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An UrbanDaddy Publication

A Gust of Handsomeness Blowing into Chicago

  • Najib Benouar

For anyone lucky enough to find themselves in Chicagoland tomorrow, the first Windy City installment of the men’s pop-up market NorthernGrade will be taking place. And it’s going to be a barn burner.

In the grand tradition of the Pop-Up Flea (co-helmed by our very own editorial director), the folks from Pierrepont Hicks and Well Spent are putting on a Midwestern fete of Americana. The daylong bazaar of selvage, duck canvas and other ruggedly made-in-America-only gear will be hosting 19 coast-to-coast brands, with a few local shops like Penelope’s and Haberdash on hand to help things along.

To whet your appetite, we’ve got a full list of the vendors who’ll be there, after the jump.»

Lessons from Lollapalooza 2012

  • Chris LaMorte

One intrepid Kempt contributor (and UrbanDaddy Chicago editor) braved the insanity that was this past weekend’s Lollapalooza—if you haven’t heard, there was an unprecedented evacuation mid-festival as a storm quickly descended upon Chicago. Luckily, our man Chris made it out alive to tell the story. Here’s what we learned from his harrowing tale.

How to evacuate 60,000 people from Grant Park in 38 minutes in five easy steps...»

Icon: Curtis Mayfield

  • Najib Benouar

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of the Civil Rights Movement, it was the age of funkiness, it was... the ’60s and ’70s.

And no one made that transition look (or sound) better than Curtis Mayfield. He lent a soundtrack to Martin Luther King Jr.’s message in the ’60s, and he lent a soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Super Fly in the ’70s, injecting some much-needed social consciousness into a wayward genre while also shaping a sound still found in rhythm and blues today. (A young Kanye West built his early career on sampling his Chicagoan forefather.) And all along the way, Curtis managed to match his musical creativity with equal measures of sartorial flamboyance—from gray flannel suits to bow ties to funkadelic leisurewear.

Honoring the legacy of The Gentle Genius in six iconic snapshots.»

Tom Ford is Doing the Tom Ford Thing Again

Tom Ford

Nice Pants: Tom Ford’s latest hyper-sexual lookbook has arrived. Naturally, we’re shocked and scandalized. More pics after the link. [Hypebeast]

Bundle Up: The Midwestyle kids show you how to dress for the Chicago winter without turning gray. [Details]

Pumped Up Kicks: This one is strictly for the sneakerheads: a gallery of limited edition high-tops, from Le Coq to Karhu. Read it and weep. [Sneaker Freaker]

The Impossible: And just to finish it off, a post explaining the Bronco’s inexplicable win last night. [Deadspin]

The 2011 Kempt Awards – Part One: The Gentlemen

Christopher Hitchens with Ian McEwan (left) and Martin Amis in Uruguay via The Guardian

We spend a good deal of time here at Kempt headquarters discussing the gentleman’s style: his clothes, his facial hair, his accoutrements, etc. In addition, though, over the past year, we’ve attempted to broaden the definition of style to include his behavior as well: his adherence to a certain chivalric code, his etiquette, the words he uses, his manner of pursuing artistic and athletic endeavors, his morality, his aspirations and, inevitably, the periodic missteps that can and squander those aspirations.

While we hesitate to dip our toe into the murky, stale bathwater of year-end reviews (and while we have even greater hesitation to hurl ourselves, willy-nilly, into the business of doling out meaningless, award-less “awards”), we’re doing so anyway.

Maybe we’re slightly more nostalgic for 2011 than we’ve been in the past.

Or, more likely, maybe we’re finding the exercise of attaching superlatives to people and things and moments to be kind of fun.

Whatever the reason, we present for your perusal—in three parts over as many days—the 2011 Kempt Awards.

Part One: The Gentlemen

Anna de Rijk is Kicking the World

Let’s Leave He-Man Out of This: How to develop a deep, resonant, profundo voice. It’s the Cadillac of vocalizations. [Art of Manliness]

In the Loop: A profile of a world-class tailor living in Chicago. It’s enough to make you plan a trip. [Simply Refined]

The Speckle: A few fine sweaters to carry you through the remains of autumn. [Men of Habit]

The Brush-Off: A gentleman’s guide to brushing suede. If you have a brush, you’re basically halfway there. [Simple Threads]

She Does Not Care for Your Nonsmoking Section

Still Delirious: Eddie Murphy gave Rolling Stone a rare interview, talking Oscars, SNL and stand-up. Sadly, it’s not online, but you can see some highlights here. [Rolling Stone]

Illinois’s Finest: A spotlight on Chicago boutique Sir & Madame. But mostly Sir. [Well Spent]

Carrying Water: As a bid to save water, Levi’s is asking you not to wash your jeans. We’ll see if your girlfriend agrees. [NYTimes]

An Inside Pitch: Responding to a world of generic menswear pitches, Derek Guy has created the menswear Mad Lib. See it in action here. [Put This On]

The Mustache-Friendliness Index

Ladies and gentlemen, Chicago is officially the most mustache-friendly place in America.

According to a gleefully fraudulent white paper from The American Mustache Institute, the Windy City took the lead thanks to local mustached celebrities and an abundance of mustache-friendly jobs, “such as law enforcement, construction and relief pitching.”

We’d make a joke here, but it’s hard to top the ones they came up with themselves. Runners-up include Houston (assisted by “nearby rodeo schooling”), Pittsburgh (“a historically mustached city”) and Oklahoma City (for “serving as the off-season home to many employees of the adult entertainment industry”).

A goatee census cannot be far behind.

Fabiana Seprebom Is Surrounded by Ruffles

Fabiana Seprebomvia WBE

Into the Blue: Some great photos from NASA’s 40s-era test pilot program. Speaking of which… [Mister Crew]

After the Fall: Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos run down the highlights from their latest collection. [DETAILS]

The Shoes of the Past: All Plaid Out raids the deadstock room at Altman’s in Chicago—the men’s footwear equivalent of the warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark. [All Plaid Out]

Give Paz a Chance: Paz de la Huerta signs on with Agent Provocateur. This should be interesting. [WWD]

Days of Wine and Roses


A great bar is a magical thing. But aside from a few Replacements songs, no one’s really captured the rare mix of folklore and social gamesmanship you’ll find there. So we thought we’d dig up this fantastic Roger Ebert piece on O’Rourke’s in Chicago, which captures it as well as anyone has. If you were wondering what to look for in a watering hole, here’s what you should be aiming for.

The essay’s a few years old, but the nostalgia has aged beautifully. In its heyday, O’Rourke’s regulars included John Belushi, Studs Terkel and a 300-pound antiquities professor named “Al the Greek”—so it makes for a lively read. Wistful too: Ebert stopped drinking in ’79 and O’Rourke’s changed locations in the early 90s, losing much of its scene in the process. Raise a glass, gentlemen.

Scarlett Johansson is Having a Revival

The Sympathetic Sounds of Sheffield: The British Library catalogued ambient noise from various places in Sheffield, and is currently streaming it through a firm called UK Soundmap. It’s like a vacation in your headphones. [Fast Company]

The Old House: Take a tour through a decaying mansion on one of Georgia’s barrier islands. [Kuriositas]

Tall, Dark and Handsome: Woody Allen is finally making a film about the romantic travails of neurotic, middle-aged urbanites. And it’s about time. [/Film]

Night at the Museum: Chicago’s Museum of Science is looking for something to spend a month living in the museum as a “human subject.” Honestly, we’re not wild about the job title. [Gizmodo]