[dropcap letter=”T”]here are plenty of reasons to be in a state of overwhelming bliss this summer: LAC Dive Club Sessions, the LA Kings’ epic win, and finally (possibly the most exciting of all)— Independence day falling on a Friday this year. Dionysus owed us for the Monday #fail that was St. Patrick’s Day, and we couldn’t be more primed to party within the generous boundaries of the americana color scheme.
So let the nationalistic overkill and overzealous declarations of patriotism commence. The Brits may find our holiday overbearing, but they’re debatably irrelevant these days. On this side of the pond, we are nothing if not enthusiastic when it comes to thematic nostalgia.
We know fireworks are hard to come by without the right connections, but luckily our city has no shortage of public spectating options. And if you don’t get an tremendous feeling of patriotic vigor when you see the glitter of the fireworks reflected on the face of a child—you are presumably dead inside.
That said, let’s talk 4th of July looks, shall we? It’s America’s birthday, and this country was founded on the premise of freedom and an unwavering devotion to costume. So, in honor of the 17 days it took Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence— we brought together 17 red, white, and blue threads for an all-out auspicious ensemble.
What’s that? The Clippers couldn’t hang against OKC? The Dodgers are charging ahead in their all-too-familiar mediocrity?
Well, suit up, nerds: IT’S SOCCER SEASON. With nod adieu to LA’s regular and often lackluster sports season (save for those Kings!), we are excitedly switching gears for a some play time on the world stage. This glorious, gripping, international tournament filled to the brim with sanctimonious pledges of national pride, bandwagon fans, and an insane cavalcade of talent has finally reared its head again. The World Cup has got us in a tizzy, and we are counting down the days before the epic tourney completely sidelines our social calendar for the next month (not to mention the secret, bootleg, live streaming sessions we’ve got on lock on that minimized internet browser on our work computer. Sorry, boss.).
This year, Brazil’s main TV network has already racked up over $600 million in sponsorship plugs, creating some of the best advertising hype we’ve since since last year’s Super Bowl. While we anxiously anticipate USA’s first game against Ghana on June 16th (insert iconic Macaulay Culkin face here), peep our picks of some of the best commercials to gear you up for the World Cup 2014.
Nike, which is not, in fact, a World Cup partner, is shattering Adidas’ soccer supremacy with these new batch of ads for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Created by Wieden + Kennedy and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the 60-second spot below portrays Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and England’s Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense psychic stresses of soccer superstardom and an ominous, compelling, stopwatch score. Welcome to the pressure-cooker, boys. We’re watching.
ESPN, “The World Cup Comes Home”
[via Sean Bulvo | The 93rd minute]
The commercial conveniently forgot about the barrios, kidnappings, and massive gang-violence but who cares, because, after watching this, I want to buy a ticket to Brazil immediately. Those girls are beautiful. . . and I think I saw soccer in their somewhere. I was a little distracted.
First off, this is the nicest favela I’ve ever seen.
Secondly, Who is this Stony kid?? I officially hate him. Nonchalantly ripping a newspaper out of Lionel Messi’s hand? No biggie. Putting your grimy drumsticks all over David Luiz’s soda? This guy. Stony, DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW? Messi, I will personally stitch your paper back together and read it to you personally if I can get in the next ad.
Aside from this oblivious, ungrateful youth, the commercial also stands out because of its interactive features: Viewers can click to “dive deeper into Stony’s world” by unlocking additional features. Other featured players include Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere, Sergio Aguero, Sergio Ramos, and, oh, Janelle Monae as struggling, side-hustling, street performer (take a peak at the behind-the-scenes footage here).
Nike gets it’s sense of humor back with a star-studded, four-minute TV spot, featuring Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Ibrahimović, Higuaín, Piqué, Iniesta, David Luiz, Tim Howard, and many others. Plenty of great comic relief and explosive action shots. Be sure to tune in at 2:24 when Kobe Bryant drops yet another Jumping-On-The-FIFA-Bandwagon-Because-I-Secretly-Always-Wanted-To-Be-A-Professional-Soccer-Player cameo.
