The new Nanamica AW12 collection is in the running for the best stuff I saw at Pitti. I base that statement on the fact that I literally wanted to buy every piece. The pairing of technical fabrics and traditional colors / styles really moves the needle for me. The Gore-Tex trench coats and that Gore-tex blackwatch sport coat are basically as good as it gets. A few years back I bought a North Face Purple Label khaki trench coat (which is basically the same as these Nanamica jobs) and I consider it one of the best purchases I have ever made. The coats are so similar because Nanamica holds the license for Purple Label, so this collection is basically purple label for distribution outside of Japan.
A lot of American cities have an iconic sandwich. In Philadelphia, it’s the cheesesteak. New York’s got pastrami on rye, New Orleans: the muffuletta. In most cases, these sandwiches are well known enough outside their respective cities that tourists hunt them down and imitators attempt to introduce them in new cities with limited success. But there are also sandwiches that manage to escape national recognition and remain untainted by Subway (unlike The Big Philly Cheesesteak).
Often eclipsed by the Vienna hot dog in the national sandwich dialogue, the Italian beef is the most famous Chicago sandwich that no one outside the Midwest has ever heard of. After moving to New York, I was shocked to find out that none of my East Coast friends had ever tried a beef. The only way I can explain it to outsiders is by comparing it to a French Dip, although the ingredients in these two sandwiches are similar, the end results are entirely different. The Italian beef at its most basic level uses thinly shaved roast beef that is allowed to soak in its own garlicky, seasoned juices for hours until it has fully absorbed the flavor of the gravy. The beef is then piled inside chewy Italian bread and topped with sweet or hot peppers. Of course, this foundation allows for a number of different sandwich combinations, and every beef stand in the city offers its own flavors and variation on the classic style.
LA-based Icon is one of those companies that I try to avoid. I mean this in the best possible way. I avoid it all because I want one of those fucking trucks really bad. I actually think it has transcended want, I need one of those things. The truth of the matter is, it ain’t happenin anytime soon. Unless I win the pick six next time I am at the track (Luck, anyone?), an Icon truck is sadly far away on the horizon.
Being aesthetically awesome (and retro), but still functioning well enough to be a daily driver is the whole point of the company. The guys over at eGarage caught up with Icon founder Jonathan Ward about the mission of the company and a little program that it is launching called Derelicts. Want to know more? Watch the film. Want an Icon? Get in line. [ICON]
My appreciation for the hyper-specialized Italian menswear brand Slowear is no secret. While in Italy between Pitti Uomo and the watch show in Switzerland I stopped into the brand’s cozy flagship in Milan. The shop houses a great representation of each of the labels that make up the Slowear brand, with an impressive selection of trousers from Incotex that really caught my attention. Individually, Incotex is by far the most widely known brand of the bunch and the pants have reached icon status in both Europe and Japan. I’m told that the business in America is strong as well. I believe it too, because the brand is strong to me.
The search for a camera strap for my DSLR is over for good. Finally someone came up with something that is both comfortable to wear (especially important while traveling) and functional when it comes to actually taking photos. The strap is called Cinch and it is designed and made by Portland, Oregon-based Luma Labs. The key to what makes Cinch special is the ability to easily make the strap longer so you can quickly bring up your camera to take a picture — then tighten it all right back up and be on your way. The other huge plus is the fact that the design puts the camera in a perfect cradle while you are on the go. This is a very important aspect if you are walking around all day, because no one likes a camera impaling you in the side the whole time. Or maybe you do get down like that, though probably better if we don’t talk about it.