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The New International Men’s Shops to Know

  • Kempt Staff


In our grand tradition of keeping you up to date on the international men’s shop scene, we’ve scoured the globe for the newest openings in your regular haunts—you know, Shanghai, Berlin, the usual. Because you never know when you’re going to need some British tailoring while in Hamburg.

Here are the latest updates to your already-dapper international rolodex of men’s shops...»

Test Driving Klaus Kinski's Cologne

Ladies and gentlemen, Klaus Kinski has a cologne.

Twenty years after his death, the intense German actor's estate has unveiled Kinski the Fragrance, an olfactory tribute to the star of Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo and For a Few Dollars More.

There are a number of red flags here—including the fact that the url is on the box, is apparently still available for purchase—but in the name of journalism, we offered our female friends and colleagues a whiff of Kinski and polled them to see if the estate had produced a scent as erotically powerful as the man himself.

The results were troubling, to say the least...»

Dempsey Stewart Disagrees With Your Opinion of Drake

Making Time: Jason Heaton digs into the best German watch brands out there, raising questions of whether Pforzheim is too silly of a name to be a real place. [Gear Patrol]

Business Attire: A serious-minded collection of menswear tips, including the following wisdom on office parties: “always dress well enough to be promoted but not so well that they wouldn't feel bad about firing you.” [The Onion]

”Whatever, Drake Sucks”: An irreverent commentary on 25 of the year’s best tracks. Highly recommended. [Self-Titled]

The History of Iggy: Amateur snaps from a Stooges show at a Michigan high school in 1970. Those kids have no idea what they’re seeing. [Retronaut]

The New Briefcase


If you’ve been adventurous enough to join in for Bike to Work Week, you may have noticed a slight problem: it’s damn hard to bring a briefcase along on one of those things. Most baskets aren’t large or deep enough to accommodate one, and keeping it strapped to your torso is asking for a wreck. Luckily, it’s a problem Europeans have been dealing with for a while now, and they’ve come up with a handsome leather solution.

It's called a frame bag, courtesy of a German shop called Retrovelo (hat tip). It's perfectly sized to hold a laptop, and still small enough to dangle between bike wheels. More importantly, it’s got a handle on the top, so you can unclip it when you reach the office and treat it like a briefcase for the rest of the day. Consider us sold.

Eastern Promises


Not all German cars are created equal.

To anyone weathering the sea change after the wall fell, the Trabant was the brightest symbol of clunky East German industrialism. It boasted a ridiculously complex refueling process, a ten year waitlist, and a two-stroke engine that did 0-60 in a blistering 21 seconds. In short, quite possibly the worst car ever made. So naturally it’s due for a revival.

The new Trabbi, currently hunting for investors, swaps out the moped engine for a gas-free electric motor that should give the notoriously smoky vehicle a fresh green face, but the basic question remains: Why not give it a new name? The Trabbi's boxy silhouette’s as reviled as it is beloved, so it might have been worth just starting from scratch. Unless the GDR’s coming back into style…

Meanwhile, Back at the Lab


Edison-style inventing keeps a pretty low profile these days, but there’s still a lot of would-be Qs out there, and they’ve got some ideas to show you.

The James Dyson Awards (hat tip to The Awl are going on right now, gathering thousands of engineers and inventors to compete for a chunk of sweet vacuum-cleaner money by sketching up personal railway systems and inventing new ways for doors to open. There’s a few days left to vote, but we’ve already found a favorite.

This German heads-up windshield display is called the Bionic Cockpit, and it brings augmented reality into the automotive world, along with a pleasantly botanical design motif and a lot of downright useful information conveyed in a simple and effective way. Detroit’s in no condition to buy them out…but maybe Munich’s interested?

See a demonstration»

Mad World


The 1960s advertising world may be taking a temporary vacation from the zeitgeist, but we couldn’t help noticing a familiar item in the latest catalog from Germany’s aptly named Wormland label.

That’s right. They’re selling Pete Campbell’s suit.

Granted, the lapels are thinner, the blue is deeper, and the whole thing is a good deal shinier—all of which makes it less desirable than the genuine article—but it’s rare to see an item jump from screen to page this quickly. Maybe they were trolling for inspiration and ran across a re-broadcast on BBC2?

August can't get here soon enough...

The Streets is Watchin’


Street art has always been a bit too politically prickly to fit in with the web 2.0 crowd…but that’s no reason to stop trying. After all, populism is populism, and if street artists managed to make nice with auction houses, who’s to say they can’t fit a few iPhones into their repertoire?

Adidas’s new Urban Art Guide (via NotCot) is one of the first tries, and it handles it as well as could be hoped…at least, if you live in Berlin.

More on the Urban Art Guide»

The Ghost of Colas Past


As Pepsi recently discovered, the world of soda bottle design can get pretty contentious, so it’s worth remembering what it looks like when it’s done right.

Afri Cola was a German, Jolt-style caffeine bomb popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s—and briefly, Seattle in the ‘90s—and while the taste didn’t catch on quite the way you’d expect, the design may be the best we’ve ever seen. As far as vintage colas go, this one seems ripe for a revival—and the more caffeine the better.

Ladies and gentlemen, the soda of the past»

Left of the Dial


We’ve had a love/hate relationship with the radio for about ten years now, but it’s still one of the best ways to tap into the musical zeitgeist. If only the FM dial were a little less crappy…

The internet’s teaming with great audio channels—including stations broadcast too far away for you to tune in—but so far it’s been hard to tune in without going through tinny computer speakers. But where there’s a market, there’s someone looking to tap into it, so CES has been full of companies jousting for what’s been called “iRadio.”

Our favorite, so far is Sonoro’s entry, a discreet plastic brick that lets you search by title, genre or location. It should be coming out stateside around April, but we’ll believe it when we see it.

Until then…there’s always the occasional mp3 blog.

Grab Hold


If you were wondering about the legacy of those Tom Ford ads…we might have something.

The German exotica shop Condomi must have decided their old bags weren’t eye-catching enough, so they designed totes depicting thong-clad crotches, with a particularly well-placed handle. It’s a good way to spread word of mouth, but we can’t help but wonder how many of their more timid customers are turning down bags at the register.

And if this is what they do with a bag, we'd hate to think what they do with a billboard...