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The ACL Guide to Giving Good Gifts.

Nov 17th, 2014 | Categories: Gift Guide 2014, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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It happens to almost be the most wonderful time of the year. The time when you dedicate a significant portion of your mental capacity, love and energy to (hopefully) giving the perfect gift. With this in mind personally I dedicated myself to combing through the extensive offerings from Barneys New York to find the best gifts for everyone in your life. I hand-selected a range of items which I consider to be the best of the best for everyone from your hard to impress mother-in-law to the made in USA loving dad and many more. Here’s the look book with all of those gifts. It’s also worth noting that many of these selections will also serve as worthy gifts for yourself, should you just decide to treat yourself. Can’t say I haven’t ever done something like that.

With such a vast selection of great brands Barneys New York has reigned supreme when it comes to my own personal gifting quest over the years and this holiday season is no different. So getting the opportunity to team up with them to present a complete gift guide is basically as good as it gets. I worked hard to find a diverse, interesting and thoughtful selection of gifts with a focus on quality and longevity which will last for years to come.

It’s true what they say about the thought being the thing that counts. Getting your gifts from Barneys isn’t a bad approach either. [THE ACL x BARNEYS GIFT GUIDE]





One of One | Custom New Balance 990s

Oct 16th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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New Balance understands you. The American sneaker brand knows you appreciate the classic style of the 990, and they know that you couldn’t possibly wear the same shoes as everyone else. In a world of ubiquitous style this is an important development for us all. Utilizing the New Balance factory in Maine, you can now turn-around a custom pair of 990s in a little over a week from sewing machine to the street. That’s a good development because we don’t off the shelf shoes and no one wants to wait too long for their one of ones.

To some people designing their own shoes presents a major challenge. It’s often easy to know what you like and to know what you don’t, but the sheer number of options can cause a paralysis of sorts. New Balance coaxes things along with a gallery of base-designs that make it easier to understand the possibilities. Once you get into the process it becomes difficult to see how just one pair is going to be enough. Onward to the 990 customization montage.

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The Bloomingdale’s 7 | NYC Fall Style Icons.

Oct 6th, 2014 | Categories: Menswear, New York City, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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If you were to pick 7 men who encapsulate every facet of style available from Bloomingdale’s, you would have a hard time finding a better group than the iconic retailer chose for its new campaign. Launching today, this fresh new editorial features Esquire Fashion Director Nick Sullivan, restaurateur Michael Chernow, model and entrepreneur Armando Cabral, musician Matt Hitt, Eidos designer Antonio Ciongoli, S10 Training founder Stephen Cheuk and Bruce Bozzi, the EVP of The Palm Restaurant. Each guy shows off his own personal style through a selection of brands from the handsome new Bloomingdale’s fall offerings.

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One Year Later | The East Dane Anniversary Collection.

Oct 1st, 2014 | Categories: Menswear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

To celebrate its first birthday the menswear site East Dane has tapped a group of designers to create a 24-piece collection of exclusive clothing that you can’t find anywhere else. Which basically amounts to birthday gifts for you — the way things should be. As part of this anniversary collection you’ll find one-off items from stalwart UK brands like Grenson and Mackintosh right alongside the likes of AXS Folk Technology, Gitman Bros Vintage, Golden Bear, Patrik Ervell (which might be the coolest piece of this collection; pictured above) and more. It’s a capsule that encompasses a variety of different brands, from America, Japan, U.K., Italy and beyond into a single stylish expression. East Dane Fashion Director Jonathan Evans helped to steward this anniversary collection and helped to guide these collaborations into a stylish and approachable place — where East Dane resides so naturally. Evans actually says it best. “It’s just really cool stuff that guys can easily fit into their wardrobes.” And we’re on board with that.

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Nau x Snow Peak | Portland Meets Tokyo.

Sep 24th, 2014 | Categories: Portland Oregon, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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Portland, Oregon has benefited tremendously from its proximity to the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and the vast supply of creative minds who call Rip City home. That must be why the city can boast such an amazing group of outfitters who make clothing and gear there, Nau and Snow Peak among them. While Nau works to infuse function into our everyday lives with a subtleness very rarely seen, Snow Peak has done its best to gear-up every well-to-do camper around with everything from stoves to titanium sporks — an invention which has taken the tiny details to new heights. Recently these two cross-town brands have come together to create a range of clothing which embodies Nau’s love for subtle yet functional design and Snow Peak’s fixation with the little details. The capsule collection was created to seamlessly move with you from your everyday life to places far and near. Nau’s GM Mark Galbraith said it best. “The ‘Portland meets Tokyo’ concept we’ve developed stays true to each brand’s heritage, while giving opportunity to demonstrate a refined modern outdoor aesthetic we both value.”

The collection is heavily influenced by Japanese aesthetics and the importance of both function and mobility. The collection (which consists of both mens and womens clothing and outerwear) is centered on several key pieces including the Checkmate shirt (with easily-accessible and understated zip pockets), the Felt Over Sweater (A fine micron New Zealand merino wool pullover that has been felted to be almost impervious to the wind), the Welter Motil Pant (hidden cell pocket and all) and lastly the breathable but water shielding Hokkadio jacket.

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X Marks the Spot | The Converse Jack Purcell Cross Stitch Sneaker Collection

Aug 22nd, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Shoes, Sponsored Post | by Jake Gallagher

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Great design is an intersection, lying at the point where all these different features, details, and ideas converge. The crucial component to this meeting is balance – if one point outweighs the others than the center shifts and the perfect X collapses. From the light blue JP stitching on the tongue down to the molded cork footbed, the sneakers of the Converse Jack Purcell Cross Stitch sneaker collection are perfect X’s all the way through.

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The New Everything | Converse Jack Purcell Cross Stitch.

Aug 1st, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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If you plotted out footwear styles from the past few years on a Venn Diagram, you would find the relationship between sneakers and dress shoes has become more and more involved. Not long ago, brogues, saddle shoes, bucks, longings and cap-toes were everywhere. Then dress shoes and sneakers started to merge together into what many saw as the best of both worlds. Things seemed to be led by the menswear magazines, Pitti street style and comfort-loving guys everywhere. It seemed perfectly normal to wear sneakers with a suit. More than that, it felt stylish and right. Then boom, this past month Alex Williams in The New York Times declared sneakers the new black. Sneakers are the new dress shoe and, as it happens, sneakers are the new everything. To further prove that they look good with (almost) anything, I recently spent a few days in NYC wearing the new Converse Jack Purcell Cross Stitch collection all over town.

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