Monday, December 26, 2005



1010 Morton St.

Baltimore, MD 21201


Opening in Baltimore, Maryland in October 2005, Oliver Jones' Gentei (Limited Edition) has quickly established itself as one of the leading streetwear boutiques in America, featuring an assortment of shoes you wish you had and gear you didn't even know existed. Taking cues from Jones' frequent reconnaisance missions to Tokyo, the shop sits nestled on a non-descript street in the cities' Mt. Vernon neighborhood, and for those who venture in, may just be one of the best suprises of the year in a city poised to launch many more. Fixins caught up with Oliver to learn a bit more about the store, the inspiration, and what defines Gentei.

Tell us a little about how Gentei came to be. What was your inspiration? How long was the shop in the works?

Well, Gentei was born from a few different things -- first off, being from Baltimore, I wanted to represent [the city]. My man Ed had a skate shop in Baltimore for a few years called Select, he was trying to have a skate shop with a clean look, and only carry upper end products. This was all going on when I was living and designing in tokyo. So when i would come home to visit, I would stop in and tell him about all the shops and brands I was working with, and talks began.

What makes Gentei a unique shop?

At Gentei we try and pick up brands that are NOT in every other shop, and having exclusive japanese lines in our shop helps set us apart from all the others. We're also changing the "theme" of our shop two times a year. That means a complete makeover...and we try and stick to that theme as strictly as possible.

Your in-house line, slyandrobby, seems to be informed greatly by new and old punk/hardcore aesthetics -- would you agree? What role do you think those subcultures play in the current street-wear landscape? Have they finally been able to merge with hip-hop fashion? How about the subcultures themselves? Have you seen a blurring of the lines in recent years?

Yes for sure, I use imagery from punk and hip-hop in most of my designs. I grew up listening to both, jumping back and forth from one to the other, as I imagine that a lot of other kids did too. So I think that people can relate to one or the other or both, after all it's basically the same attitude -- "FUCK YOU, I'M DOING IT MY WAY!"

As someone who must sample numerous lines from around the world, what directions do you see design and fashion going in? What do you think is on the brink of wearing itself out?

Well as I can see it, the trends are basically a cycle... things that are hot in Japan now will be hot the year after next here (on a mainstream level). However, the same things that are popular in Japan now are mostly recycled western things, so in essence they started here (the States). The thing that I think will burn itself out is everything... people are so hyped on the "NEXT" season, that they are not paying attention to what is going on now, and where it came from. They are over it before it even happens.

There seems to be a current barrage and focus on high-end street-wear, with web sites such as Niketalk and magazines such as Complex being two of the most visible proponents. How do you think this came to be? Is it dangerous at all?

Well, I think that it kind of ties into the last question -- people just want what they can't have, living beyond there means, you know? This kid with Roc-a-Wear jeans came in my shop and asked me for neighborhood jeans, just because he read they were hot on a web site or in a mag. Brands start to lose their meaning and concept when things like that happen, and it drives away their core customers.

One of the most common questions I'm sure you're asked is "Why Baltimore." Well, why not Baltimore? Why do you think people are so surprised?

Well, because Baltimore is not the fashion mecca of anywhere, and has been under the radar for a long time. Although anyone who has ever been or lived here can tell you it's like nowhere else. I love Baltimore. We have so much original flavor we have just been slept on for a long time, because we're close to DC and Philly, but smaller.

I've always felt that both DC and Baltimore are both cities which seem to always be on the cusp of something -- cities with an audience but relatively few people utilizing the opportunity. What does it take to make things work, in your opinion -- business-wise, fashion-wise, and musically?

There ARE a lot of talented people here in the city, but because New York is close most people who are doing things move there. I think if people tried a little harder and had a more positive outlook on things we could be making more serious moves down here. Baltimore especially has been getting a lot of attention on the music tip in the past few years, so I hope that can open people's eye as to what ELSE is going on here.

Tell us a bit about your weekly, the BBC Soundclash.

The BBC (Baltimore Bass Connection) Sound Clash is a monthly party we throw down here, at the Ottobar. There are 4 of us (myself -- KARL HUNGUS, CHIPSET, DJ RUIN, and MR. DEVLIN), we all spin different types of music, and it's basically a mash-up. We have special guests come and spin with us from time to time. There is also a weekly (Wednesday)...a bit more relaxed party upstairs on the second floor of the Ottobar, where we can do things like the 45 battle and spin a little less dancey, but still HOT music.

For more info, check out Gentei's website, the Shop Gentei myspace page, or send an email to

Thursday, December 22, 2005

hot rod nice.

Ten years after the opening of the legendary Hot Rod Boutique in West Los Angeles, California, the long-slated second branch opened in the heart of Nice, France last weekend. Like Hot Rod Los Angeles, Hot Rod Nice situates itself as a cutting edge urban showcase carrying products from sneakers to designer t-shirt labels and exclusive apparel brands.

Completely renovated for the grand opening, Hot Rod Nice is split between two rooms with a future expansion to a larger floor space downstairs for creative exhibitions. The theme of the store could be best compared to that of a comtemporary art gallery — with dark grey floors and exclusively white wall space. Hot Rod Nice is also centered around the classic style of straight lines and incorporates wood as its only organic substance and steel as a metal highlight.

Drop by and say hello!
Hot Rod Nice
4 Place Garibaldi
06300 Nice France
(in front of Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Reine et Roi

New York's sneaker and clothing boutique, Classic Kicks, is releasing their new limited line called "Reine et Roi". Here is a sneak peek of Reine et Roi sweatshirt hoodies.

The jackets will come in 3 different colors. Men's sizes will be offered from small to XXL. Women are not left out with 2 sizes offered. Classic Kicks has taken their time and dedication to Reine et Roi. These sweatshirt hoodies use heavyweight material and are printed all over.

For more information check out or visit Classic Kicks at 299 Elizabeth Street, NY, NY 10012.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Shmack Clothing

Shmack Clothing out of Virginia Beach is holding it down with their apparel. They recently launched their new site, so check it out and pick up some dope gear.

projectHERE helps hurricane relief victims

INSPIRELIFE, a community-based organization, and RESONANCE, a socially conscious clothing company, are teaming up with OperationUSA and Ashbury Images to help young people become actively and meaningfully involved in aiding Hurricane Katrina victims. project HERE (Hurricane Evacuation Relief Effort) will accomplish this through a multifaceted approach featuring music and specially designed tote bags. People will be asked to bring donations of essential survival goods such as first aid kits, soap, and bottled water, to concerts and other events. There will also be convenient locations throughout the state where people can drop off their donations. All these donations will be put into the handy tote bags and delivered to the hurricane victims who badly need them.

click here for more info and purchasing locations

Monday, December 05, 2005

KATMANDU...just for you!

What's up my peeps. It has truly been too long since we've met. Once again our friends from da' islands have blessed us with another creation. Hawaiian Island Creations presents the KATMANDU fleece hoodie. This will definitely keep you warm for those pre-dawn spot checks or those chilly nights...ahhh, I feel warmer just thinking about it. So here it is. Enjoy da' ride!

mahalo to da' braddah b for the pic:


Members Only and Alife have created a special engagement racer jacket for the holidays. Set to drop in mid December at Alife New York and Canada. It will be limited to only 60 pieces.

(Left: Dark Navy/Black - Racer w/ perforated panels/Red satin lining; Right: Double chest pocket label.)

(Left: Double main label on perforated patch; Right: Sleeve band w/ embroidery detail "alife nyc".)

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