Walk into Timberland’s Soho flagship and you’ll instantly realize that the storied workwear brand isn’t just selling boots anymore, they’re about the total package. Creating a stylish yet rugged footwear collection has always been Timberland’s bread and butter, but the shop on Broadway in SoHo also houses the brand’s complete collection, covering everything from their iconic yellow boots, to their more contemporary street-ready pieces. Well-crafted leather coats, forest green backpacks, and military style field jackets grace the tabletops, while Timberland’s line of legendary shoes and boots is prominently displayed along the expansive shoe wall. This includes the handcrafted Timberland Boot Company collection, the Timberland classic boots that have become a symbol of the company and all the other good stuff like the Abington Collection, and the Earthkeepers line. The space is a fitting flagship for a storied brand with style, ruggedness and a distinct point of view.
The first place I visited after arriving in Stockholm (with the exception of my hotel) was the men’s shop Rose & Born. The weather in Stockholm that day was sunny, clear and warm —an altogether perfect day in Scandinavia. The enjoyable conditions outside didn’t seem to hold back the steady stream of men stopping into Rose & Born to browse the new fall arrivals, check in for their second fittings and generally shop the nice assortment of men’s clothing and accessories.
After a few minutes browsing, I approached one of the guys on duty and asked if it would be okay if I took a few photos for my website. This is always a tricky moment for me — to have to be the guy who says publicly that “I have a blog” and wait for the reaction. Honestly, at this point, it is sort of painful for me to even ask, because there are so many embarrassing-blog-hucksters in the world. Thankfully the guys working at Rose & Born knew ACL and they were gracious in allowing me any photos I wanted. Those kinds of situations can go either way, I’ve been denied more than a few times and it is never that much fun.
Interestingly enough, the Rose & Born blog and magazine has gained this otherwise small shop a bit of a cult following with guys not just in Stockholm, but all over the world. It’s amazing when that happens, how the internet can help revel the great things that are out there. Take a look at the editorial that the shop produces and you’ll get why everyone likes Rose & Born so much. Not only do they have great taste in clothing, they can communicate that finely tuned sense of style through editorial — as a small independent shop no less. It’s nothing short of remarkable.
I’ve been meaning to go and see the Best Made Co. offices for at least the past two years. Communication flew back and forth, I just never seemed to make it over there, and not for lack of desire to check it out. Further confusing the whole situation was the fact that I basically walked by the place on my daily walk for years. I have no excuses. Well, it now seems that my procrastination has paid off, because by the time I found myself on White Street in NYC the studio had morphed into the first full-blown Best Made Co. shop that opens its doors today.
Housed in a quintessentially skylighted TriBeCa space —which was previously used by it’s former tenant for crafting fine art— the handsome well-designed nook of outdoorsy-ness occupies most of the space with a new loft and catwalk in the back that will still serve as the Best Made Co. offices. The front of the store is open to the public during the week, with a larger offering opening up for the weekends. The store offers everything that’s available on the e-commerce shop including a strong selection of painted axes (which judging from my Instagram can be quite polarizing), the Lightweight Cruiser, mugs, prints, knives and all sorts of other interesting stuff. And the brand doesn’t wholesale, so if you want it you have to order from them directly online or stop by this new outpost.
With its natural beauty and laid back lifestyle, many people consider Hawaii to be heaven on earth. It is paradise to me though, largely because of the fact that Hawaii is home to Leather Soul and its two amazing shops.
In the capital city of Honolulu, amongst the tourists, bankers, government workers and other assorted business men —many of them seriously wearing Hawaiian shirts to the office, which is apparently totally acceptable business attire — sits Leather Soul Downtown, the newest offshoot of what I think to be the best shoe store in America. The only thing wrong with this new(ish) shop is the fact that it is still too many thousands of miles away from where I live.
The offerings at LSDT are a bit more conservative than what is on hand at the original shop (which I affectionately call “the mothership” or “ground zero for handsome footwear and other assorted greatness”), but they are not by any means less angeringly awesome. Tricker’s, Alden, Quoddy, John Lobb, Edward Green, J.M. Weston, New Balance, Saint Crispin’s — they’re all there. Plus, Globe Trotter and Rimowa. It’s probably for the best that your wallet was stolen while you were enjoying the Hawaiian beach life.
When I think about the things that influence my style it only really comes down to a few things: my friends, people on the street, media and stores. Of those things, the two most important are my friends and retail shops. I spent the better part of this past week in London for an event with the menswear shop Anthem in Shoreditch. The event was for the launch of the Club Monaco Made in USA collection —something I have worked on with my friend Aaron Levine for the past few seasons (Club Monaco is a client of mine, FYI)— which makes Anthem one of the few places outside of North America in which you can buy that collection.
What led these Ashland, PA and Haverhill, Mass. and Los Angeles born clothes to land in East London comes down to a simple meeting between Aaron Levine and Anthem’s owners Simon Spiteri and Jeremy Baron. There was an inherent like-mindedness between the three and the partnership seemed obvious given the shared outlook and aesthetic.
The good people of Mr Porter have set up shop on Gansevoort Street in NYC, bringing the online menswear destination to (real) life in partnership with USA network’s show Suits until next Sunday. I stopped by to check out the shop soon after it opened on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. Though to be honest, not anywhere near as surprised I was when I visited the Mr Porter offices in London this past winter — that place is insanity. The pop up shop has a limited selection of items from the online store which are available to buy on the spot (imagine that!) along with shoe shines, grooming services from Aesop and other worthy diversions. I think the aspect I found most interesting was an interactive installation that creates an interesting pseudo-physical shopping experience with Mr Porter. It was an intriguing way to bridge the gap between physical and virtual retail. At the very least it was an entertaining experiment that managed to keep my attention for a minimum 15 minutes.
Check another solid menswear store off my list.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours in Montreal and I took the opportunity to stop by Rooney in Old Montreal for a look around. The brand mix at Rooney reminds me a lot of Steven Alan Annex, and I mean that in the best possible way, Steven Alan is probably my most shopped store in New York. Browsing Rooney, I recognized almost every brand that was present but still was compelled by a lot of what I saw. The shop does a good job of mixing workwear from labels like Post Overalls, LVC and Universal Works with more European pieces from Our Legacy, MHL and Barena. Not to mention a solid selection of clothes and shoes from the quirky Mr. McNairy. It all results in an interesting selection of menswear staples and quality brands that are worth owning.
Rooney is something that every city needs, but is strangely something that most places don’t have. Every market no matter how big or small should have a store that can pull in the top 25-50 brands and present things in an interesting way. It is good to be in Montreal and see something that is at the same time both familiar and new. Worth a visit for sure.