tsy cool material

Many thanks to Cool Material for featuring TSY style picks from my favorite makers & peeps!

  • Iron & Resin Rambler Jacket, Black – $240
  • Billy Kirk Double Prong Belt – $99
  • See See Motor Coffee Tee – $25
  • Norman Porter NP-01 Japanese Selvedge Denim – $248
  • RRL Japanese Indigo Chambray Workshirt – $195
  • Wolveriine Stockton 1000 Mile Engineer’s Boot – $495
  • Poler Riding Pack – $90
  • Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses – $200
  • Tanner Goods Travel Wallet – $95

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Ray Gordon is one of those guys that you can’t help but love. He’s a big, gentle giant with a deep voice that’s always saying the craziest shit that makes you laugh your ass off. He’s also one helluva photographer, and has a passion for the people and brands that he shoots for that isn’t all about the money– sometimes it’s about having a great time with cool folks and doing some rad shit just because it feels good. That’s exactly what he did for Stetson and TSY is honored to have the exclusive pics here. And of course I’m going to lead-in with my favorite pics of two of my favorite people– Tori & Thor from See See Coffee & Motorcycles!

Stetson USA sent us a big box of  badass hats and we went and showed those hats how we do it! We went out and had one of the best days of our lives on Parsons Farm on Sauvies Island in Oregon. Yeah, it was a planned shoot but the fun was as authentic as it gets. It wasn’t a job. No money changed hands.

Every summer I like to do a big self-promotion shoot. This was me being selfish and cramming all of my likes in one fun day. Incredible day with great friends! Thor & Tori from See See Motorcycles, Cody Adams from Hurst Tires, Kenny Wright from Motogalore,  Jimmy 2Bottles, Casey, Meredith, Charity and the Parson brothers, John and Paul who own the farm.” –Ray Gordon



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I was pretty stoked when Doug Gunn sent me a copy of — Vintage Menswear — A Collection from the Vintage Showroom — as I’ve long been an admirer. Being in the menswear trade myself, London has always been a favorite stop for inspiration, and there’s no better place to be inspired than The Vintage Showroom. The collection is insane and beautifully presented, covering everything from academia, sporting, hunting, motoring, military wear, workwear, denim– it’s no surprise that they are one of the most complete and prestigious vintage dealers in the world. Of special interest to me are all things related to motoring as you see below including vintage leathers, Barbour, Belstaff, etc., and all the great snippets of the history, construction, and function behind the pieces.


CHAMPION CAR CLUB JACKET, 1950s– “This is a simple, zip-up cotton jacket with fish-eye buttons at the cuffs and a short collar. What it signifies, however, is so much more. The hand-embroidered, chain-stitched imagery on its back places it squarely in the 1950s, at the height of the hot-rodding craze in the US. Hot-rodding was said to have been driven by young men returning from service abroad after World War II who had technical knowledge, time on their hands, and the habit of spending long days in male, if not macho, company. Rebuilding and boosting cars for feats of both spectacle and speed — often 1930s Ford Model Ts, As and Bs, stripped of extraneous parts, engines tuned or replaced, tires beefed up for better traction, and a show-stopping paint job as the final touch — became an issue of social status among hot-rodding’s participants. This status was expressed through clothing too. There were the ‘hot-rodders’ of the 1930s, when car modification for racing across dry lakes in California was more an innovative sport than a subculture, complete with the Southern California Timing Association of 1937 providing ‘official’ sanction. But by the 1950s, hot-rodding was a style too.  decade later it was, as many niche tastes are, commercialized and mainstream, with car design showing hot-rod traits.”  –Vintage Menswear, Douglas Gunn, Roy Luckett& Josh Sims

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Tonight 5/31 is Round 3 of the Hammarhead x Dunderdon collaboration event — the last in a 3 week series of Thursday nights at the Dunderdon SoHo shop. James will be finishing up the 2008 Triumph Bonneville that has been Hammarhead-ed to perfection each week at Dunderdon. In addition to the bike, there is the product collaboration to admire and shop– the deerskin welding jacket is getting a shit ton of raves. Click-through to check out photos from week #2, and come to the Dunderdon SoHo shop on Howard Street tonight to see the completed Hammarhead Industries bike.

