14 Thoughts.

  1. Ford finally unveiled the rebooted Bronco and it looks pretty awesome. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was very pleasantly surprised. I posted a few photos on Instagram and dozens of people DM’d me telling me they love it or want to get one. Outside of The Last Dance, this seemed to be one of the few moments in the past few months that seemed to spark some actual joy in people. Good going Ford (and whoever did all of that marketing work).
  2. Oh wow cool nice cars on Instagram.
  3. With what’s happening at Brooks Brothers (by the way, my post kind of blew up which was a bit of a surprise to me) it makes me wonder about some other brands that could face a similar fate. The most obvious being LL Bean. I assume it has less debt than Brooks Brothers and I generally assume that its business is better, but I have to wonder about the direction LL Bean is headed. It feels like they have tried to evolve over the years and Signature was a nice step forward, but most of what the brand sells now is fairly uninspiring. Not to pick on them —they do make some great things still and I really love the brand— but they make a lot of crap too. Here’s a small example of what I’m seeing that’s disappointing. Four years ago I bought a bunch of the logo LL Bean Bath “Sheet” which are these super classic green and white huge towels that are perfect for the pool or beach. They are amazing. Ours are getting a lot of use and I went back to order a few more and Bean doesn’t sell them anymore. I wonder why? These are among the best towels I have ever bought and I have to think other people like them as much as I do. Meanwhile, the selection now (this is the type of towel Bean is selling now) is pretty awful. I just don’t get it. Sometimes I just wonder why things get dropped all the time and why brands have so many SKUs? I guess enough people don’t want the classic green towel, but perhaps they just don’t want to sift through a million things to find the one simple thing they need? Or I am not the target customer anymore. But isn’t the customer you have easier to keep than the customer you are trying to get? I feel like if LL Bean wants to be a legitimate outdoor company they should think about the amount of stuff they are dumping into the universe every year. It’s not the same argument I made about Brooks Brothers exactly, but I think the world’s relationship with hyper-consumption is going to change in the not so distant future. I think brands need to take a serious look at the seasonality of things. The amount of product it offers and where it all comes from. You can only chase growth for so long. I’m going to go back and re-read Leon Gorman’s book about the company because I feel like things have strayed a long way.
  4. This is the ultimate list of places to buy flour and grains for baking. The bread pans seem great too.
  5. The NBA Bubble is incredibly fascinating stuff to me for some reason. I think this is partially because it doesn’t seem all that safe or contained at all. The sheer scale of it is amazing and the concept is just nuts. I sincerely hope they all stay safe and everyone involved is healthy. This vlog from 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle is excellent content. I hope he keeps it up. Part 2 is here.
  6. This is random, but important info as far as I am concerned. With the exception of the chips at Escuela on Beverly, these are the best tortilla chips I have ever eaten. We have been buying them directly during the pandemic and every time we have them someone says they are the best.
  7. Is there a human more annoying than Dave Portnoy? Is Barstool in on the joke and do they keep allowing him to appear on the channel as some sort of subversive measure to enrage viewers? Or is he the boss and they just have to go along with it? I just can’t help but to wince every time I see him doing a pizza review or losing a watermelon eating contest to a teenager.
  8. If the blog is coming back, does that mean the RSS reader is coming too? Om recently extolled the virtues of Feedbin and I have to say he makes a good point. I’ve been up in the middle of the night a lot recently (because we have a 12 week old) and often struggle to find anything interesting to read — plus most of the time I’m holding a tiny human and don’t have both hands to type. Sometimes I listen to Audm or read things I have saved on Pocket, but Feedbin is better. RSS is good for a reason.
  9. Doug Demuro paid his own money for a Kia Stinger GT2. That seems as real as it gets. It also seems odd, but I think that’s consistent with Doug’s M.O. He’s always been a bit goofy and I think that is what’s likable about him. He’s the car nut’s car nut and he’s definitely not trying to be a ridiculous YouTuber. That makes me like him, but probably not enough to buy a Kia.
  10. Everything at Hill City is 30% off and I encourage you to take a look before it’s gone forever. My favorite item they make are these swim trunks. It’s a shame GAP is replacing this great brand with a bunch of stuff from Kanye.
  11. Looking for alternatives to Brooks Brothers? There’s Ben Douglas, O’Connell’s, J. Press, Gitman Bros, Genuardi, Martin Greenfield, Hertling Trousers, Hickey Freeman, Michael Spencer, Mercer & Sons, Cego, Oobe Brand, Save Khaki United and probably more that I am missing. Don’t forget the little specialty stores like Drinkwater’s, Cable Car Clothiers, Harrison Limited, Cuffs, Ben Silver and the Andover Shop. There’s always more on The American List which I have been trying to get current. Thanks to Reader Michael who sent in suggestions and was the catalyst for this thought.
  12. People really rallied for Rancourt and the company’s crowdfunding effort was an incredible success. They have work for the factory for months and I’m thrilled to see how many people supported them. Thank you to everyone for helping to ensure a great little American shoe company survives.
  13. I assume that a special little shop like Tortoise General Store in Venice is struggling with all that is happening. In the past, my visits to Tortoise have been some of the purest shopping experiences I have had anywhere. The selection and care that that is on display is truly unique. I spoke at a forum in Tokyo a few years ago with the co-founder Keiko Shinomoto and found her to be amazingly creative, humble, and kind. If you are looking for a gift, something for your home, or want to support a unique and small family shop, this would be a great place to check out.
  14. What started as hats for me and my friends has turned into a little bit of a shop. I’m certainly not trying to force this on anyone but if you would like to support the time and thinking that I put into ACL this is an easy way. I’ve decided that it doesn’t make any sense to have ads on the site ever again, because it just ruins the experience. I’ve tried to make ACL completely user-focused and done my best to make the site easy to use and totally pure. I’m not writing about stuff because they are paying me or pitching me. I’m not doing this for any other reason other than I enjoy it. Thanks for reading and for your support, it means a lot to me. The ACL merch is here.

