Thursday, October 2, 2014

MAN TO MAN


You guessed it, I’m blogging about some of the interesting lines I checked out at two of the men’s trade shows at the Javits Center.  I’m skipping over the basic (and for the most part, boring) classic suits and sportswear collections.

However, there were exceptions such as the STEVE MCQUEEN collection  by BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL. In case you’re unfamiliar with the actor, McQueen was one of the most famous wearers of Barbour’s motorcycle jacket. For spring/summer 2015 look for rugged waxed jackets, collectible tees with iconic images of the actor/racer, sweatshirts, and knitwear. For more info go to www.barbour.com.

I like to see a man in a stylish hat. I think it makes a “look”. At the show there were two vendors that caught my eye. Leave it to the Brits to come up with a great collection. OLNEY HEADWEAR LTD. is completely designed, sourced and made in the UK. For summer I love the classic fedora, updated in bright red straw with striped band or the retro inspired straw boater (very Oxford/Cambridge/Brideshead Revisited) with red/navy grosgrain band. Trilbys, center dents, caps and more are available as well. Find out more at
www.olney-headwear.co.uk


While I’m not normally a big fan of caps per se, QILO’s line caught my eye. The styles range from digital printed polyester with corduroy brims, to 100% cotton with leather buckle straps, contrast suede brims and embroidered logos. My personal fave was the”Pineapple” collection made with cotton crowns printed with peach pineapples and gold suede brims. The caps are available are blue, green, red or black. Go to Quilonyc.com for more info.
 

Another Brit is SIMON CARTER with a London-based collection of small leather goods, gloves, scarves and cuff links, the latter come in tongue-in-cheek designs. My pick – the silver saxophones for the music lover or the crystal spitfire planes and motorcycles for the inner daredevil. For the city gent there’s a domed union jack cufflink set. Check the line out at www.simoncarter.net

God, I’m into the Brits big time. THE BRITISH BELT COMPANY offers sturdy waxed canvas satchels, water resistant weekender bags and a (newly fashionable) rucksack ideal for travel essentials. Naturally as the name implies, they do a wide range of leather belts. Go wild (relatively speaking) with the embossed stingray effect textured leather belt in brown or black. Go to www.THEBRITISHBELTCOMPANY.CO.UK.

WILL LEATHER GOODS is made right here in the good old USA. I adore the colorful backpacks, leather huaraches (women’s sizes also offered), and laptop cases. Best of all, Give WILL is an initiative with the mission of donating 5000,000 backpacks to elementary school kids in low income public schools across America over the next five years. Get involved at Social#willleathergoods.com.

I’m not a huge fan of men’s jewelry but ESPACIO HANDMADE just might change my mind. Sustainable leather that’s vegetable tanned and hand dyed is fashioned into single and double wrapped unisex bracelets with unique patterns. This is truly statement jewelry with an edge. See more at www.espaciohandmade.com.

Let’s talk about grooming. Walking around the show I was surprised at how many companies are into face, scalp and body pampering. I took special note of three firms in particular. MAN CAVE positions itself as catering to the urban huntsman! The all natural grooming products are paraben,etc free and not tested on animals. Included in the line is a facial scrub, moisturizer, wash, shave gel, post shave balm and hair stuff. Lot’s more products than I personally have on my bathroom shelves. My better half has offered to be my guinea pig and try all the products. For more on the brand go to www.MANCAVEINC.COM


Moore streamlined is the Everything Wash from DAS BOOM INDUSTRIES. In three fragrances, the product washes all of you, from head to toe. Easy, breezy, (I almost said beautiful). Das Boom also offers an Everywhere Lotion which I would assume is a moisturizer for manly men. This also comes in three butch scents in a pump bottle. They’re at dasboomind.com. 

GAME DAY purports to be a skincare line for active men but I suppose couch potatoes can also use it. Included in this comprehensive collection: a shower gel, aftershave balm, pre-shave scrub, moisturizer, shave cream, lip balm, eye serum and oatmeal exfoliating bar. Again, my significant other will be testing the stuff. Meantime, order products online at www.gamedaymens.com.

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row