Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from Secret Forts.

A huge thank you to everyone who's found and stuck with Secret Forts through the years and here's to a bang up 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Debatable: 3Sixteen SL's at 13 Months.

Up now on Denim Debate, the ongoing wearing and tearing(not quite literally) of my 3Sixteen SL's, just over a year old.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Seconds, 30 Century Man, The Rig OUt Film.

And speaking of Oi Polloi's Rig Out, the team, when in Norway, shot an amazing film of their mate, world record breaking cyclist James Bowthorpe in Woolrich Woolen Mills kit. Antony gave me a preview of the rough cut and it kills. Here's an abbreviated look at it. The full version of the film goes live this Friday with some additional footage and interviews over at NOWNESS. This should hold you over 'til then.

Outbox: The Rig OUt #3.

Having been in TN for a week and prior to that, at the Pop Up Flea with Hickoree's, I have finally and belatedly gotten all orders for The Rig Out #3 into the care of the USPS. There was a limited quantity available and those who received an invoice from moi, you should hopefully have The Rig Out by week's end. Those who haven't paid, time to pony up. Enjoy and apologies for the delay. The Secret Forts shipping department is population 1 and he's a bit of a ne'er do well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Extra, Extra: Koji Kusakabe's Test Shot.

Jake's latest subject is his friend and the man behind Extra, Koji Kusakabe.
I've spent some time over there and had a great time one recent afternoon shooting photos and talking vintage. Jake does his thing once again, training his Canon lens on Koji, giving much deserved shine to a man who's spent much of his life quietly going about his business, persuing his passion for Americana; combing through second hand shops and used clothing stores across the US since before, perhaps, you were born(I don't know how old you are).

Respect to Koji and Jake for yet another dope Test Shot.

The Fall Three: Trespasser, Mikael Kennedy.

Friend and photographer Mikael Kennedy has made it a mission to keep a dying art vital and relevant. Over the past decade or so, he's shot thousands of Polaroids. Thousands. When
I got the chance to get an advanced look at his recent show "Shoot the Moon" at the Chelsea Hotel this past April, I was overwhelmed. And that was only a fraction of them. Inexhaustibly creative, he's always hustling, always shooting, always thinking of the next thing. One of these days, we're gonna get a project going together. Until then, Mikael will be out there, beat-to-hell Filson bag full of various Polaroids, documenting life from New York to Vermont and way beyond. Wherever his storied van will take him. He'll be here and there, maybe tracking down a cache of expired Polaroid film, maybe hanging a show, maybe shooting a spec under the guise of The Explorer's Club. Whatever it may be, you can bet that a Polaroid will be involved.
And speaking of which, he's edited and compiled the latest volume of "Passport to Trespass" titled 'I can't remember where I've been', spanning Dec. '08-Sept. '09. It's a limited edition of 100 and ships Dec. 4th. So get on it. Go HERE to pre-order.
It's my great pleasure to present my buddy Mikael's Fall Three.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Watch Your Step: Grant Taylor, Mind Field.

I've put this kid up before and this isn't the newest video out there, but this kid is such a ripper. So tough.(Did he go through a growth spurt while filming this part?) Either way, sick. Reminds me of getting stoked on Dyrdek and Duane Pitre in G&S "Footage" back in 1990. Check it here. Dinosaur and Workshop, always tough as hell in my book.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Fall Three: Jou-Yie Chou, The Ace Hotel.

Over the past year or so, Jou-Yie Chou has become a friend and compatriot.
Many evenings have passed in the lobby of The Ace or the bar at The Breslin and more than a few times, with Jou-Yie. He's partly reason why the Ace has become such a gravitational center in an otherwise nondescript part of town. Build it and they will come seems to have been the ethos and indeed, they have(present company included).
Jou-Yie's recently returned from a coastal caravan with fellow road-trippers Jay Carroll and photographer Nate Bressler, having set up pop-up outposts in Palm Springs and LA. Currently, he's on the move again but took some time to indulge my request for what's got him stoked on Fall. This is Jou-Yie Chou's Fall Three(and then some).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Field Report: C'H'C'M' / Bond st. / NYC.

There's a pattern emerging. Think UNIONMADE, Wharf, Inventory Stockroom. Good people setting up shop who care about the products they sell. Now add to this list Sweetu Patel's very recently opened C'H'C'M' Shop at 2 Bond st.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shelf Life: My Rugged 211 x Minoru Onozato.

