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Welcome to Double Cylinder, Ace & Everett’s incisive editorial on all things of worth.

Look forward to weekly postings as we explore the most interesting people, places, and products on the planet.

 

Welcome to Double Cylinder, Ace & Everett’s incisive editorial on all things of worth.

Look forward to weekly postings as we explore the most interesting people, places, and products on the planet.

 

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Intern season is in full force, filling the halls of your office with bushy tailed brown-nosers, spectacled khaki wearers, and more Joseph A Banks suits than an Algerian thrift store. We have all been there, hung-over from the three weeks since summer started, and excited to be in the “real world.” These interns will soon learn the hard way that work sucks, I know.

Looking back on that time there is one VITAL piece of advice that no well intentioned parent, over involved professor, or gainfully employed friend ever gave me: how to successfully pregame your interview.

Let’s start with the basics. At the painfully undersized Haverford College where I spent four years, I saw booze turn the biggest bookworm into Dennis Rodman on a day trip to North Korea. While a blacked out trip to company HQ might not be your best bet, here are the seven best drinks to relax your mind and ease the edge off that final round interview.

Or just take a Xanax and avoid the first question of your interview being, “is that alcohol on your breath?”

1. Harvey Wallbanger. Invented in 1952 by three time world champion mixologist Donato 'The Duke' Antone, the Harvey Wallbanger, this strong flavored beverage might be your first introduction Galliano.

  • 3 parts Vodka 
  • 1 part Galliano 
  • 6 parts fresh orange juice

2. Caipirinha. Brazil's most popular and potent cocktail, with nothing but hard liquor and garnishes, it is affectionately known to the locals as liquid crank.

  • A lot of Cachaça (rum)
  • Half a lime cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

3. Cement Mixer. Keep both your stomach and future employer guessing with this trick shot. Be quick about it, if you wait too long it will congeal!

  • 1 part Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 part lime juice

4. Single shot of Tequila: lick, salt, shoot, lime. Now its interview time.

5. Mudslide. If you like desert before dinner you've come to the right place, just make sure you wipe off the whipped cream before you walk in.

  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 part milk
  • 1 part ice
  • 1 part whipped cream and espresso beans

6. Dark 'N' Stormy. Rock the boat with this delicious cocktail.

  • 1 part Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • 2 parts Gosling's ginger beer

7. Appletini Mocktail. For those who use condoms and wear dress shoes without socks.

  • 5 parts freshly pressed apple juice
  • 2 parts  simple syrup 
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • Sugar for rimming
  • Apple slice for garnish



While a blacked out trip to company HQ might not be your best bet, here are the seven best drinks to relax your mind and ease the edge off that final round interview.

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As the mercury creeps up, and hemlines with it, I find myself baring a little extra sock more often than not.  

So it is no surprise that around this time of year, every year, I get the desire to put nothing on my feet save for white canvas sneakers. Nothing translates the ease of the season better. A literal blank canvas, these shoes take on the marks of a summer well-lived. When one pair is beaten beyond recognition with the stains of summers past, I begin the hunt anew, a ritual as important as a clean shave and some Old Spice.

When looking to buy anything today, the Internet is both boon and bane. Shoes never before seen are suddenly one click away, and the history of any product is laid before you in countless advertisements and editorials. My own proclivity for research, and a working understanding of some literary theory, only serves to extend the hunt.

Bill Brown, in his book Things, asserts that an object must have both a functional and a symbolic value. Like a window, it must be both translucent and opaque. A pane of glass, as well as an entity through which to look. Taking this theory grossly out of context, my quest for the perfect summer sneakers includes the history of each sneaker; what it is that they represent (beyond my feet) in the allegorical world. While to many people different canvas sneakers are variations on a theme, to me they all become entirely separate entities.

Any sneaker is judged by the equation of aesthetics plus pedigree.

Seen through Brown’s decontextualized lens, it is clear that my previous choice, a pair of Vans Authentics, no longer holds the same appeal. Rooted in California, Vans were always a stretch for me, a boy from the northeast who hasn’t skated for the better part of the new millennium. Vans makes no secret about their storied past and prominent position in the surf and skate culture, but through their ubiquity the shoes have been re-appropriated by all walks of life. As a functional object the waffle sole makes them perfect. Yet as a conscious projection of Cali cool, I can’t lace up a pair Authentics in good faith. 

