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

 

Ignatious Joseph’s 2014

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Ignatious Joseph, while the consummate gentleman, is not at all a subtle man.  The designer, known for his colorful, elegant, and distinctive style of dress, particularly his ubiquitous red shoes, makes some of the finest dress shirts available.  As we enter 2014, he is also poised to introduce an expanded line of custom clothing founded on his own signature style.

His shirting, based on those from the 1930s, when the soft collar first swept through the menswear world, is coveted by bankers and traders from London to New York, Milan to Brussels.  Up until now, shirts, and only shirts, were what he made; that signature soft collar and vibrant color schemes being brand’s calling cards.

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Now, his look, truly unique and elegant in its individuality, can be yours.  You can contact him directly to learn more, but the expanding Ignatious Joseph collection now includes suiting, ties, cufflinks, and even grooming products.

And, unlike other designers whose products are of exceptional quality yet are nonetheless somewhat interchangeable, these garments and furnishings bear the characteristic hallmarks of Mr. Joseph’s personality.  Jackets with broad lapel, roped shoulder, and single button closure and sharply tapered trousers with no break and a deep, emphatic cuff.

Cufflinks 8 1 300x200 Ignatious Josephs 2014His idiosyncratic cufflinks are beautifully crafted and the ties are handmade seven-fold and constructed from a single piece of flawless silk.

And, of course, there are the shirts.  The philosophy behind his shirts is simple: they are luxury shirts for everyday wear; or to put it another way, a modern sense of spirit derived from traditional craftsmanship. Ignatious Joseph shirts are what might be called semi-handmade and there is a reason for that.  The bodies are constructed to an obsessive level of detail using modern sewing machinery – efficient and replicable perfection.  However, the collars are constructed each by hand entirely as no machine is capable of the detail and complexity.

The decision of what to do by hand and what to do by machine must be taken with a view to the product as a whole, and based on the skill and experience of the master shirt maker.  It’s a blend of economics and craft.

IngJoseph Sartorialist 682x1024 Ignatious Josephs 2014If Ignatious seems somehow familiar to you, it is likely because his distinctive countenance is often captured among the world’s leading style makers.

In fact, this photograph, taken by Scott Schumann, a.k.a. “The Sartorialist,” was included in Schumann’s first book.  Resplendent in a bowler hat, elegantly bundled scarf, tailored overcoat and those famous red shoes from his Viennese shoemaker, Mr. Joseph is in his natural element.

On the subject of those famous red shoes he says, “I like red shoes and have many pair, and after a while they became my calling card – it’s how people remember me. ‘Oh, you are the gentleman with the red shoes!’”

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H&B London’s Holiday Gift – 25% Discount

British luxury goods maker and OTC friend, H&B London, is offering Off the Cuff readers a special promotion.

As his post-holiday gift to you, founder Stephen Brister will take 25% off your order from now until Monday, January 6, 2014. Just use the code offthecuff at checkout to receive the discount on your entire order.

H&B London crafts exquisite leather wallets and unique sterling cufflinks favored by the likes of the British royal family.  H&B’s goods are handmade in London by some of the finest artisans in the country and meant to be cherished for life.

We recently wrote about the company in detail and included their Breast Pocket Wallet in the 2013 OTC Holiday Style Guide.

 

hb london wallet H&B Londons Holiday Gift   25% Discount

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H&B London: Exceptional Handmade Wallets

hb British Racing Green Breast Wallet 1024x668 H&B London: Exceptional Handmade Wallets

H&B London is the kind of brand you might expect to find in England.  Small and smartly turned out, the firm produces exclusive luxury goods in small batches.  Launched this year, they currently offer two styles of mens wallets – breast pocket and billfold – and a range of geometrically unique sterling silver cufflinks.   Though grounded in traditional artisanship, H&B is not staid per se, even though its client list includes members of the British royal family.

Founder and Managing Director, Stephen Brister, told us that the company’s primary commitment to real luxury. “Part of the reason I founded the company was because I was disillusioned with the poor quality of products that were being sold by mainstream luxury brands,” he said. “For me luxury means the highest quality materials crafted by the finest artisans to make something rare and exclusive. So quality and craftsmanship are very much part of the DNA of H&B London.”

OTC has been using the British Racing Green Breast Pocket Wallet daily for about one month and, in a word, we find it to be exceptional.  The size and layout are traditional, with eight card slots and three receipt/currency pockets.  Nothing feels cramped or crowded; credit cards easily glide in and out of their spaces and the main currency pocket is easy to access.  Though, as noted above, the structure of the wallet is traditional, it is very much contemporary in nuance and finish.  It is a classic wallet, yes, but not old-fashioned.  Perhaps the word which best describes it is “elegant.”

2013 10 04 10.16.19 300x225 H&B London: Exceptional Handmade WalletsWhat truly sets this wallet apart from others we have tested is the quality of the craftsmanship and materials.  Each H&B London wallet is handmade in London by one of only three craftsman.  The leather is impeccably smooth and supple and the wallet’s refined construction provides a firm structure without feeling stiff or unyielding.

The finish on our British Racing Green wallet is both rich and translucent, allowing the natural pattern of the flawless hide to come through.  Brister feels that a luxury product should be made from the finest materials, be rare and exclusive, and adhere to exceedingly high standards. For example, H&B London’s leather goods are made from the most exclusive Italian leather from the hides of cattle grazed in the Alps where there are no barbed fences or mosquitoes to blemish their skin.  By definition, that’s a small universe of leather supply.

H&B London started with wallets because, perhaps more than any other male accessory, one’s wallet is used and handled daily.  Ours has aged gently and beautifully, acquiring the inevitable nicks and bumps of life that only add to its distinguished patina.

The firm is also happy to accommodate bespoke orders, making anything from briefcases or handbags to wallets and purses.  You can email them directly at bespoke@handblondon.com or call them on +44(0)20 8546 4775.

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