ellesse talks to… The Maxiemillion
Italian blogger and style aficionado Max Mameli is a veteran of the skate and style scene in the Milano area. He lives for it and shows without a doubt that the pen is mightier than the sword. His website The Maxiemillion hosts a variety of hip-hop lyrics and reviews of the hottest streetwear products all bound together with his razor sharp prose. We find it hard to believe that English isn’t his first language! At the end of 2012, ellesse heritage caught up with him for a one to one – and we can’t ‘til the next one.
For those who don’t know, tell us a little more about your website THE MAXIEMILLION.
What inspired you to start reviewing?
The Maxiemillion kind of started as a joke, one of those “If you do that, I’mma do it too” things. I have a ‘brother from a different mother’, Luca, in Cali that shares a lot of his passions with me; even though he is mad time zones away. At least three times a week we chat and brainstorm about our passions: luxury brands, Supras, Jim Greco and how to keep our love for haters at a relevant level. He told me that I should have a blog, being originally his mentor in this street thing and, following the principle that you gotta believe your brother, I did it.
From looking at The Maxiemillion it’s obvious that you’re married to hip-hop. Who are your favourite rappers? NWA
If hip-hop is your wife then skateboarding must be your mistress. How long have you been skating and what initially got you into it?
I had one of those little banana boards made of fiberglass around 1977. Then my brother took it because he needed it in order to shoot a movie. He was an independent cinematographer with no budget and it solved an equipment issue. Around 1984 I started to see people at punk gigs in Milan using larger wooden decks, like those that I saw on fanzines when there were pictures of Ian McKaye from Minor Threat or Henry Rollins. My desire to be a skate punk kept growing. I was a punk rocker, pretty much like Sheena, but I felt that that clique that stayed in the corner at every punk gig trying their bonelesses, g turns and 360 spins had a distinct and special flavour. So I bought my first Variflex Pool Fool complete with any plastic crap possible (nose& tail guard, lapper and rails) and then I kept changing my hardware gradually.
Is there any major influence or inspiration behind your clothing and footwear taste?
Most of the time I have a New Era cap on my head, so that is a part of my style for sure. As far as other brands let’s face it – no one can do it like Stussy. What a pity that this brand got sold! What we see now is the reflection of the original message that good ole Shawn started thirty plus years ago. I was fan of his brand since day one and I still am, even if the manufacture level on shirts and pants is not as good as it could actually be, considering the cost.
Keep an eye on the Italian brand Lobster because it’s actually making moves and gaining 360 degrees of appreciation from anyone: from electro fans to hip hop fans and skateboarders, via fixed gear bike riders. Incredible but true.
Hailing from your homeland of Italy, what does ellesse mean to you? Do you have any fond memories of ellesse or a current favourite piece?
In my younger days I had a “skate crush” on the steez of Jim Thiebaud (now owner of Real Skateboards). He was skating on the streets of SF with a Public Enemy beanie, dealing with street bums and doing a bunch of tricks that I was doing at the time. The fact that he was rocking ellesse Assists in June 1990 on the cover of Transworld (as showed in my blog here) made me think that those kicks were off the hook but I never saw any shops selling them. My favourite recent piece is the ellesse heritage polo 15-15 stripes in black and white. I wore it several times and it still makes me happy when I rock it.
Being a streetwear guru how do you feel about sportswear? Do you sense a ‘renaissance’ coming on?
I see two sides of the coin at the same time, coming from that era when you literally stopped anybody in the street wearing a Thrasher shirt. Nowadays you have Kate Upton in a Zoo York ad, so let’s be politically correct (and drop that haterade bottle on the pavement) and just say that sportswear changed a lot. All brands feed off each other thanks to the exchange of information made possible by the web. Everything is kind of deja vu but still designers are making an effort to put out new stuff and you can’t go wrong doing this if you rely on the classics. So, yes I see a renaissance, most definitely. Reworking the classics and adding modern elements to vintage pieces that made the past glorious.
Quick fire questions
Assist high top or Marathon running shoe?
Stevie Williams. DGK all day.
Fitted, snap-back or five panel hat?
Fitteds. Snapbacks are fresher but fitteds look better.
Ski or tennis?
I played tennis for a minute when I was 8, when Bjorn Borg was together with Italian singer Loredana Bertè.
Day or night?
Night. Cappadonna said in one of his raps: ‘Every evening/I have a by myself meeting’
Pasta or pizza?
I stopped with both but if I’m coming back to an old love it gotta be pasta.
City or sea?
90s or 00s style?
90s especially for the music.
East or West Coast?
How about the Dirty South?!
Get more news @themaxiemillion and www.themaxiemillion.com