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Thought It Was A Drought

Long before viral marketing, a brand was only as good as their logo. A logo comes to represent everything the brand represents, and for legendary fashion houses like Gucci, this means luxury. So even if you’re not actively buying Gucci pieces, the famous Gucci colorway pays homage to the finer things in life.

(Source: knoow.net)

The Italian fashion house has a long history that dates back to 1921. Founded by Guccio Gucci and his three sons Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo (who all have incredible names by the way), Gucci quickly became known for their fine leather goods. While early products included leather goods made by highly skilled craftsmen, the company soon featured the brown and tan interconnecting diamond pattern on luggage.

Fast forward to the 1960’s when the famous double G logo was featured on some of their first clothing items.

(Source: famouslogos.us)

And while the “G” logo is without a doubt considered one of the most recognizable “classic” logos in the world, the iconic green and red bands have also become synonymous with the company. The signature green-red-green pattern can speak for the company even without the double G logo. When you see this colorway, you know it is there for one of the world’s most successful brands.

(Source: ep.yimg.com)

It’s no mystery that this color pattern is used often to pay respect to the Italian powerhouse. Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes not. Take for instance, these RESN x Nike SB Dunk High’s were made for Girl Skateboards manager Sam Smyth in 2009. 

(Source: sneakerhistory.com)

Samples of the sneaker originally previewed in 2005. Even they had nothing to do with Gucci, they were immediately dubbed a "Gucci" Dunk due to the red and green colors.

Gucci itself is no stranger to footwear game, but they seemed to have taken the hint that their color pattern looks great on a pair of sneakers. The fashion house is going to releasing more colorways of their Ace sneaker complete with the signature stripes. 

(Source: highsnobiety.com)

While the simplicity of the Gucci Ace is probably the whole point, the iconic colorway looks better on everyone’s favorite canvas of the moment—the Nike Huarache. These four pairs by some talented customizers out in the #angelusdirect community kill it. 

(Source: @db3src)

(Source: @985.kicks)

(Source: @stvr.customs)

(Source: @klcustoms)

Gucci doesn’t stop with sneakers though. They even have their own version of slides, or as Future calls them on his DS2 tape, ‘flip flops.’

(Source: complex.com)

Of course, if you’re not going out of your way to find a pair of Italian leather slides, you can make a pair of your own.


(Source: @dredaytwo3)

From sneakers to clothes to slides, the green-red-green pattern will always be a nod to luxury. So if you want to put your own spin on the classic color way, grab some of Angelus Direct's Midnight Green and Chili Red acrylic leather paint. But if you should probably watch out for the dudes in Gucci slides, custom or not, because they might have an eye on your girl. Except for this guy.

(Source: twitter.com)

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"Camo Down To My Boxers"

With over 20 years under its belt, Japanese streetwear legends A Bathing Ape have put their mark on two vintage icons: camouflage and the tigermouth (which we covered a few weeks back). BAPE’s spin on this classic pattern has solidified its place as a staple in streetwear, and as a go-to lyric for your favorite rappers.

(Source: imgur.com)

(Source: @_theheyyman_)

But long before BAPE’s take on it, camouflage has been in a staple in many closets because of its bold and utilitarian design. Throwing a layer of camo into the fit isn’t a new thing. Since the late 1960’s, camouflage has been more or less on trend with civilians and non-hunters. Much of the crazy started after the Vietnam War, when the now coveted Tigerstripe camouflage pattern was designed for close-range utilization in the dense jungles in the Republic of Vietnam. This style was take on an even older pattern, the French tenue de leópard which was created in the 1950’s.

(Source: usmilitariaforum.com)

After the war, surplus tigerstripe jackets and boonie hats found their way out into the world on the backs of hippies, bikers, Vets, and for whatever reason, into the Japanese markets. As Americana and heritage style became a standard in Japanese streetwear, many Japanese brands put their spin on the classic tigerstripe pattern. Back in the pre-Internet days, (the 1990’s) designer Tetsu Nishiyama, aka TET started the brand WTAPS, which had a heavy Vietnam-era aesthetic to it. 

(Source: highsnobiety.com)

Neighborhood, another legendary Japanese company, was started in 1994 by Shinsuke Takizawa. Among Takizawa’s influences was US counterculture and biker culture, which leaned heavily on the surplus Vietnam-era tigerstripe pieces.

(Source: highsnobiety.com)

During this same era, Nigo started A Bathing Ape in 1993. Part of their early offerings included the now infamous BAPE Camo design which features the Ape Head logo dotted throughout a brighter came pattern. While the BAPE design is indeed feature a military green, the origins are less Vietnam-inspired and more modified duck hunt camouflage. 

