So Nike ACG is coming back this month… Pretty big news if you actually realised that it was “officially” disbanded in 2009 but given the amount of shoes that have dropped with the tag tacked onto them you’d be forgiven to thinking it never went anywhere. Truth is ACG dwindled out in the end, dying a slow death from the fantastic concept and product that it was founded on in 1989 and garnered so much reverence through the 90s thanks to ever-tightening budgets as the money moved towards other projects. Whilst the relaunching is something that garners some interest from me simply on the premise that Nike might consider relaunching stuff that you simply can’t find or wear nowadays, it seems there might be other intentions at least initially. Instead of chasing the endless peaks of the world’s mountain ranges, or the deepest canyons ACG will reinvent Nike’s most revered acronym for the modern wilderness with the help of… Wait for it…. Acronym!
When you want to make techware for the 20th century you look towards one man, Errolson Hugh and the über talented team at ACRNM. How this turns out will be interesting but I can almost guarantee that the product will maintain the ACG name and reputation for product that simply works, whether the colour palette reflects the signature ACG insanity or remains restrained ala ACRNM remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, with the assistance of Gary Warnett the copy will be on-point. In the same way I was excited to see him involved in the Stussy OMS collection (which reeked of ACG nostalgia) having the man with encyclopaedic knowledge on 90s sports and tech ware writing your ad’s is going to do well. Rather than hashtags and sweeping keyword-laden statements from online research it instead will no doubt sneak in misty-eyed nostalgia and plenty of “if you know you’ll get it” hints. I’d have given a bit to see poor Gaz hosting the launch event as well… There’s a fair bit of fanboyism going on but I don’t care, I’d rather get excited about seeing someone I spent some time conversing and arguing with on a forum than some weakly themed footwear.
As I previously touched on, the ACRNM J41-GT grew and grew on me until I jumped at the chance to grab it when END had their sale. Conveniently Brisbane has been in the midst of intensely tropical weather patterns meaning that not 3 minutes after receiving it the piece was put into action in a torrential downpour. Obviously the lack of a hood creates some wet hair and the lack of waterproof shorts means that for now all the water I avoid on my torso runs onto my inferiorly weather-proof bottom half. Those who don’t experience torrential rain with 100% humidity and 26 degree weather will probably never understand the need for waterproof shorts but those in the know can share the feels. The Escape Zip also means that every “doffing” of the jacket turns into a theatrical affair akin to something you’d normally see on the Discovery channel. Needless to say the footwear has been taking a bit of a back seat as I decide to finally pursue the ACRNM dream, I’m sure it will help the storage situation at the same time. Financials will remain in the same dire straits though.
Alife managed to take me back to 2006 all over again, re-upping on the first collaborative shoe that ever made me freak the fuck out. I remember when these dropped and I remember them touching on four figures at a time when selling shoes for a profit was something that was either frowned upon or reserved strictly for SBs and Hyperstrikes. Tennis ball felt on Michael Chang’s on-court classic was one of the single most genius moves I had seen and to this day, all the subsequent coloured versions never stacked up to the original yellow though. I still search for a pair at a reasonable price but unfortunately time has not treated them well, with the Pump plastic crumbling worse than a Windrunner midsole had me considering if a tongue plastic transplant was possible. My ponderings in recent months toward Alife being the best collaborator on sneakers (I struggle to find another brand that has done so many on-point projects from such a broad brand range) I found myself looking for these harder than normal and then low and behold here they are re-releasing this weekend. A few detail changes make them distinguishable from the originals but all the important parts are there. If I miss them this time there could be some McEnroe type behaviour on show.
Seriously though, ACG has to have one of the best advertising track records ever, no lookbooks by some “famous” photographer you feel bad for not knowing, no hashtags, just good old fashion bold creative copy and fantastic tongue-in-cheek humor…