|The eS Kellen James pro model that we'll never have.|
If you're a skate nerd to any extent then you might already know about this photo. As in any skate nerd tradition, the month started off by picking up my monthly magazines to gaze through. During the course of aging and being a lot poorer, I've learn to fight my temptations of buying every magazine I want. Instead, I strategically pick the magazines that deserve my utmost attention. Momma didn't raise no fool so I immediately picked out a no brainer, Transworld Skateboarding. It was accompanied by 3 other mags so it wouldn't get lonely.
While back home, I found some down time so I started flipping through the December 2011 issue of TWS. I ordinarily was just looking for something to catch my eye. For some strange reason, I always start from back to front. So, after reading Mariano's last words, then flying backwards through the Wieger interview, I continued on my way towards what I would be soon drooling over.
Fast forward a couple of dumps later, and there it was, the Kellen James pro model shoe from eS. Because I had been flipping through it backwards, I thought I had missed something. Maybe eS was making a comeback or debuting this shoe before shutting down factory production forever? Unfortunately, neither situation was the case. I wasn't upset but I was. It's been some time since eS made the announcement of going under so the skate rat inside of me stopped dwelling, moved on and accepted the reality of the situation. Seeing this photo just made me grieve eS even more because this is what I had been waiting for. I've been waiting to see a modern skate shoe silhouette with some technology reminiscent of a 90's skate shoe. I haven't seen a skate shoe with a rubber-like toecap (on the outside) since Fallen's attempt to revamp this technology with the release of the 1996 model back in 2010. Btw, if anyone has that shoe in a size 11, I will buy that off of you. Just sayin'.
|The best email response I've gotten in a while.|
Right away, I knew that I had to feature this shoe on RL's, but how the fuck was I going to get this photo? No one at Transworld was going to give up this photo, it was gold. After looking through my contacts, I sent some random emails to the TWS staff. I stated that getting any type of response about this shoe would be amazing, even a nice "fuck off". I was lucky enough to receive a response from Blair Alley & Joey Shigeo minutes later. I explained to them how fucking awesome this shoe was and how I'd like to use it on RL's. They were extremely helpful and were down to contribute. All the photo credit goes to Shigeo, he blessed us with this one for sure.
If I could just explain the reasoning for this post, I would. Overall, I think it just came down to wanting to show the world what would've been an amazing skate shoe. I can't say that it would've been a best seller because no one will really ever know. I can only hope that this model has some potential to get picked up and developed someway, somehow. Who knows? Maybe after writing this, we'll be inspired enough to venture off and pursue some off shore chinese factories to produce this model the same way they've been producing Vans Mike Carroll pro models for the past couple of years.
This just goes to show how much you need to pick up your TWS and other skate mags every month. Don't slack or you'll miss out! Much thanks to Blair Alley & Joey Shigeo at TWS for making this post possible. Be sure to check out Blair's blog over at Rad Collector and if you see Mr. Shigeo on the mean streets putting in work, buy him a brew and tell him Ripped Laces sent ya.
Kick around to this....