Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Arnette Optical Collection

Just because its winter, it does mean that you have to put away your hippest and coolest fashionable sunglasses. To the contrary, sunglasses are as equally important in the winter as they are in the summer, mainly because they provide the same protections. During parts of the winter the sun is still significantly bright and there are few things less blinding than the glare of the suns off a freshly fallen layer of snow. Not only, is it important that your sunglasses function properly to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of sun exposure, in addition, they should make a serious fashion statement like these Arnette Fashion Sunshades worn by Jon. These sunglasses are perfect for winter wear and they're well crafted and beautifully accented with a rich logo that exudes confidence, glamour and style. Known mostly by extreme sportsmen for their sports apparel, the company recently launched their optical collection at Vision Expo West. The frames are definitely a far cry from the more aggressive sunglasses and snow goggles they usually create.

Every frame in the collection incorporates spring hinges and flexible, handcrafted acetate that helps ensure a custom fit. Rich logo detailing and diverse color options add to the each frame's unique style. MSRP starts at $130 retail, web is Each frame comes in about five different colors.

Photography courtesy of JAW
Content and frames courtesy of

Saturday, October 19, 2013

2013 Men's Fall Fashion Must Have and Keepsakes

Men's past fashion staples are back strong than ever in this fall's style line-up. Topcoats, plaid suiting, and brogue oxfords to mention a few are this year's "oldie but goodie" styles that have returned to men's fashion prominence. Although, for many men these things were never out of vogue, however I understand that its necessary to introduce them to the growing number of style newcomers that no nothing about enduring men's fashion.

Be perfectly clear, topcoats are not overcoats, although both are in the outer coat family; the topcoat
Banana Republic - courtesy of
is shorter (ending just above the knee) and of a lighter weight material than the overcoat. One of the most familiar and enduring styles of the topcoat is the Covert Coat. It first made its debut in England in the 19th century and was designed by tailors to be worn while horseback riding. Designers made the original silhouette no longer than 34 inches, with a straight down cut, two side slits and strapped or double sown seams. Though originally cut full, the style changed in 1883 when tailors redesigned the coat for a slimmer and more fitting aesthetic. a topcoat is best worn formally with a suit; however, its versatility still lends it to being paired with either jeans and a sweater, chinos and an oxford button down-collar shirt or a spread-collar dress shirt and gabardine trousers. In addition, topcoats come in a variety of colors and clothes; howbeit, the mainstays are wool and camelhair dyed in either tan, brown or black.
Unlike the topcoat, plaid suiting tends to be very trendy, in the 70's it was very popular, in the
Courtesy of
eighties it had a short life-span, and in the nineties it was totally off the radar. But, for some reason unbeknown to me  designers have made it popular again. Plaid cloth has been around for hundreds of years, it originated from a Scottish Highland design of cross-weaved wool patterns called Tartan. Although, people use the terms plaid and tartan interchangeable, they really have two different meanings. The word plaid is a ancient Gaelic word used to describe a long sash or blanket, while tartan describes a type of weave in which a weaver interlocks wool in a pattern of stripes horizontally and vertically. The misuse of the terms derives from weavers using tartan clothes to make blankets and subsequently overtime the two words became synonymously. Even though, there are more then 7000 distinct tartan patterns with all having specific ties to various families, communities and regions of Scotland, the most commonly replicated tartans by designers have been Royal Stewart, Hunting Stewart and Black Watch. plaid (Tartan) in suiting can range from light and almost indistinguishable to heavy and extremely pronounce.
Furthermore, plaids can be worn all year around, in the spring and summer you can find it printed or dyed plaids on madras, cotton, tropical wools, or linen; while, in the fall and winter you may find them woven or knitted of cotton or wool. There are five different versions of plaid pattern suiting you can buy each with distinct block sizes, line crossings and weaved shapes: windowpane, glen, checked, blanket, and houndstooth. Two things to keep in mind when wearing plaid (1) body size and check size coordination, basically if you're a big guy you should go with a small check such a the houndstooth or checked plaid, for the small guy the check size doesn't matter; however, go bold because plaids aren't for the timid in heart. (2) I suggest when wearing plaid you should always pair it with a solid color that is either prominent or low-key in the suit, the solid color helps to anchor some of the "busy-ness" of multiple colors. in addition, if you are more on the daring side and want to combine like or other patterns with your plaid suit, the general rule is to go from a big pattern to a small pattern to a solid.