Having ruled out Vans, I whittled it down to two choices: either a pair of Supergas or Tretorn Nylites. Dubbed “the people’s shoe of Italy”, Supergas portray a certain sprezzatura and unaffected Italian grace that is certainly appealing. Their gum sole is a classic piece of sneaker history and they have popped up on all sorts of feet over the years. 

For me, however, it was the Tretorn Nylite that ultimately won out. The first luxury tennis shoe, it was endorsed by Bjorn Borg in the 1960’s. A champion on the court and rockstar off it, Borg cemented the shoe’s legacy. Further adopted by the prep set, it is easy to spot Nylites in Teruyoshi Hayashida’s photographs in the iconic book on Ivy League style, Take Ivy.

Considering their history, I couldn’t help but slip into a pair of Tretorns. The desire to tap into Tretorn’s sixties cool proved too strong. The symbolic value, coupled with their pillow-like insole and sleek silhouette makes Nylites, in my opinion, the perfect summer sneaker. An opinion that will likely last until next summer rolls around. Despite Tretorn’s history, for me, they are currently a blank canvas.

As the mercury creeps up, and hemlines with it, I find myself baring a little extra sock more often than not.  

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NSFW – Not suitable for work, what the fuck does that mean?

At my high school in central New Jersey, Lawrenceville, I had friends who were kicked out for “actions unbecoming of a Lawrentian.” I often wondered how such vague language could be used as the basis for prematurely letting students loose, a problem that has followed me into the professional world as my day time internet usage is often guided by the nebulous code of NSFW.

This post seeks to decipher the rules and regulations of material deemed NSFW. Let’s start with obvious items that are unsuitable to view at work for the same reason you hide the Mike in Brazil charges from your girlfriend when the credit card bill arrives:

  • Pornography or nudity of any kind
  • DYO bomb making instructions
  • Silk Road (or any other website that you access through the deep web)

Beyond those clear cut topics the water gets murky. In the pursuit of clarity, I made executive decisions on three items around the office, both off and online, and their suitability for the office.

Little Jon’s turn down for what music video, survey says, suitable. While loud and in your face, this video is more multicultural than Harvard’s model UN team. Additionally, while genitalia can be seen moving in assuredly unnatural ways throughout the clip, all clothing remains on the body. 

Smoking cigarettes at the outdoor tobacco Copa Cabana, not suitable. Cigarettes are no longer a guaranteed tool for the cool. Having explored multiple corporate campuses, each one offers smokers a tiki themed outdoor area for which to enjoy a cooling menthol. I could characterize the general crowd of these smoke friendly havens into three distinct people: the woman in her late twenties wearing tight jeans, a crop top, and heels. Still going out five nights a week, she may or may not change before coming to work. The beer bellied techie with Cheetos remnants littering his short sleeve button down. Dude has been on the cig train for 40 years strong and sees no sign of slowing down. Lastly, the hot shot. In and out, he likes the buzz but not the company. Pulling an e-cig out of his tweed jacket he hurriedly puffs before speed walking back in to close his next deal.

Buzzwords, extremely suitable. One of the biggest perks about consulting is the constant barrage of buzz words and catch phrases. From grabbing that low hanging fruit to time boxing activities, once you pop the fun don’t stop! 30,000 foot views, SMEs (subject matter experts), a commitment to not “reinventing the wheel.” You name it they say it, so embrace your inner Office Space and jump on the bandwagon.

I hope these guidelines will help you keep your job while enjoying the more mischievous pleasures of the World Wide Web. Join the dialogue with a comment to let me know where you stand.

NSFW – Not suitable for work, what the fuck does that mean?

Let’s start with obvious items that are unsuitable to view at work for the same reason you hide the Mike in Brazil charges from your girlfriend when the credit card bill arrives.

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Step 1: Have way too much fun the night before your flight.

Step 2: Remain calm. If you’re anything like me you’ll wake up in a haze with Fireball on your breath. Slowly shifting your weight to the side of the bed your phone will slip into your hand as you shut off that same alarm that always greets you an hour before you wish to rise.

Then it hits, your pockets are empty, as is the marble counter where you toss the contents of your trousers at the end of the evening. Breathe, you can still make your flight.

Step 3: Find a friend and get your hands on some cash. It is time to get resourceful, for most flights you will need at least $150 to make it home safely. Ball parking $50 for a cab to the airport, $30 for one checked back, and another $50 for a cab once you land, add in $20 for food and chockskies (just because you lost your wallet doesn’t mean you can’t purchase that “Don’t talk to me, I’m crabby” T-shirt before leaving Baltimore.) Keep in mind that some airlines do not accept cash for checked baggage. In this case, simply ask a kind patron next to you if you can give them cash and use their credit card!

