From the Desk of… | A Continuous Lean.

From the Desk of…

Feb 12th, 2009 | Categories: From the Desk of... | by Michael Williams

From the Desk of… is a window into the world and workspace of some of ACL’s most stylish friends.

This past week Mr. Frank Muytjens, J.Crew’s VP of men’s design, took some time out of his busy schedule to open up his office to ACL’s prying eyes.  After talking to Frank for a few minutes it was clear that we have a lot of the same interests. Everything from workwear to Japan and all sorts of other stylish things. If beer was involved we could have probably talked each other to death.

It was exciting to see the J.Crew offices and some of the work that goes into putting a collection together. Frank even touched on a few of the exciting things that are in the works for what is unofficially being called  “The Newsstand,”  J.Crew’s interesting new men’s store on Broadway. More on that soon enough. Desk details after the jump.

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Frank’s description below:

All writing material is from Ito-ya in Tokyo, especially their pencils are amazing, they have a little eraser on top that actually works. It doesn’t smudge.

Notebooks from Tokyo as well, they’re obsessed with stationary…as am I…mine are from Picnic On Picnic, around the corner from Tokyu Hands, very utilitarian and straightforward…great selection.

More notebooks and stationary from Spalding Bros, picked up in Florence.

Jars are from a vintage store upstate, called the Bottle Shop, love the neutral greyish khaki color. They’re old apothecary jars.

Bookshelves and tasklight from a hardware store on line, just very sturdy, utilitarian and functional.

Classic Ace Pilot stapler, has been around since the 30′s, still in production.

My desk is in an area with virtually no walls, ( I do have a lot of windows….) so we came up with these movable mood boards, they’re 7 feet high and have heavy duty caster wheels so I can move them around easily. They serve as our seasonal inspiration boards. I need to see what I have in front of me, if I don’t I forget I have it… it doesn’t work when I have everything filed in folders. The boards are a constant work in progress.

Obsessed by new and vintage books, recent finds: Peter Saville, who designed all the iconic Joy Division and New Order album covers, and a paperback version of Goodbye Baby & Amen, by David Bailey and Peter Evans, amazing black and white pictures from the 60′s…. La France Travaille, is a series of the 30′s French workwear books. Welders, dockworkers, farmers, miners….great inspiration.

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More From the Desk of… features can be seen here.

Comments: 19

19 Comments to “From the Desk of…”

  1. wayne pate
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 10:18 AM

    You’ve been slacking on this series lately MW!
    Glad to see a new one up. Books, books and more books and stacks of magazines. The best things to surround yourself with. All that inspiration waiting
    to present it’s self to you. The Tim Walker book on the top shelf is essential.

  2. sam
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 10:39 AM

    cool office. practical.. like that the chairs are mismatched.. lends it a sort of dissheveled air that doesn’t come off as considered.

  3. JP
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 10:53 AM

    Cool. I worked with Frank at RL, he has great taste. Funny to see ‘The Smiths’ record in that one shot– he always reminded me of Morrissey, from his looks right down to the timber of his voice. Good guy.

  4. Warren
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 11:08 AM

    Put on that Louder Than Bombs record, already.

  5. Johnny D.
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 11:16 AM

    Any tips for ordering from the (perplexing) Ito-ya website?

    Ps. I can’t read Japanese.

  6. ldorr
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 11:18 AM

    don’t listen to that wayne pate! everything in it’s due time.
    good interview, and photos. it’s always a relief to see that mass merchants are inspired by things of greatness, and subtlety.

  7. brandon
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 12:13 PM

    is that a stack of Hermes boxes over the radiator?

  8. dandy nihilism
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 12:36 PM

    The ‘mood board’ with a collage of items is terrific for inspiration. It seems few people are inspired by neatly filed cabinets. Glad to see J Crew thinks in a similar way to myself.

  9. Scott
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 1:16 PM

    A lot of fun to read these things. Workspaces are so personal in a way that is more abstract than a home or something. Nice photos, too.

  10. Thom
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 1:29 PM

    Can’t help but feel I’d get more done in an office like that.

  11. Steve
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 2:17 PM

    Great to see this new addition to the series. I’ve spent a good fifteen minutes nosying around via these images so if I worked in an office like that I don’t think I could anything done.

  12. wayne pate
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 2:19 PM

    Frank,
    Is Picnic On Picnic back up the hill by the Starbuck’s or is it back the other direction past DMR (The Record Shop) or the other way towards
    Journal Standard?

  13. Mr.Ray
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 4:34 PM

    Great post thank you for sharing. It is always interesting to see the behind the scenes of any type of creative. Look forward to seeing more in the future.

  14. viv
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 5:30 PM

    Love this post! Nothing is more telling about a person than his or her work space.

    Also, did you know there was a tiny, tiny smiley face at the top right edge of your site? =)

  15. pit
    on Feb 12th, 2009
    @ 6:13 PM

    Very cool office. I actually went to the J.crew shop in Pasadena this morning. They had some nice menswear pieces for spring that wasn’t in their current catalog. I hope their spring items will be as interesting as their fall/winter goods.

  16. wmc
    on Feb 13th, 2009
    @ 7:00 AM

    Ah, that lamp…

  17. designerman
    on Feb 13th, 2009
    @ 9:11 AM

    i know what you mean about conversing with frank – easy to talk with and smart – i’d love to set aside a few hours…

    great idea for a series btw. hadn’t seen this on your site yet.

  18. erica
    on Feb 17th, 2009
    @ 11:20 AM

    This was so worth the wait.

  19. Arlene
    on Mar 2nd, 2009
    @ 1:12 PM

    Love your office. Rember your small room in Arnhem? You didn’t change anything except more room.