More specifically surf Cleveland, Ohio. The documentary Out of Place — which is all about surfing Lake Erie — looks pretty crazy and pretty cold. Thanks to Even*Cleveland for the heads up. (Related: Surf Ohio via Homage)
The ambitious and entirely-American-made U.S. Patent collection just landed in Orvis stores yesterday and I headed up to the Manchester, VT outfitter’s shop on New York’s Fifth Avenue to see the goods first hand. Orvis has long been a favorite of mine and it is the first large retailer (that I am aware of) make such a dedicated push with strictly made in the USA product, which is obviously something I am very excited to see happen. The merchandise mix is made up of companies like Taylor Supply, Grown & Sewn, Stronghold, Schott NYC, Filson, Temple Bags, Wolverine 1000 Mile, Rising Sun, Gitman and a host of other American labels. The U.S. Patent collection is available at the top six Orvis stores (New York, Chicago, Manchester, VT etc.), as well as in the company’s ubiquitous catalog. And word from Orvis is that the sales have far exceeded expectations and the U.S. Patent collection will be expanded in coming seasons. That is great news for everyone involved. [Orvis U.S. Patent available online + at select Orvis stores]
The folksie crew from the Swedish label Fjällräven (pictured above) opened their New York store (the company’s only American outpost) last November on Mott Street, bringing much of their outdoor-centric gear to the States for the first time. Coming up on the store’s one year anniversary Fjällräven (who is a client of my marketing company Paul + Williams) got together with Jeff Thrope of Cold Splinters fame to refresh the space with all sorts of camping essentials and cool gear to compliment Fjällräven’s Greenland Jackets, G-1000 waxed clothing, packs, tents and other Scandinavian equipment. Basically the store stocks everything you need to have an adventure — and all in one place. I think Jay Carroll put it best when he called the Fjällräven US team “outdoor nerds.” I’ll go ahead and add that they are now “retail nerds” too, since they definitely know how to create an interesting store environment. [Fjällräven | 262 Mott Street, NYC]
One day out of the blue I got an email from Gabriel Stulman — the guy behind a few of New York’s smallest and most loved restaurants (Joseph Leonard, et. al.) — inviting me to lunch sometime. If you have ever been to Joseph Leonard you will understand Gabriel and I share an aesthetic, something that was further established for me the first time we met. That was about a year ago and it was near the beginning of the process of planning Gabriel’s newest spot, Jeffery’s Grocery. The concept is oyster bar meets local grocery meets late night drinks-and-a-sandwich. destination. Eventually, our shared appreciation for vintage American aesthetics led to a series of discussions and meetings over the next several months where Gabriel and I would meet to talk about the look and feel for Jeffrey’s. We discussed everything from the colors of the wood that made up the bar, to the beadboard, the employee uniforms (which are from Levi’s, Gitman Bros. Vintage, Kenton Sorenson Leather, Stanley & Sons and The Hill-Side; more on that here soon) and all of the little design details and layout that goes into making a place unique. I’d even see Gabriel and his fiancé Gina up at Brimfield with all sorts of cool old stuff that was destined for Jeffrey’s. It was obvious early on that Jeffrey’s was going to me my type of place.
This fall, eyewear maker Persol is releasing a special pair of “Steve McQueen” edition sunglasses. The 714 was worn frequently by McQueen (he preferred the blue lenses, but I like the “honey” color with the tortoise shell frame as pictured above) in movies and in real life, and the glasses are part of what made the man one of Hollywood’s most celebrated style icons. It is my thought that McQueen’s lauded personal style was very consciously thought-out and crafted as part of his image. The brands and items he wore was part of a deliberate effort to enhance his star power. Now, with that said, I don’t think this was a bad thing and I can’t think of any actors in the past or present that are as masculine or cool as McQueen. Think about today’s movie stars and try to name someone that is as tough and cool as McQueen. I bet you can’t do it.
The Pine Tree State is beckoning and I’ve heeded the call. I’m off to Maine to celebrate the day of my birth with a weekend of good food, relaxation and hopefully some proper fall weather. With Maine on the brain, I leave you with this two page spread from a 1939 L.L. Bean catalog that I recently acquired. Great to see how little has changed with regard to the iconic Bean Boots. Still as relevant today as they were seven decades ago. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the other side.
If you can’t read that, here’s the giant scan.