Step 4: Prepare for the airport. You’ll want to tear through your luggage for any items that can be used to prove that you are who you thought you were. Below are some great alternative forms of ID that you may have on you:

  • Prescription pill bottles
  • Business cards
  • Hotel receipts
  • Electric or gas Bills
  • School ID

Step 5: Find your coyote. Once you reach the terminal scan the area for a person with kind eyes, good vibes, and an air of authority. I keyed in on Carlos Monserrate, the lead transportation office for the O’Hare TSA.

Step 6: Turn on the charm. Tell your contact the true story of why you have no ID and the whole process will progress much smoother. Let them know that you realize you are making their job difficult and apologize for wasting their time.

Step 7: Prove it. This step is easier than it seems. With a helpful coyote they will ask you to fill out a form with information such as your full name and social security number. Be prepared to provide a phone number tied to your name, as well as a family member and your current address.

Step 8: Pass through security. Due to the fact that you are now John Doe, you will have to endure hands on pat down and a potential search of your entire luggage. Most TSA agents are now trained in how to conduct a proper and professional pat down, fully disclosing how they will approach the sensitive areas, “I will now pat down your buttocks with the back of my hand,” etc. You will be asked if you prefer a private room, I stupidly made the mistake of turning down this kind offer, so give it a go and let me know if you make it out alive.

Step 9: Get on your plane and cruise!

Step 1: Have way too much fun the night before your flight.

Step 2: Remain calm. If you’re anything like me you’ll wake up in a haze with Fireball on your breath and nothing in your pockets.

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It wasn’t that long ago a man’s sartorial trajectory felt pre-determined in its rigidity. College sweatpants gave way to an interview suit, and from there a lifetime of slacks, shirts, and ties. A blue suit, a grey suit, a tux for those formal occasions, formed the basis of every man’s wardrobe. Thankfully, the workplace no longer demands such strict conformity. All but the most traditional of professions has softened its stance on formality.

At face value, the loosening of sartorial structures is beneficial in developing a personal style. How can you develop a personal style when restricted to a dark grey suit 5 days a week? Style develops through trial and error. Therefore, the newfound opportunity to express yourself must surely be good. But like most things in life, too much of a good thing can easily turn sour.

Just look at the stereotypical Casual Friday uniform. You know what I’m talking about, the ill-fitting chinos and oversized polos or tent-shaped button-downs. Once relegated to Summer Fridays, these clothes can now run rampant throughout the calendar. In fairness, this trend is perhaps a few years past its zenith. Even brands like Docker’s, once the principle supplier of ill-fitting slacks, shaped up and now offer their alpha khaki, a slimmer, tapered take on their wardrobe staple. This trend has been endorsed by Michael Williams, bastion of sensible American style, and founder of the blog A Continuous Lean. 

While men are generally wising up to the fact that clothes that fit look better, the Casual Friday conundrum is still emblematic of a larger conundrum: when the lines are torn down and anything goes, how does one build a personal aesthetic that is unique, presentable, and appropriate across all facets of a modern life?

At its core, powerful personal style is like the center of a tripartite venn diagram, a small space that draws the best from its three constituent pieces. It is the intersection of professional necessity, personal passion, and geographic sensibility. When the three blend harmoniously, transitions between work and play become seamless and getting dressed on a Saturday doesn’t feel all that different from picking out clothes on those groggy Monday mornings.

When put into practice, finding the style sweet spot is about building a cohesive personal style that will take you from Monday to Saturday. The idea is to fit in at the office, but not to lose sight of the clothes that make you excited to get dressed in the morning. If you are a sneaker head, then try a pair of minimal leather sneakers you could wear to the office. On the flip side, if you love suits, but don’t have the occasion to suit up, try an unstructured sport coat that sits on top of a pair of jeans as easily as trousers.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong when it comes to personal style. It’s a lifelong journey. Don’t be afraid to take a few risks. Learn from your mistakes, and revel in those moments when you walk out the door and know you nailed it.

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Once a year over, a thousand WeWork members and friends load into a caravan of buses and head up to the Adirondacks to take over the summer camp Raquette Lake. WeWork's mission is to make small business more successful by offering work spaces for a "community of creators." To accomplish this goal, they provide offices, infrastructure, and an unparalleled network of fellow entrepreneurs. 