(Source: @jwdanklefs)

Nigo’s pieces made their way overseas to end up on America’s OG streetwear heads—rappers. Believe it or not, Pharrell wasn’t the first to be caught out in an Ape Head camo design. While Pharrell has long been associated with BAPE, early coverage of the pattern was seen on Bedford-Stuyverson’s finest MC, and that is of course the Notorious B.I.G.

(Source: complex.com)

Back in 1997, Biggie was wearing Nigo’s brand a mere four years after he launched it, which shows both Nigo and Biggie were ahead of their time.

Now, the Ape Head pattern is synonymous with BAPE x [insert brand here]. A brand has definitely made it to the top when the pattern is put on their product, with sneakers being one of the biggest aspects. The first was the OG Bapesta:

(Source: complex.com)

More recent collaborators include Puma and Reebok.

(Source: thesource.com)

(Source: kicksonfire.com)

Of course, you don’t have to wait around for the next BAPE x whoever drop. Like minded individualizes in the custom sneaker game have been putting out their own Ape Head x Angelus Direct paint collabs for a long time now. 

(Source: @basscustoms)

(Source: @ianpaintedit)

(Source: @illicustoms)

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What's That Splatter, Margiela?

The casual rap fan in 2016 has probably heard of famed Belgian designer Martin Margiela and his fashion house Maison Margiela. Maybe it was the line “What’s that jacket, Margiela?” by way of the Kanye West and Jay Z single “Ni***s in Paris,” from 2011’s Watch the Throne. Or, maybe you remember, “My Martin was a Maison, rocked Margielas with no laces,” from A$AP Rocky’s “Goldie.” Atlanta trapper Future literally had a song called “Maison Margiela.” Regardless of who rapped about it, the designer is often be associated with Kanye West’s Yeezus tour, which he designed the wardrobe and mask for.

In the 1980’s, Maison Margiela was at the forefront of innovative fashion trends. Before Margiela become a who’s-who rap bullet point on Genius.com, he was putting out highly sought after ready-to-wear pieces under the Maison Margiela fashion house, which he sold in 2002. His pieces range from minimal and deconstructed to maximal and avant-garde, but made from the most luxurious materials. Basically, a perfect fit for Yeezus.

(Source: latimes.com)

While Margiela has been in the mainstream (i.e., tumblr) these recent years because of rap music’s love, his work had been a talking point long before. Some of the fashion house's more imfamous pieces include one iteratia of the much discussed pair of Replica low top sneakers, covered in paint. The controversy behind the Replica Paint Splatter model is virtually the same shoe as the Replica, but with a splash of color on the front.

(Source: sneakerfreaker.com)

These were essentially the same shoe, plus a paint drip. The irony here is that these shoes are sold at higher end brick-and-mortar establishments with a $500 price tag. Of course, the cost-minded sneakerhead could have made these themselves. What’s funny is that this style is not new or groundbreaking, think back to OG graffiti artists and the master painters. Paint on your sneakers was a sign your were putting in work.

(Source: telegraph.co.uk)

For example, this is legendary painter Jackson Pollock doing his thing. You might assume the paint on Pollock's shoes wasn’t done there style points, but this was probably an inspiration behind Margiela’s Replica Paint Splatters

As it turns out, the paint splatter has been on the rise this Spring. From the classic Shell toe Campus to Timbos to the Jordan 1, sneaker customizers have been lacing out their kicks with a touch of color.

(Source: @shelove.bmo)

(Source: @tarjetaszulydiaz)

(Source: @soleistickustomz)

(Source: @blackbeard_kustoms)

We’re not sure what type of paint Maison Margiela uses for the paint drips, but it probably doesn’t pop as well as a little splash of Angelus Direct acrylic leather paint does. More recently, Margiela collaborated with Converse on their iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker.

(Source: sneakernews.com)

For this, Margiela literally dipped the whole shoe in white paint. If any customizers out there wants to make their own version of this with our paint, hit it with the #angelusdirect tag. We’d love to see your take on that.

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Huaraches for Spring

As expected, we’ve been seeing a lot of custom sneakers in Spring colorways making their way out into the #angelusdirect world these recent weeks. This is a given as the gray skies are clearing up and the snow is melting. One thing that’s been a trend is the use of the classic Nike Huarache.

(Source: @_hpcustoms)

We saw these pastel Huaraches done by @jmln.cstms on the thread, just in time for Easter.

(Source: @jmln.cstms)

While never the gold medal of any Nike drop, the Huarache will always be a solid choice of shoe. With a 25 year history as an actual running shoe and now a staple for your daily wardrobe, the Huarache has no signs of slowing down this Spring or seasons to come.

(Source: @englishcustoms)

Our very own Angelus Direct sponsored artist @sneakerkraft tapped into the era with these customs.

(Source: @sneakerkraft)

The approach to a running shoe was inspired by a Mexican sandal called the huarache. The minimal, form fitting design was reminiscent of a pair of these woven leather sandals. For spring, these sneakers make sense. At the time, this silhouette was made in response to the clunky high tops that dominated sportswear at the time. On the contrary, the Huarache was a running shoe that you could wear without a sock, like it’s sandal inspiration. 

