Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Zaius’

Jerry Hsu, The Bitter Dose And A New Support Network For Gap to Backside Nosebluntslides

April 7, 2018

“The payout was sneaker money,” Roc Marciano recently griped over the pittance he received for 3 million streams of 2016’s ‘Rosebudd’s Revenge,’ spurring the Hempstead rap singer to summon a new business model for this year’s sequel: He would offer digital downloads off his own site for $30 apiece for weeks before delivering the album to steaming services and other Web 2.0 branches. Would the steep price deter a generation of musical pirates reared on filesharing platforms, or annoy willing fans who’d see their pricey purchase beamed worldwide to stream subscribers within a month’s time? Roc Marciano suggests enough devotees deemed the project — and the artist himself — premium price-worthy: “This shit is printing money. The return on investment happened in a day.”

A similarly blustery horizon in action sporting commerce came into view this week via the somewhat-anticipated launch of SciFiFantasy.co, an internet Web portal peddling t-shirts, with-hood sweaters and headgear emblazoned with the categorical signifier once relegated to Cloud Strife and Charlton Heston, now synonymous with multidimensional Tilt Moder Jerry Hsu and his defiantly vertical switch hardflips. After dedicating around two decades’ worth of slacker-chic switch heelflips and frontside nosegrind pop-outs to the likes of Osiris, Enjoi, Emerica and Chocolate, Jerry Hsu is flexing. Throwing top-drawer and presumably still-paying sponsors to the wind while vapors of his impeccable ‘Made Chapter 2’ part still linger, Jerry Hsu now tests the brawn of his amorphous and minimalist brand venture with a new product lineup in a range of colors and sizes.

So far, the returns appear handsome. As per Slap board reporting, a recent Sci-Fi Fantasy run rapidly sold through at threadful boutique location Dover Street Market, and the online store’s subsequent debut found hopeful clickers emptying the Sci-Fi Fantasy warehouse and filling web shopping carts, leaving only lesser-loved sizes to be picked over and in a few months resold on digital bazaars.

Sci-Fi Fantasy’s most sought-after products: mainly plain shirts and sweaters, understatedly self-titled in a gentle serif. Fetching though the colors may be and the embroidery no doubt the finest in the realm, it bears pondering what has inspired droves of consumers to fork over $70 per hoodie, with gusto. You’d like to think 20 years of in-street toiling with next to no wack moves plays some role. With the deck sector badly oversaturated and sneaker manufacturing a rich executive’s game, companies such as Jerry Hsu’s solo-project venture could be regarded as a 100% cotton, unstructured investment vehicle through which supporters can directly fund favored pros’ skating, sorta like an ongoing Kickstarter with bright yellow tops as thank-you gifts and any footage or photos considered a longterm payout.

In a Warhol-esque version of a future skate industry where 1% of pros earn lavish salaries and the rest ball for position, will everyone have their own brand, with price-points scaling higher in accordance with gnarliness and footage releases? Will the premium t-shirt reign as the skate biz’s optimum profit center until 3D printing forces the industry to license out its hottest logos and graphics for the purposes of at-home softgoods manufacturing, in custom sizes? Will skateboard users’ long-held resistance to anything beyond the seven-ply hard rock maple deck prove the industry’s ultimate salvation when once-profitable shirts, pants and shoes can be synthetically produced via 3D printing? Will ‘Black Cat’ one day earn recognition as Jerry Hsu’s lesser-loved ‘other masterpiece’?

Every Creeping Thing that Creepeth Upon the Earth

February 18, 2018

The tale of the St. Archer Brewery goes like this: laconic skate professionals, moneyed but with few spots to park it beyond real estate, sink fortuitous funds into a savvily marketed micro-brewing enterprise, eventually tempting brewery giant buyers thirsting after higher-margin products, and putting all involved onto that proverbial ‘easy street.’ It is a legend that has only grown as the fortunes of the legacy skate industry become more dire by the day; for board companies outside the umbrella of distributors starting with a D and rhyming with ‘Green Tux,’ it seems increasingly difficult to retain riders who’d just as soon jump ship for non-paying vanity projects. For non-multinational shoe companies, rumors swirl about the next to fold, restructure or seek a hot cash injection. And it continues.

Much as the decade-old threat of a Barcelona police crackdown thrust the skateboard industry into a worldwide search for marble ledges in a semitropical climate and mellow law enforcement atmosphere, the St. Archer golden ticket has inspired a number of aging kickflippers to try their hand at venture investing. Now comes Villager Goods, a skater-backed coconut beverage manufacturer, peddled as a more-nutritious and earthy alternative to the vast cauldrons of caffeine-spiked high fructose corn syrup that have funded so many vert careerists’ speed boat loans, often in zesty lemon-lime flavours.

It remains unclear whether fizzy drink conglomerates, facing the prospect that Coca-Cola could be taxed like tobacco, will one day make it rain upon Villager stakeholders such as Paul Rodriguez, Andrew Reynolds and AVE. But venturing into the prickly and volcanic dimension of consumer packaged food and beverages brings its own threats and perils, illuminated this week by skateboarding’s most enthusiastic heel, @Weckingball. The body-building Pupecki grinder linked Villager Goods to troubling reports that the world’s wealthiest coconut farms are powered by enslaved monkeys, forced to clamor up and down frondy palm trees without lunch breaks or paid time off. The explosive allegation was potentially poisonous to the meticulously curated and increasingly socially aware Instagram franchises of several name pros, and quickly drew a denial from Kenny Anderson.

Would the concept of moneky enslavement, proffered 25 years ago in a Xerox-quality B&W ad a month in between World’s ‘White Power’ sequences and its prescient condemnation of rogue sea creatures, have prompted tsk-tsking or earned a place in skate lore, destined to be scanned and reposted upon sociable networks several decades later? It is a hypothetical entertaining to ponder but impossible to answer. Yet as portions of the skateboard industry appear to circle the dreaded ‘drain,’ resource maximization may transform from a fusty slogan to a dire necessity. Skateboarding springs directly from human mastery of the environment; with sharp tools, man chops down living trees and slices away hard rock Canadian maple, transports it to plants using fossil fuels, and outfits the result with trucks and bolts forged from molten metals carved out of mountainsides. In a time when deck makers seem to have burned through the few dollars’ worth of cost savings secured by turning to lower-cost Chinese manufacturing, should conscripted animal labor be so quickly dismissed?

Consider: Might highly trained beavers, supervised and physically disciplined within the confines of planetary law, replace costly human loggers and support sagging profit margins in the deck business, at least until the 2020 Olympics saves the industry? Can cheap gene-engineering technologies produce bees capable of making Gulf Wax in addition to the stuff Burt converts into pricey balms? Why not lasso some whales to pull board- and T-shirt-laden ocean freighters back and forth across the Pacific for the price of some sturdy rope and plankton? Could the continued 1990s nostalgia wave create a new career path for retired circus elephants, flattening board concaves to 1996 Girl level?