This fall Converse tapped San Francisco’s Unionmade, a store that has emerged as one of America’s best sources of well-made and good-looking menswear, to showcase the life and style of the Jack Purcell sneakers. In addition to being one of the best merchandised and art directed independent shops out there, Unionmade has mastered the art of mixing brands and showcasing an evolved sense of style and taste that serves as a source of inspiration for many. Much of this comes from the store’s founders Todd Barkett and Carl Chiara, both vets of big brands (Gap and Levi’s respectively), but Unionmade’s Brand Director Spencer Lemon also brings an interesting dimension to the team. I took the chance to catch up with him and talk about classic kicks, finding a hassle free beer and his favorite book shop in San Francisco.
What’s your favorite way to wear Jack Purcells?
Any way is typically a good way. Â Part of the beauty of a classic style and silhouette like the Jack Purcell is that it’s incredibly versatile. Â They look great brand new or worn in and pair well with most outfits.
Talk to me about where Jack Purcell takes you on the weekend. What’s your favorite brunch stop?
Bar Tartine. Â Friend and owner, Chad Robertson (who also owns Tartine Bakery) has been re-imagining his restaurant over the last couple years and it’s been really exciting to try and visit regularly as the menu evolves. Â Drawing heavy inspiration from Eastern Europe and working primarily with local produce, there’s often a new seasonal offering to try and a number of staples to indulge in.
What neighborhood in San Francisco is your favorite?
Alamo Square. Â I’m biased because I also live in this neighborhood, but it’s relatively low key and central to most of the other areas I get to regularly. Â There’s a lot of change happening right now, some interesting and some not so interesting, but it’s always a game of pros and cons.
Do you think Jack Purcells are better for jeans or khakis..or sweat pants?
I tend to wear them with LVC 1947 501s, but on warmer days never shy from pairing them with chinos or other non denim bottoms.
What about other interesting places that are off the beaten path in San Francisco like your go-to book shop?
This depends on what I’m looking for, but in the city Green Apple Books is always a go to, boasting one of the best used selections. Â Across the bay in Oakland is my friend Erik Heywood’s relatively new brick and mortar space BOOK/SHOP. Â Previously an online only operation, the space is a welcome addition to his celebration of all things book related and showcases one of the best sorted offerings of rare books, magazines, and related accessories.
And your favorite dive bar would be?
Dimples in Japantown has been my go to lately. Â It’s typically pretty mellow and easy to grab a seat at the bar. Â They also have complimentary bar snacks, which seem harder and harder to find these days.