Monthly Archives: March 2009

Patagonia, Role Model

gpiw_front“Yeah, he wanted to make incredible products, but those products would be part of a bigger, greater vision– creating a role model for people who wanted to build a sustainable and responsible organization.” – The Selvedge Yard

gpiw_001JP of The Selvedge Yard continually inspires me with his posts. Recently, he highlighted Jim Collins’ piece in the current issue of Inc. Magazine. Mr. Collins refers to Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, as one of “the original ’80s revolutionary entrepreneurs.” In the late winter and early spring of 2007, I read Mr. Chouinard’s book, Let My People Go Surfing. He deftly describes how it is possible to build a financially viable – scratch that – hugely successful business and maintain a modicum of peace-of-mind. Reading his memoir, along with a fateful hiking trip to Colorado, changed my life. I cleaned out my closet. Changed my diet. Found work that inspired me. Spent more time outside.

gpiw_016Since that time, I’ve sought out companies with a mission similar to Patagonia. Apolis Activism and Nau come to mind. Apolis, with its Union of Trade, and Nau with its commitment to developing fabrics that are 100% organic, 100% recycled, and 100% recyclable are indebted to Uncle Yvon, and I’m fairly certain the Parton brothers of Apolis will tell you that his background as an enviro-activist played a part in the development of their mission. gpiw_096

In the Inc. piece, Mr. Collins observes that every 20-30 years there is a major development in the evolution of business that we become aware of only in retrospect. I wonder what Mr. Collins will say in 2030 when referring to the whippersnappers entering business today. Maybe it’s because this is where my interests lie, but new clothing companies, especially companies started by and for young men, appear to be growing in number with each passing day. My hope is that they will take note of elders like Mr. Chouinard and Mr. Collins, that they won’t make the same mistakes so many before them have made. This is a call for consideration. Learn from history. Read. A lot. gpiw_094

All images c/o the 1975 Catalogue for Patagonia’s umbrella company, Great Pacific Iron Works.

For a brief history of Patagonia, visit their website.

For one such whippersnapper, see what Yvon’s son Fletcher is doing with surfboards.

Must Read:

Blessed Unrest.

Cradle to Cradle.

Let My People Go Surfing.

Raising the Bar.

Small Giants.


Special thanks to Ready for the House for the killer GPIW find.


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Mosley Tribes, Summer/Fall 2009

flynn_lifeKyle Demers of DQM rocks his own Bean Boots. The frames are Flynns by Mosley Tribes.

Saturday, I had the great pleasure of hanging out with Patrick Torres-Wright, brilliant art director for youth-inspired eyewear brand Mosley Tribes. At a show for parent company Oliver Peoples, he walked me through Mosley’s offerings. A true gentleman, kind and courteous, he took a lot of time and care in showing me what’s coming for Summer/Fall 2009, and I can’t thank him enough.


The Bromleys feature lightweight metal encased in thin polished plastic on either side of the lenses. They have a modified aviator shape which sports a double-bridge brow bar. The understated MT logo is laminated in complimenting silver or gold at the temple tip. Of all the color options available, I like the oak gold/brown combination. They reminded me of the marbled, knobby wood interior of an old Range Rover.


The name “Mosley” coined by Oliver Peoples’ founder and Creative Director Larry Leight alongside his son, Garrett, is meant to elicit a feeling of euphoria that only Venice Beach can provide. And “Tribe,” well, the “Mosley Tribe” is a band of brothers, of like-minded individuals who adhere to a certain skate-rat mentality, brother for brother, in creative ventures big and small. The hope is to keep Mosley Tribes a brand run by creative individuals who are as close to the consumer as possible.


As Kyle demonstrates, the sleek unisex design of the Flynn, hand-crafted of polished acetate, is a classic shape. This frame features tapered temples and an eye frame so thin it almost appears non-existent. If I were to buy these, I’d stick with the classic matte black metal on black acetate temples with some grey lenses polarized by Barberini of Italy for superior UV protection.


This­ double-bridge aviator looks good on everyone. Mosley’s aviators always kill it, and the Raynes are no exception.  These high-quality, lightweight metal frames with their handsome teardrop shape boast a pair of miraculous Air Tech nose pads which automatically adjust their volume of air for a snug fit. I had to try it to truly appreciate how cool this technology is. The temple tips are silicone. I’m partial to the forrest-colored frames with the peridot photochromic lenses (this means they darken on exposure to UV rays), but it’s definitely worth it to check out every option MT offers.

For more of Paul Sun’s photography, see the Mosley Tribes look book which features Central Park’s literary walk or check out his site, The Social Trust.


Special thanks, again, to Patrick and everyone at Mosley Tribes for your wonderful hospitality Saturday.


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In Defense of: Overalls

Overalls NewmanNewman

Overalls FondaFonda



Overalls de Kooningde Kooning

overalls-chouinard-equipmentChouinard Equipment

Overalls San FranciscoFor more evidence see:

On the Daily. And again.

The Pursuit Aesthetic.


Reference Library.

The Sartorialist.


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idaftI spent much of this Sunday perfecting my version of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” Click here, waste your day.

Check your work with the original.