Let's skip all this talk about work. It's the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, and all you are thinking about is what outfit to rock out for the long weekend at the shore. If you dare, draw some inspiration from the seven best dressed people at summer camp. 

Keep it simple, for the lead singer of St. Lucia there is always, "no touching of the hair or face." This man has the best hair this side of the Mississippi. When I asked him on Twitter how he kept his mane so manicured, he replied "mainly it's the fan placed right in front of me." A charming statement, but below that veneer of professionalism I am convinced there is pounds of product. Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Jean-Philip Grobler brings an international feel to a a simple island look with crisp white pants, light brown boat shoes, and a short sleeve button down to die for. On closer inspection, his shirt is adorned with topical images, boats, palm trees, and no name islands, the perfect piece for his stage name St. Lucia.

With space age shades you see above, St. Lucia's side man lets you know he was part of the not fucking around crew. Add in retro suspenders that he popped off once the show heated up and a Amish head piece to round out the outfit.

Do you like patterns? So do they. St. Lucia's guitar and synth players had a killer combination going on towards the right side of the stage. On the left you see a hieroglyphic dress perfectly cut above the knees, playing off her dark brown hair. Moving right, a classic beater and open chested flying fish shirt kept the island vibes flowing.

Moving off the stage and into the crowd, this man's British themed athletic onesie was the star of the weekend (over three days I saw this piece on 4 different men and one woman, no comment). Throw in bright red high tops and this wild man could be seen coming from a mile away.

Me-ow! The greatest concert photographer in the history of the mankind. Ok, that may be a stretch. But tell me the last time you saw a pudgy man in a kitty kat dress-vest stage dive mid Girl Talk performance and selfie video the entire move? I rest my case.

Classic t-shirt guy. With the release of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, this gentleman was vintage and modern at the same time. 

Last, but certainly not least, the confused hipster. Waking up at 6:30 to catch the bus leaving at 6:45, he apparently got dressed in the dark. Luckily for him, the badass woven cowboy hat makes up for the hand cropped wolf tank top. Layering in a denim shirt for effect and he was on his way to camp in style.

Let me know which outfit you thought was the best, I certainly can't decide.

It's the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, and all you are thinking about is what outfit to rock out for the long weekend at the shore. If you dare, draw some inspiration from the seven best dressed people at summer camp. 

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Just because she is old enough to have been your DUI lawyer in high-school, does not mean that she is not interested in sleeping with you tonight.

That older woman in the backless, black dress who has a career, a nice car, house, and maybe keep a kid wants a reward. So talk to her. Be patient. Wait until you have something in common. It could be a mutual recognition of the lovey-dovey couple down the bar that has broken up and gotten back together four times this week, or the way that the bartender is heavy handily pouring bourbon into the third round of cocktails of two 21 year old girls.

She does not want to talk about things she is used to talking about or thinking about. They are the conversations she has with the other people involved in her life. Don’t use the television, have some creativity and say something that is your own. CNN is watched by millions. Whereas the guy sharing a beer with his newest girlfriend of three weeks while his ten year old kid sits on the barstool dripping cheese onto his iPad is something that only you and her are privy to. A simple question is all you need: “So, how many chicken quesadillas do you think that kid has eaten with different women?” If she has any interest in you, she will laugh, because it is funny. Bringing your kid to the bar is questionable at best. Bringing your kid to the bar while sharing drinks with the latest hair dresser that agreed to have sex with you is something below questionable. So play on that.

 

The basic fact is that people are animals, and are driven by desires. Almost any action or experience can be deemed “appropriate” or the “right choice,” it just depends on how you relate to it. So start with a base understanding of the capacity of human behavior, and then build from there. After she is done laughing, hopefully she will say something else that is funny. Laugh, and then introduce yourself, pause, and then ask questions. What do you do other than masturbate to not kill yourself in the morning? Where was the last place you traveled to? Did you enjoy it? Where else in the world do you want to go? What are you good at? What would you do if you had fifty million dollars? Where would you go right now if you could fly? Do you want to go to my house and smoke high-quality marijuana and do cocaine off of each other’s bodies and not acknowledge the rest of the world for a few hours? Check please. But seriously, let’s go have a glass of wine and not pay ten dollars for it and maybe take off each other’s clothing because it feels nice.

Just because she was Miss Texas in 1992, and in 1992 you were two, does not mean you are not both adult-humans that enjoy spending time in certain ways. Maybe you have way more in common than you realize. Maybe you learn something new about yourself and relationships. Maybe not. At the worst, it will be more interesting than watching television.