Sorry Adidas—as good as this clip is, Nike kinda trumped you in it’s World Cup brand awareness. Nevertheless, the ad is a great addition to the pool. Set the The Kinks, “All Day And All Of The Night” the ad introduces Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 World Cup, and life from Brazuca’s point of view. More than one million Brazilian fans voted to name the ball brazuca, which “is used by Brazilians to describe national pride in the Brazilian way of life. Mirroring their approach to football, it symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all.”
Daaammnn, Gatorade went and got that Disney money. The ad cleverly pairs Lionel Messi, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, and Landon Donovan with the soundtrack from Cinderella (masterfully remixed by David Banner), showcasing the magic and hard work that go into creating amazing soccer moments.
ESPN, “I Believe”
Don’t get me wrong, I will be rocking my USA jersey hard throughout this tourney, but there’s a difference between “believing” and actually winning. This ad could use a lot more actual scoring highlights and a little less of the cheesy “I Believe” fan chant. R. Kelly believed he could fly, and look where that landed him (unless soaring directly to prison counts?). Nevertheless, we can’t help but love any and all USA plugs, so it makes our list for the pure hopefulness of it all.
This one is sure to tug at your heart strings. Powerade, the official beverage partner for the FIFA World Cup, shares the amazing story and strength of Nico Calabria, an athlete born with one leg. The short documentary campaign portrays the raw and inspiring willpower of a young man who refuses to let any challenge stand in his way.
The new Emirates commercial is kind of genius. The spot features soccer icons, Brazilian Pele and Portuguese Ronaldo on their swanky, first-class flight, where both of them have their own set of fans. Take a gander, we wont ruin it for you.
Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and launched during the UEFA Champions League final, the clip depicts Lionel Messi experiencing an edgy World Cup dream—all set to a killer new Kanye track, “God Level.” Other featured players include Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Mesut Özil, Robin van Persie, and David Villa.
ESPN, “Time Zones”
ESPN is really hitting the nail on the head with these charming, entirely relatable clips of what soccer fandom truly encapsulates. I’m already breathing a sigh of relief that I won’t have to wake up at 4 AM this time around just to watch Ghana dash our World Cup dreams (I’m lookin at you, Asamoah Gyan…)
Part of Budweiser’s “Rise As One” campaign, the new commercial features lush black and white scenes of fans around the world getting hyped for the game, interspersed with dazzling gold bottle shots of the brew. All set to an anthemic, orchestral score that will surely make you forget how shitty this beer actually is.
The campaign also includes an online documentary series co-produced with Vice, as well as a six-part documentary to be broadcast on Fox.
McDonald’s does viral, trick-shot videos now. In the new TV spot, soccer enthusiast of all ages come together to perform their best trick shots. Along with the commercial, McDonald’s is planning on outfitting its french fry packaging with a fresh augmented reality, World Cup-themed design and a new app that somehow seamlessly connects fries with soccer. Organic branding, y’all. Organic.
We get it Kobe, you’re amazing at everything. But real talk, you are a grown ass man—with body hair, a high-profile career, and the ability to vote. And you wanna tell me you sit around swapping World Cup stickers with Andrew Luck? Get it together, man.
It’s been eight years since French soccer star Zinedine Zidane dropped a head-butt on his Itailan rival to turn a boring tie-game World Cup Final into a hilariously memorable and meme-worthy World Cup Final. In the clip, Marco Materazzi (headbutt-ee) is replaced with Italian World Cup Champion Fabio Cannavaro (who was on the field playing for Italy at the time of said head-butt) for a light-hearted reunion of rivals.
Yah, we know, this ad is likely five years old by now. But it might be the best of Nike’s bunch, and totally worth another nod. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the ad depicts the roller-coaster ride of a young soccer player from his beginnings competing at the highest level for his country from a first-hand perspective. All before GoPros were actually a thing.
Know of any other great adverts? Comment below with you picks.
The NTWRK Agency, The Park Showroom, The FNDTN and Flagship Agency joined forces for this year’s LA Men’s Market at the California Market Center in DTLA this past Monday and Tuesday. The event was absolutely a success, and the hype for the event was felt from the top down. The turnout was great, the morale was high and breakfast was served… and we’re not talking granola. Stumptown provided coffee, espresso and cold brew while Egg Slut slung made-to-order omelettes to so many dudes in Nike Flyknits, it had to be a Guinness World record.
