Category Archives: Style

Fashions

Platform Specific Businesses

smartphone-wars

There are many tech start-ups that aim to solve a problem by utilizing technology. Most of these start-ups emerge from ‘The Valley’ out in California where Venture Capitalists and wealthy folk throw money hoping to have the next FaceBook or Twitter on their hands – businesses with no real solid business model that makes no money outside of advertising (but I will save that rant for another post). A lot of the start-ups are uber niche – niche is a good thing as a small company does not have the resources to take on a big sector of an industry or market. But I always often wonder the logic that some start-ups take when they support their Web app native app from one platform over the other – especially when the barrier for entry is very low – very low. (Instagram and Vine are examples of apps that were iOS first before Android)

I’m not necessarily talking about the 1-3 start-ups that are working on their apps out of a Coffee house or Momma’s business, but I’m referring to the start-ups that have some funding such as Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, etc.. The dominant mobile platforms are Android and iOS, and many start-ups will usually embrace iOS before they go to Android (though that is slowly changing). But let’s look at how much it costs to publish an app in iOS App Store and Google Play:

  • Google Play – $25/year to publish app
  • Apple App Store – $99/year + SDK/NDK fees ($250)

It is actually cheaper to publish an app on Android than on Apple – now, there isn’t much of a difference there in my opinion, and I would postulate that most sane people would say the same. So the other important factor is programming – and let’s be honest there are many tools that devs can use to port their code OR they can code in HTML5 and JS and use many wrappers. Or if you really want to go native, then there is not a big hurdle in finding native developers, and to be honest most start-ups should have at least 2 devs that can cross-program iOS and Android.

So then if that isn’t the answer, we have to look at the psychology of targeting specific platforms (or at least I choose to ‘take it there’).  To be blunt, there is a perception that iOS is perceived as ‘high class’ in part due to its pricing from Apple. For this article’s sake, let’s just say a snobbery attitude exists hat has been cultivated quite cleverly by Apple that posits something to the effect of “Apple products are for those that prefer the finer things in life with”. From a marketing perspective that is not necessarily that bad because as humans, well in Western society especially, we have a desire to attain opulence and the finer things in life – from as a child with our fascination with Barbie’s and Hot Rods to our adult wishes of BMW’s, designer clothing, big houses, we have been receptors of marketing messages that promote this message. Some of us will spend our money, even when we don’t even have it, to go line-up at the Apple Store at the launch of a new iPhone or iPad. Developers tap into this murky technological psychology of brand perception and exacerbate this phenomenon – as technically, there is nothing that separates what an iOS vs an Android app can perform (the arguments even suggest that you can do more with an Android app). So the issue boils down to something that may seem confusing to someone that is rooted by economics of scale – though there are technically more Android devices out there, let’s produce an app for the platform that ‘appears better’, because we look down on the other platform.

Snobbery exists everywhere – even with something as simple as an ‘app’ – there are social complexities that exist.

.::LiBM::.

Defining an Era or Error: Air Force 1’s and the Pump

Defining an Era or Error: The Pump & Air Force 1

I had neither shoes while I was growing up, but the impact on hip-hop/urban culture was definitely felt as if you were a kid, and somehow you convinced your mom to buy you a pair of these over-priced sneakers – you were the man. Well, at least you better be, because from coast-to-coast, nation-to-nation, youth were being jumped/jacked/robbed of their footwear. Thus, when something as an increase in youth robberies; related to a particular shoe, then the shoe reflects a definitive era in our society, and becomes a part of our collective culture… anyhow, enough of the preamble, onwards to pics and video:


Reebok the Pump

The original Reebok Pump was made as a collaboration between Reebok’s Paul Litchfield and industrial design firm Design Continuum. It was released in 1989, as a basketball high-top shoe. It was the first shoe to have an internal inflation mechanism that regulated a unique fitting cushion in the upper tongue. The shoe was quite expensive compared to other retail athletic shoes at the time. It became something of a status symbol on urban basketball courts and eventually in suburban high schools.

After the success of the basketball shoe, Reebok designed pump shoes for football, tennis, and track. Some models used a standard CO2 cylinder instead of the pump for weight considerations.

Reebok Pump Commercial from Steve Fuller on Vimeo.


Air Force 1

The Air Force 1 was produced in 1982 and discontinued the following year. It was re-released in 1986 with the modern italic Nike logo with a Swoosh on the bottom on the back of the shoe. Little has changed to the Air Force One since its creation in 1982, although the original stitching on the side panels is no longer present in modern versions of the shoe. Since then, over 1,700 color variations have been produced, bringing in an estimated 800 million USD/year in revenue. The selling of the Air Force Ones online by certain retailers is prohibited by Nike who has restricted supply of the sneaker.

Nike Air Force 1 – Crafting Perfect One from tenk on Vimeo.

Obviously Nike won this battle as the ‘Air Force 1′ shoe remains a cultural staple as many rappers have referenced and even made songs about it (i.e. Nelly and his shameless song ‘Air Force 1). The Reebok Pump did not have the longevity as the Air Force One did, but it still remains as an advancement in shoe technology …. whatever that is worth.

