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Hand-Made in Napoli | Salvatore Piccolo

Jul 17th, 2014 | Categories: Made in Italy, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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Earlier this month I flew to Italy to cover the new spring / summer 2015 collections being presented at the trade show Pitti Uomo. But before heading to the Fortezza da Basso, I made the trip down to Naples to see my favorite Italian shirtmaker (and tailor) Salvatore Piccolo and witness first-hand how he creates some of the finest hand-made shirts in the world. Having been to factories in Italy before, I knew this would be a great opportunity to document this unique process and partnered with Canon to tell the story behind the photographs.

When ACL began, it wasn’t with a specific plan in mind. I never thought I would be seeking out well-made things, or visiting factories. In fact, I never really expected the site to be anything more than a journal of the things I personally was interested in, it never seemed possible that any quantity of people would actually be following what happened here. At the same time I never intended to become a photographer. I understood the importance of photos on the web, but up until 2007 I never really took any pictures, ever. As I went to discover new things for ACL, my camera played an increasingly important role to the success of the site, and I started to find that I became increasingly interested in becoming a better photographer. My camera and ultimately my knowledge (and desire to own) different lenses helped raise the bar for ACL dramatically. I was quick to discover the importance of a good camera and quality lenses with great optics.

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Ermenegildo Zegna’s Essenze of Extra.

May 14th, 2014 | Categories: Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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For over a century Ermenegildo Zegna has been exploring the importance of the word “extra.” Hand stitched seams, full canvas constructions, meticulously crafted textiles, and other details that many would deem to be an added bonus have been the norm for Zegna since their inception in 1910. In each sport coat, sweater, or shoe that it produces, Zegna demonstrates that it’s that extra ten, five, or even one percent that can make all the difference.

Zegna has applied this propensity for reaching far above the average to a collection of six scents that lend a crisp finishing touch to any outfit. Each of these scents share the common ingredient of Italian Bergamot which, much like their textiles, all stem from a Zegna owned farm in Calabria, Italy. From there, the scents evolve in their own unique way, building upon this citrusy foundation to form a distinct aroma which is intended to evoke a specific locale.





Unnecessarily Well Made | Glenmorangie & Thomas Pink

Mar 18th, 2014 | Categories: Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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When it comes to making fine Scotch Whisky, Glenmorangie subscribes to the idea that a little bit extra makes all the difference. Never willing to settle for the standard, Glenmorangie goes one step further with each piece of their scotch production process. Its casks are formed from trees harvested in the Ozark Mountains. Water is sourced from the mineral rich wells that surround their distillery in the Scottish highlands. The stills are the tallest in all of Scotland at over twenty-six feet tall. And a team of sixteen artisans that have meticulously mastered the art of well-aged whisky crafts each barrel.

This legacy of craftsmanship has defined Glenmorangie’s crisp Scotch for well over a century and a half, and has brought them together with Thomas Pink today. At just twenty years old Thomas Pink might seem youthful when stacked up next to Glenmorangie, but the London-based shirt maker is a faithful producer of traditionally tailored dress shirts with a contemporary edge. This shared dedication to impeccable craftsmanship has made Thomas Pink a logical partner with Glenmorangie to produce a collection of three shirt and scotch pairings. It’s the ultimate expression of craft and style.





Virginia’s English Shirt Makers | Ledbury

Dec 13th, 2013 | Categories: Sponsored Post | by ACL Editors

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Creativity is spurred by uncertainty. That’s the Ledbury way.

In 2007, as the international economy teetered on total collapse, friends Paul Trible and Paul Watson found themselves in a precarious position. At the time the pair was well on their way to receiving masters degrees in business from the University of Oxford, but they began to worry that their chosen careers might be over before they even began. So, the two Pauls hit the reset button, finding the inspiration for their next move in their mutual admiration of English tailoring, as they traded in stocks for shirts.

Paul and Paul went straight to the source – London’s legendary Jermyn Street, where they worked they way into an apprenticeship under one of the block’s storied shirt makers. For about a year the duo studied and sewed their way into a shirt production process, until they were ready to venture out on their own. In a fitting nod to their infatuation with British craftsmanship, Paul squared founded their shirt brand in a Notting Hill pub, pulling their name from the street sign which read Ledbury Road.

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Made in New York City | A Left to Right DIY

Dec 4th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Furniture, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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To celebrate design, craft, style and the entrepreneurial spirit, Timberland in partnership with ACL set out to highlight the guys that take matters into their own hands, to not only make great things, but to inspire and teach others the skills to do it yourself.

The first time I met Stephen Muscarella from Left to Right Furniture was on a Sunday morning in his Gowanus, Brooklyn workshop. Stephen is one of the resident carpenters in a really interesting communal studio called Makeville. When we met to talk about this project the studio was calm and the stillness allowed an opportunity to speak about Stephen’s approach and how he got started working with his hands. His formal education is in economics and while he was pursuing an advanced degree he was repeatedly drawn to do something more tactical, he wanted to work with his hands. So when the opportunity arose to work under an experienced carpenter he jumped at it.

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Putting It All On The Table: A Wood&Faulk DIY.

Nov 27th, 2013 | Categories: Portland Oregon, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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To celebrate design, craft, style and the entrepreneurial spirit, Timberland in partnership with ACL set out to highlight the guys that take matters into their own hands, to not only make great things, but to inspire and teach others the skills to do it yourself.

Wood&Faulk started as a hobby, it continued to grow as a blog and eventually it emerged as a full-fledged label. Founded by Matt Pierce in Portland, OR in 2011, Wood&Faulk now offers a full collection of interesting leather goods and operates out of an amazing shared workshop called Beam & Anchor that overlooks a massive Union Pacific switching yard next to the Williamette river.

What really propelled the line forward has been both the whimsical nature of the stuff Wood&Faulk makes and Matt’s openness about how everything is made. To this end, it began publishing the DIY process for making a lot of the stuff the brand sells on its blog and that has been an almost visceral and overwhelming response from people all over. In fact, that is how I discovered the Wood&Faulk, through its blog and I was drawn to the fact that it wasn’t trying to hide anything and it just put everything out on the table (quite literally).

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The ACL Guide to Giving Good Gifts.

Nov 18th, 2013 | Categories: Gift Guide 2013, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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The idea of gifting can be exciting (fun stuff for you) and terrifying at the same time (the pressure of needing to impress and delight those you care about most). To help solve this problem, I spent several (enjoyable) hours combing through the vast offerings at Barneys New York to create the ultimate gift list for all of the people in my life. This includes everyone from my fiancé (pro tip: Louboutin is fool-proof) to my parents, and my faithful Springer Spaniel even gets in on the action. (Here’s the look book for all of those gifts.) Not to be overlooked, there are even some selections that a guy like me would covet. People say it’s the thought that counts, but we all know people are expecting you to deliver great gifts on top of all of that thought. So this guide should prove handy.

Barneys has long been my first and last stop when it came to shopping for the Holidays. The famed New York store has such an amazing selection of nice and special things that can make everyone happy — and make you look smart in the process. It’s a powerful destination for all of the gift giving and gift getting happiness that the holiday season brings and the Barneys box is the one that everyone wants to see, me included. [THE ACL x BARNEYS GIFT GUIDE]