The 90's and early 00's captured in one fashion collaboration by Chinatown Market and Converse.
First off, we know Chinatown Market is going to change their name. It's partly the society and situation we see ourselves in today. Some people are offended, some people aren't. As Editor of CROSSxOVER and an Asian-American, in my own personal opinion, I actually think they should keep their company name. Instead of having this knee-jerk reaction to scribbling out their company origins, they might want to think about turning this perception of appropriation and negativity on its head by turning it into a positive. I, for one, love visiting all types of Chinatowns in other cities. It's where I get to explore fucking amazing foods, knick-knacks for any occasion, purchase highly questionable t-shirts and have some type of illegal activity being offered to me. I love all of it. I never thought for one moment that this is somehow insensitive to my culture. Part of what I believe Chinatown Market does well is bring the notion of "exploration" to life with interesting collabs and styles. Their inspiration was New York's Chinatown – a vibrant, cultured, hard-working fabric of the greatest city on Earth. The Asian culture is a welcoming community. I don't want to take back the word "Chinatown" and then do nothing with it just because someone else is doing something interesting with it. Hell, the older generation fucking LOVES it when you say something great about Asian culture. It's like my parents telling all their friends that my brother is a lawyer – wouldn't you want other people telling everyone at the top of their lungs that their culture is great?? Yet, here we are. If they feel like they need to change it, be my guest. But if they don't, I wouldn't kill them for it either.
Rant over. Let's move on.
(Pause and takes sip of a summer mint drink)......damn, that is delicious. If there's anything to remember about me, it's that I love basketball. I grew up watching the greats: Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson, hell the whole freakin' Dream Team. I remember meeting Hakeem Olajuwon in a restaurant and he was the most gentle giant I've ever met. I also met Kenny Smith at the mall and he brushed me off like a fly hovering around soup.
I loved watching Mitch Richmond, Tracy Murray and Dell Curry (Steph Curry's dad, for you younglings) shoot lights out with the basketball. I loved Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin so much I bought a Golden State Warriors Starter jacket back in middle school and rocked it whenever I could (side note: it got stolen, so really only had it about 5 months).
Long story short, I'm a giant basketball nerd. It's why when I saw this collab between Chinatown Market, Converse and Jeff Hamilton commemorating the three-peat dynasties of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, it brought me back to the 90's nostalgia watching some serious hoops with my older brother.
Designed by the famous Jeff Hamilton, the designer who rose to fame by producing those wildly loud championship jackets for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, sneakerheads get a taste of his design style from head to toe.
If these designs were to be brought back in, let's say, 2010, I'm sure a lot of people would be rolling their eyes. But it's been 20+ years since the Bulls and Lakers have won their three-peats (writing this sentence made me feel old, by the way) and we live in a society where being loud is a right of passage, so these designs are spot on for me. Some might say it's a bit too colorful and heavy, but you know what? If I won a three-peat, I'd be telling the whole damn world every day that I'm a back-to-back-to-back champion.
One thing I dig about the sneakers is the stitching. It does not look half-assed like other shoe brands. Although I am a fan of Puma, their stitching and suede seem to get fuzzy after wearing them for 3 minutes. For a second-tier brand below Air Jordan or Adidas, Converse does a good job with Chinatown Market's and Jeff Hamilton's big, bold designs.
We think it would look peculiar and downright shoddy to rock a shoe with a skyline or palm tree silhouettes. It would be like me busting out the N'sync CD or trying to sneak out of the house decked out in Armani Exchange from head-to-toe once again. But paired with Hamilton's style, you know what you're getting into. Loudness. Nostalgic boldness. Paired with today's street style, this is definitely in.
Because of the nostalgia, we give this 8/10.