This Friday, leather whisperers Kirk and Chris Bray will open their very first brick-and-mortar shop.
This Friday, leather whisperers Kirk and Chris Bray will open their very first brick-and-mortar shop.
It seems like every day our friends at Filson are introducing some new, beautiful combination of canvas and leather to the world.
And every time they do, we add it to our wish list. But it’s not just because their products are handsome (though they most certainly are); it’s also because of the adventure-filled fantasies that such beautiful creations inspire.
Fish being caught. Trees being felled. Beards being grown.
Trouble is, most of them will stay just that: fantasies. So we’ve put together a few solid excuses for why you just need to invest in our favorites at Filson, regardless of whether or not they’ll go to use out in the wild.
We’ve got a weakness for anything structured, rugged and finished in a buttery-soft leather. And just about everything else Coach does.
So consider this double whammy: they’ve just launched a fall 2013 collection inspired by NYC, plus their new design partnership with Billy Reid.
Yep. Coach isn’t just making achingly beautiful wallets and handbags anymore—though they’re still doing a bang-up job on that front. They’re applying their 72 years of luxury know-how to a slick mélange of autumnal handsomeness in their fall 2013 collection, replete with tailored coats, cashmere sweaters, leather boots and bags—and whatever else you need to look better than everyone ever.
(Pro tip: to hear some New York Stories from some of Coach’s handpicked fashion influencers like British gent-about-town Will Chalker, and inspiration behind the collection, follow #CoachNewYorkStories wherever hashtags are accepted.)
And feel free to expect everything in the new fall collection to be just as ruggedly handsome as their bags have always been.
With even more emphasis on the “handsome” part.
There are few things more autumnally satisfying than the sound of the first brittle fallen leaf crunching underfoot.
Especially when that foot is handsomely leather-clad…
Chances are, you’ve already got a go-to pair of respectably worn-in boots ready for just the occasion. But in case you’re in the market for an update, we’ve taken a moment to round up the best heavy-trodders new for this fall—from the trail-worthy to those suited for more urbane purposes—ensuring that, no matter where you are when the time comes, you’ll be handsomely prepared for some freshly raked destruction.
All right, the man’s not perfect. But he’s your father. And this Sunday, you have to show him that you appreciate that.
Now, fathers are certainly easier than mothers when it comes to these sorts of things. All dear ol’ Dad probably expects is your presence and a strong handshake. And maybe a card. But since he taught you not to do anything half-assed—for better or worse—you should probably go ahead and get the guy something anyway. And no excuses here; you can afford to splurge a little on the man you owe half your existence to.
From GQ to Cool Hunting to Vanity Fair, everyone’s got their opinions on where you should spend that pretty penny. So in an effort to simplify the decision, we’ve cut through all that noise and chosen our favorites… of their favorites.
It wouldn’t be Road Trip Week if we didn’t talk about the most important part of your road-worthy wardrobe: the driving shoe.
They come in many forms—some are more loafer-like, some are more moccasin-y—but they’re all united by two things: a buttery-soft leather construction and gummy rubber bottom (marked by a telltale matrix of nubs embedded in a double-thick leather sole).
They’re especially handy on a breezy weekend jaunt, because they’re handsome enough to wear to cocktail hour yet soft enough to loaf around indoors, once you’ve woken up the next morning at your destination. Meaning they’re the only pair of shoes you’ll need to pack if you’re not planning on anything too formal or a round of golf.
Worldliness can have its advantages and its drawbacks—knowing the time conversion for Tokyo without hesitation, for instance, isn’t going to help you when you’re in Moscow and in desperate need of a new pair of trousers. And since we’re always here to lend a helping hand, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the newest menswear shops that have sprung up in the past few months in your regular haunts—you know, Moscow, Honolulu—as well as places you might not find yourself too often. Consider this an update to your already-dapper international rolodex of men’s shops.
Indulge us for a moment here and imagine if two of menswear’s favorite pastimes—Americana and Italian craftsmanship—were turned into a shoe…
Chances are they’d look a lot like the boots from Peter Nappi—which just so happen to be going for 20% to 40% under retail right now on UrbanDaddy Perks.
Leather artisan Phillip Nappi traces his roots back to a grandfather who made shoes in Italy (the namesake of the company), and nowadays Nappi the Younger makes some hardwearing boots meticulously crafted from Tuscan leather from his leather studio based in the heart of Honky-Tonk. Our favorite of the bunch is the Romeo, constructed of a single, continuous piece of leather stretched over a last that’s supposed to fit so well, you could go without the laces. Which puts them somewhere between your favorite pair of oxfords and loafers.
Not a bad place to be—especially for your feet.
With spring golf on the horizon, it’s about time to fish out the clubs and give them a good sprucing.
Your first step: some new head covers, like these handsome American-made leather ones from Stitch Golf—founded by a PGA pro and a former designer for Callaway.
The duo started off with some custom jobs for the likes of US presidents, and now they’re taking their North Carolina–based (and stitched) operation mainstream with two new designs based on 1950s race cars and the stripes of yacht sails. The supple leather and strategic padding work together to keep your clubs safe while being more lightweight in your bag—something you, or your caddie, will appreciate on the long par 5—and, more importantly, should help make your overall game a lot better-looking.
We can’t promise the same for your scorecard.
NYFW is coming to a close. But it seems the fashion gods were saving the best (or at least the most memorable) for last—we stumbled upon the most mind-blowing presentation of them all yesterday. It went by the name of Leather Japan and it was quite the way to go out.
Allow us to explain…
The Background: A consortium of eight Japanese leather designers teamed up for a show that seems designed to confirm whatever stereotypes you have about Japan’s tendency to get overzealous. On display: a 10-piece “folk-punk” band. Stuffed crows wearing leather jewelry. Surprisingly cool sneakers. Some pretty out-there clothes. And lots and lots of sake to wash it all down.
