Retail | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Shopping Los Angeles | Wittmore Pop-Up Shop

Jun 18th, 2013 | Categories: Los Angeles, Menswear, Retail | by Michael Williams

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Recently, while in Los Angeles, I paid a visit to the new Wittmore pop-up shop on Third Street. The colorful space is brings to life Wittmore’s nicely curated and eclectic brand mix, which up until a few weeks ago has been an entirely digital shopping affair.

The physical and online stores are the product of my longtime friend and mentor Paul Witt. Wittmore is a culmination of Paul’s many years in the clothing business and his varied work across various creative disciplines, a few of which involved me as his underling. The shop presents Witt’s personality well, and represents a playful perspective that very much aligns with his personal taste and style. It’s an inclusive and needed respite from the world of pretentiousness that can often surround so many menswear brands and stores. Wittmore brings a keen eye and an injection of playfulness that makes clothing fun again.

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The Time is Right for Independence.

Sep 15th, 2012 | Categories: Chicago, Made in the USA, Retail | by Michael Williams

It seems like every time work takes me to Chicago, I only get one day to explore. And the more I visit, the more apparent it becomes that I need much more time in The Second City. The food/drink scene alone can dominate the better part of a week’s furlough. While time was limited on my most recent trip, I did have a chance to visit a few stores I have been hearing about as part of my ongoing, unofficial quest to document every good store in America. Certainly deserving this call out and your own visit is Independence — which is the retail outpost of Oak Street Bootmakers. The store, by concept, sells only US made goods—one of the only stores I have seen that sticks to such a defined subject.

There’s a lot to buy at the shop, but what really stands out to me is the opportunity to try on and take home a very nice selection of footwear from Oak Street Bootmakers. That said, there is all sorts of other good stuff from Batten Sportswear, LVC, Gitman Vintage, Post Overalls and Imogene + Willie. Also present are a bunch of very nice (and well priced) wool blankets from the fairly recently relaunched Faribault Woolen Mills — which are highly likeable things.





Shopping Copenhagen | Norse Projects

Sep 10th, 2012 | Categories: Copenhagen, Retail | by Michael Williams

Norse Projects has a great multi-label shop in the company’s hometown of Copenhagen. I paid it a visit a few weeks back when I was in town for the CIFF trade-show and was thoroughly impressed with what I saw. While the brand’s clothes are clearly very similar to New York’s Supreme, the skate aspect of Norse seems slightly more subdued. To me that makes it more understandable, more digestible and in turn more likely to be in my closet. It’s not that skate is bad, and honestly what Supreme does overall is very obviously next level and untouchable, but Norse is on a good wave-length with what it is doing and its shop reflects that well.

Of all the things I saw in Denmark, Norse was by far the most likeable thing in a sea of likeable things. The city of Copenhagen, the people and the culture were very enjoyable to me. It is the type of place you want to visit and then tweet about annoyingly, like when people visit Austin, Texas and then talk with the locals (while drinking wine at Tivoli Gardens) about how you could move there. If you are wondering, they would probably prefer you stay home. The lack of massive amounts of people is sort of integral to the enjoyable nature of the place.





Shopping Amagansett | Love Adorned East End

Jul 25th, 2012 | Categories: Retail | by Michael Williams

Everything you need that you never knew you needed. That’s the easy way to describe the shop Love Adorned in Amagansett Square. The Hamptons outpost is an offshoot of the Elizabeth Street store by the same name, which is the off shoot of the popular tattoo parlor New York Adorned. It sounds more confusing than it really is. The hardest part of Love Adorned East End is dealing with the LIE on a Friday afternoon.

Another way to describe the summer-centric Love Adorned in Amagansett would be to say it is a sort of tribal Labour and Wait. That’s a strong compliment considering Labour and Wait is one of my top five favorite stores in the world.





Good Things to be Found at Cape Porpoise Outfitters

Jul 12th, 2012 | Categories: Antiques, Maine, Retail | by Michael Williams

Cape Porpoise Outfitters is a new antiques store that is obsessed with all things military, nautical, Ivy League, booze, classic cars, books, watches, and all sorts of other great vintage oddities. Situated in an 18th century barn, CPO is the product of friend (and ACL contributor) Mr. Jared Paul Stern, who is as prolific collector of vintage “stuff” as anyone I know. It’s not just any kind of stuff, this is a shop for guys that want an interesting and edited mix. CPO is a very obvious reflection of JPS’ overall interests — be it nautical paintings, antique furniture or surplus racks for M-16s. That’s right, surplus racks for assault rifles — what home doesn’t need those?

Over the years I’ve done the antiques-drive from Wells, Maine on Route 1 many times stopping at the dozens of vintage, junk and antiques stores to varying degrees of success. Admittedly, CPO takes some of the hunt out of things, but all of the fun remains. Needless to say if you read this blog, you will like Cape Porpoise Outfitters. So if you happen to find yourself in Southern Maine, a diversion to CPO is worth it. While you are in town, stop by and see the nice ladies at the Cape Porpoise Kitchen and have a bite to eat, you won’t be disappointed.





A Proper Men’s Shop | Harrison Limited

Jun 29th, 2012 | Categories: Menswear, Retail | by Michael Williams

The thought of flying down to Birmingham, Alabama just to visit Harrison Limited is certainly something that has crossed my mind. At the end of the day I love clothing, but what I really love is retail. And when it comes to my favorite shops, independent men’s stores are by far my favorites. Case in point: Cuff’s Clothing in Chagrin. Men’s shops in the Southeast? That’s when things get really tasteful and very distinctly American. It’s both an aesthetic and an approach that I have come to appreciate and actively seek out as the true shops of this stripe are few and far between. While in Florence (Italy, not Alabama) at Pitti I spent about 30 minutes peppering the Oxxford Clothes sales guy about his favorite men’s shops, specifically in the Southeast. I wasn’t looking for stores with a more New England spin like O’Connells (I already know it, already love it), I was seeking classic, Southern, gentlemenly, tasteful, understated and confident shops. The Oxxford rep reminded me of Harrison Limited and here we all are. It was the perfect call out and it is an amazing place for true menswear.





IWC x NYC

Apr 24th, 2012 | Categories: New York City, Retail, Watches | by Michael Williams

This could be dangerous…

IWC aficionados can rejoice, the Swiss watchmaker finally opened a New York store this week right in the heart of the menswear action on Madison Avenue. The shop is modeled most closely on the company’s outpost in Hong Kong, with each model family getting its own themed room and experience. Even though there are different environments for each collection, the rich wood that runs throughout the space serves to connect each area and creates a refined, yet unpretentious setting in which you avoid work while lusting over well-made watches. The expansive entrance — which is set up to be a sort of nautical looking lounge — beautifully houses the popular Portuguese collection. That main room also plays host to several steamer trunks that house the Portofino range.