Church's Shoes - longwing Brogues
If you have ever read my blog in the past, you would know that I have a men's shoes fetish and that in particular, I love English brogues. Like tartan the brogue derives from ancient Gaelic wear, the word brogue simply means "shoe". Brogues are rugged calf leather open-lace shoes and boots that come in perforated and serrated designs. Made by cobblers for the English countryside in order to contend with the rugged terrains and inclement weather, the brogue is the quintessential endurance shoe that's perfect for harsh falls and winters. They come in a variety of styles and degrees of sophistication, you can more commonly find them in one of either our fashions: full or half wingtip, monkstrap, captoe, and plain toe in either calf leather, suede or pebble grain. Brogues are a great complement to chinos, denim, and heavy-weight trousers such as cords, flannels, and tweeds. Keep in mind that brogues are pretty sturdy and hefty and they should be paired appropriately mostly with sports clothing (not athletic!) sports coats, blazers, denim, tweeds, flannels, Polo's, oxfords etc.

In closing, its good to see when fashion trends make sense; topcoats, plaid suits, and brogues have always been staples in the wardrobes of men with discerning style and taste. I think its meaningful that today's designers are introducing these styles and fashions to a new generation of men with quality taste. Men's fashion is going through a renaissance and I hope it puts an end to baggy clothes, baseball caps, extremely large belt buckles, rope chains, and sneakers being worn outside of athletic activity.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Factory Luxury Store V. Retail Luxury Store - Which is Better?

Brand name outlet and factory stores use to be the dumping grounds for irregular, damaged and past-season clothing. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, a number of major retail brands have raised the bar on their factory store offerings and have introduced some of this falls most fashionable must have clothes and accessories.

Brooks Brothers Factory Store 
You can travel to any outlet mall destination in the United States and you will find iconic luxury brands such as Nike, Ralph Lauren, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Off 5th Sachs 5th Avenue, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Anne Taylor. Furthermore, many of these brands now carry their own exclusive lines of merchandise such as Off 5th's RED, BLUE, BLACK and GREY LABELS and Brooks Brothers Factory label "346" in addition to still carrying  some overstock from their respective regular retail stores.

Occasionally, consumers bring up the question of quality as it pertains to the differences between 
Brooks Brothers Factory Store
retail stores and outlet stores; howbeit, certainly true that retail clothing is manufactured at a higher level of quality and the raw materials are more exclusive, the price for each is unquestionably compatible. To settle the argument, I suggest that if you prefer luxury brands over non-brand items, it is in your best interest to shop at the stores that are going to give you the greatest amount of quality that you can afford with your resources.  Secondly, most people can hardly discern the difference anyway, and will in many cases blanket you with complements at the mere mentioning of the brand's name.   

The history of Outlet Malls in United States:

According to a web-base source, outlet malls first appeared in the Eastern United States in the 1930s. Factory stores started to offer damaged or excess goods to employees at a low price. After some time, the audience expanded to non-employees as well. In 1936, Anderson-Little (a men's clothing brand) opened an outlet store independent of its existing factories. Until the 1970s, the primary purpose of outlet stores was to dispose of excess or damaged goods.

In 1974, Vanity Fair opened up the first multi-store outlet center in Reading, Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Outlet malls experienced strong growth. The average outlet mall is opened with between 100,000 to 200,000 square feet of retail space. This can gradually increase up to 500,000 to 600,000 feet. The average outlet mall has an area of 216,000 feet. In 2003, outlet malls generated $15 billion in revenue from 260 stores nationwide.

The number of malls in the 90s increased from 113 in 1988 to 276 in 1991 and to 325 in 1997 and 472 in 2013 . Outlet malls are not an exclusively American phenomenon. In Europe, retailer BAA McArthurGlen has opened 13 malls with over 1,200 stores and 3 million square feet of retail space. Stores have also been emerging in Japan since the mid to late 1990s.

Blue Watch: New Styles from RAYMOND WEIL

Available this Fall the iconic luxury Swiss watch brand, RAYMOND WEIL, has added a new style for gentlemen, BLUE to their principle Maestro collection. The Maestro watch for men showcases the classic elegance of the Maestro collection with a blue dial and stainless steel case on a black leather strap. Both are available this Fall.