Degree of Difficulty: Very high, unless you stick to the sneakers and nothing but the sneakers… or play in a 10-piece Japanese folk-punk band.
The Showstopper: The spectacle itself.
Another dispatch from New York Fashion Week, which—so far—is persisting, despite the impending storm.
Leave it to Todd Snyder to somehow take all three trends we’ve been seeing lately—fur trim, leather and belted outerwear—and turn them into one spectacular coat.
In the wrong hands, all that black leather and shearling could end up looking like the sort of thing an over-the-hill mafia hit man might wear, but Snyder keeps it trim and luxe. We might choose a different pair of shoes to minimize the amount of black leather happening, but otherwise it’s exactly what you’d want to wrap yourself up in during weather like this.
Last week we led one wayward reader to pocket square enlightenment with this definitive guide, and all was well in the land of #menswear.
Until today, when Beams+ unleashed this silk-pouf-leather-card-holder Frankenstein on us all.
Honestly, we’re not sure how to feel about the thing. On the outset it seems like an unforgivable shortcut, the sartorial equivalent of PEDs (there’s something earned about being able to tie one’s own bow tie, for instance). But maybe it’s the answer to the frustration of sagging squares—is it really that different from our suggestion of pre-stuffing your pocket with tissue or another pocket square?
According to Beams—and we’re confident they’ve done the proper research—this was a bona fide thing in the ’80s (which is probably another strike against the idea). Another troubling factor is the practicality: first, you’d need a pocket deep enough to disguise the leather bottom, then if you were to actually use the card holder, it would require pulling out the pocket square every few minutes—like an old person removing their dentures before a meal—adding the risk of frightening a sartorially savvy networking lead. We’ll give Beams+ credit for the novel idea, but there’s one bit of Swansonian wisdom we think applies here:
Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one.
By all accounts and weather forecasts, it’s glove season just about everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere—even California has been seeing temps drop perilously close to “brisk.”
And your last line of defense against that bone-chilling frigidness: a good pair of finger-sweaters.
So we went ahead and surveyed all of the hand-sheltering options out there to help you find the right ones—and in our long tradition of telling you what your sartorial choices are saying about you, we’ve put together a handy guide.
To celebrate their latest collaboration with artist Hugo Guinness, famous for his quirky linocut prints (think: Japanese woodcuts of squiggly paper airplanes and friendly rhinoceroses), Coach has made this equally charming video of the London-born artist in his Brooklyn home/workshop. What’s more, the collection isn’t just all bags and wallets—there are some interesting additions, like a pocket multi-tool (in a leather pouch) or a valet tray (with the rhino on it). It’s all in a rich, glove-tanned leather and so should age like an old baseball mitt.
It would be remiss of us not to point you in the direction of this handsome bounty of vintage Rolexes that has just landed over at UrbanDaddy Perks—so you can expect the watches to be selling at under market value. Of the spectacular selection, we’re particularly fond of this autumnally brown leather-strapped ’60s Datejust, this quintessential starter-Rolex Air-King with Jubilee band or this Pepsi-bezel GMT Master. All great choices among the many outstanding options. And perfect timing for adding some stateliness to your wrist for the upcoming holiday party circuit.
Around this time of year, our wrists begin to pine for the warm embrace of alligator leather.
And if you haven’t already tucked your steel- or ribbon-banded sports watch into a drawer till spring, here’s as good a reason as any: the Grand Edition from the Stanton Watch Co.—artisanal watchmakers based in NYC—and it just so happens that our comrades in style over at UrbanDaddy Perks have an exclusive cache of them. They’ve been produced in a limited run (which should set you apart from the usual suspects), with a gold bezel to lend formality to any occasion, and they’ve got a sapphire case back that allows you to watch the 25-jewel automatic movement in action when you’re not wearing it.
Consider that a little secret between the two of you.
Keys, wallet, phone.
Rarely are all three of these things packed and ready to go when you are, thus the frantic scurrying, the mindless patting of pants that haven’t been worn since Easter, the “would you mind calling my phone,” followed by “I thought you said your phone was out of battery,” followed by blank stares as yet another movie night is ruined.
This iPhone 5 case/aged leather wallet from Portal may be just the type of all-or-nothing game changer your pocket organization system (dwindling movie date success rate) has been hoping for.
You’re on your own with the keys.
Drake’s London has been making some of our favorite silk scarves, ties and pocket squares for some time now—and they’ve just branched out into leather.
It’s their first foray into tanned hide, so they’ve kept the collection small, but we’re most interested in the military wet pack now that fall travel season is upon us. It’s a dopp kit cut in bridle leather, with a bright red waterproof lining, and looks to be more spacious than most roll-ups we’ve seen in the past, with just about every shape of pocket that could possibly come in handy.
Yes, even one for your bone-handle straight razor.
Let’s talk about Fashion Week. While we try to steer clear of the capital-F-ness of it all, there’s plenty of worthwhile menswear happening. So, to recap it all, we’ve scoured the usual boots-on-the-ground suspects to bring you a compendium of everything you need to know about what happened (and what you’ll be wearing in six months). Just the facts.
You’re probably familiar with the shearling coats for your feet that UGG Australia has become famous for—but you should be interested to hear they’ve recently upped their men’s shoe ante.
With handsome results, we might add.
They’ve got a whole new line of fall-ready leather and canvas shoes—most of which are tough-as-nails boots sans fur. Plus they’ve just set up shop in NYC with an UGG for Men concept store (you can find a closer one here, if you’re not in town) where you can try them on firsthand.
Or rather, firstfoot.
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.
Definitely a better investment than Facebook.
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