A Continuous Lean. - Page 4

Hitting All the Blue Notes.

Nov 13th, 2014 | Categories: Denim, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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For decades denim shirts were marked by three words: extra long tails. It was Wrangler that led the charge, boasting in ads and on store displays about their elongated shirts. The extra length was designed for Levi’s loving cowboys and blue collar workers who needed a tough shirt that wouldn’t come untucked throughout the day. This was once the prime market for denim shirts, men who would scoff at the idea of ever appearing “fashionable.”

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Oh how times have changed. That Americana staple has undergone quite a facelift over the years, and nowadays you can find denim shirts in all shapes and sizes, from cutaway collared dress shirts, to ultra distressed reproductions. Those extra long tails have now become just a small part of the denim shirt tale, so we give you our favorites after the jump. Giddy up.





The Unconventional Waltzing Matilda.

Nov 12th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA | by Jake Gallagher

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Mike Balitsaris of Waltzing Matilda used to buy toilet factories, but now he’s busy eyeing shoe factories. He’s journeyed from rust belt factories to a Nebraska mine to a Cupertino boardroom to a former shoe factory in Maine, but his goal has always remained the same. Baltisaris sees the potential for creating great things, and creating them right here in America, with all that he does. After a serendipitous moment in Red Wing, Minnesota he founded Waltzing Matilda and has been crafting bags, shoes, belts, and other accessories ever since.  A supremely interesting and extremely likeable guy, Mike never set out to create a collection. (Full disclosure, Paul + Williams advises and represents Waltzing Matilda.) All of the product was born originally out of a specific need or a desire for things of a certain quality.  What began as a hand-made bag and a pair of sandals has evolved into a collection and a brand with more than its fair share of personality.

As our conversation revealed Baltisaris’ story is as winding as it is fascinating, and it’s impossible to predict what lies ahead for Baltisaris or Waltzing Matilda. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

ACL: To begin, I understand that you have pretty interesting backstory, so what were you working on before Waltzing Matilda?

MB: Most recently for the last fifteen years, I hired on with a group of likeminded individuals, it had started off as real estate but we didn’t like to take farms and fields and get them redeveloped and put office buildings up. We would go around to rustbelt cities and find these unbelievable projects. Old factories and lofts with good bones. We always called it “taking field trips,” and we’d go in and look at the bones of the buildings and we’d work something out where we could figure out how to buy it by getting tenets to go in. We actually would make a deal with the owner to give us time to be able to find a tenant for it, cause none of us had any money.

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The Importance of Looking a Little Funny

Nov 11th, 2014 | Categories: France, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Movies | by Jake Gallagher

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French director/actor Jacques Tati’s biography states that he was born in 1907 and died in 1982, but the truth is Tati was a man immune to time. His films were comical critiques of contemporary French life, and he played characters who were constantly at odds with the modern world. As Monsieur Hulot, his most memorable character, Tati directed and starred in four films during the fifties and sixties which took a humorous, yet biting look at the progressive spirit which had proliferated throughout Post-war France. With films like Mon Oncle and Play Time, Tati explored the role of the individual within the increasingly modern world of mid-century Paris. As Monsieur Hulot he battled technology, and the steady drumbeat of progress as if to say, “wait a minute, what about me?”

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The Athletic Brand For Non-Athletes

Nov 10th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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Does a daily jogger really need the same gear as a marathon runner? Does a biker in the city really need to dress like he’s in the Tour de France? Are gym clothes supposed to look like they were developed by Nasa?

From Andrew Parietti’s perspective the answer to all of these questions is a resounding no. Parietti, along with his business partner and founder Tyler Haney, created Outdoor Voices, an American made athletic-wear brand for non-athletes. The duo, like most of us, enjoy exercise but were tired of the overwrought work out gear which most activewear companies push out today.

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Designing Through Subtraction, Not Addition.

Nov 7th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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The premier C.H.C.M. in-house collection is small, occupying a single rack near the back of Sweetu Patel’s Bond Street shop, but it’s what’s missing from this already pared down selection that reveals the most about Sweetu’s latest endeavor. A few months back we had visited with Sweetu to check out a few samples that he was working on. Among this batch of drafts was a thigh-length quilted pullover jacket from Lavenham that at the time, was unlike anything we had ever seen in stores. We were instantly drawn to the novelty of this jacket. We would have handed over the credit card  for it that day if given the chance. But now, it’s nowhere to found, Sweetu decided not to produce it. Or more accurately, he deleted it from the collection.





Northampton | The Cradle of Shoe Civilization

Nov 4th, 2014 | Categories: Made in England, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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“Finishing” is the dirtiest word in high-end footwear. As shoe companies have exported their production to China or Bangladesh or any other country where the production practices are as questionable as the quality of the shoes, many English, Italian, and American brands have begun to exploit a convenient loophole when it comes to marking the country of origin. A shoe might be almost entirely produced overseas, but if it is “finished” in England then that company is free to tack on a “Made in England” label.

What exactly is finishing? Well in some cases it means that the shoe is completed in England – pieces are stitched together, the sole is affixed, etc. but in some cases it means that the shoe was finished and little more than the laces were added in England. Of course, countries have now begun to crack down on this, and it’s not exactly clear how many companies have taken advantage of these loose guidelines, but it’s enough to make savvy shoe-buyers weary. As a result, that “Made in England” tag no longer holds as much weight as it once did. Customers now want greater clarity on the exist origin of their footwear, which has narrowed the scope of “Made in England,” down to one area in particular: Northampton.

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In the Books | Pop Up Flea Tokyo

Nov 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Pop Up Flea, Tokyo | by Michael Williams

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If you were following along on Instagram, you would have known that this past weekend we took Pop Up Flea to Tokyo for the first time. We set up shop with a good mix of American and Japanese brands, plus pour-over coffee, custom indigo dying and lots of exclusive items. As one PUF visitor described on Instagram, it was a real deal “American Culture Festival.”  Being the first time we have taken Pop Up Flea so far from home, we were curious to see how the concept would resonate in a place as culturally different as Japan. With a core group of long-supporting brands and an outstanding crew to help us, we succeeded in making the first ever Pop Up Flea Tokyo a huge success.

A very special thanks to Tanner Goods, Tellason, Rancourt & Co., The Hill-Side / Hickoree’s, Filson, Red Wing Heritage, General Knot, The Good Flock, Billykirk, Field Notes, Freemans Sporting Club and Topo Designs for continuing to travel near and far in the name of Pop Up Flea.

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