For the past five or so summers, I have started the season off on a quest to find the perfect, simple, non-in-your face logo trainer. A trainer so versatile that allows me to wear it on the weekends and if I wanted to feel like a rebel, I could rock them with a sport jacket at the office or even better, with a suit when I am presenting to the board of directors. Each season I start this quest and end up having to chose from the normal cast of charters, the New Balance 574, the Converse Jack Purcell Signature, or the adidas Original Rod Laver. I am happy to say this season, even thought we are 3/4 of the way through it, I found a new brand and style to choose from.
Each year we here at NCG pull together a collection of 10 great gifts, all made in the USA. Every item would be a great addition under your tree this holiday season. They can be purchased by following their links below. Happy Holidays from all of us at here at NCG.
Patagonia has released a short film that showcases some of their iconic pieces of gear and the people who use them. The catch is, these pieces span from being 10 to 35 years old and are still going strong. It’s a testament to Patagonia and the products they created, but to me, the message the video is telling goes deeper than that.
The message goes totally against the mindset that has been ingrained in my mind the 17 years I have been in the retail game. Keeping clothing as long possible and not buying new each season, that’s just crazy talk in retail. If everybody followed that model, what would happen to all the malls, the large sales bonuses given to retail executives and the collaborations between brands and celebrities? In an instant gratification society where we value the new vs. the old and then have to be the first person to get that item and show it to our loyal followers, on whatever social media platform is the coolest that day, this video and its message puts that idea on its head and then kicks it in the ass….and I totally agree with it.
In this day and age, we need more brands and retailers to follow this message. Putting hard work, dedication and quality into every item them make. They need to think more about the lifespans of their garments and how to enable them to be passed on from this generation to the next. It’s more about creating a legacy for the brand than creating EBIDTA.
This past week Allen Edmonds, the 91 year old footwear brand out of Port Washington WI launched a small collection of apparel. There are enough pieces to create 8-10 classic looks, which can be seen below, but what is most important about this launch is that 90% of this collection was made right here, in the USA.
Paul Grangaard, the brands President and CEO states ‘This is all about great American styling combined with American manufacturing authenticity…Allen Edmonds has proven that world class shoes can be handcrafted in America. Now we’re going to help show the world that it also can still be done in amazing clothing and leather goods.’ With the manufacturing of this line, Allen Edmonds, along with their production partners were able to create and fill more than 280 skilled labor jobs, all filled by the american worker.
Along with this launch, the company has also re-braneded themselves and have picked up the tag line, ‘An American Original’. The logo is clean, simple and classic, which really speaks to the brand and their offering.