- Sony dominates the American prison radio market. [The New Yorker]
- This man has been eating pizza exclusively every day for the past 25 years. [Vice]
- Critical shopping Berluti. [The New York Times]
- Uber cab confessions by our pal Mickey Rapkin. [GQ]
- Filson doubles down on American made. [Filson Life] [Pictured]
On the corner of 72nd and Madison on New York’s Upper East Side, sits the Rhinelander Mansion, a palatial building that houses the flagship location of Ralph Lauren’s global empire. And yet, “The Mansion” (as it is affectionately known) is far more than a store, it is the epicenter of the RL universe. It’s a physical manifestation of Ralph’s vision, complete with imposing antiquities, more Americana than a field at Brimfield, and of course the full breadth of the brand’s collections.
And so, when the brand chooses to shift course, or launch a new idea, The Mansion is the place for Ralph where everything begins. The latest concept to be debuted at the flagship is an updated “shoe salon,” which showcases the complete Ralph Lauren footwear range, from Purple Label to Polo, as well as a freshly updated Made-to-Order Program. The room itself is grand in a manner that one would expect from an Upper East Side manor, with the deep colors that allude to RL’s higher end lines. Displayed on the multitude of mahogany shelves are an array of models that range from resort ready espadrilles to stomping leather hikers that conjure of images of Gianni Agnelli.
Since founding The Hill-Side in the late aughts, brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo have always seemed to carry themselves with the deliberate pace of a marathon runner. Everything began with a simple necktie, followed by a pocket square, and then a scarf, which soon blossomed into a full accessories collection which was largely based on interesting and unique fabrics. It’s a stepwise approach which has helped the Corsillo’s steadily grow their business, without stepping out too far from that original square-end necktie.
Well all that is about to change. With the launch of a more complete clothing collection in Fall 2014, the brothers are essentially taking the Hill-Side into that pivotal four minute mile territory. What began with a tie will now include sport coats, shirts, hats, sneakers, wallets, bags, and pins, all made in the USA or Japan, and all cut from from the Hill-Side’s ever-growing assortment of off-kilter textiles. We instantly gravitated toward the jackets, which reminded us of a casual sack suit, juxtaposing a three-roll-two button stance, and open patch pockets, with a shorter cut and a removable throat latch.
I’ve always viewed a winter get-away to warmer weather as a bit of a luxury, but this year with the exceptionally harsh and unrelenting cold, it feels more like a life line. With a ten day trip to the Yucatán Peninsula (Cancún, Isla Cozumel, Tulum) planned and booked at the end of last year, anticipating the vacation became almost as important as actually getting there. With the extra time to prepare, my packing became more thoughtful, more streamlined and more precise. This trip I got a few things right for once and I’m happy to share what I learned. —AJ
- 101 purveyors of the great American Donut. [Grub Street]
- A beautiful photo essay of Bonneville Speed Week [Storehouse] [Pictured]
- Clocking Frank Underwood’s style. [Kempt]
- Millennials (for real) don’t understand the concept of selling out. [PaleoFuture]
- Things done changed. This is how you rent a tux now. [Wall Street Journal]
Allow me to preface this piece by saying that no, I do not personally wear pith hats in public (although there was that one time) and no, I am not necessarily advocating for them to become popular (although stranger trends have happened, looking at you men’s skirts). But like the boater —which we are still waiting to make its comeback— it could be time for the pith hat to see a world wider than Ralph Lauren window displays and letter carriers.
A pith hat is not your standard headgear. More protective than practical, more of a shield than something stylish, the pith hat was a military helmet, that was adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by Anglophiles on safari, who were just looking for a way to combat the blistering Saharan sun. It was in the late 1800’s that the pith hat rose to prominence throughout Europe’s tropical colonies. The original version of the hat was constructed from real strands of pith extracted from the region’s plants (although later this would be replaced by cork and ultimately plastic), wrapped in white cloth, and often adorned with a military insignia.
For a brand that was only officially introduced in 2011, Private White V.C. packs a heritage that’s far beyond their years. The brand operates out of a factory that their namesake, Private Jack White worked at back in the early twentieth century, and it was this legacy that led White’s great grandson, James Eden to take over the factory a handful of years ago. This appreciation of the past continues on through in the brand’s designs. Nick Ashley the lead designer of Private White leans heavily on classic English shapes such as harringtons and moto-jackets. Not only does Ashley’s resume include the likes of Dunhill, Kenzo, and Tod’s, but his parents founded Laura Ashley, a company whose impact on the English textile industry cannot be overstated. We had a chance to speak with both James Eden and Nick Ashley about their brand’s history, the future of Private White V.C. and what it means to be a British brand in 2014.
ACL: Unlike many brands, with names that are pure fabrications, Private White was a real person that has a real impact on the shape of your brand. Could you give some background on Private Jack White the man?
James Eden: Private White was a local hero both on the battlefield and in business. He was quite a character who certainly made the most of his celebrity after the War. He loved his life, he loved his ladies and most of all he loved his family and factory.
ACL: White was one of the founding fathers of the Manchester Factory that you produce out of today, so at what point did you all step into the picture and found Private White V.C.?
JE: Even though my great grandfather, Private White, passed away in the late 1940s, my family has always had an emotional attachment to the factory. As a kid growing up, instead of having a paper route or working in a local shop for pocket money like many of my pals did, I would work on the shop floor or in the cutting room – cutting fabric, counting buttons, heaving rolls of cloth, basically doing exactly what I was told! Six years ago the factory was on the brink of going under and so I decided to take a leap of faith and left my job in Finance in the City of London to try and revitalize the Factory.