Growing up, my dad used to refer to white sneakers as “nurse’s shoes.” Oh, how the times have changed. White sneakers are now the shoe, the singular sneaker that I can honestly say everyman needs. Regardless of your respective style, no wardrobe is complete without a pair of blanked out sneakers. From Italian leather lace-ups, to dirt cheap plimsolls, the sneaker marketplace is inundated with white sneakers of all material, shape, and price. To help you chart your own course through this sea of white, we’ve rounded up our favorite colorless lace-up sneakers. Wear ‘em till they’re no longer white, and then start all over again.
When Japanese designer Hitoshi Tsujimoto founded The Real McCoys back around the turn of the millennium, he did so with the clear intention of creating garments that were not merely vintage inspired, but were as close to authentic reproductions as the modern man would allow. By meticulously recreating garments from the forties and fifties to their exact specs, Tsujimoto appeals to those that share his proclivity for the past, which as it turns out is quite the considerable audience. Over the past decade or so, The Real McCoys has become the destination for men that like their jackets lined in deerskin, their tees loopwheeled, and their jeans cut like Brando’s, no matter the cost (which at The Real McCoys can be eye-poppingly steep.) This success has certainly led to an uptick in stockists for the Real McCoys here in America, which no doubt has influenced their decision to finally open a proper shop at 10 Greene Street in SoHo.
The Beach Boys first three albums all contained the word “surf,” in them, and yet oddly enough of the original five members, Dennis Wilson was the only one that actually surfed. The fact that The Beach Boys were more likely to ride the airwaves than actual waves did little to hurt their image though, and from the moment “Surfin’ Safari” hit stores in 1962 they became America’s shaggy haired surf riding celebrities. Aside from their album titles, and the countless surf-centric photo shoots during their early years, The Beach Boys also wisely favored a wardrobe that was unmistakably coastal. To really dial in their sea seasoned image they dressed in terry cloth polos, cropped khakis, plaid overshirts, floral trunks, and most importantly short sleeve shirts.
“Those are some fun shirts.”
During a visit to one of his company’s shirt factories in the seventies Ash Wall, the vice president and great-great-great-grandson of Brooks Brothers founder Henry Sand Brooks, picked up a discarded “practice” sport shirt off the assembly line and tossed it on. As he did so, he uttered the above statement in reference to the ten or so different fabric scraps that had been haphazardly stitched together to form this button-up.
Billykirk is what I would call a foundational brand. When a new menswear store pops up, be it a brick and mortar boutique or an e-comm behemoth, Billykirk’s bags are sure to be available right from the start. In their fifteen years (yes, fifteen) Billykirk has amassed nearly one-hundred stockists, and while that figure is certainly impressive Billykirk hasn’t had a store to call their own until now.
It was nine years ago that brothers Kirk and Chris Bray transplanted Billykirk from Los Angeles to the East Coast, establishing their headquarters in Jersey City. And now, as their business continues to expand they’ve made yet another, albeit less dramatic move, setting up their first physical shop just over the Hudson on a burgeoning street in Downtown Manhattan. While Billykirk’s leather goods will still be produced over in New Jersey and at workshops throughout the U.S., their Orchard Street location will function as a proper homebase for the brand.
Mark McNairy doesn’t say much.
The man who revived the red brick sole is now almost as renowned for his blunt single sentence interview answers in caps lock as for his pattern-heavy collections. Reading a McNairy profile one would assume that he operates as a lone wolf, the sort of designer who prefers to remain in his own head free from any outside influences, but this is hardly the case. For McNairy, his main New Amsterdam label encompasses just one (albeit large) slice of his portfolio, the rest of which is comprised of collaborations, large and small, predictable and obscure, that have became paramount to his standing as one of America’s best known designers. Over the past few years McNairy has worked with everyone from rappers to a brewery to a Japanese street wear store to a legendary American label. While it would be tough to catalog every single collaboration McNairy has been a part of since stepping out on his own, we’ve done our best to compile a year’s worth of McNasty partnerships, although we can’t guarantee he won’t drop anymore by the time you read this.
If you ask anyone that’s even tangentially connected to the clothing world about how a man should go about dressing better, they will almost certainly tell you that one of the first steps is “finding the right fit.” This oft quoted phrase is a concise way of stating that all men must determine what works for them and what does not. This is surely a personal matter, but it also raises a quandary for some men – after all, how does a man find his right fit, if he himself is not so fit. From runway shots, to campaign ads, to e-comm imagery, right down to the in-store mannequins, the majority of men that we see as the template for how to wear clothing today are svelte, if not unrealistic in shape. And yet, most of our are not graced with the lithe physique of a model, so it’s worth asking, where are the real(istic) men?
That answer to this conundrum, lies in the past. Ernest Hemingway, Fatty Arbuckle, Alfred Hitchcock, Marlon Brando (the later years) these were all men of substance in every sense, and yet their added girth never interfered with their status as icons. Amongst these heftier legends, German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe stands out, not merely for his designs, but for his dress.