LAST NIGHTS PARTY: GQ x RIO

 

GQ and star photographer Ben Watts took over Milk Studios recently for a party celebrating the World Cup. Watts’ signature style of featuring beautiful models having the time of their lives in far off destinations looks like a smoking hot travel journal – enviable getaways that happen only in print. Milk Studios sits firmly at the center of the action, led by Mazdack Rassi, a talented creative who happens to be one of the nicest guys in an industry not really known for warmth and generosity. It’s refreshing, and that energy flows into everything Milk does, the parties, the big name events, the off-Broadway BBQ’s. The line of celebrities, models and fashion insiders in attendance points to (more…)

GQ + BLOOMINGDALE’S

 

If you’re in the market for a new spring suit, please come by our GQ + Bloomingdale’s event this Thursday night, March 13th, 5-8pm at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street. There will be heavy discounts, tasty cocktails and GQ stylists on hand to help out. RSVP to RSVP1@GQ.com. Make sure to say hi if you make it.

 

 

 

TOP SHOP: CAPSULE MARKET SQUARE

 

If you’re in New York City this weekend, December 13-15th, stop by the Capsule Market Square pop-up shop at 82 Mercer Street in Soho. They’ll be featuring 100+ great brands, including Billy Reid, Mark McNairy, Armor Lux and one of my favorite new Swedish brands Stutterheim. I’ll be showing my Fahlgren winter collection of ski sweaters, scarves and ties. Please make sure to say hi if you make it. It kicks off tonight 4-9pm, and continues through Sunday.

 

THE WINTER DUFFEL

The duffel coat has military origins, as the heavy wool cloth kept British Royal Navy officers warm during WWI, it’s also been a staple for men when it comes to functional winter outerwear. The coat draws you in mainly because of it’s heavy wool fabric, warm lining and unique wooden toggles, commonly referred to as walrus teeth. This camel color version from Burberry London can be found on Mr. Porter for $1,695.

H&M SPRING 2014

 

This video by H&M featuring their Spring 2014 collection is certainly ok, but for a brand with such deep pockets you’d think they would have stepped it up a bit. Nothing fancy, just a little more context to help convey the direction of the line. The parred down, simple direction and clean aesthetic works well for women’s, but showing a male model getting his eyebrows brushed, lotion rubbed onto his arm and make-up applied is off the mark. Get outside, hop on a bicycle, sit at a cafe, do pretty much anything, read Le Figaro, paint – just don’t try on clothes all day and expect the viewer to watch till the end.

KANYE WEST X ADIDAS

It’s official, Kanye West has left Nike and his Air Yeezys behind for rival brand Adidas. Kanye has recently voiced numerous concerns with Nike, including delayed release dates and product issues. The deal is reported to be worth $10 million.

LUXE SNEAKERS

There was a time not too long ago when jeans were jeans, tee shirts were tees, and sneakers, well, they were simple and basic, and cheap. Today, not so much; denim costs more than a sport jacket, and every luxury brand makes expensive designer sneakers. Take this military-inspired style from Valentino as an example, combining leather, suede, canvas and camouflage they certainly make a statement. Whether that cache warrants the price is another matter entirely. $745, available at Nordstrom.

 

SHINOLA: AMERICAN MADE

Shinola is a great brand to know. Embracing Detroit’s industrial spirit, they proudly manufacture bicycles, leather goods and watches in America. Their one-of-a-kind watch factory is housed inside Detroit’s historic Argonaut building. My top item from their collection of leather goods is the iPad Mini journal cover in bright green featured above, stitched in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. You can pick one up for $125 on the Shinola website. And if you’d like to see their beautifully crafted goods first-hand, GQ is hosting a party at their shop in Detroit on Thursday, November 7th, from 6-8pm. Please stop by if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

 

(CAPSULE) SHOW SPRING 2014

 

The twice annual (Capsule) menswear trade show kicks off tomorrow, Monday, July 22nd at Basketball City on the lower east side. It’s a cool, vast space, packed with 200+ brands, from new-comers to established old timers. The team at (Capsule) does a great job editing the mix of labels, so it feels less like a pushy trade show and more like a collective of talented designers trying to find their niche. Buyers, editors and top retailers from across the country will descend on New York this week to walk (Capsule), the competing Project Show and several others. I’m excited to be showing my new Spring 2014 tie collection, along with a few winter items available for the upcoming season. Keep an eye on their smartly curated blog to get a vibe on the show, you might just  spot a few things coming soon to a store near you.

