Sunday, May 30, 2010

Italia Independent

I was surprised to learn that many of the times we see Lapo Elkann rocking some insane outfit that he is actually wearing some of his own gear via his brand Italia Independent, for which he serves as president.  Italia Independent, also referred to as I-I, is grounded very much in the principles and philosophy that seem to govern Lapo's own life - individualism and the Italian way of life.  Everything about I-I, from design to manufacturing, focuses on both Italian heritage and innovation as Lapo's brand really seems to straddle the line between both the classic and the cutting edge.  The stuff aint cheap by any stretch of the imagination and it may help to be an automotive heir to actually buy this stuff, but there is no denying that this dude is seriously a visionary.  Seersucker cargo shorts? Club collar popovers?  Good to know his grandfather's money isn't going to waste.  Check out the stuff that's currently for sale on I-I's website and some pics of Lapo showing off a few creations at last year's Pitti Uomo.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

JFK's Shades

Thanks to an Anonymous commenter in the previous post I was pointed towards the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum which catalogs many of JFK's personal effects.  If you look under "Sunglasses" you will see that while JFK did indeed wear Wayfarer style glasses his actual shades appear to be made by American Optical ("True color Polaroid tc74-51") and Titmus ("Cabana TS 2505").  While it is wholly possible that JFK did wear Ray-Ban Wayfarers at some point in his life I think it is more accurate to site AO's Saratoga model as his sunglasses of choice - in the iconic Wayfarer style, but lacking Ray Ban branding and featuring much slimmer stems.


JFK And The Unofficial Preppy Handbook

For a quick, yet entertaining Saturday read head over to Nowness where they honor JFK's birthday by breaking down his personal style and charting his influence on fashion today.  The latter of the two pieces entitled The Unofficial Preppy Handbook features insight from menswear stalwarts Scott Sternberg and Michael Bastian, while touching on trends from Williamsburg to Silver Lake.  


Happy Birthday, Mr. President

JFK and his unparalleled presidential Trad turn 93 today...


Friday, May 28, 2010

Shoe Healer's Custom Tricker's

Most of the time when people are blogging or talking about crazy ass customs shoes Tricker's is usually the culprit.  The British shoemakers are notorious for their custom orders and if you see a batshit brogue on the internet it's often a safe bet to assume Tricker's had a hand in its creation.  Check out Shoe Healer's, a UK shop with a Tricker's account, impressive gallery of various custom jobs they have done for clients.  Not crazy enough for you?  Give them a call and they'll get Tricker's to make whatever clown shoes you'd like.  If you happen to be Japanese I think it's safe to assume this is automatically your favorite Sart Inc post ever - you guys love your custom Tricker's. A lot.


A Few Thoughts On Woolrich's 180th Anniversary

Hopefully you read Start With Typewriters and recently saw my man Jeremy's post on Woolrich's 180th Anniversary limited edition F/W 2010 collection.  The collection is a small, well edited batch of wearable items complete with Woolrich's signature outdoorsy aesthetic.  One can only assume that when this collection was being designed that Woolrich wanted to honor its heritage, both new and old.  In my eyes Woolrich has been one of the few brands that has stuck to it guns while continuing to push the envelope with its diffusion lines (via a distribution deal with Italy's WP) .  It is truly rare to see such an establish brand branch out with not only one, but two supplementary brands - I'm speaking of Woolrich Woolen Mills and Woolrich John Rich  Bros. of course.  In recent years Woolrich has been able to simultaneously continue to provide classic goods to their established customer base and reach out to a whole new demographic, myself included.  The 180th Anniversary collection draws from both of these ideas by presenting an almost greatest hits collection of gear from years past.  Look closely and you'll see classic Woolrich silhouettes along with recent additions to their catalog via Daiki Suzuki's Woolen Mills designs and the collective braintrust of John Rich & Bros.  It's a job well done from a consumers standpoint and an incredible snapshot of a brand who for 180 years had done pretty much everything right without ever sacrificing their integrity.

[Pictures courtesy of SWT.]


Attn: 50% Off Entire Martin + Osa Stock

Damn, M+O really wants to get rid of their remaining stock.  From now until the 31st you can grab everything at a 50% off clip so you can load up that cart and spend some money like it's a three day weekend - I guess the memorial is for Martin  + Osa.  I'd personally take advantage of this opportunity to pick up some gear you might have been on the fence about i.e. white jeans, popovers or those crazy looking Engineered Garments blatant rip-off shorts at the bottom.  With the sale you can get the stuff cheap and see if certain items ends up working out for you and if not, no love lost.  Also, if you still need a pair of Topsiders or Jack Purcell's make sure you holler.  Some Sart Inc picks below...