.:: LiBM ::.

sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_1_(shoe)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reebok_Pump

Hipsters: Then and Now

 

The Hipsters

Past and Present … Presently ….

Here is a bit of a History Lesson of where this ‘Hipster’ Fashion and culture has come from … and SHOCKINGLY, it comes from the Black Community … (that is sarcasm)

Birth of ….


1940s-1950s

“Hipster” derives from the slang “hip” or “hep,” which are derived from the earlier slang “hop” for opium. The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary “For Characters Who Don’t Dig Jive Talk,” which was included with Harry Gibson’s 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for “hipsters” defined it as “characters who like hot jazz.” The 1959 book Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm (using the pen name Francis Newton) describes hipsters using their own language, “jive-talk or hipster-talk,” he writes “is an argot or cant designed to set the group apart from outsiders.” Hipster was also used in a different context at about the same time by Jack Kerouac in describing his vision of the Beat Generation. Along with Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac described 1940s hipsters “rising and roaming America,… bumming and hitchhiking everywhere… [as] characters of a special spirituality.”

 

Mutation of …


1990s and 2000s
In the late 1990s, the term started to be used in new, sometimes mutually exclusive ways. In some circles it became a blanket description for middle class and upper class young people associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, alternative hip-hop, independent film and a lifestyle revolving around thrift store shopping, eating organic, locally grown, vegetarian, and/or vegan food, drinking local beer (or even brewing their own), listening to public radio, and riding fixed-gear bicycles.

In 2003 Robert Lanham’s satirical book The Hipster Handbook described hipsters as young people with “… mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes,… strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags.” Hipsters are considered apathetic, pretentious, and self-entitled by other, often marginalized sectors of society they live amongst, including previous generations of bohemian and/or “counter-culture” artists and thinkers as well as poor neighborhoods of color.

Gavin Mueller’s article “Hipster or Not?” for Stylus Magazine (2004) wrote that “… hipster lifestyle is reduced to a pose, a pretense” which involves”…”a hipster costume, worn to appear “cool”, a liberal arts education, and so on. He claims that the term “‘Hipster’ is far too vague and broad to have any semblance of essential meaning”.

 

Current … Hipster Rap

In 2008, Utne Reader magazine writer Jake Mohan described “hipster rap,” “as loosely defined by the Chicago Reader, consists of the most recent crop of MCs and DJs who flout conventional hip-hop fashions, eschewing baggy clothes and gold chains for tight jeans, big sunglasses, the occasional keffiyeh, and other trappings of the hipster lifestyle.” He notes that the “old-school hip-hop website Unkut, and Jersey City rapper Mazzi” have criticized mainstream rappers who they deem to be poseurs or “… fags for copping the metrosexual appearances of hipster fashion.” Prefix Mag writer Ethan Stanislawski argues that there are racial elements to the rise of hipster rap. He claims that there “…have been a slew of angry retorts to the rise of hipster rap,” which he says can be summed up as “white kids want the funky otherness of hip-hop… without all the scary black people.”

 

Comment:

I don’t mind the Hipster fashions for the women, but when the Hipster fashions for the men look like the same fashions for the women; then there is a problem – loosen up the jeans fellas.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(1940s_subculture)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(contemporary_subculture)

Back to School Fresh

Back to School Fresh

I must be having a mental writing block, or trying to fill the space between posts, or I must be busy – either or, that shouldn’t diminish the fly gear that is available out there for consumption. Here are some fresh looks from the site www.karmaloop.com – living up north, there customer service and shipping policy is on point, so I am sure state side it is even better (hopefully).


The Asher Roth College Tee
$20.00


The Lights Out Tee by DGK
$20.00


The Fallen Soldiers Tee by DGK
$20.00



The Camp Pack On My Back Tee by LRG
$28.00

.:: LiBM ::.

Michelle Williams “It Doesn’t Matter”

Michelle Williams TV

Michelle Williams is 1/3 of that group known as Destiny’s Child. Now, Michelle was the addition to the group comprised of Beyonce and Kelly Williams, so in the public eye, she always had a difficult matter of ‘fitting in’ and/or ‘finding her lane’. Personally, I always thought of her as ‘filler’ to the group, but I gave her some credibility when she was the first one out of the group (I believe) to go and release an independent album – a gospel album too, that was critically praised. However, that was several years ago, and since then her group members have put out multiple independent albums with moderate to great success.

Beyonce can be defined as the diva – the Single Ladies video booty poppin’ diva (drool), and Kelly can be described as the Nubian Chocolate sister that ‘lives next door’, and to me, Michelle was always the one that lacked character; lacked personality – and of course, in the R&B pop arena, personality is everything. Anyhow, jumping forward, MichelleWilliams TV is I guess her way of remaining relevant in this social media, and in this episode, she calls out a fan for attacking the way she dresses. She is actually quite funny; in a sarcastic, condescending manner, and it is another example of how harder recording artists must work from Hip-Hop to R&B to Rock, to remain relevant and connect with their audience.

.:: LiBM ::.