 

RETAIL REPORT: LONDON

By Leo Parker. It goes without saying that London is one of the top fashion capitals of the world and the lucky chaps of the UK’s most fashionable city have plenty of choice when it comes to dressing in a dapper way. Here’s a quick look at three of the best London-based stores, for those who want to showcase their sartorial style.

 

GIEVES & HAWKES, SAVILE ROW:

Somewhat of an institution on the London fashion scene, Gieves & Hawkes is one of the City’s most reputable and revered tailors, and the quality of their wares is unparalleled. Based on the world-famous Savile Row, this purveyor of fine gentleman’s wear is certainly a must-see starting point for visitors to London who want to ramp up their sophistication with a dress shirt or some fine accessories. gievesandhawkes.com (more…)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: LL BEAN FALL 13

 

L.L. Bean took over a vast loft space in New York this past week to showcase their Fall/Winter 2013 line-up of outdoor inspired clothing and accessories. It was a sweltering day, and refreshing to walk into a cold, alpine scented winter stage. As always, the highlights within the main L.L. Bean collection were the boots, bags and accessories. And the Signature line continues to be a stand out, with it’s more fitted silhouette and modern take on today’s sportsmen. The above hiking boots with double laces get special mention – an item every guy could use this fall. Here are some more highlights from the preview. (more…)

RETAIL REPORT: SUITSUPPLY

 

A lot has been written about newcomer Suitsupply since they brought their brand of no-frills, easy and affordable tailoring to the U.S. from Amsterdam. So I decided to give it a try and see what the buzz is all about. Located up a steep flight of stairs at 453 Broome Street in Soho, the design of the store is wide open and simple to navigate. One giant wall of shirts, one wall for ties and a long sweeping presentation of suits, with “casual wear” mixed in on the floor. Unlike traditional retailers who carry multiple brands, everything you see (more…)

BASELWORLD 2013 BEGINS IN EARNEST

By Leo Parker.

The luxury watch industry is home to many events each year but very few, potentially none, have the same gravitas as the prestigious BaselWorld event held in the spiritual home of watchmaking, Switzerland. The event serves as an opportunity for the world’s premier watch brands to showcase what they’ve got in store for us all over the next 12 months or so and, safe to say, the likes of Breitling, Hublot, IWC and Rolex have got some mightily impressive timepieces up their sleeves for the remainder of 2013. The event doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, April 25th, but thanks to the The Watch Gallery, the UK’s top watch retailer, we gained access to the official press day today before the public were allowed in. Here are a few of the highlights: (more…)

BUDD SHIRT MAKERS LONDON

By Leo Parker, London Contributor.

 

The fine art of tailoring is, lamentably, a skill which is increasingly being pushed to the fringes of fashion due to a demand for high quantity, low quality clothing. Budd Shirt Makers of Piccadilly Arcade in West London are an example of a tailor who is helping to stem the tide with their selection of expertly tailored dress shirts and accessories. Dressing London’s sartorial elite for over a century now, Budd are a prime example that you don’t need to have an all-encompassing presence on the high street in order to be successful. Located in the same small store from which they began their (more…)

KNOW THIS BRAND: BALL & BUCK

 

 

Ball & Buck is a Boston based lifestyle brand and retailer “built for sporting gentlemen.” Whether that means the new breed of hipsters donning camouflage bow ties in Williamsburg, or an actual pick-up-driving Midwesterner who knows. Either way, founder Mark Bollman’s approach to retailing is genuine and clever. His ability to create a relatively new brand that feels substantive and routed in tradition is no small feat, and is incredibly timely as the love affair with heritage brands shows no sign of abating. For companies that are looking to freshen up their online shop, take a cue from Mark and his creative team. They combine a sharply edited collection of clothing and accessories with smart content, from beautiful photography and short-attention-span-friendly films tricked out to look like 8mm, to choice quotes: “A crown is merely a hat that let’s the rain in” – Frederick the Great.

