Footwear | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

A Footwear Flagship for Ralph Lauren

Feb 27th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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On the corner of 72nd and Madison on New York’s Upper East Side, sits the Rhinelander Mansion, a palatial building that houses the flagship location of Ralph Lauren’s global empire. And yet, “The Mansion” (as it is affectionately known) is far more than a store, it is the epicenter of the RL universe. It’s a physical manifestation of Ralph’s vision, complete with imposing antiquities, more Americana than a field at Brimfield, and of course the full breadth of the brand’s collections.

And so, when the brand chooses to shift course, or launch a new idea, The Mansion is the place for Ralph where everything begins. The latest concept to be debuted at the flagship is an updated “shoe salon,” which showcases the complete Ralph Lauren footwear range, from Purple Label to Polo, as well as a freshly updated Made-to-Order Program. The room itself is grand in a manner that one would expect from an Upper East Side manor, with the deep colors that allude to RL’s higher end lines. Displayed on the multitude of mahogany shelves are an array of models that range from resort ready espadrilles to stomping leather hikers that conjure of images of Gianni Agnelli.

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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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Adidas Stan Smiths | The Return of a Legend

Jan 22nd, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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Twenty-eight years after he bid the professional tennis world adieu, Stan Smith has returned, not on clay, but on asphalt. While Smith’s days on the pro circuit might be long gone, he still remains one of the most well-known players of all time, thanks largely to the simple white sneaks that carry his name.

Truth be told though, those iconic adidas originally bore the name of another clay court legend – Robert Haillet. Haillet and adidas founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler first partnered up back in the mid-sixties to create the stark shoes, but it wasn’t until Stan Smith wore them on the court in 1971 that they really took off. They were the first pair of all leather tennis shoes ever created, laying the groundwork for today’s ultra high-end sneaker market, but at the time, they were designed purely for performance.





ACL Field Trip | Danner’s Boot Factory

Dec 26th, 2013 | Categories: ACL Field Trip, Factory Tour, Footwear, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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For a town that’s oft-plagued by fleeting fads and inexplicable trends, Portland’s shoe industry is surprisingly stoic, acting as a sort of trusty backbone for Stumptown’s diverse population. At the center of this footwear foundation lies Danner Boots, one of the, if not the, oldest shoe brands in the Northwest.

Charles Danner founded his eponymous boot brand in 1932 as a way to provide footwear to the various loggers, hunters, and sportsmen that lived and worked in the area. Over the decades Danner’s business has grown, particularly during the sixties and seventies as their hiking boots became an integral part of that era’s budding outdoor movement. All the while, Danner has kept their production local, producing all most of its boots in their Portland, Oregon factory, which continues to churn out hundreds of thousands of boots every year.

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Made in New York City | A Left to Right DIY

Dec 4th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Furniture, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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To celebrate design, craft, style and the entrepreneurial spirit, Timberland in partnership with ACL set out to highlight the guys that take matters into their own hands, to not only make great things, but to inspire and teach others the skills to do it yourself.

The first time I met Stephen Muscarella from Left to Right Furniture was on a Sunday morning in his Gowanus, Brooklyn workshop. Stephen is one of the resident carpenters in a really interesting communal studio called Makeville. When we met to talk about this project the studio was calm and the stillness allowed an opportunity to speak about Stephen’s approach and how he got started working with his hands. His formal education is in economics and while he was pursuing an advanced degree he was repeatedly drawn to do something more tactical, he wanted to work with his hands. So when the opportunity arose to work under an experienced carpenter he jumped at it.

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A Look at Japan’s Incomparable Sock Industry.

Nov 25th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher

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If there’s one arena that Japanese designers dominate it’s not obscure outerwear, or vintage inspired sweats, or ironic yet unironic footwear. It’s socks. No one has mastered the art of a great knit sock quite like our counterparts from the Land of the Rising Sun. The attention to detail, fit, quality and construction coming out of Japan is rivaled by few in the U.S., Italy or elsewhere. Fortunately for those of us in the States, there’s been a recent influx of these superior socks into the American market, and so we decided to round up the best Japanese socks available right now. As the temperatures turn and things get cold, your feet will thank us for this one.





The Other, Other Playboy.

Nov 21st, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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When is a chukka more than just a chukka? When it’s a Playboy. No, not that Playboy, I’m talking about the chunky-soled ankle boots that became legendary thanks to that other playboy, Steve McQueen. During his sixties heyday, McQueen was inescapable both on-screen and off, and when he was snapped lounging by the California coast, or jetting around town with whatever starlet he was seeing that week, he was oft wearing a hefty pair of chocolate suede chukkas with a big ol’ crepe sole.