Made In The USA | A Continuous Lean.

Shopping Mill Valley | Guideboat Co.

Jan 29th, 2015 | Categories: Made in the USA, Retail, San Francisco | by Michael Williams

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A few months back while visiting San Francisco I met up with Tellason founders Tony Patella and Pete Searson. I’ve known those guys since 2009 when I first interviewed them for ACL and over the course of a few years we’ve become friends. As Tony and Pete are good guys who know a lot about what’s going on, I do my best to connect with them whenever I visit the Bay Area. When we met up for breakfast we spoke about Oakland amongst other things, and I told Pete and Tony how I have been hearing a lot about the city and how I was keen to check it out. They suggested a few places that they thought were interesting and I made a plan to spend the day out in the East Bay. We finished up our coffee and right before I was about to depart Pete mentioned a new shop out in his hometown of Mill Valley. “Oh yeah, you’re going to love this place.” Pete said. After checking things out in Oakland for most of the day I headed for my last stop of the day in Marin. And that’s the story of how I discovered something new in Mill Valley and how I came to love the Guideboat Company.

Inspired by a childhood in the Adirondacks, Stephen Gordon founded Guideboat Co. to be an amazing collection of well-made and long lasting things loosely organized around collection of boats and a nautical theme. The beautiful new store occupies a historic old saw mill which helped give this affluent North Bay town it’s name. It’s the perfect use for the long mothballed site that many in Mill Valley had worried would not be preserved. While it could certainly be considered off the beaten path for a flagship store, Guideboat is an enthralling retail showcase for this ambitious new endeavor. Though this isn’t the first retail launch for Gordon. Way back in 1979 he founded another little company you may know called Restoration Hardware. Guideboat’s other founder Chad Hurley is also no stranger to success himself, having co-founded YouTube. After spending a few hours in the shop in Mill Valley, I’d say these serial entrepreneurs are on to something.

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Engineered Garments | A Club Formed From Cloth

Jan 18th, 2015 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Long Reads, Made in the USA, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

Engineered Garments F/W '13

Engineered Garments F/W ’13

I tend to believe that you can’t fully know a person until you meet their friends. The company we choose to keep says a lot, often more than we ever can individually, about who we are as people. On a still, late July evening I found myself considering this as I glanced around Nepenthes, Engineered Garments pseudo-flagship store in Manhattan’s Garment District. The store, despite it’s out of the way location, was teeming with people. A cheery swirl of English and Japanese chatter overpowered the shop’s post-punk soundtrack as pockets of friends conversed beside the racks.

Standing on the second story loft looking down at the gleeful guests below, I realized that this was what has made Engineered Garments such a crucial brand, not only for menswear in America at large, but for me as an individual. The event was organized to celebrate the debut of Engineered Garments Spring/Summer ’15 collection, and fifteen years after the brand’s founding, people of all backgrounds, of all styles, of all occupations, were still gleefully gravitating toward the brand.

EG F/W '14

EG F/W ’14





Previewing Pop Up Flea 2014.

Dec 10th, 2014 | Categories: Made in the USA, Menswear, Pop Up Flea | by ACL Editors

This week, we hit the streets (with Drones-in-hand thanks to our crack director Kellen Dengler) to give you a taste of what to expect from this weekend’s Pop Up Flea here in NYC. We visited with a handful of local friends and PUF vendors to see the awesomeness that they have planned for this weekend’s event. Be sure to come by the Met Pavilion to #ShopSmall this weekend to experience PUF in its full seventy-plus vendor glory.

#PUFNYC

125 West 18th Street (nr. 6th Ave)
New York City

Friday, Dec 12th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, Dec 13th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday, Dec 14th: 12pm to 6pm

Free Entry. Open to the public.





Rare Weaves | A Conversation Through Clothing

Dec 4th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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“When I bring that to life…..” Hartley Goldstein’s voice trails off as he points to one of the many stacks of folded fabrics that are littered throughout his apartment like textile sandcastles. Hartley motions to these mounds again and again during my visit, less like a school teacher pointing at the blackboard, and more like a movie director walking me through storyboards. On the surface, they’re just lumps of faded indigo and patchwork scraps, but Hartley sees them as stories. Not just the stories of the past that these textiles, many of which are hundreds of years old, carry, but the stories that Hartley is yet to tell with them.

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Birdwell Flies High.

Nov 24th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, California, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

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If by chance you have flown to Orange County recently you may have noticed an American surf icon staring at you as you float down towards John Wayne Airport. Seeing “Birdie” Birdwell on a factory roof should come as a surprise if you know anything about this sleepy SoCal surf brand.

Just as surprising as it must have been to scroll through Instagram and discover Birdie adorned to a mobile surf shop in Southern California this summer. Also, wait, Birdwell is on Instagram? The question you should be asking yourself is: What is happening at Birdwell? For any other brand this wouldn’t really mean much at all, but for Birdwell this is tantamount to a revolution.

Birdwell Beach Britches is one of the most storied and iconic California surf brands that has ever been. It’s authentic, still entirely manufactured in the U.S. (largely to the original specs) and it possesses a certain charm that can’t seem be replicated in modern brands. It took decades of being family owned and utterly resistant to change for the Birdwell quirkiness to resonate, ultimately giving the brand a cult following. Over the years surfers, lifeguards, beachgoers and the like fell in love with Birdwell and came to swear by the product for the quality and durability. Others, like me connected with Birdwell because it is so distinctly American and a time capsule of a brand.

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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 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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