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beastie boys

Mike D and King Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys in 1992.
Photo: MTV

Season: 4 Episode: 15
Title: Summer '92
Original Airdate: 6/17/92
Appearances: Mike D and King Ad-Rock (The Beastie Boys)

STREET STYLE: BEASTIE BOYS AND THE X-LARGE STORE

Founded in 1991, X-Large was a monster on the streetwear scene. The brand had flagship stores on Vermont Street in Los Angeles and on Lafayette in Manhattan (now shuttered), and were considered the originator of the ape logo despite BAPE being super famous for theirs. It’s also known as The Beastie Boys' store because Mike D was one of the original founders. His role evolved throughout the years but the any ideas that the brand was just a Beastie Boys vanity project unfairly marginalizes co-founders and designers Eli Bonerz and his college pal Adam Silverman. That the X-Large brand continues to exist is a testament to how strongly the store and their business philosophy resonated with kids at the time. (X-Girl, Kim Gordon's sister-store venture, would come a couple of years later.)

In this clip, Mike D and Ad-Rock talk about the fashion of "anti-fashion" and about championing deadstock sneaker classics, baggy pants and what "some people would call... a T-shirt." It's a cheeky swipe at the fashion establishment, but more important, it's a view into the streetwear world. Ad-Rock and Mike D go into extreme detail to show off graphics on tees and features on pants. The whole segment predates the limited-edition streetwear mania that would entrance the youth of both coasts, who'd then spend nights sleeping in front of stores for select apparel and shoes. Plus, it was heartening to consider that kids who looked and spoke like stoop-sitting, parking lot-inhabiting, rap-listening derelicts could create a viable commercial venture based on the philosophy of selling what they wanted to wear. There's a great interview with Eli talking about the early days here.

Another reason the X-Large L.A. store was important is because it's where the Menace skate crew hung out. Billy Valdes, the kid who talks about baggy pants in this piece, was a member of the ragtag team led by Kareem Campbell, who had deep ties within the established skate community, but sponsored a motley bunch through Menace. For more, watch this amazing "Epicly Latered" about Menace on Vice.

There's also a great Big Brother interview with Billy (who you may also recognize as Stanly from Kids).

Though X-Large was a store, a brand, and a logo championed by Mike D on every international Beastie Boys tour, it was also, in the classic sense of a downtown store, very much a clubhouse where kids with common interests met up and hung out. Two years after the opening, in 1994, Supreme would open their store on Lafayette on the same side of the street cementing the area as a cool-guy loitering zone. And while X-Large still exists, the legacy of its early days serve as a call to arms throughout the decade and the one after for every hypebeast with a laptop to start a graphic tee line.

+ THE BEASTIE BOYS AND X-LARGE


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CINDY CRAWFORD AS A PEPSI SPOKESMODEL

cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford on the set of her Pepsi commercial shoot in 1992.
Photo: MTV

The Cola Wars were raging. Pepsi was the "Choice of a New Generation" and “New Coke” had been rebranded Coca-Cola II. We're on set with the newly appointed Pepsi spokesmodel, Cindy Crawford, to shoot a series of soon-to-be-iconic TV commercials with director Joe Pytka. It's a grueling process with multiple outfit changes (a skintight white dress is deemed too racy because it's see-through), and Cindy is professional and patient despite the director's reputed disdain for models: “He's been known to call models Bim and Bo," she says. "He goes, 'Yo, Bim; Bo, get over here.'”

The spots feature Cindy in various situations, but the most memorable is the spot that aired during the 1992 Super Bowl. In every advertisement on the four-day shoot, Cindy is treated like a movie star, and if she wasn't already considered a national icon, this certainly cemented her popularity with the 79.6 millions of people who watched the Super Bowl that year.

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 15

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jason lewis

Male model Jason Lewis in 1996.
Photo: MTV

Season: 8 Episode: 54
Title: Men's Edition
Original Airdate: 11/25/96
Appearances: Jason Lewis, Todd Oldham

MODELS, THE NEXT GENERATION: JASON LEWIS

In this segment, we visit with a fetching young lad by the name of Jason Lewis. Um, as in Smith Jared, a.k.a. Samantha’s boyfriend on Sex And The City, a.k.a. the superhot, crazy-emo, well-adjusted mancake who shaved his head in cancer solidarity and totally waited for Samantha to get done having sex with that awful trollmonster Richard just to make sure she got home safely. Such a peach.

Anyway, Jason Lewis seems to be a stand-up guy, too. He only got into modeling so that he could bankroll a trip to France and his first job landed him in Paris. The gig led to other jobs that allowed him to see the world, which is what happens when you look a certain way without a shirt on.

