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30 Years of Air Max

For sneaker heads, Air Max Day is mayhem in the best way. On March 26, one of Nike’s most iconic models outside of the Air Jordan 1 is celebrated. Nike treats this “sneaker holiday” in true to brand fashion, with a strong of fire releases throughout the month of March. Outside of the brick-and-mortar Air Max-centric pop-ups, Nike will drop a slew of exclusive models and color ways, collaborations with old friends, and re-releases, all under the Air Max umbrella. So mayhem meaning a great time for sneaker heads to pick up exclusives Air Max’s, or to take the inevitable L on the most limited models. 

(Source: SneakerNews)

The long standing Nike line has been a fan favorite since the initial release in 1987. In the 30 years since the iconic red-and-light grey Air Max 1 was released, hundreds of variations of the Air Max 1 have sent the sneaker world into a frenzy time and again. While Tinker Hatfield’s seminal design has withstood the fickleness of trend and hype, different collaborations are ranked amongst some of the best sneakers released.

(Source: Street-Rules)

One color way that will be brought back for this year’s Air Max Day Air is the Air Max 1 x atmos Elephant color way.  While originally released in 2006, this release was actually voted to be brought back by the sneaker loving public, and for good reason. In a recent interview with Nike News, atmos designer Hirofumi Kojima stated his inspiration for the design was bathing elephants. The design features Jordan elephant print against a splash of Jade, a memorable use of the Air Jordan III cement print that pops out.

(Source: SneakerFiles)

However, this isn’t the first time the Japanese footwear boutique has collaborated with Nike on an Air Max 1 colorway. In 2002, the two teamed up for another wildlife-inspired pack dubbed the “Air Max Safari,” itself a color variation of an earlier Tinker Hatfield model called the “Air Safari.” This initial collaboration was aimed at expanding the Air Max 1’s fanbase to the Japanese market. Since the Atmos has been considered one of the top sneaker boutiques in the world for many years, it is no stranger to collaborations and exclusive releases. Ultimately, the collaboration paid off, with the atmos color ways being amongst the most coveted releases on the sneaker market.

(Source: SneakerNews)

So if you’re an Air Max fan, this is your month. You’ll have to wait in see what surprises Nike drops on March 26th. If you have a pair, maybe its time to give them a quick scrub like @emilwaddup did with Angelus cleaner.

(Source: @emilwaddup)

And if not, make your own Air Max 1 color way, like these great South Beach customs by @davidzcustom for example.

(Source: @davidzcustom)

Actually, make your own anyways and tag us at #angelusdirect!

Louis V and Supreme? What Time to Be Alive

The conversation that streetwear and high fashion are basically the same thing is more and more relevant in 2017. While those who wouldn't spend $700 on a tee shirt might argue " no it's not," the fact that you could buy very convincing Louis V x Supreme sneakers (even though this product doesn't 'officially' exist), proves otherwise.

In sneaker head terms, Gucci has been a big inspiration for the past couple years. In recent months though, an even older high fashion company is finding itself in the affection of sneaker heads. That would be Louis Vuitton, arguably most powerful fashion house in the world. Specifically, the infamous LV monogram has been plastered on sneakers. So the question, what appeal does a 163 year old French fashion house have with the sneaker head and streetwear set? Maybe a better questions is how much power does a logo hold?

(Source: @tnd_sneakers)

Now it's no understatement to say LV is old and powerful. In terms of history, the company was founded in 1854 by its namesake as a luxury luggage company. As his business grew, Vuitton began putting a specific monogram, the LV on his luggage so clientele could make it known that they were carrying their clothes in only the best suitcases and trunks (brand marketing, right?). 

(Source: LouisVuitton)

Roughly 163 years later, the company is a coveted luxury fashion house with an estimated $28 billion valuation. So to say LV is one the biggest player in high fashion is understatement at the very least, but their status in the high fashion world has long since been something of myth and inspiration for aspiring street wear brands.

(Source: @maison.gris)

This relationship between runway and sidewalk came to a natural head when head designer collaborated with seminal New York brand/skate shop Supreme. In it's own terms, Supreme is like the Louis Vuitton of streetwear, with a big warchest, an extremely dedicated fanbase, and a long list of collaborators that includes some of the most well-known artists in the world.

(Source: @freddiessole)

When Supreme's iconic logo, a red and white Barbara Kruger-inspired typography was combined with the LV monograph, people lost their minds. The funny thing about this meeting of the fashion minds is that it's not particularly groundbreaking, both logos are extremely simple together and individually. But perhaps that's not the point, a logo represents a culture and the two of them together represent the point when streetwear and fashion became the same thing.

(Source: @stylobrand)

Custom Painted Snakes

We've talked about this before, but the formidable fashion house Gucci stays relevant in the sneaker community. Last year, the Gucci-inspired Huarache was a popular custom motif. In the summer, the Gucci-inspired slide came in hot off of Future's shout out on DS2 (remember, slides and flip flips aren't the same thing, but that's beside the point). There's a new Gucci motif coiled around your favorite sneaker logos.

