While Monocle have been driving the media and publishing world into the future with innovation through smart creative thinking, their online retail outlet felt a little bit dated and often made it difficult to check out. No more – the global media brand has just launched an updated online shop which now allows you to purchase specific back issues for the first time outside of their London and LA shops. The clean layout is easy to use and fits well with the Monocle brand. The products of course are top notch, my favorites include the Woolrich duck canvas jacket, the post card set and the day tote by Porter for Monocle. It's worth a browse if your looking for a lost issue, need a versatile travel bag or just need to empty your pockets. —
As many of you know the Inventory team assembled in Japan for a 10 day trip which came to an end this past weekend. What some of you may not know is that it was actually the first time Owen, Simon and I had all been in the same place at the same time. It was a very good trip overall. We had a list of shops, interviews and meetings and we hit the ground running. The response to our first printed issue was great as we toured the city in search of everything and anything. We got some great content for our spring–summer issue and managed to fit in some shopping here and there. My personal favorite shops were The Army Gym, Nepenthes, Engineered Garments, Visvim, Beams Plus, B Yoshida, Rugged Museum and Neighborhood. The aesthetic and atmosphere at each shop was incredibly well put together and really communicated the brands better than I've seen at home. It was definitely an eye opening experience from a retail perspective. The pure volume was unreal and was displayed impressively at Isetan. Special make ups Alden, brands we'd never seen before, shops we've only seen online and getting to visit the HQ of some of our favorite companies filled my highlight list, as well as some of the items I was able to pick up – more to come on that later. We took as many photos as we could but unfortunately ran out of disk space and batteries a couple times, but here's a few shots documenting our trip to Japan. —
Bedwin & The Heartbreakers have been receiving some nice press lately with some good editorial shoots, nice styling and of course mostly due to the clean design and quality garments. Garbstore have been a stockist for a couple seasons now, and this fall's N-1 Type Jacket is definitely my favorite piece from their initial shipment. The deck jacket is one of my favorites and the washed khaki colour looks great on this version. The multiple exterior hits reminds me a little of Wtaps, in a good way. I usually like the white patch with US issue-type branding, but the 'Rain Dogs' on the shoulder is a bit more off-key. Usually it might throw me off, but I don't mind it here and I think it could work given the right complimenting elements.
We all know that Visvim's garments aren't cheap, especially outerwear – so let's leave those comments at home today. I had to make note of this piece because it is simply beautiful. The cashmere blend body is really soft and of course lined with Gore Windstopper material to make it just as functional as it is good looking. The white elk leather sleeves are tough and thick enough to stand up to the winter weather, but subtle and soft enough to be very comfortable. It's one of the most refined and minimal varsity jackets I've seen and probably the nicest version I've ever tried on. It's featured in the 'I Want That' piece in our first issue of Inventory, which is now available online and shipping out to wholesale accounts this week. Back to the jacket, it's available in navy at The Glade and green at Union LA. —
While Monitaly is more known for their soft goods and outerwear, the Meg Company brand also produces a few pairs of shoes and boots, some of which aren't featured on the website. While designer Yuki Matsuda's footwear focus seems to be with Yuketen, I can't deny how well some of these more obscure models have come out. The moc pad boots definitely remind me of the classic 6" Timberland, but which a nice moc toe, one of Yuki's favorite Vibram soles and a soft leather suede, they definitely feel more refined and more likely to be worn by myself. These ones are available at the United Arrows online store and run up to a 9.5, so they aren't a complete tease. —
The New York based collection Unis has been making a strong comeback over the last few seasons. While operating in their own little part of New York, the collection is designed and manufactured only a few miles from its Soho shop. This season the collection included a refined take on their classic 'Gio' chinos and cords in some great colours. We were able to check out a couple pairs recently and put them to straight to heavy use. The chinos come in a couple colors but I personally like the dark khaki and the ideal year-round weight of the cotton. The cords are about a 12-wale thickness, which is fairly fine, and are offered in navy and black. The navy cord is a tough pant to find, especially with a such a good, refined slim fit as these Unis offerings. Neither of the pants come cheap, but they both look and feel great. We'd definitely recommend them to anybody looking for a slightly tapered, more narrow leg and a quality product made in the USA. Unis have just restocked their online shop with both the chinos and the cords. —
Coming home to the dark, damp cold hasn't been a very welcome change. Winter is officially here in Vancouver and bundling up is now a requirement. While down puff vests are the flavour of the season, sleeves are always nice too. Rehacer has made a great high necked version of the coat which is slightly different from what you might see in a similar style of coat. It blends the aesthetic of another classic piece of outerwear the toggle coat. It's an unlikely marriage but one that's come out with great results thanks tonal toggles of which there are only 3 and simple slash pockets. The concealed blue zipper with leather strap makes up the rest of the detailing. There isn't much to it really, but it's those little bits that give it plenty of character still.
The Beams Plus collection was much more impressive and extensive than I had realized before seeing it. From browsing their online selection I knew the styling and layout was nice and clean, but you really have to visit the Beams Plus shops to experience the brand's aesthetic and atmosphere. Most of their best products aren't available online, along with the selection of great collaborations and outside labels. One the most basic seasonal essentials is available on their website however. Probably the item I most regret not purchasing was this tattersall oxford. It came in red/black and blue/black and a perfectly weighted oxford cloth. The pattern is one of my favorites for an oxford right now and Beams did a great job with the details throughout: nice cuffs, good size collar, fall weight oxford cloth and nicely shaped gussets. If you've got a Japanese friend and are on the hunt for tattersall, this might be worth the effort. Otherwise you'll have to wait a few months. —