This is the end. This final post here represents the last of our tradeshow coverage of the upcoming Autumn/Winter 15 season preview, including our friends from Clutch Magazine above. It’s been a wild ride but now we can finally say we’re done. Until next season, of course, when this whole circus starts over again!
Himel Bros. x Hollywood Trading Co.
Think of the above picture like a Venn diagram: Dave Himel of Himel Bros. on the left, Zip Stevenson of Hollywood Trading Co. on the right, and that jacket in the middle. Himel did the asymmetrical steerhide rider jacket and HTC the nickel hardware embellishments. Dave was showing more of his luggage, which comes in two varieties: the luxe horsehide and Harris tweed and the more affordable buffalo and Army tent. His assistant Matt, was also rocking some early era Ande Whalls with seven years of fading.
The Lee heritage lines in Europe and Asia have blossomed over the past few years, producing novel collaborations, historically accurate repros, and heavyweight denim. So it’s sad to see their native North American market relegated to a small capsule collection instead of a full line like their foreign counterparts. If Lee put their full weight behind the line and produced some real nerdy denimhead stuff like a certain other Big Three brand, it could serve to elevate their entire brand image beyond Kohl’s and Kmart. No complaints with what the 101 line has produced so far, but they really need more room to grow.
New England Outerwear Co.
The footwear options from handsewn stalwarts like Quoddy or Rancourt have existed for decades and will continue to exist for decades. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But Maine-moc newcomers New England Outerwear Co. are doing things a little differently. With their own factory and sewing team, NEO has been producing handsewn footwear (and some outerwear, of course) for about three years.
While they may be slaves to the traditional methods of construction, they certainly are not to the aesthetic. NEO will use every color and texture of leather they can get their hands on, often at the same time. Buffalo can meet suede, hair-on-hide, and chromexcel on the same shoe. They can and will make anything you can dream up, they’ve even made their own handsewn version of a Birkenstock clog!
Levi’s Vintage Clothing
The LVC collection this upcoming season revolves around Levi’s relation to one of their longest business partners, Cone Mills. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary the North Carolina mill has provided the fabric for the 501 (Amoskeag had come before them). As such, the 501 family has a new member, the 1915 501XX jean. Details on the 1915 include a 9oz. Cone Mills selvedge denim, suspender buttons instead of belt loops, crotch rivet, cinch-back, and single needle stitching on the arcuates.
Beyond the 501, LVC covers the gamut from billowy vintage workwear with their Balloons sub-line, wool hunting shirts in Styled by Levi’s, snap shirts in Levi’s Western Wear, knits and sweats in Levi’s Casuals–there’s something for everyone.
Levi’s Made & Crafted
Levi’s Made & Crafted collection has been streamlined significantly this season but I think it’s for the better. The clothes seem much more focussed on material and detail rather than covering every silhouette imaginable. Highlights included the above tonal stitch jacket with enormous bartacks on the pleats, a dark weft chino cut denim with a drawstring, a variety of layered gauzy-fabric shirting, and a super neppy black suede moto jacket.
What we once knew as Shockoe Denim is now Shockoe Atelier, the Richmond based brand has pivoted from American made workwear to Italian-made sportswear. Unsure what prompted the change, but more power to them!
Rising Sun & Co.
There have been a myriad of questions swirling around what became of Rising Sun & Co. after Mike Hodis left the helm last spring. Well, the brand is still alive and still producing, but they’ve cut the collection back to just core products: three denim fits (Bloke, Straight Razor, and Blacksmith), two jackets (Ranch Hand and Cattleman), and a handful of tops and accessories. No word on new product yet.
We first met Thrux Lawrence earlier this season at Inspiration. They were a part of the curated Freedom Hall at this season’s Liberty Fairs and had their full line on display, including their Paladin Pant and their full line of bags and accessories.
Jacob Hurwitz may have started out by creating the best American made trench coat, but now he’s got arguable the best American made sock. With a material and a pattern for every price point, American Trench has reconnected with some of the East Coast’s oldest knitting mills to produce socks from the standard cotton all the way through triple-knit cashmere.
Never do we ever see more models on offer than at Yuki Matsuda’s Yuketen. The LA based company produces both handsewns and Goodyear welted shoes and moves a good deal of their product in Japan, so designs range from the sedately elegant like the suede and calf boot above to the downright wacky like the patent leather platform tassel-moc below. Keep up the good work, Yuki!