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Posts Tagged ‘horween’

Really digging this tote from Omaha, Nebraska’s Artifact Bag Co. (AKA Chris Hughes, the designer and craftsman behind the line). It’s made from 14 oz. American-made waxed canvas, reinforced with American-made cotton webbing, fitted with Horween leather straps, and finished with hand hammered copper rivets and American-made poly thread (seams are double stitched, for strength). It’s also backed by a lifetime guarantee.

So, to put it briefly: this bag is made to last, by hand, using components from the good ol’ US of A. It also looks pretty damn good, and comes in four different colorways: Khaki/Brown, Olive/Black, Olive/Brown, and Olive/Charcoal/Black.

Top everything off with two external side pockets, a multi-section internal pocket, and an internal key fob (always immensely handy), and you’ve got one solid everyday bag on your hands.

What’s that you say? You’d like to see a collection of detail shots, running the gamut of all the colorways? But of course:

It’ll run you $125, direct from the source. Everything is handmade to order, so give it 4-6 weeks for production.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Artifact Bag Co.)

Ed’s Note: If you’re not looking for a carryall, there’s always the Waxed Canvas Lunch Tote.

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This is a great option for anyone who’s looking for a ring belt. Or, really, just a good belt in general.

I haven’t had hands-on experience with the belts themselves, but I have dealt with the webbing before. It serves as the straps on my Archival tote bag (an Xmas gift from my lovely lady), and let me tell you: This stuff is no joke. It’s British military-spec, and it’s tough as nails. Luckily, despite its general fortitude, it’s not uncomfortable to deal with—the hand is great, and it’s actually quite pliable. It also softens up with use, but doesn’t lose its general feeling of “don’t fuck with me” sturdiness. Not bad.

Top it off with solid brass rings, a Horween leather tab, a versatile 1″ width, and Archival Clothing’s signature bar-tack (in either red or tan), and you’ve got yourself a damn fine specimen.

I’m going to pick up the tan and the navy—both with the red bar-tack—once the navy comes back in stock in my size (Medium). That will hopefully be around mid-July, according to the fine folks at Archival.

If you’re interested in securing something now, though, just head over to Archival’s online shop (unless you’re looking for the navy/red or the tan/tan version in Medium).

Oh, and did I mention these are all made in the States (Springfield, Oregon), and cost a mere $24 a pop? No? Well…they are, and they do.

Get on it.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Archival Clothing)

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These hit the MAKR online store recently. The Utility Bag is shown in the first shot, and the Flap Rucksack in the second. Both models look fantastic. Made with heavy cotton duck and Horween leather (brown Latigo on the natural versions, black Manitoba on the black), and topped off with YKK Excella zippers. Everything is designed and produced in the USA.

I think the Utility Bag would be my personal choice for the day-to-day. I’m especially fond of the fact that you can carry it three different ways: by hand (tote handles), shoulder/cross-body (large strap), and as a backpack. The final method requires only a simple reconfiguration of the strap, as shown here:

It’s not a method I’d use regularly, in all likelihood. But on those days where the bag is just too damn heavy for comfort, something like this would come in very handy.

The really tough question, then, is whether to go for black or natural canvas? Both are great, so that one isn’t getting answered immediately. Though right off the bat, I’ll admit I’m leaning towards the natural version…

A few more detail shots of both models are below, plus prices. Click the text for each model to hop over to MAKR and grab one for yourself.

Utility Bag – Natural – $320:

Utility Bag – Black – $275:

Flap Rucksack – Natural -$410:

Flap Rucksack – Black – $410:

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if each and every one of these sells out. If you’re into any of the models, I’d start thinking about pulling that trigger soon. I know I am.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of MAKR Carry Goods)

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I was curious about these since I got a chance to see a sneak peek in store a while back. I’ve been officially fiending for them since they dropped a couple of weeks ago and abstract curiosity about a future release rapidly mutated into a very real desire to “Own! Own now!”

Thorogood‘s No. 685 boot is a plain-toed, 7-eyelet work boot that was originally sold as a “Job-Fitted Work Shoe for Farm Wear” back when it was introduced in the 1950’s. Revived by Brooklyn’s Epaulet for Fall 2010, 144 pairs were produced exclusively for the shop.

Though the boots’ true workwear lineage probably won’t be fully realized by the many folks like me who are more likely to wear these on the sidewalk than the fields, the handsome ruggedness that springs from their utilitarian origins certainly ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

Luckily, “rugged” doesn’t translate to “clunky” here. While some boots like Red Wings are just a little too substantial for my tastes–especially in the height of the toe box–the 685 has a slightly lower profile that I find much easier to work into a modern wardrobe.

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These would look great paired with jeans, a heavyweight chino, or gray tweed trousers. That’s just what jumps to mind for me. Rock other options as you see fit. I might be careful not to go too formal or lightweight on the bottom half, though. These may be a highly wearable and versatile work boot, but they’re a work boot all the same, and that calls for some degree of heft on the complimentary pieces. (Of course I’m not opposed to evidence to the contrary…)

In terms of materials and construction, these boots far outshine what one might expect from their $245 pricetag. The leather is a rich brown full-grain horsehide from Horween. It’s vegetable tanned and has not been buffed or corrected. Translation? There may be some nicks and scratches on the leather, and that sort of thing will be unique to each pair. Like all quality horeshide products, you can trust that the leather will take on a fantastic patina as it ages, becoming further personalized with wear.

