We’re back with the second and final update from Liberty Fairs Las Vegas. If you missed anything from yesterday, be sure to check it out here and get caught up! As mentioned, we don’t usually double up on the coverage from each tradeshow season, but this one was a little different. As you may have seen, Gerald and I did some work in New York just last month covering all of Capsule, Liberty Fairs, Man, Kingpins, and a couple showrooms. This time around, Nick and I hit the floors in Vegas as guests/installations of Liberty Fairs in a new project they call The Studios.
We were put up behind a glass wall with some images from the site and a complete photo studio lighting kit! Not only were we in for a treat, you will be as well, as these are far and away the best sample photos we’ve been able to take at any tradeshow ever. You sort of lose that “on the floor” grittiness that comes with shadowy and grainy images, but I think you’ll forgive it.
Below we’ve got some truly HQ pics from the Spring Summer 2016 collections from brands like The Hill-Side, Red Wing Heritage, Spiewak, and many, many more. Get your clicking finger ready (for a second time), we’re about to look two seasons into the future!
One of the most fascinating aspects of the raw denim and heritage scene is that so few of the people designing and making clothing went to school for it. No one really knows the right or wrong way to make a jean when they first sit down at a sewing machine, so you have a vast range of styles, details, and techniques that all developed independently. Traveller Denim of Austin, Texas is one such brand. The brand was founded by two guys that work film sets (a grip and a gaffer, specifically) that needed tougher clothes to take abuse from their very physical jobs. So they found themselves piecing together old machines and experimenting with leather belt loops, new pocket styles, and heavier weight materials to create something wholly unique. They also had some very faded examples on hand.
This was the second time we had the pleasure of seeing the new collection from The Hill-Side. We were able to get some more detailed shots of their zip-up chambray patrol shirt, natural kakishibu dyed vest, yarn-dyed henley, and their “don’t call it tie-dye” shibori indigo shirts. Beyond that, they had a sleeker low-top sneaker, and again a velcro strap collab shoe made with Kaptain Sunshine. The design is based off of a US Navy leisure shoe from the early 70s. While our Instagram audience may not have loved the design, I think it’s a great interpretation of an older silhouette. Peter Pan shoes for us please.
You’ve heard of Japanese indigo, you’ve heard of American indigo, you may have even heard of Pakistani indigo, but do you know about the African indigo dyeing culture? Studio 189 produces all of their footwear and apparel in Ghana, and we’ve never seen indigo like this before. Each piece is made entirely by hand so each piece is and entirely unique amalgamation of natural indigo dyed patchwork.
The Stronghold is one of the original players in the denim scene. Both in the sense that they were originally founded in the early 1900s as Southern California’s regional jeans maker, and that owner Michael Paradise has been producing raw selvedge denim with the brand for over 12 years now. Oh, and did we mention that every single fabric is woven exclusively for Stronghold? Brown selvedge hickory stripe, 7oz. 2×1, bright wide Carnaby Street stripe blues; if you see it here, chances are you won’t see it anywhere else
Like Civilian Pilot Training yesterday, Spiewak has been producing outerwear for the US military for generations. They’ve also adapted those designs for everyday use under their Golden Fleece label, which is all made in USA out of not so average materials. First up is a take on a fishtail parka but dyed in indigo to the same shade as the blue on the American flag. Next is a version of their B-3 Snorkel Parka but made out of a dark Cone Mills denim. They also had a version of their collab jacket with Japanese bicycle commuting brand Narifuri–note the U-lock handle on the back. And finally a rubberized linen MA-1, which has some decent water resistance and should breakdown and chip off like indigo with age.
You’ve all heard the story about the private label manufacturer whose clients all outsourced to somewhere cheaper and crappier so the manufacturer launches their own brand and starts selling factory direct. Well the Japanese knitwear maker Shuttle Notes has been operating in Japan since 1948 but outside from a few collabs with retailer Unionmade doesn’t have much of a presence off the island. But well they should! Their knitwear was some of the softest, thickest, and most reasonably priced offerings out there. Keep an eye out for these guys, I think we have another Merz B. on our hands.
Red Wing Heritage
The men and women of Red Wing Heritage don’t release new styles often, so when they do, they keep them tightly under wraps until drop time. We were able to get a quick peek at these new lightweight oxfords and chukkas from their Spring Summer ’16 collection. They feature a 360 degree welt, a mock-crepe sole, and this is probably the last you’ll hear of them until they’re available for purchase–you saw it here first!
New England Shirt Co.
Just like Shuttle Notes, New England Shirt Co. used to produce shirts for the best brands in the US, then their clients moved out so the factory started making shirts their own way. Everything is made in-house in Fall River, Massachusetts and the range goes from your classic white dress shirt to the thick wool flannels, denims, and chambrays you see above. They also still do a great deal of private label work, so if you brands out there like what you see give ’em a shout.
If you dislike veg-tanned leather or indigo dyeing, you should probably hit the back button your browser and never return here again. But if you do, then Made Solid is one of the best marriages of the two we’ve seen. Every piece is hand cut, stitched, and dyed in Los Angeles with a special technique that makes every item infuse a tiny bit differently.