New year, new beginnings. And whether you’ve resolved to climb Everest, drive cross-country or ditch the commuter rail for a bicycle, you’ll need a place to stow the gear to get you there. Introducing Collected Works Co., a new line of handsomely rugged bags and pouches out of Portland.
Founders Jacob Hinmon and Patrick Vail have paired their military-grade sewing skills with the leatherworking expertise of Tanner Goods, resulting in the kind of waxed-cotton-and-Horween-leather glory from which dreams are made.
Sale season’s in the air, and the second annual summer sample shindig over at Hickoree’s is at the top of our weekend to-do list.
For today and tomorrow only, they’ve turned Floor Two into a pseudo-warehouse pop-up, packed to the beams with overstock and never-produced samples from five stellar NYC brands.
Designers from Stanley & Sons, Left Field, Battenwear, 8.15 August Fifteenth and The Hill-side will all be stopping by the scene, so there’s a pretty good shot you’ll be able to seek styling advice straight from the source.
We swung by last night to check the scene and found everything from swim trunks to trousers, shearling bombers, anoraks, henleys, oxfords, ties, tees and seriously handsome bags, among a host of other gems. They’ve even brought in a rack of goods for the ladies in your life by way of 8.15.
Continuing their week of revelry, last night the CFDA partied penthouse-style alongside Details for the launch of their second collaboration, the Weekender Collection.
Fashion folk took to the rooftop of the Mondrian SoHo, imbibing spirits from Japan’s Suntory whiskey distillery to celebrate the event. For their second project together (following last fall’s pocket square capsule), they tapped talent from 20 top menswear designers, asking each to reimagine the classic weekender duffel bag. And reimagine they did.
A hand-painted portrait of a WWII pinup girl donning Gilded Age’s bodice, leather handles and gold-pointed studs lining the straps of Simon Spurr’s, and a lesson in schizophrenic splatter painting by way of Yigal Azrouël, to name a few.
They’re each one of a kind, and will be up for grabs on eBay starting June 10 through 17.
Just in time for the inevitable onset of spring wanderlust, the folks at Club Monaco have announced the latest capsule collection in their “Makers and Muses” series: Ernest Alexander, bag-makers extraordinaire.
You’ll recognize some of Ernest Alexander’s classic designs, yet they’ve been slightly tweaked to the specifications of Aaron Levine and will be available exclusively through Club Monaco. Our favorites of the bunch are the adventure-prone weekender, the dopp kit and an in-store-only overnight bag in blaze orange. Luckily, we’ve got a first look at them all after the jump.
We’re of the mind that if you’re going to wear sneakers, they should be working for you, not against you—and most sneaker hybrids these days seem to be veering more toward high-fashion abstraction than utilitarianism.
Hence, we liked what we saw when we got a sneak peek at the New Balances coming out of their most recent shoe-plus-luggage collaboration with the Herschel Supply Co. They’re decidedly boot-ish and have a good amount of grip to assist in any climbing of subway stairs. Our favorite of the bags has a shoe compartment that makes an interoffice shoe change a cinch (because sometimes, your happy hour plans involve a hike). The whole collection is getting a limited release, launching tomorrow, so keep an eye out here for the drop.
We normally give Kickstarter a wide berth—leaving it to the tech-savvy speculators—but here’s a campaign we can get behind: Vinted Goods.
They’re a small outfit of young upstarts who’ve been mining the garment district in LA for supple leather and ballistic nylon—the theme of melding the old with the new runs throughout the line of bags and accessories. Basically, the Kickstarter campaign is just a way to preorder the bags (as long as they hit their target by next month), so you can expect a handsome return on your investment come February. And if the campaign’s video is any indication of how well-made these bags will be, we’re expecting a slick turnout.
This tough-as-nails new bag from the outdoorsy aesthetes at Best Made Company is handsome enough on its own, but the nifty loops below the handles allow you to bring an axe along. Though we wouldn’t recommend hopping on a subway with a large blade—the bag’s slim profile is better suited to the city than as a weekender. But this might be the most handsome replacement for your inter-office softball gym bag you’ll ever find. Which is perfect, since you already like to call your Louisville Slugger your axe.
If your next houseguest weekend happens to be anywhere that bears resemblance to Cape Cod, here’s the weekender bag you should be packing. It’s cut from the national cloth of prepsterdom, Nantucket red, and made in America by the up-and-comers at Hudson Sutler—they’ve got an entire line of rugged 18-ounce canvas weekender and commuter bags that can keep up on land, air and sea (especially because the zippers are made with a thick resin to be rust-proof). The extra design features like gingham or bandana lining and a strategically placed grab handle at one end of the bags set them apart from your average travel bag. (Fitting, since your weekending is far from average.)
Now you’ll need to dig up your matching anchor-embroidered Nantucket red GTH pants.
It’s a military-issue fighter pilot’s helmet bag, but Alexander Grant has brought to our attention that its rugged nylon construction and simple design make it extremely versatile for daily use—when child rearing, in his case, but we imagine using it for beach-going or even carrying a laptop around town. It's all about tactical simplicity: two front snap pockets (one for a pair of flip-flops and another for your sunscreen) and a padded main section with more than enough room for your summer reading, a towel and those high-tech goggles. All at a price that ought alleviate any fears of sand- or saltwater-induced damage.
And since they’re army spec, they come in every pattern of camo under the sun. (Great news for the Wooster camp.)
Oilskin bag labels are popping up as fast as Etsy can host them, but we recently ran across an English brand with an entirely new take on the item: why not make your own?
It looks like this: a pair of straps, a few sheets of treated cloth, and a needle and thread. If you’re already handy (possibly from practicing on buttons), you should have a grocery-ready sack in a matter of minutes. If you’re new to the game, you may want to try your luck on less handsome cloth first, but it’s not brain surgery.
Once you’re done, it’ll end up as one of the more unique items you own. (Let’s hope that’s in a good way.)
Web boutiques have been popping up like daisies lately, but we’d like to single out a shop called Builtwell that opened up last week and immediately shot to the top of our list.
It’s a jumble of brands like Tellason, Garbstore and 18Waits, together with company profiles and Art of Manliness-style nostalgia. You could spend a whole afternoon exploring the site—but since you’re busy, we’ve rounded up the three coolest things below.
We try to steer clear of anything that isn’t hitting stores in the near future—but there’s more impressive gear on the docket for Spring/Summer ’12 than we could keep to ourselves, so we’ve put together some detail shots and some well-chosen info to whet your appetite. The bad news: you won’t be able to get your mitts on any of it until February. The good news: you’re in for quite a February.
Here’s a low-risk way to get a piece of the seemingly immortal camo trend: put it on a bag. This carryall from Billykirk is the perfect example, pairing a blown-up leaf-pattern camo alongside Billykirk’s usual craft-focused leatherwork. It’s the rare bag that you can match to your pocket square—and camouflage aside, you won’t have any trouble spotting it on a baggage carousel.
It’s a safe bet you’re headed on a road trip at some point this summer, and whatever you take with you is going to take a little bit of punishment. So to save your precious leather weekender from mysterious trunk puddles, you’ll want to upgrade to a slightly more rugged bag. This Rag & Bone duffel fits the bill pretty well. The gray canvas is sharp enough to stay handsome through all manner of misadventure—which is a fancy way of saying you can kick it around without feeling too guilty.