An Exclusive Look At John Elliott’s New Nike Vandals and the Making of His Fall/Winter 2018 Show

In August 2016, just before a powerful tropical cyclone hit Tokyo, John Elliott met with Fraser Cooke, Nike’s Global Brand Energy Product Lead, at a cafe in Japan’s busy capital. At the time, the American sportswear designer had already collaborated with Nike on the LeBron Soldier Xs, which were released later that year. But Elliott had hopes of retooling another personal favorite: the NikeLab Vandal High.

“I told him I really wanted to work on the Vandal and how much that [sneaker] represented my personal style,” he says. “Fraser immediately was like, ‘Let’s do it. I love the Vandal.’” Elliott pauses, his eyes widening with excitement as if he’s back in that exact moment. He’s still amazed that Cooke, who has orchestrated some of the company’s most successful campaigns and collaborations, was on board. “I was like, ‘Really? OK.’”

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How KAWS Became the Face Of Modern Art | Blueprint

KAWS went from a skater kid doing graffiti around New York City to illustrating the beloved animated series Doug to creating instantly recognizable pop art that gained visibility the world over. The artist, painter, designer and toymaker details how he linked with Nigo and Pharrell in Japan, collaborated with Jordan and Uniqlo for sold-out capsules, and created motifs that elevated fine art into the cultural zeitgeist.

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Eric Koston Goes Sneaker Shopping

Eric Koston is one of the best professional skateboarders of all time and he’s also the biggest sneakerhead in his industry. He recently joined Complex’s Joe La Puma to go Sneaker Shopping at Flight Club in Los Angeles and talked about his two decades of having a signature shoe and shared a deep knowledge of footwear.

In the episode, Koston shares how he feel in love with the Air Jordan 1 during a visit to Japan in 1994 and remembers looking up to skaters who wore the sneaker back in the day. He also explains how he convinced eS to copy the Air Jordan XII for one of his signature sneakers. Koston talks about how he signed with Nike SB in 2009 after being a long-time fan of the brand and what it was like to have a collaboration with Kobe Bryant. During the shoot, Koston goes on about his love for Supreme and what makes the brand’s Nike collaborations special and how Virgil Abloh wanted him to skate in the Off-White Blazers. He ends up spending almost $2,000 on the Kaws x Air Jordan IVs and the Nike Flyknit Trainers.

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It Sounds Like Kanye West and Kid Cudi Have a Secret Project in the Works

Rare good news alert.

Kanye West and Kid Cudi are reportedly working on a “top-secret project” together. At least, that's what this report from Page Six would have us believe. In an article that confusingly refuses to name Cudi in the headline (opting instead for “ex-protégé”), sources let loose what they (allegedly!) know about the collaboration.

“[Kanye West and Kid Cudi are] going to drop some crazy collaboration out of the blue,” one source claimed. “They're going to drop some surprise project on everybody. They're recording it now.” According to an insider, “nobody knows what it is” and the artists are keeping the creative process minimal. The alleged recording setup is just West, Cudi, and an engineer.

The report adds that sessions have taken place in Japan, where the two were spotted earlier this month paying Graduation cover artist Takashi Murakami a visit at his studio.

 

Long time no see @kidcudi and #kanyewest. Thank you for coming to my studio. It was fire 🔥🔥🔥

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on Aug 11, 2017 at 3:41am PDT

Takashi previously teased a “project that I can not say yet” with an Instagrammed photo gallery. The mystery project was teased with images of nude art, a guitar case, and a Marshall half stack:

 

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on Aug 10, 2017 at 4:16pm PDT

Fans have been sharing photos of the 808s & Heartbreak collaborators out and about in Tokyo:

 

칸예실사 👅

A post shared by 정 민수 (@carborfiber) on Aug 11, 2017 at 11:25pm PDT

 

A post shared by TeamKanyeDaily (@teamkanyedaily) on Aug 12, 2017 at 11:07pm PDT

West and Cudi were also seen last month at a Los Angeles-area recording studio with Plain Pat, a name any self-respecting fan will know means something great is almost certainly afoot.

Cudi surprised us all this week with the announcement of his Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin' Tour. The 25-date trek, which includes a spot on Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles, kicks off Sept. 30 at Philadelphia's Skyline Stage at the Mann.

In a perfect world, West would pop in during the Flog Gnaw set to run through this underrated collab:

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Here’s Why People Think Drake Is Opening a New Restaurant in Toronto (UPDATE)

UPDATED 3:21 p.m. ET: It sounds like Drake might be out here diversifying his investments. 

Images showing an advertisement for what looks like a restaurant/sports bar named Pick 6 with the OVO insignia​ over it have appeared in Toronto's financial district. Pick 6's location used to house the Houston Bar and Grill. There hasn't been an official announcement or confirmation from Drake or his camp that whatever that is opening will in fact be a restaurant. But, it does seem like it's a good guess. 

 

#working #pick6 #dukester #nuffsaid #believethat @chubbsview

A post shared by @georgecigardukes on Aug 13, 2017 at 6:32pm PDT

This wouldn't be the first time Drake has been connected to the restaurant business. Back in 2015 Drake came up with the name for chef Susur Lee’s upscale comfort food eatery Fring's in Downtown Toronto. He even DJ'ed for the opening party, which was attended by high profile guests such as Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, and his mother Jada Pinkett.  

