Monday, October 31, 2011

Vintage Plaid Blazer by Thom Browne: Things I Have

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a long time fan of Thom Browne. I love to wear his cropped and shortened aesthetic, and my eye can catch his red/white/blue striped grosgrain tags a mile away.

I was recently gifted an extraordinary blazer by Mr. Browne... from so many collections ago, that I like to refer to it as 'vintage'.

The blazer is a cashmere/wool blend tipped on the collar and cuffs with (of course) a grosgrain finish. I love the muted color palette of the plaid, so perfect for Fall.

Inside it is lined with a striped silk and finished with the sewn-in Thom Browne label.

This blazer is now making the rest of my jackets jealous, as they know they've been usurped... it is really a prized piece and I'm so thrilled to be able to wear it!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crop, No Roll: Docker's Spring 2012 Preview

On a rainy night last week, I went to see the Docker's Spring Preview for 2012. It's always fun to look at while I'll be wearing during a sunny season, while it's cold and windy outside.

I've been on the Docker's bandwagon for a while now, they've been getting great traction and brand development. And I really dig their recently launched Alpha khaki. So it was nice to see they're continuing some on-trend fashion elements for Spring... of course a camo moment and some really cool slim and cropped pants (since I recently used my new favorite term: "Crop, No Roll").

Looking forward to picking up some of these rockin' pants come Spring!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Series on Leather Craftsmen: Lotuff & Clegg

I was recently fortunate enough to be sitting with Joe Lotuff, of the leather goods company Lotuff & Clegg, for what was an all too brief 45 minutes (the brevity was my fault).

In that time though I learned so much about the New England brand, that Joe's passion for the craftsmanship and product definitely rubbed off. We discussed the way in which the cow hide is inspected for quality, how Lotuff & Clegg looks to use large swatches of leather versus stitching together two smaller ones, and how the rounded edge finishing is done by hand (no small feat) by a leather artisan. I also learned about how the leather is treated, without the use of chromium, to create the right texture and patina. While this takes additional time, it is something that Joe felt was part of the brand's integrity.

The design of each piece, and how that design may evolve, was another fascinating point of discussion. Lotuff & Clegg focuses on the functionality of each product, and design oriented additions should enhance that function. This was evidenced in the extra long zipper on a duffle bag, which allows for the bag to be fully opened. Joe also shared that through customer feedback they are able to make adjustments to a design, improving both its function and appeal.

The Leather Lock Briefcase

While the conversation focused on the brand in general, there was also this beautiful brand new leather briefcase in front of me, which required a lot of inspection! It was the Leather Lock Briefcase, in black, and I have to say I fell in love. It was so evident that all of the elements Joe had discussed: craftsmanship, detailing, design were all there.

The handle, designed to fit your hand just right

Close up of the hardware and the pebbling of the leather

Inside, with pockets, pen holders, and a zipped pouch

The briefcase, in all its glory

Now while I saw (and covet) the briefcase, Lotuff & Clegg had a wide offering... and from what it sounds like, their popularity is causing a bit of a wait list! So get over to their site, and check out the totes, portfolios, and other pieces you will definitely love (and own for a lifetime).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Plaid Wool Tie from Thom Browne: Things I Have

While in L.A. the past week I did some shopping (hello, Filson bag). One thing I saw and could not resist was this plaid shetland wool tie by Thom Browne.

I loved the red/white/blue plaid (not surprising from TB) but also the texture and chunkiness of the wool. It'll be perfect to wear as Fall approaches and the temperatures drop.

Now I found mine at Barney's but this photo is courtesy of Park & Bond. Go see what else they have from Mr. Browne!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zippered Tote from Filson: Things I Have

I've been getting so many compliments (and photos by Tommy Ton!) on my leather bag from WANT, but with the weather changing I wanted something that could better withstand rain or snow.

When I was recently in Atlanta and peered through the window of Sid Mashburn I saw a huge (and glorious) pile of Filson bags, of all sizes, and knew that's what I wanted.

