Sports | A Continuous Lean.

Leather, Guns and Tweed: A ‘New’ Era for Purdey at Audley House.

Sep 28th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports, Style | by Jared Paul Stern

Audley House 2009

For over 200 years James Purdey & Sons of London has been crafting the world’s finest bespoke shotguns and rifles. The firm has enjoyed royal patronage since 1838, when Queen Victoria placed her first order, for a pair of pistols. King Edward VII granted the first official Royal Warrant to the founder’s son, James Purdey the Younger, in 1868, a practice continued by each successive English royal including Prince Charles and the present Queen. In 1882 Purdey established its workshop and showroom at Audley House in Mayfair, which the sporting periodical Land and Water called a “palace amongst gun manufactories.” A business so steeped in tradition has had little need to modernize over the years – the firm’s gunmakers still craft their own tools by hand at the beginning of their five-year apprenticeships before using them to fashion the world’s finest firearms – but nearly 135 years later Audley House has been subtly “refitted”, ushering in something of a new era for Purdey.

One of Purdey’s first concessions to modern times was the introduction of a range of high quality shooting clothing, in 1973 – the first London gunmaker to do so. The updates to Audley House are mainly aimed at devoting more real estate to this burgeoning part of the business, allowing for a dedicated clothing and accessories section on the shop floor, with the main gun room now located exclusively in the building’s historic Long Room, which once featured a “well” for looking down into the firm’s workshop below. Whilst saving up for a London-made Purdey 12-bore – or perhaps in lieu of owning an actual gun – enthusiasts can acquire thick tweed coats and other items redolent of grouse shooting weekends at English country estates, conjuring images of muddy Land Rovers, muddier gun dogs and lots of smoky single malt. Purdey’s new range of clothing for autumn includes variations on classic tweed patterns custom milled in the Scottish borders, new windproof knitwear made in England, and the first-time offering of suede and leather pieces.

Long room-3  JGnew

As It Happened | Newport Polo

Sep 22nd, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports | by Jared Paul Stern


In Palm Beach they take their polo very seriously indeed. In the Hamptons it was all about rubbing elbows and such in the VIP tent, never mind what’s happening on the field. And in Newport, Rhode Island it’s about having a damn good time, before, during and after the match. Not long ago we watched team USA / Newport defend their winning record against a team from Italy in a six chukker match at the Newport Polo Club grounds at historic Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI. The Newport Polo Club is the functioning body of the Westchester Polo Club, America’s first polo club. In 1876 the Westchester Polo Club of New York, which was active until 1929, established its summer headquarters in Newport. In 1992 the Westchester Polo Club was revived in Newport and is now popularly known as Newport Polo Club.

As opposed to the professional high-goal polo played in Palm Beach, the teams competing in Newport are mostly talented amateurs, members of clubs like Newport. Whereas most top-tier teams with corporate sponsors are dominated by South American players, in Newport younger players and several women take the field, with the action a little less intense than among high-goalers. In Newport a day of polo is more of a family outing, where everyone packs a picnic including their wine, beer and spirits of choice. Spirited lawn games are played on the field before and after matches and during half time and tailgating is the thing, with only a couple of Ferraris thrown in for good measure. Though there is a Pavilion it doesn’t quite have the feel of a VIP enclosure, and there are generally fewer champagne corks popping than in Palm Beach or Bridgehampton and much less Lilly Pulitzer on display.


Land Rover Looks to the America’s Cup

Sep 3rd, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports | by Jared Paul Stern

Land Rover BAR sailing team at their new home in Portsmouth

In its entire 164-year history Great Britain has never won the America’s Cup. Land Rover and the dashing Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, are looking to change that in 2017 at the 35th America’s Cup race in Bermuda. In order to challenge defender Oracle Team USA, which is backed by BMW, the newly formed Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslee Racing) team will first have to win the 2017 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Ainslie has had a good showing so far, having won the first race in the UK and placed second in the next, though points-wise the Brits are lagging behind Team Emirates New Zealand heading into the final World Series event of the season in Bermuda in October. Sir Ben and the boys are counting on Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering division to give them an edge. All of the America’s Cup teams are racing in foiling multi-hull catamarans with no engine to help work the hydraulics.