Drake is also investing in the green tea company called MatchaBar. The company, which is partnering with Whole Foods for distribution, is having its ingredients sourced from a family farm in Nishio, Japan. Matcha is a type of green tea leaf that is finely ground into a powder and contains a decent-sized dose of caffeine. 

Shortly after these rumors started taking off, a source close to the situation confirmed to Complex that claims of a new restaurant are simply not true.

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OG Godzilla Actor Haruo Nakajima Has Passed Away at 88

He protrayed Japan’s most famous monster from 1954 to 1972.

‘The Daily Show’ Spoke With Translators Who Are in Charge of Interpreting Donald Trump

Translators from the United States, Mexico, Syria, and Japan share their experiences interpreting President Donald Trump on ‘The Daily Show.’

World Leaders Blamed Donald Trump for Failure to Reach Climate Change Agreement

Leaders from some of the world's most powerful countries issued a joint statement over the weekend, blaming Donald Trump and the United States for the group's failure to reach an agreement on climate change.

In the declaration released by G7 countries following their yearly summit, the leaders of the other six nations involved in the discussion highlighted Trump's refusal to join them in the fight against climate change:

The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, as previously stated at the Ise-Shima Summit.

Trump, who was the lone holdout on adopting guidelines implemented by the 2015 Paris Agreement, took to Twitter to reaffirm the group's claim he had not yet decided on a policy:

During his campaign preceding the 2016 election, Trump summed up his stance on combating emissions by telling a South Carolina crowd, “I want to use hair spray.” Trump has a long and vocal history of denying global warming, and has repeatedly claimed it is a hoax.

Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany, specifically mentioned how other G7 countries lobbied Trump to keep America in the Paris Agreement, which was implemented to cut back on carbon emissions.

“The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” said Merkel. “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”

Belief in climate change has increasingly taken hold among American voters. 70 percent of those polled believe global warming is happening, and 55 percent of people believe that change is man-made. Complex spoke to Bill Nye in April, and he said his wish is for American legislators to respond to the scientific community's consensus on the matter.

“The easiest thing, at first, is to be in denial, whether you’re talking about climate change or having broken something you can’t see,” said Nye. “'Did I just break that?' Yeah, you did. There’s a few seconds of 'No, no, it’s fine. Put it back together.' We want to get legislators to get their worldviews shifted to respect the facts.”

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Supreme Unveils Michael Jackson Collection

The rumored Supreme x Michael Jackson collection is no longer just a rumor. Supreme announced Wednesday that a special collection featuring iconic images of Michael Jackson is dropping this week.

Fans were convinced earlier this month that a full Michael Jackson collection was imminent, pointing to this editorial photo by Hanna Moon as proof:

 

Supreme/GRIND Magazine S/S '17 Editorial 📷 @hannamoon69

A post shared by Supreme (@supremenewyork) on May 11, 2017 at 9:03am PDT

Thankfully, those predictions proved correct. The collection includes a hooded sweatshirt, T-shirt, work shirt, and skateboard deck. Supreme x Michael Jackson will be available in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris stores (and online!) May 25. Japan gets the collection May 27.

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Image via Supreme
Supreme
Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ
Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ
Image via Supreme
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Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ
Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ
Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ 9
Image via Supreme
Supreme MJ
Image via Supreme

Last week, Supreme released a custom Nike Air Force 1 Low in collaboration with Comme des Garçons. The shoe featured a leather upper and full-length Nike Air unit, graphics on the heels, and a debossed logo on the sides. Revisit it here.

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Why Is a 12-Year-Old Girl Preparing to Fight a Woman Twice Her Age in an MMA Fight?

Full disclosure: I haven’t spent a lot of time, er, any time watching Japanese MMA fights. But it only took me about two minutes to do enough research to realize that many MMA fights in Japan are much different than the ones here in the U.S. While there is certainly no shortage of serious MMA fights in Japan, there are also quite a few fights that are set up simply for the shock factor. How else can you explain some of these battles?

But even with some of those “freakshow” fights in mind, it’s still hard to believe what one MMA organization in Japan is planning to do in May. According to WMMA Rankings, a company called Deep Jewels is promoting a fight that will feature a 12-year-old girl doing battle with a 24-year-old opponent. The pre-teen girl, who has only been identified as “Momo,” is reportedly in the seventh grade and weighs less than 90 pounds. But she is going to knuckle up with Momoko Yamasaki, a professional fighter with a 2-3 career record and a past that includes street fighting. It sounds like it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

The good news is that Momo and her opponent are both going to wear headgear during the fight and will abide by amateur rules. Additionally, it doesn’t exactly sound like Momo is a pushover. She trains at Hakuhinkai Karate, a gym that has manufactured several successful MMA fighters, so she should know what she’s doing when she fights. One of those fighters Mizuki Inoue posted several videos of her working out with Momo.

But this fight has certainly sparked its fair share of controversy already with many people wondering how in the world an MMA organization has agreed to allow a child to take part in a fight. Despite the backlash, it sounds like Deep Jewels plans on moving forward with its plan to pit Momo and Yamasaki against one another on May 20.

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