Inside the Store Where Famous Athletes Got Their Shoes

When you're 7 feet tall and have feet that are larger than a standard Brannock device, it can be hard to find shoes that fit. In a recent installment of its 30 for 30 documentary series, ESPN profiled an Atlanta store that specialized in helping athletes solve that problem.

Because of their wide selection of men's footwear in above average sizes, Friedman's Shoes became a mandatory stop for athletes like Mike Tyson, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, and Michael Jordan in the 1980s and '90s.

"My dad knew that if he bought them, people would come," current owner Brett Teilhaber said in the documentary of his father Bruce. "And sure enough, they came."

Bruce decided to focus on selling large shoes after losing a sale to former Boston Celtics player and coach, Tom Heinsohn. The NBA legend took his business elsewhere when Friedman's Shoes didn't have the size that he wanted. Over the years, as athletes told other athletes about the store, the business took off and Friedman's became iconic.

"We couldn't buy too many shoes because people would come in and get eight to 10 pairs at a time," Bruce said. Some would buy even more. Shaq, who appears in the full documentary, said that he would get 20 pairs each time he walked into the store, joking that his "favorite kind was every kind."

Shaquille O'Neal picking shoes at Friedman's, Image via ESPN

Well-paid athletes and other customers who could afford to splurge began buying shoes made of exotic animal skins. Selling those status symbols helped Friedman's rack up an annual revenue of around $6 million during the peak years. The family enjoyed incredible success until the market and the shoe business changed in the late 1990s. The store now relies on its website to stay in business.

Watch the clip above, and head over to ESPN to see the full documentary.

[h/t Highsnobiety]

Pantone Names 'Ultra Violet' 2018's Color of the Year

Time to retire your green apparel inspired by 2017’s color of the year: The color experts at Pantone have chosen a new shade to represent 2018. As The New York Times reports, trend followers can expect to see Ultra Violet popping up on runways in coming months.

The decision was made after Pantone scattered a team around the world to search current street styles, high fashion, art, and popular travel destinations for the up-and-coming “it” color. The brand describes the winner, PANTONE 18-3838, as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade.”

Fashion plays a large part in the selection of the color of the year, but Pantone also considers the broader socio-political atmosphere. Some may see Ultra Violet as a nod to our stormy political climate, but the company’s announcement cast it in a more optimistic light.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now,” it reads. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

The color is associated with some of music’s greatest icons, like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Prince. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright also had a special attachment to the color and wore it when he was in need of creative inspiration. When it’s not sparking artistic thinking, purple is sometimes used to promote mindfulness in mediation spaces. So if you’re feeling stressed about whatever the new year holds, stare at the hue above for a few seconds and see if it doesn’t calm you down.

[h/t The New York Times]

Need to Travel Light? This Jacket Doubles as a Suitcase

Sometimes, carting a suitcase (or two) around on vacation is just too much of a hassle. You have to heave it into overhead compartments and taxi trunks, lug it up stairs, and deal with baggage claim. But if you need to travel extra light, there’s an extreme solution: Enter the jacket that can essentially double as a suitcase, as Travel + Leisure puts it.

BauBax jackets—$110 for a windbreaker on—feature 15 different compartments designed to hold all your stuff, no bag required. It has a built-in neck pillow and a hood already equipped with an eye mask to help you snooze on long flights as well as earphone holders so you never miss out on your travel tunes. It comes with its own slide-down gloves in the sleeves and a pocket for a blanket (sold separately). It has custom pockets for your passport, your sunglasses, your phone, your power bank, and your tablet. It even has a pocket just for your drink, so you never have to say “Hold my beer.” Essentially, if you want to carry it, BauBax has a dedicated place for it.

Close-ups of the 15 different pocket features of the men's BauBax bomber jacket
Screenshot via BauBax

The jackets come in a few different styles for men and women, including a bomber, a hoodie, a windbreaker, and a blazer, all with the same 15 features and compartments. You aren’t going to be able to take five changes of clothes and shoes, but if you’re just headed somewhere for a weekend or want to ditch your carry-on, it could easily cut down on your travel load.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]


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