Rise Above it All This Season with the Latest in High-rise Footwear, “upcycled” gear … oh, and Personal Helicopters

Old Heights Reach New Heights

New Heights for Feet (seriously)

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when ska and skinhead culture were wrestling with the aftermath of punk and the dawn of New Romantics, pretty much anything was game in the U.K. fashion landscape, especially in and around London.

It was around these times when we first started to see men stepping out in shoes with thicker soles. Hey, if the girls can do it, why not the boys, right? Dr. Martens [“Doc” to his friends -Ed.] and T.U.K were early innovators of these styles, which would go on to be popular for those with gothic, New Age traveler, or raving dispositions.

This basically comprised everyone at one time or another in the ‘90s!

As trends do, the design has come around again. The boots and suede shoes that Dr. M and T.U.K created are now back in major stores. Alongside them you can find a whole other world of new and delightful platform shoes as well – obviously providing music to the ears of those looking for a vertical boost!

Converse and SWEAR are even creating chunky sneakers for both men and women, and you can even get your feet on platform thong sandals! The fact that this many brands have started to jump on board with this type of design demonstrates a decided rise in popularity. They make money while we reach new heights.

Of course, one could view such shoes as a statement of intent and confidence instead of just style, boldly showing off who you are with what you wear. Not looking for acceptance, just rocking what you wanna rock. 

We get the point here, and honestly we like the “slides” (as they call them) a lot. It might be interesting to see how that name for a Brand translates on some parts of LA, but the beach will definitely be more fun soon. That said, what happens if you “wanna rock” what happens to be popular. If we get acceptance as a side benefit, can we still enjoy it? … Uniqueness can be very confusing.

New Heights for Track Suits (that will likely never see a track)

Wearing a tracksuit outside of any sporting activity is bold. In fact, many think wearing a tracksuit anywhere outside your four walls pretty much constitutes insanity. Rest assured, friends with that mindset won’t be afraid to confirm this opinion for you in an instant.

Basically, it takes a certain type of person to pull off a matching top and bottoms, but London designer Grace Wales Bonner has come up with a good reason to separate the bold from the ordinary.

Staying in line with her ‘70s-for-the-new-generation vibe, Wales Bonner has created the Power Track suit, a unisex ensemble that’s almost psychedelic in its appearance, thanks to its diamond and check pattern. The jacket features a tight-ribbed collar, hem and cuffs that are just on the right side of retro, with signature crocheted stripes along the sleeves.

This tracksuit appears straight out of London or New York—cities where you can dare to be different. Like a lot of Wales Bonner’s creations, it evokes a contrast. The new heights silhouette takes you back to the ‘70s and ‘80s when the likes of John McEnroe and Björn Borg were playing at Wimbledon, while the best way to describe the patter would be – appropriately – totally groovy.

Made from 100 percent organic cotton, it comes in red and navy variations and will set you back upwards of $900. On the upside, you’ll be sporting a bold, brave ensemble that will garner the complete attention of everyone who sees you wearing it.

Some will love that, others won’t! Either way, label it absolutely awesome.

Full disclosure, the only people we have ever seen wearing track suits out in public are musicians and other creative types down in Hollywood and mob bosses on television. Still, this one does have a certain je ne sais quoi – which would be French for, “I look fabulous.” (That translation may be a little rough, another full disclosure.)

New Heights in Old Material — Literally

STAN rules as the antithesis of fast fashion, championing zero waste with full upcycle and recycling. It comes as no surprise that a pure love for the planet steeps the heritage of this label. Launched by surfer and model Tristan Detwiler, STAN emerged as a Southern California brand based on sustainability, surf culture, and storytelling.

Fun fact: STAN utilizes textiles dating as far back as 140 years ago.

In doing this, these new heights mavericks strive to unveil their narratives of travel, ownership, wear, mending and love. You will find some fabrics tattered and passed down over generations, watching them become one-a-kind items that allow new people to add their unique stories. Each piece bears the mark of the past, while forging ahead into the future.

The company explains their aim is to breathe life into each textile and honor its provenance, while maintaining a sustainable and wasteless business model.

“This season’s collection was inspired by my late grandfather Robert Stanley Detwiler,” says Tristan.

“Grandpa Bob embodied the iconic gentleman, in my eyes. A salesman for Kodak in the ‘50s, he wore a suit every day and always dressed with a sense of understated flair. I picture him with a warm smile, tipping his hat at passersby. He was a simple man with great honesty and integrity, a man of pure kindness and charm.”

STAN’s latest collection incorporates iconic details and silhouettes from the first half of the 20th century and takes inspiration from men who were refined and sophisticated, yet also rugged and adventurous. 

You may have never heard the term “upcycle” before, but you will understand the concept perfectly if you visit the STAN site. Honestly, we rarely heap praise as effusively as you could have heard in the room as we perused some of the outstanding reinventions of fabric use. All of the items in today’s update rise to the level of “we like this” – or it would not have made it into today’s update, obviously – but we adore cleverness. Combine that with great for the planet creativity an outstanding fashion sense, and, well, we’d add an applause track here if we thought we could get away with it.

New Heights in Transpo | The “HX50” by Hill Helicopter

New Heights with the HX50Some of us have certain ways of defining our wealth, a way to show others exactly what we’re about—a couple of flashy cars, a Harley, an apartment with a bay view. We’re all a little different, yet we all like to show off.

But there is one way to outdo everyone. A way to win that little game of who’s earning more than whom. Something that has infinite fun written all over it.

The HX50, as makers reaching these new heights, Hill Helicopters, quite confidently brag, represents the “helicopter you have always wanted.”

First of all, that makes a pretty solid statement about their clientele, as many of us haven’t ever considered owning a helicopter at all! But when you take a look at this bad boy, the thought won’t stay foreign for long!

These days the vast majority of helicopter sales are made to private owners, who don’t ferry people around all day. But most helicopters are still made and designed with the commercial sector in mind. Recognizing this gap in the market and a genuine need for innovation, Hill Helicopters developed the HX50, which comes with a price tag of around $665,000.

Buying this type of helicopter is an experience for the buyer from start to finish. First of all, customers are invited to spend two weeks helping put the aircraft together, to help them understand how it is built, and therefore how to maintain it for longevity going forward.

It’s made with the company’s own GT50 two-spool turboshaft engine, which is completely optimized for high efficiency and low fuel consumption. It can easily maintain 400 horsepower and can bang out bursts as high as 500hp should a situation need it. As you would expect, the cabin—with a full glass instrument panel and panoramic windows and skylights—is pretty stunning and also seats five. Because let’s face it, you’ll have plenty of friends with one of these!

OK. So if you buy a helicopter you can certainly reach the “New Heights” theme of the day; we get that. Presuming you can park it somewhere, you can probably beat the heck out of your commute too. That said, if you can drop nearly ¾ of a million dollars on an admittedly very cool whim, you probably have people driving you anyway. The best part, though, has to be the whole “seats five” thing. That way you can sit in back and show your squeeze-of-the-evening the sights while somebody who actually knows how to fly a helicopter sits up there with all the dials and gauges. You think they can get Netflix on that tablet?

HX50 Helicopter Cockpit

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