Archives for August 2012 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

The Evolution of Menswear at Club Monaco.

Aug 15th, 2012 | Categories: Menswear | by Michael Williams

There’s no denying the good things that are happening right now at Club Monaco. With the men’s collection in the careful hands of Aaron Levine, the product has evolved in such a good way. The fall 2012 collection (seen in the look book here) is both wearable and interesting at the same time. And it finally has a distinct personality. It represents a balance not often found in a world where everyone wants everything. Pleasingly, in this case, men actually get it.

Working with Club Monaco over the past two years (for the record; full disclosure and all that good stuff) I’ve been lucky enough to have a front row seat for this entire collection. I’m excited about how things turned out, which is why I am sharing with you — not for any other reason other than the fact that I am proud of what Aaron has done and because I selfishly want to own almost all of these clothes.

It has been great to see Aaron infuse the brand with his relentless love of product, of fabric and menswear in general. He’s a mad man when it comes to this stuff. I often found myself just standing back and smiling as Aaron showed me clothes he was making or pictures that inspired him or whatever his newest obsession was. He’s a man that found his calling and it feels great to be around. There’s something that can be said about knowing what you want to do and then actually doing it. There’s an empowering aspect to that, which I’m guessing is why this collection turned out so good.

The rest of the fall 2012 looks after the jump.

Barneys New York Resurrects Basco

Aug 14th, 2012 | Categories: Menswear | by Michael Williams

Thirty years ago Barneys New York had a private label collection called Basco, which is an acronym for Barneys (American) Sportswear Company. Recently Tom Kalenderian and Jay Bell from the Barneys men’s team worked to relaunch the private label collection with an updated look. The collection is utilitarian inspired with a tight offering of jackets, shirts, pants and a few leather accessories. The collection mixed some bits of an American aesthetic with a clean continental vibe — which I think works well and seems to be the way things in menswear are moving forward.

While I haven’t seen the original Basco clothing from 30 years ago, I’m guessing from the name the collection was much more of collection of a line of basics. This iteration seems more like American MHL than a collection of true basics. After stopping by the Barneys flagship on Madison Avenue yesterday to see the reincarnated Basco, I can certainly wrap my head around the new line and expect to wear some of this stuff sooner rather than later.

Where to Wine in Copenhagen.

Aug 13th, 2012 | Categories: Travel, Wine | by Michael Williams

Travel leads to long days of walking, which then hopefully leads to wine. In Copenhagen, you would be doing yourself a favor to stumble upon Ved Stranden, seeking out specifically isn’t a bad idea either. Regardless of how much time you spend walking around and discovering Denmark’s capital, this place is definitely deserving of your attention. Specializing in Austrian wines, Ved Stranden has a vast selection of interesting things to taste and a knowledgeable staff to help you find your way. Basically, it’s a sure thing.

Speaking of wine, this summer I have receded a bit from my 2011 obsession of rosé and have focused my efforts (mainly) on France’s Loire Valley and the wonderful delights of the Vouvray. The catalyst of this was Kermit Lynch’s book Adventures on the Wine Route (thanks Tony for that, by the way). Being a lover of wine and a neophyte on the subject, I have been doing two things to learn more and develop my palate: 1. focusing on regions and drinking all I can from that area. 2. Reading as much as possible about those specific regions. So far I have focused on northwest Italy, Napa and as I mentioned already, the Loire Valley. So long story short, I don’t know much about Austrian wine, but I was happy to take a little detour (into Austria as it were) and try something new at Ved Stranden. This plan worked out very well if you were wondering.

In the Shop | Stanley & Sons SS13

Aug 7th, 2012 | Categories: Bags, Brooklyn, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

Stanley & Sons is an easy thing to like. I’ve been a fan since my first encounter a few years back. There’s a certain aesthetic correctness to everything they do — from the art direction of the website to the physical products — that I have always appreciated. The tiny company operates out of a basement space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that serves as showroom, factory and head office all in one. Enter through the hatch in the sidewalk and walk to the back, you can’t miss ‘em. I stopped by last Friday to see the new SS13 collection and to see what Stanley & Sons has been up lately.

Flight of the Rimowa

Aug 2nd, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

It’s not everyday you get cruise down the Hudson river, circle around the statue of Liberty and then buzz back along Manhattan’s West Side in a vintage German Junkers JU-52. That’s exactly what the iconic German luggage maker Rimowa organized for a lucky few last evening. There’s a real connection to the Junkers too, it’s not just marketing (though it was a marketing thing, a very fun marketing thing).

In 1937, Richard Morszeck (son of Rimowa founder Paul Morszeck) introduced the first pieces of Rimowa hand luggage made from aircraft grade aluminum, the same material that was used to make the German airplanes of the era — the Junkers 25 among them. The cases proved popular for the sturdiness and light weight that was provided by the aluminum construction. Then in the early 1950s the company introduced the ribbed exterior texture (inspired again by the aircraft exterior) which has become a calling card for the brand. If you see a groved silver metal case, you know it’s a Rimowa.