Special thanks to simplesinger for alerting me to this. Also, forever indebted to AW for introducing me to Daft Punk when I was a wiry freshman with an unfortunate penchant for glow sticks. A, I still have my helmet stored somewhere.daft


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Tim’s Aran Sweater

I have watched this video at least ten times since discovering it earlier this week.

Tim’s Aran sweater is beautiful. Steve’s is, too.

BE020830In college, I directed a production of Irish playwright J.M. Synge’s short play, Riders to the Sea, and I’ve been obsessed with Aran sweaters ever since. The sweaters of Irish fishermen, they come from the Arans, a set of islands off the west coast of Ireland. Legend has it that each family’s sweater was knitted in a cable unique to them. As the play conveys, the morbid purpose was to identify fishermen lost at sea. After they drowned, their sweaters would wash to shore, and the women and children who longed for the return of their fathers and brothers would troll the beaches in search of closure.

According to Galway-based O Máille:

The Cable Stitch is a depiction of the fisherman’s ropes, and represents a wish for a fruitful day at sea.

The Diamond Stitch reflects the small fields of the islands. These diamonds are sometimes filled with Irish moss stitch, depicting the seaweed that was used to fertilise the barren fields and produce a good harvest. Hence the diamond stitch is a wish for success and wealth.

The Zig Zag Stitch, a half diamond, is often used in the Aran Sweaters, and popularly represents the twisting cliff paths on the islands.

The Tree of Life is one of the original stitches, and is unique to the earliest examples of the Aran knitwear. It again reflects the importance of the clan, and is an expression of a desire for clan unity, with long-lived parents and strong children.

Visit O Máille for more.

Also, I love how Mordechai exclaims, “Cactuses!” And Tim replies, “Yeah… I’m sort of into handmade clothes.” His boots are reminiscent of a pair Johnny Depp has reportedly worn nearly every day since opening the Viper Room in 1993.

For more on Aran Sweaters:

Wikipedia debunks the myth of the Aran Sweater.

Clan Aran Sweaters one of the higher-quality makers.

O Máille, handmade sweaters and costumer for John Ford’s classic, The Quiet Man.

Inverallan, a Scottish company that has done collaborations with Japanese companies like Beams to create new spins on the Aran sweater.

Special thanks to Mr. Mordechai Rubinstein for sharing the wonderful video.


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Plaid Cereal

ok-cerealWhat’s good enough for Yogi is good enough for me.

Image c/o Flickr


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Board It, Naturally

hobieIn honor of my buddy ET who’s driving to Boulder, Colorado today, I had to post this photo of snowboarder Hobie Chittenden that James at 10Engines threw up. Plaid man, all natural fibers, dude must just shred. The work gloves seal the deal. All natural fibers. I couldn’t do it.


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Trailer: Where the Wild Things Are

wild-thingsClick on the photo. Watch in full screen. Feel the goosebumps.

Thank you so much, Secret Forts.


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Saddle’s Back

saddle-51Sketch c/o Leesa Leva

The response to my post on Saddle Shoes was overwhelming.

A Treasury of … found two pair.


The first pair from F-Troupe has the look and feel of a souped up pair of Vans Authentics.


The second pair, from Urban Outfitters are nice. They’re too flimsy for my taste, but the minimalist approach should have wide appeal.



East Side Bride and Mi Melodia bonded over a funky pair of spectators (note, fellas: not saddle shoes) from English designer Tracy Neuls’ TN_29 collection, a great-looking shoe for the plaidy in your life!


After seeing that I wrote about Corpus, one of the brands his firm represents, Mr. Steven Rojas of Archetype Showroom sent me a photo of this navy buck which comes from a collaboration between Paris boutique Aprill 77 and London shoe company YMC. The shoe is vegan-friendly and very handsome. I would love to know what the hand-feel is like on the artificial suede.


In the comments of the last post, Trip and two gentlemen named Richard referenced Ralph Lauren. The RL Henley Saddle is simple, classic, and far and away my favorite version of the saddle. Unfortunately, I’m unable to justify spending $575.00 for what would be a knock-around shoe. Please alert me if you find these on sale.


p3170017Did I say favorite? Make that my second favorite to these beauties. Mr. Richard Coyle was kind enough to send these photos of both his pair of long-discontinued saddles from Alden. I love the simple, elegant tooling of the saddle itself. The perforations or brogueing emphasize the difference in the saddle and vamp leathers and elevate a casual shoe to a level that is downright dressy.

Richard had this to say:

I got them in the early 80s in a store in Princeton, NJ. They were a stock item in the store but they were custom ordered by the owner and they are true classics built on the same last as the dress saddles sold by Alden today. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never see them again in the white versions. The man that owned the store was a prep fanatic and he hated to see the demise of classic clothing on the campus. Even after his retail store closed, he maintained his relationship with Alden and continued to do special orders for the saddles. He had a client list of Princeton alumni from over the years and used to ship the shoes all over the country. He told me that he even traveled to the Alden factory to inspect the leather before he allowed the builds! Did I already use the word fanatic? Well anyway, some of us benefited from his obsession. The shoes have been refurbished twice by a company in upstate NY. The refurbishing does an amazing job of bringing the leather back to life and diminishing the scars from wear. Maybe some day, someone will convince Alden to make them again. Until then the RLs will have to do.

Mr. Coyle? Done deal.


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Vintage Beer Cans


Images c/o Flickr


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