One of the finalists of GQ’s Menswear Designer of the Year for 2014 is John Moore and his revival of the M.Nii surfwear brand. I bought a couple of t-shirts from them and every piece I have seen has been well-made and not over-designed. Unlike a lot of major surfwear labels, M.Nii seems really focused on classic American looks from the mid-1960s with clean graphics. A lot of the t-shirts would look as fine in Nebraska as they would on Oahu.
The line is a higher price point than most surfwear, as M.Nii is a small label made in Los Angeles. As has been the case for the past few years, GQ has partnered with the Gap to have each of the finalists design an affordable capsule collection to be sold in select Gap stores. This allows smaller companies like M.Nii to have a wider exposure that they otherwise might not have (though typically these collections are made in Gap overseas factories). Look for the collections to debut in September.
Bellerby & Co. Globemakers make beautiful, handcrafted globes in England. Unsatisfied after searching for a globe as a gift for his father, Peter Bellerby decided to make his own. After all, how difficult could it be to glue a map on a ball. He found out.
We’ve been searching for new portable chairs to take to the beach or summer concerts in the park. My wife suggested leather butterfly chairs which is how I came across the Tripolina. Originally designed by Joseph Fenby, who patented the design in 1881, the Tripolina was a folding chair made with animal hide, wood frames, and metal swivel joints. It inspired the 20th century metal-framed butterfly chair.
Prior to WWII, Tripolina chairs were manufactured in Tripoli, Libya by an Italian manufacturer. These days there are numerous furniture manufacturers making this style of chair, most using leather but some using other hides or canvas.
The Citizenry is a new company that works with Argentinian craftsmen to make their leather Tripolina. It’s a limited edition of 30 and is $650.
Italian craftsman Dario Alfonsi makes a tripolina in a variety of colors, even a patchwork version though we prefer this red with a dark teak frame
Boston retailer Diseno has a Tripolina with a less curvy “butterfly” silhouette and more of a camp chair look. The canvas versions start at $299 and the leather at $499. It’s also available through Houzz.
Idaho-based American Camp Chair makes a canvas version of the Tripolina that they call their Ranger Chair. It’s a little more utilitarian than the other chairs displayed, but it’s made in the USA and looks like it can take a beating. Whereas the other chairs shown are more Land Rover Defender, this would be an International Scout. American Camp Chair sells their chair for $239 but they discount it to $219 for 2 or more.
The Tripolina Chair is a classic design that will add a little more style to your next picnic or camping trip.
I like these Jack Purcell Cross Stitch Leather sneakers, especially in tobacco, though the black and dark brown are nice as well. As of this writing, they are 25% off too.
United Arrows recently toured New Balance’s Boston headquarters and 2 of their US factories. I don’t really wear sneakers that often, but I’ve got a pair of 501s and they are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever had.
Julien Landa is a Dutch artist who makes watch straps and has become something of an Instagram menswear sensation. He used to make his own clothes when money was tight, but as his finances got better, he discovered that the style of the clothes he made was similar to Ralph Lauren. So he started buying Ralph’s pieces, particularly from the RRL line. So his Instagram is full of selfies, mainly from the neck down, of Julien in his outfits of all Ralph Lauren gear save for a few exceptions. He’s got a good eye and a talent for creating lookbook-worthy outfits that still seem just-put-together.
A few of Julien’s Instagrams
The Stranded Sailors did a recent profile on Julien that’s worth a look:
fyi, “knap” is handsome in Dutch and pronounced “kuh-nup” real fast.