Magazines | A Continuous Lean.

On Stands Now | September’s Japanese Magazines

Sep 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Magazines, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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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.

Go Out
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: KletterwerksMystery Ranch, and Goruck
Length: 170 pages





Take a Trip….To the Magazine Store.

Jul 9th, 2014 | Categories: Books, Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Travel | by Jake Gallagher

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As anyone who has recently taken, planned, or even considered a trip can attest, travel is not the glamorous pursuit that it once was. And yet, despite (or perhaps in response to) the endless string of headaches that can stem from taking a vacation in 2014, this year has also been marked by a resurgence of the travel magazine industry. As many household names have finally received some much needed facelifts, and the indie vacation publication world has surged, there has never been a better time to live vicariously through the glossy pages of a travel magazine. Here’s our list of the most exciting travel titles on the stands today, just think of it as your chance to actually enjoy a getaway, minus the endless TSA lines, infinite flight delays, and locker-sized Economy seats.

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Navigating the World of Japanese Magazines.

Mar 25th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Magazines | by Jake Gallagher

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American companies publish men’s style magazines. Japanese companies publish sacred texts of the religion that is men’s clothing.

What separates Japanese publications from their American counterparts is obsession. While American writers cover clothing and the lifestyle that surrounds it, Japanese writers identify every possible minute detail, study them to death, and then publish these beautifully designed tomes of men’s style. Japanese magazines, are bound by one thing (well, aside from the language that is), density.

There’s now more publications then ever before, and each one seems to set a new pedantic high point. Flip through any of these imported publications and you’ll see page after page of these masterfully arranged stories that scrutinize and celebrate men’s clothing in a manner that hasn’t been seen since Gentry Magazine back in the fifties. While all of these titles do fall into the general category of “clothing,” each has their own quirks and characteristics that set them apart, so to help you navigate this sea of Kanji and street style photos, we give you a timely breakdown of eight of ACL’s favorite Japanese magazines.





GQ on What to Wear Now.

Aug 16th, 2013 | Categories: Magazines, Media, Menswear | by Michael Williams

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Why are things the way they are?  What goes into the things I use in my everyday life. Those the questions that drive both my life and this website. The menswear landscape itself is littered with iconic items that each have their own story and purpose for why the way things are the way they are. Think work wear or anything derivative of military clothing. That’s the great part of men’s clothing, everything is really born out of use and function. It’s all very linear. To me, I’m just as interested in the people and the process of how the magazines I read come together as I am for the shoes I wear, the suits I buy or anything else. This week GQ unveiled a new fall style book called What to Wear Now (which hits newsstands on August 27th) and I saw it as a great opportunity to sit down with GQ Senior Editor Will Welch (a man who I hold in high regard and respect greatly) to talk personal uniforms, fall fashion and the making of one of GQ’s most stylish special editions ever.

ACL: How does What to Wear Now fit into the world of GQ style coverage?

Will Welch: It feels like that the more style stuff we do, like we have now done the Style Bible for two years…but that’s April. And then October, we’re working now on the second Style Playbook, so that’s kind of a spring and fall issue where the look of the cover is different and the style quotient is kind of amped up. And there have been three covers for all of those – three cover stars. And it feels like there’s no end to the hunger for more style stuff.

ACL: Yeah, it seems like this is something pushed mostly from the interest from the reader. Do you think guys are getting more interested in fashion now than they were?

WW: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s a lot of things happening. There’s more interesting stuff going on in men’s style. Guys are more interested in it, and are also okay with being…it increasingly. I think we’re almost past the point where there’s anything weird about being interested in style, you know? It’s like…it doesn’t seem less manly to want to know how your car runs, or how your suit is made. All of that, I think there’s a certain very organic “how shit works” aspect to the way men think in the stuff that we “nerd out” about. And now, style has just been added to the list. I think for a lot of guys, it was always there.

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A Huge Tribute to Made in U.S.A.

May 25th, 2012 | Categories: Americana, Japan, Made in the USA, Magazines | by Michael Williams

Just getting around to this, but it sort of is the perfect weekend for this type of thing. This past month the Japanese magazine Huge published an issue centered around all things American. The topic was approached in a uniquely Japanese way, which is to say it was comprehensive and something that seemed much closer in structure to a catalog than a magazine. Huge made in USA was very obviously based on the 1970s magazine Made in U.S.A. (pictured below), which was a watershed moment for many American brands in Japan. The copy below (Made in U.S.A-2) was a gift from a colleague in Tokyo who I work with on Red Wing. According to him, this magazine (which currently fetch about $250 per issue) is what really put the Red Wing Shoe Company on the map in Japan. Made in U.S.A.-2 is for me a prized possession and a constant source of inspiration.

Huge covers a lot of familiar ground by including folks like Wood&Faulk, Dehen, Stanley & Sons, Archival Clothing and a host of other American manufacturers. There are also some surprises and new finds along the way. If you live anywhere near a Kinokuniya you can still get your very own copy of Huge (June). If you are looking for a copy of Made in U.S.A.-2 best to search on Yahoo Japan auctions and hope the seller ships to the good old USA.





Required Reading | Esquire’s Big Black Book Fall 2010

Sep 30th, 2010 | Categories: Magazines | by Michael Williams

Another reason to love autumn, all of the great fall style coverage in the magazines. Low and behold, the new Esquire Big Black Book has just been released and Mr. Nick Sullivan & company continue to impress. The new fall 2010 issue features an enjoyable 190 pages of gentlemanly style and service. It includes everything from a story on classic coats, to a breakdown of the different varietals of sheep and their particular wool (do not scoff, knowledge of such matters is important), pictures of Alex Carleton on a boat, Alex Calderwood’s thoughts on Tokyo at Christmas time and the Big Black (purple) Book includes a photo essay of Billy Reid on-the-hunt down south. Plus, lots of suits, watches, socks, boots, bags and denim.  It even has a photo Esquire.com Style Editor Josh Peskowitz in a scratchy wool turtleneck and captain’s hat — about to trade his keyboard and G11 for a lobster pot. Basically, the Big Black Book will be the best $10 you spend all month.

I think I recognize that guy in the bottom right. Yep, its American badass Audwin McGee.





Mr. Williams is Well Suited

Sep 28th, 2010 | Categories: Magazines, Suiting, TV | by Michael Williams

There is a great suit story in the October issue of GQ that was shot by Ben Watts and features none other than Michael Kenneth Williams, who is starring as Chalky White in HBO’s epic new series Boardwalk Empire. Seeing Williams in a suit (in GQ and on Boardwalk Empire) is a departure from the five seasons he spent as the rogue shotgun-toting badass Omar Little in HBO’s other great series The Wire. The most dressed up we ever saw Omar in The Wire was when McNulty took him to Men’s Warehouse (and later abandoned him) for Bird’s trial. Getting back to Boardwalk Empire, the costuming and sets are big budget movie quality and are like nothing I have ever seen. My only complaint is that Mr. Williams (who I should point out has the exact same first, middle and last name as me) doesn’t get enough screen time.

These GQ celebrity suit stories always seem to turn out great and are something I look forward to in the magazine. John Slattery had a similar story in the August 2008 issue, which I also liked a lot. But this Ben Watts x Williams feature takes the three piece suit to a whole new level. Well played all around. You can see the whole story here.

Photos: Ben Watts