Archives for August 2011 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2


Aug 18th, 2011 | Categories: ACL for DRIVEN, Autos | by Michael Williams

If you follow me on Twitter you might have had an idea of what I was up to when I said I was flying from NYC direct to Stuttgart. The gents at DRIVEN thought, for some odd reason, that I would be a good person to send to Germany for a two day mission centered on all things Mercedes-Benz. Coincidentally, this mission happened to include driving the SLS AMG (the famous Merc supercar) as fast as I possibly could around a massive airfield-turned-test-track in Malmsheim. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday. Read the whole story at DRIVEN.

Two Days in Boston’s First Skyscraper

Aug 15th, 2011 | Categories: Boston, History | by Michael Williams

Completed in 1893, the Ames building is considered by many to be Boston’s first skyscraper; though, even at the time of its opening, it was never Boston’s tallest building. That honor belonged to Church of the Covenant. The Ames building also ranks as the second tallest masonry load-bearing wall structure in the world, behind Chicago’s Monadnock Building, and was constructed using sandstone from the Cleveland Quarries Co. that was carted to Boston all the way from Amherst, Ohio. (Sidenote: As a child I swam in the Amherst quarry that produced the sandstone used in the construction of the Ames Building.)

The Ames Building was commissioned, paid for and built to house the headquarters of the Ames Shovel and Tool Co., which was run by the wealthy Oakes Ames. In addition to being an industrialist, Oakes Ames was a Congressman from Massachusetts (and a fairly corrupt one at that) and was largely responsible for overseeing the construction of the Union Pacific railroad. Coincidentally, the town of Ames, Iowa (which is famous for the Republican Straw Poll that took place this past week) is named for Oakes Ames due to his involvement with the railroad.


Aug 15th, 2011 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

  • Esquire’s Nick Sullivan talks us through his “stance” [Junctioned] [Video pictured]
  • The New Yorker proclaims Jay-Z and Kanye West “out of touch with the streets” [The New Yorker]
  • Everything a man needs in a Tumblr #NSFW #Daywrecker [Cinabrio]
  • Jay McInerney gives nod to Tavel, France, the “motherland of rosé” [The Wall Street Journal]
  • Filson made a blaze orange canvas carrier for a Stanley thermos and it is awesome [Filson via Acquire]
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Selling America

Aug 14th, 2011 | Categories: Advertising, Americana | by Michael Williams

These commercials have been floating around in my head for a while and for whatever reason today I felt compelled to get them all down here together in my little corner of the internet. While there is no arguing that many will find these stimulating in one way or another, I have to think this post will spawn a massive flame war in the comments. But I’m not going to let that stop me from sharing. Actually, I’m interested in hearing what you all think about all of this.

One thing’s for certain, there’s a darkness that runs through these videos (with the exception of the Dodge Freedom spot), a gritty, almost, reassuring quality in these. It’s a provocative bit of salesmanship all the way around, if you ask me. All that aside, even with a shaky economy, there seems to have never been a better time to be a man working in the world of advertising voice-over.

The Miniature World of Levi’s Vintage Clothing

Aug 8th, 2011 | Categories: Tradeshows | by Michael Williams

Over the past few years I have had the good fortune of spending quite a bit of time with some very creative people, the two most influential (on me) being Mark McNairy and Maurizio Donadi. One thing that I have taken away from my time with these two gentlemen is, beyond possessing loads of experience in the business, that the two share an innate ability to see the world in simple yet totally unique ways. It is this creative thinking that never ceases to inspire me with the seemingly simple ideas that turn the world on its ear. Case in point: the Levi’s Vintage Clothing trade show booth for SS12.

Mark McNairy x ACL & Co. Brogue Boots

Aug 5th, 2011 | Categories: ACL & Co., ACL SHOP | by Michael Williams

One of the first product collaborations that landed in the ACL Shop back when it all began was with my friend Mark McNairy on a few pairs of special English-made shoes. That was in November of 2009 and Mark has gone on to do a million different combinations for his Mark McNairy New Amsterdam collection, but one of the my favorite styles from his line was always the country brogue with the white vibram sole.

My personal style tends to lean me more towards boots than shoes, which is why I teamed up with McNairy again to make two new special styles of the aforementioned country brogues. And I have to say, Mark and I are both pretty thrilled with how the boots turned out. And so, launching today in the ACL Shop are two limited-run of Mark McNairy New Amsterdam brogue boots made exclusively for ACL & Co. The seven-eyelet brogue boots both feature a natural storm (Goodyear) welt, white Vibram soles and outdoor laces, pairing a more refined shape with more rugged details. Made in England and available now in the ACL Shop. [Mark McNairy x ACL & Co.]

Meet Your Maker | Rancourt & Co.

Aug 4th, 2011 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA, Maine | by Michael Williams

Three generations of the Rancourt family have been making shoes in Maine since the mid-1960s. Over the years the company has made shoes for a variety of big American shoe companies, passing the hand-sewing skills down from generation to generation. Recently the company has moved into a new facility in Lewiston, Maine where, in addition to making shoes for a host of well respected brands, the Rancourts recently begun to more widely offer the shoes it makes under its own label, Rancourt & Co. To this end Rancourt just launched it’s own online shop where you can purchase the company’s fine handsewn shoes — everything from Horween shell cordovan beefroll penny loafers to traditional moccasin style leather shoes — direct from the makers in Maine.