truly took off. One is visvim. Having studied in Alaska, brand founder Hiroki Nakamura was no stranger to all-weather environments, so it makes sense that he wound up creating exceedingly cool streetwear with a practical element.

visvim is, of course, part of Haas’ wardrobe, too. His personal standout pieces from the brand include a navy GORE-TEX-lined Commodore duffle coat, made in collaboration with Harris Tweed for FW06. Another piece Haas mentions — one he considers “exceptional” — is the brand’s Valdez down “Corduroy” jacket with GORE-TEX lining. A vegan’s worst nightmare, it’s stuffed with down feathers, features deer suede accents on the pockets, and comes with a coyote fur hood. Sure, it might not be the most nature-friendly item in your wardrobe, but it looks slick and is the kind of piece that’s designed to last you a lifetime.

When it comes to GORE-TEX, no man knows the brand’s long-standing relationship with streetwear better than Instagram’s Joey Ones. Every day Ones allows his near-12,000 followers a peep into a wardrobe crammed with rare GORE-TEX pieces, including an intimidatingly big collection of The North Face. So what piece does he hold closest to his heart? “It’s no secret,” he says. “It can be seen all over my Insta!”

The piece he’s referring to is a vintage The North Face Mountain Light jacket in a bumblebee-like yellow and black colorway. He fell in love with the timeless jacket when it appeared in the Channel Live music video for “Mad Izm” back in 1995. Seeing it back then “did it for me,” he says.

Despite being one of the most visible collectors of The North Face and GORE-TEX archive items, there remain a couple of pieces Joey wants to add to his collection. Both of them, he claims, are hard to come by because of their age, but if you keep an eye on eBay and Grailed, you might just get lucky. First up, a classic Mountain Light pullover from The North Face in a rare forest green colorway. “Pullovers are so cool,” Ones chimes in. “I used to own a black ice one in my early years and fell in love with the design.”

Joey’s next recommendation “is a hype piece when it comes to The North Face.” It’s the anorak The North Face and GORE-TEX created for the legendary 1990 Trans-Antarctica Expedition, complete with ABC Sports sponsorship patch. In the past, the anorak has sold on eBay for $2,750, so it’s not cheap, but it does have a cool place in history. Ones particularly wants to find the ultra-rare purple colorway. “The colors pop,” he says. “Almost anybody who’s into vintage gear or streetwear knows of it. They may not know about Will Steger and his crew of scientists, but they all know that [jacket]!”

These might be the most sought-after pieces in the GORE-TEX archives now, but which items will we be fighting over in future? If the current state of fashion is anything to go by, they’ll be more expensive and targeted at luxury consumers. GORE-TEX is notoriously tight-lipped about what it has in the pipeline, testimony to the fact it only tends to work with the most hyped brands around. But with Virgil Abloh making his transition from streetwear god to couturier king at Louis Vuitton, and GORE-TEX linking up with brands such as Prada and Junya Watanabe, might the ultimate tech fabric be transitioning into luxury fashion more often from now on?

With consumer consciousness and resale value shaping this generation’s buying habits, don’t be surprised if one of LVMH’s hottest brands forges a relationship with the maker of a material that consumers have long associated with frumpy, functional outdoor wear. After all, this is a fashion era rooted in subversion and reinvention, and few brands have had a journey quite like GORE-TEX.

In other style news, why is no-one able to actually confront the big issue of sustainability head on?

Ariana Grande Teases Nicki Minaj Collab “The Light Is Coming”

Ariana Grande is teasing more new music – and fans of her seminal bops with Nicki Minaj from both of her previous albums have a lot to get excited about. The pop princess is re-teaming with the Queen of the Rap Game for her next single “The Light Is Coming”. See her teaser of the track below:

Set to appear on her upcoming album Sweetener, “The Light Is Coming” is the third time Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj have collaborated. Their first forays were 2014’s “Bang Bang” (also featuring Jessie J) and 2016’s “Side to Side”.

Last month, Grande shared Sweetener‘s lead single “No Tears Left to Cry” along with a stellar music video. Revisit it below:

In related music news, Nicki Minaj successfully trolled us all – she is, in fact, not dating Eminem. Get the scoop here.

You Can Still Cop New Balance’s Ultra-Patriotic US990

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Brand: New Balance

Model: US990

Key Features: The upper is constructed using blue and grey suede with a white base accent and grey mesh. There are blue, grey, and white accents with hits of patriotic red throughout. A special three-colored outsole with white dip-dyed shoelaces complete the offering.

Release Date: Available now

Price: $175

Buy: VILLA and DTLR

Editor’s Notes: Memorial Day weekend might have come and gone, but for those of you who slept (or drank) through the initial drop, you can still cop New Balance’s ultra-patriotic US990 via VILLA and DTLR’s online stores.

Combining made-in-the-USA craftsmanship with an iconic red, white, and blue colorway, this sneaker is as patriotic as they come. With July 4 on the horizon, you’ll want these kicks to celebrate Independence Day in style. That said, thanks to the subtlety of the color blocking, you won’t be restricted to wearing these sneakers on Memorial Day and July 4. The US990 was created with the spirit of chilling around a BBQ in mind, making this a quintessential all-summer shoe.

Flip through the images above, courtesy of VILLA and DTLR, and leave your thoughts on the sneaker below.

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.

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