Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recon Buyer Beware

So I've been a boot boy all my life. Yet it's not until recently that I actually claimed skin. There are several reasons for this but that's for different article. About 5 years ago I discovered recon.com and thought sweet! Here's a community I can get with and meet more manly men like myself who are into the same music scenes & dress like I do. Especially since the skin scene kinda died with the punk scene in NY. To my dismay even though the recon site I joined was world skins. True SkinHeadism still seems to reside mostly in the UK and scattered through out the US, taking some very bastardized forms in the US. Still I've managed to meet and make friends with a few cool skins a couple of which I'm proud to now call brother. Outside of that what I've found is mostly a bunch of fags, mostly queens in drag, playing dress up. As you well know by now, I am NOT that kind of homosexual.

But, Speaking of dressing up, Building a skin wardrobe these days can be expensive and sometimes difficult to pull off. Skinny Braces have always been difficult to locate. Prior to "This is England" coming out and H&M and American Apparel jumping on and exploiting the skin fashion that inevitably turned up in high fashion after the films release; I was coming the back streets of NYC to find them. Finally I found a little chinese man with a tiny shop who carried 1/2"braces for $10 and 3/4" braces for $12, usually in very limited colors. Y'all know I love repn' my black and yellow. He's since gone out of business.
I've noticed the fashion trends in the aforementioned behemoths changing. H&M is going with a wider stripped versions and Am Apparel no longer displays braces in their shops at all. Although I've been told they still stock them in the back.

Boots and Alphas don't come cheap in general. There are many shops & Army Navy suppliers with ridiculous mark ups. All one has to do is browse the Recon store to have your mind blown. I'm all for supporting my local and online queer businesses but, I am a working class guy and a student who has yet to arrive. Recon seems to have done a great job of marketing the "skinhead look" to fags around the world.
Unfortunately these so called skins turn out to be more FetSkins than anything else. Now i know what you're thinking...Bitch you're all about Fetishism. True but for me the two are separate. Im a skinhead with fetishes not a guy who is interested in skin as a sexual fetish. They tend to be richer gayer queens who get off on dressing up for the sexual thrill or to feel as if they are macho macho men. This week its skin next week its leather. Yet they strut around as if the world is a runway any they are Naomi Campbell calling one another gurl. I am a skinhead who dresses skin in all aspects of my life because this is not just a lifestyle it's my life.

Communal Rape:
I Cant really blame Recon as it is a business and they have done well for themselves. Sponsoring parties and fetish balls & functions they have managed to grow their business and online community. However, if you look at their price structure and whom they cater to, they seem to have created yet another bastard child of the skinhead culture.
Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed because I live in the US. But I also live in NYC, one of the most expensive cities to live in.
This article is not meant as a bash Recon rant. I just felt it necessary to point out to actual skins, likely queer if you're reading this blog,
the raping of our community by our so called community.
Like I said before I'm all for supporting my local and online queer businesses but I'm not rich and I'm not stupid. I don't mind paying $160 for a pair of 14 hole flight boots at my local leather shop that I know full well I can purchase for $140 or even $120 at my local work wear supplier. An extra $20 isn't going to break me. But I'm not paying $186.31 for an Alpha Flight MA-1 jacket that I can purchase for $79-89. Yes folks that's more than TWICE the RETAIL price. Then you gotta pay shipping and handling. GTFO. A pair of 20 hole whatever brand they're pushing right now (recently it was Grinders now its Underground) will set you back $148.72 -$164.37. I picked up my 20eye Doctor Martens off Amazon for $108 with free shipping. The magic number for tipped Polos is $62.61; $70.45 if its Tom Of Finland. I was in the Ben Sherman shop in Soho (Tourist Trap) and i picked up some polos for about $30 bucks each on sale. Granted it was 30-40% off but if I'm gonna shell out that kinda dough it better well be for Ben Sherman or Fred Perry. Remember those braces you could pick up for between $10 and say lets stretch it to $15? They're gonna cost a whopping $31.30 off the recon site. Yes again well over twice the retail price kids. More than three times my Lil Chinese guy. And apparently fags are coughing their hard (or not so hard) earned cash to get ass raped.
I'm done.

PS. To be fair & in their defense recon does carry a pair of 1/2"braces @$15.64. I would be remiss if i didn't mention a pair of bleachers can be bought for $92.37/ £59. But why buy them at that price when you can buy a pair of vintage Levi's, Lees, Dickies etc and bleach them yourself like our parents did on the 60s-80s. A pair of Levi's 501 new at the Levi's store will only set you back $64 on average. Wranglers and Dickies can be bought for $13-20 @ your local K-mart. Bleaching methods are not difficult or complicated and can be found on local youTube.

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