When I was in London this past spring I met with Jamie Milestone, the founder of London Undercover, maker of umbrellas and other well designed accessories about a potential partnership on some limited run goods. At the meeting we hashed out some ideas and set out to produce a series of co-branded products, the first of which being this Black Watch tartan plaid and orange scarf. Woven of 100% cashmere, the scarves are made in England using time honored methods and pair, in our humble opinion, the world’s greatest color combination.
This past summer I took a trip to visit the Horween tannery in Chicago. The purpose of the trip was to document the process of making shell cordovan for Wolverine. (Full disclosure, Wolverine is a client of my marketing firm Paul + Williams.) The cordovan would eventually be used in the making of the newly released Wolverine 1000 Mile 721LTD boots. To be able to go out there, see the Horween plant and document everything was really an amazing experience. To follow the process of making these special (and damn-good-looking in my totally-unbiased-opinion) boots was definitely the highlight of my summer and something I am really proud to have been a part of. While the cameras were rolling I tagged along shooting hundreds of photos of Horween, which up until now, have been sitting in a folder on my computer. With the boots just landing in stores I feel like it is time to show you all some of my favorites from Horween. (I also have a photo series from the factory where the boots were made. Standy by for that.) I can say for certain that the legend of Horween is 100% real and was something experienced first hand with them this summer in Chicago. You’d be hard pressed to find better people. They remind me of the folks back home in Ohio — salt of the earth.
If this page of L.L. Bean’s 1939 catalog doesn’t inspire someone (hopefully Bean itself) to remake at least two of the three pairs of footwear pictured, I am going to be very disappointed. Requirements: 1. shoes must be made from Horween (Elk) leather (though I don’t think such a thing exists. Nick if you are out there chime in) and 2. must be handsewn in Maine. Anyone that does this, let me know and I will personally flog said boots until you sell at least 100 pairs.
After my trip to the Rose Bowl flea I headed over to check out the recently relocated Mohawk General Store on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake. The shop is owned by Kevin Carney (who is also co-founder of Generic Man) and his wife Bo. The menswear and vintage stereos are Kevin’s responsibility the ladies clothing is handled by Bo and the furniture is courtesy of Amsterdam Modern. Mohawk creates a unique mix of European mid-century modern furniture and a strong selection of good menswear from brands like Post Overalls, Engineered Garments, Tellason, Baxter of California, Tanner Goods, Our Legacy, Eastland Shoe, Earnest Alexander, The Hill-Side, Gitman Bros. Vintage, Yuketen, Moscot and of course The Generic Man. I really wanted to buy a set of Dutch stacking chairs that are set up near the entrance, but I erred on the side of owning less chairs. Especially since I have been so successful on Craigslist recently. If you are in LA, check out Mohawk’s new space and maybe pick up some Dutch stacking school chairs or a pair of jeans; whatever you may need or want. [Mohawk General Store]
Thirteen more images from the ACL Kodachrome collection. This series helps to further reinforce the importance the automobile had on American culture in the late 1940s and 1950s. So many of these old photos involve cars in one way or another, it is astonishing to me. When thinking about all of the images I have obtained the two main things I have learned about this time in America is: people loved to go fishing (fishing photos make up probably 30% of all of the slides I own) and that there are few things more fun (or important) than a car. Without one how would you and your buddies go fishing?
Portland, Maine is the perfect New England town. I sort of see it as a less crowded (and less crazy) version of Boston. All of that Yankee charm and none of the hassle. The town is especially attractive when you live in a place like New York (like me) and have to deal with the daily assault on your senses. What also makes Portland a viable home (in my mind) is its access to Barbour coats via the shop Barbour by David Wood. Because I don’t want to live in a town that doesn’t sell Barbour coats. I just don’t. Mail order be damned.
I’m only kidding about the availability of Barbour coats being a factor in where I live, but I’m not kidding about Barbour by David Wood being a great shop. The oilcloth-outpost is essentially a company store that stocks the full collection (something I have only seen on a few occasions), including the Barbour Beacon range designed by To Ki To. So if you are looking for a specific jacket you couldn’t find at other Barbour retailers, chances are Barbour by David Wood will have it. Now you know. Plus the staff is friendly and the shop’s location is about as perfect setting as any to buy outerwear for inclement weather. And Portland better watch out, I might get my Barbours together and migrate north. You’ve been warned. [Barbour by David Wood]
It is great to be in L.A. for the second Sunday of the month when they hold the Rose Bowl flea market. Luckily, my last few trips to the West Coast have coincided with the Rose Bowl Flea weekend and I have been able to shop all of the vintage goodness. This past weekend I knew Steven Alan was in town and I asked him if he would mind letting me tag along with him at the Rose Bowl. Being the nice guy that he is Steven agreed, so we got up early on Sunday morning, grabbed a couple giant duffel bags and headed to Pasadena.
Steven is a soft spoken, introspective and polite guy. He’s someone I very much admire for his great style and ability to make something as simple as a button down shirt interesting and cool. No one in menswear is as multidimensional and talented as Steven, which makes spending the morning shopping vintage with him an awesome experience for someone like me who is a big fan of his work.