Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

President Obama Frank Clegg Bag Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence
Today, we are excited to announce that master leather craftsman Frank Clegg has launched a completely new website.  With a clean new look that highlights his exceptional collection of handcrafted leather goods, Frank’s new site is a study in focus and clarity.

Frank Clegg has been in the luxury goods business for more than 40 years and makes some of the best leather travel bags, briefcases, and classic totes, and accessories on the market.  While Frank and his small team of craftsmen design and build elegant leather goods under the Frank Clegg name, the workshop also produces outstanding products for some of the most revered of American luxury labels.

Frank is an artist of the old school; he learned craft over time and understands that when true luxury is involved, less is definitely more.  What makes Frank particularly unique is that he is both a designer and a craftsman.  Everything sold by Frank Clegg was designed by him and made in-house.

Black Ziptop Frank Clegg Frank Clegg Launches New Web PresenceIn fact, he is held in such high esteem that when the White House went looking for a made-in-America personal briefcase for President Obama, they turned to Frank.  That Zip-Top Briefcase next to the Resolute Desk in the photo above, Frank made that himself.

You only need to examine a Frank Clegg product to know that he doesn’t just make leather bags; he crafts heirlooms, one at a time, by hand.  Luxury leather work is a deceivingly complex craft. Even the modern conveniences of machines and computerized design must bow to the master of time, because it still takes time to create such durable beauty.

Indeed, Frank may practice an age-old craft, but this creative innovator is very much on the pulse of today’s luxury goods market.

To that end, the new website also showcases a few new bags, including the moderne Diablo Briefcase and a Suede Shield Duffle Bag that is part of his collection with designer Michael Bastain, both below:

Frank Clegg Diablo Briefcase Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

Frank Clegg Michael Bastian Suede Duffle Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

 

James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

Jame Prosek Bonneville Trout James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

James Prosek first gained notoriety back in 1996, when, as 19 year-old student at Yale University, he published Trout: An Illustrated History. Prosek’s ability to bring vibrancy and life to his watercolors, and his obsession with contextual and anatomical accuracy, won him quick comparisons to famed naturalist John James Audubon.  These accolades were no lighthearted atta-boys; Prosek was rightly identified as a truly gifted artist whose deeply felt connection with nature was both genuine and finely-tuned.

James Prosek in his Studio James Prosek: The Audubon of FishA Connective native, in many ways, he embodies the East Coast Ivy League ethos of intellectual meaningfulness.  James Prosek took a love of fly fishing, art, nature, history, and environmental awareness and created both a career and a movement that has influenced and motivated others.  His art is already included in the permanent collections of several museums.  And Prosek’s work is sought after by many a prep, complete with wall space in a suitable wood paneled, leather sofa-ed study-cum-office.

In the intervening years since his Ivy League days, Prosek has been a busy and prolific young man.

In 2003, he won a Peabody Award for his documentary on 17th-century author and angler Izzal Walton and his seminal book The Complete Angler, well-known to any fan of fishing.  In addition to the publication of several more books,  Prosek remains an accomplished artist, author, and naturalist.  He is a fellow of the Vermont Studio Center, and a visiting artist for the Yale Summer School of Art.  Prosek is also a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale (where I spent many a grade school field trip), and a member of the board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Along with Patagonia co-founder, Yvon Chouinard, he also co-founded World Trout, an initiative that supports individuals and groups who protect native cold water fish and their habitats.  And, at a mere 38 years old, Prosek still has a long way to go.

 

James Prosek Brown Trout James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

James Prosek Atlantic Salmon James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

James Prosek Mid current James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

James Prosek Brown Trout on Line James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

Elizabethan Club of Yale James Prosek James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

 

Holiday Gift? In the J. Panther Bag

JPLC Courier Ruc Tan Canvas Holiday Gift? In the J. Panther Bag

J. Panther Luggage company makes one of our all time favorite brief bags, the Courier Ruc.  With a design based on the classic zip-around form and a build made to handle New York commutes, the Courier Ruc is an elegantly durable hybrid.

J.Panther Logo Holiday Gift? In the J. Panther BagNow, the JPLC folks have added to the Ruc family, rending their flagship bag in 21 ounce military-spec canvas and finished with premium Horween leather trim.  In either sand or olive canvas, the bag is a functional work of art that carries what you need for the day in style.

The water-resistant canvas ages beautifully while fully retaining its durability, and the heavy-duty coil zips keep even the heaviest rain at bay.  An elegantly designed interior opens up in book-like style to offer a perfect fit for a laptop, while a variety of compartments and pockets neatly store daily tools ranging from iPad to iPhone, pens to business cards.

So, even though our 2013 OTC Holiday Wish List is right around the corner, we wanted to give our friends at JPLC a special thumbs up for expanding their core line the right way.  All the well thought-out elements of the Ruc’s design are in place, now wrapped in an elegant, casual, and durable body that we are sure will age fantastically.