LA CANVAS felt nothin’ but love as the brands’ tables donned a proud stack of our latest Fashion Issue for the grazing buyers looking for their next best seller in Spring ‘14, or just whoever is still putting out new varieties of the Jogger pant (jk but srsly jk). It looks like this is the beginning of the golden age for the LA Men’s Market as we sat down with the man who put it all together, Kellen Roland, of The NTWRK Agency — he also gave us some insight into why this is the best time for men’s fashion. Honorable talking point mention: dressing like your uncle is cool. #wut
Mr. Roland also showed us around the LA Men’s Market, aka the marketplace of our dreams, personally. Not bad.
LA CANVAS: So, what exactly is The NTWRK Agency?
Kellan Roland: The NTWRK Agency is a brand-building agency. We represent multiple clothing and accessory lines for the US with offices in Los Angeles and Manhattan. We specialize in wholesale but play a key role in brand development. Basically, we are the representatives of our brands and we make sure that their goals and initiatives are followed through and implemented in the US market.
LAC: What do you do with the brands you represent?
KR: Well, number one, we hand-select our clients to be the best brands within their given niche, and a key element is having a very intimate relationship with the brand owners. We’re definitely an outside sales agency, but we act as if we’re inside sales and act with the brands’ needs and ambitions first and foremost. We’re the people getting their product into the right stores to make sure that brand’s message is clearly conveyed in the US market.
LAC: Do you facilitate collaborations within the brands you represent only or do you reach outside the realm of The NTWRK Agency?
KR: We definitely play a key role in all aspects of our brands, and it just depends on what the brands’ needs are. So, if one of our clients is looking for a footwear brand that we may have a relationship with, we’ll reach out and we’ll begin that communication. We just play a role in executing whatever needs to be done so that the brand is successful.
LAC: How far will you go to ensure your clients’ success?
KR: Though our job is first and foremost sales, we want to help out with marketing, PR, brand-development and how the brands show up in stores because it’s very important for them to be sold-in properly. That’s our key objective, but the next step in that is them selling through and selling out of the store. We have a very active role in the brands’ life, whether that’s helping with in-store build-outs, connecting that brand with the right media publications, and making sure that brand is featured in the right magazines or on the right blogs.
LAC: So how much do you yourself have a creative say in the collaborations and what you do with your brands? Are you still creative in your position now?
KR: We’re still creative in our executions and getting the brand out there in terms of sales and in-store environments, but our brands take the lead from a creative standpoint. We are a sales agency; I definitely want to make that clear. Our brands are so creative on their own so they don’t need much help from us, and that’s a part of picking the best brands. Herschel Supply Co. is on our team and they are on their own creating the best product and the same with Komono, Primitive, Brothers Marshall and Native shoes. We don’t need to be too creative in the sense of the brand creating their product, but we are creative in getting it to market.
LAC: Back to the LA Men’s Market, how did you get all of these awesome people and brands together under one roof?
KR: The way this started was: I had the idea and brought it to some other people who work with me at The NTWRK Agency, plus some local brand reps and showroom owners — we all have these beautiful showrooms in DTLA and we weren’t getting enough traffic from our local buyers or the national buyers. We offer our buyers a key opportunity to see 90 of the best brands in a two-day time period while cutting costs, saving time and really just being streamlined, giving the brand, the rep and the buyer an opportunity to do business and make it fun.
LAC: There are definitely a lot of well-dressed dudes here, but are you happy with the turnout?
KR: The event is off to a great start, it’s the morning of day two and we’ve already had triple the amount of buyers compared to any other LA Men’s Market, so, it’s been a huge success.
LAC: Wow! So, something has to be working here, right?
KR: The key is that buyers are here, they’re seeing the brands, they’re having longer appointments, and it’s not rushed like at a store where there are a lot of distractions. It’s all about doing business and leaving paper. At the end of the day, that’s what I am at heart, I’m a sales guy and it’s great to meet with the retailers but we’re trying to get the orders in. People are leaving orders here and it’s been a great experience. I’ve talked to some of the key brands that are participating and everyone has positive things to say including the retailers who made the trip down here.
LAC: In terms of your own feeling regarding Men’s fashion today, where does your own style fall within the spectrum of menswear and streetwear?
