Kempt

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The Silver Souvenir Cup

  • Najib Benouar

Derby fever is strong in the air this week. To add to the list of reasons to hop the next flight to Louisville: the best souvenir in sports we’ve seen yet.

It’s a familiar sight at sporting events everywhere: concession stands hawking flimsy plastic cups emblazoned with a team name and asking you to pony up a few extra bucks for something that sounds like a good idea on your third beer, but probably won’t make it home with you. Mostly because they’re hardly anything you’d regard as bona fide souvenirs—something, say, stately enough for your bookshelf.

Which brings us to this hand-engraved pewter julep cup (any Kentuckian worth their salt knows the drink deserves to be enjoyed from a frosty metal cup). It can be yours at this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby—you’ll just need to be in attendance at Churchill Downs and donate a grand to charity. The best part is that, like any good souvenir cup, it will arrive to you filled with mint, sugar, Woodford Reserve bourbon and crushed ice to the brim.

We’re betting this one makes it home with you.

Karina is Not Happy About the Nail Clippings on your Nightstand

Lonely at the Top: Glenn O’Brien’s guide to social climbing. Caution: you are witnessing a trained professional. You may not be able to pull this off at home. [GQ]

The Literary Type: A designer has made book covers for a dozen or so classic albums. Blood on the Tracks is pretty brilliant. [Mother Jones]

Embrace the Funk: An ode to the sheepish pleasures of the corduroy shirt. [Guide to Bad Taste]

Relief: Hickoree’s has turned their homepage over to a limited edition Japan-themed pocket square, with 100% of proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee. [Hickorees]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Matin Maulawizada

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In the midst of all the hate directed towards black suits, we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate what it looks like when it’s done well. In general, it’s something like this.

The gentleman in question is Matin Maulawizada, founder of Afghan Hands and a man who was born to wear a black suit. For starters, the charity gala in question was both after hours and serious enough that a little toning down was entirely appropriate. The three-inch polka dot tie keeps him from coming off as funereal, but otherwise he’s skirting the edges of black-tie territory. The result is a slightly more elegant version of a business suit—which is a pretty good model to keep in mind next time you’re hitting the gala circuit.

The New Frames

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The best frames don’t always come from designers—for one, the touchstone of British eyewear is still the National Health Service specs rocked by Morrissey and Elvis Costello—so it’s worth paying attention to what’s the world’s opticians have in stock.

These frames from Yves Behar’s Fuseproject just arrived as part of a larger charity mission to get proper eye care to Mexican schoolchildren. They’ll be shipping out at a rate of roughly 300,000 a year, which means they’ll have a pretty big footprint. We prefer the round Corbusier-style frames, but there’s also a squared off version and the colors will change up from school to school. They should be a signature style for a whole generation of kids, so don’t be surprised if you see them on the next movie star who moves north to make it big.

Or if you see a knockoff in next year's designer collections.

Color It In

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With both claymation and comic books safely transitioned from childhood curios to highbrow art, it’s time for a few more nostalgia pieces to make the leap. And we’ve always been partial to coloring books…

This one in particular—part of the Between the Lines series—has some serious high art pedigree, with uncolored illustrations from Takashi Murakami, Raymond Pettibon and newly minted sneaker empersario Kehinde Wiley. They’re all incomplete works…but that’s the whole point. It’s one of the smarter open collaborations the art world’s seen in quite a while. All that’s missing is a place to see the works after they’ve gotten a little crayon on them, but it’s nothing a tumblr couldn’t solve.

And if you were wondering about the $20 price tag, the proceeds go to RxArt, a non-profit dedicated to bringing art into hospital settings. Hopefully they’ll bring a few books along for the ride.

Claudia Schiffer Defies Your Indoor Smoking Ban

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Second Hand: She better hope Bloomberg doesn’t find out about this. [Fashion Gone Rogue]

Goody Two Shoes: A charitable gift guide, for any leftover bag money you have lying around. [TBD]

Thugs and Backpackers: Harris Tweed goes in for a streetwear collab. We’re just not sure how to feel about this one. [Hypebeast]

The Who Sell Out: David Lynch tries his hand at directing ads for Christian Dior. We guess this means they’ve forgotten about this. [Telegraph]

Blazed

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The lightly structured blazer has been a favorite item of ours for quite a while now, but we’re always glad to see a new one hit the market.

This item, dubbed the Shanahan Blazer, comes from Company of We, a “democratic luxury” brand hitting the wholesale market in January, but available through eCommerce in the meantime. And, in the spirit of Movember, if you order before Dec 1, they’ll donate 20% of your order to charity—provided you put in the right coupon code. Sounds democratic to us…

Jeans Across America

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The biggest problem with rugged items is that sometimes, they outlast your desire to wear them. That’s why you have more old jeans in your closet than old undershirts and why they’re so hard to part with—after all, they still have some good wear left in them.

Luckily, the grunge-inflected denim-lovers at Volcom have an idea. In the spirit of denim-based charity, they’re teaming with the National Coalition for the Homeless to collect as many wearable pairs of jeans as possible and direct them to less sartorially demanding hips. Drop off a pair at a local retailer and you’ll be entered to win a year’s supply of Volcom stock.

It’s called Give Jeans a Chance and it’s a marketing gig, make no mistake—looking up local retailers yet?—but as long as it’s helping out the less fortunate, we can’t say we mind. We’re even willing to indulge in the animated psychedelic promo video…provided it’s for a good cause.

See the video here»

Sweet Charity

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Charity has its rewards. Especially in London, it turns out.

At a hospital benefit, Kate Moss raised 5000 UKP by auctioning off a single kiss. Of course, the true value of Mme. Moss’s momentary affection is priceless, but in the interest of a well-funded health system, it’s worth knowing what the price tag came to. It should be enough to buy an extra defibrillator or two...

We can only imagine what the tab would have been in more flush times.

Spreading Cheer

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Fashion Week isn’t all glitz...although there’s plenty of it to go around. The outerwear marque Mackage has teamed with the New York thrift store Housing Works to organize a coat drive coinciding with the annual fashionfest.

It’s fitting enough, since the festivities should inspire a lot of people to ditch their older gear, but Mackage is hoping it inspires them to pick some up too. They’re also auctioning off three coats (two female, one male) to raise funds for the drive. The men's coat can be found here, and while the bidding’s still just getting started, we’d guess it should buy more than a few wraps for the city’s less fortunate residents. As a bonus, it’s signed by actor and recent off-broadway star Peter Sarsgaard…

…which we guess makes it more valuable?