Saturday saw the return of the heavily anticipated third installment of “Nike Reset.” The event takes place bi-annually at the Nike 1948 space in Shoreditch and is host to some of the biggest up-and-comers in the streetwear industry. Past installments have helped a number of big streetwear brands really gain a foothold in the market. It acts both as launch pad for the newcomers and back-to-basics opportunities for core fans to get their hands on the latest and greatest from the likes of Trapstar who just keeps coming back for more year in and year out. Other perennial favorites at the event include “Art in Transit” aka AinT, TrinoTron and Second Son.

Image: Shining Heroes

The faces have changed a bit and unfortunately two of our personal favourites (Carri Munden of Cassette Playa and the Dope Chef / Currency crew) were nowhere to be found this year but the new guys came out fighting this year… and I do mean fighting. After an early morning tuffle between a couple of the guys workin for Trapstar at the event and the two guys consequently not being allowed into the event things finally got kicked off properly a full two hours late.

By the time the gates were opened to the masses the queue had grown substantially and given the mad rush towards the Trapstar booth the Nike security gang had to limit the numbers in and out for a good bit. Trapstar was definitely the “main event” in as much as there was one dropping some new heat with tensions running high inside as well. In addition to a number of limited and seriously fresh originals, the usual “Dream Team” and other classics from the past were available as well.

Additionally, the crew was taking pre-orders for the chinos set to drop this summer. These were some nice lookin trousers with a big red button on the bag and some beautifully blue and  white lined pockets. No word yet on pricing, but the fact that they were taking waiste, length and style preference from kids unabashedly makes me think these will be some of the hottest and most exclusive threads for this summer. I pulled the nice young lady aside who was folding up the shirts and popping them in the “Heat Wave” boxes for all the yung’uns and she couldn’t help but agree that things are going well when you can sell an item without even telling people what they’re gonna cost. If the collared shirts they are selling at £70+ a pop are any indication, you’d better start saving your gallions if you wanna be wearin these this summer.

Setting aside the old timers, I thought it would be worth focussing a bit of attention on the breakout labels of the show. Interest was moderate to newcomer “Ask Your Girl” who toe the controversial line well. Whilst their designs incorporate nearly pornographic cartoon depictions of girls they are right in pointing out that there are two sides to every story. The caption under a young lady’s silhouette (legs spread with a star covering her goodies) is “everyday a star is born” and if you look closely, you can even see the girl holding up a globe. One of the founders of the brand argued that it’s alla bout how you look at things, and while someone might look at the design and see a dirty image, it was actually quite empowering. He also argued that the name “Ask Your Girl” is also intended in the vein of “Girl Power” and empowering women. It’s catch and provides a bit of wordplay, but he insists the line isn’t supposed to refer to what you might think at first blush and it’s supposed to encourage men to care more about what their Girl is thinking.

Without putting on my feminist hat too much and hating for the implications of the possesive on Your Girl will give him the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t bother pushing his buttons too hard on the double-meaning of the hats they were pushing that simply read “Player” but I’m sure there’s a good story in it as well.

Setting aside what the intentions of the label are, I think there’s a lot that can be done with this idea and thought the designs were dope. I was feeling the reversible jumper the most, but the “Ask Your Girl” logo available in loads of world cup colors (the U.S. seemingly left out on purpose) was a nice touch as well.

In addition to the nice pieces that Ask Your Girl had on offer the winner for this year’s “best in show” goes to my man Benjart. His pieces were the highest quality of all the new comers, the designs were super tight and the crew knows how to hussle. Shirts seemed to be flying off the rails, varsity jackets were being pulled out from nowhere and deals were being made all over the place. In addition to winning “best in show” as the best newcomer repping, Benjart also gets my nod for best single design. Whilst the woman screaming/pop-art horror design seemed to be popping up left, right and center (with a nod from Art in Transit, Trapstar and Benjart) I think Benjart made the most of it by incorporating the image into his soon-to-be-famous B-splash design.

Benjart B Splash

Bonus points for the Benjart crew getting the troops rallied and hyped up on Twitter before, during and after the show as well. I’m looking forward to big things from the brand.

All told, the even was a reminder of how vibrant the underground streetwear community is here in London. There were familiar faces on both sides of the booths, kids I seen queueing for Yeezy’s over a year ago and plenty of newcomers as well. This had to be the least well organised Reset I’ve seen yet, but it was worth the wait and I’m looking forward to covering another soon! There’s no better place than London for the freshest and newest and hardest to find– just ask MIA, Rihanna and all the others repping these young and exclusive brands.

My own images will be up here shortly. In the meantime, check out some of the above links, flag me down on Twitter and be sure you’re following Benjart as well for the latest news.