Americans just don’t vacation like they used to. Cross country road trips, picturesque mountain resorts, and far off seaside towns have been replaced by “staycations,” transcontinental cruises, and brief weekend jaunts to the city. The glory days of Griswold-ian journeys, Borscht belt summers, and month long excursions across the midwest are now behind us, and in their wake many of America’s once mighty vacation destinations, such as the five spots below, have begun to fade off into obscurity.
And…we’re back. This May we are holding our first spring/summer Pop Up Flea event since the first PUF back in 2009. It’s been an amazing run for PUF and each incarnation has managed to raise the bar and push the limits of what we thought possible. It’s been the perfect opportunity to take the conversation analog and hit the IRL button with your favorite designers and makers. This coming PUFSUN should continue that tradition, only the fabrics will be lighter and brighter.
It’s all happening in a few weeks, mark it down on your calendars, save the date and plan on being there. We’ve got a super summer line-up of brands, exclusive items and well-made things all under one roof. Pure and simple it’s a short-term shop full of long-term goods. All of the details are below:
May 9th // 3-8pm
May 10th // 11am – 7pm
May 11th // 12-6pm
123 West 18th Street (nr. 6th Ave)
New York City
At thirty-five years old Drake’s London Creative Director Michael Hill is roughly the same age as the brand itself. This fact is interesting because when Hill took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, he did so with the vigor and sensibilities of a man well immersed in the diversified mentality of the fervent post-millennial menswear set. Prior to assuming this principal role, Hill had apprenticed under Michael Drake himself, earning an invaluable education which primed him to assume creative control once Drake sold the company was purchased by Mark Cho of The Armoury. It has been Hill’s ability to align Drake’s tradition of incomparable accessories with his own taste for more progressive pieces that has kept Drake’s as one of the preeminent brands in the world. I had a chance to speak with Hill about the brand’s growth, both in scope and in style, as well as his personal style, the role of the internet in menswear, and the future of Drake’s.
ACL: When you took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, you really took the brand to new heights, what was your mission when you assumed that position?
Michael Hill: I wanted to ensure the continuity from the previous ownership, both in terms of the quality and style of the product and our longstanding, loyal customers.Continuity was as important as anything new I wanted to do with the business and our mission was to give us some longer term stability by putting down roots in terms of our first brick and mortar store, our website and a factory fit for purpose and the coming decades. I also wanted to reassure our own staff as well, as I was relatively young when I took over the company.
While the look of most major sports is dictated (quite literally) by uniformity, tennis stands on the opposite end of the spectrum, as one of the last few athletic pursuits that allows for freedom of choice. Barring the influence of their sponsors, and the implicit standards of good taste, most contemporary tennis players remain unrestricted in their clothing choices. The same could arguably be said about golfers, but the staid visor and baggy synthetic pant look has long ago erased any shred of style that existed out on the links.
For tennis though, style is intrinsic to the very soul of the sport. On the court the player stands alone in front of an audience that picks their favorite racketeer based not only on their playing prowess, but also on their penchant for panache. This is the sport that gave us not only understated essentials such as polo shirts and Stan Smiths, but also technicolor headbands and Andre Agassi’s “Hot Lava” Nikes, so please join us as we celebrate the many faces and phases of tennis style over the years.
When it comes to a quality cup of coffee, we’ll admit that New York City has been traditionally late to the game. Unlike our West Coast counterparts, who have always been armed with a more acute understanding of how beans and brews work; we don’t have a long history of destination coffee shops, and rare roasts. It’s not that coffee has not played a significant role in daily life here in New York, rather it’s that coffee has been historically been known as more a functional fuel, rather than a culinary pursuit. Like gas to a car, coffee has literally powered New York for as long as anyone can remember, but until the past couple decades, there hasn’t been a very visible coffee culture here in the city.
All that began to change with the inescapable onslaught of Starbucks, followed shortly by the steady rise of independent coffee shops which has now propelled New York into an age where you could quite literally step outside your front door and find a great cup of coffee just a few blocks away. Unfortunately, the by-product of this dark-roasted, slow-pressed, high-ticket coffee mania has been the ever-present sense of pretension that surrounds New York coffee. Snobbery abounds on both sides of the counter in many of New York’s most popular shops, and so for all of you that enjoy a great cup coffee with a splash of milk not arrogance, we give you the five least pretentious quality coffee shops in New York. It’s a shame a list like this would even need to exist.
Thirty miles off the west coast of Ireland lies the minuscule island of Inis Meáin. The “Middle Island” as it is called, lies at the heart of the Aran Islands, and is but three miles across with only about two hundred inhabitants. And yet, as the island’s eponymous knitwear label proves, it doesn’t take much (or many) to craft world class sweaters. It just takes the right people with the skills and the taste level.
The knitwear tradition of Inis Meáin dates back centuries, to a time when the island’s small yet mighty fishing community had no other option but to be entirely self-sufficient. The sweaters that these fishermen wore, with their cabled patterns, tight knits, and dense weaves were crafted in response to the blustery conditions out on the Atlantic Ocean. The fact that sweaters could be viewed as “stylish” probably never crossed the minds of the fishermen (nor their wives who were the ones that were likely doing the actual knitting) they were simply concerned with being warm on the sea.
The oldest person in the world is 115 years old. Filson is 116.
For a brand to outlive anyone that has ever, or will ever wear their clothes is an impressive feat in and of itself, but what’s more remarkable with Filson is that they seem to be aging in reverse. Sometime in the mid-aughts, as the heritage movement re-discovered Filson’s unflappable wares, the Seattle-based company was (almost unwittingly) thrust into the spotlight once again. And yet, Filson has never strayed from their original ideals, remaining steadfast in their dedication to quality goods that will last for years to come.
With these values in mind, Filson (who is a Paul + Williams client) has evolved their collections and fits ever so slightly as a way to reach a younger market, without ever sacrificing their spirit. Today Filson’s goods are carried in venerable outdoor stores and fashion-forward boutiques alike, as a testament to the brand’s far-reaching audience. We had a chance to speak with Filson’s CEO Alan Kirk about the brand’s storied reputation, its recent resurgence, and why Filson isn’t a “fashion” brand.