Something of a debate we had going at Brimfield — how much would you pay for this vintage No.3 Duluth Pack canvas bag? The company still makes a very similar bag (if not the same) which is available online. But vintage can be more fun than new and this bag looks to be in especially good shape. Plus, this nice old bag also predates that circular logo-badge that the new bags have, which is a good thing. So the question is, how much would you pay for this bag at a flea market, cash and carry?
If I was tasked with making ACL into a physical space, I don’t know if I could do better than the Ace Hotel New York. It is funny that one of the few really cool things I have seen at the Las Vegas apparel trade shows today was a bag from a hotel company. One could argue that the Ace is a lifestyle (and I wouldn’t disagree), a lifestyle that is pretty much perfectly in step with ACL (or vice versa). At any rate, the folks at Ace definitely have their shit together when it comes to hotels or locking bank bags with bowling shirt embroidery. Well played indeed.
A new addition to The American List is Maryland’s C.R. Daniels, which sells a variety of goods under the Dandux label. The company manufactures all different sorts of canvas and molded plastic items; everything from conveyor belts to the plastic seats for Black Hawk helicopters. So if anyone gives you shit about your canvas tote bag, just let them know that is was rolling off the production line right next to part of a damn Black Hawk, that outta shut them up. The basic black and natural canvas bags are priced at an affordable $26.95, have a killer Dandux label and are all made in the USA — you can’t beat it with a stick. All of the Dandux canvas goods can be seen here.
Anyone that reads this blog fairly consistently knows that canvas gets a lot of play here on ACL. It is just such a simple yet perfect fabric. I fondly remember the smell from an old army green canvas tent my dad had growing up. That is something you just don’t get with nylon. Occasionally I’ll get a little whiff of that tent smell the first time I put on my Barbour coat in the fall. So naturally when I saw the canvas goods from Portland, Oregon based Beckel I took pause. The crunchy, dare I say, campy company makes tents, bags, lawn tarps, just about anything you can think of from canvas and all here in the United States.
It is well know that I am a sucker for canvas bags, especially ones that are made here in the United States. Enter upstate New York’s Utility Canvas, who designed and produced the beauty pictured below. The bad news is, the company doesn’t offer this model anymore. Luckily the new men’s e-shop C’H'C’M (which stands for Clinton Hill Classic Menswear) still has a few for sale at $98. The shop is a new venture from English-born Brooklyn resident Sweetu Patel, who has a keen eye for quality and craftsmanship. C’H'C’M’ also sells some of my favorite brands like Mackintosh and S.N.S. Herning. During our correspondence, Mr. Patel informed me that he has some great new brands coming for next season, so make sure to check back. Shop C’H'M’C’
I had the pleasure of visiting the Urban Outfitters offices in Philadelphia yesterday to do some poking around and lunching with the men’s team. It was nice to be able to see everything first hand. Eventually, we walked over to the commissary to get lunch and it was embarrassingly and humorously apparent that everyone was essentially wearing the same thing. I suppose that was symbolic of our shared outlook on menswear at the moment. I’m impressed with the really smart and cool group of people that URBN has assembled. We could have talked forever about 60/40 jackets and vintage shopping and all sorts of other materialistic pursuits. This plus the fact that the UO HQ is located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and is surrounded by massive U.S. Navy battleships made my adventure the ultimate ACL field trip.
One of the many cool things I saw in Philadelphia was Urban’s collaboration with the iconic American brand Filson. The partnership consists of a limited run of canvas bags that were made especially for Urban Outfitters in the special color ways. Launching in mid-April in selected cities (New York, LA, etc.) the special styles will be priced at $205 for the small duffel and $129 for the zipper tote. These special Filson items come on the heels of the cool Patagonia big label product last fall. Seems like URBN is two-for-two with men’s collaborations — I’m excited to see what is next.
The canvas bags from the Japanese maker Superior Labor seem to consistently rise to the top. This Enginner 2Way tote from Utility Coop is especially nice. How could you argue with a “Product by Handmade Superiority.”