So Fresh So Clean: The chaps at Valet provide us with instructions on rehabbing our smudged Seavees—and, secondarily, any white sneakers anyone else might have. [Valet]
The Climbing Youth: On the off-chance you aren’t spending this weekend climbing mountains in the Northwest, you should at least check out these vintage pics of a group of kids doing the same. [Archival Clothing]
The Goods: A slideshow of all the weird stuff that’s been confiscated by customs at JFK airport. Kind of amazing, really. [NYTimes]
Because Your Socks are Sad: Just in case you’re interested, Happy Socks are having a half-off sale. [Josh Spear]
The good news is, it’s producing some pretty fantastic gear. This Albam Summit Pack was designed for carrying carabiners and ice axes, but it wouldn’t look too out of place carrying a stack of LPs through Brooklyn on the back of a fixed gear. And since it’s from the London-based Albam—who you might remember—the whole thing’s sewn together in England, where they’ll hopefully remember a thing or two about Alpinism.
Patagonia is giving us the next best thing with their latest site, the Tin Shed (via Josh Spear). It’s not exactly complete transparency, but it gives a peek into the early history of the brand, which turns out to look a little different than you’d expect.
Much as we’re inspired by more Eastern peaks, it may be the Rockies have gotten a raw deal. Western looks come and go, but they rarely head that far north. We’re not sure what it would look like, outside of the occasional sheepskin, but after these pictures, we’re definitely ready to find out.
If you’ve picked up this month’s GQ, you may have noticed a rare bit of prognosticating in the Editor’s Note. In case you haven’t, here’s the gist: With the help of a few well-chosen futurist, EiC Jim Nelson envisions a future of heavily-bearded, housebound, and impotent American men.
Leaving aside how he gets there, we aren’t sure how the beard ended up with such a bad rap. For Nelson, beards are a cipher for masculinity, not the genuine article, but he’s too heavily invested in his clean-shaven mug to see the truth. The mountain men are only gaining in strength, and the time will come when unkempt masculinity will rise up to displace the clean-shaven ideal that’s reigned for so long. (This may also coincide with all of us losing our jobs.) A few whiskers won’t make men any less virile, even if we need to trade razors for clippers and recalibrate our dopp kits.
As expected, Japan is already making a play to be the go-to source for Americana. Exhibit A: the latest line from Tokyo-based Hare, which delves into both workwear and the previously unnamed mountainwear, which consists mostly of flannel and nylon vests.
As is becoming the rule with Japanese designs, it’s familiar but stripped down enough to seem a few steps ahead of the stateside curve. There's a lot of emphasis on scarves and boots, but somebody has to pick up the accessory slack.