Menswear | A Continuous Lean.

On the Hunt for Gurkha Shorts.

Apr 17th, 2014 | Categories: England, History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Military | by Jake Gallagher

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With its dual strap waistband, barrel cut legs, high inseam, and row upon row of pleats, the Gurkha short is certainly not for the faint of heart, but we’re sure the original Gurkha wouldn’t have it any other way. This overloaded short can be traced back to the Gurkha, a legendary Nepalese military regiment that consisted of that nation’s most fearless soldiers. The Gurkha were so revered for their bravery that even after suffering a loss to the British during the Anglo–Nepalese War in the early eighteen-hundreds, the kingdom enlisted them to fight for the English Empire.

Their legendary prowess at combat was not the only thing the Gurkha brought along with them when they joined forces with their former adversaries, for they also contributed, well their name. Overtime these shorts, which like almost all colonial garb featured a tan color and loose cut that could easily combat the often oppressive heat, were given the Gurkha name as they were so popular within the region.





A Conversation with Michael Hill of Drake’s London.

Apr 8th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Accessories, Jake Gallagher, London, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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At thirty-five years old Drake’s London Creative Director Michael Hill is roughly the same age as the brand itself. This fact is interesting because when Hill took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, he did so with the vigor and sensibilities of a man well immersed in the diversified mentality of the fervent post-millennial menswear set. Prior to assuming this principal role, Hill had apprenticed under Michael Drake himself, earning an invaluable education which primed him to assume creative control once Drake sold the company was purchased by Mark Cho of The Armoury. It has been Hill’s ability to align Drake’s tradition of incomparable accessories with his own taste for more progressive pieces that has kept Drake’s as one of the preeminent brands in the world. I had a chance to speak with Hill about the brand’s growth, both in scope and in style, as well as his personal style, the role of the internet in menswear, and the future of Drake’s.

ACL: When you took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, you really took the brand to new heights, what was your mission when you assumed that position?

Michael Hill: I wanted to ensure the continuity from the previous ownership, both in terms of the quality and style of the product and our longstanding, loyal customers.Continuity was as important as anything new I wanted to do with the business and our mission was to give us some longer term stability by putting down roots in terms of our first brick and mortar store, our website and a factory fit for purpose and the coming decades. I also wanted to reassure our own staff as well, as I was relatively young when I took over the company.





Where is Inis Meáin Anyway?

Apr 2nd, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Kintwear, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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Thirty miles off the west coast of Ireland lies the minuscule island of Inis Meáin. The “Middle Island” as it is called, lies at the heart of the Aran Islands, and is but three miles across with only about two hundred inhabitants. And yet, as the island’s eponymous knitwear label proves, it doesn’t take much (or many) to craft world class sweaters. It just takes the right people with the skills and the taste level.

The knitwear tradition of Inis Meáin dates back centuries, to a time when the island’s small yet mighty fishing community had no other option but to be entirely self-sufficient. The sweaters that these fishermen wore, with their cabled patterns, tight knits, and dense weaves were crafted in response to the blustery conditions out on the Atlantic Ocean. The fact that sweaters could be viewed as “stylish” probably never crossed the minds of the fishermen (nor their wives who were the ones that were likely doing the actual knitting) they were simply concerned with being warm on the sea.





Putting the “New” in New Balance.

Mar 21st, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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The Literal Fire – J. Crew Inferno Orange 998

The current New Balance mania that’s cutting through the sneaker world like a Vibram soled tornado has all the makings of a lost Malcolm Gladwell case study. What exactly was the tipping point that launched NB’s from average schmo staple to fodder for the insatiable menswear masses? I’ll leave that one for Gladwell’s next book, but I will say that New Balance has done an exemplary job at embracing their new-found market. Sure, those old school, all grey sneaks that the Costanza’s of the world used to wear still remain their most popular models, but over the past couple years NB has revamped their classic running shoes to create some damn fine, and for that matter, flashy, designs. It seems that every week New Balance seems to drop another “banger” (that’s what sneakerheads are saying these days right?) so we decided to round up the eight best releases of the past year.