Just because she is old enough to have been your DUI lawyer in high-school, does not mean that she is not interested in sleeping with you tonight.

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“Do you like being American?” Two weeks ago, a German I met asked me that simple question. I reclined in my chair, put a hand on my chin, and assuredly said, “Yes, yes I do.”

On this day, it is imperative that that we ask ourselves what it means to be an American. How we feel about the role of America on the global stage, and why in the world someone had enough hatred to send two passenger jets into the most populated office buildings in America.

Being American isn’t about freedom, liberty, or democracy. Not about military might, barbeque, or Lynyrd Skynyrd.

These are parts of a whole, the small bits you can patch into a quilt. To me, being an American is having a vision of something greater. Let’s start here, with a group of 100 settlers that left England in search of religious freedom. Landing in hostile territory, they overcame foreign disease, a new type of land to cultivate, and grueling winters.

We stood up to the British Empire, at the time the greatest military power in the world. With little more than a rag-tag militia, we had the balls to say no taxation without representation. Soldiers died for the right to freedom. And eight years after the war began we had solidified ourselves as a sovereign nation.

As the nation grew so did our eyes. Looking west, Thomas Jefferson signed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the race was on. In 1845, a journalist named John O’Sullivan coined the term Manifest Destiny, a doctrine that guided domestic policy as railways and buggies carried adventuresome folk to free plots of land provided under the Homestead Act.

Passing through the decades of this nation, we have fought wars of attrition, suffered economic depressions, and struggled to secure liberty and justice for all. And yes, despite all of these actions, I remain proud to be an American.

Because despite our flaws, despite our mistakes, we remain committed to a vision of something better than what we have.  We are not a perfect nation; but we are committed to the formation of a “more perfect Union.” From our actions as a state, to the daily lives of over 300 million people, we strive to be better one day at a time. And that is the most noble of intentions.

So raise a flag, wear the colors, or crank up the country and fire up the grill. Today we can all be proud to be American.

“Do you like being American?” Two weeks ago, a German I met asked me that simple question. I reclined in my chair, put a hand on my chin, and assuredly said, “Yes, yes I do.”

On this day, it is imperative that that we ask ourselves what is means to be an American. 

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By now, even if you have an AOL email address, you have seen photos and videos of Burning Man – alien art cars with looming tentacles, Robot Heart sunrise sets, something uh … burning. Say what you will about it, there is no denying the creativity and ingenuity that pours into erecting this spontaneous society – and fully functioning city – in the middle of the desert. 

Something no camera will capture is how absolutely vast that desert is. Does it get any more tabla rasa than Burning Man, man? Here you go, step into this nothingness and invent the week you want to have. Are you sensing a little metaphor for life here? We did.

 

Want to dance your ass off on a moving dragon? Build it. Be a fairy godmother princess of society? Manifest it with that furry/bouncy/crowny thing. Shrink into a giant meadow of flowers and just be?  Go ahead, because someone made that for you.

There’s a Brian Andreas quote from Story People that embodies this feeling:

“Don't you hear it? She asked & I shook my head no & then she started to dance & suddenly there was music everywhere & it went on for a very long time & when I finally found words all I could say was thank you. ” 

That’s what we’re taking back with us from Black Rock to New York City – every day you have the power to create yourself. No one is going to do that for you. So while you’re at it, be bold. You don’t have to wear plain socks.

 

 

 

 

Say what you will about it, there is no denying the creativity and ingenuity that pours into erecting this spontaneous society – and fully functioning city – in the middle of the desert. 

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At one point or another every menswear writer and style blogger has uttered the mantra “Buy Less, Buy Better”. This philosophy came to govern the Americana and Workwear boom of the late aughts, encouraging men to go out and buy classic items like a pair of Selvedge jeans for their heritage and near bullet proof construction, or a pair of Red Wings that are better suited to keeping your toes safe on the assembly line than they are stomping down the streets of Brooklyn.

The theory behind the mantra goes as follows: instead of buying three similar items, buy the best singular item you can afford and wear the hell out of it. Instead of three blazers of different patterns and colors, buy one classic blue blazer that will get you in anywhere, from Bushwood to Output. Good things get better with age, and the wear and tear tells a story. You’ll only come to appreciate an item more as it ages.

Here’s the rub though. If everyone took their own advice on this front, then we would all have stopped buying things years ago. Life is boring without choice. I’m not going to sit here and tell you these are the five items you need to never shop again, while I’m sniping things I probably don’t need off of Ebay with reckless abandon.