 

A quick look at their designer collaborations and you can tell they play with the big boys: Allen Edmonds, New Balance and one of the best looking stereo set-ups we’ve ever laid eyes on, by Seattle based SOTA. Most importantly, everything carried at Ball & Buck is American made, which is important to Mark’s customers: “when they’re voting with their dollars, we want them to be able to make that vote for domestic production.” BallandBuck.com

 

DOCKERS KHAKI RULES

 

I recently helped style a special advertising section for Dockers, titled “Khaki Rules,” featured in the April issue of GQ that just hit newsstands. We started by picking out our favorite khakis – a cross section of important styles, including the Alpha, an all-time favorite. In the past, a project like this would end with photographs in the magazine. Now, seemingly every program includes live special events, creative social media extensions, and additional customized content. For Dockers, that included a behind the scenes video shown below, that can be played directly on your smart phone by simply viewing the ad in the magazine and snapping a pic using the “GQ Live” app.

 

 

Virtually every ad in the magazine is click-able, and the technology recognizes the image without the need for an ugly bar code or website address. To bring the section to life further, Dockers is parking a smartly styled Airstream in Philadelphia and Chicago this month, where I will be on hand to provide style advice. Here are a few pages from the section: (more…)

THE ORIGINAL: HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY

 

 

As February’s fashion shows proved, the obsession with history and heritage in menswear remains strong, with the unfortunate side effect that many of the collections were hard to tell apart. You could have saved time and just lined up four or five and had them go directly one after the other. Professorial tweeds, preppy stripes, layers upon layers upon layers – has menswear become repetitive?

 

If there was a quest to find true authenticity, Hudson’s Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America, and one of the (more…)

J. PRESS YORK STREET

 

Founded in 1902 in New Haven, Connecticut, American clothier J.Press has been helping young Ivy Leaguers look sharp for over a century. So it’s no surprise that their preppy, buttoned-up aesthetic matches up well with the style on the hit show Downton Abbey. In Sunday’s episode, we saw the Crawley family at leisure, enjoying a game a cricket and looking as laid back as ever in sport shirts, white trousers and cable knit cricket vests. Not the outfit you or I play ball in, but remember, this was a time when tuxedos were considered informal.

J.Press recently launched a new menswear line called York Street. The collection is designed by Creative Directors Ariel and Shimon Ovadia, who were named GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers in America in 2012. “110 years of classics provide the foundation for a new turn on American style. York Street. Slimmer fit. Unexpected fabrics. Perfect details. A daring new line from J. Press.” I’m not sure how daring it is, but it is a sharp looking collection, and a smart extension of the main J.Press line. Here are two items from the collection that Lord Grantham would find acceptable.

 

V-neck cricket cable sweater with navy and kelly green stripe. $225. White tennis polo $115. Best worn with jeans and a pair of white Adidas Stan Smiths.

 

CLUB MONACO: SPRING READY

 

Club Monaco, meet the internet. For the past decade if you searched for their well priced, minimal American sportswear, you’d be met with a curiously lacking collection of campaign images. Which is all well and good for a start-up, not a successful brand with 69 stores across America and a solid presence overseas. Started in 1985 in Toronto, Club Monaco was acquired by by Ralph Lauren in 1999, which makes their slow start even more perplexing as Ralph is a giant when it comes to e-commerce. It did take decades to add a shopping feature, but thankfully they’ve nailed it. I recommend them for several categories: sport jackets, trench coats and trousers. The cut is slimmer than Banana Republic and the GAP, resulting in a more (more…)

WOOLRICH JOHN RICH & BROS. FW 2013

Pitti Immagine Uomo kicked off on Tuesday, January 8th in Florence, Italy. This season marks the 83rd Pitti, which continues to grow in stature as brands eschew the major runway shows of New York, Milan and Paris, instead opting for presentations in a city known for it’s creativity, opulence, and rich history. The traditional fashion show seems a bit passe at the moment, unless you happen to score an invitation to Prada, with it’s ever-evolving grand themes, notable models, use of multimedia and thumping soundtracks. For Woolrich John Rich & Bros. this season focuses on two concepts: Town & Mountain. Some highlights shown above, including the Loden Arctic Parka, a perfectly tailored peacoat, and a trim turtleneck layered under a sport jacket that would look right at home in any winter ski town. More highlights: (more…)

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