Category Archives: Style

Come on…

Seriously Cole. You gotta cut me some slack.  Give it a rest.

Since my last post on your new LunarGrand I’ve been thinking far more than is healthy about how much I wanted them on my feet. But I talked myself out of it.  I’ve already got a few pairs of suede, I don’t need another.  Just when I thought it was behind me I see this.

Oh, you recognize them?  Well you should.  These are the new LunarGrand leathers that hit SOHO this week.  All rationalizing is out the window and once again I’m sprung for some of the sexiest and undoubtedly most comfortable (nod to NIKE’s sole technology) wingtips known to man.

What am I supposed to do now?

Tagged , , ,

For those without citizenship

After all, we are all visitors.

A new collaboration between surf legend Kelly Slater and Quicksilver has forged a new lifestyle brand built for the journey.

Wherever it may lead you.

I haven’t seen much of the collection but I did catch a glimpse at one of the best looking packs I’ve seen in a while.

The waxed canvas bag is big enough to fit weeks worth of gear and has storage compartments for days.  Don’t feel like lugging the entire pack with you everywhere you go?  No worries.  The small compartment on the front is detachable, perfect for a laptop bag or other day-to-day use.

One of the coolest features, which may also be the least practical, is the included hammock – tucked away in a small compartment somewhere.

Can’t say I’ve been in situations where I’ve really needed a hammock but little details like this really reinforce the brand’s pedigree and lifestyle it was made for.

I’m a sucker for rugged gear that is just as functional as it is attractive.  Same goes for interesting collaborations.  Just so happens that the combination of the two in this situation shows a lot of promise.  I find it really interesting to see trends in minimalism intersecting with utility.  VSTR quotes William Blake:

“…We never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.”

Tagged , , ,

Giles & Brother

Just came across these cool pieces from Giles & Brother.  Founded by edgy designer Phillip Crangi his stuff is all so tough.  While I can say that I personally don’t wear much “jewelry” this is stuff I wouldn’t be ashamed to rock.

Rock hard.

Tagged , ,

Hard Graft

For the first time in, well…ever, I recently met a young guy like myself that claimed to be an aspiring blacksmith.  I can’t help but think that this is rooted in a broader trend bringing back the appreciation of true craft.  Being a blacksmith or a carpenter or a tailer are not only being revitalized as professions but they are also really cool right now!

In the spirit of true craftsmanship I wanted to share a new brand I found recently called Hard Graft.  They peddle a fine assortment of handmade goods crafted from leather and wool.  I love the minimal, masculine feel of Hard Graft’s products.  The attention to detail is fantastic and the style points this stuff earns in comparison to competing mainstream alternatives is off the charts!

While ordering one of these cases for your kindle/ipad/macbook/device or wallet does require opening up said wallet I think it would be worth the investment.  Typically the more miles you put on these types of accessories the better they look. Wear breeds serious character.  Character that you just can’t buy in a store filled with mass produced merchandise.

For those interested in upping their style, looking for a new case and willing to shell out a little more for a quality product, or just appreciate quality craftsmanship I highly encourage you to look into Hard Graft.

Tagged

Innovation meets old-world style

Growing up my mother always made sure my brothers and I were well dressed.  For more formal occasions this often meant elaborate outfits constructed from multiple layers.  I remember one particular Sunday sitting on a pew complaining to my mom and a friend of hers about how uncomfortable I felt in whatever fruit suit she had me wearing that particular day.  Not sure why it made such an impression on me but for some reason their response has stuck with me for 20-something years:

“It’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you look.”

For far too long people have considered comfort and style to be mutually exclusive.  This just baffles me.  I find it hard to believe that in the 21st century we are unable to create a good looking product that is also comfortable and easy to wear.  Well, wouldn’t you know as soon as I started getting flustered about this very topic I come across the latest from one of the biggest names in men’s footwear, Cole Haan.  They put a classically designed brogue dress shoe on top of an ergonomic outsole for pure podiatric bliss.  You can see a definite nod to CH’s parent company NIKE who brings serious innovation and tech to the table wherever they go.

I love the design and am happy to see more menswear brands pushing the boundaries of acceptable style with great color combos and a fine integration of classic and modern aesthetic.  Here are a few pics of the shoes that will be available only at the Cole Haan store in SoHo starting next week.

And my personal favorite…

The gray/yellow might be a bit much for some but I think they are incredibly cool.  I’d love to get my hands on a pair of these someday when I’m not a broke grad student.  Pipe dreams.

I knew Cole Haan was a NIKE brand but there’s something about seeing such a blatant integration of both brands’ style that really rubbed me the right way.  I couldn’t help but think of one of NIKE’s maxims:

“If we don’t lead it, we don’t need it.”

I love their commitment to greatness.

The LunarGrand Wingtip is a perfect example of NIKE & Cole Haan leading their category.

