Industry News 1/1/2006

mike's mashup - rss test


Michael Akira West is the Owner and Creative Director of 686 Technical Apparel. The following are some of his experiences inside and out of the industry across the globe.



Forty Oz’s
Recently a few of my friends have been turning the big 4-0 (I gotta a ways to go-yeahh) To some it's just a #, to others it's the end of the world-To me, it's one more bday I gotta to deal with. However one of my best friends, Mike Maceda is making Forty come in [...]

Recently a few of my friends have been turning the big 4-0 (I gotta a ways to go-yeahh) To some it's just a #, to others it's the end of the world-To me, it's one more bday I gotta to deal with. However one of my best friends, Mike Maceda is making Forty come in style. Mike was one of the main reasons I started 686 back way back when. He was the kingpin in this industry when he ran and operated a company called Plain Sane. Most of you guys probably have no idea, but back then, it was Dakine and Plain Sane ruling the accessory world of leashes, straps, pads and you guessed it, jester hats! Mike took me under his wing and showed me what it took to start your own thing. But today, I'm here represent'n his thing.



Mike's usually not that shy-as he's now a famous DJ and Military Bag Designer. But for some reason, he was speechless. Check out Masaki giving his some grief. (btw, Masaki's one hell of an art director-He won a Grammy for the best album design-and it was for Black Sabbath!



Lots of heads came out to say wus up to Mike. Here's West, on the phone as usual. West handles sales for 7UNION CAP COMPANY and just got in a little argument with his girl.



Speaking of which, Mink, West's girl was over it-so she cheered herself.



Mink works for Hellz and was represent'n well..



As the night went on, so did lots of other drama-but it was all good in the hood. Here's artist, Marco Zamora, saying I need just one more!


MIGHTY MORPHINE ATTACK!
If you read this fly-by-night-mash-up-shin-dig, you probably know a few things. 1) I take random short trips everywhere 2) I'm always hustl'n and 3) I've been trying to connect with peeps I haven't seen in a while. Well, I had dinner last night and met up with some friends who ride all over downtown. Good [...]

If you read this fly-by-night-mash-up-shin-dig, you probably know a few things. 1) I take random short trips everywhere 2) I'm always hustl'n and 3) I've been trying to connect with peeps I haven't seen in a while. Well, I had dinner last night and met up with some friends who ride all over downtown. Good enough, I ran into an old friend-
Padee.  We met a long time ago, when I was working at the mtns at Bear. At the time, she was going to school and also doing some work on tv-Give you as hint-It involves a pink suit, saving the planet and lots of fighting…the POWER RANGERS are here to save us all!


Padee then…

 

And again…

 


And again…Btw, she's done quite a bit since her PR days (Crazy it was 10 years ago). Within the past 5 years, she's been involved in more than 40 commercials, such as Wells Fargo, Tostitos, and soon to be http://www.fanime.com/guests.html#PatriciaJaLee) and the list goes on and on. This isn't including all the other side things such as video games or other movies. It's tough to be constantly working in LA-but P's done good for herself and I'm proud of her.



 

Padee now… (I told her to strike a pose-as she's usually never this serious)  P's very crafty, as she has this interesting way of putting things together-she even made this top outta some leftover fabric.

 

She even has her own bike…well kinda.

 

Hmmm, a custom 686 fixie com'n your way???



 

LIVE LIFE
It's an old saying-But most people tend to bitch about all the things they don't have in life. Not until something crazy happens in your life that you realize that the most important things in life is just that-LIFE. A good friend of mine, DJ HIDEO, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Contrary [...]

It's an old saying-But most people tend to bitch about all the things they don't have in life. Not until something crazy happens in your life that you realize that the most important things in life is just that-LIFE. A good friend of mine, DJ HIDEO, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Contrary to the statement above, Hideo ALWAYS lived life and will continually do so. I've known Hideo for over 16 years back in the day we use to freestyle to all the old school shit. Nearly all of yesterdays and today's hip hop artists have at least once been inspired from this dude.

