A Jamal Crawford signature sneaker from under-the-radar 2-year-old label Brandblack hit retail accounts, including Blends in downtown L.A., on March 15 -- selling out the very same day.
The J.Crossover II ($140), the Clippers guard's second signature shoe (the first dropped in November 2014), was initially released in two colorways keyed to that NBA team's uniforms: blue and white (home) and black and red (away). According to a company representative, more of those first two color combinations will be on store shelves in two weeks, with three additional colorways following by mid-April.
Thanks to an all-knit forefoot construction and a proprietary foam cushioning called "Jet-Lon," the sneakers look solid but weigh surprising little, with a size 9 shoe coming in at just 10 ounces.
Given the El Segundo-based company's near-stealth approach to branding, the sneaker's one-day sell-out bodes well for the expansion into men's apparel -- which just so happens to be hitting retail later this week.
We had a chance to check some of the pieces in the debut spring and summer 2015 collection (dubbed "Future Legends," it's named after the opening track on David Bowie's 1974 album "Diamond Dogs") when we dropped by the Agenda trade show in Long Beach earlier this year and came away duly impressed. In an environment where normcore is the new normal and luxury brands are trying to move into the athletic arena (Tom Ford sneakers, anyone?), founder David Raysse and creative director Billy Dill are building a brand that feels like it has equal footing in the fashion and sports worlds with technical details like moisture-wicking T-shirt fabrics juxtaposed with super-subtle all-over prints that give athletic shorts a subtle crackled leather look and fun details like colorful lace tips dipped in thermoplastic polyurethane.
We'll be sitting down with the boys behind Brandblack in the near future to take a more in-depth look at what the company, what it has accomplished over the last two years -- and where it's headed. In the meantime, as of this writing the label's own e-commerce site store.brandblack.com still lists a few of the smaller sizes (in both colorways) as available.