(Source: @deadstock_23)

The Huarache’s were first developed in 1991 by legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield. With multiple heavy hitting sneaker designs, such as the Air Max, the Air Jordan III’s and more under his belt, it was clear that Tinker’s runner-centric Huarache would be no different.

(Source: dailystreet.co.uk)


In 1991, there was another Michael J. with a Nike contract that was dominating his sport. This Michael had a last name of Johnson and was crushing it on the track. As a world class sprinter, Johnson was a prime endorsement for the new technology that came with the Huarache. There was no heel cap, a first for a Nike running shoe, just a neoprene strap.

(Source: solecollector.com)

Nevertheless, the Huarache become a huge hit both on the track and off in the 1990’s. Everyone from the other, more famous Michael J. to the television’s sitcom god Jerry Seinfeld were spotted in them. 

(Source: sneakernews.com)

(Source: jphkr2.blogspot.com)

25 years later, this classic sneaker still holds up. So for all the sneaker customizers out there gearing up for spring, get your acrylic leather paint ready, Huaraches are where it’s at. 


(Source: @tdcustoms)

While Johnson didn’t win gold individually at the ‘92 Tokyo Olympics where the Huaraches debuted, these gold customs made with Angelus Direct acrylic leather paint would have been the next best thing.

(Soruce: @maccdenim)

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Off the Wall for 50 Years

Long before a kid name Daniel was making viral waves for his all-whites, before Lil B was rapping that they looked “like sneakers,” before people where snapping Kanye in them, Vans shoes were synonymous with "cool." Most people know Vans Shoes as a reputable player in the global economy, seen everywhere from high-end boutiques to skateshops to their own storefronts. Since its inception in 1966, Vans Shoes has had a long and colorful 50 year history, becoming the powerhouse in the sneaker and apparel game it is today.

(Source: thrashermagazine.com)

The Vans story goes to back to March 16, 1966 when Gordon Lee, Serge D'Elia, Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren opened a store in sunny Anaheim, California aptly named The Van Doren Rubber Company after brothers Paul and James. The shoe that launched with the newly formed company was a canvas low top that featured the iconic "rubberized waffle sole." Nowadays, we call this sneaker the Authentic, a timeless low top sneaker that has gone through many iterations. 

(Source: acontinuouslean.com)

Since its inception, Vans have been associated with Southern California. If you’ve never been to Anaheim, it’s located in the heart of the Southern California’s Orange County, close enough to the beach to balance surf and skate culture. As the Van Doren shoe’s popularity spread, it made its way up the freeway to Los Angeles’s Venice Beach and Santa Monica. In the early 1970’s, a group of Venice Beach skaterats that were sponsored by Zephyr skate shop, better known as the Z-Boys were enthusiasts of the Van Doren. 

(Source: bummercalifornia.com)

The Z-Boys revolutionized the way people looked at skateboarding with their aggressive “Dogtown” aesthetic. As they entertained the mainstream eye, Vans went with them. The classic Dogtown look was a pair of Levis, a Zephyr skateshop tee, and a pair of navy blue Van Dorens. From there, Vans shoes became synonymous with skateboarding, surf, and counter culture in the 1970s and 80s.

(Source: thrashermagazine.com)

At some point in their history, Vans no longer solely associated with action sports, but also with designers and cultural influencers. In 2003, Vans Vault was conceived to expand the once quintessentially Southern Californian sneaker into the more forward, high end marketplaces in Tokyo, London, Paris and other metropolitan cities.

(Source: highsnobiety.com)

Even music’s loud voice dropped an homage to the 66 brand in his song “No More Parties in LA.” Yeezy raps, “some days I'm in my Yeezys, some days I'm in my Vans.” While this might sound like a throwaway line, it shows how ubiquitous the Southern California brand has become with mainstream pop culture. The man who designed the hottest sneaker out right now will still throw on those same blue Authentic's that the Z-Boys were rocking back at skate competitions in the 70s.

(Source: dailymail.co.uk)

Luckily, the canvas silhouette of the Authentic has become a mainstay for sneaker customization. The canvas construction has always allowed for personal imprint, whether it was a sharpie or a full blown piece like our very own ChadCantColor out in on these Vans.

(Source: @chadcantcolor)

The Authentic and their predecessor, "the Era" aren’t the only Vans that find themselves on the end of a customization. Check out these Sk8-Hi’s that sneaker artist and customizer Johnny Bágö aka BagoCustoms did just in time for Spring.


(Source: @bagocustoms)

So many thanks to Vans for putting out sneakers for a solid 50 years. Here’s to another 50 more! Check out this retrospective on the infamous waffle soles below.

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