Attn: Back By Popular Demand

The J. Crew webstore has a new (at least to me) section entitled "Back By Popular Demand" which will serve as a place to highlight the "perennial" favorites that had previously sold out or "were just too good not to come back for yet another season".  It's hard to believe why some of these items are back or have any popular demand associated with them - cough polos cough, but J. Crew is reissuing their ever popular McAllister boots, distressed Jack Purcell's and the Alden waxed Longwing collaboration.  If you're a massive fan of J. Crew and had your eye on a specific item that has since been long gone I recommend heading over and checking out what's up for grabs.

As a side note, I kinda wish some of my favorite brands did something similar to this. That way I could have all three styles of Allen Edmonds Mora's and some of the absolutely killer WWM outerwear styles from yesteryear among other things.  A kid can dream I guess...


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Perfect Pairs

Speaking of collaborations between Woolrich and designers like Daiki Suzuki and Mark McNairy, a new piece in Apparel Mag, entitled "Perfect Pairs: Heritage Men's Wear Brands and Young ", explores the trend of old brands collaborating with young designers.  It's written by the talented Christian Chensvold of Ivy Style fame and explores the many sides of collaborating and the motivations behind partnerships that often seem bizarre on the surface.  When Christian was researching this article he hollered at me for a list of collaborations he might be unaware of so it's neat to see this piece come to fruition - I hope that wasn't that too much like Edison's mailman claiming he helped invent electricity.  Anyhow, give it a read as you're sure to learn something.


Attn: Mark McNairy Succeeds Daiki Suzuki At WWM

Both WWD and Woolrich have confirmed the exciting news that Mark McNairy will succeed his good friend Daiki Suzuki as the creative director of Woolrich Woolen Mills post S/S 2011.  Where things go from here only Mark knows, but I couldn't be more excited for both him and Woolrich.  I talked with Mark a little about his move a while back and he seemed extremely excited to be working for a company that will finally let him design the way he wants to - no more swimming against the current for one of American's most talented designers.  A friend of mine even got a sneak peak at some of Mark's WWM sketches and apparently the stuff is bonkers.  Congrats are surely due to Mark, his family and Woolrich.

[Picture courtesy of Mister Mort.]


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Generic Man

Kevin Carney, the creative director of The Generic Man/Generic Surplus, and I have more in common than just an appreciation for the classic and understated.  Kevin's roots are here in North Carolina and in his younger years he actually spent some time DJing in and around Winston-Salem - the city I called home for 4 years of my life.  With those days firmly behind him Kevin now helps run two incredibly cool shoe companies while also heading up a shop in L.A.  With The Generic Man getting some great press lately I thought it would be cool for Kevin to talk a little about what has become their "signature" shoe - The Naval.  With the weather heating up you can't go wrong with a simple hardbottom complete with canvas upper.  Shoes like that allow for serious airflow and keep your dogs cool and smelling right.  The Naval is easily my one of my favorite S/S options when it comes to footwear not only for its functionality, but its super clean looks.  In Kevin's own words:

"When creating the last for the Naval I tried to walk the line between the classic British toe shape and the Italian toe shape.  Not too pointy and not too round.  I also kept in mind that it is sometimes nice to have a stitched rubber outsole for extra traction and it gives this shoe a bit more of a sturdy look and ready for all seasons.  Initially we made this shoe only with elastic so it could be worn laceless but since it has adopted laces.  The sole has gone through some color changes from a lighter shade of cork to a darker shade of walnut as I feel it gives it a richer look.  Long live the Naval!

Below...The first pair is from the first production run of TGM for FAll 07.  This is my personal pair that I have worn hundreds of times over the past 4 years and to me the dirtier they get the better they look.  No resole yet...still holding strong.  Our factory prides themselves in being one of the best in Portugal so I have to say after 4 years of wear...these are solid....especially for a canvas upper."

"These are my feet...a pair of Naval's in cognac suede that will be coming out for Fall 10...already broke them in and are going to be my go to for the coming season.  Barney's will have these for Fall."

Below are some of the current colorways available for S/S 2010.


Brunello Cucinelli F/W 2010 Preview

Courtesy of Frans Boone and his shop we have some preview pics of Cucinelli's upcoming F/W 2010 collection.  It's nothing new, but that's all good considering Brunello's masterful grasp on Italian sportswear.  His signature slimmed up cargo pants are obviously present as well as some beautiful looking outerwear ranging from superbly tailored sportcoats to rugged, yet luxurious jackets.  How crazy is that double breasted quilted joint? Goddamn!  I like seeing non-lookbook fit pics so you can get a better idea of how stuff fits off the rack and as expected Cucinelli's is virtually perfect.  Recently I was able to finally drop by a BC shop and after getting hands on with his gear my mind was pretty much blown.  If you have the kind of money required to buy this stuff you should probably go ahead and do just that so people like myself can live vicariously through you, while thoroughly hating you with every ounce of our being.