(Source: @hanzicustom)

Yep, that's a Gucci snake. While the Huarache and the Slide both used Gucci's iconic tri-color as a template, this Winter, the Gucci inspiration is far more logo specific. You might have seen sneakers, bags, jackets, and so on with this red, black, and white snake coiled on the back. This is the color way for the king snake, and the signature look of Gucci's new creative director Alessandro Michele.

(Source: @danielcordas)

After former creative director Frida Giannini left, Michele took over in 2015. Mind you, with fashion houses, different people rotate in and out of the head position fairly regularly. Under Michele though, the Gucci logo of the moment is the kingsnake. Apparently the kingsnake represents wisdom, or something of the sort, but let's be honest, a red and black snake looks hard. You don't want to mess with this snake.

(Source: @trybucustom)

In reality, many kingsnakes tend to have vibrant patterns on their skin, much like the version at the center of Alessondro's collection. At a glance, the kingsnake's colors are similar to Gucci's iconic green-red color scheme. Variations on a theme apparently. So much like the double GG logo and the tri-color motif before it, if you try your hand at the Gucci snake, tag us at #angelusdirect. Hint: mix it up and use Standard Black, Fire Red, and Vanilla Paint.

(Source: @ill__customz)


There's a pretty good chance that if you buy Angelus paint for custom sneakers or shoe restoration, you've heard the name Mache. This is for good reason, because Dan Gamache, the proprietor of Mache Custom, is a legend in the custom sneaker world. Basically, if you can imagine a fully functioning custom business with celebrity clientele, news clips, and an insane portfolio—Mache's work is the blueprint for that.

While he's always putting out something wild, like custom cleats for the (entire) Minnesota Vikings, some of his work lately has been a unique to say the least. Basically, the tag #customsthatdontlookcustom has been the calling card for his custom work that isn't over top or more art than function. Instead, his work looks like something that would have come off the production line at the Nike or adidas factories, boxed up, and sent to the hot sneaker boutique.

It's a unique to see something that looks 'official,' or made by the design team at your favorite sneaker company, that's completely from the mind of one person. This more minimal approach to custom sneakers is less about getting the most paint on the upper or doing a crazy design, but focusing on the minor details.

There's no question that Mache can turn out a crazy design, but the less-is-more approach has been working out well. So why not pick up a Starter Kit and see what you can do with only two colors. Be sure to tag #customsthatdontlookcustom and #angelusdirect so we can see your work!


Angelus Direct Presents: An Q&A with SneakerHeadInTheBay

This Sunday (Feb. 12) the Hella Kicks trade show returns to the Bay Area, and we're doing a giveaway to kick things off. If you live in the area, check out what's hot, trade some sneakers, and check out the Meet & Greet our two favorite vloggers, SneakerHeadInTheBay and Davidgotkicks are doing.
YouTube personality and customizer extraordinaire, Alex, better known as SneakerHeadInTheBay was kind enough to do a quick Q&A with us before the weekend gets under. Simply saying SiNTB is a popular vlogger does do his channel justice. The  SiNTB subscriber list is massive at  440,000, so if you're trying to get into the vlogging game, this is the guy to watch! If you haven't checked out his videos, you should probably hit that subscribe button.
(Source: @ sneakerheadinthebay)
Angelus Direct: The custom sneaker world knows you as SneakerHeadIntheBay. Can you give us a little about your background and how you got into custom work? 
SiNTB: I am originally from the Bay Area, which is why I tried to incorporate where I'm from in my name. I grew up as an only child, and eventually found my passion for sneakers in middle school. During that same time, I realized that YouTube could be a really fun pastime for me since I had all the time in the world at a young age. I studied other sneaker YouTubers at the time to see how they created their videos and then practiced it on my own!
What are some of your main creative inspirations as a vlogger? 
I really enjoy cinematic breaks and smooth transitions after talking clips. I try my best to capture great b-roll to incorporate over my main clips to add another level on top.
(Source: @sneakerheadinthebay)
Your channel is killing it right now. Did you think your vids would be as popular as they are? What got you into making videos?
I never thought my videos would be as popular as they are today. I still cannot believe it... My main inspiration for creating videos stemmed from watching my peers and people I look up to in the YouTube community.
​Hella Kicks 2 is coming up this weekend, and you're doing a meet and greet. How did that come together?
I have a great relationship with the event organizers, so we thought it would be a great idea to have a meet and greet for those who enjoy the content I create. 
(Source: @TheFixKicks)
Lastly, any advice for the young customizers and YouTube personalities out there getting started?
As far as advice goes, I would recommend newer personalities to find their true self, and start pushing content on a consistent basis when they find their true self. People need to find new ways to twist what is already available in the market to show that they are different. This will help them stand out. Have fun, and keep pushing! 
(Source: @sneakerheadinthebay)