Is Rowing Only for the Rich? A Henley Winner Weighs In.

Aug 14th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports | by Jared Paul Stern


Our recent report on the Henley Royal Regatta sparked a serious debate about class and style. One commenter’s position that “people should know their place” in regards to attending and dressing for such high-end events struck a chord in particular. Which led us to wonder whether Henley and its ilk are really the bastions of unrepentant snobbery that some make them out to be. Many seem to be of the opinion that rowing is only for the rich, and that the “ridiculous” blazers worn by rowers and clubmen are merely a way of rubbing the proles’ noses in it. So we decided to ask Jack Carlson (photographed above by Jason Varney) to stick an oar in.

A three-time member of the U.S. national rowing team, Carlson has won the Henley Royal Regatta, the Head of the Charles Regatta, and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. A native of Boston, he first began his rowing career as a coxswain at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols school in Cambridge, Mass., which was the first American high school to win at Henley in 1929. Last year he published Rowing Blazers, a gorgeous paean to the flamboyant garments that have occasioned so much criticism, with photography by F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep. Oh, and he also has a degree from Georgetown and a Ph.D. in archaeology from Oxford.

The Transatlantic Race and the Mystery of the Sea.

Jul 29th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports | by Jared Paul Stern


With a course of nearly 3,000 miles from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point on the southwestern corner of England, the Transatlantic Race is the world’s oldest trans-oceanic yacht race and one of the ultimate tests of a sailor’s skill. Nearly 50 boats running the gamut from 40-footers to superyachts, and modern racing machines to 100-year-old classics from all over the world competed in the 2015 edition which just wrapped up. Chicago-based Bryon Ehrhart’s Reichel/Pugh 63’ Lucky was confirmed as the winner by the event’s four organizers: the Royal Yacht Squadron of Cowes, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.

As It Happened | The Henley Royal Regatta

Jul 16th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sports | by Jared Paul Stern


The 2015 edition of the Henley Royal Regatta, first established in 1839, took place a couple weeks back, with nearly 200 races over the five-day event on the River Thames. A highlight of the English social season as well as a world-class sporting event, it combines competition and camaraderie in the best British tradition. In the top result of this year’s proceedings, Great Britain’s men’s eight beat Olympic champions Germany in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup. Rowing as Leander and Molesey Boat Club, the world champions won by two-and-three-quarter lengths.

Though many U.S. crew teams entered competition, the only one to make a strong showing was the University of Washington, which having earlier knocked out the Harvard University ‘A’ in the Semi-Finals beat Yale to bring home the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. In some ways not much has changed at Henley in the past 50 years; on the other hand, they now have a YouTube channel. Always one of the most colorful events on the calendar, thanks to the nattiness of the spectators and the crews’ and club members’ rowing blazers, it’s also known for having the strictest dress code of the summer season.

A True People’s Champ.

Feb 24th, 2015 | Categories: History, Menswear, Sports, Style | by ACL Editors


In the ring Muhammed Ali was a monster. He would grab hold of each match, dancing his way around the ring until just the right moment and then BAM, his fist, as big as a loaf of bread and as weighty as Thor’s hammer, would shoot forth so as to inflict the maximum amount of damage upon his adversary.

Despite his brutal blows, Ali was not fueled by anger. Fighting was his job, and he was damn well good at it. But outside the ring, he was known for his big personality – a man who could be caring and controversial in equal measure. Never one to hold back, Ali would often play to the camera, as seen in his famous Esquire cover and photo shoot with The Beatles. He was also a pretty sharp dresser, especially for a guy of his size. Ali wasn’t so much a gentle giant, as he was a giant gentleman, which is why his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and his subsequent deteriorating state later in life, has been so painful to watch. And so it’s best to remember Ali as he was in his glorious heyday – as the true people’s champ.