Archives for May 2013 | A Continuous Lean.

SIGNALS

May 29th, 2013 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

  • Through the lens of William Eggleston. Look at all of those Leicas. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The Last Ice Merchant is the most stunning film I have seen in ages. [Gear Patrol] [Pictured]
  • The Ovadia twins are absolutely crushing it. Best in class clothing. [GQ]
  • The car everybody wants and nobody needs. 50 Years of the Porsche 911. [New York Times]
  • The Rise and fall of charm in American men. [The Atlantic]

— Follow ACL on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

 





Made in England | J. Barbour and Sons

May 23rd, 2013 | Categories: Factory Tour, Made in England | by Michael Williams

Barbour_Factory_South_Shields_08

It’s not exactly Barbour season for me, but while my Bedales & Beauforts sleep in my closet waiting for their triumphant return this fall, the factory where they were made hums right along at a fever pitch making great-looking and long-lasting outerwear.

Last summer I was thinking about embarking on a trip around the U.K. visiting the British factories that turn out the classic menswear items that captivate me (like my “Made in Italy” trip). As it turned out, I didn’t end up having the chance to organize the trip —I still might do it, eventually— but I did manage to tour the Sunspel factory last fall, which was my first exposure to “made in England.” Recently I was invited as a guest of Barbour to see their factory and home office in South Shields, near Newcastle, England. No brainer.

Barbour_Factory_South_Shields_15

Barbour_Factory_South_Shields_14





Travel Tip | Bags in Bags

May 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

ACL_Kelty_Beams_2

The guys at Valet put together a travel feature with tips from frequent travelers about how they pack and the bags that they use. I chimed in to talk about the way in which I organize my stuff when I am on the road. Specifically, I spoke about these small Kelty x Beams zip bags that I picked up last fall in Tokyo.

I use the big one as my “International Economy” bag (which I only bring when I am flying a redeye to Europe or to Asia in steerage). It holds a travel pillow, Nalgene bottle and a pair of Muji travel slippers (because you don’t want to hit the highly trafficked economy bathroom in socks). It can also be used to pack a pair of shoes or hold dirty laundry on your return. The middle-sized bag is for electronic accessories—chargers, an international power converter and even a spare memory card reader. If I didn’t always leave everything in this bag, I’d inevitably forget something.

When you travel drink lots of water, use a Rimowa, bring along a power strip and pack bags in bags for very specific uses. [VALET: BAG CHECK]

ACL_Kelty_Beams_4





SIGNALS

May 19th, 2013 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

MM4

MM2

MM

  • Absolutely insane: The man who rode thunder. [Huckberry]
  • For sale: 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ [RM Auctions] [Pictured]
  • Breaking down the advances in beer can technology. [Bon Appetit]
  • Incredible modular mahogany furniture designed by Charles Eames in 1941. [Covenger + Kester]
  • All one needs is a good pair of American made board shorts for summer. [GQ]

— Follow ACL on TwitterFacebook and Instagram





Sperry Top-Sider: Made in the USA.

May 17th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

SPERRY_DB_O_08

I wore Sperry Top-Siders every summer on Cape Cod as a kid. (to be precise, I wore the Authentic Original which is pictured above.) Over the years I have continued to wear them and love the brand because of those great memories growing up. I love all of the associations that Top-Siders embody: preppy, summer, clam bakes, sail boats, beaches, vacations and so much more. I love that the laces won’t stay tied until you get them wet and I love the history. With all of that said, in 2004 I stopped wearing Top-Siders altogether.

That summer I needed a new pair and I went to the store to see if there were any original Top-Siders that were actually made in the USA. I knew they would cost more, but I just felt like the shoes I had been wearing didn’t age all that well, and more than that I really wanted something more authentic. After a long search I couldn’t find any Sperry Top-Siders that were made domestically. I wasn’t really surprised, but I was disappointed so I just stopped purchasing shoes from the brand.

The other day, after a long time of not even really even considering the brand as an option, I went to Sperry’s website and there it was: Sperry Top-Sider Made in Maine collection. I was pretty astonished, and pretty happy to see that the thing that I had hoped for so long ago had actually come true. I just discovered this collection the other day on the company website (oddly, this was sent to me last year but I completely missed it — maybe its because I wrote them off? Looks like the same thing happened to James Fox last year) not in a magazine and I didn’t catch any word of this other places.

SPERRY_O_Y_04

SPERRY_W_O_07 SPERRY_O_O_05





As it Happened | Brimfield

May 14th, 2013 | Categories: As it happened, Brimfield, Vintage | by Michael Williams

Brimfield_2013_02

It’s always on my calendar, the first day of the first Brimfield flea market of the year. At this point we have a plan in place. Drive up Monday night to get a hotel, wake up early and have breakfast in Palmer and then we do the show for exactly one day. By late afternoon we head back —this time making a detour to see Mr. Frank Pepe— and then back home. Easy as can be, and just enough Brimfield until next year.

Two things to say about this year’s outing: 1. the weather was perfect, good temps and no rain. 2. I didn’t buy one thing. That’s never happened to me before, but it doesn’t really bother me either. I enjoyed just being out there and seeing the people and all of that old stuff. This time around it felt like I was having plenty of fun just taking pictures. No promises for next year when I’m sure I will be back to my old tricks.

Go to Brimfield at least once in your life. Walk around, be at a field when it opens, eat a Pilgrim sandwich and maybe even find some treasures to buy.

Brimfield_2013_12

Brimfield_2013_37

Brimfield_2013_20

Brimfield_2013_21

Brimfield_2013_22

Brimfield_2013_01

Brimfield_2013_03 Brimfield_2013_04





Walking the Walk | Shinola

May 13th, 2013 | Categories: Accessories, Cycling, Detroit, Watches | by Michael Williams

Shinola_Detroit_41

The demise of Detroit has been widely documented, almost to the point of nausea. I grew up hearing a similar song in Cleveland. If you live there or are from there, it makes you want to fight even harder. I can understand how Detroit feels; that underdog spirit is what makes me fly the Cuyahoga flag high every chance I get.

What’s crazy is what is really going on in the Motor City. There’s a beginning of change and some pretty astonishing things are happening. The road is long, but the desire to rebuild is there. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to this great American city.

A few years ago Steven Alan (the man) introduced me to a few guys who had an ambitious plan to start making watches, bicycles, leather goods under the long mothballed shoe-polish brand Shinola. As much of the product as possible would be made in America, that’s what they told me. Made in Detroit to be specific. To say I was intrigued was an understatement. They asked me to come out to Detroit a few years ago (early on in this process) to see everything, but as I often do with brands I wanted to wait a bit and wait and see what was going to happen. It’s easy to talk the talk, it’s hard to actually make these kinds of things happen.

Shinola_Detroit_32 Shinola_Detroit_31

Shinola_Detroit_46