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.