JPLC Courier Ruc Olive Canvas Holiday Gift? In the J. Panther Bag

 

Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Roosevelt Oxford 1024x682 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Simple lines and details that are both functional and aesthetically relevant are the rule when it comes to Read Wall’s clothes.  For example, his oxfords are trim but not skinny, and have a unique feature that speaks directly to his grown-up sense of American style; a flapped chest pocket.

Some designer like shirt pockets, others opt out.  The flapped pocket on Read Wall’s shirts is a direct homage to the classic J. Press oxford.  To us, that kind of nuanced historical referencing – and the clean, modern way the detail is executed – is the sign of an intellectual designer’s mind.

Read Wall Logo1 Read Wall’s Clean American PrepIn some ways, Read has no right to so effectively employ this stripped down, mature East Coast aesthetic.  At a mere 26 years old, one might expect this young designer to be following the overblown faux old-world preppy trend, but no, he’s past that.  Form, function, and offhanded class are core elements to the brand.  Another driver is a commitment to creating true American sportswear; the kind that JFK effortlessly employed with great wind swept success.

Even his name, Read Wall, (yes, it’s really his name) reflects the brand’s mature WASPyness.  It’s classic, clean and unique in a way that catches your attention.  His clothing could be similarly described; simplified modern classics.

Read Wall also trades on its construction and materials.  Fabrics are individually sourced from top mills in Japan, Italy, and the United States.  And, holding true to the American-ness of the brand, all their products are manufactured in the U.S., in factories focused on a particular expertise.  The shirts are made by actual shirt makers, trousers by pants experts, and now suiting by one of the best (and last) large-scale tailoring shops in America.

Read Wall Wright Chinos Detail Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Speaking of pants, Read Wall Wright Chinos are flat-out awesome.  Clean lines create a trim but comfortable silhouette and the dense brushed twill is perfect for the coming autumn.  Dressier details like the buttoned fly and extended tab waistband give them a personality that can go formal or casual with ease.  And, although the website’s product shot don’t really show it, the 7.5 inch leg opening provides a pleasingly modern taper.

Currently, you can find Read Wall on the web, but plans may be in the works for a physical retail presence.  Read Wall has already received a great deal of positive press and the reviews reinforce his approach and aesthetic.  So, whatever the next steps prove to be, they should look pretty good.

Read Wall blue ging ox chino 682x1024 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Red Oxford 682x1024 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Lead Shot1 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Waxed Jacket Green Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Suiting1 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Waxed Jacket Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

Read Wall Navy Oxford 682x1024 Read Wall’s Clean American Prep

 

BeltCraft: Belts Designed By You

OTC Classic by BeltCraft BeltCraft: Belts Designed By You

Belts are one of the few ways the most men can strike a personal note in their wardrobe.  A belt is both practical and decorative, traits which make it a genuinely important item in your sartorial arsenal.  Sadly, belts are also an accessory to which too many men pay too little, if any, attention.

From wearing a one-inch glossy dress calfskin version with clearly casual khakis to refusing to acknowledge that a favorite belt should have been retired (read “thrown away”) years ago, men often fail to recognize the real importance of a good belt.  As with any other accessory or piece of clothing, choosing your belt should be an active and conscious decision.

BeltCraft Belts 300x176 BeltCraft: Belts Designed By YouThe right belt brings an outfit together, often blending into the overall harmony of your ensemble and not even being noticed.  Forest for the trees, if you will.  In contrast, the wrong belt can instantly draw attention to the disharmony of your clothing and quickly distract from what you say or do.

When someone dresses well, you know it, even if you are not able to put your finger on what it is that makes him look so great.  However, when dressed poorly, it is often immediately obvious what has gone wrong.  And often, it’s the small things, like a belt.

To make life a little bit easier, a company we simply love, BeltCraft, will help you design your very own customized belt that fits correctly and meets your own needs.  From formal or casually colorful, textured to sleek and simple, this innovative company lets you create the belt you really need; or just want.  These are top quality belts, individually hand crafted in New York City by a young belt maker using only the highest-grade leathers, suedes, and cottons.  All their buckles are solid brass and also made in America.  Suffice it to say, these guys are all about making the best belts they can possibly make.

We pulled together the “OTC Classic” as a great all purpose go-to belt.  Outside of a suit and tie, this matte finished cognac leather belt with a rounded silver buckle is perfectly appropriate for jeans, cords, or chinos.  It even looks damn sharp with a dressed-down pair of grey flannels.  The white contrast stitching gives the belt a slightly casual feel while the polished edges and tapered tip balance that informality with timeless, dressy details.

The BeltCraft site is easy to navigate and incredibly informative.  You can make your own or view designs already available from BeltCraft or, as with the OTC Classic, belts designed by other customers.  For what you get, the prices charged – topping out at $69 at the time of writing – are incredibly fair.

So, now you have no excuse for not having a couple of belts that work just right, no matter what you have on.  Check out BeltCraft’s video below to learn more.