Wants & Desires | A Continuous Lean.

Wants & Desires | Well Worn L.L. Bean Duffle

Dec 18th, 2013 | Categories: Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams


Things I have been lusting after on eBay but will not buy: this old L.L. Bean duffle. Apparently it is from the 1930s/1940s according to the seller, and judging from the markings of its original owner, the bag was used for scouting and a lot of other scouts had similar bags.

All of these L.L. Bean canvas bags have aged so well, they seem to only get better looking with all of those years of wear and tear. For $650, it’s going to make someone else happy, but it’s still interesting to see these old things and enjoy how they look when they grow old. It’s surprising that something this old (if it is real) can last so long? Will the stuff we buy today hold up just as well? That is the eternal question. By the time I am able to take my son (which I haven’t had yet) to the flea market it’s going to be like combing through a garbage dump of race-to-the-botttom cheap clothing.

Wants & Desires | Everything from Kaufmann Mercantile

Nov 8th, 2013 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Wants & Desires | by Jake Gallagher


Kaufmann Mercantile’s online site is a prime example of online retail at its finest. Arriving on the site feels about as close to entering a physical shop as a website can get, and from there the experience only builds. In a world of convoluted webshops that are far more flash than function, Kaufmann Mercantile hits the sweet spot, providing a clean, easy to navigate layout that makes for an ideal backdrop to their collection of exquisite essentials.

Kaufmann boasts that they only select one percent of all the products they review, but don’t mistake that for snobbery, for it’s this highly selective approach that makes Kaufmann’s site so remarkable. What began as eight products has now grown to six hundred items across ten categories, covering everything from barware to camping gear. The diverse assortment would make Dieter Rams proud, providing items that are as beautiful as they are practical. While you could easily lose more than a few hours down the Kaufmann Mercantile rabbit hole, we decided to give you all a starting point with some of our favorite items available on the site right now. -JG


Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer

Wants & Desires | Purdey Boots.

Oct 27th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Made in England, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams


London’s James Purdey & Sons, the “King of Gunmakers” is a company best known for beautifully hand-engraved shotguns and gentlemanly hunting attire. This autumn though, the brand turned out an astonishingly handsome collection of footwear that rivals anything see anywhere, hunting-centric or otherwise. The entirety of the footwear collection is made in Northampton, England by an endeared and respected maker (we’ll let you take a guess who that is, should be obvious from the shapes seen here). This collection of upland-focused shoes and boots is especially great because Purdey put its touch on these otherwise classic styles. If you figured out who the manufacturer is, then you know how conservative they can be with the materials and shapes. That was the first thing we though of upon our initial encounter with these boots in London. We knew the make and appreciate the style. Not to mention the fact that both Purdey and said shoemaker weren’t going out of their way to herald this as the new new collaboration du jour — it was a discovery made the old fashioned way, with a visit to Audley House.

Wants & Desires | Best Made Co. Waxed Cruiser

Apr 18th, 2013 | Categories: Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams


You have to hand it to the Best Made Co.

Not only have they received spectacular amounts of press and attention for their signature axes, basically everything the company touches (the brand’s website, the axes and even the graphic prints) look stunningly well designed. Not to stop there, Best Made continues to bring the hits when it comes to develop and launching new products. The newest such release —the Light Waxed Cruiser— is a handsome jacket which is perfect for spring. And it’s well priced at $348, considering it is made in the U.S.


Wants & Desires | Rancourt & Co for Brooks Brothers

Feb 13th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams


What is it about Harris Tweed that gets me every time? I see it all over the place, collab’d almost to death, but still it never ceases to amuse me. Today I went by the Brooks Brothers offices to get a look at the fall 2013 collection. It’s a tricky thing, going to look at cold weather clothing when it is actually cold outside. Maybe tricky is not the word, maybe the term is torture? At any rate, they have some good stuff coming this fall including these Rancourt & Co. beef roll penny loafers made from a dark brown Scotch-grain leather and a Harris Tweed vamp. In real life the tweed looked slightly more grey than blue, as they appear in these photos — though regardless of the photogenic nature of the tweed, they are a handsome pair of shoes.

Two other examples of Harris Tweed footwear domination that come to mind are the Nigel Cabourn x Red Wing Munson boot and these Alfred Sargent Harris Tweed Seven Eyelet Boots. Don’t get too excited about either of those, I believe they are both long gone, though I could be mistaken.

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Wants & Desires | Corona Field Jacket

Sep 24th, 2012 | Categories: Japan, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams

The intention is to visit the great NYC shop Extra more than once or twice a year. This shouldn’t be too difficult, considering the small store sits about 500 yards as the crow flies from my office, but I’m lucky if I can ever make it by. This Sunday I managed to do a bit better and stopped by Extra to chat with the shop’s owner / one man band Koji and see what was new.

In addition to all sorts of amazing vintage clothing, objects and art (much of which is priced NOT to sell because Koji doesn’t want to let it go), Extra carries a comprehensive selection of NYC-based Post Overalls. I ended up leaving with a black wool Chore coat from Post, a perfect jacket from fall. I also came away with some intrigue after browsing a few samples that Koji was selling off from Japanese brand Corona. I’ve seen a few things on blogs about Corona here and there, but I never realized that the line was designed by one of the Post Overalls guy who split off and moved back to Japan.

Wants & Desires | Cielo Sportif Classic

May 1st, 2012 | Categories: Bicycles, Made in the USA, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams

Go into any bike shop in the U.S. and you will likely find the same three or four big brands that dominate the retail landscape. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with buying a bike from any of those big companies, but it’s important to remember that there is an “independently made” alternative. Portland, Oregon based component maker Chris King’s line of Cielo bicycles are a worthy alternative and a good place to trade your hard earned dollars for a good looking and well made bicycle.

The Cielo Sportif Classic, which is pictured here, is high on my list of things that I need to own. In an age of carbon fiber, the Sportif Classic is designed with the nostalgia of steel framed road bikes of the 1970′s and 1980′s. That steel frame means it is going to be heavier than a lot of bikes out there, but it will also mean that the ride is going to be comfortable and enjoyable. All that said, the bike is great looking and made right here in the United States. The Sportif Classic incorporates many of the quality US-made components that, over the past three decades, have made Chris King such a well regarded manufacturer. The Cielo quality also extends to the styling —each bike is painted entirely in-house with a low VOC (non-toxic) liquid paint without use of any decals, and each detail is masked and painted by hand.