A Continuous Lean.

Shopping Ojai | In the Field

May 29th, 2015 | Categories: California, Retail | by Michael Williams

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The little inland town of Ojai has popped up on my radar a lot over the past few years. Many of the creative folks who work for Patagonia in Ventura live up there and generally sing praise for Ojai. Word is the Malloy brothers (heros!) live on a farm in Ojai where they grow all sorts of edible earthy things when they aren’t making amazing films and commercials. If it sounds idyllic, that’s because it is.

More than that, Ojai is a town flirting with the idea of change. There seem to be a few opposing forces there in Ojai’s little inland paradise; the old guard who seem a bit more Santa Barbara, or Santa Fe for that matter, and then there’s a younger “cooler” flock of folks looking for quaint LA meets Austin, Texas vibes. It’s sort of a tale of LA hipsters versus old school hippies. There’s also (what seems like) more crystal healing in Ojai per capita than any place I’ve ever spent a weekend.

Though it’s not all just odd ball (sorry if you are into that kind of stuff) rock healing techniques in Ojai, there are definitely some interesting things worth seeing making the town a very worthy destination. There’s Bart’s Books, an incredible open air bookstore that will easily wreck an afternoon. The Ojai Rancho Inn is a sort of like what it would be like if the Ace hotel posted up in Don Draper’s motel room in Utah in the series finale of Mad Men. Ojai’s also got a few interesting shops that readers of this site would like including Summer Camp which occupies a former gas station (in the best possible way) and the standout new retail outpost In the Field. We discovered In the Field with the help of some local friends (though The New York Times had the scoop way back in November of 2014) and couldn’t have been happier to see such an excellent little desert style oasis.





The Souvenirs of War.

May 21st, 2015 | Categories: History, WWII | by ACL Editors

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We’ve all heard the famous stories of soldiers who ran through Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at the close of World War Two, taking home his silverware, or Nazi banners, or even his personal photo albums. Yet, this pilfering was not unique to that one battalion, as there’s evidence of American soldiers across all ranks taking home their own personal keepsakes from the war. Most of the time these were standard battlefield ephemera – guns, badges, helmets, etc. but in Japan this desire to bring something back home actually led to the creation of a specific garment, the souvenir jacket, which soldiers would purchase from little stalls before making their way back to America.

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Keeping Pratt Steampunk Since 1958.

May 15th, 2015 | Categories: Video | by Michael Williams

Just when you think every possible “content” story has already been unearthed, obsessed over and whirled around by a bunch of blogs — Dustin Cohen goes and tells the fascinating tale of Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s long time chief eccentric (and engineer). This brilliant story is about as interesting and touching as I have ever seen in a short little Vimeo. The take away, this man is incredible and New York certainly doesn’t make em like Conrad anymore. Much admiration both to him and Dustin for keeping things interesting around here.





In the Books | PUFSUN 2015

May 12th, 2015 | Categories: Pop Up Flea | by Michael Williams

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A visual tour of PUFSUN in NYC.

This past weekend we held the first Pop Up Flea of 2015. The event featured 40+ different brands offering up a great collection of gear for summer. From awesome swim and sportswear from Onia to Waltzing Matilda’s awesome hand-made leather sandals to all of the new 2015 novelties from TUDOR. Our spring / summer Pop Up Flea is all about discovering new brands and finding something interesting you might not have otherwise seen. With that in mind, Rancourt’s new collection of made-in-Maine sneakers (pictured below) could have been the best discovery of the weekend.

In addition to all of the commerce, Buaisou had a vat of natural Japanese indigo on-hand custom dying bags, tee shirts and all sorts of other good stuff. It’s amazing to see the process of indigo dying in person. It’s an amazing process and Buaisou is excellent at it. They also make and sell some great traditional clothing and accessories — it’s really something special.





This weekend: Pop Up Flea NYC.

May 6th, 2015 | Categories: Pop Up Flea | by Michael Williams

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This coming weekend the Pop Up Flea will be open for business in Chelsea with 40 well-made and interesting brands on offer. Join us to shop some great summertime goods from your old favorites and fresh faces. The full vendor list and details are below. Come and #ShopSmall with us Friday, Saturday and Sunday in NYC.

#PUFSUN on Instagram

123 West 18th Street (2nd Floor)
New York City

Friday, May 8th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, May 9th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday, May 10th: 12pm to 6pm

Free Entry. Open to the public. 

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The Greatest Generation | IWC Portugieser

May 4th, 2015 | Categories: Watches | by Michael Williams

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Above, IWC’s excellent new IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days “75th Anniversary” edition.

If one were to ask me to name my list of favorite brands, inevitably IWC will be there right near the top. It’s the type of company who never stops to impress me with its combination of brains and good looks. The first real mechanical watch I ever owned was an IWC. That was a deliberate and hard fought experience. It took me five years to make it happen — a personal, career and aesthetic life challenge all-in-one. An IWC was something that I lusted after, saved for and eventually came to own. I still have that watch (Portuguese Automatic) and every time I wear it people remark how much they like it. Each time I put it on my wrist I am also reminded of the satisfaction of working hard to get something which I will own my entire life.

Needless to say considering my history, I have a deep connection with both IWC and the Portuguese family of watches. So when the news of the update to the Portuguese family (for the collection’s 75th anniversary) in January, I was a bit nervous for what was to come. Thankfully IWC didn’t disappoint and the new 2015 Portugieser collection managed to get even better. There’s a few subtle changes —smaller case diameters, adjusted case shapes— which add another level of refinement to this already stellar group of watches.

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The handsome new 2015 Yacht Club has been sized down to 43.5mm.





The Originals.

May 1st, 2015 | Categories: England, History, Menswear, Shoes | by ACL Editors

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After the explosion of interest in men’s clothing that was catalyzed by the heritage movement of the early aughts, we now find ourselves in a pretty tumultuous time for men’s style. Brands fall in and out of favor at the drop of floppy Italian hat. Trends can rise and fizzle out in the time it takes a model to walk the length of a runway. And it is now (relatively) normal for someone to dress like a drop-crotched goth ninja one day and a soft-shouldered Neapolitan aristocrat the next. If there’s one idea that has never seemed to lose steam throughout this all though, it’s that anything made in China is less preferred than things made in Japan, Europe, America or even Canada.

If you ask us, blanket statements like this are easy to say, yet hard to fully comprehend. We don’t really believe that all things made in China are always made poorly, just as we don’t believe that all things made in America are automatically made well. With that said though, it is true that the large-scale factories that make up much of China’s clothing industry do prioritize quantity over quality, and the effects of this can be manifold. Which brings us to the story of Padmore & Barnes.

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