Holy Shit! Ken Block Fired By DC Shoes! (Worldwide Exclusive)

Holy Shit! Ken Block Fired By DC Shoes! (BBB Exclusive)

Just got the news from a VERY reliable source in the US – Quiksilver (that owns DC Shoes) has dropped DC’s whole Auto Division and let Ken Block go.

For those who aren’t clear about Ken Block’s relationship with DC Shoes - he co-founded the company with Damon Way in 1994. In 2004, they sold the company to Quiksilver for USD87 million. However, Ken Block was retained by Quiksilver as DC’s Chief Branding Officer.

No one from Quiksilver had the balls to call Ken and tell him and passed the responsibility to DC’s VP of Marketing to do the honors.

DC Shoes will also be discontinuing their Surf and BMX lines too as part of a company-wide cost-cutting exercise.

Travis Pastrana’s under-performing line has not been spared the axe either as had DC’s very generic-looking women’s line.

DC’s Southeast Asia HQ, situated in Singapore, is also shutting down. Southeast Asia will be managed by Australia from now on.

I honestly can’t say that I didn’t see this coming. In fact I did voice my concern to some of the higher-ups at DC a while back, but my opinions/advice fell on deaf ears.

A company can’t possibly be profitable if you hire too many incompetent people for the job.

Or people who aren’t qualified.

The people working at DC Singapore know absolutely nothing about skateboarding or motorsport.

Neither do the distributors in Malaysia.

In fact, DC’s Malaysian brand manager had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF DC SHOES before being transfered from another department in the company to oversee DC Malaysia.

This pattern is repeated in many of DC’s offices and subsidiaries all over the world.

How can you possibly do anything good for the brand if you don’t understand it’s core values?

Holy gymkhana!

Remember – you heard it HERE first!


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New Haze Mural @ the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

Hey check this out – Haze has an awesome new mural up in Los Angeles, commissioned by the uber-chic Standard Hotel for their LA location (some of you may remember the awesome T that Eric designed for the New York branch a few years back)

It’s 100% Haze but when I look at it, the mural also evokes some Miró (but that’s purely my own feeling)

New Haze Mural @ the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

Here’s what Eric had to say about this project:

With all the painting and installations going on around downtown LA last month, I was psyched to have a mural project of my own lined up in the neighborhood too…

Since creating a t-shirt for The Standard hotel a few years ago, I have been interested in participating more in their growing art and product programs.

So when the opportunity came up to take my turn at bat on their 40’ mural space outside the downtown branch, I was all over it…especially since we were able to coordinate doing it while I would be out there for the museum show anyway.

New Haze Mural @ the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

At 40’ x 6’, I thought the wall was an ideal dimension for the kind of painting which calls for a full stroke top to bottom, the same way we would have approached a T2B on a train car from a platform or catwalk back in the day…

I also thought it would be a good place to start working with a combination of spray paint and traditional brush, looking to conceptually fuse together different references through the juxtaposition of technique and materials.

New Haze Mural @ the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

Armed with a few boxes of spray paint that Risky, Matt and Reudi blessed me with from the LA Montana Store, plus an 6” wide brush and gallon of black exterior acrylic that I shipped out from Crest Hardware in BK… I jumped on a scizzor lift for couple of days to knock out the artwork I had mocked up on a photograph ahead of time.

After drawing the first outlines in spray, I sprayed in the color backgrounds while my man CR cut back the white with brush and roller, then I came back with brushes for the main black stroke and white date and signature.

New Haze Mural @ the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

It felt good flexing a few old muscles and working on this scale with spray paint again,
the acrylic laid down over it nice and smoothly too… and considering the theme of the moment, it was cool to get outside and actually do some “art in the streets” while I was in LA too

And in related news, here’s a shot of Eric’s installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles:

Haze Installation @ Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Acknowledge and respect his greatness please.

Haze … ALWAYS winning!


What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

Last weekend I was in Kuala Lumpur to shoot a new ad for What’s Good?

The shoot was being done by my good buddies from MCClubz, a new online community for all Malaysian car clubs to congregate together and share news/information.

I think it’s a great initiative and I fully support it and you should too!

What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

We were shooting an ad for the first issue of their e-mag, which will be launching in April, and our model for this shoot was the lovely Jocelyn Leong.

Jocelyn is super cute and has a million-dollar smile that makes guys weak at the knees (as evidenced by all the MCClubz guys fawning over her at the shoot)

I’ve always been very against shooting girls with my cars, but this time was a really pleasant experience and I think the results were great so I will probably do it again.

What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

This was the second time I worked with MCClubz photographer Calvin Leong, and I’d have to say he is a very promising talent.

Always thinking outside the box, Calvin doesn’t mind getting down and dirty, as long as he gets his shot.

What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

The MCClubz boys found this INSANE location for the shoot. I was awestruck when I saw the place and couldn’t stop marveling at the size and cleanliness of the place.

What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

Yes, this indoor floodlight car park was HUGE.

Hmm … I wonder who laid down those tyre marks on the floor?

What's Good? Photoshoot w/ Jocelyn by Mcclubz

(L-R) Ernest, Alfred, me, Jocelyn, Calvin, Merlvyn and Ronnie.

Thanks to the boys for organizing the shoot and special thanks to Jocelyn for being such a great model.

Go check out the MCClubz page on Facebook now – www.facebook.com/mcclubz !!!


Burning Ink 2011

Do you remember the awesome art exhibition called Burning Ink from last year?