Free & Easy Editor Minoru Onozato has, for over 40 years, searched for, found and collected what has amounted to a vast collection of what he calls rugged style. If you're at all familiar with Free & Easy, the word rugged recurs quite frequently. Hell, there's a "museum" in it's honor. Sparked by a youth spent playing Rugby, Onozato was set on a path, a lifelong pursuit of "unfashionable fashion" and "My Rugged 211", as he states in the forward, "is a record of this quest". Here's an extremely abbreviated look inside. Available at J.Crew.

Moving Pictures: Apolis Vietnam Expedition Film.

In addition to working at the factory day in and day out, factor in two 60's era Russian made motorcycles, 1,500 miles put on them, eleven break downs, torrential rains, several near death experiences, very nearly having passports confiscated by the military police and you have a trip of a lifetime, many new friends, countless memories and stories to tell. The guys at Apolis have distilled some of that into just under four minutes. Beautifully done fellas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Map: Read all About It; EXTRA, NYC.

On a recent visit to EXTRA, Koji Kusakabe's shop just off the Bowery, I had the pleasure of talking a while with Koji about all things vintage.
Koji's, who now resides in the city, began making vintage buying trips to the US from Japan, back in the early 80's. American denim had become highly sought after in Japan and few used clothing stores here knew what they had.
California came around first, in the mid-80's, but Koji told me he could still come to the states and spend most of his time in NYC, grabbing up highly collectible pieces for next to nothing.
Some twenty-five years later, Koji's opened EXTRA.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apocalypse Tomorrow: Apolis Vietnam Expedition Film Release.

In the name of walking the walk, good buddy Raan Parton of Apolis spent a few weeks last month motorcycling through the cities and country sides of Vietnam. The expedition presented a prime opportunity to field test some of the latest Apolis gear including the super awesome Expedition Duffle, their waxed canvas anorak and the Patagonia for Apolis rain slicker. And if you kept tabs on their travels, you'll know that the afore mentioned came in quite useful along the way.(See below photo)With cinematographer Dave Christenson along for the ride, the boys documented days and days of what must have been the trip of a life time. And after cutting through hour upon hour of shot footage, they've a final edit, a teaser for which you can watch below.
If you're in the neighborhood, they'll be previewing the film at American Rag Cie's Newport Beach location tomorrow(Nov. 9th). And if you make it to the event, give those guys a bear hug for me.

Film + Event: Expedition Preview & Nov. 9th Event from Apolis on Vimeo.

The Fall Three: Carl Chiara, Levi Strauss & co.

I always consider it such a pleasure when I get the chance to catch up with Carl Chiara, director of brand concepts and special projects for Levi Strauss & Co. This past week, Carl was in town from San Francisco for Levis' SS'11 preview, held at the Levis Workshop in the former Deitch Projects space on Wooster. I met Carl at UNIONMADE opening day. We talked about our shared interests in furniture making and wood working as he hand made many of the fixtures in the shop. A Renaissance man, he's a good friend to Secret Forts, an always gracious and humble guy and this is Carl Chiara's Fall Three.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Revisited: The Rig Out, Issue #2.

While working on getting issue 3 of Oi Polloi's(who've incidentally just re-launched a super clean, well designed site) Rig Out out, I thought it would be a good chance to revisit the previous issue for those who might not have gotten their hands on it.
Our man Antony Crook and the lads spent some time with a perennial favorite of Secret Forts, Engineered Garments' own Daiki Suzuki and Angelo Urrutia, getting a quick Q&A and some nice behind the scenes photos.
Issue 3 will be all sent in the coming days so bare with me. (The response has been huge and I'm a one man operation here.)
Word on the street is that Issue 4 is already in the works as well as a short companion film to the current issue. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Field Report: J. Crew SS'11 Men's Preview.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending J. Crew's SS'11 presentation staged at Milk Studios in Chelsea, NYC. Layered up in a shawl neck sweater, Barbour, Bean booted and umbrella in hand, rain coming down pretty good, Spring couldn't have been further from my mind, but the collection got me pining for warm April days and just right, cool evenings.
Spring collections are tricky.
They can verge on the minimal and underwhelming. Fall/Winter has all the fun, the simple fact being that there are more pieces to make, more to wear, heartier fabrics and textures to play with. Spring, it's just shorts and tees right? Not so in this case. J. Crew's Spring '11 collection is a playbook in new classics, old favorites, smart layering, crisp fabrics, textural and tonal mixing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Far from Yokohama": Mystery Train, 1989.

Mitzuko and Jun.

