Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fac51: Sold Out

The new "Fac51-Y3: The Haçienda" shoe arrived in the Y-3 store in Selfridges this morning. I have been waiting for nearly two months for this shoe to be released, and nobody knew for sure beforehand whether or not they would make them in women’s sizes. I was utterly disappointed to find out last night that they only come in men’s sizes, but I still wanted to see them in real life. So we went to Selfridges this morning after breakfast to check them out, but sadly by the time we got there at noon they were already sold out!

Before getting into the shoe and the packaging, let me give you a bit of history on what this is all about. Fac51 Haçienda (a.k.a. The Haçienda) was a legendary nightclub in Manchester during the eighties and early nineties, mainly financed by the record label Factory Records and the band New Order. Factory Records was the label of such groundbreaking bands as Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and the album covers of most of their records primarily featured the art of one of my favourite graphic designers of all time, Peter Saville (resident Factory designer). The club itself was designed by Ben Kelly, upon recommendation by Saville, and opened in 1982. You can read more detailed information about The Haçienda and Factory Records at the links above, since now I want to get more into the shoe, and why I love this so much.

The Factory Records scene, and all it encompasses, is one of my favourite art and music movements of all time. I grew up on the music of the Manchester club scene, despite the fact that I was listening to it all the way in the corners of my bedroom in Kuwait. It was one of those places and moments that I so wish I could have experienced myself first-hand, but, alas, my age and geography prevented me from doing so. But even though I never stepped foot in the Haçienda myself, my appreciation for the work of Factory Records, both musical and artistic, has always been very real and very strong.

So when I found out a couple of months ago that the Factory Records crew had teamed up with Y-3, the brand created by adidas and famous Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, to create this limited edition trainer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Haçienda, well I just flipped. The shoe was designed as a collaboration between Peter Saville, Ben Kelly, and Joy Division/New Order bass player, Peter Hook. Only 250 pairs are being sold (at £345 a pair), and are available exclusively at the Y-3 store in Manchester, the Y-3 SIS in Selfridges in London, the flagship store in Tokyo, and a few selected retailers worldwide. The shoe was released a couple of weeks ago in Manchester, and arrived in London this morning.

I had read all about the packaging at Creative Review, and it sounded like a dream come true:

The trainers come in a custom six-sided, maple-bottomed box (the same shape as the Haçienda’s dancefloor) and will be wrapped in four sheets of tissue paper – two will feature Kevin Cummins’ photography of the club in its late 80s heyday, one will be adorned with Ben Kelly’s original design sketches for the Haçienda’s interior, while a fourth will reflect how the space looks today. A DVD documenting a discussion between Kelly, Saville and Hook sharing anecdotes about the club, Factory Records and how they feel about that time in their lives 25 years on will also be included in the package.

I was dying to see the shoes and packaging in real life, which is why we went to see them today. But when we got to the Y-3 store and asked about them, the guy told us that they’d sold out within 20 minutes. He said that people had been queueing from 9pm last night, and only 25 pairs were sold at Selfridges! Apparently, out of the 250 pairs made, 50 went to people who had been directly associated with the Haçienda (DJ’s, etc), about 30 went to the Manchester store, 25 to the SIS in Selfridges, and the rest to the flagship Y-3 store in Tokyo and to retailers in the United States (this is all according to the guy at the Selfridges store).

I am absolutely gutted that these didn’t come in women’s sizes. Their smallest size is a men’s (UK) 7, and I am a women’s 5 (which is like a men’s 3 or 4). I was actually willing to pay a hefty £345 for these, which shows how much I love the whole history, concept, design, and final product. But even if they’d come in women’s sizes, I doubt I would have queued overnight to buy them. I’m just not a very spend-the-night-on-a-sidewalk kinda girl. Also, I never thought that only 25 would make it to the Selfridges store, so I probably wouldn’t have even thought to queue overnight! What a shame that we didn’t get a chance to see them in real life.

Oh well…

Perhaps to compensate for the fact that I wasn't going to own a pair of Fac51-Y3's (or perhaps, more realistically, because I fell in love with them on the spot), I bought a wicked new pair of Converse yesterday:
The tongue looks like a man's tie. Check out close-ups here. I promised myself that these will be the last pair of shoes I buy from London before I move back to Kuwait* - although I have my eye on a sexy pair of Doc Marten's in the new Covent Garden store (and since I won't be here in the winter to buy my annual signature pair, maybe I should just get them now)...

* For those of you who don't know, I have a funky shoe fetish. No heels: strictly flats, trainers, and boots - mainly Docs.


  • I was not gonna comment but I saw ZERO comments since yesterday so I thought of saying something.

    I like women in leather boots (no Ugg boots thank you) because I think they are sexy. I have yet to meet a girl who wears the type of shoes you like.

    By Blogger Traveleer, at 8/06/2007 2:19 pm  

  • Thanks for commenting! Yeah...this post generated zero interest! Sorry it's taken me so long to post your comment and reply - I was out of London in the countryside and didn't have internet access (which is just so liberating once in a while). Anyway, I guess this post suddenly became more relevant, given today's news (as seen in my latest post).

    When you say you have yet to meet a girl who wears the type of shoes that I do, is that in a good way or a bad way? :-S My footwear is not very "feminine," I know, and that fact is much more noticeable in Kuwait, when I'm surrounded by girls half my age dressed in 6-inch heels and there I am in my big polka-dot Vans! But even though I'm getting ever closer to 30 (I just turned 28 this week), I just can't (and don't want to) change the fact that my feet look like those of a perpetual student (which I guess I am!). For a while before grad school while I was working in Kuwait I used to wear more formal and professional-looking shoes. But once I became a student again I fell right back into old patterns, and now I just can't fathom having a career that dictates the kind of clothes and shoes you can wear on a daily basis. Yet another plus for a career in academia (especially the humanities)! :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/11/2007 1:58 am  

  • 30 is the new 20 :P don't say "I'm getting closer to 30" this way!!

    30s rock!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/11/2007 5:08 am  

  • Oh no, don't get me wrong! I didn't mean to say I'm getting closer to 30 in a negative way. I'm actually really looking forward to my 30s. As much as I loved my early 20s, I would certainly not want to relive it all. I'm not the type of woman who worries about turning 30. On the contrary - I'm quite looking forward to it! :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/11/2007 2:29 pm  

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