While perusing the madness of Brick Lane in East London a few weeks ago I stopped into the vintage shop called Levisons on Cheshire Street. The tidy little outpost has a nice selection of men’s and women’s vintage on offer with lots of what you’d want from a good British vintage shop — schoolboy scarves, tweedy accessories of every want, country brogues and nearly an entire rack of well worn Barbour coats. Those coats almost almost fall under the classification as ‘tattered’ (and I mean that in the best possible), but considering the way Barbours are made, they will probably last quite a while longer. Everyone working in the shop was welcoming and knowledgeable, making it even more enjoyable to look through every single item on hand and maybe even take some of it home.
In addition to making hand made custom shirts for some very serious clients in Europe, the U.S. and Japan (fortune 500 CEO types mostly), Salvatore Piccolo also produces a small collection of off the rack shirts and ties in his factory in Napoli. Every detail on the shirts are done by hand, often the shirts are made from exclusive Italian fabrics that the mills produce just for him. I learned recently in a conversation with Tom Kalenderian, the general merchandise manager executive vice president of mens at Barneys New York, that many of the prestigious Italian fabric makers will go the extra mile and bend their rules concerning minimums for Salvatore Piccolo. According to Kalenderian. “The mills love working with Salvatore because he has such good taste and his collections are so well done.”
Looking at the Piccolo shirts at Pitti Uomo (and again at Bread & Butter in Berlin where I snapped these photos) it makes sense why the mills want to work with this guy and why all of those powerful business types want him to make their custom shirts.
Ten years ago, at age 30, Shinya Hasegawa moved to New York City to attend design school and learn how to make clothing. Growing up in Tokyo he was always had a fascination with clothing, often spending hours scouring for the best vintage and seeking out the best outdoor and workwear goods from America. After earning his degree in New York, Shinya went to work for the vintage dealer What Comes Around Goes Around and then later spent four years working with Daiki Suzuki at Woolrich Woolen Mills.
During his time in Tokyo and New York, Shinya’s love of clothing paralleled his love of surfing and the outdoors. This is where the inspiration for Batten Sportswear — a new line of mens outerwear, sportswear and accessories that is launching for spring / summer 2012 — was born. Seeing the collection with Shinya in his showroom, it was clear from the outset what the concept of the collection was. Batten mixes a weekend adventure in Yosemite with a subway trip to The Rockaways, all encircled by everyday life in the city.
Today, Gear Patrol unveiled its slick new iPad app, which beautifully takes all of the cool stuff from the site and translates it into an easy to use iPad friendly situation. The two founders and creative forces behind Gear Patrol, Ben Bowers and Eric Yang, are two of the smartest and talented guys I have came across in the business. I’ve watched them boot strap and build Gear Patrol into an amazing online destination and I couldn’t be more impressed with what they have done.
This app is a smart new extension for Gear Patrol and a welcome way for readers like myself to easily enjoy all of the good stuff that the site has to offer. Much respect to Eric and Ben for being good people making these internets a better (and cooler) place.
There’s little doubt in my mind that Labour and Wait is my favorite store on earth. There are a few stores in Tokyo that are a close second, but no one combines as unique of a concept with such good product and unparallelled visual merchandising. Those are some pretty bold statements I know, but after visiting the company’s new and improved London shop I reaffirmed my love of the quirky purveyor of English home goods and departed with a paper bag full of simple treasures.
- Bill Owens captures ordinary people doing ordinary things. [San Jose Museum of Art] [Pictured]
- Tony and Pete from Tellason call out SF’s best spots. [Refinery29]
- If you haven’t checked out James Wilson’s visit to Stanley & Sons, please do so immediately. [Secret Forts]
- Don’t Mess with Texas Bespoke: The Journal profiles the Hamilton Shirt Co. [The Wall Street Journal]
- Public bathrobe wearing is nothing new (Brian Wilson, The Big Lebowski), but meet the world’s first sport-utility bathrobe [Winnifred Beach via Kickstarter]
This old book from 1916 stood out to me when I first found it because it relates to the custom tailors union from the early 1900s. Another factor in my intrigue was the fact that the tailor that this book belonged to spent a good amount of time in my hometown — a city with a long history in tailored clothing that is now almost completely gone. I was also drawn to this old union booklet because it is a window into the world of American clothing manufacturing labor at the time. Interesting to see this man traveled from Cleveland to the South and then eventually back to Cleveland, working and paying dues along the way. Maybe he moved around to follow the work? I’m not totally sure.
This is the kind of ephemera that I love to find and collect — it is like a window into the past. These days you see the union label (pictured on the middle page below) on all sorts of garments (made domestically and otherwise), but I bet a lot of people don’t realize it was (and still is) real.