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Wood N’ Stream American Classic Chukka review

February 7, 2015

Over the holidays I picked up a chukka boot from Wood N’ Stream’s American Classic line. I had my eye on them for a few months, but after the UnionBootPro had a 35% off special just before Christmas, I couldn’t resist.

The boots have a padded in-sole for comfort and are made in Wisconsin with full-grain Horween leather and a Goodyear-welted Vibram sole. These have the sturdiness of workboots but can easily pair with chinos or jeans. The boots are solidly built but after about a week of wearing, the soles were completely broken in. As of this writing, I’ve had them a month and only the heel remains a little stiff. Overall, I’m pleased with the boots and looking forward to years of wear.

These pics are of the boots fresh out of the box, pre-wear:
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The Cutler of Milan

January 16, 2015

Dunhill acquired the archives of G. Lorenzi after the store closed in 2014. The are currently exhibiting some of the archive at the Bourdon House in London from 12-21 January, 2015.

From the press release: Founder Giovanni Lorenzi, began life as a cacial or knife grinders assistant, before opening the store together with his wife Lina in 1929, selling and repairing knives and scissors. The couple soon established a network of artisans and commissioned them to make objects of their own specifications.

After Giovanni retired in the 1950’s, his sons Aldo and Franco took the reins, and Aldo and his wife Edda further expanded the network of specialist suppliers, from all over the world, including 500 for knives alone. Inside the wood lined, copper framed exterior, G. Lorenzi had become a Mecca for men, packed with exquisite, one of a kind tools for men, crafted from forged Damascus stainless steel, brass, nickel, silver or gold and finished in precious and rare natural materials such as crown stag, buffalo or ox horn, ivory, fossilised walrus, Makassar ebony, briar root, tortoiseshell or crocodile.

The offer grew to include anything and everything a gentleman might need, knives for carving, fish, oysters, all types of cheese and multi-blade pocket knives. Pipes, cigar cutters and cases, lighters and humidifiers, all the requisites for smokers. Shaving brushes & bowls, razors, mirrors, manicure and grooming sets, shoe horns, hair and clothes brushes for impeccable grooming.

The exhibit will later travel to other Dunhill Homes around the world.

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images courtesy Dunhill

Kingsman: The Secret Service by Mr Porter

January 11, 2015

The folks at Mr Porter are launching a collection of clothing in collaboration with the costume designer from the new movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Sid Mashburn at Plywood People

November 20, 2014

Plywood People run a lecture series in Atlanta called Plywood Presents, where they invite innovators to come speak. A few weeks back, they had an interview with Sid Mashburn, who gave an insightful talk on his background, fears and failures he faced, and how he and his wife run their companies.

M.Nii Surfwear – GQ Menswear Designer of the Year 2014 Finalist

August 25, 2014

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

August 21, 2014

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.

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Directed by Charles Arran Busk & Jamie McGregor Smith
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The Tripolina Chair

August 16, 2014

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.

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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

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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.

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The Tripolina Chair is a classic design that will add a little more style to your next picnic or camping trip.