Canal New York City

New York City’s Canal Street, as well as the rest of Chinatown, is more like a parallel universe than a street, and living there must be a fate worse than death. Apart from being home to every smell in the world, it also provides a well-developed counterfeit culture. The Beastie Boys once rapped: „Your rhymes are fake like a Canal Street watch,“ alluding to the abundance of replicas sold by shady vendors on this major Manhattan street. It’s an open secret that fake perfumes, fake luxury watches, and fake high end bags from virtually any respectable fashion company is readily available to the budget traveler at the bazaars and backstreet vendors of Canal Street. Of course, not all fakes are created equal: some replicas have misspelled wordmarks, others faulty prints. It’s thus no surprise that a streetwear brand that goes by the name of Canal NYC picks up the counterfeit heritage in their designs. Their most famous logo, case in point, is an obvious hint on Chanel’s, which could just as easily be a “real” counterfeit bought somewhere on Canal Street. Canal NYC thus blurs the lines between real and fake, seeing as it’s their real logo and a fake, if you will, at the same time. French philosopher Jean Baudrillard describes this phenomenon as “hyperreality”; this is a condition where real and fiction are no longer separable from each other but blend together. It maybe a heady concept, but ultimately it’s a great way to comment on skateboarding and its pervasive brand-obsessiveness. After all, brands signify a certain lifestyle – but what if that lifestyle was copied again and again, so that the original referent disappears? Appropriately, Canal NYC sees itself operating at the intersection between skateboarding, art, and design – and we agree. You can buy Canal NYC at our web shop and at our store in Frankfurt.

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