Hello everyone! Sorry I was AWOL for so long. I took a little time off, and escaped to the great state of Vermont. I love Vermont. If you haven’t gone, you should go. It’s beautiful in the summertime. I’ve only gone up there during winter, and it can feel a little desolate. But it’s absolutely gorgeous when it’s warm. And I’d also highly recommend making a stop in Burlington. For such a small city, it packs a significant punch in the culture and food department. Plus, they have some good shops there too, most of them locally and independently owned. They even have an all hemp store called The Hempest. I know some of you would get a kick out of that.
But onto today’s topic. Every now and then I remember that I need to give a shout to Keep. They’re easy to forget sometimes, they like to maintain a low profile. They don’t seem to be on the radar of many a sneaker head, but why I have no clue. They continually put out dope product. Case in point, The Homer. This classic plimsoll is made with Japanese milled fabrics, and also features a French terry lining and insole. As with all Keep sneaks, the Homer comes in a variety of colors and patterns. My favorite has to be the Southwest/American Indian influenced brown black and red combo. Props for keeping it simple as well, with the plain red and blue colors.
The Homer, available at Keep. More pics after the jump!
Normally I am skeptical about bandshoe collaborations, but when you combine one of the premier indie groups of the day, and the consistently fresh stylings of Keep, we all win. Dropped on March 26, 2011, the Keep and Animal Collective line features four shoes, each designed by a different band member.
I have featured some Keep shoes on here before, but I really don’t give them their due. They are criminally under-appreciated by sneakerheads everywhere, and virtually non-existent in the public radar. It’s really too bad, because they design some of the best kicks out there, vegan or not. Of course, they make it a point to use absolutely no animal products in their manufacture. Unlike other companies that feel compelled to use leather accents, Keep creatively weaves in different fabrics, colors, and textures that beat boring brown or black leather any day.
Keep is known for its laid back style and use of interesting materials + patterns you don’t see at your Foot Locker. The Dorian is slightly different than their traditional offerings but stays true to the company’s look and feel.
Something I haven’t seen before, and now is becoming common this season, is synthetic micro suede. The name pretty much explains it. According to a handy Chinese sourcing website, it is made out of “nylon ultra-fine fiber island and PU resin.” (for a more detailed description click here).
For today’s flavor we have the tidy Keep Shaheen in blue and green. I like their take on the desert boot turned canvas sneaker: very sparse, with little stitching, laces, and branding. But the white vulcanized soles and bold colors really make these stand out. Balancing simplicity with flair has been the hallmark style of the Keep brand, the Shaheen being one of the best examples of that.
Keep Shoes (which are vegan) are on sale at Gilt Groupe for a very nice price of $32. In case you’re not familiar with Gilt Groupe, it’s basically a deals site for clothing and gadgets. But it’s nice designer stuff, and you have to sign up to become a member. I just did! You can become a “Gilt Man” too! Hopefully I can get myself a pair of Keeps for the spring. Fingers crossed…
Here Tri State Area, the big weather news is the first blizzard of the season. Right now there’s a few inches out there and it’s coming down hard. Supposed to keep going all through the night. And it seems like everything is shutting down – schools, courts, errthang. Me, I gotta be at a meeting in a few minutes. And when you live in New York, that means you don’t have the luxury of a car to shelter yourself in. You have to walk at least a little while to get to a train or bus. Most New Yorkers are well prepared for this. I see girls with either Uggs or rubber boots everywhere. I’m an idiot. I have to deal with this shit in my low top Nike Blazers. But if you ladies are looking for an interesting pair of vegan winter boots, I think you should take a look at the Keep Tatum, pictured above.
They’re made of DWR (durable water resistant) canvas, which means they probably aren’t as good as a pair of rubber boots to keep you dry. But, they will probably breathe easier, and I think canvas always looks better.