Founded in Geneva in 1976, the Swiss family-owned company, RAYMOND WEIL, enjoys a special position in the exclusive world of luxury watch making. A collection of refined timepieces that embody an elegant and contemporary blend of elements that inspire emotions with both customers and partners. Precision is the inspiration for the continued chorological mastery that is RAYMOND WEIL .

RAYMOND WEIL, both nationally and internationally, has created a strong presence in the arts, with music at the heart; evident through with the naming of their collections and with various sponsorships, including the BRIT Awards, WIRED and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. RAYMOND WEIL prides itself in aestheticism, bringing together the core elements in the excellence of Swiss luxury craftsmanship: precision, quality, reliability, nobility and technicality. To learn more of the brand and its storied history visit their website at

Content and pictures made available by: KINNEY + KINSELLA

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Ariel Nelson and Lane Gerson founded Jack Erwin on the belief that all Men should have the opportunity to place their best foot forward. Since then, they have made it Jack Erwin’s mission to always offer well- crafted, honestly priced shoes which best serve as the foundation for every mans self-expression.

Because a truly great pair of shoes should last for years, both in quality and appeal, Jack Erwin is unwaveringly committed to quality materials and to the labor intensive, age-old craft of fine shoemaking. Each pair of Jack Erwin shoes are Blake constructed, made with full-grain calfskin uppers and come complete with hand-painted leather outsoles, full leather lining and padded insoles.

To stay true to their promise of providing quality products at justified prices, Jack Erwin has developed its own direct to consumer model to best manage pricing. By controlling production and selling exclusively online Jack Erwin is working to shrink the ever increasing chasm between cost and retail price which perpetuates in today’s marketplace.

Jack Erwin shoes are available online only at Products are offered in 5 styles and retail at $195 for shoes and $210 for boots.

Content and Pictures courtesy of Jack Erwin

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NYCEDC and FIT Announce Winners of Second Class of Design Entreprene​urs NYC

Joyce F Brown,Vasumathi Soundarajan, Becca McCharen, and Jeanette Nostra
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) today announced the winners of the second class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC (DENYC), a free, intensive, “mini-MBA” program that teaches emerging New York City-based fashion designers how to run a successful label. The program culminated with business plan presentations by the top 16 of the 35 businesses who participated in the 2013 program. DENYC, launched by NYCEDC and FIT in 2011, focuses on fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management The first-place award-winner, Becca McCharen, whose company, Chromat, designs architecturally inspired bathing suits, will receive $25,000 to implement her business plan. The second-place winner, Vasumathi Soundararajan, whose company Ken Wroy, Inc., designs men’s underwear, will receive $10,000. Funding for the awards are provided by a financial contribution from G-III Apparel Group.
“Design Entrepreneurs NYC offers education, opportunity and funding to the City’s emerging designers in order to cultivate talent and build success,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.
“By providing assistance to growing fashion labels, we ensure that New York City will remain at the center of the fashion world.”

“FIT is proud to partner with the NYCEDC and G-III for the second year of this innovative program,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “We are particularly grateful to G-III for enhancing this year’s program with a generous gift. Because FIT offers career-oriented education on both the design and business sides of the fashion industry, the college is an ideal environment in which to host Design Entrepreneurs NYC – a cornerstone of the mayor’s initiative to ensure that New York City remains the fashion capital of the world. DENYC gives our City’s creative talent the tools that will allow them to flourish.”

Chromat’s designs focus on structural experiments for the human body. The company began in 2010 as an extension of McCharen’s degree in architecture design; and her interest in scaffolding, city maps, wearable exoskeletons and the intricacies of undergarments has been explored as each new collection develops. Chromat swimwear, lingerie, and signature architectural cages are all made in New York City. Soundararajan’s company, Ken Wroy, is a designer brand of men’s underwear. Its urban fashionable feel is inspired by New York City’s spirit of being bold, stylish, and electrifying.