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The outsoles are cork-filled neoprene, with a brick red color that takes on a pleasing heathered effect due to the combination of materials. They also feature an industrial rubber heel for an extra dose of durability. The insoles are built with a clear mind for comfort: a layer of gel provides the first line of padded defense, and a Poron urethane strip under that wicks away moisture from the foot while providing another round of padding. It’s all put together in Wisconsin with a Goodyear welted construction. Pretty damn impressive.

Just in case you aren’t sold yet, consider the fact that horsehide is naturally very water resistant. The welt adds to this resistance by keeping water from creeping in along the midsole. Add a little mink oil for more protection and you’ve got yourself a solid foul weather boot. It won’t be Bean Boot-grade waterproof, but it’ll be pretty good if you find yourself caught out on a nasty day.

Oh, and there’s also the simple truth that these look damn good. That’s kind of important, too.

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Click on over to Epaulet’s online shop to pick up your pair and check out some sizing advice (spoiler alert: they’re pretty much true to size). If you’re in NY, hit the actual shop and you can try ’em on for yourself. Aside from the permanent Brooklyn storefront at 231 Smith Street, you can check out the pop up collaboration with Reed Space at 151 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side during the month of October.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Epaulet)

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Leffot’s special make up of Quoddy’s Maliseet Oxford is yet another well done piece in a very solid run of custom editions that the NY store has comissioned from the Maine-based shoemakers. This post may be coming hot on the heels of a separate footwear freakout, but believe me when I say this piece is well deserving of some attention.

Done in a very autumn-friendly British Tan and made from Horween Chromexcel leather, it’s a damn fine option to keep the moc love rolling now that we’ve hit September. That honey camp sole is a great color, giving the shoe a tonal vibe without veering into monochromatic territory.

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True to the Quoddy pedigree, it’s all handmade using traditional methods in the ME shop and built to last for ages. As I’m sure you’re well aware, that sort of painstaking construction comes at a premium. These guys will run you $250, but it’s worth it.

Also, be warned: they’ll stretch. Size down accordingly.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Leffot)

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Oak Street Bootmakers is a brand new company that’s made a very strong showing right out of the gate with its Fall 2010 collection. Many thanks to James from Secret Forts and to Ryan Plett for bringing them to my attention.

The shoes are all designed in Chicago by native George Vlagos, who learned the trade by apprenticing as a cobbler his father’s shop. The production is done by hand in Maine by craftsmen with 20+ years of experience.

Components are top shelf as well. All the leather is Horween Chromexcel, which is extremely durable but still pliable and comfortable (the result of an intense–and exclusive–series of treatments during tanning). The rubber sole options are done by Vibram. And all of the shoes and boots feature replaceable soles. This makes for a much longer lifespan, as you can simply resole and keep on truckin’ with your well-worn, well-loved uppers.

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The shapes for the debut are all classics: there’s a boat shoe, a trail oxford (which strikes me as quite similar to your basic blucher moc, but no complaints), and two versions of a penny loafer for sale online now. Soon to be seen: a chukka, a work boot, and a hunt boot.

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing that hunt boot, myself, but that’s not to say there isn’t a solid selection available already. There is. In fact I could sincerely see myself buying up the whole lot in an alternate universe where money is no object and nothing ever sells out.

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But alas, I won’t be buying the entire collection. Not just because I don’t have the funds, but because some the innaguaral offerings are already gone. Most prices hover around the low to mid $200s, which is very reasonable considering the materials and methods employed in their creation. So it’s not really shocking that folks are scooping ’em up quick.

At the time of this writing, both of the penny loafer options and the navy trail oxfords have sold out. Tragic, but at least the photographs remain.

The rest of the line is heading the same way, and fast. If you’re looking to score a pair for yourself and avoid further tragedy, get on it now.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Oak Street Bootmakers)

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The Quoddy boat shoe and deck chukka here are both hand-made in Maine and done up in water resistant Chromexcel leather from Horween. They’re also lined in glove leather, and the white deck sole is stitched on and replaceable so you can keep on wearing ’em for ages.

For an added bonus, they’re currently on sale at Tres Bien Shop.

The boat shoe is down from €190.00 to €132. For folks outside the EU there’s that additional 20% off (no value added tax for us), which equates to €105.60, or a meager $134 US. They usually run about $225, so that’s a pretty respectable markdown (even accounting for the unfavorable exchange rate).

The deck chukka is down from €222 to €153. Apply the same math for the price for statesiders and you’re looking at about $155 (vs. the usual $275). Not bad.

If you’re in the market for something from Quoddy, it seems that now’s the time to pull the trigger.

I’m sure they’re going fast, so get over to Tres Bien quick if you want ’em.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Tres Bien Shop)

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