Kempt

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Klara Wester Is Handing Out Anonymous Puffs

Klara Westervia WBE

The Breakdown: The designers and shop-owners of the world strike back against that “how much a shirt costs” breakdown you may have seen. [Well Spent]

Tearing Up the Yellow Brick Road: Elton John owns a cherry red 1965 Jaguar E-Type. So naturally, Driven wasn’t going to rest until they had a few pictures. [Driven]

I Hope You’re Flexible: There’s a new edition of the Kama Sutra bound for shelves, and the cover is... interesting. [Creative Review]

Northern Sole: A heartfelt case for buying good British shoes—in case you needed any extra encouragement. [Permanent Style]

Denim Economics

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We’re not generally fans of $20 pairs of jeans—with denim especially, a little extra will get you a lot better stuff—but it looks like the days of cheap jeans may be numbered. The culprit: cotton prices.

The Telegraph spills the beans in a great report from Xintang, a southern Chinese city that turns out 260 million pairs of jeans a year for everyone from Levi’s to Evisu. But the price of cotton’s skyrocketing, the workers are becoming slightly better-paid and the factory owners can’t make a profit on budget priced jeans anymore. The result? Absent some globalizing shenanigans, the denim rack at H&M is going to get a bit more expensive.

We’re sure the head office isn’t too happy about it, but If that’s enough to spur anyone to move up a rung or two on the denim ladder, we’re willing to call it a win.

Goodbye, Mr. Bond

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James Bond has faced down quite a lot—highlights include solar powered ray guns, a squad of brainwashed, agriculture-destroying ingénues, and Yaphet Kotto—but the world of international finance may have been more than he could handle. With Mr. Bond’s parent studio MGM buried under nearly $4 billion in debt, the 23rd Bond movie has been put on indefinite hiatus. Which is a shame, because it sounded kind of awesome, and Daniel Craig was on quite a roll.

Of course, knowing Hollywood, it’s hard to say how long this will last, but for now things look pretty grim. Count us as shaken.

Back to the Warehouse

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As the economists say, it’s a recession when your neighbor loses his favorite vintage store and a depression when you lose yours. Well, we’ve got some bad news for you…

Houndstooth Vintage, one of Brooklyn’s best men’s vintage shops and our own personal Halloween costumer of choice, has closed up shop as of last week. You’ll still be able to get your hands on their goods by appointment through their blog—at the moment, they’re pushing a batch of vintage belts—but the days of stopping by in search of a vintage tux are over. Fare thee well…

Espadrilles, Eva, and Yield Curves

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The Big Easy: Ellen Von Unwerth proves her mettle the way all modern photographers must: with a set of Eva Mendes nudes. [SwipeLife]

Oliver!: Oliver Spencer takes to the web, with his Johnny Depp lookalike securely in tow. [Valet Mag]

I Hope You’re Happy Now: A long but worthwhile read about what makes people happy throughout their lives. Apparently the secret is a good pair of espadrilles. [The Atlantic]

The Pleasure Principle: The yield curve is finally put in terms that the average man can understand. [The Awl]

Getting a Hickey

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Ever since Hart Schaffner Marx filed for Chapter 11, we’ve been waiting to hear what’s in store for subsidiary marques like hickey and Hickey Freeman. And while we wouldn’t advise giving up your stockpile of pot-logo’d polos just yet, we’re detecting a noticeable light at the end of the tunnel.

The latest report from WWD details the three main bidders for HSM, and their various priorities. It’s a safe bet that one of the private equity firms will come down with ownership, but the question is whether they’ll decide hickey’s worth more dead than alive. Naturally, we prefer the latter.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Swimsuits, New Suits, and a Suitable Carafe

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Provoked: Agent Provocateur has basically never let us down. [FashionIndie]

The Surge: Menswear leads the economic charge. Does that mean we can start declaring short-lived trends again? [FT]

Hitting the Bottle: Evian brings in Jean-Paul Gaultier to revamp their classic bottle design. Hopefully, Coke is paying attention. [Selectism]

Can We Have Our Ball Back?: Jean Touitou of A.P.C. continues to be surprisingly crotchety about music. [Dazed Digital]

Bathing Suits, Shoes, and Thrift

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On the Beach: Jezebel’s post on the tyranny of unsupportive bathing suits may have backfired. [Jezebel]

The Overclass: It’s hard to improve on the headline: “Russian Billionaires Learn to Embrace Thrift.” [Luxist]

Check’s in the Mail: Gitman Brothers Vintage gets a bit more love. Go Steelers? [Blackbird]

Footprints: Bespoke cobbling goes online. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship… [Material Interest]

The Underclass

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Bad news today for lovers of apparel and basic human hygiene: it looks like sales of men’s underwear have taken a downward turn.

You might think of underwear as one of the more basic purchases in the world of style, but Americans are on track to spend more $110 million fewer on undergarments this year than last. Boxers are hit hardest, with a 3.5% decline from last year, but briefs shed their share of sales as well.

It’s puzzling, since the two styles tend to balance each other—briefs do better as boxers do worse, and vice versa. Clearly the economy’s playing a role, but we wonder if there’s another force at work.

Could the union suit be staging a comeback?

You Can’t Be Serious

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We usually don’t involve ourselves in the art world’s various schemes and dealings, but when it happens to involve one of our favorite tennis greats, we’ll make an exception.

Apparently Mr. MacEnroe’s latest feat is bringing down an $88 million scheme run by an art dealer named Lawrence Salander. Salander was selling multiple shares of the same painting (think The Producers), but MacEnroe was the first to notice something fishy and call out Salander on the overall sketchiness.

Given that his other clients included Robert DeNiro, it’s no small thing that McEnroe was the first one willing to blow the whistle. Just a reminder: sometimes a fiery temperament can come in handy.

Double Dutch, Comedians’ Comedians, and the Dangers of Pink

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Girl from the Low Countries: For posterity’s sake: the definitive guide to Dutch women. [YesButNoButYes]

Some Kind of Comedian: The top ten comedians according to other comedians. We don’t know how Dane Cook missed this one. [Vulture]

Like Red but Not Quite: Nick Sullivan ponders the joys and dangers of the pinkish hue. We prefer “salmon” ourselves. [Esquire]

Gone Beggin’: Our new favorite Thom may be having some financial difficulties. He can always fall back on his acting career… [The Cut]

Street Life

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The Dow may be surging, but it’s going to be quite some time before that money trickles down to the average man of style…much less the average shop-owner.

Hypebeast recently had the same idea as us, and approached some of the wiser boutique men and label owners with notebook in hand.

Streetwear isn’t exactly our scene, but the lessons are more or less the same: cut back on stock, streamline production, and try to ride the whole mess out. The most surprising takeaway is the longterm effect of all the sample sales you’ve been seeing. We aren’t usually inclined to speak ill of the occasional 80% discount, but labels and shops need high margins to keep afloat, which makes it hard to imagine what the sample sale scene will look like six months from now.

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