Total Eclipse of the Heart
The noise and discussion around the upcoming Solar Eclipse on August 21st is deafening. So, I felt obligated to go to the NASA website to learn a little more and avoid providing (or listening to) misinformation. Amazingly, the last time there was a full solar eclipse was July 11, 1991; I was a Summer intern in downtown Chicago that summer. The next one will be 2024, and who knows where I will be! The reality is that these events have scarcity value. If there were one every day, they wouldn't be as interesting. Certainly, people wouldn't be traveling far and near to witness them. Who even gets out of bed for a lunar eclipse? In this week's Loupe, I pay homage to scarcity value!
The Path of Totality
The solar eclipse will move East and cut a diagonal path through the center of the United States. The key is the path of totality, where one will see a total (complete, 100%!) eclipse. Unfortunately, New York City is in the low 70% eclipse ... totally unacceptable. I am not a C- student (of the eclipse!). Therefore to see the eclipse in its full glory, you need to travel. As you can see, there are many great destinations including Portland OR, Boise City, ID, Nashville, TN (Music City), and Charleston, SC to name a few. Some people are hiring a private jet (not me) to follow the eclipse across the country! Make sure you bring proper eyewear!
Adidas has an enormous sports apparel business, yet they understand style and hype. They have purposely (and maliciously) limited the supply of many of their fashion lines, to increase the hype around the various brands. Fellow Louper and Rumble founder Andy S. made me crave the shoes that he was sporting, the Adidas Ultraboost. I am aware, but not deeply involved, in the shoe trading culture. Sorry, I refuse to wait on lines to get the next great shoe in limited supply so that I can capture the arbitrage between the retail and market prices; I will leave that to others (God bless capitalism!). But I did find a pair of the Adidas Ultraboost running shoes while minding my own business while my wife was shopping in Sardinia. I walked into a store called Dope Factory (who could resist) and found myself the shoes that weren't available to me online! They are very comfortable (the Primeknit hugs your foot like a sock), good for running (enhanced cushion), and look great with a pair of jeans (in my opinion!). And most importantly, I wasn't shut out and didn't have to wait in line. They are less limited than Yeezy (not my style) and unfortunately as of now, less valuable. Let's see how hot they become. All I know is now I have the proper rare shoes to see the even rarer solar eclipse!
Fashion is a fickle business. In the immortal words of Heidi Klum, "As you know in fashion, one day you're in and the next day, you're out." Recently, I was wearing a reasonably rare Bape (The Bathing Ape) t-shirt when one of my daughter's friends recognized it as such. Initially, the recognition made me feel like I was in the know. But, a little bit of research made me feel like I was out, completely unaware of the message I was sending. It seems that Nigo, the Founder of Bape, sold the trail blazing brand in 2011. The Bape brand has become more accessible and therefore has less street credibility. However, Nigo (maybe at the conclusion of his non-compete) has started a new business, along with graphic design artist Sk8thing, called Human Made. Here, you can hopefully get the latest streetwear fashion and not be recognized so easily, especially in the US. Inspired by 1950's Americana, this Japanese brand understands cool factor for men's apparel and plays on the theme of the futuristic teenager, a la the past (pretty deep).