You gotta own a shirt this shape!!

Rare mockneck GEMS *plus* fire VHS art & more "UNBEATABLE RECON"

CONTROVERSIAL yet INCONTROVERTIBLE fact incoming: Mocknecks are cool as F**K !! Yes — Blackbird Spyplane is ready to give mocknecks the title of “POPPINGEST-NECKLINED garments of 2021” and WE DARE the next 12 months to prove us wrong … NOT GONNA HAPPEN !!

The fundamental appeal of the mockneck is its CATEGORY-CONFOUNDING TENSIONS… Obviously it’s not a crewneck & it’s not a turtleneck, but that’s just the start of the mockneck’s DOPE LIMINALITY. Wear the right one (preferably but not exclusively longsleeved) & you can somehow simultaneously look like a ‘60s beatnik, a ‘90s skater, a Y2K coder AND a 2021 paramedic — i.e. a “chic poetic nonconformist” who “loves chilling” yet is also a “futurist visionary” out here “nobly & diligently devoted to the WELL-BEING OF OTHERS” ??

Elite resellers know the vibes… NYC’s Fantasy Explosion recently posted a SHINING FLEET of deadstock 1990 Champion mockneck sweatshirts (with side pockets!) in 5 different colors. Blackbird Spyfriend Charlie “Cherub” Franco DM’d us a FIRE souvenir WWDC2000 Apple mockneck in black size large, below left, from IG vintage account @knownbadboy (we slept and it is no longer available, damn), and then we saw a BOLD Land’s End mockneck at Space Camp, below right

As far as contemporary designers doing mocknecks, Zegna FW21 is FULL of surprisingly sick mocknecked specimens; check out this COOL knit one from Snow Peak; there are tons of secondhand Uniqlo / Lemaires out there; a couple different luxuried-out cashmere ones from The Row; a CLEAN longsleeve from Acne; an Adsum mockneck fleece; a wool-jersey thermal from Margaret Howell; and a FORM-FITTING Marine Serre slapper

When did the mockneckaissance spark? Vogue wrote about a surge of “runway” interest in 2016, but since then the mockneck has edged closer to SUPERNOVA-JAWN status thanks to 3 ICONIC FITS QUANTUM-LEAPING AT US from the ‘90s…

1. There’s those moodboard-dominating shots of Princess Diana in the BANGING oversize Harvard funnel-neck sweatshirt (seen here FLIPPED into fire fan-art for SpyFriend Rachel Tashjian’s “Opulent Tips”)…

2. There’s Steve Jobs, who legendarily rocked black Issey Miyake mocknecks from the ‘90s till his death in 2011, at which point he joined Diana as a ghostly G.O.A.T. hovering etherally over the style game (in spectral 992s) …

3. And of course there’s Michael Jordan in 2020’s The Last Dance. The HARDEST and most-slept-on fit of the series, from November 1997, was visible for just a few seconds: Bulls warmup pants, voluminous tan topcoat + beret and — O yes! — a white mockneck … WOW:

Since Blackbird Spyplane rides harder than ANY NEWSLETTER OUT when it comes to SECONDHAND TREASURE, we went Mach 3+ and dug up a TON OF BURIED HEAT-ROCKS FOR THE (RELATIVE) LOW !

Please RESPECT the depths of love for our readers we displayed when we refrained from copping this tremendous paint-stained Oakley “High Definition Optics” mockneck ourselves and instead generously included it in today’s newsletter for someone to SNAG WITHIN NANOSECONDS … size XL and the seller currently has it “on sale” for $56, here. [Update: as expected someone copped this instantly]

If u want to go minimal & do a little LAST DANCE homage, there are TONS of unimprovable vintage Nike mocknecks around — there's the blue one at right, $35, and a perfectly faded gray one for $35 here … to name JUST TWO … [BOTH SOLD, WOW!]

Getting more maximalist: After we talked to GQ’s Sam Hine about vintage racing jawns the other day we came away with a “NEED 4 SPEED.” The Telmex racing longsleeve above left, $38, [SOLD!] has an embroidered collar & sick screenprinted logos (including one for CHOLULA tha HOT-SAUCE GODS!!) and the $45 Harley longsleeve above right has appealing high-school engineering-textbook-cover-art vibes… [SOLD!]

If we’re talking canonical ‘90s jawnage, you gotta check in with NO FEAR and The Gap. Yes, U *could* splash out on a beautiful patterned Dries Van Noten jawn OR u could drop a MERE $14 (?!) on this Dries-ish paisley Gap gem above left … [SOLD!] Meanwhile the SLATE-BLUE FLEECY embroidered NO FEAR joint above right is MEAN — asking $27, here. [SOLD!]

The knit “Aztec” Made in U.S.A. L.L. Bean TREASURE above left is asking $40, [SOLD!] and we would rock the f**k out of the pink “Ski Vermont” tee above right, asking $75 here.

Trippy KIND-VIBED MOCKNECKS ?? Spyplane catnip. The Escher-esque joint above left is asking $50 here [SOLD!]; the CAT YIN-YANG joint is asking $23, here.

This is just a taste. We put a TON more sick mocknecks in a special CLA$$IFIED MOCKNECK DOSSIER, so peep that !!


NEXT UP: An anonymous artist who, under the name VCR WORLD, crafts super-detailed vintage-style VHS tapes in tribute to contemporary movies, e.g. the SpOoOoKy Midsommar joint above …

The homage to ‘80s and ‘90s video-rental aesthetics here is truly ZEUS-TIER… Below we’ve got 2 “Blackbird SpyCinéaste”-certified All-Time Classics:

To be clear for all my VCR OWNERS OUT THERE, these seem to be pure art objects — VCR WORLD has said that the tapes are for “aesthetics,” i.e. they don’t seem to actually contain the movies on the sleeves (which we guess would be COOL but a FEDERAL CRIME thanks to the HATERS and KILLJOYS AT THE FBI !!)

But this dude is enigmatic. Sometimes he conducts live auctions for new tapes in his IG comments. Sometimes he instructs ppl to “DM to purchase.” Other times he’s talked about accepting commissions. When we messaged him for more info, he said “Hello” and then left all our follow-ups on “seen,” damn!!

Check out
VCR WORLD on Instagram.

FINALLY: Last summer we wrote about Brooklyn designer SMALL TALK, who makes some of the coolest hand-drawn custom tees, jackets and pants we’ve come across — after we “hit send” on that GEM, SMALL TALK’s wait list GOT ENORMOUS and before long no less a jawn cognoscenti than Virgil Abloh (?!) COMMISSIONED a hoodie & pants

This Thursday our Cla$$ified Subscribers get EXCLUSIVE EARLY ACCESS to Small Talk’s brand-new limited-edition t-shirt — a 5-color cow-shroom beauty screenprinted on 100% recycled cotton blanks …

This isn’t a preorder: these tees exist in a super-small run — so if u lack Cla$$ified credentials, SMASH the upgrade to get behind the “unbeatable paywall” and coppeth on Thursday before they sell out… PEACE!!