18 Dec 2014

Harry Stedman Visit Blackpool Seaside

With Harry Stedman being no strangers to old blog Buckets (see herehere), I was chuffed to hear the team were planning a visit to my hometown of Blackpool, to catch up with their family and enjoy the sea air. The Harry Stedman story has deep roots in the North West of England, with the inspiration behind the brand starting during the mid-1900s up in Liverpool. Harry Stedman himself was a kind-hearted soul, whose teenage days on the streets of Merseyside formed his strong character and curious nature. But it wasn't until he joined the British Army in 1951, that he really got a taste for travel; exploring America to Libya, Argentina and beyond to serve for his country.

Harry's well-travelled and inquisitive nature led in to immerse himself in local cultures. Along with rock + roll his other passion was what we now call "timeless style", of which he took influence from a melting pot of places - with an eye for quality, unique details and fabrics. As I was told by Harry's son Phil (who founded the brand), Harry's obsession with style piqued during his time spent in multicultural New York, where he discovered both blue-collar workwear, along with the more sartorial American prep influences. This led the brand's passionate for both Made in USA + UK clothing.

Fast forward to 2011, the Harry Stedman brand was founded - taking inspiration from Harry's colourful life, hobbies and passion for American + European culture. Our man Harry has since retired in my hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire, which is how I become friendly with Rick (Harry's Grandson) + the Harry Stedman team. Along with our film camera we met up on Blackpool prom, with no aim other than to share stories and chat about the man who inspired a contemporary British menswear brand. The Harry Stedman AW14 collection was the perfect partner for our rough-and-ready seafront. The man would be proud.

Our film camera went a bit doolally in the process - hence the double exposure - but I do like the way the images have turned out, a happy accident right? Read more about the Harry Stedman brand here.

16 Dec 2014

Shinola Comes To UK | Where American Is Made

By nature I'm a curious person, and with that comes thousands of bookmarked pages from years of having access to the internet. As a self-confessed Americana addict, admittedly a large portion of these bookmarks are US-based blogs, brand, manufacturers, magazines, restaurants, sign-makers, car dealers, deserted towns.....all tapping into my dream of an American road trip. It comes as no surprise that Detroit-based Shinola is one such brand. I'd take a guess that I found these guys through A Continuous Lean like most of these things right?

Having met a few of the Shinola team, and seen their products close up at the Pop-Up Flea back in November, I was pleased to hear they've recently launched their UK webstore, as well as opening a flagship retail space in London. The Shinola name has been building up momentum over last couple of years, and it was great to share a cola with a brand that I'd only previously been aware of on the internet.

Shinola is committed to producing quality products and providing jobs in the city they love, Detroit. The city has a well-documented history of production, and Shinola's aim was to bring grass-roots manufacturing back to where it belongs. Providing fulfilling jobs and transferable skills is a big part of their business model, and something I wish I'd be exposed to more at an earlier age. For the parts that can't be made in Detroit, they source from other American manufacturers who share their vision.

Made in America - Build in Detroit 

The people of Shinola produce a well-rounded range of items; watches, wallets, bags, journals, stationery, sporting memorabilia + gifts and other Americana-assured products. You'll also find collaborations with local designers, sporting goods and even pet accessories. Not to forget their rather handsome range of bicycles. But for me it's their watches that really stand out, and Nik certainly agrees too, having tried one on back in November. This is where the brand really comes into its own, not only by the design but also the construction. Each watch comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is a testament to how strongly they believe in their handmade production methods - making it something which can be passed down to the next generation.

Next month I'll be heading down to the brand new Shinola flagship in London, on Newburgh Street, just off Carnaby Street, but until then you can explore their new UK website and get familiar with products and the people that make them happen.

This post is in partnership with Shinola. Thank you for taking the time to support the businesses that make this blog happen.

