The heritage trend has done a lot of good—especially in the quality department. When you “make ’em like they used to,” they’ll last that way, too. But there are still a few things out there that have yet to board the heritage revival train. Case in point: this spectacular set of hard-sided alligator suitcases from Samsonite. Usually such a find would require a lot of vintage digging, but luckily our friends over at UrbanDaddy Perks have unearthed a handsome collection of vintage luggage from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Valextra—most of which you’ll find at a fraction of modern-day retail—to be added to your already dapper travel regimen.
The May issues are in and we’ve got a mixed bag on our hands.
May can be a tricky style month to predict. It puts us in the late-spring-but-it-might-already-feel-like-summer zone of weather, so it’s hard to know whether we’re going to want to see umbrellas or madrases. (GQ hedged with umbrellas). It’s safe to assume most of this stuff went to print while April showers were still raging (and Derrick Rose was still playoffs-bound), meaning everyone’s predictions were a little off. So, in the name of menswear journalism, we trod through the mid-weight blazers, the white canvas shoes (well in advance of Memorial Day), a few instances of déjà vu and an unsettlingly low amount of eye candy to bring you...
When it comes to watches, we’d prefer form to follow function—and usually you wouldn’t expect that from a fashion label like Louis Vuitton.
But their Tambour America’s Cup Automatic Regatta is actually a very serious nautical chronograph—no gold stampings, no haute je ne sais quois. Just PVD casing, rubber bezel and strap and the pièce de résistance: an in-house movement. It seems the French fashion house has taken horology very seriously lately—we’re guessing around when they became the official timekeepers of global yachting race, the America’s Cup. (They’ve released this watch and its quartz doppelgänger in anticipation of the Italian leg of the race.) Aside from being made in-house—a sure sign of dedication to watch making—another nice benefit of the automatic movement is the addition of a power-reserve wheel (in blue), giving the dial an even sportier look. Paired with the rubber strap, you’ve got a decidedly rugged and summery watch.
Just when that lizard grain on your wrist has been getting muggy.
The good news is, this one features a lot more Sofia Vergara from Esquire and a 100 points of spring style from GQ, among other things. Naturally, we don’t agree with every last piece of it, so we’ve provided a running commentary for this month’s print crop, separating the sublime from the ridiculous. Consider this the Cliffs Notes version.
You hear a lot about the good old days, but here’s an artifact to prove it. This turn-of-the-century Louis Vuitton suitcase is coming up for auction at Bonhams next Wednesday. Don’t be fooled by the monogram; the era means this was hammered out in a Parisian atelier, which makes for quite a find—and it’ll only set you back about a fifth of what the modern version costs. Going once…
The video—on display now in Japanese LV stores-is a fairly straightforward advertising fable—a young girl is transported to 1890s Paris to fall in love with a 14-year-old Gaston Louis Vuitton—but it’s a good deal more psychedelic than is strictly necessary, and Murakami’s mushroom shaped creations and jittery electronic strums are a bit too unsettling for the story to fit nicely in the inviting world of advertising.
We’ve got the sneaking suspicion someone’s trying to pull something, but we’re not sure who it is.
It’s tough to say what luxury looks like during hard times, but it’s a question fashion houses are going to have to answer one way or another. We’ve got a few ideas ourselves—most notably this one—but we imagine the Louis Vuitton folks have smarter minds than us working on this one as we speak.
The Choosy Beggar just weighed in with an answer we can get behind: sturdier, more durable clothes to last through whatever comes our way. This is what raw denim was reaching for, and it might be the only thing that would get modern consumers to drop serious money on clothing again. But after 15 years of churning out disposable duds, are labels ready to think long term?
Just when it seemed like things were cooling down for Takashi Murakami, the holidays roll around and everyone in retail goes completely insane.
In the case of Louis Vuitton, that means wrapping an entire store in a vinyl sheet imprinted with your latest pattern. As branding moves go, it’s hard to beat dressing up your store as an enormous handbag, although Marc Jacobs could still top it by tattooing his name across his forehead.