This year’s judges included:
Tim Baxter, executive vice president and GMM, Macy’s
June Beckstead, vice president, Apparel Design, Sears Holding Co.
Jeff Binder, consultant, former divisional merchandise manager, Bloomingdale’s
Richard Chai, founder, Richard Chai, creative design consultant, Andrew Marc
Simon Dallimore, owner/consultant, Dallimore & Co.
Jonathan Duskin, CEO, Macellum Capital Management, and director, Wet Seal
Renaud Dutreil, president, Parsons School of Design Paris, and chairman, Brasil Beaute
Morris Goldfarb, CEO, G-III Apparel Group
Joseph Gromek, chair, New School University Board of Trustees, and former CEO, Warnaco
Nirjhar Jain, managing director, Plus Funding Group
Laurence Leeds, Jr., chairman, Buckingham Capital
Ellen Rodriguez, president and CEO, French Connection
Lisa Schultz, executive vice president, Apparel Design, Sears Holding Co.
Michael Stanley, managing director, Rosenthal and Rosenthal.

The grants to the two designers were part of a generous gift from G-III Apparel Group, which was also used, in part, to provide financial workshops, networking opportunities, and business-related informational events for past program participants. NYCEDC contributes $55,000 to the program.

To participate, designers are required to operate New York City-based companies that have been in business for at least one year. The majority of this year’s participants have been in business for less than four years.

The 35 businesses in DENYC Class of 2013, selected from 193 applicants, span a range of fashion categories, including accessories, shoes, jewelry, children’s wear, men’s apparel, and women’s apparel. They studied throughout the U.S. and the world, including at schools in London, Sydney, and Saitama, Japan, though many graduated from New York City colleges, including Pratt, Parsons, and FIT.

The program kicked off with an orientation at G-III Apparel Group’s offices on May 30, 2013, followed by three intensive weekends of instruction in June. The designers then spent the summer formalizing their business plans with the assistance of mentors and salon networking sessions. In August, they attended a business plan and pitch practice session to help sharpen their business plans and their oral presentations.

Design Entrepreneurs NYC is one of six initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg’s Fashion.NYC.2020 plan, which is designed to sustain and grow the fashion industry in New York. The fashion industry employs 173,000 people in New York City, accounting for 5.7 percent of the City’s workforce, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to its trade shows, showrooms and retail stores. The Fashion.NYC.2020 initiatives address the industry’s challenges in two ways: by further positioning the City as a hub of innovation for emerging designers as well as specialty and multi-channel retail, and by attracting the next generation of design, management and merchant talent. The industry chairs for Fashion.NYC.2020 are Richard Darling, Vice Chairman of LF USA & LF Europe; Diane von Furstenberg, chairman and founder, Diane von Furstenberg Studio L.P., and president, Council of Fashion Designers of America; Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.; Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory; and Kevin Ryan, CEO of Gilt Groupe.

For more information about Design Entrepreneurs NYC, visit

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About FIT
The Fashion Institute of Technology, a part of the State University of New York, has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology for nearly 70 years. With a curriculum that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers more than 45 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the global marketplace. Among FIT’s alumni are Reem Acra, Amsale Aberra, Brian Atwood, Jhane Barnes, John Bartlett, Dennis Basso, Stephen Burrows, Francisco Costa, Andrew Fezza, Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Miranda Morrison, Rebecca Moses, Ralph Rucci, Austin Scarlett, Kari Sigerson, Michelle Smith, and Daniel Vosovic. Visit

Content and pictures courtesy of:

Cheri Fein (FIT),,
212 217-4719

Fashion Institute of Technology
Office of Communications and External Relations
227 West 27 Street
New York, NY 10001

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Asphalt Yacht Club - Final Fall 2013 Collection

Asphalt Yacht Club (AYC) is a young, smart, and brash (but, not necessarily rude) group of entrepreneurs that are hitting the ground hard both literally and fugitively with their new edgy and artistic men's street wear apparel.  Inspired by today’s youth and their journey from struggle to success, AYC is a new skating and lifestyle clothing line that combines skate culture, street style, and contemporary fashion into one. The nautical theme of the brand is unprecedented in the skating culture; the colors are vibrant, the graphics are attractive and primal, and the fit drapes perfectly close to the body allowing for a clean crisp relaxed silhouette.

Check out their website at to view the Final Fall looks, the brand is represented by Stevie Williams, who is recognized as one of the “30 Most Influential Skaters of All Time,” alongside professional skateboarders Stefan Janoski, Nyjah Huston, and Justin “Figgy” Figueroa.  Amateur skaters on the AYC team include Riley Hawk, Derrick Wilson, Ben Nordberg, and Blake Carpenter.

Content and pictures courtesy of Pivotal Public Relations and Asphalt Yacht Club