KR: [Fashion is] awesome because, on the one hand, you have kind of this refined gentleman, or, “hey, it’s cool to dress like your uncle.” I dress like an old man now, and I’m only 31. Then you have some people who dress in all black plus all of the other sort-of fringe trends happening as well. Right now, we’re in the most special time for fashion because taking risks is encouraged and being an individual is celebrated. It doesn’t matter if you are a skater, surfer or DJ you can wear whatever you want — no one is attached to any certain demographic or scene anymore. It’s kind of like a free for all, which is fun — whatever you want goes.
How do you feel about streetwear making its way into menswear?
KR: The cool thing about fashion is that it comes from everywhere; whether it’s Michael Jordan sneakers influencing fashion in the late 90s or it’s a kid skating in Brooklyn, then you see an element from his ripped shirt or ripped jeans on a runway in Milan. That’s the great thing about fashion, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it — it’s a creative expression that you see from the ground up to the top. Seeing streetwear emerge onto the runways is rad because a lot of the early streetwear, especially in the 2000s with the all-over prints, was derived from runways anyway. That all-over, high-end Versace [print] was influencing Freshjive, 10Deep and brands like that when they were taking those elements and incorporating them into their own streetwear collections.
With fashion, it’s kind of an interesting scenario because everyone is watching each other. Raf Simmons is watching the designers at 10Deep, 10Deep is watching the designers of Givenchy and it all happens together, so you get this beautiful combination of streetwear influencing and high fashion and vice versa to create basically where we’re at now, which is menswear.
LAC: What advice would you give someone just starting out and trying to be like you?
KR: I would say to anybody, if you need advice to work hard, quit now. As far as advice, keep your ears open, be humble and attach yourself to people who know more than you. The smartest advice I can give anyone is surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
LAC: Last question: how do you feel about LA CANVAS?
KR: I love it. It’s awesome there’s a publication that’s speaking directly to what’s going on in LA. There’s so much happening in Los Angeles and it’s nice to be able to tell our story and to give people from a consumer and trade POV — kind of an inside loop as to what’s going on. You guys are doing a good job of telling people where to go eat and what is the coolest fashion, but, more than that, also giving readers some insight on how this stuff is created.
It’s sort of this hybrid view because with the emergence of technology like Instagram, Twitter and all these things people have become accustomed to a behind-the-scenes mentality. Ten years ago, you didn’t know how things happened, they just happened. Now, if you’re not part of the step-by-step process, you feel like you’re left out as a consumer. As a media publication, you’re able to bring people in on that journey, help tell the story, and hopefully keep telling the stories of all these great things happening in LA, and eventually branch out to other cities as this thing grows. In an era where print media is said to be nearly dead, I hope there are people who don’t listen to that because if you listen to what everyone says, then we’re all doomed to fail.
See you all at the 2014 LA Men’s Market. We’ll definitely be there.
Here at LA CANVAS, we love a good ol’ fashioned battle of the sexes. So, for this week’s edition of VENUS//MARS, we present the unparalleled legging savants over at See You Monday. Since its initial conception, SYM has been outfitting trend-savvy ladies while staying true to their Downtown Los Angeles roots, boasting that phrase we Angelenos love so much: ‘Made in L.A.’ Their target audience is primarily female, but, given the progression of streetwear over the past few seasons, in comes the inevitable #BlurredLines of menswear and womenswear.
With luxury sportswear hitting its peak this past spring, there have been many interpretations of the traditional bandana print over the course of the last year. F-ck 1999, looks like we’re partying like it’s ‘03 Bonnie and Clyde with our bucket hats and bandana-print-everything because now the print and bold colors are more about nostalgia and iconoclasm and less about gang affiliation. Cool. Finally, we bring you the power of the paisley in all of its uni-sexiness as our LAC team styles See You Monday’s Luda Leggings from both the female and male perspective. Looks like the ladies might have some competition– maybe. So you tell us, who wore it best?
Still can’t decide? Let’s take this friendly competition to the streets of DTLA where the SYM leggings can exist in their natural habitat.
FEMALE MODEL: Maddie Dawn / LA Models
MALE MODEL: Cyle Barzini
ART DIRECTOR: Lauren McQuade
STYLISTS: Aaron Ramey, Lauren McQuade
MAKEUP ARTIST: Michelle Sosnowski PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Wales Asst. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ron Pre
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