Archives for August 2009 | A Continuous Lean.

Vegas Bound

Aug 31st, 2009 | Categories: Housekeeping, Las Vegas | by Michael Williams

I’m headed out to Las Vegas this week for the apparel trade shows. ACL will be updating as usual, with show coverage coming through near the end of the week. I already know a few cool new brands that I want to check out, so you have that to look forward to. Anyone that is out in the desert for the week — hit me up. Or if you see me at Circle Bar send over a domestic and say hello. As always, the drunken “behind the scenes” action — and hopefully some video poker victories — will be taking place on the ACL Twitter.

Vegas Koda II

Las Vegas c.1951

Vegas Koda

Las Vegas c.1951

Vegas Koda Slots

Las Vegas c.1951

Kodachromes via The Owls Go on Flickr

Mister Mort Goes to San Francisco’s Cable Car Clothiers

Aug 31st, 2009 | Categories: Mister Mort Trend Report | by Michael Williams

ACL’s chief trend correspondent Mister Mort, spent the afternoon in San Francisco’s Cable Car Clothiers checking out the goods and getting some gentleman street style. As per usual, Mordechai is all about the details. Check out his photos and thoughts below. More at


Oxford Shirts & Ties

Aug 28th, 2009 | Categories: Made in the USA, Style | by Michael Williams

What’s not to like about a collection of oxford shirts and ties. Lucky for us Mr. Mark McNairy is not content with just making footwear. The North Carolina bred designer stopped by my office this week to give me a preview of his collection of SS10 oxford shirts and ties that are launching at Capsule next week in Las Vegas. The line includes a selection of button-down shirts in white, pink, yellow, blue, stripes, and a group of mix-matched fabrics. The tie selection consists of bows and neck ties in emblematic and repp stripe silks. There are also some nice looking madras options — which will be in my rotation next summer. Since McNairy is ACL’s non-official yet oh-so-official spiritual adviser, these quality goods are all made in the USA with liberty and oxford cloth for all.


Adventures in North Jersey | White Mana Diner

Aug 27th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Food | by Michael Williams

The scene: Monday at midday on Tonnele Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey; it’s lunchtime and sustenance is essential to my survival. Where could this possibly be going you ask? The answer, my friends, is the old school diner White Mana. New Jersey is famous for its diners with their extravagant architecture and their all encompassing menus, but this particular place is special. Originally opened for the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens — or so the owners claim — White Mana has been serving up super flat hamburgers to generations of hungry customers. If you are out in North Jersey or just a hamburger lover it is worth the trip. I’m one to seek out old school spots like this and when my friend took me for the first time I was as happy as could be. Now when I head out to my ACL bag factory in Jersey (coming soon I promise), I always try to make a point to stop at White Mana.


Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office

Aug 25th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Design, History | by Michael Williams

You can find some serious gear from the U.S. Patent Office archives. It is amazing what turns up on the internet these days. A months ago I received an email from an ACL reader name Gary that included a few links to some clothing patent diagrams. I wasn’t moved at the time, but once I got a hang of the search procedures I uncovered some really interesting stuff and some serious Americana. A hat tip and a cold beer to Gary for the inspiration. Indulge in diagrams and patents for some classic gear, some of which is probably sitting in your place right now.

LL Bean Duck Boots c.1921


Asked & Answered | Levi Strauss & Co.

Aug 24th, 2009 | Categories: California, Denim, History | by Michael Williams

Not too long ago — in an effort to insult yours truly — someone accused ACL of becoming “The History Channel’s” blog. The commenter was attempting to offend, but the remark accomplished only the opposite. I can think of a lot of worse things this site could be. History is the basis for everything that is ACL. With that said, when the opportunity arose to spend the afternoon with Lynn Downey the Levi Strauss & Co. archivist and historian, I could imagine of no better way to enjoy a summer day.


A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives

ACL: It seems like you have a pretty amazing Job, how does this come about, how do you end up becoming the archivist for Levi’s?

Lynn Downey: Sheer amazing luck. I heard that the company was hiring an archivist for the first time in 1989, and my bachelors degree is in History and my masters degree is in Library and Information Science, but I specialized in archival administration and I applied for the job and I got it in December of ’89.

Wants & Desires | Raleigh Superbe

Aug 21st, 2009 | Categories: Bicycles, Cycling, England | by Michael Williams

Something has come over me — maybe it is this New York heat wave — but I have become obsessed with the idea of owning a vintage Raleigh 3-speed bicycle. I’m not really into the idea of spending more than $200 for said bicycle (I already own three bikes), and the typical online auction destinations have yielded little within my budget. All that aside, I did discover one fantastic piece of hardware along the way which has me thinking twice. The below gem of a bike near Hartford, Connecticut, is a beautiful English made Raleigh Superbe 3 speed, in near mint condition. The auction is holding steady at the starting bid of $475 (which I think is a little much even for a bike in such good of shape), but if money isn’t an issue I say go for it.