Hammarhead Triumph bike build — Photo courtesy of Hammarhead Industries and Shaun Castillon

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Tonight 5/24 is Round 2 of the Hammarhead x Dunderdon collaboration event — the second in a 3 week series of Thursday nights at the Dunderdon SoHo shop. James will be working away on the 2008 Triumph Bonneville that is being morphed before our eyes into an original Hammarhead Industries creation live at Dunderdon. In addition to the bike, there is the incredible product collaboration with one of a kind pieces– my favorite being this amazing deerskin welding jacket that James and Dunderdon designed based on an old relic of a photo. They were taken by the clean, honest construction and simple lines of the piece and how functional and timeless it was, not just for welding and grinding and such– but also for a blast around the block on your bike. What I like is that all the pieces of the collection is that they clearly have utility in mind, are no nonsense in design, yet the materials and trim are extremely durable and over-engineered, reminding me of the Hammarhead Industries bikes themselves.

GL1(HHI) Work Glove (as seen worn by James Hammarhead above)
• hand sewn domestic deerskin
• seamless die cut palm
• outseam construction
• made in USA

J77(HHI) Welder’s Jacket

• classic welding jacket optimized for welding, grinding and the fast test ride
• high collar and adjustable cuff
• waxed for weather protection (Otter Wax)
• 1.3 mm suede from cow split leather
• Kevlar thread on all seams
• rivets at seam endings and pocket corners
• snap buttons for easy use
• two zipped chest pockets; one large internal pocket
• made in Sweden


It was a great night at the Hammarhead x Dunderdon collaboration event — the first in a 3 week series of Thursday nights at the Dunderdon SoHo shop. In speaking with James Hammarhead about his bikes and design ethos, I was struck by this over-riding Germanic sense in his DNA that translates directly to his incredible bikes — strong, spare, focused, and above all functional. We cut the conversation when an internal clock in James’ head triggered that it was now time to get to business. He assembled the Hammarhead crew and the naked 2008 Triumph Bonneville, that will be morphed over the next 3 weeks into an original Hammarhead Industries creation, was wheeled-out right onto the sidewalk where James went to work cutting and cleaning-up the frame. James admitted that the design is more or less unfolding organically as the event and bike literally come to life over the the next few weeks at Dunderdon. It’s important to James that his work and his bikes be accessible, so he works hard to keep the price range to 15K-20K. In building a bike of this caliber at that cost it forces you to make everything count and to forgo the superfluous. Every inch of a Hammarhead Industries motorcycle is built with purpose in mind — bottom line. The result is an honest and capable motorcycle built for a rider, not a sissy-ass showroom.

Hammarhead x Dunderon collaboration unveiled in SoHo, NYC — Image by Hammarhead Industries

2008 Triumph Bonneville selected for this Hammarhead build — Image by Hammarhead Industries

James Hammarhead lets sparks fly outside on the sidewalk outside of Dunderdon’s SoHo shop as he pares down the 2008 Triumph Bonneville’s frame — Image by Hammarhead Industries

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The Blackbird event— a collaboration between TSY, PRPS, TRIUMPH, and friend & photographer Scott Toepfer in celebration of denim & machine. The Blackbird jean was inspired by the 1953 Triumph Blackbird. Handmade of super rigid & raw 14 oz Japanese denim– these jeans are not for the faint of heart. The black hardware and Thunderbird (tail) inspired stitching on the back pocket pay homage to the iconic motorcycle. The event was held on 4/13, as only 13 pairs of the Blackbird jean were made. Why 13 pairs? As a tribute to “The Wild One” starring Marlon Brando, that was based on the epic motorcycle clubs– 13 Rebels and The Boozefighters. Anywho– it was a helluva night! Thank you to Fast Ashley’s and everyone who came out! You winners out there that have my babies– please keep me posted on how they’re wearing, and send postcards & photos to info@selvedgeyard.com !

The Blackbird jean hangtag blown up poster-size for the event at Fast Ashley’s Studios in Brooklyn –photo by The Vintagent

The scene outside on The TSY Blackbird event at Fast Ashley’s Studios in Brooklyn – yep– lots of bikes, Triumphs, a Ducati or two and plenty of other nice rides. Donwan Harrell of PRPS even drove his 440 6-pack Road Runner! –photo by The Vintagent


The iconic bike that inspired it all– the 1953 Triumph Blackbird at Fast Ashley’s Studios in Brooklyn –photo by The Vintagent