Yesterday I stopped by Barney's and voila... the Filson zippered tote is mine!

Can't wait to give it a spin around the city! Check out the Filson site for their full range of bags (and other great products)...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Orri Henrisson for Spring 2012: Things I Love

Australian brand Orri Henrisson has been on my radar for a while. Doing very wearable and approachable menswear, with a colorful and inventive twist, their collection for Spring/Summer 2012 delivers on the same.

I really like the colored patches infused in shirts, jackets, and pants -- adding some great blocking and contrast to the pieces. I am also really into the leather patches on pants, giving it an equestrian feel. And in my favorite look below, the nubby dark pants (in what looks like a moleskine?) with the red contrast zippers...

Just a few of the looks, but makes me want to get on a plane to Australia and see it all in person. Check out Coute que Coute for more photos, and the Orri Henrisson site for stockist information.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Series on Leather Craftsmen: Interview with Phillip Nappi

Following my interview with San Francisco based leather craftsman Gad Tal, I recently had the opportunity to speak with Nashville based leather goods brand Peter Nappi. I'll admit I have been salivating over their Julius boot for a while, so the chance to speak to the man behind the brand, was definitely a pleasure.

Launched by Phillip Nappi, the grandson of Peter, the story behind the brand and its Italian heritage is one that will have everyone believing in fate (read below). The story behind their Nashville studio, and the incredible level of quality and detail behind their work, is one that will have you believing in the resurgence of craftsmen and how you can purchase goods that will last a lifetime (continue reading below!).

Based in a rebuilt studio space that had been Nashville's Neuhoff Meatpacking Plant, the Peter Nappi team not only produces handcrafted beautiful products, but has engaged with local musicians, artists, and chefs to connect with the community and those who share a similar passion for artisanry and craftmanship.

The Tote

Julius Boot, a personal favorite

5 Questions with Phillip Nappi:

MR: What inspired you to "relaunch" the Peter Nappi brand?
It all boils down to a passion for boots I had shared unknowingly with my grandfather, the founder of the original Peter Nappi. I've always dreamed of having a shoe store with old, great leather couches, a cappuccino machine and incredible music playing in the background. I was inspired to turn my dream into a mission when my favorite pair of work boots finally wore out beyond repair. I had worn them everyday for years to the point that they were molded to fit my foot as if they were made for me. It was like losing a great love and I couldn't find anything to replace them that could offer its perfected fit from the beginning. So I started sketching out some ideas, ripping out pictures, and piecing together all of my favorite aspects into one model. It became an obsession. But if we were really going to do this we had to be all-in. So my wife and I quit our jobs, boarded our dogs and moved to Italy to make the perfect boot. Everyone thought we were nuts.
It wasn’t until about six months into this venture that our fate was sealed. While in Italy, I found out my grandfather, Peter Nappi, whom I had never met, was a shoemaker from Vietri, Italy. It was as if all of this was predestined, uncovered piece by piece to seem like it was my own idea, when really it was a part of who I was all along. This is my heritage, I am just happy to be able to carry it on.

MR: What is the basis for your designs?
PN: Quality takes precedent. We spend equal time choosing the leather as we do designing and crafting our boots. Only the finest, most supple leathers will do. Then we focus on simple, time-honored designs that last. We believe your footwear should be a staple so we design ours to be both timeless and have the quality to last a lifetime.

MR: Is there a specific training or apprenticeship program for your artisans?
PN: We work with an incredible group of people in Italy. The man that helps bring our designs to fruition actually teaches the art of shoemaking to students in town (Monsumanno Terme, outside Firenze). He is so passionate about sharing the talents and skills of past generations and passing them on to the next reign. The family that owns the factory where our shoes are made has worked there since the 60s. The owner, now 78, and his wife still come in everyday. He's actually been making shoes for one of the most famous Italian fashion houses since he was only eleven years old. He's about to hand over operations to his daughter who's probably been there since birth. The head foreman, lovingly called "iL Mastreo" (the Master) has worked there 32 years - and he's only 50 years old. Shoemaking is in their blood— that more than anything trumps their training. They are truly incredible people and we are lucky to work with them.

