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The Other Desert Boot

  • Najib Benouar


It’s hard to compete with Clarks' poster boot for desert footwear, but we think we’ve found a contender: the Velskoen.

These "vellies" were first made by the Dutch East India Co in the 1600s, modeled on Khosian tribal footwear in Namibia. (Yes, Africa.) Herbert Schier still uses the original model and hide of the native Kudu—which recently found its way onto the ACL x Cole, Rood & Hahn chukka—but with an eight-person shop he's only able to make 30 pairs a day. Which means you'll be in very good company.

Tunisia Calling


A beach can tempt even the most stylish gents into questionable outfits, but it’s not all bad. For instance, this beach hat from APC might be handsome enough to warrant a vacation on its own. Walking the line between native artisanship and cowboy colonialism, it’s our new favorite alternative to SPF. Watch for it arriving in APC shops on Thursday, along with the rest of APC’s new capsule collection, dubbed The Tunisian List.

Chief Priest Say


Afrobeat has been gaining cred since the Talking Heads days, but it looks like its chief priest, Fela Ransome Kuti, is finally getting his due.

He’s already the subject of one of the better shows on Broadway—the Hov-produced Fela!, which might be more of an on-stage dance party than a strict play—but it looks like he’ll also be getting the biopic treatment, with the consistently awesome Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role.

Here's why we're so excited»

The Emperor’s New Kicks


Not many artists are suited to make the leap to sneakers, but if we had to choose, Kehinde Wiley would be at the top of our list.

He’s best known for combining a neoclassical streak with a genuine affection for street culture (his take on Ice-T is a pretty good example), but apparently he’s decided all those rococo patterns wouldn’t look bad on a pair of hi-tops either. These kicks come from Puma’s new Africa collection, with a pattern borrowed from Mr. Wiley, who borrowed the look from traditional Subsaharan textiles. There are a few track jackets and t-shirts along for the ride, but they don’t capture the “regal streetwear” vibe quite as well as these.

If he’s as marketing-savvy as the rest of the art world, they might even end up in a painting or two.

Off the Map


It’s definitely the weather for shades, but we wouldn’t go overboard. A slight purple hue is all the protection you need…at least until those rose-colored glasses get in.

This pair comes from L.G.R., whose stated goal is combining Italian and African styles. It makes sense here: The frames are all Italy, but the lenses have a certain Sarahan glow. Which should be just about right for the west coast…

Big Game

  • Jared Paul Stern


Swashbuckling photographer Peter Beard's work isn't getting any cheaper—quite the opposite in fact—but we consider it fairly recession proof as these things go. We recently told you about the re-release of his classic 1965 book on Africa, *The End of the Game*. Then we reported on his shoot in Botswana for the 2009 Pirelli Calendar featuring naked supermodels and an elephant named Cathy.

Now he's finally hitting the auction circuit»

Out Of Africa

  • Jared Paul Stern


*Photo courtesy of Taschen*

43 years ago adventurer / photographer Peter Beard published a landmark book on Africa, *The End of the Game*.

The pedigreed Yale grad - whose dashing grandfather, tobacco heir Pierre Lorillard IV is credited with popularizing the tuxedo - had met author Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) in Denmark, who sparked his interest in the Dark Continent.

Beard, pictured here in Kenya's Aberdare Moorlands in 1966 displaying some of grandpa's flair, went on to become not only one of our most interesting and accomplished cultural characters, but a true style icon as well, marrying Cheryl Tiegs and discovering Iman along the way. Taschen has just come out with a revised edition of the End of the Game, with a new foreword by Paul Theroux, a seasoned adventurer in his own right.

More on the new edition of Beard's classic»