A Continuous Lean. - Page 6

Rude Shoes | Jamaica’s Love Affair With Clarks

Mar 11th, 2014 | Categories: Books, England, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

Clarks JAM

There is nothing offensive about a pair of Clarks. Desert Boots, Mountain Treks, and Wallabees, these are the simple suede chukkas that your mother probably bought you for your first day of elementary school, and what could be offensive about that?

And yet, in Jamaica, the one word most associated with Clarks is “rude.” As in rude boys, the rebellious subculture that emerged amongst Jamaica’s lower class during the 1960’s. Driven by a reggae backbeat, Jamaica’s disenfranchised youths became enamored with the skinny suits, raucous music, and devil-may-care demeanor that defined England’s counterculture movement. The interplay between youth cultures in Jamaica and England was a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately gave Rude Boys a chance to separate themselves from slum-life in a way that simultaneously audacious and aspirational.

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That Spring Look | No Obsolescence

Mar 10th, 2014 | Categories: That Spring Look | by Michael Williams

Normcore IV

If you ask me, this would be my take on Normcore. If you haven’t heard of Normcore (it’s a supposed trend where people wear 1990s basic clothes to attempt to appear plain or normal — at a time when so many are attempting to set themselves apart as individuals). It’s conformity packaged as non-conformity wrapped up in bike shorts and goofy relics from Seinfeld. While all that seems interesting for a minute, I’m slightly more interested in looking good for the longer terms. At the heart of my approach to long lasting stylishness is the  concept of buying (and wearing) clothes with no obsolesce. The only exception in this rig here is potentially that Leica, since it is digital. This look is more about the virtues of long lasting icons and the simplicity of having a “uniform.” I don’t need a trend or a desire to be noticed to dictate how I dress myself. I dress more for the the idea that I want to be able to look back at my style thirty years from now and be as relevant then as I would be now. That’s it, pure and simple.

Some would look at this and think it is beyond “basic” to the point of being boring, to me it hits just the right note. All of these items individually look inconspicuous, but each is a wonderful example of the power which sits at the intersection of understated and refined. This look reminds me of something my friend Arnaud in Paris would wear. It wouldn’t be these pieces exactly, but this vibe for sure. Every time I see him he’s wearing a basic white shirt, clean classic sneakers and other simple items that round it all out. Sometimes the sneakers are swapped out for dress shoes, occasionally there’s a cashmere sweater in the mix and other times he’s wearing a simple pair of raw denim jeans. This look may seem haphazard, but it’s choreographed perfectly and expertly selected. And just like Normcore, dressing like this is all about hiding in plain sight.

More item specifics after the jump.


Mar 10th, 2014 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams


  • A peek inside Nick Wooster’s handsome Greenwich Village apartment. [Scene Magazine]
  • Grail burger: An oral history of the In-N-Out chain. [Gear Patrol] [Pictured]
  • French military rations come in the form of four course gourmet meals. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Big Hug Mug sales are burning up eBay. [Grub Street]
  • In a digital world, physical retail matters more than ever. [Business of Fashion]

— Follow ACL on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Diving Into the Ring Jacket Tumblr.

Mar 9th, 2014 | Categories: Internets, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher


If you’ve never heard of Ring Jacket before we can’t blame you (although if you were paying attention to our post on The Armoury, you would’ve spotted their name.) While Ring Jacket was founded in 1954, the Japanese brand only officially arrived in the U.S. recently, as the aforementioned New York location of The Armoury began to offer a refined assortment of sport coats, knits, and overcoats from RJ’s astonishingly deep collections. Ring Jacket is best described as a proficient amalgam of Italian tailoring, American sportswear, and Japanese panache. Their wares range from bold soft shouldered sport coats, to inventive knit blousons, to slim pinstriped suits, pulling dribs and drabs of influence from the world over to create a cohesive range of formal and casual pieces.


What They Know Best | Begg & Co

Mar 7th, 2014 | Categories: Accessories, Jake Gallagher, Made in Scotland | by Jake Gallagher

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Make one thing, and make it great.

As a brand that has truly mastered the art of producing exceptional cashmere accessories, this is what we take to be the Begg & Co philosophy. Begg & Co’s collections do not run rampant with superfluous designs, inadequate ideas, or overcomplicated pieces, instead they favor a streamlined, hyper focused approach to their products. Since 1866 Begg & Co has called Scotland home, producing nothing but cashmere scarves and throws for nearly one-hundred-fifty years.

In sticking to what they know best, Begg & Co have been able to create one of the widest, and most aesthetically appealing array of scarves we’ve ever come across. While the larger scope of their scarf and blanket collections is impressive, its product is best understood when it’s in your hands, and if you want to experience that, you’ll just have to pick one up for yourself. —JG

Begg & Co. 42

The Salt Book.

Mar 6th, 2014 | Categories: Maine | by Michael Williams

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In 1973 a group of students in Kennebunk, Maine complied a series of home-spun articles about life in New England into The Salt Book. Led by the group’s adviser Pamela Wood, they documented lobster men making traps, a barn raising, the gathering of sea moss, wrote articles about how to make your own wooden snow shoes and generally waxed on about the characters and daily life by the sea in Maine.

Recently while I was booking a cottage in Maine for the summer, I was reminded of this book and my jaunt up there last year. I have a hard time disguising my affection for the state and nothing fills me with anticipation like an escape up to Maine. It doesn’t have to just be summer — I’m equally impressed by fall, winter and spring in the Pine Tree State. Even though I grew up in Ohio, much of my family was from New England originally and we often when on summer trips to The Cape, New Hampshire and those parts. Long after those trips I am still fascinated by Yankee culture and the salty folks of New England. So even though I am stuck in this new york winter (stuck largely inside for the better part of the past six weeks due to the most ironic of injuries) the stories in The Salt Book can easily transport me to one of my favorite places.

Killing Me Softly | A Conversation with Barena.

Mar 4th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

Barena3 Barena

When Sandro Zara founded Barena in 1961, he did so as a reflection of his surroundings. The attire of the local Venetian people had inspired Zara to create clothes that captured this rich, worn in look that was characteristic throughout his homeland. When Massimo Pigozzo joined the project twenty years, Barena entered into their current, more thorough period, with more innovative designs and a wider array of textiles running throughout their collections. Sandro’s daughter Francesa began working with Massimo a decade ago, at a time when Barena was beginning to garner more attention on the international stage.

Since then, Barena has become increasingly more popular and fun to watch, as they continue to riff off their signature “soft” sportswear style, continuously challenging our assumptions on what Italian tailoring truly is. We had a chance to speak with Francesca and Massimo about the Barena spirit, their designs, and why it’s a good thing that they’ll never change.

ACL: Barena is a brand steeped in tradition, what was it that drew your family to the garment industry back in the early sixties, and could you talk a little bit about how Barena was founded?

Francesca Zara: My father started selling fabrics and since then fabrics have always played an important role in our lives. After starting his company, my father worked together with my mother to start their first company on their own. Together they started to produce handcrafted pieces driven by a strong passion and wish to make it happen. Barena was born twenty years ago as a project whose inspiration came from the hunting and fishing world and more precisely from the Laguna of Venice.