Not too far into the bio on the Schott website you will find this sentence: “We are a true-blue, real-deal, piece of Americana.” It really can’t be put any better, so that is all I really need to say. A few weeks back I took a little trip out to the Schott factory in New Jersey to see the nearly 100 year old company in action. After seeing the facilities and meeting the good people from Schott, I left with a renewed sense of appreciation for a company with devotion to not only quality, but to the people and place that made them what they are. It takes a lot of sticktoitiveness to resist the call of overseas labor and continue to manufacture domestically. I also left with the feeling that my life was not complete without a perfectly worn-in Perfecto leather motorcycle jacket. Schott Bros. Inc has been making quality outerwear for motorcyclists and military men in the New York City area since 1913 when Irving Schott founded the company on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Still to this day a family run business, Schott is doing what they do best, making a good product at a fair price. So do yourself and your fellow Americans a favor and buy a Perfecto.
What could be better than lunch at the Darien, Connecticut institution the Sugar Bowl? In my book, not much. The greasy spoon is known by locals and non-locals alike as the place to eat in the posh Connecticut suburb. Breakfast on the weekends is a crowded affair, but a late Friday afternoon lunch ensured space at the counter complete with a cheese burger, chocolate shake and a belly ache. Once you’re done, head over to the Darien Sport Shop for some sneakers and go for a run.
More than an other category, denim inspires people to dizzying madness. Take for instance the North Carolina based Raleigh Denim; the husband and wife team behind the brand — Sarah and Victor Lytvinenko — who over the past year have quietly built a loyal following among denim lovers and retailers like Barneys and Steven Alan. I first learned about Raleigh a few months back when my buddy from Cone sent me a list of new brands for The American List that are using the mill’s denim. I was intrigued, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when Victor and Sarah stopped by my office to give me a guided tour of the product that I was really convinced. There are a lot of denim brands in this world and I found it amazing that all of the design, development, pattern making, sourcing and even the construction is done by hand by Victor, Sarah and a small staff from their workshop down south. The folks at Raleigh pride themselves on the fact that 98% of what goes into the company’s jeans are from North Carolina. In fact, Victor even seeks out the original machines that are used in the production, traveling around the North Carolina and Tennessee border looking for old factories and needle towns. And he is into it. Victor’s eyes would light up when talking about an old chain stitch machine or another vintage mechanical acquisition. It was like a kid talking about his baseball card collection.
With New York fashion week within arm’s reach, The Observer’s Joe Pompeo reports on the decidedly non trendy trend of Trad. The article gets some great analysis from two very honorable gentlemen, namely John Tinseth from The Trad (which is one of my favorite reads; Tinseth has amazing taste and is a helluva story teller) and David Wilder of J. Press. I have had the pleasure of talking shop over spirits with both gents on several occasions and can say without reservation that few do it better. When I worked with David at Press I would joke that he was sent from central casting. David possesses an insane knowledge about Ivy League style and WASP culture. Many thanks to Joe for including me — this is the kind of style coverage that I love. Read the article here.
A few more photos from spring / summer 2010 goods that were spotted out in Las Vegas for the Project / Capsule trade shows. As I looked through my pictures I noticed that I have an unhealthy obsession with woven shirts and ice cream. Oh, and tequilla.
A look at Gant SS10
Patience is a virtue and I do my best not to live by that motto. I am pretty tenacious when it comes to getting something I want, so it is often hard to wait to see what will come to market. As it turns out my English 3-speed timing worked out perfectly and I found a really nice looking green all-original Raleigh Superbe in Clearfield, PA, right off interstate 80. Since I was headed to Ohio this weekend via I-80, the 3-speed is now mine and for nearly half the cost of most of the Superbes that have been popping up in NYC and on eBay. Update: I almost forgot to mention that I added a bunch of different bicycle makers to The American List — check it out if you are interested.
If you haven’t been to the site, the guys at Speedhunters make some pretty kick ass videos. The FIA GT shorts selected and placed below are particularly fantastic. I love the lower tier GT3 series because every car has to be street legal and they race on road type courses. I’m not a huge NASCAR fan because the races — with a few exceptions — are a four hour history of the left turn. I do like to watch (and did like to attend; RIP USGP) Formula 1 races, but the seemingly limitless money / technology arms race is a little too America’s Cup for my liking; plus you are lucky if you see one pass all season. Speaking of America’s Cup, have you seen the BMW Oracle trimaran monstrosity? Good God man.