The Fall Three: Matt Hranek, The William Brown Project.

Matt Hranek is a photographer, outdoorsman, and the man behind the wonderful William Brown Project where, on any given day, you might find a post on some of his recent vintage finds(as of late, for sale at the Brooklyn Flea) or a post on dispatching a pig. One such recent post on the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo struck a particular chord as I grew up visiting my great aunt there, she and her a husband members since its creation. Matt was kind enough to indulge my request. This is Matt Hranek's Fall Three.

Solid Rock & Shifting Sand: Unionmade Fall Lookbook.

My good buddy Todd at UNIONMADE(the crazy-good men's shop in San Francisco) sent over the shop's Fall Lookbook. Todd says, "We shot it up on the coast of Sonoma County on Blind Beach and Goat Rock Beach. It's about 10 Miles up the coast from Bodega where was The Birds was filmed. Yours truly art directed and styled it." Shot by Brooklyn-based photographer Jason Rodgers, Todd enlisted friends and customers as models and crew, providing craft service himself. " We loved their looks. Overall a really easy shoot with lots of nice people. I was nervous about doing any kind of imagery for the store but I like what we did." Rightfully so Todd. Very well done gents.
Click over to UNIONMADE to see the rest of the looks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fall Three: Ben Ferencz, Freeman Transport.

On the subject of my buddy Ben(see post below), he's taken some time out of his schedule to weigh in on what's got him stoked on Fall.
Ben and his family(including Honey the milk cow which Ben rises at the crack of dawn to milk) live in Montana. Ben's an avid cyclist and an avid family man. Ben's a bit of a design whirlwind. He speaks directly, he is seemingly always working on something whether it be for Freeman Transport, of which he is co-founder along with partner Nathaniel Freeman) or a Design Co-op project(of which he is the man), and if you've ever been on the phone with him, you quite possibly received a text and three emails from him while in mid conversation(I've considered creating an ongoing series soley based around the photos Ben has texted me from Missoula).
I can only imagine the Rube Goldberg contraption that is Ben's creative mechanism. But whatever that may look like, he's a stand up guy, a good friend and this is his Fall Three.

More Things Change, More They Stay the Same Same.

Photographer Chris Milliman recently collaborated with Freeman Transport on the rad Home and Away project documenting a few days in the life of my buddy and Freeman Transport co-founder Ben Ferencz. Chris has just compiled a group of Photos from his travels, both abroad and domestically, titled Same Same But Different.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now Available: The Rig Out, Issue #3.

It's back. Issue number three of Oi Polloi's men's zine from across the pond, The Rig Out. Secret Forts has been lucky enough to partner up with the Rig Out boys from day one, helping to get the Rig Out out here in the states from the very first issue. With this issue, the Rig Out continues to impress. An interview with WWM brand manager Marco Bazzoni. Stories include "Future Shepherd", "Dark Rainbow" and "30 Century Man" all photographed by our man and recent collaborator, Antony Crook. "Italian Lessons" from Glenn Kitson and Mark Smith. And some other good stuff in there.
60 available through Secret Forts. An additional 40 or so will, like with the last issue, be available through Hickoree's Hard Goods.
Unlike the issues one and two, this one's gonna cost ya'. Just keep reading.

A Lesson in Star Identification: USN Training Film, 1942.

With a trip to LA forthcoming, this film on star identification should prove very useful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

At Work: Pablo Picasso: b. 10/25/1881.

Picasso, born Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso this day in 1881.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Supper is Served: The Hill-Side + Hope st. Supper Club.

Over the weekend, The brothers Corsillo of The Hill-Side got a bunch of friends together, put them all in the forth-coming Spring '11 line and got them all around one long communal table at the Hope Street Supper Club here in Brooklyn.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Fall Three: Jay Carroll, One Trip Pass.

Fresh off his latest coastal adventure, King of the Road Jay Carroll checks in with his Fall Three.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Inbox: Outlier Goes Soft Core.

The Brooklyn-based Outlier, purveyors of super clean and functional cycling apparel, has you covered when it comes to layering just right for your morning ride to work, for coffee, around town or wherever you might be headed on two wheels.
The Soft Core Wool Vest, an experimental run of a dozen made in California, is a soft core of knit superfine New Zealand merino on the inside, an outer face of virgin wool flannel and a 120 gram, military-grade Primaloft Infinity insulation sandwiched between. Nice and warm, but designed to avoid overheating.
Pull that on over the Long Action Merino Tee, ultrafine 17.5 micron New Zealand merino base layer with a gusseted sleeve and dart contoured shoulder, and you're on your way.
Both available via Outlier's web shop.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On the Subject of: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Les Them: G-L-O-R-I-A.

