The rare Nike Grail that reminds the GQ sportswriter of his roots


Welcome back to #GQStaffStyle, an overview of our colleagues’ closets.

What time of winter do you wake up, check the weather and do you think: It’s way too cold to calm down? For less dedicated dressers, that point is probably right now, when the wind chill is so strong that going outside feels like a slap in the face and wearing anything other than your bulkiest inflator means risking a figure or two of frostbite .

But for Tyler Tynes, proud son of North Philadelphia, your favorite sportswriter’s favorite sportswriter, dipping temperatures are no excuse to phone; it’s an opportunity to flex the rarest jacket in your closet. Tyler honestly comes from his passion for grail-level outerwear. “Growing up on the East Coast, many natives, especially a certain brand of brutal Philadelphians, liked to romanticize freezing climates. Snow, bitter cold and rain – this can illustrate our region, especially as we enter the darkest days on the calendar. So naturally, during the pandemic, he became obsessed with finding some of the most coveted jackets on the market today: vintage Nike ACG seals from the 90s.

ACG, or All Conditions Gear, refers to the cult sub-label that the Swoosh launched in the late ’80s, and the era that Tyler’s zipper hails from is widely considered its heyday. Before Nike was a multibillion-dollar sportswear juggernaut — beholden to consumers from Portland to Perrysburg — it catered to die-hard outdoor enthusiasts, proto-gorpheads who latched onto the punchy ACG design genre. that today’s Swoosh fanatics are clamoring for.

It is not for nothing that the aesthetic codes of the time are experiencing a resurgence. (For proof, look no further than indebted ’90s trends from labels like Aimé Leon Dore or Supreme’s particular brand of winking nostalgia.) For Tyler, the appeal was obvious. “My thoughts were simple: the brighter the better. I happened to be lucky that it matched my hair.

Jonesing to score your own ACG gem? Start by exploring the line’s current offerings (luckily its designs are pretty close to their ’90s predecessors), then head to eBay – similar options abound. Bonus points if you match your come-up to your hairstyle.

For a closer look at Tyler’s vintage Nike Grail and for every installment of #GQStaffStyle, be sure to follow @GQ on Instagram.


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