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The flamboyantly natty Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter with his dogs. “Although tailoring was quite distinct from fashion then, Tommy Nutter changed the way men dressed,” says Dennis Nothdruft, who co-curated the 2011 retrospective (Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row) at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London along with tailor Timothy Everest. “And he changed the way Savile Row was seen. Before Nutters it was an exclusive, closed-off world. They didn’t even have window displays. Though, of course, the rest of the row looked upon him as an upstart whose shop was on the wrong side of the street.” (The huge purple candles in the shape of phalluses can’t exactly have endeared him to his neighbors… Another legend, Simon Doonan, was Nutter’s window dresser back in those days.) via


Tommy Nutter will always be known as the flamboyant bee in Savile Row’s stuffy bonnet. Trained as a traditional tailor, the sexy and innovative Nutter was not happy following the status quo of stuffy Savile Row and literally took matters into his own hands. He created a sensation with his bold, signature look– wide shoulders, unapologetic lapels, bold fabrics & patterns. Nutter soon became the darling of the celebrity and rock ‘n’ roll scene– clothing the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bianca Jagger, Elton John, Eric Clapton, The Beatles,  Vidal Sassoon, Twiggy, David Hockney, and many others. His influence can still be seen today, through the apprentices who worked under him (John Galliano for one), and in the young new designers of today (E. Tautz) who are rediscovering his work. Tommy Nutter has forever left a mark on Savile Row, and defined a moment in time when bigger truly was better.

Designers like Tom Ford (who favors strong lapels and chunky neckwear) have famously cited Tommy Nutter as an influence. Bianca on Mick Jagger’s arm as he struts in his Tommy Nutter duds– from the book Day of the Peacock by Geoffrey Aquilina Ross that is an incredible visual chronicle of the flashy and flamboyant menswear style from 1963-1973.

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The PRPS NOIR Collection is not about black denim. Noir utilizes the best selvedge denim fabrics available anywhere in the world– with incredibly extensive washes and old school wear, tear & repair details that are authentic to genuine vintage jeans painstakingly collected over the years worn by real miners, mechanics, and laborers alike. Each jean is handmade and can take up to a week to produce. No one is doing denim at this same level. Noir represents the best of PRPS– true collector’s items.


My Friend Donwan Harrell of PRPS gave me a preview of his yet to be released denim line–Noir. Almost 10 years later, PRPS continues to innovate and evolve denim like no one else. In fact, you can thank Donwan in large part for the Japanese denim phenomenon that we have today– he was the the first American to manufacture jeans in Japan, using Japanese fabric and Japanese construction. No one else was doing it. In the founding days of PRPS, Donwan set out to find the best quality selvedge denim in the world, and it wasn’t at Cone Mills— it was Okayama, Japan. (Back then Cone was really struggling just to stay alive, facing stiff pricing competition from Turkey, India, China– and the whole “Americana, US heritage brands, made in USA” menswear movement hadn’t happened yet, so there wasn’t the appetite like we have today for American selvedge denim from all the denim brands that have cropped-up in recent years…) In search of the old vintage looms, Donwan found a family there that for generations had been keeping the quality and heritage of old school selvedge denim alive. One thing that many don’t realize is that Japanese weaving technology has long been light-years ahead of much of the world. The old Toyoda and Sakamoto shuttle looms dating back many decades were much more advanced than the Draper looms that Cone Mills utilized for Levi’s.

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At first look there are obvious reasons to love this (February, 1965) cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine– Steve McQueen of course, and the amazing photography of the legendary Richard Avedon. But there is another visionary manifested here, not often spoken of, especially back when this was on the newsstand. Ruth Ansel.

Ruth Ansel was a female pioneer in the world of graphic design. To read Ruth’s tales of her early days working with legends and creating a burgeoning new art form is fascinating– even though I’m not a graphic designer myself, there is so much that I appreciate and admire. An interesting footnote– 22 year old Ali MacGraw (pre-McQueen days) worked under Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar until she was finally convinced by a bevy of photographers to get out from behind the camera and strike a pose. And the rest is history, as they say…

When Ruth Ansel put Steve McQueen, photographed by Richard Avedon (also the guest editor), on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in 1965, it was the first time a male appeared on the cover of a women’s fashion magazine. 

“Point to an iconic magazine cover of the last 40 years, and chances are it was designed by Ruth Ansel. Since 1961, when she talked her way into the art department at Harper’s Bazaar, Ansel has defined the look of some of America’s visually influential publications. In the 1960s, her work for Bazaar captured a transitional moment in fashion and society. In the 1970s, she became the first female art director of The New York Times Magazine and in the 1980s she created the look of Vanity Fair.”

–Carol Kino

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