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?

A couple of years ago, there were some very smart and clever people working at DC, but they all left and have been replaced by tools.

It’s all went downhill from there.

P.S. DC Shoes has retained the trademarks to the word “gymkhana” and has not assigned them to Ken Block so technically now Ken Block also cannot use the word gymkhana.

Holy gymkhana!

Remember – you heard it HERE first!

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Thank you!

BADBOYBEN X DC SHOES DISTRICT 4

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

This is my first post of 2012, so let’s start it off with a bang, k?

A while ago, I was given the opportunity to do something that very few people in this world will ever get – which was to design my own colorway of a shoe!

DC Shoes let me design my own version of their premium luxury model, the District 4.

To me this is one of the rarest honors available in the world today – how many people do you know who have their own shoe?

And to be the FIRST Malaysian to do this? An even greater privilege.

Before I talk about the shoe, I just want to express my sincerest thanks to Jeremy Hale, Gary Parsons and DC Shoes for bestowing this great, great honor upon me.

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

When Cherice Fredricks first showed me a sample of the District 4 (way back in 2010 when we were in Hong Kong) I was blown away because it was such a refreshing silhouette.

Clean, striking and instantly recognizable, it was refreshing to see something so fresh in a day and age where shoe designs are just being rehashed and copied over and over again.

I fell in love with the shape of the shoe immediately.

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

I had never designed a colorway before so I sat and looked at the sample shoe that Cherice gave to me.

I did this for weeks.

I looked at the shoe from every different angle and millions of color combinations ran through my mind.

And during this time my respect for the guys who keep designing awesome colorways and fresh looking kicks time and time again kept increasing.

In the end I decided to base the shoe on the 4 colors used in printing – cyan, yellow, magenta and black (or CYMK to those in the industry)

This is because first and foremost, I am a designer and I spent my formative years designing all sorts of printing material – brochures, catalogs, posters, flyers, banners, etc etc so I thought it would be a nice throwback to where I started it all.

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

I made the body of the shoe cyan as I felt that was the most striking color and could be seen from miles away.

The side-padding, edges and label I made yellow as I felt that those were the best places to introduce a color contrast to make the shoe really pop.

The best place to use magenta was then the laces, the piping around the edges of the tongue and also on the inner lining/insoles of the shoe. I felt that using magenta on the inside gave the shoe a warmer and more inviting feeling.

For the black on the shoe, I asked DC if they had a “carbon fiber-look” material as cars are such a huge part of my life and I love carbon fiber so much … DC came back to me and said they found this awesome fabric and I used it on the tongue of the shoe, as you can see here. The fabric is so awesome!

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

Just in case I ever forgot whose shoe this was, I designed a repeating print for the inside. Kekeke

Actually, I wanted my name on the shoe, but not in a very overt and prominent way on the exterior so I put my logo on the inside.

The only other place you can see it is on the tiny label on the tongue.

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

Oh the heel of the shoe, I put 2 phrases that I basically live my life by – Work Hard & Play Hard.

I balance both as well as I can, so one on the left foot and one on the right.

BadBoyBen x DC Shoes District 4

This amazing photo was shot by Eric Ooi last year. Eric is an amazing photographer who I am also extremely pleased to be able to call my friend. I have a lot of respect for him coz he’s someone who shunned the corporate life in favor of pursuing his passion – photography. And he’s doing really well which reaffirms my belief that Passion + Conviction = Success.

Once again, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart Jeremy Hale, Gary Parsons & DC Shoes for giving me this most fucking awesome opportunity. Being the first Malaysian in history to design his own colorway is one of the coolest things I could ever hope to be. I’d also like to thank Cherice Fredricks and Hommy Diaz for all their help in the process – I couldn’t have done it without the both of you!

Thank you for making me one of the happiest guys in the world!

(P.S. Please click on any of the images to see a larger version!)

2011 CONEMASTERS X MEAN MACHINES GYMKHANA CHALLENGE – THANK YOU ALL!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The first thing I have to say before anything else is THANK YOU:

THANK YOU TO THE FANS.

THANK YOU TO THE SPECTATORS.

THANK YOU TO THE DRIVERS.

THANK YOU TO AUTO CITY.

THANK YOU TO INTRENASIONALE.

THANK YOU TO ALL MY CREW/HOMIES.

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPONSORS.

Thank you all for making the 2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge the BIGGEST EVER GYMKHANA EVENT EVER HELD IN NORTHERN MALAYSIA.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I was really stressed in the weeks leading up to the event, mainly because it was such a huge one – we were expecting a crowd of 100,000 people to descend upon Auto City for the weekend. How do you handle a crowd of 100,000 people? (For your reference, the most number of people attending a Formula 1 race in all the years it has been held at Sepang is 90,000)

I was so busy with every aspect of the event I didn’t even have time to get my car ready.

