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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, Milan, London, Hong Kong, the usual. Because you never know when you’re going to need a new pair of striped socks while in Amsterdam.

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

Upgrading the Hotel Slipper

Portegna Slippers

Here’s a new secret weapon for your weekender bag: a pair of leather slippers. This pair comes from Portegna—a Spanish leather company more accustomed to handbags and card holders—with a little design help from Monocle. It’s designed to sub in for the flimsy hotel slippers you usually find alongside your terrycloth bathrobe. But instead of cotton and cardboard, these are glove-soft leather—and the kind of thing you might actually want to wear around the house.

Three Sartorial Affectations That Double as Halloween Costumes


Halloween can present a challenge for a well-dressed man—especially now that the “Don Draper” costume is well past its expiration date—but we’ve got a solution for you. It involves monocles…

The menswear canon has a lot of items that are both fantastic in a “deep trad” kind of way and completely ridiculous in any normal setting. This is your chance to see what you can do with them. And thanks to the pandemonium of style that will going on around you, you’ll look good pretty much no matter what.

Here’s a good place to get started»

Barbara Bouchet is Fern-Friendly

barbarabouchet_crop.jpgvia WBE

Knit-Picking: Monocle scores again, with a set of Bolivian-knit sweaters. [Limited Hype]

I Have the Power: America finally gets its own ridiculous supercar—the SSC Ultimate Aero II—to compete with the Bugattis of the world. We are available for test drives. [Jalopnik]

Jenny from the Block: Jenny Lewis records a new album, sits in the backseat of a car wearing shorts. [Vanity Fair]

Convalescin’ in the Mine!: The first day after a long weekend is always a drag, but think of it this way: at least you aren’t convalescing from an asthma attack in an eerie Ukranian salt mine. [Raw File]

Slipper Culture


These Kyoto-inspired slippers are the latest item in Monocle’s never-ending parade of desirable goods, and they got us thinking about exactly where the slipper falls in the modern domestic arsenal. Most western eyes probably see these as a good item for Sunday mornings—possibly to be paired with a bathrobe and a homemade Bloody Mary—but to Japanese eyes, they’re a good deal more versatile. Stop by a Japanese house, and you’ll find an array of these slippers at the entrance for padding around after you’ve taken off your street shoes. If you’re looking to institute a shoe-free household—and avoid bloggy repercussions—you could do a lot worse than picking up a half-dozen of these. At the very least, they’ll be handsomer than socks.

Sleep With One Eye Open


Scanning the catalog of the newly landed Warby Parker Eyewear, we were pleased to come across this tradwear gem: the monocle.

Currently available under the Lewis Carroll-esque name, “Colonel Whisky Tortoise,” it’s one of the few monocles that we’ve seen actually make it onto a line sheet in quite some time. It’s pretty far along in the trad continuum—i.e. on your wishlist, it should go somewhere below your second plaid three-piece suit—but if you need to break something to register comic disbelief, accept no substitutes.

Going Vertical


The chaps at Monocle are in the news again for launching both a Hong Kong bureau and a program on the BBC World News channel—a pair that would overjoy J-school purists, if it didn’t come attached to a magazine that’s looking more like a boutique every day. For those keeping score, Newsweek doesn’t have either.

The line so far is that they funded the new bureau with tote bag sales. Of course, all their revenue goes to the same place, so you might as well say they funded it with blackberry sales, retail money or (gasp!) good old advertising. It’s sort of true, but more than a little unfair.

Still, we’re going to call Good Idea on this one.

Here’s why»

Lara Stone Gets into the Handbag Business


Heart of Stone: To the applause of the masses, Lara Stone takes over for Madonna as the scantily clad figure in well-lit print ads. [Luxist]

So Hot Right Now: The monocle trend—also known as Klink-chic—is apparently sweeping the west coast. Maybe driven by the magazine? [All the Rage]

The Doorman Will Thank You: Emily Post advises on matters of holiday tipping. [Lifehacker]

Two States: The designer of the 50 state American flag has just passed away. Perhaps an Americana tribute is in order? [Unbeige]

On the Job


No longer satisfied with newsstands, radio, and the scarf business, Monocle is moving into publishing. Their latest one-off is a hard bound book called The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, and it looks like the latest in a long string of good ideas.

The binding is perfect, the run is limited to 1000 copies (just on the cusp of a guaranteed sellout) and the book itself, from Swiss essayist Alain de Botton, looks both impeccably written and perfectly chosen for Monocle’s office-bound demographic. A few hundred pages of well-thought musings on the nature of the working life might be just the thing to remind them what they liked about books in the first place.

Luckily, the magazine offers the perfect venue for publicizing the book, and they already have a few stores they can place it in—all of which makes Tyler Brule look more like Ted Turner than William Shawn.

At what point do we stop calling them a magazine and start calling them an empire?



Apparently Monocle’s exclusive Woolrich Woolen Mills jacket isn’t quite so exclusive after all.

In fact, if you’re willing to settle for a black version (instead of Monocle’s Navy and Olive), you can get exactly the same jacket stateside for $50 less. It’s a bit surprising, since all their previous goods were whipped up just for them. We guess Mr. Suzuki didn’t want to waste any good ideas.

So we guess Monocle's contribution was picking out a couple fabric swatches?

The Paper Mill


With Monocle steadily making its way through our favorite brands, it was only a matter of time before they got around to Woolrich Woolen Mills.

Daiki Suzuki’s current marque teamed up with the London lifestyle mag for this spring jacket (via Hypebeast), which does as good a job of showcasing Suzuki’s unique style as anything we’ve seen.

The lightweight, unstructured fabric is simple enough, but a closer look shows all kinds of oddball details, from the ticket pocket on the right side to the puzzling cutaway around the middle button in front.

In keeping with their usual small-run strategy, only 110 of the jackets were produced (half in navy, half in olive), but we’re betting it won’t be too hard to come away with one. They’ve only been on the market a few hours…and £370 is nothing to sneeze at.

Going East


Monocle knows their way around the continent a lot better than we do, when they start listing shops, we start taking notes.

The latest piece on their 20 favorite retailers (via PSFK) held more surprises than most. The stateside entries are reduced to New York’s Odin, L.A.’s James Perse, and San Francisco’s Bi Rite, but the best finds are from a bit farther out.

Osaka usually misses out on the West’s Japanophilia, so it’s good to know about Truck Furniture. But most of all, we’re happy Beirut’s Johnny Farah is getting some love. Farah used to consult with Donna Karan, and his handbags still find their way into boutiques around the world, but his flagship shop is in Lebanon, where the artisinal cobbling tradition never went away, and you can get a pair of hand-crafted shoes unlike anything you’ll find in London or Milan.

See the list in full»

Mr. Fantastic


After Monocle used their brand to launch a shop, a newsstand and a half-dozen brilliant collabs, it was only a matter of time before more pubs got in on the action.

The first to catch on is Fantastic Man, a boutique European biannual best known for favoring designers over models for their cover shot. But apparently two issues a year leaves them a little free time for other pursuits like perfumery, because they’re debuting the magazine’s signature cologne next Monday. They’ll follow it up with a candle collaboration with Acne, but we’re still waiting for a bit of apparel to creep into the mix.

Get our take on the impromptu scent»