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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]

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Beardo
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fun
These Super Realistic Ski Masks Let Your Inner Animal Come Out
Beardo
Beardo

No matter how serious you are about your skiing performance, it doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor on the slopes. These convincing animal masks spotted by My Modern Met make it easy to have fun while tearing up the trails.

Each animal mask from the Canadian apparel company Beardo is printed with a photorealistic design of a different animal's face. Skiers can disguise themselves as a bear, dog, fox, orangutan, or even a grumpy-ish cat while keeping their skin warm. The only part of the face that stays exposed is around the eyes, but a pair of ski goggles allows wearers to disappear completely into their beastly persona.

The playful gear is practical as well. The stretchy polyester material is built to shield skin from wind and UV rays, while the soft fleece lining keeps faces feeling toasty.

Beardo's animal ski masks are available through their online store for $35. If you like to stay cozy in style, here are more products to keep you warm this winter.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

[h/t My Modern Met]

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iStock
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Live Smarter
Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
iStock
iStock

For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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