Well, this year it’s back and it’s gonna be bigger and better:

DC Europe – Following on from the success of the BURNING INK Event in Paris last year, DC Europe is proud to be launching the BURNING INK Art Show for the month of April 2011 in New York City, USA and June /July 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

New York: From the 7th to the 28rd of April 2011
Berlin: From the 17th of June to the 7th of July 2011.

Bringing together a unique selection of world renowned street artists, graphic designers and illustrators, BURNING INK is a crossover event between the world’s of fine arts and tattoo’s.

The selected artists are SSUR, SBTG, SUPAKITCH, KORALIE, XGHETTO, SCIEN, DEAN, KLOR (123 CLAN),SPOE,CHLOE TRUJILLO,LA BOUCHERIE MODERNE, and others to be confirmed soon.

Burning Ink 2011

The concept is radical and never been seen before in these two cities: All the handmade drawings designed by selected artists will be burnt at the end of the show. A very different concept to an ordinary art show, no one can go home with the art in their hands The only way for the drawings to survive the flame is to be bought and inked into the buyers’s skin, making each design a unique tattoo.

The first edition of DC’s BURNING INK was held in Paris from 20th of May to June 13th 2010 at “Bleu Noir”, the Tattoo Parlor/Gallery in Durantin Street, Paris 18eme.

Burning Ink 2011

NEW YORK’s BURNING INK will take place in FRANK’s CHOP SHOP, an incredible barber shop, managed by a young team of creative blades. Frank’s Chop Shop is located in the Lower East Side, at Essex Street, 19. The art Show will be run from the 7th to the 28th of April 2011.

BERLIN’s BURNING INK will take place in the downtown venue and wellknown UNDPLUS CollabRoom , Torstrasse, 66, not far from Alexander Platz. From the 17th of June, the Art Show will end up in flames during the fashion week, on the 7th of July 2011.

Burning Ink 2011

A special Pop Up Art Show will be added to both events with a leather jacket Series by Artists SSUR (LA/Moscow), SBTG (Singapore), SUPAKITCH (Brooklyn) & 123CLAN (Montreal).
Three unique painted leather jackets will be shown during the art shows with the presence of the Artists. Each event will have a special opening, closing parties and aftershows.

A limited edition BURNING INK tee shirt will be produced and available to buy on site and online.

Burning Ink 2011

A special focus on the latest DC Limited Series and DC Artists Collaboration products will also be displayed during the BERLIN show with the special appearance of SBTG during the Burning Ceremony on the 7th of July.

SSUR and SBTG have previously worked and partnered with DC on several Artist and Double Label Projects.

Mark aka SBTG is gonna be there to so go support if you’re in Berlin at the time!

All the best with the event, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.


A Bathing Ape

Here’s a HUGE piece of news for those of you who are interested in the streetwear industry:

TOKYO—One of the most influential Japanese clothing brands to emerge over the past two decades has been snapped up by a Hong Kong apparel maker, in a move that underscores the growing wave of acquisitions of Japanese firms by their Asian competitors.

A Bathing Ape—better known as BAPE—grew from a single shop on a backstreet in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district. Its T-shirts, hoodies and jeans, designed by Tomoaki Nagao, known as Nigo, acquired a cult following among young Japanese men when the brand launched in 1993, and was later embraced by hip-hop icons such as Kanye West and Jay-Z. Microsoft’s X-Box and Nintendo’s DS game handset were emblazoned with BAPE designs, and BAPE-branded condoms were part of the label’s lineup.

Now, I.T Ltd., a Hong Kong-based clothing company, is set to buy a roughly 90% stake in Nowhere Co., the Japanese operator of A Bathing Ape, for 230 million yen ($2.8 million) from Mr. Nagao.

A Bathing Ape

The move comes of the heels of a spate of deals by Asian buyers of Japanese companies and real estate. Marlion Holdings Ltd., owned by a consortium of Chinese investors, last year bought more than 50% of Honma Golf for an undisclosed price. The Hilton in Niseko Village, a popular ski resort in Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, was snapped up by YTL Corp., a Malaysian infrastructure conglomerate, for six billion yen.

I.T is aiming to increase its market share in street fashion in both Hong Kong and mainland China, where the appetite for A Bathing Ape’s $75 T-shirts is growing as younger Chinese consumers look for edgier styles with an established brand.

A Bathing Ape opened its first store in Beijing in January, and has retail outlets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and New York. Its Los Angeles store closed last year.

A Bathing Ape

In A Bathing Ape’s heyday, lines would snake around the shop in Harajuku with scores of young men eager to buy one of its T-shirts, which were made in limited batches. But in recent years, the balance sheet of the Nowhere Group, the operator of A Bathing Ape, has suffered. For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010, its net loss was 119 million yen, slightly better than a loss of 267.4 million yen the previous year. The company had liabilities totaling 1.03 billion yen in the year ended August 31. I.T will also guarantee the company’s outstanding loans of 2.6 billion yen.

I.T said in a press release that it will “promptly rationalize Nowhere Group’s capital structure to restore a healthy balance sheet and positive cashflow. It is anticipated that measures to be taken will include implementation of stringent cost controls.”

Mr. Nagao has agreed to stay on as the creative director of Nowhere for two years, focusing on product design, brand direction and image development.

By MARIKO SANCHANTA for the Wall Street Journal

A Bathing Ape

$2.8 million is about the price of 2 of Nigo’s cars?

I.T is guaranteeing Nowhere’s 2.6 billion yen in outstanding loans so just think about how many Ts they’re going to have to sell.

Oh and here’s a spot the BBC did on Nigo a few years ago: