THE GQ 2011 BEST NEW MENSWEAR DESIGNERS IN AMERICA NOMINEES

This came across my desk late last week, and I was delightfully surprised to see that good friend and comrade, Doug Conklyn of Dockers, will be on the esteemed panel of judges. Nice. Doug and I worked together at Polo Ralph Lauren, Hartmarx, and Lilly Pulitzer— he’s easily one of the coolest and tastiest guys I know.

GQ magazine has announced the six finalists for the 2011 Best New Menswear Designers in America competition — their initiative to get behind the home team, and keep American designers strong. Also — each of the finalists will contribute designs to a special collection for Dockers that will be be released this Fall.

The nominated designers are–


Warriors of Radness designer Rick Klotz – Pure, Adrenaline-fueled ’80’s surf / New Wave radness. 

Patrik ErvellDefinitely the most modern designer of the bunch, don’t look for Patrik Ervell to wave the “old-timey” Americana flag, as his mind is clearly on what’s next, not what was.

Riviera Club designers Joe Sadler, Derek Buse, and Greg Ullery – California’s answer to East Coast prep, with a healthy infusion of laid-back West Coast vibe.  

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THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF LEROY GRANNIS | LEGENDARY LIVER & CHRONICLER OF CALIFORNIA SURF CULTURE

From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–

LeRoy Grannis, considered by many to be the premier photographer of California’s thriving surf culture in the 60’s and 70’s, started out not as a professional or trained artist– but as a hobbyist.  He didn’t even begin his epic career until the ripe age of 42 yrs old.  That was back in 1959– prime time to document America entering the golden age of surf mania, and capture it with a keen eye and insight that only a true surfer could possess.  They say sometimes you fall into a golden situation and make the most of it– I would say Grannis did that, and then some.

LeRoy “Granny” Grannis was born in Hermosa Beach in 1917, and raised a few blocks from the ocean.  He began surfing at the age of fourteen, and was one of the first generation of mainlanders to pick up the ancient Hawaiian sport.  He started out on body boards, then graduated to riding the massive eleven-foot redwood boards that weighed up to one hundred pounds.  It was with his friends, Lewis “Hoppy” Swarts and John “Doc” Ball, that he became one of surfing’s first true devotees.  Even the Great Depression did not slow the cash-strapped surfing trio down– they built their own boards, sewed their own trunks, and pooled their limited funds for trips to catch the bigger waves at Malibu or San Onofre.  It was Ball, himself a self-trained photographer, who would later introduce Grannis to the art.

With the onset of WWII, many of the young men in California enlisted (including Grannis), and surfing went quiet for awhile.  After the war, Grannis returned to Hermosa Beach, took a job with Pacific Bell, and settled down.  He surfed on-and-off, but otherwise became absorbed in the demands of a full time job, wife, and four children.  In 1959 he was diagnosed with a stress related ulcer and his doctor recommended he take up something relaxing– that’s where fate stepped in.  Surf photography was a natural– he lived a few blocks from the beach, knew the sport, and his son had begun to surf.  At the time there were more than a few young surfers in Hermosa who wanted to see themselves in action– so with an East German 35mm camera he began chronicling the flourishing surf scene in Southern California.  What he recorded is the surf scene exploding in a riot of Technicolor.  California in the 1960s was the place where the “new” was always happening– it held a mythical place in our imaginations as the land of endless sun, surf, and possibilities.  LeRoy Grannis will go down as one of the men who helped create this mythos, and left us with some of the greatest photos I have personally  ever seen.

Eli M. Getson

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–Photograph by © LeRoy Grannis.  All rights reserved.

–Photograph by © LeRoy Grannis.  All rights reserved.

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EPIC BIKER ART LEGEND | LONG LIVE EASYRIDERS’ HAROLD R. ROBINSON, JR.

Easyriders was a great biker mag– back in the day. In fact, it was the official reading resource of our household growing up.  Yeah, I read the articles, snuck peeks at pics of ol’ ladies (pre-silicone days, and looking like their upper half had been subjected to major G4-force wind, if you catch my drift…), but mostly I drooled over the mesmerizing artwork of legendary illustrators Dave Mann and Hal Robinson. Hal will always be remembered  for his “Red Rider” and the epic “Miraculous Mutha” cartoons.  What an amazing artist who influenced a generation of illustrators that followed.  Sadly he passed on to the other side back in ’84, but his art will live forever.

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STEVE McQUEEN ’66 POPULAR SCIENCE | WHAT I LIKE IN A BIKE –AND WHY

A cool piece on Steve McQueen rating six bikes for Popular Science magazine back in November, 1966–

“First of all, I don’t set myself up as an expert on either setting up machinery for racing, or in the actual sport of racing itself.  But after 25 years of desert riding in Southern California, TT scrambles, Hare and Hound, and a bit of racing in the wet Six Days Trials in East Germany n 1964– I sure hope I picked up a little bit about motorcycles and riding along the way.” –Steve McQueen

At the end of the day, McQueen heavily favors his own hybrid desert-rippin’ beast that he put together with the help of the Ekins brothers–

“I used a Rickman-Metisse frame– a revolutionary piece of equipment that does away with the oil tank. The oil circulates through the tubes of the frame, which keeps it cool…I used a 650cc Triumph engine as the powerplant for this bike.  The drivetrain and gearbox are also Triumph.  It has Ceriani forks with 7 1/2 inches of travel for a real smooth ride, and a BSA crown.  The fiberglass fenders and tank hold the weight down to a notch under 300 pounds.  The rig is the best handling bike I’ve ever owned.  And the power– it’s like supersonic.” –Steve McQueen

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“If you can’t cut it, you gotta back out.”  –Steve McQueen

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THE SELVEDGE YARD VIA i-D MAGAZINE | THE TOP 10 BLOGS TO BOOKMARK LIST

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THE SELVEDGE YARD IS HONORED AND EXCITED TO BE CHOSEN BY i-D MAGAZINE AS ONE OF THE TOP TEN BLOGS TO BOOKMARK.  i-D MAGAZINE IS WIDELY RECOGNIZED AS AN ART, STYLE & CULTURE LEADER, SO WE FEEL VERY PRIVILEGED THAT THEY WOULD EVEN KNOW WHO THE HELL THIS LITTLE OL’ TSY IS.

MANY THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS ACROSS THE POND AT i-D MAGAZINE!

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EXACTLY, KEEF.

ALSO, THANKS FOR VOTING FOR TSY – BEST MENSWEAR BLOG – WE WERE AWARDED THIS HONOR BY THE CRAVATS, OF THE EVERYGUYED NETWORK!

TSY x GQ ITALY | STEVE McQUEEN

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TSY is honored and excited to contribute to the October Issue of GQ Italy particularly when it’s a piece on Hollywood’s King of Cool, Steve McQueen. Check your international news stands now for their October issue and see a collection of never before seen photographs of McQueen taken by John Dominis in 1963 for LIFE magazine.  Ciao!

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Steve McQueen –image by John Dominis

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Steve McQueen –image by John Dominis

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A MADE IN AMERICA STORY – SINCE 1905 | J.W. HULME CO.

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From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–

The term “luxury brand” gets thrown around a lot today, and as someone in the branding business, I can attest that every brand secretly covets this moniker as a way to charge more for products and services around the world and dupe the masses into even more consumption.  Yet, somewhere along the way, I think we lost sight of what true luxury is and we bought into a lot of superficial hype about what constitutes luxury.

In the last few years, when ostentatious displays of wealth became a sorry substitute for understated class, it became harder and harder to sift through all the junk.  A luxury in its purest form, so the thought goes, is not a necessity; it just makes life more fun to live and delights you in small ways.  I think I derive pleasure from certain things because I like that they are well made, have a story behind them, and most importantly are not out there for mass consumption– I get a small thrill knowing that not everyone has it.  You can call it small batch, artisanal, or limited edition– all would apply.

I like the term “Heirloom Brand” — the idea that true luxury is something you can pass on to the next generation and have it be as relevant as when it was first purchased.  With that in mind, I recently interviewed Jen Guarino, one of the principals of the bag maker J.W. Hulme, a 105 year old institution in St. Paul, Minnesota where they have forgotten more about the making of the best quality canvas and leather bags then most of us will ever know.

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The J.W. Hulme Classic Oxford Field Messenger (washed)

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I’m curious about something, why with a rough economy and a consumer who rationalizes every penny, why would you get into this business?

Yeah, I know, you can start any kind of business but when my partner and I found JW Hulme it was so solid, so real, so true– it was just the right fit.  When we first saw the factory we were stunned by the level of skill these artisans have– you just can’t find this type of history or knowledge in people anymore.  We recognized this as a huge asset and bought it in 2003.  Prior to that JW Hulme was a 100 year old manufacturing company sitting on its heritage– dating back to WWI.  We just recognized a diamond in the rough.

Incredible, so you’re saying this company that makes some of the finest bags in the world was just sitting up in St. Paul and no one knew about it?

The history of the brand, I guess like all great American brands, was that of a manufacturer.  The Hulme Brothers started their business making tents for the War department during WWI and WWII.  After the Second World War ended, they made awnings for Minneapolis society and began to make gear bags for Minnesota sportsmen.  The company really served as a manufacturer for brands like Orvis and Gokey.  We had all the craftsmanship under our roof, we just chose to celebrate it as uniquely our own.

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The J.W. Hulme Classic Field Oxford Briefcase (washed)

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TSY x GQ ITALY

 

I’m very pleased and proud to announce that THESELVEDGEYARD will now be a regular VINTAGE feature in GQ Italy.  TSY debuted in the March 2010 issue, selecting 10 timeless, real men of style– and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership filled with lots of authentic goodness.

So friends– please brush-up on your Italian and follow along.

Ciao,

JP

Marlon Brando relaxing at home with typewriter, and furry little friend.  –Image © Murray Garrett

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James Dean on the set of “Giant” — Image by © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Steve McQueen displaying his signature, perfect balance of allegiance and rebellion.

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