Shopping | A Continuous Lean.

Spring Into Pop Up Flea.

Apr 27th, 2015 | Categories: New York City, Pop Up Flea, Shopping | by Michael Williams

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Our ever-changing short-term (summer) shop Pop Up Flea is popping back up in Manhattan this coming May 8th through the 10th in Chelsea. Our annual spring/summer event has become the perfect warm weather counterbalance to our long running and extremely popular December event. It’s a lighter and brighter version of PUF with a nice mix of brands you know (Alexander Olch, Fred Perry Laurel Wreath, Ernest Alexander, Leather Head Sports, Rancourt & Co, Freemans Sporting Club and TUDOR) and a bunch of brands you need to know (Dom Vetro, Corridor, Canvas Bag Machine, Martenero and Accompany). And it’s all here in NYC for one short weekend. We’ve made a point to keep the schedule tight so every event is interesting, unique and full of great brands. So in addition to our two NYC events and our annual trip to Tokyo, we’ve added a new city this fall to round out our 2015 Pop Up Flea events. Hey Los Angeles, we’re looking at you. More to come on that and a complete vendor list for PUFSUN will show up soon, so keep an eye on this page for more info.

We’re also excited to see the reemergence of Mister Mort who returns to PUF with his offbeat collection of things after a short five year hiatus. And for the first time, one of our favorite swimwear brands Onia will be selling their excellent collection of swimwear and the company’s new expanded collection of clothing. It’s going to be a great room full of well-made and interesting things that will help get your summer started off right. See you at the Pop Up Flea.


123 West 18th Street (2nd Floor)
New York City

Friday, May 8th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, May 9th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday, May 10th: 12pm to 6pm

Free Entry. Open to the public.

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Kyoto in NoHo.

Apr 21st, 2015 | Categories: Retail, Shopping | by ACL Editors


It’s a fine line between particular and pretentious.

To be particular is admirable. It is to be studied, meticulous, and exacting, but in a way that entices people, rather than repels them. Pretension on the other hand is hardly worth dwelling upon. We all just know it when we see it, and then do our best to avoid it at all costs. This balance can be tricky though. If you appear finicky, it can seem ostentatious, rather than interesting.

Nalata Nalata epitomizes the right level of balance. The tranquil home goods shop, (located on Extra Place just off the Bowery by way of Canada), is certainly fastidious, but it is also welcoming, and in many ways even enlightening. Walk around the small shop and you could easily mistake your Noho surroundings for Kyoto, where stores so often feel like more like museums than retail spaces.


Not So Standard.

Feb 11th, 2015 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear, Shopping, Style | by Jake Gallagher


For many Japanese brands, it’s not enough to only have one line. Companies like Beams, Ships, and United Arrows love to stack up sub-brands and diffusion lines like a hastily made parfait of complementary aesthetics, which each layer bleeding over into the offer. The differences between two given brands under the same umbrella can often be tough to discern – one might be workwear-meets-streetwear, while the other might be streetwear-meets-workwear. It all tends to get lost in translation. Fortunately for Western audiences though, Japanese brands are also known for being masters of visual merchandising. Often times each label will get it’s own lookbook or ad campaign, which is (in most cases) the closest that we’ll ever come to actually interacting with these brands, as many of them are not widely available outside of Japan. This no longer rings as true for Beams and United Arrows, which have recently upped their American and European stockists, but it is still quite true for Journal Standard, another multi-label Japanese brand.


Small is Mighty.

Nov 29th, 2014 | Categories: Retail, Shopping | by Michael Williams


Cuffs Clothing | 18 E. Orange Street Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

Every year the Black Friday push leaves me feeling conflicted. I understand that people out there need to stretch their dollars as far as possible, and Black Friday sales help out with that a lot. I also understand that retailers want to capture as much of people’s limited holiday budgets as possible — which is why opening times have crept earlier and earlier with many stores opening on Thursday. And opening on Thanksgiving day is where things start to become troubling for me. While I understand people want deals and retailers want as much business as possible, it really bothers me to know that a significant amount of people in retail jobs have to leave their families on Thanksgiving (a truly important time of year to be with family) to go to work so people can shop.

