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An UrbanDaddy Publication

Samsonite Circa 1940

  • Najib Benouar

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

  • Najib Benouar

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...

Everything you need to know from May’s crop of glossies.»

A Proper Sailing Watch

  • Najib Benouar

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 April Issues

Gentlemen, a new month is upon us.

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.

Here’s everything you need to know from March’s crop of magazines»

Going Disney


Takashi Murakami’s ongoing Louis Vuitton collaboration has already yielded some strange fruits, but he shows no signs of letting up. This video is the second instance of his Miyazaki-esque animated side in the service of a strangely tongue-in-cheek style of branding.

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.

See the video»

To the Moon, Alice


The new face of Louis Vuitton has most recently cycled from counter-revolutionary heads of state to island-hopping Scottish nationalists, but apparently they’ve now turned their attention to the heavens. The latest Liebowitz-lensed spot brings together original moon-man Buzz Aldrin, Challenger favorite Sally Ride and noted Tom Hanks-lookalike James Lowell for a bit of star-gazing, with the help of their NASA-approved Vuitton-print bags.

We’re guessing Chuck Yeager was too grizzled to be involved.

Leighton, Sarah, and Louis


Girls Gone Somewhat Wild: Terry Richardson redeems himself yet again, providing art for the 18th Gossip Girl-related cover story so far. [Rolling Stone]

Boyish Charm: In case you needed more Band of Outsiders… Sarah Silverman takes over for Kirsten Dunst with Band of Outsiders latest “Boy” shoot. [The Moment]

Westward, Ho: Michael Williams heads to SXSW…and we are jealous yet again. [A Continuous Lean]

Clash of the Titans: Louis Vuitton takes Google to court over copyright infringement. Which side will Kanye choose? [The Cut]

Built to Last

depression_crop.jpgvia LIFE

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?

Only time will tell.

Parkways, Spray Paint and the Resilience of Sex Shops


Scenic Route: ACL waxes nostalgic over Connecticut’s own Merritt Parkway. We were always partial to the Pacific Coast Highway ourselves… [A Continuous Lean]

Louis Louie: Does it still count as tagging if you’re doing it yourself? And instead of a 16-year old Bronx kid, you’re a multinational luxury corporation? [High Snobriety]

Hard Times: Like trucking, the sex industry is recession-proof. We wonder what this means for Amsterdam… [PSFK]

Fry Like an Eagle: Stephen Fry doesn’t care if you pronounce it “aks” instead of “ask.” And since he’s English, that’s saying a lot. [BoingBoing]

Vuitton’s Troubles, Fresh Kimonos, and Italian Women

Strong Cheesecake: The famous Pirelli calendar hits newsstands, edited by Kempt favorite Peter Beard. Somehow, we expected more baboon action. [Men.Style]

Louis Louis: Mr. Vuitton feels the pinch. Save us, Yeezy! [Luxist]

The Long Tail: Sameer Reddy peers into the dark economic soul of the fashion industry. [Newsweek]

The Kimono Strikes Back: Traditional dress gets a resurgence in Tokyo. Now if it just crossed the Pacific… [Monocle]

Second Skin


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.

Mostly we’re just surprised they’re still standing by Takashi after so long. After all, the store doesn’t look that different from one of the walls at Murakami’s Brooklyn Museum exhibit when this whole crazy trip started off.

Maybe they’re in it for art after all.