Nigel Cabourn once stated that he’s “been trying to be a designer for the last forty years.” Well, Mr. Cabourn you certainly could’ve fooled us. Having founded his first label in his early twenties, Cabourn is one of menswear’s most astute and imaginative minds, crafting spirited contemporary renditions of classic English military and sportswear designs. To complement his mainline pieces Cabourn often works in partnership with brands, both ubiquitous and unknown, to create collaborative collections that share his eponymous brand’s thoughtful approach to clothing design. We’ve rounded up Cabourn’s most impressive recent collaborations, but with a C.C. Filson collection on deck for next season, it’s safe to say that Cabourn’s best is still yet to come.
Like a menswear Mystery Machine, the Tanner Goods’ Dodge A-100 has become a staple of Portland, Oregon. Cruise through Downtown and you’re bound to come across the forty-eight year old matte white box van in between a Tanner Good’s road trip. As a brand, Tanner Goods has come to embody the dichotomy of modern day Portland – with the lush Pacific Northwest wilderness on one side and the crisp air of modernist design on the other.
While the state of the American magazine seems to get murkier with each passing month, we can say with absolute certainty that the publishing world is alive and well in Japan. It was just a handful of month’s ago that we did our first dive into the world of Japanese menswear magazines and even in that short time several new titles have sprung up to join the stalwarts that made us turn towards Japan to begin with. Some of them teeter on the edge of ridiculousness (particularly “The Barber Book,” which is dedicated solely the style of barbers) but the majority of them are still worth perusing, even if you can’t read a lick of Japanese. Regardless of your respective style there’s undoubtedly a magazine tailored specifically for you, so here’s our round-up of ten Japanese menswear magazines on newsstands now, to help you select the right reading (or should we say, looking) material for this month.
Theme: “2014 Autumn New Item Express”
Most interesting feature: A twelve page spread on Bozeman, Montana which boldly claims that it’s going to be the next big outdoor hotspot.
Strangest product placement: A custom camo sleeve for disposable coffee cups
Photo shoot aesthetic: Orderly lay downs of products from scores of outdoor brands that are virtually unknown here in America.
Key brands: Kletterwerks, Mystery Ranch, and Goruck
Length: 170 pages
The Chimala website contains just two pages – home and contact. In this era of over-cooked brand concepts, their stripped down site is both refreshing and incredibly frustrating. Collection images, stockists, even an about me page, all these things were apparently deemed too frivolous for Chimala. When we look at the site’s of certain Japanese brands like Chimala, we often think – simplicity does create a certain allure, but why must we go on an archaeological dig through the internet just to find a few photos? Fortunately, what Chimala has that many such brands do not is actual accounts, including heavy-hitters like J. Crew, Barneys, Unionmade, and Totokaelo. These stores might have very limited stock of Chimala’s pieces (probably due to sticker shock) but they were drawn, just as we were, to the care that the brand puts into each garment.
For every season a beer and a beer for every season.
Much the same way that gin becomes the potable du jour from mid-June on through early September, lighter beers have recently come to monopolize my fridge’s shelf space. These are not light beers in the sense that they bear the “light” (or worse “lite”) descriptor at the end of their names, rather they are brighter in all ways than the beers that I consume during the rest of the year. Simply put, Winter has stouts, summer has saisons. Of course, just because these ales are more airy does not mean that they are any less potent, in fact most saisons clock in around six to seven percent alcohol (although historically this figure was much lower.)
If you ask Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is a surfer first and a rock climber second. As Patagonia’s Director of Surf, McCaffrey certainly has his own dog in this fight, but his opinion is not without merit. At seventy-five years old Chouinard is still an avid surfer, and his passion for the sport trickles down to his company where a (now famous) flex-time policy continues to allow for mid-day surf breaks at their Ventura, California headquarters. Surfing has long been serious business for Chouinard and his team, but it’s only recently that surfing has become a serious business for Patagonia as a brand.
Dieter Rams never needed his own company.
Throughout his career, Rams brought Braun and Vitsoe to the forefront of modern design, becoming a household name in his own right along the way. And he did this without ever having to step out on his own. The German born industrial designer was larger than any one company, and in fact Rams’ legacy is really larger than any single product that he designed throughout his forty year career. Rams’ minimal and practical products were a vital part of post mid-century design, but he saw the tides changing around him during the late seventies. Design was becoming too busy, too muddled, and too overwrought for Rams’ taste, and so he decided to articulate his design philosophy in an attempt to right the ship. Rams began with the question: “is my design good design,” and the “Ten Principles of Good Design” that followed were as straightforward and useful as his inventions. To this day Rams’ ten commandments are a valuable reminder that less is always better.