In 2009, Unionmade opened their doors. Located in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, it didn’t take long to get attention. And deservedly so. By many accounts Unionmade, with Todd Barket (of Gap fame) at the helm, can be given credit for bringing the menswear scene west. In a city with a significant lack of the brick & mortar found out east, there was high demand for a place that carried a large selection of good, well made things under one roof. Unionmade fit this bill, offering a full roster of quality infused brands whose relationships would later develop into collaborations, setting the selection completely apart from any coast.
Today the brand list tops 100, and includes all the crowd pleasers such as Alden, Barbour and Filson, but while great, these aren’t why you shop here. The rest of the lineup is choked-full of goods from England, Japan, Italy, and of course good ol’ America. The Sunspels, North Sea Clothings, Drakes, Kapitals and Boliolis are all on the team and ready to play. And the collaborations we mentioned run deep, so a lot of what you see isn’t going to be easy to find elsewhere. I paid a visit to Unionmade when they opened in ’09, and make it a point to visit whenever in town, and I’m always impressed.
Now just over four years later, Unionmade continues to carry the torch, and is expanding, again. After first out growing and expanding the S.F. store, they opened two additional locations, one in Los Angeles and another in Marin (just north of S.F.). Both the second and third locations carry the aesthetic and branding that made the first store so successful. The sights are now set on a fourth location, again in Los Angeles. The new outpost will be seated in the Grove shopping center and is sure to do well – the Grove may be one of the busiest places on earth. The new location will be large enough to carry most of what you’ll find in S.F. and has the same vibe. If you’re nearby, pay a visit.
Check out Unionmade at The Grove: 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles.
In the last couple years, it seems there’s been an influx of centennial celebrations by companies making just about everything. This is a good thing. It not only means that there are a decent amount of companies which still exist stateside, but that they’re continuing to produce good things. Spiewak is amongst this contingent.
With 110 years under their belt, Spiewalk has continued to produce high-quality outer wear for dockworkers, the armed forces, city and public workers alike. Their jackets and their stories continue to be inspirational. While the word iconic isn’t amongst my favorites, there isn’t a better word to describe a lot of what Spiewak has created. The infamous WWII Navy deck jacket, snorkel parka and one of the first double-breasted pea coats all fall under the Spiewak label.
Kicking off the new year in good form (and temperature appropriate timing), Spiewak is set to premier their latest collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence. With Maurizio Donadi of Levis & RL fame at the helm, the New York native label is taking a new approach and creating a collection suited towards today’s lifestyle, while maintaining quality consistent with products past. Additionally, a Golden Fleece collection is slated to launch in the near future, which will take cues from its 1920’s predecessor and consist of pieces from the company’s archives.
Visit Spiewak for the full story and a glimpse at the complete collection.
Images via: Spiewak
In short, 2013 was a good year. New people, new places, great experiences. While there was a lull in posting to this forum, there was no shortage of creative outlets. This past year has opened the door to what should hopefully be a great 2014, full of even more memorable moments. I made a point to live life a little more this year, and I feel proud to say that I think I managed to pull it off.
These photos are a collection of my favorites images and moments from throughout the past year. It’s always fun and interesting to look back at photos, especially considering nearly everyone travels with a camera of some kind in tow and visual catalogs life’s experiences. I’m no exception. I hope you enjoy and have a great new year.
The holiday season has always been a bit weird to me. Since I’ve always lived in a large city and been surrounded by hordes of eager shoppers, carolers, santas, and all things holidays, my view and opinion may be a little skewed. For the better part of the last decade I’ve elected to spend Christmas alone on the East coast, or alone in some capacity in my hometown, Chicago. I touched on this in a post last year, and again, blame Home Alone.
Changing things up this year, through some persistent persuasion, I’m headed West for the holiday and will be kicking around L.A. Not being in a cold environment during Christmas is probably one of the strangest things I can think of, so it’s bound to be interesting. Nonetheless, we’re locked and loaded, palm trees and 80 degrees it is. To everyone else out there, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday, thanks for tuning in.
Always a sucker for old military images, the photo archive at the San Diego Air & Space museum is nothing shy of impressive. A visit will likely be a long one, and for good reason. With an untapped collection that numbers somewhere around 160 thousand images, it’s an excellent resource for all things air & space.
When initially put on the scent of the SDASM, I was surprised that it was housed in San Diego of all places. But on second thought it makes complete sense. As one of the most important naval outposts, San Diego has one of, if not, the best air & space museums in the world. And not just in scale, but in quality. Their physical collection is probably larger than some country’s entire naval fleet. I’ve posted about museums of said kind in the past, and my weird curiosities aside, San Diego’s tips the scale.
At the end of the day, photo archives are a dime a dozen, and there are plenty of good ones out there. The Library of Congress, NYPL, LIFE, etc. all stack up and keep folks busy looking for old photos of Papa (myself included). However, these tend to lack focus and can often become an endless search in a bottomless pool. They also make some of the more flattering candid images harder to find, another area where the SDASM does well. While I’m not totally sure, a lot of images appear to be from personal collections, possibly donated or discovered. Whatever the source, they offer a great first hand perspective of an officer abroad or with friends.
If you have a few hours to burn, check out the San Diego Air & Space archive for yourself.