- Behold the ACL gift guide. 72 straight hours of gifts on Twitter. [ACL GIFTED]
- Fury is the best WWII movie we’ve seen in years. [War is Boring]
- A captivating new interview site from the venerable Mr. Om Malik. [Pi.Co]
- The interesting origins of the monogram. [Lotuff Leather]
- Old Italian looms making the cool new men’s accessories collection Stoffa. [Bloomberg Loot]
“When I bring that to life…..” Hartley Goldstein’s voice trails off as he points to one of the many stacks of folded fabrics that are littered throughout his apartment like textile sandcastles. Hartley motions to these mounds again and again during my visit, less like a school teacher pointing at the blackboard, and more like a movie director walking me through storyboards. On the surface, they’re just lumps of faded indigo and patchwork scraps, but Hartley sees them as stories. Not just the stories of the past that these textiles, many of which are hundreds of years old, carry, but the stories that Hartley is yet to tell with them.
Winter is a season of plenty. Plenty of layers, plenty of food, plenty of celebrations, plenty of fires, and plenty of Chapstick. Hell, the only thing winter seems to lack for is digits on the thermometer. With this in mind, winter is also a season of bulking up. Summer is for striping down, winter is for packing on. And we’re not talking about pounds, we’re talking about clothes. No one likes to think of adding on clothing when it’s blazing hot out, but by the time that first snow blows in, you’ll want to be ready with more layers than a vidalia onion. So in the spirit of staying warm, here’s our visual guide to a highly insulated Winter.
Every year the Black Friday push leaves me feeling conflicted. I understand that people out there need to stretch their dollars as far as possible, and Black Friday sales help out with that a lot. I also understand that retailers want to capture as much of people’s limited holiday budgets as possible — which is why opening times have crept earlier and earlier with many stores opening on Thursday. And opening on Thanksgiving day is where things start to become troubling for me. While I understand people want deals and retailers want as much business as possible, it really bothers me to know that a significant amount of people in retail jobs have to leave their families on Thanksgiving (a truly important time of year to be with family) to go to work so people can shop.
Although all of this Black Friday madness leaves me feeling conflicted, I’m delighted by the sentiment of Small Business Saturday which has emerged just one day down on the calendar. Established by American Express back in 2009, (coincidentally the same year we founded Pop Up Flea) the goal is to “Shop Small” and support independent businesses of every stripe. The amazing part of this program is the fact that it has given a voice to the little guys who struggle to compete and who need all of the help they can get. As someone who spends a lot of time around small retailers, I understand the difficulty in being small in scale and independently operated.
It is the small independent restaurants, bars, retailers and local businesses that truly make a town or place special. It’s something I learned watching my Dad run a small business while growing up in Ohio. A few years ago I even witnessed one of the most inspiring small business stories emerge at a nearby and beloved local hardware store. Working to save a local hardware store was an amazing gesture and something everyone everywhere can appreciate. That is exactly the spirit of Small Business Saturday. It’s about supporting the little guys who make a place special. It’s about spending money in your community and helping to ensure that the world isn’t one giant homogenized place. And it’s amazing to think that SBS represents many of the same values that we try and highlight here on ACL.
With this in mind, I made a list of some of my favorite small shops all over the U.S. This is obviously the just tip of the iceberg, but it is a good representation of the unique and small shop at its finest. I hope all of you can get out and support your local independent businesses today by shopping small.
Leather Soul Downtown | 119 Merchant Street #100 Honolulu, HI 96813
Harrison Limited | 2801 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook, AL 35223
As we all gather around the table with family and friends to give thanks for all that is good in our lives, allow us to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. It’s been a tradition at the house of ACL to mark the day with this Errol Morris directed promotional material for Miller’s High Life beer as it most wonderfully captures the quirky and quintessentially American sentiment of the holiday. So here’s to a great day of thanks, a bountiful meal of delicious food, cheap (or craft) beer, football family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving. And remember, convenience is the enemy.
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
This idiom dates back to the 19th century when men wore tall boots which they had to pull on using loops at the mouth of the boot. Overtime, the phrase came to describe the act of overcoming an obstacle using nothing but your own willpower, and that’s how we still use it today. So, why are we telling you this? Well, boot season is finally upon us here in New York, and instead of blathering on about the merits of a good pair of boots (which we’re sure you’ve heard countless times) we figured why not give you an inane bit of trivia? And, now for something you actually can use, here’s our list of this year’s best boots. Bootstraps not required.
If by chance you have flown to Orange County recently you may have noticed an American surf icon staring at you as you float down towards John Wayne Airport. Seeing “Birdie” Birdwell on a factory roof should come as a surprise if you know anything about this sleepy SoCal surf brand.
Just as surprising as it must have been to scroll through Instagram and discover Birdie adorned to a mobile surf shop in Southern California this summer. Also, wait, Birdwell is on Instagram? The question you should be asking yourself is: What is happening at Birdwell? For any other brand this wouldn’t really mean much at all, but for Birdwell this is tantamount to a revolution.
Birdwell Beach Britches is one of the most storied and iconic California surf brands that has ever been. It’s authentic, still entirely manufactured in the U.S. (largely to the original specs) and it possesses a certain charm that can’t seem be replicated in modern brands. It took decades of being family owned and utterly resistant to change for the Birdwell quirkiness to resonate, ultimately giving the brand a cult following. Over the years surfers, lifeguards, beachgoers and the like fell in love with Birdwell and came to swear by the product for the quality and durability. Others, like me connected with Birdwell because it is so distinctly American and a time capsule of a brand.