Portland Oregon | A Continuous Lean.

Nau x Snow Peak | Portland Meets Tokyo.

Sep 24th, 2014 | Categories: Portland Oregon, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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Portland, Oregon has benefited tremendously from its proximity to the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and the vast supply of creative minds who call Rip City home. That must be why the city can boast such an amazing group of outfitters who make clothing and gear there, Nau and Snow Peak among them. While Nau works to infuse function into our everyday lives with a subtleness very rarely seen, Snow Peak has done its best to gear-up every well-to-do camper around with everything from stoves to titanium sporks — an invention which has taken the tiny details to new heights. Recently these two cross-town brands have come together to create a range of clothing which embodies Nau’s love for subtle yet functional design and Snow Peak’s fixation with the little details. The capsule collection was created to seamlessly move with you from your everyday life to places far and near. Nau’s GM Mark Galbraith said it best. “The ‘Portland meets Tokyo’ concept we’ve developed stays true to each brand’s heritage, while giving opportunity to demonstrate a refined modern outdoor aesthetic we both value.”

The collection is heavily influenced by Japanese aesthetics and the importance of both function and mobility. The collection (which consists of both mens and womens clothing and outerwear) is centered on several key pieces including the Checkmate shirt (with easily-accessible and understated zip pockets), the Felt Over Sweater (A fine micron New Zealand merino wool pullover that has been felted to be almost impervious to the wind), the Welter Motil Pant (hidden cell pocket and all) and lastly the breathable but water shielding Hokkadio jacket.

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Shopping Portland | Winn Perry

Jul 30th, 2014 | Categories: Portland Oregon, Retail | by Michael Williams

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Every trip to the Pacific Northwest for at least the past five years has included the same thought: “I really want to check out Winn Perry.”

This classic men’s store opened its doors originally in 2008 (it moved locations and went on a brief hiatus at one point), but it has reemerged better than ever and still carries Alden and a variety of other finely made things. Looking back I can’t figure out if it was either right on time, or slightly ahead of its time. Though, I can say that it is about time that I actually made it in for a visit in real life.

Winn Perry has always been understated and restrained in a good way. It wasn’t chasing a trend or movement, it was just focused on stocking good things that will last a long time. Walk in and talk to the store’s owner Jordan Sayler (he’s also the buyer and all-around shopkeeper) who can speak in great detail to everything in the place. Have a question about fit or quality? He can answer it. There are many stores these days that can actually do that, but the good service at Winn Perry is an enjoyable (seemingly throwback) experience nonetheless.

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Frances May | One Step Ahead

Apr 18th, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Portland Oregon, Retail | by Al James

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In the last two years Portland has seen an influx of established shops from around the country (Jack Spade, Steven Alan, Imogene + Willie) pop up next to some of the city’s home-grown Northwest retailers (Tanner Goods, Danner Boots, Poler, Nau, Filson). This combination of new and old, local and out-of-town, has created a mix that has finally started to give the city a bit of its own unique and diverse shopping scene. Yet even with all these new faces, one retailer continues to stand out in the crowd as a favorite – Frances May.

For the past six years, under the guidance of owner Pamela Baker-Miller and her Grandmother (and co-owner) Connie Codding, Frances May has been Portland’s most reliable shop for high quality mens offerings. Their selection is always evolving, always ahead of the curve and always classic. While they were early supporters of American labels like Gitman Vintage and Pendelton’s Portland Collection, they’ve continued to add to that base with more hand-picked clothing lines from across Europe and Canada (Common Projects, Our Legacy, Monitaly, Folk). The unifying theme being that each piece is extremely well made, wearable day in and day out and effortlessly timeless. These are the pieces that you wear for years, not just a season or a few months.

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Mazama Wares

Mar 28th, 2014 | Categories: Made in the USA, Portland Oregon | by Michael Williams

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At the end of a walk through of the Tanner Goods workshop in Portland, co-founder Sam Huff gave me a beautifully-made ceramic coffee mug. It was cold outside and a cup of hot coffee in a nice mug was not something that was overlooked. Sam sort of casually mentioned that he and his wife and a group of others had been working on this new ceramic company and I should check it out. This on top of building the Tanner Goods empire, I was definitely intrigued. What I learned is that the hand-made line of Mazama ceramics is the result of an amalgamation of six designers, artists and craftspeople including Huff, Meghan Wright, Meagan Geer, Tory Cross, Casey Keasler and Connie Wohn. Everything is shaped, fired and glazed in a studio Portland, Oregon.

