Gino Iannucci is part of a small but special club of pro-skateboarders that are championed for specific aspects of their skating. Reynolds, for example, has the fs flip, Muska has handrails (although that torch has probably been passed over to Jamie Foy now) and Dustin Dollin has drunk his body weight in alcohol ; )
Gino potentially has two, firstly his bs 360’s are considered to be one of the best ever, however, we have all heard, been told, or have said that Gino’s push is the best push ever. Personally, I think you could scrap those two dimensions of his skating being the best and just re-word it to Gino having one of the best styles in skating, straight up.
Not only is his skating stylish, but Gino has also always dressed stylishly too. I know this is later on in his career but my introduction to Gino was his part in ‘Yeah Right’ when I was a kid. Not only did his nonchalant style totally encapsulate me, the sweater vest he was wearing on that huge bs flip out of the kicker blew my mind. If one of my friends at the time turned up to the spot in one of those, everyone would have told them to return it to their nan and put a hoodie on. But after watching that, there was a touch of style I would later realise is so important to becoming a true individual as an adult.
Uniforms are lame, and that applies to skating, there is nothing cool about wearing something because others might like it and not because you rate it yourself. Nowadays, Gino has his own clothing company named ‘Poets’. The clothing range is a direct reflection of Gino himself, often referencing other passions of his such as Ice Hockey and Tennis, or championing the local landmarks where he grew up. It makes sense for him to transition over to the fashion world with Poets as it is obviously something that comes fairly naturally to Gino, similar to his skating.
The Adidas Samba ADV
This takes us over to the Samba ADV that Adidas has let Gino work his magic on. Part of Adidas’ Respect your Roots series, where skaters from the past are given the opportunity to either design a shoe or put their name on a shoe they used to wear back in their prime. A few years ago Drake Jones got a Superstar for the series, so you know Adidas is picking true trail-blazers from back in the day. This is something that is super important to me. Making sure newer generations that come into skating truly understand the history of it. I love the idea of a kid buying a pair of those Drake Jones Superstars because they look cool, googling the name, and seeing him cruise around EMB popping switch tres like it’s no one’s business.
Like the sweater vest, these Samba’s hold a very strong aesthetic. The first thing you notice when looking at this shoe is the bold, shiny-black, tumbled leather construction. Possibly a slightly Marmite choice of materials, but for me, when I hold this shoe it instantly makes me think of the classic Copa Mundial football boot. Funnily enough, that football boot was the inspiration for Dennis Busenitz’s skate shoe which has been steadily crushing it for the past ten years or so.
Alongside the timeless styling of the Samba silhouette and the tumbled leather, there is an addition of modern features, both aesthetic and functional. Aesthetically, the use of speckled laces, designed to match the colours of the shoe itself really makes the whole shoe pop. The ever-so faintly translucent sole unit also gives the shoe a modern feel, creating an almost tonal deep-grey sole that manages to merge into the shiny black leather really nicely. Functionally, this shoe has been given the Adidas Skateboarding treatment, fitted with a molded EVA sock-liner keeping the sole low profile but still comfortable and cushioning. The toe-cap of these has also had the Adituff protective lining placed inside it, giving the shoe great durability.
This shoe is deceiving in a way, appearing to be a delicate and perhaps overly low-profile skate shoe, but in reality, it is an incredibly functional and fashionable shoe. There is no need to pick between the two with this one. As previously mentioned, Gino has always been pushing the boundaries of skating and fashion, and even now, he is still making ripples within the scene.
Love it or hate it, this shoe gets people talking just like Gino himself. You can’t push boundaries without collecting a few haters along the way and I can’t help but feel like that’s perfect for a shoe designed by Gino.