Sid Mashburn was a recent interview subject on the Launch Youniversity podcast. The interview was conducted last year prior to the recent opening of his Los Angeles store, as it was mentioned several times. Some great background info on how both Sid and Ann launched their stores and their philosophy on running the business.
For the lifetime of this blog, I have posted my passion for brown shoes. I love their versatility and the breadth of shades, from caramel to chestnut to chocolate.
So when the Greats line of sneakers launched a few years ago, I kept an eye out for any brown sneakers they might offer. Their flagship Royale sneaker was initially offered in a colorway called “Cuoio” that was more of a butterscotch. A bit too light for my taste. Thankfully, last year they finally released the Chocolate Brown colorway which was exactly what I had been looking for.
So this past January I bought a pair. I have to say, I am thrilled with the shoes. Sometimes when you come across companies that make claims of “cutting out the middle-man” by selling a designer-quality good direct to the consumer, usually that means you’ll get a cheap imitation of something already existing in the market. And while the Royales share a classic sneaker silhouette similar to Common Projects or Buttero, they are no pale imitations. The outer leather is full-grain and beautifully soft, the lining is vachetta calf leather, a cushioned in-sole and tongue, and a cup-sole. They’re made in Italy and as of this writing retail for $159, but I signed up for their mailing list and got 15% off, bringing it around $130. The construction on my pair is solid–no loose threads or flaws in the leather. They took a few wears for the insoles to mold to my feet, but they were comfortable from the get go. I did follow Greats advice about Royales running a little large and sized down from my normal 8.5 and bought an 8.
I’ve had them for almost 2 months now, wearing them mainly on the weekends and casual Fridays at work. Overall, I’m please with my purchase and would definitely purchase another Royale in the future. I think the price is fair, especially considering your average Made-in-China NBA-player sneaker model goes for the same if not higher. I do think their current practice of listing a “Traditional Retail $450” on their website is a bit misleading. I know they are referring to the designer sneakers I mentioned earlier, but the way it is written on the website makes it seem like the Royales were originally $450 and are now $159. I don’t think there’s a need to be deceptive when you have a quality product. Aside from that, I think the Royale lives up to the Greats name.
Sid Mashburn published an informative piece on navy jackets, the characteristics of a full-canvas interlining, and just how long Sid’s been into fashion. This video accompanied the piece:
Leave it to Sid to have a beard that has the right amount of scruffiness without looking too unpolished.
Monocle has been publishing since 2007, and from the beginning they have created short films to accompany their articles or even stand-alone reports. Until recently, the films were restricted to their website which meant you couldn’t see them on anything larger than a computer monitor. So barring bootlegged copies put on Vimeo or YouTube, or an overly complicated computer-to-tv connection, you couldn’t enjoy watching their great videos from the comfort of your HDTV.
Now Monocle has embraced Smart TVs and specifically YouTube, with a dedicated channel. All of their recent videos have been uploaded, and they are uploading several videos a week from their archives.
In 1974, Lester H. Schoenke retired after 47 years of working for the Weinbrenner Shoe Company in Wisconsin. He wrote a history of the company that was published in 1983 and later updated in 1992 on the 100th anniversary of the company. It’s an interesting look into the history of a company and American manufacturing. Weinbrenner still continues today manufacturing footwear in Wisconsin. My recently acquired chukka boots came from their Wood N’ Stream line.
Thanks to Matt Bahlow from Weinbrenner for providing the images.
The trouble with writing a comprehensive book about a living artist’s work is that as soon they release their next piece, you’re book is out of date. The Wes Anderson Collection was a huge tome, covering films from Bottle Rocket up to Moonrise Kingdom. Jumpcut a few months later and The Grand Budapest Hotel is released. Rather reprint the book with an additional chapter, author Matt Zoller Seitz wrote a separate “companion” book to accompany the original. Like the original collection, Matt created a video essay for the book: