Today in Japan sees the publication of a new collection of illustrations by artist Kazuo Hozumi, who created the smiling little caucasian characters used by clothing brand Van, and co-opted by myself for my Twitter avatars.
We’ve got the book on order and will share the findings when it arrives. — CC
In our last post we announced the annexing of a new Manhattan restaurant into the Ralph Lauren empire. Here are a few more happenings from other corners of the RL world. (Continue)
Ralph Lauren recently launched a mobile coffee truck in Manhattan, and today the New York Times broke the news on his new restaurant, The Polo Bar.
Scheduled to open later this month, it’s located just around the corner from the new Polo flagship on 5th Avenue. Quotes the article:
Simon Doonan, an author and the creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York, said Mr. Lauren’s retro approach to gastronomy may speak to those who have grown weary of lectures about the provenance of each roll in a breadbasket. “I think a lot of food today is unnecessarily creative,” he said. “Every time you go out to eat, it’s like a Jacques Tati movie or a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch.” Mr. Lauren, in contrast, offers “a meal you might get if you walked into an episode of ‘Mad Men.’ ”
OK, “Mad Men” cuisine, but what about the dress code? The article concludes:
Mr. Lauren stressed that the Polo Bar would not be “a formal restaurant,” but what will he make of those customers who are sure to show up at the front door outfitted for a theme-park flume ride in Orlando instead of a fox hunt in the Scottish highlands? “We just had a conversation about it,” he said. “Would you turn them away if someone comes in in a T-shirt?”
He admitted that he’s no stranger to the maître d’ brushoff. “I’ve been one of those guys,” Mr. Lauren said. He recalled dropping by a fancy establishment, years back, when he had already become a force in global fashion. “I had shorts on, and they turned me away,” he said. He accepted that fate with equanimity.
As for the Polo Bar, sartorial regulations could wind up being flexible. Mr. Lauren broke into a subtle grin and said, “I guess if I don’t do any business, I’ll take anyone.”
Brooks Brothers is supposed to be planning a restaurant next to its own flagship, suggesting the comparisons between Polo and Brooks will extend to more than just cut and cloth. — CC
Last week O’Connell’s unveiled a new unlined and unfused oxford-cloth buttondown, dubbed the O’C OCBD, or just O’CBD for short. “I’ve been working on this baby for about a year,” owner Ethan Huber tells Ivy Style. “Wanted to emulate some of my personal 30-year-old Brooks Brothers shirts.”
Huber developed the shirt, including fit and cut, with Gitman Borthers, which manufactures about half of O’Connell’s shirts to the shop’s specifications. The new shirt is another speciality cut with O’Connell’s characteristic fullness in the body. Collar points have been extended t0 3 3/8 inches, and the buttons have been placed “to provide an ideal spread.” All linings and fusings have been removed from collar, cuffs and placket.
Huber tried about six different fabrics from makers such as Acorn and Threadtex. “I was looking for a darker shade of blue,” says Huber, “with more contrast between weft and warp. I was also looking for a cloth that wasn’t super thick, but was robust enough to separate itself from a pinpoint. When I found the right fabric, I put a bunch of them through the process of wearing, tossing on the floor, washing, laundering, ironing, not ironing, etc.”
While currently available only in blue and priced at $145, pink and white are up next Huber says. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
This week Paul Winston, scion of the Chipp dynasty, told me that the space he is currently sharing will lose its lease come next spring. As Paul is getting long in the tooth (not to mention his cutter, who’s about to turn 86), Paul will use the change to close the curtain on his tailored clothing business.
OK, a Winston Tailors item isn’t exactly a Chipp, but it’s a connection to the Ivy heyday and now is your last chance to choose one of Paul’s wacky linings and have something made from a man with Ivy in his blood.
Paul is at 28 W. 44th Street and can be reached at 212.687.0850.
His tie business is going strong and Paul intends to offer his knits, grenadines and ancient madders indefinitely. — CC
Photo via NYtimes.com.
In the 1980s, there was a trend at my high school in sunny California for LL Bean’s classic rubber boot, worn year-round, of course.
Fashions come in cycles ever generation or so, and today the morning news is carrying the story that there are some 60,000 backorders for Bean boots, with another 40,000 expected by the end of the year.
According to Boston.com:
Between 60,000-100,000 people have placed orders for the boots that won’t be delivered until after the holidays, according to L.L. Bean spokesperson Carolyn Beem. In all, the company said they anticipate selling “in the range” of 450,000 pairs of bean boots this year, a significant increase over last year.
Why the increase in sales? Well, blame teens and millennials.
“Younger people are buying them. They’re all over college campuses and high schools,” Beem said. “Without changing anything, they’re back in style.”
In an attempt to make up the shortage, L.L. Bean spent $1 million to purchase another molding machine that makes the rubber bottoms of the shoes, Beem said. The rubber bottoms are made in Lewiston, Maine, while the stitching of the leather tops takes place in Brunswick, Maine.
“We’ve bumped up production – we have three shifts going, we’re hiring new people,” Beem said. “We’re doing all we can to lessen the wait time.”
The Bean Boot, also known as the Maine Hunting Shoe, was created by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912. Wonder if the kids care about trivia?
And for those of you who celebrate St. Nicholas Day, leaving a boot outside on the night of December 5th, make sure it’s not from Bean. It might not be there in the morning. — CC