What is the Cactus Plant Flea Market?
Sometimes in the world of fashion, a brand comes along readily equipped with a certain “if you know, you know” mythology surrounding it, and Cactus Plant Flea Market is one of those brands. First emerging on the backs of many of pop culture high rollers in 2016, CPFM has received high profile endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams. With a fanbase that star studded, it was clear for all to see that Cactus Plant Flea Market was only going to grow in stature. The brain behind the brand Cynthia Lu is as elusive as it gets, instead preferring for her product to take centre stage, but what we do know about the fabled designer is that her background is both colourful and illustrious. First working as an Intern at Complex before later moving to a position working with Pharrell Williams at Billionaire Boys Club, and then at i am OTHER.
Early on in 2015, the CPFM website lacked any product at all, instead just featuring GIFs of behind the scenes images of Pharrell getting a haircut backstage, onstage in front of roaring festival-sized crowds, and more intimate shots of him in the studio and with friends like Karl Lagerfeld. It would be a few months before the first product emerged – a yellow T-shirt with an embroidered cactus was posted on Instagram with the caption “CACTUS PLANT FLEA MARKET FOR ANTI SOCIAL SOCIAL CLUB,” hinting at a future collaboration with Neek Lurk’s paradoxical introverts only social club. From there the CPFM portfolio only grew and to my knowledge, what has made the brand so massively appealing to those in the know is its fluid and eccentric combination of type and playful graphic imagery, with both embroidery and screenprint at play simultaneously in some instances. So naturally, when it was announced that Cynthia Lu would be following in one of her mentors and most prominent advocate’s (Pharrell) footsteps by taking her design acumen into the mad world of streetwear trainers. It would be foolish not to expect the same signature aesthetics that made her brand so successful and don’t worry, you’re not going to be disappointed.
CPFM x Nike Air Vapormax 2019
Since the announcement that Nike would be collaborating with Cactus Plant Flea Market anticipation surrounding the drop hasn’t stopped growing. Only being magnified further by the models’ appearance on the feet of Frank Ocean in New York recently, an endorsement which is now almost expected from the brand. The concept behind the shoe draws inspiration directly from Nike’s trademark “Just Do It” slogan, and is almost Off-White-esque (if there is such a thing) in no small part to its distinctively deconstructed aesthetic that it presents. Sat atop a textured black base the shoes upper is accented with a stitched-on turquoise Swoosh reminiscent of a neon tube light sign – the type you see in a dimly lit cocktail bar. As well as bubbly “Just Do It” lettering which almost looks painted on with acrylic, and a similarly designed smiley face on each heel adding a bright yellow touch. This shoe uses the Air Vapormax 2019 silhouette as its source material and canvas so you would be right to assume that its signature Air sole unit remains, and rather spectacularly on the friends & family version lights up, as showcased by Ava Nirui on Instagram. Scheduled for release on May 14th the Cactus Plant Flea Market x Air Vapormax 2019 will be available exclusively at Dover Street Market and is undoubtedly set to sell out.
CPFM x Kid Cudi Clothing capsule
The shoe isn’t the only thing on the horizon for CPFM however, as it appears the brand will also be joining forces with rapper Kid Cudi for an exclusive merch capsule collection commemorating the artist’s headline set at Rolling Loud. The range is a re-working of Cudi’s sold-out Coachella merch, and consists of four pieces: a black “Cudi Saves” T-shirt, a mint green “Swim in the Light” crewneck sweater, a neon lemon-lime “Illusions” long sleeve shirt, and a blue “Swim in the Light” hoodie. Each item features puff prints designed by Cactus Plant Flea Market.
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