October 25 2013
«Made in USA»
The “Made in America” style has never been so in style as it is now, with a clientele that seem straight out of the pages of Monocle magazine: fashion, accessories and objects from the ateliers of Brooklyn, San Francisco and Detroit are the ingredients that make up the recipe.
Set on a small side street just off the Bowery, the Freemans Sporting Club (FSC) attracts a variety of elegant gentlemen clients dressed in beautiful cotton jackets, shiny boots, thick woolen sweaters, horn-rimmed glasses and beards. Some are here to wait their turn at the barber, others have come by to have a three-piece suit cut and tailored in a secret workshop (accessible through a hidden door that takes on the appearance of a library) and the others may be simply passing by to browse the racks looking for the latest suit that has been…perhaps only a few miles away! On each label, the name and price of the suit is noted alongside the distance that separates it from its place of production: a Mother Freedom jacket produced in Massachusetts, another in leather, made by Golden Bear (established since 1922) on the docks of San Francisco, shoes and backpacks in coated fabric made exclusively for FSC…the Freemans man has style, and ethics to boot!
8 Rivington Street
In the same spirit, the Inventory store (a physical extension of the eponymous magazine founded in Vancouver in 2009) offers a selection of brands that cover all the American heritage classics such as boots, work wear, outdoor parkas and fine cottons. Often produced in Japan (and for good reason…the brand is also present in Japan!), they call to date the elegance of sportswear that was invented in the United States.
12 Extra Place (off East 1st Street, btw Bowery and 2nd Avenue)
In recent seasons, it has been all about making anew…after the craze for vintage design known as Americana, has finally died down. There is now room for new boutiques, fashion brands and designers of all varieties to affirm their desire to re-conquer the territory and American made savoir-faire! In other words, the “Made in USA” label has never been so fashionable in Brooklyn, Detroit and even Raleigh. Proof of this is the Shinola brand whose shop designed by David Rockwell just opened on Franklin Street, in Tribeca. His motto: ‘Where American is Made”. By giving jobs to workers in abandoned Detroit factories, the brand revisits its history to build not only cars, but bicycles, watches and leather cases that put the idea of an assembly line in the pillory. A welcome flashback which already has some hardcore fans – read: the subscribers of Wallpaper* and Monocle – especially in this neo-industrial décor marked by the presence of a spiral staircase, a steel walkway and a magnificent dark wood library at the bottom of the space.
177 Franklin Street
For the designer and ‘sculptress of light fixtures’ Lindsey Adelman, each piece is prototyped and made in her workshops. And it is for this reason that she employs fifteen master craftsmen who blow glass and handle brass with immense talent in order to create beautifully unique pieces. Fleshing out the record of her explorations, Lindsey Adelman has made fixtures in recent seasons that include pieces of ceramics, painted surfaces, and ‘jewelry’ details in solid gold. Made with unmatched expertise.
Sur rdv. 195 Chrystie Street, floor 2
In the world of fashion, the trend is moving towards Raleigh Denim, a new denim brand launched by Sarah and Victor Lytvinenko, who produce each pair with the utmost care. Numbered at the beltline on a piece of leather, each jean is woven, sewn, assembled, returned, and hand dyed on machines that have, for the most part, traversed the twentieth century. In their South Carolina factory, the process is slow, careful and marked with the imprint of the artisans who are reviving the tradition of American Made Jeans. In their NoLita shop designed by OMA, the history of the coveralls that are consumed en masse in the United States takes on a welcome contemporary twist. So, it comes as no surprise that Barney’s has already made an order!
211 Elizabeth Street
For its part Save Khaki opts for discretion by providing a beautiful selection of Japanese style cottons, cashmeres and jerseys that awaken the classic tradition of American Sportswear. A menswear brand, it escapes the trends to propose minimalist collections where faded colors and faded materials combine elegance and comfort. What’s more, the pieces are almost entirely produced in the United States, in family factories dating – for some – from the end of the nineteenth century. This is the case, for example, with Fall River Knitting, Massachusetts, which produces sweaters and blankets for Save Khaki United by perpetuating the old traditions of four generations.
327 Lafayette Street
In the heart of Chelsea, Story is a pop-up store with a very unique concept: “This is a shop that adopts the perspective of a magazine (to editorialize its content) and changes the program regularly like a gallery!” explains Rachel Shechtman, founder of the space. Exploring the “Made in America” theme, the selection is reviewing all the creative American regions – Chicago, East Coast, Portland, California, etc. – to highlight products that are a reflection of culture, tradition and savoir-faire that has been brought up to date. Working with Brika.com and American Design Club (http://americandesignclub.com) – two platforms that encourage the work of young American designers and creators – means the selection is diverse and comprehensive, including a range of Malin & Goetz beauty products, TM1985 leather bags by Teilor McBride, and notebooks by Marilyn Glinka, the founder of stationery brand Emgie Libris…the list is long and the selection as fascinating as an actual road trip!
144 10th Ave. at 19th Street.