A Continuous Lean.

Bloomingdale’s | Gifting the Holidays

Dec 19th, 2014 | Categories: Gift Guide 2014, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

ACL

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The number one question that arrives in the ACL inbox concerns gift giving. We frequently hear from girlfriends, wives and significant others looking for suggestions for holiday gifts. Like holiday parties, when it comes to gift guides the philosophy is always: the more the merrier. So with that in mind, we’ve assembled our top ten giftable items from Bloomingdale’s.

We’ve pulled together a nice selection of interesting, well-made and stylish gifts for a myriad of men in your life. There’s something here for everyone in your life at pretty much every price point. From the long-lasting (Rimowa) to the American Made (Shinola) to the exceedingly cool (Garrett Leight) you’re in good shape. Check out all of our picks below and have yourself (and those on your gift list) a very happy holiday.





Get to Know Australia’s Most Stylish Tailor.

Dec 19th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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One of the most telling facts about Patrick Johnson, the Australian tailor behind P. Johnson, comes well after our interview has officially concluded. Johnson is in New York for his brand’s first official U.S. trunk show, and as we’re exiting the Bowery Hotel on the Friday before the show starts, he tells me that during his younger years he had trained to become a winemaker, only to learn that he had a serious allergy to a key ingredient in wine. It’s the sort of discovery that would have crippled a lesser man, and yet Patrick tells me this story with a wide grin on his face. In fact he says just about everything with that grin on his face. By the time Patrick learned of his allergy he had already found a new passion, clothing. Winemaking is a career, but it’s also a labor of love, much like tailoring. And so he traded one passion pursuit for another, becoming the most famous name in Australian menswear, and growing his eponymous label from one small tailoring shop into a global business, one that is large enough to require regular visits to America, with a permanent New York City shop on the way.

ACL: You’re pretty established in Australia, what made you guys want to start looking towards the states?

PJ: Well, the Australian market is quite a small market. We obviously enjoy it there, but it’s pretty small. We have a lot of clients who live in America, either Americans or ex-pats, and so we decided after a while that we’d start showing here, basically just to grow a bit. To grow inside of Australia, from a business point of view, we’d have to change our aesthetic a little bit and I didn’t want to do that. So yeah, just client demand and a bit of an adventure, get us outside of our comfort zone a bit.





The ACL Guide to New York Hotels Young & Old

Dec 18th, 2014 | Categories: ACL Advisor, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

The Plaza in 1910

New York City is home to a staggering two-hundred-fifty plus hotels, ranging from five star palaces to hole in the wall hostels. And yet, even with mind-boggling number of options many visitors to the city end up just settling for whatever hotel they’re most familiar with, and that right there is a colossal mistake. New York hotels, old and new, are an attraction in their own right, and each one is as unique as the city’s eight million plus inhabitants. From a stately high-rise on Madison, to a renovated factory in Williamsburg, New York has a bevy of classic and contemporary hotels that are well worth a stay.

The Classics:

The Plaza: Barefoot in the Park, Scent of a Woman, Almost Famous, The Great Gatsby, American Hustle. All these films (and many, many more) have been filmed in and around this one-hundred-seven-year old hotel, because few buildings epitomize classic New York quite like The Plaza.





Giving the Gift of Gucci for the Holidays.

Dec 17th, 2014 | Categories: Gift Guide 2014, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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The gift giving time of year can be one of the most rewarding times of the year, and also one fraught with the challenge of finding that perfect something for that special someone. To me, finding a good gift is much easier when you start the process with a base of ideas and a willingness to surprise. With this in mind, I choose six captivating gift ideas from Gucci for every type of guy on your list. From a bottle of the new Made to Measure men’s fragrance, to a pair of expertly made and iconic 1953 Gucci leather loafers, or even a custom printed backpack (commissioned from artist Kris Knight exclusively for Gucci) there’s something here for everyone who loves nice things.

I for one would love to see a new pair of Horsebit loafers under the tree. A few years ago I was given the opportunity to visit the Gucci loafer workshop in Florence and I learned firsthand the style and Italian craftsmanship that goes into every item that carries the Gucci name. It is a standard of quality which leaves an impression on everyone, but especially those on the receiving end of your Gucci Gifts.

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The Brands from Scotland Yarn.

Dec 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in Scotland, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

Johnstons

“Scotland: The land of a thousand knitters. Or at least, we used to be.”

It might not be the most appealing tourism slogan, but the truth rarely is. With cheaper prices and shorter lead-times lying further to the East, countless brands have exported their knitwear production to Asia, leaving many Scottish factories without enough orders to stay afloat. The knitwear industry reaches back to the late 1700’s, when the first framing guides arrived in Scotland allowing craftspeople to churn out their fine knits at a faster pace.  Scotland once had over two thousand knitwear manufacturers, today that figure is closer to a couple hundred, if that.





This Year in Music | Dudes With Guitars

Dec 16th, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Music | by Al James

Dudes

Last year we called it early and looked at some albums that were floating just below the mainstream. This year we’re highlighting the revival of a genre that critics keep saying has been dead for awhile. Across magazines, newspapers and blogs, writers have lamented the demise of guitar rock in all of its forms – punk, country, blues, garage, etc… They say that dudes with guitars are dead. They’ve been replaced by dudes with synthesizers, dudes with laptops, and dudes with samplers. This year, however, might be an exception. You don’t have to search too hard to discover that 2014 was actually an incredible year for straight-ahead, guitar-toting songwriters. Here are some of the best:

Sturgill Simpson
Though he worships at the altar of The Highwaymen, Sturgill is absolutely the genuine article. His Metamodern Sounds In Country Music is a classic country album filtered through a contemporary lens of drugs and existential dread. His songwriting point of view is fresh and his voice is timeless. Now if only the rest of Nashville could follow his lead.

Hiss Golden Messenger
After a series of great folk albums over the last few years, North Carolina’s M.C. Taylor dug deeper on Lateness of Dancers and struck gold. He and his band channel Dylan, The Band, The Dead and J.J. Cale like no one else has recently, keeping one foot firmly planted in swampy Southern R&B.





Implements of Winter (Hand) Survival.

Dec 15th, 2014 | Categories: Accessories, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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During Ernest Shackleton’s first expedition to Antarctica from 1901-1903, he and his crew experienced scurvy, snow blindness, and of course frostbite. We’ll never truly be able to understand just how bad things got for team Shackleton (and they got very bad, proof here), but we will be damned if there aren’t days where our fingers feel like they could just snap off at any moment. Yes, it’s hyperbolic to compare our average icy conditions to Antarctic extremes, but we don’t think many of us are venturing to the south pole anytime soon, so for those of us that brave the standard “below-freezing-but-still-not-cold-enough-to-turn-your-thumb-black” weather here are some gloves to keep your fingers free from frost this winter.