15 Dec 2014

Topman Blogger's Hit-List + Giveaway

Along with a couple of other fellow bloggers I was asked by the folks at Topman to single out a few pieces from their Autumn/Winter range, for the Topman Blogger's Christmas Hit-list feature on their website. My tastes are generally less about trends and more about personal style, and versatile choices. Classic styles that will generally work together with the rest of my wardrobe - which sure makes for an easy ride when getting dressed in the morning.

As a bonus we're also giving you guys the chance to win the coat from my Hit-List! Here's the items I chose for the Topman Blogger's Christmas feature:

Navy Wool Pea Coat

For me, the perfect winter coat usually involves the colour navy. The Double Breasted Pea Coat is an absolute classic bit of winter wear, something which never really goes out of style and will serve you well in nearly every occasion.

LTD Burgundy Long Shirt

The last couple of years have seen a rise in button-down collars, so I've decided to single out this rather tasty work wear inspired Burgundy Shirt from the new LTD collection. Layer with a classic white tee or even over the top of a grey sweatshirt.

14 Dec 2014

Vintage Beer Design Calendar + Weekend Links

Along with a fresh diary, a new year's calender is a solid Christmas present in my opinion. Last year's was Where's Wally themed, but this time I'm thinking something a little less taxing. Thanks to Soph of And Other Things for tweeting me this Illustrated Beer Can Wall Calender, it's doozy is going straight onto my wish-list.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends!

Weekend Bucket List

Visiting Casablanca, Morocco
World's first glow-in-the-dark bicyle path
Innovations in changing the way we think about time
60 vintage cars discovered in a shed in France
Turn your cat into a DJ this Christmas
Decorating a festive bar cart
In case you missed it - Scottish-made debut watch collection by Paulin

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11 Dec 2014

Store Visit | Liquor Store, Birmingham

Liquor Store | Birmingham, England.

We're finishing the final Store Visit feature of 2014 with one of my favourites. In fact, it was around this time last year that we first featured this independent retailer. Based in the heart of Birmingham city centre, the Liquor Store is well-known in all the right circles. Since opening in 2012 the store has buily up a strong reputation, though its ability to serve both established UK + US brands, with smaller heritage and streetwear labels.

Along with the level of personable customer service you expect from a small retailer, they're also know as one of the UK's leading denim stores. It's their backbone. Giving customers the option of entry-level denim brands such as Nudie, Unbranded and Edwin, along side more niche labels like Tellason, Hiut, Momotaro + Iron Heart, shows their level of dedication to offering the best.

Their brand list includes; Carhartt, Filson, Folk, Levi's, Oliver Spencer, Patagonia and Universal Works, still alongside Life's A Beach, Majestic Select, Orsman, Palace and TSPTR. The Americana boxes are ticked too - you're find Buzz Rickson's, Ebbets, Lee 101, Pendleton, Red Wing and Tanner Goods. They're also one of the only UK stockists of US-made Pointer Brand.

I had the pleasure of chatting the Liquor Store's owner, Phil, about his background, enthusiasm for menswear + denim, working with local retailer, and plans for the future. I'll be catching up with Phil in the new year. We're seeing a certain shift in retail, and consumers are eager to support their local, but what the Liquor Store is offering is something well worth travelling for. Liquor Store, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham, B2 5UH.

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9 Dec 2014

BOSS Orange Watches Giveaway

Wearing - BOSS Orange Watch c/o | Vintage Levi's Jacket | Realm & Empire Sweatshirt | Uniqlo T-Shirt | Universal Works Trousers | Albam Socks | Converse 1970s | '47 Brand Cap

For the third instalment of our partnership with BOSS Orange Watches I'm showing you guys a typical look I'd wear with the New York model, from their AW14 collection. You'll also have a chance to win the watch I'm wearing above!

So I decided to stick to a Americana-inspired outfit, which is pretty typical to what I'd wear every day. I decided to bust out an age-old vintage Levi's to mix it up a bit. I picked this up in a second-hand shop a few years back - it was in mint condition then, and after a few year's wear it's worn nicely in all the right places. The subtle detail of the orange stitching on the denim jacket, matching the orange accents on the watch was a happy accident I only discovered after Mika pointed it out part two!

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