I didn’t  have time to change my clutch, change my brake pads or even change my transmission/LSD oil! The only thing I managed to have time to do was get my alignment done one day before practice.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

For the first time, I tried -3° camber on my front wheels. This was the most negative camber I have ever run on my car and I also lowered it to the lowest it has ever been.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

On Friday night, Jackson, the boys and  turned up at Auto City to set up but Auto City hadn’t barricaded off our area yet and there were still cars parked all over so there wasn’t much we could do except burn some rubber by doing donuts around the Kia sign you see in the background.

I thought -3° was a lot of negative camber to be running, but look at Jackson’s KE70!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

For the weekend of the event, we were staying at the Ixora, a brand new hotel on mainland Penang, just 10 minutes away from Auto City.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The hotel is very contemporary, modern and classy. I can safely say that it is the most beautiful hotel on the mainland right now and I am really happy that we stayed here!

All of us who stayed here had nothing but compliments about the Ixora, and I highly recommend this hotel if you are ever looking for a place to stay on the mainland.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The hotel arranged parking for us outside the main entrance, so we parked all our cars here after a hard day’s racing.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

My good buddy Remus, owner of Motorsport Playground, drove his AWESOME R33 GTR all the way up from Kuala Lumpur to compete in the All-Wheel Drive Category with me. He came up with French urban artist Mega, who designed the kick-ass graphics on Remus’ GTR.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s a shot I took outside the hotel at about 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning.

Do you like my orange rims?

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s Remus and I at breakfast before heading off to Auto City on race day.

The Ixora has a really dope buffet breakfast yo!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I don’t think many people had seen an R33 competing in a gymkhana prior to Conemasters and it was certainly the first time that Remus had driven his beast like this.

To say that it was an unbelievably awesome sight would be a gross understatement and the wall-to-wall spectators who were there will attest to that.

Don’t worry, we’ve captured ALL the action on video so you’ll be able to see it soon!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

What’s Good? blogger Sean Tierney flew all the way from Hong Kong to attend the event and check out all the cars. We gave him a ride in all our cars and by the end of 2 days, he was walking like this.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I asked Sean to stay on a few days so I could take him to try as much dope Penang cuisine as possible and every meal was basically a perennial feast of as much good shit as we could cram onto the table

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

In return for all the food, Sean kept up entertained by wearing an endless number of awesome t-shirts.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Alvin Lee (Dzeus VIP, Crap) came and hung out with us too. I’ve known Alvin for a few years and we’ve talked online, but this was the first time that we actually spent some time together and it was all good.

Alvin’s new nickname is BB so if you ever see him, please call him that.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

One of the “Faces of Mean Machines” this year was US Import Model Amy Fay and we hung out for a bit after the event.

Amy is a CRAZY GIRL and FREAKS THE FUCK OUT OF ME.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

But she has some dope ink!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Check out this back piece by Tokidoki!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Sean kept inviting people to taste his rainbow, and guess who obliged? Hahaha

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s Amy enjoying an illustration of Malaysian-style hot dog.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I took Sean to as many of my favorite food spots as possible and he really seemed to enjoy the food. I was glad to be able to let him try all the awesome food we have here in Penang!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

All in all, it was an incredible week that none of us will forget soon.

I don’t know how to describe the adrenalin and rush of the event, the amazing level of driving that we saw or the insane enthusiasm of the spectators.

All I can say is THANK YOU again to every one involved and we are ALREADY working on the NEXT CONEMASTERS EVENT.

Jackson and I would like to thank our sponsors Epic Sound & Light, Image Foundation, DC Shoes, Ixora Hotel and Tom’s Stickers for supporting us and helping to make the 2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge such an unforgettable event!

KEN BLOCK’S GYMKHANA FOUR – 16 AUGUST 2011

Ken Block's Gymkhana FOUR

Petrolheads of the world, are you ready for Ken Block’s Gymkhana FOUR video?

The original Gymkhana Practice video blew people away and set a new standard for driving entertainment videos around the world.

Gymkhana Two went all Hollywood on us and Gymkhana Three defied gravity with donuts on a 51-degree bank in France.

The three videos have amassed more than 80 million views on Youtube, making them one of the (if not THE) most successful series of driving entertainment videos in the world.

Ken Block's Gymkhana FOUR

Gymkhana FOUR – 16th August, 2011.

Are you ready?