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The Throwback – 997 Reissues





Beyond the Necktie | Introducing the Hill-Side Clothing.

Feb 25th, 2014 | Categories: Brooklyn, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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Since founding The Hill-Side in the late aughts, brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo have always seemed to carry themselves with the deliberate pace of a marathon runner. Everything began with a simple necktie, followed by a pocket square, and then a scarf, which soon blossomed into a full accessories collection which was largely based on interesting and unique fabrics. It’s a stepwise approach which has helped the Corsillo’s steadily grow their business, without stepping out too far from that original square-end necktie.

Well all that is about to change. With the launch of a more complete clothing collection in Fall 2014, the brothers are essentially taking the Hill-Side into that pivotal four minute mile territory. What began with a tie will now include sport coats, shirts, hats, sneakers, wallets, bags, and pins, all made in the USA or Japan, and all cut from from the Hill-Side’s ever-growing assortment of off-kilter textiles. We instantly gravitated toward the jackets, which reminded us of a casual sack suit, juxtaposing a three-roll-two button stance, and open patch pockets, with a shorter cut and a removable throat latch.

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Talking Manchester and Menswear | Private White V.C.

Feb 13th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in England, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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For a brand that was only officially introduced in 2011, Private White V.C. packs a heritage that’s far beyond their years. The brand operates out of a factory that their namesake, Private Jack White worked at back in the early twentieth century, and it was this legacy that led White’s great grandson, James Eden to take over the factory a handful of years ago. This appreciation of the past continues on through in the brand’s designs. Nick Ashley the lead designer of Private White leans heavily on classic English shapes such as harringtons and moto-jackets. Not only does Ashley’s resume include the likes of Dunhill, Kenzo, and Tod’s, but his parents founded Laura Ashley, a company whose impact on the English textile industry cannot be overstated. We had a chance to speak with both James Eden and Nick Ashley about their brand’s history, the future of Private White V.C. and what it means to be a British brand in 2014.

ACL: Unlike many brands, with names that are pure fabrications, Private White was a real person that has a real impact on the shape of your brand. Could you give some background on Private Jack White the man?

James Eden: Private White was a local hero both on the battlefield and in business. He was quite a character who certainly made the most of his celebrity after the War. He loved his life, he loved his ladies and most of all he loved his family and factory.

ACL: White was one of the founding fathers of the Manchester Factory that you produce out of today, so at what point did you all step into the picture and found Private White V.C.?

JE: Even though my great grandfather, Private White, passed away in the late 1940s, my family has always had an emotional attachment to the factory. As a kid growing up, instead of having a paper route or working in a local shop for pocket money like many of my pals did, I would work on the shop floor or in the cutting room – cutting fabric, counting buttons, heaving rolls of cloth, basically doing exactly what I was told! Six years ago the factory was on the brink of going under and so I decided to take a leap of faith and left my job in Finance in the City of London to try and revitalize the Factory.

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Outlier | On Its Own Terms

Dec 4th, 2013 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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The clothing industry is founded upon rules. Release this collection when everyone else does. Use these fabrics, not those. Design garments for this season, not that season. Sell it this way, not your way.

The most important thing to know about Outlier is that it took these constraints, and instantly threw them right out the window. Then again, I’m not so sure if partners Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens even knew what these unspoken standards were when they founded Outlier in 2008. After all, they never set out to be designers, they merely set out to fill a void in their wardrobes.

When you get swept up in the steady flowing current of fashion, it’s easy to forget that at its core design is about problem solving. Outlier came together when these two men discovered that they shared a common problem. After being introduced by their barista of all people, Burmeister and Clemens realized that they were both attempting to create a garment that they could actually wear on their morning bike commutes without arriving to work looking like they be run over by a truck. Tyler had been working on a shirt, but Abe’s pant project was further along, so the two joined forces and put all their efforts into crafting Outlier’s signature OG Pants.