Before Gianni Agnelli made them famous. Before they were imitated countless times over by countless brands. Before they were even called car shoes, there was just Giulio Miserocchi, an Italian cobbler in a tiny alpine village, who hand-sewed what would become the first ever driving moccasin. It was back in 1942 that Miserocchi completed his first shoe, a soft leather tie loafer atop a nubby rubber sole. The entire shoe was designed to make it easier on the wearer’s foot as the drove, so the supple upper and loose stitching were meant to help the shoe mold to your foot, while the texturized bottoms were intended to literally grip the pedals.
After the explosion of interest in men’s clothing that was catalyzed by the heritage movement of the early aughts, we now find ourselves in a pretty tumultuous time for men’s style. Brands fall in and out of favor at the drop of floppy Italian hat. Trends can rise and fizzle out in the time it takes a model to walk the length of a runway. And it is now (relatively) normal for someone to dress like a drop-crotched goth ninja one day and a soft-shouldered Neapolitan aristocrat the next. If there’s one idea that has never seemed to lose steam throughout this all though, it’s that anything made in China is less preferred than things made in Japan, Europe, America or even Canada.
If you ask us, blanket statements like this are easy to say, yet hard to fully comprehend. We don’t really believe that all things made in China are always made poorly, just as we don’t believe that all things made in America are automatically made well. With that said though, it is true that the large-scale factories that make up much of China’s clothing industry do prioritize quantity over quality, and the effects of this can be manifold. Which brings us to the story of Padmore & Barnes.
It’s said that you can judge a man by his shoes but this goes doubly true for his slippers. In public you’re dignified, distinguished, or at the very least not disheveled. A man’s home is his castle though, and you should look the part. This means dressing like a king. A very comfortable king. Many men these days unfortunately forgo them altogether, but we still believe that slippers are a crucial component of any at home outfit. The power of the slipper lies not in its comfort (it goes without saying that a good pair of slippers should feel like you’re stepping into a cloud) but in the message they send to visitors – You’re in shoes, I’m in slippers, I’m in charge here. So here now are our favorite slippers fit for a king, even if your kingdom is little more than a shoebox studio apartment.
A well designed object can broaden your understanding of the world. That is the theory that drives Drew Seskunas, co-director of design studio The Principals in his pursuit of object perfection. Much like Jack Purcell, Drew and his partners make beautiful things, create art, design spaces, and use physical objects to connect to people on an emotional level. They seek to expand our understanding of the built realm without abandoning its history.
Their craft combines industrial design, architecture, and occasionally robotics. Whether they’re designing a reactive architectural environment for Bonaroo Music Festival or a flask that not only holds liquid, but looks like liquid for Areaware, they are pushing creativity over convention, and mastering how form can drive function.
Along with Converse Jack Purcell, we step inside Drew’s Brooklyn studio to see how he forms beautiful idea into a beautiful object.
Click the interactive video to learn more about the new Converse Jack Purcell Signature Sneaker.
As an observer of style, Mordechai Rubinstein is seemingly everywhere. No place in the city is safe from his relentless pursuit of the quirky, interesting, the “proper” and most importantly, the stylish. His personal take on clothing varies greatly from the typical person, and he has made name for himself by consistently zigging when everyone else zags. While working at the influential (and now defunct) SoHo shop New Republic in the early aughts Mordechai met Andy Spade who eventually brought him into the fold and helped promote Mordechai’s perspective and his endearing brand of weirdness. During his time with Spade, Rubinstein broke through and made a name for himself by letting his creativity shine and embracing the unconvention in everything. In fact, this concept of creativity over convention is what truly makes Mordehai such a talent in the menswear world.
Along with Jack Purcell, we took to the streets of NYC with Mordechai to get his take on the city — while wearing the iconic Converse Jack Purcell Signature sneaker — which inspires his daily quest for all things interesting and cool. The new Signature Jack Purcell sneaker represents the modern evolution of the iconic silhouette, and you know that if Mordechai is wearing the Jack Purcell it must be good. Because as we’ve seen through his site Mister Mort, Mordecai is someone who takes personal style very seriously. Which is exactly why we love him so much.
Click the interactive video to learn more about the new Jack Purcell.
The good people at Converse have been hard at work behind the scenes ensuring the Jack Purcell sneakers maintain its icon status well into the future. With a list of design and build updates (18 to be exact), the new Converse Jack Purcell Signature Sneaker has emerged as a new and improved model of the classic we all love. It’s also the most premium expression of the Jack Purcell ever made.
The new Jack Purcell Signature Sneaker is made from a two-ply duck canvas and features a streamlined toecap that creates an updated look, and also a new feel for these familiar sneakers. Plus, there’s an Ortholite footbed with imbedded Nike Zoom Air Technology under the hood that makes for a more comfortable ride. Launched in the past few weeks, the new Jack Purcell Signature Sneaker is offered in Black, Mason and the ever classic White. Perfect for the city, the beach, a bathing suit or a suit suit. These are the iconic sneakers for you and your everyday. [JACK PURCELL]
Victory Sportswear might just be the most important new sneaker brand out there, but there’s actually nothing new about them. We had never heard of Victory until we spotted them at this year’s Capsule trade show, but we were immediately taken by the brand’s suede and mesh trainers which look like a cross between something Carl Lewis might’ve worn at the ’84 Olympics and a pair of sneakers you might find at an orthopedic store.
Truthfully though, it wasn’t the look of the shoes that got us excited, but rather the fact that they were made in America. The only other brand making shoes in America right now is New Balance, and just like them, Victory produces their sneakers in New England (NB in Maine, Victory in Massachusetts). In fact, Victory has made its entire collection in its Massachusetts factory since the company was founded in 1980′s. The question is, where has it been this whole time? And how are we not surprised that it was Daiki and the Engineered Garments team that has unearthed them for our collective pleasure.