Now, some of you that read the blog may have heard that I just recently had an opportunity to interview with NIKE for a potential summer internship.  The timing of this post is unintentionally ironic!  What are the odds that I find these shoes the same day I interview?!  I know there is little I can do at this point to escape the heat I’m going to get for this but I just want to come out to my peers and say that this was in no way strategic.

If by some chance someone at NIKE finds this,

I hope it worked 😉

Tagged , , ,

Latest Brand Obsession – Baldwin Denim

The number of brands we interact with on a daily basis seems to be growing every day.  A professor at Brandcenter recently asked us to record all the brands we engaged with for just one day.  The highest number recorded was somewhere around 130 brands.  It’s no surprise that world-class organizations like Coca-Cola, Levi’s and Nike are out there doing great work and capturing our attention almost everywhere we go.  These types of organizations are the gold standard as far as branding goes.  With that said, one of the things I have truly enjoyed doing since I have been studying brands is finding those with a much softer voice but still connect with me in a very positive way.  Sometimes it’s the product that captures my attention, other times it may be the general aesthetic or story of the brand.

This time it happens to be all of the above.

I was recently introduced to a menswear shop in Kansas City called Baldwin Denim.  They offer a wide range of clothing for both men and women but specialize in high quality, raw selvedge denim.  I’ve seen all the expensive designer jeans that have been bedazzled, embroidered, and adorned with just about every other tacky decoration one could think of and these are not those jeans.  Baldwin represents quality premium denim sewn in the USA and designed in KC.  They are simple, masculine and I plan to wear them as long as my mid-section will allow.  I’m not worried about them wearing out and they embody that classic design that only looks better with age.

Heres a shot of their flagship store in Kansas City

I know everyone has their own style and this may not appeal to everyone but I’m a huge fan of Baldwin.  Even if you were to take the clothes out of the picture, the vibe of the store is spot on with me.  Love all the wood and matte metals.  Somewhat industrial but still so refined.  I love to see the emergence of high quality men’s boutiques that not only cater to men but are built and run by them.

The denim looks almost as good on as it does on the shelf 🙂

One of the things that I really love about raw selvedge denim is how they wear in.  When you pick these up in the store they are going to be dark, stiff and you should buy them very tight.  As you wear them they will loosen up and form to your body.  They will also create a completely unique color wash depending on how you wear them, so no two people will have the same wash.

New vs. 6 months wear (still without wash)

Tell me these don’t look fantastic worn in!

These don’t come cheap but as far as I’m concerned a pair of Baldwin denim is worth the investment.

Each wrinkle and spot rubbed of dye tells a story.  Each stain a memory.

After time has passed these are no longer pants, but an heirloom that can be cherished.

Baldwin denim is another great small brand that has their identity pegged and is doing a bang up job.

Tagged

Ford T Bird

So much better than the current Ford T Bird.

 

Creative Retail

What an awesome example of continuing to recreate the retail experience.  Apple has been largely accredited with transforming retail but it is refreshing to see other much smaller companies blazing their own trails.

I love to keep an eye open for interesting brands that are doing cool stuff in their world.

When asked about their favorite brands people so often just spout off the brands they buy most often.  While there is no debating that those people do like those brands or else they wouldn’t continue to buy them.  But I don’t think that someone’s favorite brands should be limited to those that they use regularly.

I’m impressed all the time by brands that I’ve never heard of just based on their values, innovation, or even just a solid cool factor.

Eye Candy just made it on my list.

Tagged , , ,

Catch of the Day: Cosmic Firefly

The devil is in the details.  Fend off the evil one with the help of this Etsy shop by picking up some of their interesting, stylish accessories.  Everything from cufflinks to business card cases and money clips.  Loving the vintage detail and nautical influences of a lot of their products.  The octopus stuff  is really cool…

 

These would make a great addition to any guy’s collection (or a great way to start one) and something to keep in the family for generations.  If you thought Etsy was just for arts & crafts, think again.

Tagged , , , , ,

its about time

There are a lot of great looking watches out there. Unfortunately I don’t have the scratch to get anywhere near most of them. Luckily for guys like me there are quite a few watch makers out there that offer a darn fine timepiece at a very reasonable price. 

Ive been eyeing a few and would love your feedback.  Ive got a few watches already- a traditional silver link band and a gold/black leather band – both on the dressier side.  I like the vintage feel of the watches below and want something a little more casual, timeless, and would like the ability to swap out bands. 

Which one do you like best?

Fossil Vintage Bronze – $90

Timex Vintage Field Watch – $150 

 
 Nixon Mellor – $100-$130  (undecided on color)
 

 

 or…

or…

 

 

I’m clearly torn here! 

Let me know which you think would be the best addition to my collection.

Tagged , , , , , , ,