Archives for February 2014 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Best in Show: The Case for Westminster.

Feb 10th, 2014 | Categories: David Coggins, Dog, New York City | by David Coggins

Stump The Westminster Kennel Club has awarded Best in Show since 1877, making it America’s longest continuously held sporting event, with the exception of the Kentucky Derby. And we always look forward to the big show, which begins Monday at Madison Square Garden. Everybody has their cherished memories—who can forget when announcer Joe Garagiola cheerfully remarked about a female dog trotting by, “look at that sprightly little bitch”? That’s a moment that just doesn’t comes along very often.

There are always controversies and curiosities and intriguing new breeds (this year we welcome the Rat Terrier). There are favorite dogs denied glory (Cinders, the dignified wire-haired Dachshund, was runner-up a few years back to a possibly alien Pomeranian). There are also, of course, unworthy victors (the infamous Banana Jack, from last year, may be the most upsetting winner in the history of organized sport). Then there are beloved legends, (Josh, the Newfoundland, Stump, the Sussex Spaniel, Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound) . These dogs are remembered longer than most NBC sitcoms.





Isn’t That Purdey?

Feb 9th, 2014 | Categories: England, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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“The taste level for tweed is like art.”

Purdey creative lead, Peter Sant has been walking me through the brand’s mammoth collections and he has just arrived at the tweeds. As we reach this section, Peter’s smile grows a bit wider, and his hands shuffle excitedly between the burly sport coats that define this particular offering. Based on this enthusiasm, there’s no question that this is Peter’s favorite section in Purdey’s latest assortment, but he’d never say that himself. Peter would probably say that he has an equal amount of love for every piece of the Purdey line. I can’t blame him, I mean, what’s not to love?

Since joining Purdey a year ago, Sant has taken a concerted effort to focus on the stories behind the brand’s complex, yet complimentary collection of items. He excitedly tells me tales of four-ply knitwear from Hawick, a Scottish border town, of an Irishman who hand carves sticks (or canes as they’re known here in the states) only producing one every day or so, and of gorgeous cartridge bags, which are hand-sewn by a retired saddle maker.

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Goods For the Study | McNally Jackson

Feb 7th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, New York City, Retail | by Jake Gallagher

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If there’s one thing literary types enjoy more than reading books, it’s talking about them. The status of the traditional written word has become a hotly contested debate ever since the advent of e-books and tablets, which, for some, have turned hard-bound texts into little more than decorative ephemera.

For those that still hold steadfast to our papers and pens, McNally Jackson’s Goods for the Study store is an analog oasis in an increasingly digital sea. The shop, which is an off shoot of the McNally Jackson bookstore just around the corner on Prince Street, responds to all these hi-tech textual innovations by reminding us all of the value of merely putting paper to pen. You could say that Goods for the Study is one part practical shop for the city’s never-ending supply of wordsmiths, and one part museum to the written word itself. They layout is reminiscent of the sort of design store you’d expect to find in Tokyo, not on Mulberry Street, and the product range is a clear reflection of this meticulous approach.





Made in the Land of Wheat and Maize.

Feb 5th, 2014 | Categories: Music, Video | by Michael Williams

Generally I feel comfortable away from home. I’ve lived in New York for 12 years and I don’t ever think I will feel like a New Yorker. I don’t think I ever want to. When I say “home” I am referring to Ohio. It’s a place I have barely lived as an adult, but it is still where I feel like I fit best into the world. There’s some sort of Midwestern draw that comes back to me very quickly when I am there. My business partner and I are both from Ohio and I think we both like to hire people from the Midwest because we all seem to think about the world in similar ways. We just make sense to each other. It’s also the reason we love to work with Red Wing. Part of it is the spirit of the company, and part of it is the people. Nothing is forced and nothing is insincere. If something doesn’t make sense, they don’t do it.

A few months ago I flew to Minneapolis to see Red Wing, but we didn’t drive down to its headquarters on the Mississippi, we got in a car and drove a few hours straight into the Wisconsin countryside to Eau Claire. With the talented director Andrew David Watson, we set out to make a film about the supremely talented musician Justin Vernon. We knew that he had an affinity for Red Wing and that he has been wearing the boots for years, having learned of the brand the same way I did, from his dad. More than make a marketing video, Red Wing really just wanted to tell Justin’s story because it is honest and real.





R.M. Williams | From the Bush to the Boardroom

Feb 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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When R.M. Williams was sold to LVMH, the high-fashion conglomerate, early last year, my first thought was, “what would R.M. say about all this?” After all, this was a man born on the Australian bush to a lower class family who worked his way up from a swagman to a millionaire with his eponymous line of Chelsea boots. Even still, I imagine that when R.M. churned out his first pair of Chelseas back in the 1930’s, he never would’ve fathomed that his name would once be listed alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton. Hell, I doubt he even knew who Louis Vuitton was.

R.M. was born Reginald Murray Williams in 1908, and for the first quarter of his life he lived primarily as a transient, traveling across the Australian countryside doing whatever odd job he could find. After dropping out of school at thirteen, R.M. worked as a camel driver, a well digger, and a leatherworker (a skill that R.M. learned from a saddler named Dollar Mick, because that’s just how stories like this go), which ultimately paved the way for his life’s greatest work.

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