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.
Remember when Thom Browne just made suits? If you do, more power to you, because honestly I don’t. It was a decade ago that Browne first introduced his ready to wear line, and it was three years before that, in 2001, that he opened a haberdashery down in TriBeCa to begin selling his signature shrunken suits under the Thom Browne name. This was before all the accolades, before the infamously over the top runway shows, before Browne dressed Michelle Obama for the presidential inauguration, hell it was before he even designed womenswear. A lot has changed for Browne these past few years, as epitomized by his recent visit to The White House, but thankfully all this time he’s never messed with the suit.
We’re setting our clocks to GMT this weekend as we head across the Atlantic for the second edition of The Pop Up Flea London. Joining us in the UK will be the PUF veterans and esteemed American brands Tellason, Billykirk, Rancourt & Co., and Shinola, as well as some fresh local faces including Sunspel, Harry Stedman, Loft Trading, and London Cloth. It’s all going down at the historic Truman Brewery in East London this weekend only. Don’t miss your chance to shop a short term shop of superb British and American goodness.
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Friday, Nov 21th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, Nov 22nd: 11am to 7pm
Sunday, Nov 23rd: 12pm to 6pm
Free Entry. Open to the public.
As has been discussed time and time again (and again, and again, and again, and again, and again) on this site, there are some big things happening in Japan right now. Yes, we all know that Japanese designers take inspiration from America, but the fact of the matter is, we really can’t compete with the level of excitement (and honestly the amount of money) that is fueling Japan’s budding menswear community at this moment. Some brands, such as Haversack, Nanamica, Journal Standard, and N. Hoolywood have made an international impact, but many companies, especially those that are only a few collections in, remain virtually unknown here in America.
A large part of this has to do with the tendency of Japanese designers to pick really terrible brand names. No offense to Rulezpeepz or Foot the Coacher, but Japanese brands really do have an uncanny knack for unfortunate monikers. Despite their head scratching names these brands are still creating some incredible pieces, and in many ways are guiding what men are wearing, not just in Japan, but around the world. Therefore we decided to lean into the confusion and bring you the best young Japanese brands, with the worst names.
It happens to almost be the most wonderful time of the year. The time when you dedicate a significant portion of your mental capacity, love and energy to (hopefully) giving the perfect gift. With this in mind personally I dedicated myself to combing through the extensive offerings from Barneys New York to find the best gifts for everyone in your life. I hand-selected a range of items which I consider to be the best of the best for everyone from your hard to impress mother-in-law to the made in USA loving dad and many more. Here’s the look book with all of those gifts. It’s also worth noting that many of these selections will also serve as worthy gifts for yourself, should you just decide to treat yourself. Can’t say I haven’t ever done something like that.
With such a vast selection of great brands Barneys New York has reigned supreme when it comes to my own personal gifting quest over the years and this holiday season is no different. So getting the opportunity to team up with them to present a complete gift guide is basically as good as it gets. I worked hard to find a diverse, interesting and thoughtful selection of gifts with a focus on quality and longevity which will last for years to come.
It’s true what they say about the thought being the thing that counts. Getting your gifts from Barneys isn’t a bad approach either. [THE ACL x BARNEYS GIFT GUIDE]