It’s hard to explain, but fine ceramics have always been intriguing to me. Those in Korea and Japan take this art to the highest heights and it’s hard to go there and not appreciate the beauty, simplicity and craft that goes into their ceramics. Not to say America doesn’t have a strong tradition in ceramics. One of the best known brands is Heath and nearly every time I am in LA I make a point to spend an hour at the company’s shop on Beverly. Most of the time I just go to look, seeing as I thoroughly intrigued by the company’s California-made creations. A few years ago I met Adam Silverman in the studio at Heath and have been a fan of his ever since. I’ve come to appreciate the fact that ceramics occupy an interesting place between art and everyday object.





A Taste of Nashville in Portland | Imogene + Willie

Jan 28th, 2014 | Categories: Denim, Jake Gallagher, Portland Oregon | by Jake Gallagher

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Like cornbread, sweet tea, and whiskey, Imogene + Willie is inseparable from their Southern roots. Since they opened the doors to their Nashville, Tennessee shop (which fittingly is located in an old gas station) back in 2009, Imogene + Willie have become really the only name in denim below the Mason Dixon line, which is why I was a bit surprised when I literally stumbled into their newest shop, located not in Austin, or Savannah, or Charlestown, but in Portland, Oregon.

Imogene + Willie’s second shop is situated comfortably between Tanner Goods and Poler Stuff on West Burnside in the Pearl District, which is fast becoming, for lack of a better term, the SoHo of Portland (or at least, as much of a SoHo as a city like Portland can have.) From the moment you walk in, the store transplants you down south, with antique ephemera like faded folk signs, horseshoes, and beat up work boots almost stealing the spotlight from the I+W wares. Additionally, the store gets a dose of the southwest thanks to a hefty helping of indigo jewelry, cacti, and Native Americana.

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Putting It All On The Table: A Wood&Faulk DIY.

Nov 27th, 2013 | Categories: Portland Oregon, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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To celebrate design, craft, style and the entrepreneurial spirit, Timberland in partnership with ACL set out to highlight the guys that take matters into their own hands, to not only make great things, but to inspire and teach others the skills to do it yourself.

Wood&Faulk started as a hobby, it continued to grow as a blog and eventually it emerged as a full-fledged label. Founded by Matt Pierce in Portland, OR in 2011, Wood&Faulk now offers a full collection of interesting leather goods and operates out of an amazing shared workshop called Beam & Anchor that overlooks a massive Union Pacific switching yard next to the Williamette river.

What really propelled the line forward has been both the whimsical nature of the stuff Wood&Faulk makes and Matt’s openness about how everything is made. To this end, it began publishing the DIY process for making a lot of the stuff the brand sells on its blog and that has been an almost visceral and overwhelming response from people all over. In fact, that is how I discovered the Wood&Faulk, through its blog and I was drawn to the fact that it wasn’t trying to hide anything and it just put everything out on the table (quite literally).

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The American Varsity Jacket Made in America.

Nov 24th, 2013 | Categories: Made in the USA, Portland Oregon | by Michael Williams

Philadelphia based sporting goods maker Mitchell & Ness highlights the production of its Authentic and highly covet-able on-field varsity jackets and wool jerseys at the family owned knitwear company Dehen in Portland, Oregon. A long time maker of American high school varsity jackets and jerseys, Dehen has been making the real-deal stuff since 1920.

Over the past few years I have had the chance to visit Dehen in Oregon on several occasions to see the factory which includes a few amazing old knitwear machines that make the super heavy-gauge knits that, along with the varsity jackets, are the company’s calling card. Also coming down the production line is quite a bit of custom work from high schools all over the United States, which is how the company has managed to survive this long. The cheer leading and Varsity sports niche production now parallels the Mitchell & Ness Cooperstown Collection items and the stuff Dehen sells under its own name. All I can say is, Fuck Yeah Made in USA.