From Ashy to Classy

Ashy to Classy
Jay-Z makes it into Vogue magazine

The August issue of Vogue magazine will feature black models and entertainers as the popular Italian magazine has came under fire in recent years for not representing black models in their magazines. Jay-Z is one of the feature articles in the magazine and it is really big that Jay-Z from the Marcy projects in Brooklyn New York can rise from the gutter to the pages of the exquisite Italian vogue magazine. Looking at the pictures, Jay-Z can be the poster child for what ‘mature hip-hop’ looks like ….

The Vogue magazine should drop sometime in July 2008 and will not only featuring Jay-Z, but Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford, Toccara, and other black models. Vogue gets a ‘kudos’ for at least attempting to open its doors to black models in their magazines, but lets see if they can keep it up.

.:: d.b ::.

El ‘Nerbano’

El Nerbano
The Nerban (nerd + urban) … best of both worlds  

The Nerban is the hybrid guy that has carefully meshed the two worlds of hip-hop/urban culture and nerd/geek isms. The Nerban can run in the streets, hang on the block, be affiliated with ‘gangstas’, and at the same time be abreast with technology, have a diverse investment portfolio, and have B.A.’s and Masters.

The Nerban is respected by hip-hop culture because of his nerdy-knowledge of technology and such; in the same breath, the nerds respect the Nerban because of his knowledge of hip-hop culture. Each group lives vicariously through the Nerban to get a glimpse into ‘the other side'; the gangsta’s get to learn about what’s poppin’ with the nerds, and the nerds get to see some urban swag and style.

With the ladies, the Nerban is the prime choice for the lady that is not looking for a gangsta, not looking for ‘poindexter’, but is looking for someone with a little bit of edge & style mixed with knowledge & ambition. Most ladies will experience a Nerban at some point in their life, but will have a tendency to disregard the Nerban because he isn’t too ‘street’ enough, and usually these ladies end up where the Nerban was lacking (i.e. the Street – out on their own, lost).

The Nerban has always lived throughout history, from:

The Goofy Nerban


Will Smith a.k.a. ‘The Fresh Prince’
~ His goofy style of rap lauded him to a Grammy and a hit TV show, he then used that to develop a successful movie career – All this from “parents just don’t understand”.

The Conscious Nerban


Common
~ The type of brother to school you with spiritual thoughts, but isn’t scared to go into battle, remember the battle with Ice Cube anyone??

The Arrogant Nerban


Kanye West

~ Do I really need to explain this???????  

The Righteous Nerban


A Tribe Called Quest
~ These nerbans are about having a good time, dancing, chilling, but can get grimey when need be.

The “Odd, but can’t hate on him” Nerban


Pharell
~ Clothing and style has funky colors and patterns, social activities divert from the norm, but this Nerban can deliver in the streets or the boardroom.

.:: d.b ::.

Deja vu?


Deja vu

When remembering the past is inappropriate I guess …

Is this wrong? I’ll explain a little story about being thoughtful and showing good memory. One time at a club I saw a good lady friend, lets label her ‘Stacy’. The last time I saw Stacy was at a fashion show that she was performing in. At that time, Stacy was wearing a smashing outfit that was very radiant; I commented on it as I give respect and adulation.
Now at this lounge, which was around 2-3 months after the fashion show, I saw Stacy with the same outfit. My memory clicked and remembered where I had seen the outfit. Thus, I approached Stacy in the lounge and commented on her outfit again, and referenced that I LIKED her outfit, and I commented that she had worn the same outfit at the fashion show – in a non-disrespectful way.
Apparently, this was a NO-NO. As I came to find out later that Stacy was extremely upset about my remarks and she called me all kinds of foul-mouthed names. Stacy’s friends were shocked, appalled, and disgusted that I said such things as apparently, women take things like that seriously …. ah, well as B.I.G. said it:

“If I said it I meant it, bite my tongue for no one!”

– peace

Stay Fly Baby

Stay Fly
Virtues: Responsibility, Life, Logic

A quick and interesting story about the current state of life.

To paraphrase, basically, a 22 young black woman decided to have a baby shower. Her first one, the ‘baby daddy’ is out of the picture. Now, from what I know, when you have a baby shower, you ask for necessity items: diapers, clothing, food, wipes, and things of that nature. And you usually create a registry, so that people are not buying duplicate items. However, this young scholar did not have a registry, but requested her friends to buy everything from Rocawear sheets, a pair of Jordan’s, Sean John pyjamas, jewelery, and other foolery items – in all, she only received one package of diapers for her newborn. And this already single mother believed that she had a good shower, because her baby will look ‘fly’ – and I guess, you can’t really dispute that. But, the baby has no necessities coming into the world. To me, if I was about to have a baby, I would put items that the baby needs, in abundance, on the registry: diapers, wipes, baby food, clothing (regular). I would make sure that I have like 20 boxes of diapers; I would desire for that more than making sure my baby is iced-out. And the people who came bearing gifts, they did not think that maybe they should by necessities – but instead, they brought name brand clothes and jewellery. I strongly hope that this is an isolated incidence, and this is not the norm amongst our people.

Share your stories if you can relate.

Peace.