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.
Recently I have been sort of enamored by the British brand Toast. To be honest I wasn’t too familiar with the company, but the more I look at it the more I like what I see. I especially enjoyed this orange anorak jacket which I am seriously considering buying. I also am fond of the variety of accessories that Toast has done for fall. The wonderful wool blankets from Canadian maker MacAusland’s Woolen Mills, the flannel “hottie” covers, the Dietz storm lanterns, the chunky knit socks and the awesome glassware (like the bedside flask that is pictured below). Granted the brand is mostly womens and I don’t know if a guy should be wandering around town with a flannel-covered hot water bottle, but I appreciate the aesthetic. That or I am just a sucker for an orange anorak. [Toast]
After my trip to the Rose Bowl flea I headed over to check out the recently relocated Mohawk General Store on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake. The shop is owned by Kevin Carney (who is also co-founder of Generic Man) and his wife Bo. The menswear and vintage stereos are Kevin’s responsibility the ladies clothing is handled by Bo and the furniture is courtesy of Amsterdam Modern. Mohawk creates a unique mix of European mid-century modern furniture and a strong selection of good menswear from brands like Post Overalls, Engineered Garments, Tellason, Baxter of California, Tanner Goods, Our Legacy, Eastland Shoe, Earnest Alexander, The Hill-Side, Gitman Bros. Vintage, Yuketen, Moscot and of course The Generic Man. I really wanted to buy a set of Dutch stacking chairs that are set up near the entrance, but I erred on the side of owning less chairs. Especially since I have been so successful on Craigslist recently. If you are in LA, check out Mohawk’s new space and maybe pick up some Dutch stacking school chairs or a pair of jeans; whatever you may need or want. [Mohawk General Store]
Portland, Maine is the perfect New England town. I sort of see it as a less crowded (and less crazy) version of Boston. All of that Yankee charm and none of the hassle. The town is especially attractive when you live in a place like New York (like me) and have to deal with the daily assault on your senses. What also makes Portland a viable home (in my mind) is its access to Barbour coats via the shop Barbour by David Wood. Because I don’t want to live in a town that doesn’t sell Barbour coats. I just don’t. Mail order be damned.
I’m only kidding about the availability of Barbour coats being a factor in where I live, but I’m not kidding about Barbour by David Wood being a great shop. The oilcloth-outpost is essentially a company store that stocks the full collection (something I have only seen on a few occasions), including the Barbour Beacon range designed by To Ki To. So if you are looking for a specific jacket you couldn’t find at other Barbour retailers, chances are Barbour by David Wood will have it. Now you know. Plus the staff is friendly and the shop’s location is about as perfect setting as any to buy outerwear for inclement weather. And Portland better watch out, I might get my Barbours together and migrate north. You’ve been warned. [Barbour by David Wood]
It is great to be in L.A. for the second Sunday of the month when they hold the Rose Bowl flea market. Luckily, my last few trips to the West Coast have coincided with the Rose Bowl Flea weekend and I have been able to shop all of the vintage goodness. This past weekend I knew Steven Alan was in town and I asked him if he would mind letting me tag along with him at the Rose Bowl. Being the nice guy that he is Steven agreed, so we got up early on Sunday morning, grabbed a couple giant duffel bags and headed to Pasadena.
Steven is a soft spoken, introspective and polite guy. He’s someone I very much admire for his great style and ability to make something as simple as a button down shirt interesting and cool. No one in menswear is as multidimensional and talented as Steven, which makes spending the morning shopping vintage with him an awesome experience for someone like me who is a big fan of his work.
On a recent adventure to the Badger State I made a long overdue visit to Context, one the best independent shops in the country. Owners (and brothers) Ben & Sam Parker, and Ryan Huber have built a truly unique destination for menswear aficionados in Madison, and of course for the rest of us across the internet. It was a real pleasure to finally check the place out and see first hand how nice the shop really is.
For a minute I came really close to buying a Stetson hat. I was watching the folks at Kemo Sabe steam and re-fit an old hat that had fallen out of shape over the years — and I am thinking “I need a Stetson hat.” Not want, need. Luckily I came to my senses in time to avoid what could have been a silly impulse buy. Not silly because of Stetson (they make some really great hats), but silly because I will never wear that, ever. Kemo Sabe is that type of store. I did end up leaving with a pair of Geier gloves (who are residents of The American List) and soaked in all of the western wear. Boots from Lucchese, Pendleton blankets, gloves, bags and lots of other good stuff. Sort of something a little different than the stuff I feature on ACL, but it was a fun diversion for the day-to-day stuff I tend to shop.