Comments on “14 Thoughts.

    Tom on July 15, 2020 1:53 AM:

    I also love love love Tortoise. I knew they were special when I first stumbled into their Abbot Kinney spot about 10 years ago, and was heartbroken when I thought they were closing. Turns out they reopened about 3 blocks from where I now live in Mar Vista. Bigger space for more comprehensive selection of wares, probably way cheaper rent, but definitely not the same foot traffic. I shop there regularly for gifts (tenugui for everyone!) and have a handful of items that I’m hoping will grow old with me. Keep highlighting these great shops!

    Jordan Andlovec on July 15, 2020 12:49 PM:

    My friend Adam works for Weiden+Kennedy and was the lead on the Bronco relaunch. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

    Kendall Grant Clark (@kendall) on July 15, 2020 1:04 PM:

    Great stuff as always; in #13, you mean “purest”, I think.

    Michael Williams on July 15, 2020 1:52 PM:

    @kendall Thank you, yes. I found a few typos too. Sloppy sleep deprived stuff.

    Aarthi on July 15, 2020 9:50 PM:

    The ford SUV is an homage to Climate denial. This is what we need, another gas guzzler.

    Billy Brewster on July 23, 2020 2:44 PM:

    Any time I see Cable Car Clothiers brought up it reminds me of the Krooked skateboard video of the Gonz shopping there and chatting with Charlie Pivnick.

    Jacob Hurwitz on July 25, 2020 10:56 AM:

    Matisse Thybulle’s vlog is excellent. Go SIXERS, win the bubble! I wish those tortilla chips were sold on the east coast. I emailed the company to see if they would ship me a case. The other amazing west coast tortilla chips I’ve had are a local Las Vegas company, found them at the Wholefoods on the strip.

Comments are closed.