We drive to Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York with Jason in his very butch vintage pick-up truck. He discusses his life philosophy and his musical tastes while leaping on rocks and paddling a canoe. He talks about wanting to act, and says he frequently checks out local plays. At one point, he goes to visit with a tiny donkey, and it's so that SNL sketch where Andy Samberg’s pretending to be Mark Wahlberg and tells farm animals, “Say hello to your mother for me.”

Jason’s runway footage is dreamy. You get to see him in swim trunks, suits, shorts, and occasionally with a deep part in his slicked blond hair. But regardless of his successes, you can tell that Jason is not long for the modeling world.

+ WATCH JASON LEWIS

STREET STYLE: SPORTSWEAR FOR REGULAR DUDES

mens sportswear

Men's sportswear from Adidas in 1996.
Photo: MTV

For this latest House of Style episode for guys, we’ve got a sportswear segment that’s basically an Eastbay catalog come to life. The styling tips are confusing since there’s not a single dude I know who would consider mixing metaphors like Adidas kicks with Nike clothing, but the layering is pleasant and it’s great to see so many throwback sneakers and separates. The gold lamé Nike pullover and the siiiiiiick adidas goalie jersey that’s printed to resemble a ribcage are particularly choice. Labels run the gamut from Nautica competition, Umbro, The North Face, Reebok and throwback Tommy Hilfiger basketball gear, but I can’t help wishing there were more vintage Polo.

+ WATCH MENS SPORTSWEAR

STREET STYLE: WHAT GUYS ARE WEARING

men fashion

Men's street fashion in 1996.
Photo: MTV

We hit the streets to see what real-life guys are wearing in 1996. It’s a host of baggy pants, lug-heeled boots, messenger bags, facial piercings, hats, vintage polyester shirts, grandpa sweaters, plaid pants, Tommy Hilfiger, bug-eyed sunglasses, and long hair and short hair laquered in crunchy gel. The mid-’90s reminds us that matte molding clay, ’50s minimalist sunglasses, and J. Crew liquor store are a godsend. Also, the fact that every third guy in a major metropolitan area doesn’t need to have a labret piercing anymore is wonderful as well.

+ WATCH MENS STREET STYLE

DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: TODD HELPS LAZY GUYS

todd oldham

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham gives lazy guy tips for cutting hair in 1996.
Photo: MTV

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Todd Oldham is a generous, service-oriented guy. In this PSA for lazy dudes, Todd takes a pair of scissors and teaches them how to hem their trousers, alter a V-neck sweater into a cardigan, create a banded-collar shirt from a regular button-down, make a Sid Vicious necklace from items acquired on a trip to the hardware store (a lighter version of the Jersey one we saw with Naughty By Nature, modify your sneakers and cut your own hair. It’s funny because you can see girlfriends and moms being both delighted and horrified by the results.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM RECALL HIS FAVORITE LAZY GUY TIP ON 'HOUSE OF STYLE: MUSIC, MODELS, AND MTV'


Advising a lazy guy on how to use his knuckles as a yardstick for hacking away at his own hair is genius. So is showing them how to get a frayed edge on snipped trousers using a hairbrush. Replacing sneaker laces with elastic to create slip-ons is similarly brilliant. I wish there were tips for girls, too, because boy am I tired.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM'S LAZY GUY TIPS

STREET STYLE: GREEN BARREL, THE NEXT WAVE OF SKATE SHOP

green barrel

Green Barrel skate shop owner Scott Stanton in 1996.
Photo: MTV

Green Barrel was a skate shop Scott Stanton and Brian Cropp opened in Washington D.C. Not to open up the credibility can of worms, but this segment is a look into how lucrative the skate subculture has become just in the five years prior. The partners graduated from college and traveled through Europe while figuring out what they wanted to pursue; then they returned, secured financing and opened a store.

The store is less a hang-out like the X-Large store or traditional skate shops but is designed for commerce. It’s meant to be welcoming for parents, it features an extensive girls’ section, and sells articles of clothing that suggest the lifestyle elements of the “skate look” without being intended for riding. There’s a vintage section with trendier, experimental options — like a fine wale horizontal corduroy trouser. The founders know all the trends within the community. They make note of how skaters aren't into XXL shirts anymore and that the silhouette is becoming leaner and longer. They even follow womenswear trends like hip-huggers, baby tees and studded belts.

While you can’t knock Cropp and Stanton’s business acumen for setting up shop in what was likely an underserved community, it’s interesting to note how mall-friendly this iteration of the skate shop is. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were criticized for selling out, but it’s still interesting to see how, as subcultures gain notoriety and momentum, they can attract entrepreneurs.

+ WATCH THE GREEN BARREL SKATE SHOP

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 54

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