Although all of this Black Friday madness leaves me feeling conflicted, I’m delighted by the sentiment of Small Business Saturday which has emerged just one day down on the calendar. Established by American Express back in 2009, (coincidentally the same year we founded Pop Up Flea) the goal is to “Shop Small” and support independent businesses of every stripe. The amazing part of this program is the fact that it has given a voice to the little guys who struggle to compete and who need all of the help they can get. As someone who spends a lot of time around small retailers, I understand the difficulty in being small in scale and independently operated.

It is the small independent restaurants, bars, retailers and local businesses that truly make a town or place special. It’s something I learned watching my Dad run a small business while growing up in Ohio. A few years ago I even witnessed one of the most inspiring small business stories emerge at a nearby and beloved local hardware store. Working to save a local hardware store was an amazing gesture and something everyone everywhere can appreciate. That is exactly the spirit of Small Business Saturday. It’s about supporting the little guys who make a place special. It’s about spending money in your community and helping to ensure that the world isn’t one giant homogenized place. And it’s amazing to think that SBS represents many of the same values that we try and highlight here on ACL.

With this in mind, I made a list of some of my favorite small shops all over the U.S. This is obviously the just tip of the iceberg, but it is a good representation of the unique and small shop at its finest. I hope all of you can get out and support your local independent businesses today by shopping small.


Leather Soul Downtown | 119 Merchant Street #100 Honolulu, HI 96813

Harrison Limited

Harrison Limited | 2801 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook, AL 35223

The Real McCoys New NYC Americana Outpost.

Aug 28th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear, New York City, Shopping | by Jake Gallagher


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.


Boerum House & Home | The Shoppable Showroom

Jul 31st, 2014 | Categories: Brooklyn, Design, Jake Gallagher, Men's Stores, New York City, Shopping | by Jake Gallagher

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Boerum‘s address reads 314 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, but this is not the Brooklyn we’ve all come to expect. In fact the space doesn’t really feel like anywhere else in this city, but what it does feel like is a quintessential Partners & Spade production. The progressive downtown design firm, which is responsible for everything from Target ads to Sleepy Jones, was tapped by Flank, a boutique Manhattan-based architecture firm to create Boerum House & Home, so named for its Boerum Hill neighborhood.

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North Menswear | Shopping Anytown USA

Jul 16th, 2014 | Categories: California, Made in the USA, Shopping | by Michael Williams


The excitement was palpable. The feeling of exhilaration was present because of the unexpected nature of it’s arrival.

While on a weekend trip to Southern California I was pleasantly surprised to meet North Menswear in Laguna Beach and I probably got more excited about it than normal. Surprised and delighted to be exact. Part of this is due to the fact that North is a great shop, but the real reason I was aflutter is because I wasn’t expecting to see anything like this in Laguna. I was expecting to languish in the Real Houswives vibes and here I was browsing a great collection of menswear.

Over the past few years something amazing has happened: A version of North (basically a cool men’s shop with an Americana slant i.e. Unionmade) has opened in cities across America. If you expand out from Laguna Beach you’d get Orn Hansen in Long Beach, Lone Flag in San Diego, Berkeley Supply in Denver, Askov Finlayson in Minneapolis, Willy’s in Detroit, Cincinnati has Article, there’s Supply & Advise in Miami, Reserve Supply Co. in Houston, Federal in Washington D.C. and a million stores in the Northeast.

Five years ago there were only a few shops keyed in on this. Steven Alan, Context in Wisconsin and Need Supply in Richmond to name a few. What was very much the of the blog world for a period of time seemed to have given rise to a new market for menswear. And it wasn’t until I stepped into North that it really made sense. I knew there were a lot of people all over the place interested in this stuff, but when you’re a little off the beaten path (not that LB is really out of the way, but it’s not TriBeCa) and you see a shop as good as North do you really realize the scope of this thing.


North Menswear founder Pete Surprenant.