He just started Chemo and it makes his body severely cold 24/7. Fortunately our gear keeps him a little more comfortable. Anywhere, anytime, Hideo is all smiles, regardless of what's going on. How's it Hideo.

Back in the day, he threw the best gigs at the world famous Mayan theatre in LA. This past Thurs, the Mayan and a bunch of heads in and out of the music industry put on a benefit for him. Countless artists from Defari, Spinderella, Rhettmatic, Bobo, Mr. Choc were on stage to represent and give props.

Bringing it back-way back

Reyes from SF, made this specially for Hideo

Raul Gamboa's rendition of Hideo

WHAT THE HELLA COACH?
This past weekend was the world famous COACHELLA Music Festival, held a few hrs from LA, in Indio Cali-next to Palm Springs. If you've never been, think of Woodstock meets Lollapalooza meets Warped Tour meets Burning Man meets College Fraternity Party meets Hipster Hollywood = Coachella. Basically it's a melting pot of everyone having a good [...]

This past weekend was the world famous COACHELLA Music Festival, held a few hrs from LA, in Indio Cali-next to Palm Springs. If you've never been, think of Woodstock meets Lollapalooza meets Warped Tour meets Burning Man meets College Fraternity Party meets Hipster Hollywood = Coachella. Basically it's a melting pot of everyone having a good ole time. On the drive up, you pass by "Windmill Valley." It's pretty dope seeing hundreds of mills all powered by mother nature.

Parking was terrible, as it probably took over an hour just to get settled and enter the massive polo fields. Coachella started in 1999 and 10 years later, its going stronger than ever. The Line Up

I guess this is where all our pallets end up.

The area was surrounded by many hand-made fixtures, some cooler than others.

1 down, 8 more to go

Aoki's Bloody Beetroots tore shit up-literally…

This past season, Travis Barker and I hooked up to do a limited collection-the stuff was gone before it hit the shelves. Haven't seen him for a while and glad to see he's back up and healthy again. TRV$DJAM's set was alive and kickn' and hit it at all angles.

The kidz were diggn the mash-up. Didn't get a pic, put LBC native Warren G even did a cameo.

check out the video

I spent most of my time, wandering around the tents to check out all the gigs-from big to small, from electro to techno, from rad to sad. Got a minute and peeked my head into the so called VIP area-It reminded me why this area sucks.

("I toss and turn, I keep stressn' my mind, mind")

Day N' Nite"

Shazaaaam-love and peace until next year!

LOVELAND
Keepin’ your love locked down, your love locked down… (Well, kinda sorta).  If you've been checkin' this little side show blog mash-up, you probably know I like taking these 24-hr trips. It really doesn't matter how near or far it is, I just do it. This time around, it's to Colorado. We had a recent [...]

Keepin’ your love locked down, your love locked down… (Well, kinda sorta).  If you've been checkin' this little side show blog mash-up, you probably know I like taking these 24-hr trips. It really doesn't matter how near or far it is, I just do it. This time around, it's to Colorado. We had a recent US team shoot at a few places we rep; to knuckle dragger haven, Echo, to world famous Breckenridge and to the locals only Loveland.

Wherever whenever, say hello seis ocho seis.

What up?! First warm up sesh!

The weather was a tad funky. One minute, blue bird, the other you couldn't see shit from shingle.

After filming enough to cover a few parts, we headed to Breck and got comfy. All the team immediately jumped to their Twitter and Facebook pages. Pat, Forest, Louie, Ryan and Nick saying wus up.

Headed to dinner at a posh place where we just ate and ate and ate (also drank and drank and drank)
Hey Pat!

Hey Nick!

Hey Gary!

Hey Derek!

Hey Kris!

Hey D!

They caught me ridn' dirty…

Heard Transworld was doing a "Good Wood" test for the 09/10 season. ( A grip of pro riders test the new boards and rate them for the buyers guide. ) Coincidentally, Aaron Dodds was showing his latest photo project. Look who Gary ran into-Ryan "RT" Thompson. Congrats RT on the recent engagement!