MR: Are there any new materials or techniques you're looking to use moving forward?
PN: I've been experimenting with finishing techniques. One of the best things about our shoes is that they only get better with age. The leather is such that through wear, they actually become more beautiful—like life is evolving them into an extension of the owner. Some of these finishing techniques will bring out hidden qualities that would take months or years to see. Although the journey is half the fun, these effects on the leather give the boots the appearance that they have a life and a story to tell coming straight out of the box.

MR: Where do you see Peter Nappi going from here?
PN: We have some great women's models coming soon. Heels, boots, open toe, laced shoes. All with our signature quality and timeless style. We've also been working on leather jackets. We want "Peter Nappi" to be a lifestyle. A way to live—not just in the products we sell but in the principles we believe in, which inspire the way we work and produce our goods.
There are just so many options! We are thrilled to be given such an incredible opportunity to revive and continue a great man's calling.

Wooden shoe boxes

Inside the studio

Be sure to check out all of the great content on the Phillip Nappi site, including video and more photos of their amazing studio!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shoes from Land's End Canvas: Things I Have

I've been thinking about getting a boot for Fall, and while these don't totally satisfy that need, I am kind of in love with my low chukka's from Land's End Canvas.

They're a great chocolate color, have more autumn attitude then boat shoes, and are versatile enough for casual or office wear. I'm digging them!

Canvas is having a sale on a lot of Fall items right now, go check it all out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dr. Romanelli x Converse Sneakers: Things I Want

I can always go for a new pair of sneakers, and this pair released as a collab between Dr. Romanelli x Converse are pretty cool. Nautical theme -- check. Anchors -- check. Mid-top with red-striped ankle -- check.

Now as far as collabs go, this one is pretty complex. It's called Beetle vs. Popeye, because the other shoe in the line is a fatigues inspired "Beetle Bailey". Of course I'm siding with Popeye...

Hypebeast has a great interview with Dr. Romanelli, and more looks at the collab.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lady Gaga Tee from Artisanal Ansatz: Things I Want

From that source of so much that is cool, Hypebeast, I got hooked on these celebrity driven tees. Created by an art collective in Belgium, the tees feature fashion, music, film personalities... but the drawings were all done with ballpoint pen.

The collective, Artisanal Ansatz, has created drawings of David Bowie, to Snoop Dogg, to Karl Lagerfeld (naturally). Given I already own a Brazilian made voodoo doll of Karl I decided the Coke can-in hair-on the phone Gaga was my favorite...

If you're as intrigued by these as I am, you can find Gaga here and the others here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Beckett Specs from Warby Parker: Things I Have

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Warby Parker HQ in NYC, and see their current collection and some upcoming releases. It was a fantastic visit, the whole team was fantastic, and I was finally able to get a new pair of specs (something I've been wanting for a while).

Today in the mail came my Beckett in Black Matte, and I am so excited! They're a great shape, and I really like the matte finish.

If you're not familiar with the Warby Parker concept, they not only offer you great frames that are all very well priced (umm, just $95 with lenses!) and for each pair you buy they donate a pair to someone in need. It is truly a win-win model and I'm thrilled to start rockin' my new specs!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wool Coat from A.P.C.: Things I Have

Last weekend a rainy Saturday had me seeking refuge at Barney's... as soon as I stepped onto the fifth floor I saw this amazing wool coat by A.P.C.

Tried it on, and it fit perfectly... I've been looking around for a winter coat, and since I seemingly only buy navy (side note, every single thing I purchased on Saturday was navy), I felt it'd work well.

I also loved the leather insets on the shoulders. Gives the coat such a different look.
Here it is on the A.P.C. site, where you can zoom in for more detailing!