Jake Gallagher | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

The Best Japanese Brands With The Worst Names.

Nov 18th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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As has been discussed time and time again (and again, and again, and again, and again, and again) on this site, there are some big things happening in Japan right now. Yes, we all know that Japanese designers take inspiration from America, but the fact of the matter is, we really can’t compete with the level of excitement (and honestly the amount of money) that is fueling Japan’s budding menswear community at this moment. Some brands, such as Haversack, Nanamica, Journal Standard, and N. Hoolywood have made an international impact, but many companies, especially those that are only a few collections in, remain virtually unknown here in America.

A large part of this has to do with the tendency of Japanese designers to pick really terrible brand names. No offense to Rulezpeepz or Foot the Coacher, but Japanese brands really do have an uncanny knack for unfortunate monikers. Despite their head scratching names these brands are still creating some incredible pieces, and in many ways are guiding what men are wearing, not just in Japan, but around the world. Therefore we decided to lean into the confusion and bring you the best young Japanese brands, with the worst names.





Hitting All the Blue Notes.

Nov 13th, 2014 | Categories: Denim, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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For decades denim shirts were marked by three words: extra long tails. It was Wrangler that led the charge, boasting in ads and on store displays about their elongated shirts. The extra length was designed for Levi’s loving cowboys and blue collar workers who needed a tough shirt that wouldn’t come untucked throughout the day. This was once the prime market for denim shirts, men who would scoff at the idea of ever appearing “fashionable.”

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Oh how times have changed. That Americana staple has undergone quite a facelift over the years, and nowadays you can find denim shirts in all shapes and sizes, from cutaway collared dress shirts, to ultra distressed reproductions. Those extra long tails have now become just a small part of the denim shirt tale, so we give you our favorites after the jump. Giddy up.





The Unconventional Waltzing Matilda.

Nov 12th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA | by Jake Gallagher

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Mike Balitsaris of Waltzing Matilda used to buy toilet factories, but now he’s busy eyeing shoe factories. He’s journeyed from rust belt factories to a Nebraska mine to a Cupertino boardroom to a former shoe factory in Maine, but his goal has always remained the same. Baltisaris sees the potential for creating great things, and creating them right here in America, with all that he does. After a serendipitous moment in Red Wing, Minnesota he founded Waltzing Matilda and has been crafting bags, shoes, belts, and other accessories ever since.  A supremely interesting and extremely likeable guy, Mike never set out to create a collection. (Full disclosure, Paul + Williams advises and represents Waltzing Matilda.) All of the product was born originally out of a specific need or a desire for things of a certain quality.  What began as a hand-made bag and a pair of sandals has evolved into a collection and a brand with more than its fair share of personality.

As our conversation revealed Baltisaris’ story is as winding as it is fascinating, and it’s impossible to predict what lies ahead for Baltisaris or Waltzing Matilda. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

ACL: To begin, I understand that you have pretty interesting backstory, so what were you working on before Waltzing Matilda?

MB: Most recently for the last fifteen years, I hired on with a group of likeminded individuals, it had started off as real estate but we didn’t like to take farms and fields and get them redeveloped and put office buildings up. We would go around to rustbelt cities and find these unbelievable projects. Old factories and lofts with good bones. We always called it “taking field trips,” and we’d go in and look at the bones of the buildings and we’d work something out where we could figure out how to buy it by getting tenets to go in. We actually would make a deal with the owner to give us time to be able to find a tenant for it, cause none of us had any money.

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The Importance of Looking a Little Funny

Nov 11th, 2014 | Categories: France, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Movies | by Jake Gallagher

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French director/actor Jacques Tati’s biography states that he was born in 1907 and died in 1982, but the truth is Tati was a man immune to time. His films were comical critiques of contemporary French life, and he played characters who were constantly at odds with the modern world. As Monsieur Hulot, his most memorable character, Tati directed and starred in four films during the fifties and sixties which took a humorous, yet biting look at the progressive spirit which had proliferated throughout Post-war France. With films like Mon Oncle and Play Time, Tati explored the role of the individual within the increasingly modern world of mid-century Paris. As Monsieur Hulot he battled technology, and the steady drumbeat of progress as if to say, “wait a minute, what about me?”

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The Athletic Brand For Non-Athletes

Nov 10th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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Does a daily jogger really need the same gear as a marathon runner? Does a biker in the city really need to dress like he’s in the Tour de France? Are gym clothes supposed to look like they were developed by Nasa?

From Andrew Parietti’s perspective the answer to all of these questions is a resounding no. Parietti, along with his business partner and founder Tyler Haney, created Outdoor Voices, an American made athletic-wear brand for non-athletes. The duo, like most of us, enjoy exercise but were tired of the overwrought work out gear which most activewear companies push out today.

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Designing Through Subtraction, Not Addition.

Nov 7th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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The premier C.H.C.M. in-house collection is small, occupying a single rack near the back of Sweetu Patel’s Bond Street shop, but it’s what’s missing from this already pared down selection that reveals the most about Sweetu’s latest endeavor. A few months back we had visited with Sweetu to check out a few samples that he was working on. Among this batch of drafts was a thigh-length quilted pullover jacket from Lavenham that at the time, was unlike anything we had ever seen in stores. We were instantly drawn to the novelty of this jacket. We would have handed over the credit card  for it that day if given the chance. But now, it’s nowhere to found, Sweetu decided not to produce it. Or more accurately, he deleted it from the collection.





Barbisio | The Art of the Felt Fedora

Oct 29th, 2014 | Categories: Accessories, Hats, Italy, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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The hat hath returned.

And no I’m not referring to the dinky trilbies that you can find at your local mall, nor that raggedy baseball cap in the back of your closet, I’m talking about an honest to God, grown man, make-Gay-Talese-proud fedora. At least for some, that is.

Some call it the Mad Men effect, some point to the revival of classic menswear, some simply chalk it up to pure foppishness, but whatever the reason may be, this (slight) chapeau renaissance has turned the spotlight back towards some illustrious accessories labels that have flown under the radar for far too long.