The Vans x Defcon pack was a standout release for me. I love all things camouflage and I thought Vans made good use of Defcon’s signature camo fabric over the two shoe pack. I picked up the Sk8-Hi Notchback myself, the paracord laces and Velcro patches were too good to resist. I think the pack retailed at 60 or 70 quid each too which is always a plus.
Not a brand I can say I’ve ever been a massive fan of, but it’s hard to deny that Reebok have very much made 2013 their own. This year celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Reebok Classic and the brand really went to town with some awesome collaborations, giving free reign to the likes of Crooked Tongues, Bodega, Gary Warnett, Garbstore and Palace to go buck wild on the classic trainer with some outstanding results.
Best new brand:
Not new, but 2013 saw the glorious return of X-Large to the UK after many years of absence. I went in to full fanboy mode when we got our first touch back in August. Alongside the likes of FUCT and Stussy, I’ve always felt X-Large defines that golden period of early 90s streetwear. It certainly helped that the brand returned with some strong designs and I for one am definitely excited for what 2014 holds in store!
‘Only God Forgives’. I hated it when I saw it, then I fell in love with it afterwards. A tale of the futility of violence, vengeance and the obligations of being a man? Or Ryan Gosling staring at his hands for 90 minutes? Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll probably hate it.
Deafheaven ‘Sunbather’. No contest. Have had this on repeat for months now. So good. Some will sneer that it’s black metal for kids that don’t like black metal but I think it’s a massive step forward in terms of the genre’s continued evolution. Seeing them tear it up live in Brighton in October cemented this as the best LP of 2013 for me.
Visiting my girlfriend’s family in California for Thanksgiving. 2 weeks of quality family time, Disneyland visits, ‘Blade Runner’ set hunting in downtown LA, cageside UFC action in Las Vegas as well as firing off guns in the desert. Oh yeah, and it was sunny as shit the whole time too. Awesome!