Piombo, the colorful Milanese menswear label is finally landing on U.S. shores with its debut this week at Barneys New York. Situated in some very prime real estate on the first floor of the Madison Avenue flagship, the Italian label has long been a insider favorite of menswear editors like Esquire’s Nick Sullivan (who introduced me to Piombo originally).
But why did it take so long to get this stuff to New York? “Mark Lee (Barneys CEO) wears Piombo and he approached us to come to Barneys and New York. It is the perfect partner for us,” said Massimo Piombo this morning as we surveyed the clothing and the newly installed (and stunning) window display on 60th Street.
Of all the great menswear shops in New York, Paul Stuart arguably has the best windows of any of them. Known as the more European-American answer to a preppy Brooks, Paul Stuart’s windows wrap all the way around the Madison Avenue storefront and down a good stretch of 45th Street, telling a great story in the process. To kick off it’s fall season Paul Stuart culled together a group of menswear folks — Esquire Fashion Director Nick Sullivan, Chris Callis and Woody Hines from Men of Habit, Lawrence Schlossman from Sartorially Inclined and your humble correspondent — to rig out its windows in a homage to plaid and tweed.
This past weekend in Italy I was sort of surprised to see so many motorcyclists on the winding roads of Piemonte. Upon my return to the States I received an email from the guys in at Bike Exif (which is a pretty awesome site that should be on your daily reads list) with a link to an amazing photo series from a 1953 motorcycle tour of Europe. It all just seemed too perfect considering my recent adventures; though, truth be told my weekend was spent behind the wheel of a Fiat 500, sadly not an old Triumph.
“More heady than love, ladies or liquor is the sporting-goods catalog of L. L. Bean, outfitter extraordinary to men who live so they may hunt and fish,” read Life magazine’s encomium to the entrepreneurial outdoorsman in October of 1941. From modest beginnings in 1911, sales at Leon Leonwood Bean’s Freeport mail order business had surpassed the $1 million mark by 1937. Life showcased a number of innovative items from the Bean catalog, beginning with the famous Maine Hunting Shoe, created when Bean had a seamstress sew elk hide leggings onto a pair of old rubbers to keep his feet warm and dry while duck hunting.
“Street value: 10-15 bucks. Fuckin rad value: millions and millions of dollars.” -Aaron Draplin
I’ve said it before, but Aaron Draplin is one of my heroes. The guy is just so surly and on-point when it comes to design, America, flea markets and all of the other important stuff in this world. The people at Level Magazine caught up with Draplin in his Portland, Oregon studio in what could have easily become the most awesome episode of Hoarders ever made.
Thanks to Brian for the tip.
Natives of Kentucky, Matt & Carrie Eddmenson (nee Sights) both have denim in their blood. Between the two of them, they have worked with many (if not all) of the big names in the business. It’s a competitive world, the denim business, and one that Matt and Carrie have been able to navigate well. The husband and wife team have been more successful then they would probably be willing to acknowledge or admit — they’re humble people like that. A few short years ago the duo channeled all of their know-how and passion into Imogene + Willie — a denim brand and retail store all in one.
It took me a long time to get down to Nashville, but I finally did this past week. Accordingly, I made sure to stop by and chat with Carrie and Matt and the rest of the gang over Saturday morning coffee. Like most places in Tennessee, I was made to feel right at home and I quickly learned that there’s a big story at Imogene + Willie, a tale that is told better through this video than anything I can put together here.