[Recap] Leaders x Heineken BBQ 7/16

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Leaders and Heineken teamed up last weekend for a night of beer, food and friends at the W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive. With the sun setting in the west behind the opposite side of the building, the party picked up with DJ D Nice handling the music. With Leaders gear on seemingly everyone in attendance, it was certainly an event to remember. If you weren’t there, don’t worry, we got you on some photos, here below.

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Leaders x TDE at Pitchfork Festival 2014

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Pitchfork Fest was exactly what we thought it was, except with a lot more hip-hop this year than year’s past. To be sure, it was more of a TDE takeover than a hip-hop based festival, with Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Schoolboy Q all performing while Kendrick Lamar delivered an inspiring end to the weekend, comfortable in his Sunday headlining spot. One thing may have been familiar about the L.A.-based crew though was the Leaders logo prominently displayed across the chests of both Rashad and SZA, each of whom stopped into the store before the festival to kick it and pick up some fresh gear. Check out SZA below in the Leaders Street Fighter tank and Rashad, in the Leaders Skate B/W Raglan which he was featured wearing in the New York Times Style section today, all below. Continue reading

Twista Drops Pair of New Singles

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Twista, easily one of the most legendary hip-hop artists to emerge from Chicago, has gracefully transitioned into a new phase of his career by helping to foster the overwhelming amount of talent that has sprung up here over the past few years. Quickly recognizing the swell of artists, Twista has jumped on tracks with the likes of Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Caleb James, King L and even recently signed new up and comer, Bandman Kevo to his Get Money Gang Imprint. This week we saw two new tracks from Twista that showed the full range of the mile-a-minute MC as he teamed with YP for “Stop” and then today dropping “Friend of Mine” featuring Chief Keef and Stunt Taylor. Twista is Chicago hip-hop’s uncle and he has thrown an arm around the new generation in a way other artists of his stature have not. Check out the tracks and keep an eye out for that Dark Horse album, out August 12. Hit the jump for the tracks. Continue reading

[Album] Common: “Nobody’s Smiling” (Stream) + In Store 7/26

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Last week Chicago’s own Common hosted a listening part for his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling at Untitled in the Loop. The event, hosted by Miller and Complex, offered fans a first listen at the latest from one of the most impactful artists of our generation, with him playing host-breaking down each song to contextualize his art for those in attendance. Today, the world gets the same treatment, sans Common commentary, with the full album stream of Nobody Smiling hitting the Internet today. The album is excellent. A truly full look at Chicago today, the project encapsulates many sides and voices of Chicago, featuring verses from the likes of King L, Lil Herb and Dreezy, who all also appear on the rotating artwork used for the cover. Common tends to go above and beyond on every other release and this one is no stranger to that pattern. Take a listen to Nobody’s Smiling, streaming below and catch Common in the store at 672 N. Wells on July 26.

The Neighborhood (feat. Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s) by Barrelhousebklyn on Mixcloud

[Video] Vic Mensa: “Feel That”

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Vic Mensa has been steadily rising up the larger music game since he was a kid stopping in the store after school at Whitney Young. Now, having blazed stages from New York to L.A. and beyond, the 21-year-old hip-hop artist has continued to play on a bevy of musical influences that have seen him singing and rapping on everything from rock, blues and soul to more traditional hip-hop, dance and even disco here and there. On one of his latest tracks, “Feel That” produced by fellow Chicagoan Smoko Ono, Vic continues to develop down this increasingly eclectic and up-tempo style of music that keeps feet moving and the party going. Continue reading

[Events] Heineken Friends & Family BBQ

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Today, Friday July 17 Leaders is proud to host another edition of Heineken events as we team up again with the top-end beer company to create a night of fun and cocktails at the W Hotel in Chicago’s Loop with sounds provided by DJ D Nice. Tickets and spots are available on a RSVP basis and spots have filled up fast. With some of the top names in art, fashion, music and more on hand, be sure to check back to the blog on Monday for a full photo recap of the festivities.

[Video] Taylor Bennett: “New Chevy”

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Taylor Bennett is a fixture at the Wells St. store just outside the Loop and even hosted a listening party for his most recent project, Mainstream Music, here at the store back in March. Last week, the 18-year-old recent high school graduate upped the ante on his burgeoning career by releasing the video for his song “New Chevy” featuring fellow Chicagoan King Louie on non other than MTV. In the week since, the video has found it’s way all over the internet, topping 20,000 views in 24 hours. Check the video out below and catch Taylor tonight opening for Curren$y at The Metro.

Leaders 2014 Mid-Year Rewind

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Here at Leaders we pride ourselves on creating a community-based retail location that acts as a cross-section for a variety of worlds from music to fashion, sports, art and beyond. Since 2002, when the first store opened on 53rd St. in Hyde Park, our locations have been a bastion for well known figures from in and outside the city to congregate, check out new gear and meet new people in and around the scene. As well, the Leaders brand has seen a steady uptick in national and international recognition as the brand has found its way onto the chests, sleeves and heads of some of the artists, athletes and trend setters around the world.

2014 has been no different here and, as we look to push our blog in a new direction, we wanted to make sure an recap all that has happened so far this year. It being July, it seemed fitting to rewind the year and reminisce over some of the highlights of the past seven months while keeping our eye forward to the future. Click through below to see who and what has made this year already memorable. Continue reading

LATEST RELEASES: Air Force 1, Nike Foamposite & More

Jordan Jumpman Team 1 "Infrared 23" • Sizes 9-12 • $130 • Phone Orders Accepted • (312) 787-7144

Leaders has had plenty of new kicks come through the store over the past couple of weeks, from the Nike Air Foamposite One “Concord” to the always classic Air Jordan 1s, the latest additions to the Leader’s shelves are certainly not to be missed. Click through the gallery below for styles, sizes, prices and more.Keep it locked to the blog for continued updates from the Leaders 1354 team.

Remember: orders are available over the phone via Paypal: (312) 787-7144.

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LDRS1354 SUMMER ’14 LOOKBOOK

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Leaders is back with a new drop for the Summertime. Influenced by the re-emergence of nature and outdoor activities here in Chicago, the aesthetic for our latest release is heavily aided by Summertime Chi, as brief as it may be. Playing off the Chicago Park District artwork, while making sure America is well-represented, this line is perfectly suited to get you through the most humid of July days. The rollout is across all three Leaders verticals as well: Leaders’ Mens & Women’s line, as well as the ‘Hyde Park,’ LDRS Skate line. Featured in the Summer Look Book is local rapper Taylor Bennett, a regular at both the stores: downtown on 672 N. Wells and on the South Side at 1013 S. 53rd St. Be sure to stop in one of the stores or pick up your own online.