Archives for September 2010 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Hands On | Optimo Hats

Sep 18th, 2010 | Categories: Chicago, Hats, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

The Optimo Hat Company video that I posted not too long ago had me pining to own one. But realistically, when was I going to be in Chicago again (I was there two times more this year than the past ten) to visit Optimo in person? Then out of the blue the company founder Graham emailed me to tell me Optimo is holding its yearly NYC trunk show this weekend at the Gramercy Park Hotel. This was great news and I quickly set up an appointment to see what was on offer.

To see the hats in person and try them on was such a nice experience. The tactile quality of the felt was wonderful and the Panama Hats are truly special. It made me want to run home get into a suit and head straight to 21. The trunk show is set up as one-on-one appointments for customers to get fitted and browse the different style and material options. If you want to buy a hat, Optimo takes the order, then the hat is made especially for you and sent out a few weeks later. It is a familiar process for anyone that has met with a visiting tailor. But since today was the last day of the trunk show, you will have to visit the Optimo shop in Chicago to get your hands on one. And trust me, these hats are best appreciated on your head.

Bicycle | Made in the USA

Sep 17th, 2010 | Categories: Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

A fellow Clevelander sent me these cards from the United States Playing Card Company (good name) and I couldn’t resist posting them. Added bonus, they are made right here in the USA and hold a place on the old American List. [The United States Playing Card Company]

Back to the Rhinelander Mansion

Sep 17th, 2010 | Categories: Menswear, New York City, Preppy, Retail | by Michael Williams

After showing off the RRL corner of the newly refreshed Ralph Lauren men’s shop on 72nd Street & Madison Avenue, I wanted to share with you the rest of the beautifully done store. Dubbed the Rhinelander Mansion, the location is first and only Ralph Lauren shop exclusively selling menswear. The expansive space houses every single different RL collection (with the exception of Rugby). This is something the company has never done before, have everything all together in one place. Walking between all of the different collections, between Black label and RLX and RRL is one of the most amazing brand transitions in the history of retail. To switch moods and styles so seamlessly is impressive. As I said earlier, only Ralph can pull something like this off.

Ralph Lauren Purple Label

Ralph Lauren Purple Label

Brooks Brothers Gets Mil-Spec for Spring ’11

Sep 16th, 2010 | Categories: Made in the USA, Menswear, Military | by Michael Williams

One interesting thing from the Brooks Brothers spring 2011 preview were these 100% Berry compliant desert boots from Thom Browne’s Black Fleece collection. The mil-spec boots are basically the same as the originals from military supplier Altama, save Thom Browne’s signature red, white and blue trim. Amazing to see military style end up at Brooks Brothers, of all places. Though, these boots will go perfectly with your new Brooks digicam custom suit. So I suppose it’s not that crazy. Don’t worry the preppy retailer hasn’t totally gone rogue for spring 2011, there was also plenty on display for the blue blazer set. More of that here soon.

ACL Kodachromes Part VII

Sep 13th, 2010 | Categories: ACL KODACHROME | by Michael Williams

Not all photographers are created equal. That, and people in America spent a lot of time fishing. Those are the two things that I learned when I received my second set of sides back from the scanner. Previously, I have posted six sets of Kodachrome photos from everyday people from that represent America in the 1950s and 1960s (from their perspective). Those six sets were shot by two different photographers. These new images (which I have a about 500 photos from; about 75 worth posting) were also shot by two different people. Neither of these two men (from the new batch of slides) were very good at keeping the camera focused, so most of these pictures are slightly burry. Not that it matters much. The colors are still wonderful and the scenes are an amazing view into mid-century American life.

Made in Chicago | Optimo Hats

Sep 9th, 2010 | Categories: Chicago, Made in the USA, Video | by Michael Williams

Another great made-in-USA video out of Chicago, this time directed by Sam Macon (nice dolly work there Sam) showcasing the Optimo Hat Company. I love to see this type of craftsmanship in action.

Also check out: Made in Chicago | Oxxford Clothes

A Look at Beams AW10

Sep 9th, 2010 | Categories: Japan, Menswear, Tokyo | by Michael Williams

A friend from Beams dropped off the Tokyo retailer’s new AW10 catalog and I thought I would share some of it with you here. I’m scheduled to be in Japan for a week November (hopefully it will be cool there by then) and I might have to start saving up for some of this stuff now.