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.
A few years ago when Hermès renovated its NYC flagship it decided to exile its men’s shop across the street to its very own stand alone shop. This resulted in a first for the storied French luxury brand, the world’s only Hermès men’s shop. Not only is it exclusively menswear, the shop also boasts one of the most lust worthy bespoke programs ever imagined. It’s like a French Savile Row, except the work rooms aren’t downstairs, they’re in Paris.
The bottom two levels offer a normal selection of accessories and sportswear that have made Hermès the most well respected luxury brands in the world. But it’s when you land on the third floor that you discover the truly magical items — shirts, sweaters, suits, leather goods and, of course, ties — that comprise the Hermès bespoke program.
There’s little doubt in my mind that Labour and Wait is my favorite store on earth. There are a few stores in Tokyo that are a close second, but no one combines as unique of a concept with such good product and unparallelled visual merchandising. Those are some pretty bold statements I know, but after visiting the company’s new and improved London shop I reaffirmed my love of the quirky purveyor of English home goods and departed with a paper bag full of simple treasures.
The one shop that really stood out to me in Milan didn’t have any fine Italian tailoring in sight, it was all about the knives. Founded in 1929, G. Lorenzi is really like no other retail establishment I have ever been in, ever. The walls are lined with dark wooden display cases which are very neatly organized with an array of all things man. Knives, pipes, brushes, clippers, trimmers, shaving supplies, cologne, a huge selection of every possible type of scissors and basically every other little well made accoutrement you can think of. The obsessiveness of G. Lorenzi rivals some of the crazy stuff I have seen in Japan. And don’t get me wrong, the place is no C.O. Bigelow steroids, its roots are in knife sharpening and G. Lorenzi is above all famous for it’s cutlery. A logical pursuit given Italy’s obsession with food.
We just posted an update to the L.A. shopping map (that lives on the Maps & Intel page) to include some new openings (like Unionmade L.A.) and some old favorites that should have been on there long ago. Any suggestions, drop them in the comments and we will take them under consideration. Next on our list to update, New York shopping. More on that soon.
View Men’s Shopping in Los Angeles by ACL in a larger map
Tucked away in an alley in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood (a very fashionable part of town I might add) is the newish Levi’s Vintage Clothing store — one of the few places in the world that you can get all eight archival variations of the Levi’s 501 and a huge selection of the other normally reclusive LVC goods. This Levi’s Vintage Clothing store in Tokyo closely resembles the Cinch store I checked out in London this past spring, though the store in Japan is much much bigger. It has been a little more than a year since Maurizio Donadi was brought in to help reorganize the Levi’s premium business and these new LVC retail outposts are a clear reflection of Maurizio’s vision. Before Donadi was in the picture, LVC was sort of stuck in limbo between the Levi’s labyrinth of different offerings and retail stores. These days the collection is much more accessible (in terms of consumers being able to find the product), but the goods still carry a significant price tag. Though, I should say it is an understandable price structure given all that goes into the development and production (made in USA, etc) of the product.