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Oak Street Bootmakers Brush and Shoe Horn

By Tom Ran

Published: March 12, 2014 under Fashion & Style

Brush and shoe horn made in the Midwest from Oak Street Bootmakers

Photo: Oak Street Bootmakers

There’s a growing group of brands that are bucking fashion trends and norms by opting to control everything on their own. They launch their line exclusively online, they defy seasons, and most importantly, they deliver superior products. Oak Street Bootmakers is one of those companies that we have long admired. Since their introduction in 2010 their collection of hand crafted footwear have grown steadily. Nearly four years in they still have some of the same shoes they launched with. There’s no need to change them. With all the effort that goes into constructing their shoes and boots it’s only fitting to keep them up. So it’s not surprising that they also make care kits. They recently introduced a shoe brush made with American maple and horse hair. Handmade in their home city of Chicago. To accompany the brush they also released a shoe horn made of solid copper. George Vlagos, founder of Oak Street states that “these pieces have taken no shortcuts and are most certainly the last shoe horn and brush you’ll ever buy.”

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Kapital World Documentary

By Tom Ran

Published: February 24, 2014 under Fashion & Style

An image from Kaptial's Spring 2014 photographed by Eric Kvatek in Paris

Photo: Kapital

The lookbooks for Kapital are legendary. They’ve traveled the world in search of ancient landscapes and rural countrysides to capture some of the most stunning images for their collections. At the helm is Kiro Hirata, Kaptial’s lead designer and behind the lens is photographer Eric Kvatek. Together they’ve created an identity that is unique to their own. The backdrops play as much of a role as the clothes do. Hirata explains that it’s a combination of the person’s character, landscape, and clothing that is the essence of Kaptial. A new documentary follows the men and their crew as they travel to France to shoot their Spring 2014 collection. From the streets of Paris to the countryside south of France, we get the behind the scenes look at what it takes to create one of these special lookbooks.

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Left Field Storefront

By Tom Ran

Published: February 12, 2014 under Fashion & Style

Inside Left Field's shop in Ridgewood, Queens.

Photo: Left Field

Christian McCann’s vintage inspired clothing line, Left Field, quietly opened their store last November in the residential neighborhood of Ridgewood, Queens. It’s not your typical locale for a retail space. There’s no foot traffic and signage is kept to a minimal. But once inside, you’ll be welcomed into the space by a chesterfield sofa, old gentleman’s mags, pinball machines, and other paraphernalia collected from decades past. It’s like the club you’ve always wanted to join but never got the invitation to. The pinball machines work, the magazines are for sale, and the full line from Left Field and Choctaw Ridge, their high-end line of men’s undergarments are all on hand. And if you haven’t already guessed by now, the shop doesn’t operate like all other shops. It’s by appointment only. Make the call and pay them a visit. Left Field is located at 753 Onderdonk Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, NY, and their phone number is 718-366-7308.

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Inspiration LA

By Tom Ran

Published: February 7, 2014 under Fashion & Style

Inspiration Number 5

Photo: Inspiration

It’s no secret that the Japanese can do American workwear almost better than Americans can. Even though Tyler Brule claimed that workwear was dead in 2011 there’s still a level of fanaticism among a core set of devotees. This includes Rin Tanaka and the many visitors and exhibitors that make their way from Japan and around the world every year to Inspiration. The event opens today and will mark its 5th year. But it’s not just workwear that will be represented, vintage, motorcycle, skate and surf exhibitors will also be on hand. From the big brands like RRL and Levi’s Vintage to the small ones like Real McCoy’s it’s an exciting group under one roof. Inspiration is timed perfectly with the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market. If you’re in the Southern California are this weekend make your way over there. Hours are from 4-9pm today and 10-5 tomorrow at L.A. Mart in Downtown LA.

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Levi’s RED Pop Up Shop

By Tom Ran

Published: February 6, 2014 under Fashion & Style

Levi's Red pop up shop in the Meat Packing District

Photo: Levi's

We attended the opening of the first Levi’s Red store in the US on Tuesday night. The line that was designed by the Levi’s XX division in Amsterdam was given new life after a seven year hiatus. Red was first introduced in 1999 by the label as an experimental project. Throughout the past 15 years there has only been eight collections. This reintroduction of the line references Levi’s history in style and detailing. The result is a loose and rounded fit with workwear fundamentals. Though the look of the garments are casual the fabrics are luxurious. The 2×1 hemp 8oz denim is lined with a cotton/silk blend. Distribution for this line will be limited, it will only be available in a few selected stores worldwide. Visit the pop up shop at 58-60 Ninth Ave. (at 14th St.) New York City.

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Shipley & Halmos Canal St Pop Up

By Tom Ran

Published: February 4, 2014 under Fashion & Style

Shipley & Halmos Canal St Pop Up

Photo: Shipley & Halmos

Shipley & Halmos are opening their first ever shop, albeit a temporary one. Their Canal Street Pop-Up is slotted in-between a Dunkin’ Donuts and a storefront peddling security goods. The boulevard is synonymous with bootleggers and questionable retailers so what better place than to open up a store? Among their latest Spring 14 collection, you’ll find a range of goods from t-shirts and mugs to limited edition paint splattered Vans and Billykirk iPhone cases. It’s a space that they would liken their full-fledged store to be, remarks Jeff Halmos. The Canal Street Pop Up is now open and will run through NY Fashion Week till February 23rd and is located at 385 Canal Street.

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FEATURES

Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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Workstead

By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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