Kempt

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Your International Guide to the Newest Men’s Shops

  • Najib Benouar

Men's Shops

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.

Your guide to the newest men’s shop openings across the globe.»

Far From the Tradding Crowd

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Part two in our series on adventurous short-sleeved button-ups takes us to none other than Mark McNairy, who recently dropped this playful oxford shirt at streetwear powerhouse Dave’s Quality Meats over the weekend.

It’s an odd pairing on the face of it—this is the man who resuscitated J.Press, after all—but it follows a certain kind of post-Bixby logic, and it certainly doesn’t hurt the price point. The funhouse Brooks Brothers look is pretty timely at the moment, it’ll certainly keep you clear of the accountant look, and oxford cloth is still oxford cloth. By that measure, we’d say it’s a pretty good item—even if it’s a few steps ahead of where most preppies are these days.

Going Dotty

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Thom Browne has been venturing away from the shrunken suit look lately, but this (hat tip) might be the first piece he’s made that counts as Kanye-esque.

The shell is a classic Americana piece, a rainwear parka that wouldn’t look too out of place on Clark Griswold, but once you add polka dots it starts to look an awful lot like streetwear. It is a hoodie, after all.

We’re certainly not complaining; it’s always good to see a designer testing the limits of their talent. We just didn’t expect there to be so much in it for Pharrell.

Moon Unit

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Streetwear’s usually an all-or-nothing proposition, but if you’ve got a taste for flashy side items, it’s easy to cherrypick a wallet or a t-shirt without delving into the world of fitted caps and spaceman sneakers.

Or, in this case, a pair of sunglasses.

These come from BBC, apparently designed to match these jeans, but they should do all right on their own. The silver lenses give it an even spacier feeling—supposedly inspired by NASA—putting them worlds away from the more understated clubmasters of the world. But if you’re looking for a few edgier accents, a little astronaut flavoring might be just what you need.

Kicking Off

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Maison Martin Margiela has been dipping their toes in the sneaker game for some time, but usually they favor a style of spaceman high-top that, like most avant-garde sneakers, appeals more to streetwear shops than the haute crowd.

Luckily, this season finds MMM taking that same monochrome sleakness to a soccer-shoe model, and the result is pretty envy-inspiring. The silhouette may be treading on Puma territory, but the all-leather approach and the perfectly chosen shade of blue place it a few cuts above the competition. Not that we'd expect anything less...

…But No More than a Quantum

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Going for Gold: The civic-minded Alicia Keys gets the Golden Note from a composers group. We’re guessing Quantum put her over the top. [Variety]

Half in the Bag: Porter tries a streetwear collab, and we are unusually conflicted. [Hypebeast]

In Control: An illustrated history of the videogame controller. [Gizmodo]

Because It’s Friday: Pick the Perp is the internet’s newest flash game, and the best use of mug shots since Conan moved to 11:30. [WBE]

Ms. Bundchen, Mrs. Love, and the Endangered Cork

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The Carter: Gisele spends the latest Vanity Fair shoot finding creative ways to avoid goosebumps. [FashionIndie]

Tapped Out: Wines may be ditching the cork for the spigot. Anything that nets fewer corkscrew injuries is fine with us. [NYTimes]

All For Love: According to her publicist, Courtney Love is actually very frugal. [Luxist]

Ape Shall Not Purchase Ape: Boutique streetwear may not be the recession-proof staple we thought it was. [PSFK]

Trickle Down

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Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club label is usually too firmly on the streetwear side of things to catch our eye, but this striped shirt caught our eye as a potential crossover piece.

It looks like something we’d pick up at A.P.C.…so much so that we scoured their back catalog looking for this exact item. But the issue isn’t sartorial plagiarism so much as a healthy exchange of ideas. This item made its way from pasty Parisians to hip-hop futurists in just a few seasons.

Does that mean streetwear is going French?

Street Life

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The Dow may be surging, but it’s going to be quite some time before that money trickles down to the average man of style…much less the average shop-owner.

Hypebeast recently had the same idea as us, and approached some of the wiser boutique men and label owners with notebook in hand.

Streetwear isn’t exactly our scene, but the lessons are more or less the same: cut back on stock, streamline production, and try to ride the whole mess out. The most surprising takeaway is the longterm effect of all the sample sales you’ve been seeing. We aren’t usually inclined to speak ill of the occasional 80% discount, but labels and shops need high margins to keep afloat, which makes it hard to imagine what the sample sale scene will look like six months from now.

We excerpt some of the best advice»