"If you drop a guitar down a flight of stairs, it'll play 'Gloria' on its way to the bottom." - Dave Barry

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Fall Three: Kate Jones, Ursa Major.

I last ran into the talented Ms. Kate Jones while she was on her way to deliver some olive oil cake she had just made to La Colombe, who she does some baking for. I couldn't get olive oil cake off my brain for some time after that. But that's neither here nor there.
Quite simply, Kate's one of the most stylish women I know(proof; HERE). I've long admired her for her distinct singularity and effortlessness. In addition to being such a stylish lass, she's also the creator of the equally unique Ursa Major Collection, a line of jewelry she designs and is so very often wearing the hell out off. You can also check out the Ursa Major blog, the always inspiring Pointer Stars.
I'm stoked to have had such a great response from Kate and with great pleasure, I present the three things(maybe four) that have Kate Stoked for Fall.

In the Making: Otter-Messer Factory, Solingen Germany.

Back in 'o8, I made mention of this folding knife. German-made by Otter-Messer(est. 1887), I got mine a few years back from Garrett Wade, lost it and got another. Classic design. Hand-made. Love the inlaid brass anchor. Came across this video recently, shot back in 'o7, showing some of the process involved in making this very knife.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Excerpted: And You, Brutus?

Japanese Men's book, BRUTUS, has a few stories that caught my attention in their Fall/Winter issue. I am told that they concern Engineered Garments' collaboration with Golden Bear of San Francisco, Alden of New England and Italian milliners Borsalino. Or at least that's what my translator has told me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Coming: The Rig Out from Oi Polloi, #3.

Way back when, I brought you the very first issue of The Rig Out, Oi Polloi's zine. Well, their latest effort, issue #3, is set to touch down at Secret Forts in the coming days. The new issue promises to be all that you've come to love from The Rig Out but, better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Fall Three: James Fox, 10Engines.

James Fox is the man behind 10Engines. Simply put; Family/food/rural/library/transatlantic/vintage. 'Nuff said. What follows is what has James Fox stoked on Fall. It's his Fall Three.

Open For Business: One Trip Pass + Ace Hotel.

The coastal caravan has pulled into LA, the boys have set up shop and they've flung the doors wide open for business this very day. If you're in the area, head over to Cleveland Art and have a look at the treasures, knickknacks, curio, tchotchkes, mementos, souvenirs and other awesome stuff they picked up along the way.(10% of sales will go to paddle to live) Open only for a few days so "Come hear tall tales and collect handsome memorabilia from a secret society of innovative and one-of-a-kind party animals, some of whom we’ve been up to no good with on this very road trip.." (See announcement below for hours)
One Trip Pass + Ace Hotel
833 East 3rd street
Downtown LA,CA

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I (HEART) Alexis Krauss.

Sleigh Bells "Infinity Guitars" from Phil Pinto on Vimeo.

Been a fan of Sleigh Bells since first hearing the loudness of "Crown on the Ground". Phil Pinto's video for "Infinity Guitars" gives further reason to be wary of rogue cheerleaders strutting around Brooklyn with baseball bats. (Crushing out hard on Alexis Krauss. Right?)

Jake Davis Shot Me.

I spent a recent afternoon with Jake. By now, you know who he is and you know what he does. They're called Test Shots. I've always been a huge fan of them and they're always done so well. When Jake called me up and said he was ready to turn his camera on yours truly, I was like "'bout time." Kidding. Click over to have a look. Had a great time doing it and a huge thanks to Jake for placing me amongst such venerable company.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fall Re-Boot, pt. I : Red Wings.

After spending all summer in canvas sneakers, when Fall arrives, I'm ready to dust off my Red Wings, rub some oil into them and put some more miles on 'em.
Here are a few pairs lovingly collected over the years.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Motorcycle Diaries: Apolis Vietnam Expedition.

Seems as if there's wanderlust in the air. In the spirit of travel and adventure, Global Citizen Raan Parton, of Apolis, is heading out on what sounds like one hell of an epic field trip(next time, fellas).
Motorcycling through the Vietnamese country side on old Russian Minsk bikes, Raan will be working on some product development, field testing some recently released Apolis Transit Issue gear(the Expedition Duffel being a standout and perfect carry-all for such a trip), documenting the modern face of Vietnam and, along the way, having a hell of a time.