T-Dubs Ring leader and Editorial Honcho, Annie Fast enjoying a cold PBR and a nice break.

If you have a pulse in the snow game, you probably heard of a guy named Blotto. I've known Blotto for well over 13 years when he was an early 686 rider. Hailing from AZ, he's really made shit happen. Today's he's probably one of the most well respected Photogs in the industry and is a road dog for about 200+ days a year. Even though he's the Big B's principal photog, he still rulz.

The night became blurrier as the drinks and good vibes continued, but one thing for sure is that tomorrow is gonna be good.

ES-EF
Took a quick trip up North-Guess where I am? Ok-pretty obvious. If you know me, y'all know that I rep LA hard. But the city by the sea, is a nice place to be. SF has lots of shit that LA has and then some. Here are some random sites Some mores This is how you get [...]

Took a quick trip up North-Guess where I am?

Ok-pretty obvious. If you know me, y'all know that I rep LA hard. But the city by the sea, is a nice place to be. SF has lots of shit that LA has and then some. Here are some random sites

Some mores

This is how you get around SF-period

Oh btw, I'm here to see

Few things are synonymous with San Francisco-Embarcadero, Gonz, Fisherman's Wharf, China Banks, Thrasher and the one and only Levis.

Ding Dong-One of Levis front doors laced with a giant shank (damn who's that dude in the background?)

What your seeing is one of the oldest pair of denim jeans in the world-and its Levis. Let's see if someone can replicate this 120 year-old  pair of jeans.

The tools of the trade

Look closely kids…”Process 686“ in full effect. Some top secret shit going on.

The sundries graveyard

When Levis and 686 started our global partnership last year, I was working with the
Head of Global Creative, Caroline Calvin. She's basically a legend in the denim world and repped Levis for over 20 years. Recently she took a leave of absence to surf the world. However it was pure luck that we both connected as Levis does not work with other brands at the level we've done. Most of the projects you may see are one time hits that come out of Japan (most of which are pretty dope like
Fenom, Comme de Garcons, etc), but in the case with 686, it's something very special. Only Nike and Damien Hirst/Andy Warhol has done something similar. So I'm proud to be working with such good company. During this process, I met an incredible person-Jamie, as she's the lead mens design director and is beyond talented, I can't even comprehend.

Hi Jamie on the computer

Hi Jamie in person

A glance of the design war room

Jamie's one of my liaisons on the creative side. On the biz side, I work with Maryann. All I can say about Maryann, is that not only is she cool and knows her stuff, but she has lots of things on her plate.

What a coincidence-the Levis x Damien Hirst x Andy Warhol project. I don't know if you'll see
this on ebay, as there's probably too many 0's behind the price.

OBEY AND REPORT
Lately, I've been making efforts to catch up with some homies rather than seeing them for a few minutes at a tradeshow or random event. This past afternoon, I met up with Rob and Chris at the Rooster Café, a cool place with good eats.

Lately, I've been making efforts to catch up with some homies rather than seeing them for a few minutes at a tradeshow or random event. This past afternoon, I met up with Rob and Chris at the Rooster Café, a cool place with good eats.

o1

This shit is a must have for any meal, the one and only Cholula

o2-5

Rob, on the left, worked at the Program (you know, the Burton owned group that's made up of Forum, Special Blend and Foursquare) as the lead designer for almost a decade. During his tenure at the B, he made a deep impact turning shit around, and is one damn talented dude. Today, he runs his own gig with a few other good guys, Bond (the first carbon neutral outerwear company) and Salvador (minimalistic quality apparel).

Chris, on the right, is one of the partners to Obey clothing. He used to be in charge of all the production aspects, but now he's the marketing lead. Just in case you've been living under a rock, Obey has been slaughtering it on many angles. They have a good posse and I'm stoked for them.

o2

Rob showing some details of his baby, SLVDR

o4

Chris, bringing it back to the Sperry days

o3

The hidden gem of Obey, Mike T's (lead men's designer since day one) lair.

o5

One last Pose for the Posse (check Don on the right)

o6

MALA-TO THE-KYE!
You know you gotta check yourself when just about everything you do has to be put in the calendar (or else, it won't get done). I don't know if it's getting "old" or just being more of an "ass" (It's probably both, as I have a lot to look forward to…) We'll I wanted to [...]

