This past weekend, on behalf of the Inventory team and under the guise of Tanner Goods, I took my seminal trip to the North East to check out the Pop Up Flea. —Michael Anderson Curated by Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean and Randy Goldberg of Urban Daddy, the show’s theme, “Stay Handsome”, proved to be a more than adequate description of the finely crafted goods available. A valiant chorus of “pop-up” retail endeavors have sprouted up all over New York, setting the scene for the impending holiday retail shopping rush. The PUF was a unique experience all in its own: fresh and exciting in every way. Each member of the PUF roster set out to deliver a beautiful selection of carefully merchandised goods just waiting to be snatched up by adoring fans. The roster included: Gitman Vintage, Hickoree’s Hard Goods, Billykirk, J.Crew, Jack Spade, Alexander West, Farinelli’s, Epaulet, Alexander Olch, Ohio Knitting Mills, Tanner Goods, Tellason, Michael Andrews Bespoke, C’H'C’M, Schott NYC, Sit and Read Furniture, No Mas, Digby & Iona and Amass. The environment at the PUF was admittedly the most impressive aspect of the weekend. Walking around, seeing all those brands and stores in one place, being able to walk up and ask them any question under the sun was, simply put, awe inspiring. I’m so used to looking at items on the Internet. Being given the opportunity to witness the story and meet the people behind the labels really left a memorable mark on my journey out east. Speaking to each of the vendors, I was able to gather a greater understanding of their product, aesthetics and the importance of their branding. It is one thing to look at something on the Internet and decide whether or not it is cool. It is a completely different experience to see the items in person and realize what makes them all so special. I am certain this aspect of the show was something that everyone, from the organizers and brands involved to the public consumer who stopped through, whole-heartedly enjoyed. I know it because the look on their faces, each and every time, said it all. While every vendor at the show had a plethora of impressive items for sale, a select few really stuck out to me. Fortunately, many of them can be found online and in-store so if you missed out you just might be able to get your hands on a thing or two in time for the holidays. C’H’C’M was one of the shops that impressed me the most with its unique and finely curated selection of manufactured goods. Sweetu Patel, the proprietor said it best. “We are obsessed with classic, timeless garments for everyday use.“ Items like their Diemme 'Roccia Vet' Boots. Mountain Boots with a “Date” colored suede upper, yellow laces and a clean-cut crepe sole left me lusting for them the entire trip home. Their selection of Macintosh jackets and other treasures such as this Borsalino 'Legionnaire' Hat (80% Wool, 15% Alpaca & 5% Mohair) were also among my favorites. For those of you looking for the very finest in antique knick-knacks, authentic vintage jackets and delectable pickled items could find everything to love at the Hickoree’s Hard Goods booth. By far, the most interesting items they had were the two pairs of 1950’s Red Wing Irish Setter sport boots—one pair on foot and the other still available online (someone with a size 12D is in luck). Considering their age, the box these things come in is still in immaculate condition. J. Crew was on hand selling a splendid selection of co-branded products and boots, along with a few of the more appropriate items from their lineup (Think the Men’s Store on Broadway) The amazing Russell Mocs they had were just plain too nice. I really need to get around to getting a pair of these made up sooner or later. I was blown away by the quality of the goods and the merchandising that J. Crew has had to offer as of late and it really showed at the Flea. While the fit on some of their items may arguably leave a lot to be desired…it’s hard not to recognize how much they have going on right now. Overall, it was the small details that made the PUF experience everything it was. The northeastern fellas at Rogues Gallery were on hand creating amazing screen-printed shirts along with some well-constructed bags, pillows and accessories. The Alexander Olch booth had an old-school typewriter set up to complete the look along with their fine ties, suspenders and bow ties. A few of which you can still snatch up in the Inventory Stockroom. (and yes, they were actually using the typewriter…) Tony from Tellason produced a superb batch of his premium “Strummer” jeans for the show in 3 different batches of Japanese denim, hand numbered out of 38. His extensive knowledge about every single step of production and the industry as a whole was quite impressive and anyone within earshot probably learned a lot. Luckily you can snag a pair at Smith + Buttler and Blackbird. Gitman Bros. also had a stellar selection of their Vintage line of shirts on hand. Always-impressive work. Last but not least was the man behind the ACL curtain, Michael Williams. He was on deck showcasing a bountiful production run of some ACL branded and co-branded items for his newly launched ACL shop. The Mark Mcnairy “dirty” bucks with a red brick sole and Goodyear welt construction were way too appealing. Check them out along with a few of his other products over on his site under “ACL shop” I can’t wait for the next round.