You know you gotta check yourself when just about everything you do has to be put in the calendar (or else, it won't get done). I don't know if it's getting "old" or just being more of an "ass" (It's probably both, as I have a lot to look forward to…) We'll I wanted to say what's up to the crew at Malakye-You know, the main job source for our industry and the one who's actually making this mash-up happen! The crazy thing is that the offices are about 1 mile from my pad, but still haven't been able to get around for a minute.

Who's that I see? Josh and Bill making magic happen! J-dizzle's represents the LBC and been skating pretty much his entire life. Bill's come up via the same program at SC-He also has his super duper blog mix-check it

m2-1

The one, the only, the Chad. Looks like he's seriously working on a new B2B master plan that's gonna take over the biz worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrld!

m1-1

Since day one, Malakye has been dedicated to supporting our industry by making sure it contains the right mix. At the same time, it's always had casual and humorous approach to things. Here's one example of what life is with Malakye.

m3-1

If you know Chad, he's a pretty funny dude-However he's also super creative when it comes to "hooks." Another example of last year's trade ad campaign. (Damn! My camera sucks-better get a new one soon-sorry)

m4-1

Chad did this career day for kids a little while ago. I'm sure he killed it with his approach-but what was super cool, were these hand-made thank you cards-can't get any better than this.

m5-1

Snaggletooth says catch you laters brudas…

m6-1

The Chalet
Part of my responsibility is to make sure our retail relationships are tightly held. Jono, our SVP of Global Sales, is the man when it comes to leading this charge, but I peak my head in once and a while to slap some high fives. Since we're a specialty brand, our distribution is specialty, as [...]

Part of my responsibility is to make sure our retail relationships are tightly held. Jono, our SVP of Global Sales, is the man when it comes to leading this charge, but I peak my head in once and a while to slap some high fives. Since we're a specialty brand, our distribution is specialty, as we cater to our core markets first. There's only a few points we touch that's more open and one of them is Sport Chalet. We've been partners with them for a while and forged some strong bonds as they've listened and grown with our terms. After all these years, this is the first time, I've been to their headquarters down the way.

Paul (aka: Smed) has been our main contact, as he's the lead buyer for a while. Big ups to Smed for taking the time and working with not only our brand, but a lot of others in the industry to strengthen these relationships.

Paul showed us their initiative with keeping their core brands special. Basically a shop within a shop, totally dedicated to the kids that live what we do. Its called Project 59 - here's a look.

Is that 686 I see…

We had a meeting with Craig, the CEO and Tom, the SVP of Merchandising. Of the many things we spoke about, we wanted to make sure that both companies can stay true to their roots and basically do good biz. Proper communication and respecting each other's objectives are the top of the list-Big ups to these guys for doing just that. Check out how Jono and I called each other in the morning to wear the same outfit. What the hell is that Blockhead doing on me-you can't see me?

I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T
If you've been checking my little blog mash-up, you probably know that we do shit ourselves-Meaning we're not backed by another company that is backed by another company who is backed by a ski company that is owned by a soy sauce company, that is backed by a company starting with the letter B, etc, etc, [...]

If you've been checking my little blog mash-up, you probably know that we do shit ourselves-Meaning we're not backed by another company that is backed by another company who is backed by a ski company that is owned by a soy sauce company, that is backed by a company starting with the letter B, etc, etc, etc. So myself and the Westlife family that makes up 686, is proud to be Independently rider owned and operated. It's definitely not easy, but after close to 17 years, I guess we're doing something right.

This is probably the first and last time, I'll post something that has my ugly mug in it, but possibly worthwhile to showcase that anything is possible.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VID’ ON HYPEBEAST!!!