Like any maxim, however, there is a good bit of truth at the core of “Buy Less, Buy Better”. Because having a beautiful item of clothing, that is well made and fits perfectly, is a truly satisfying feeling. I have multiple jackets, but I find myself reaching for the same one or two that I splurged on time and time again. The key is to identify which items are true staples in your wardrobe and invest in the best version of those you can. Go ahead and chase trends, anyone with more than a passing interest in clothing invariably does at one point or another, but do so knowing you have your cornerstones in place.

Herewith, one man’s take on the absolute core items you’ll wear again and again that are worth stretching your budget for:

 

The Blue Blazer

As mentioned, the right jacket can take you from club to country club without so much as a raised eyebrow from a doorman or valet. For starters, look for a two button, single breasted jacket in a hopsack or similarly seasonal agnostic wool. An unstructured jacket with soft shoulders really adds to the versatility of the piece. Throw it on over everything from a button down and trousers to a t-shirt and jeans and forget you’re wearing it.  Brass buttons if you’re feeling preppy, horn, wood, or a polished metal if you tend to lean more fashion forward. 

 

The Right Pair of Jeans

If you only take one piece of advice from this article let it be this: a well made, slim fitting pair of jeans in a clean dark wash is the building block of a modern man’s wardrobe. If you’re willing to commit, a pair of raw jeans, so called because the fabric hasn’t been washed before you put them on, results in a beautifully natural and unique patina as the fabric contours to your body over time. For more immediate gratification, look for something in a once-washed fabric that will be a little softer out of the gates. Called “The New Standard” for a reason, the brand APC is often the reference point for someone looking for their first pair of upscale jeans.

The Oxford Cloth Button Down (OCBD)

The OCBD, the mother of all shirts. Buy a bunch in blue, a bunch in white, one in pink for when you’re hungover (a secret the rat-pack knew all too well) and you’re set. Their sturdy fabric is ruffled enough to wear untucked with a pair of jeans, while their history, thank you Brooks Brothers for that perfectly rolled-collar, gives you a dose of quintessential American irreverence when paired with tailored clothing.

A Grey Sweatshirt

Unlike the boxy champion sweatshirt with the yellow pit-stains from High School P.E. class, today’s sweatshirt fits more like a nice wool sweater. Taking their style cues from the classic sweatshirt, think triangle stitching at the neck and ribbed cuffs, today’s sweatshirts toe the line between casual and dressy. The right sweatshirt will look at home both underneath a blazer and over jeans and a button down. Throw it on anytime you need another layer.

These staples aren’t meant to provide you with a paint by numbers approach to getting dressed. That would get terribly boring. Instead, pair them with the unique clothes that you love and the trends that you chase. They’ll ground any piece of clothing you can throw at them. And on those days where you are feeling uninspired, wear them all at the same time. You’ll look as at home today as you would in any black and white photo from the last half-century.

"Buy Less, Buy Better." The theory behind the mantra goes as follows: instead of buying three similar items, buy the best singular item you can afford and wear the hell out of it.

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Summer is over, get to work. People have their serious faces on in the office. More clothes need to be worn at all times. Tans are fading with the sharpness of the memories of vacation. But what if there was something to look forward to this fall other than a dinner at a nice restaurant? What if you could take the money you would spend on a week or two in your normal haunts and spend it in a tropical paradise?

One might say: warm, desirable beaches are far away by October & November, or that they don’t have the time or money. That might be true, if we were considering the realities of living in the 1900’s. Luckily, there are planes, and areas all over the world that support themselves through encouraging people to come visit. One of these places, Puerto Rico, also happens to be a 3 ½ hour plane ride from New York City.

Jet Blue flies regularly between New York City (JFK and EWR) and Aguadilla (BQN), with flights departing at 5 am running over/under $300 roundtrip. So, even if you could only get one day off of work, you could still spend 3 days on the beach. Pack a carry-on and leave Friday at 5 am, arrive into the Aguadilla airport at 8:30 am. (No customs as Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory so don’t worry about additional time spent or the need for a passport). Then split a cab that costs $50 to the center of Rincon.

Go check in to one of the many accommodations that are easily found upon arrival or prior through various sites ($40/night is your most basic hostel and there are a lot of houses to split if you are traveling in a group), and you are comfortably lying on the beach by 10 am and it is still Friday morning. You now have the rest of the day, the night, the following day, the night, the day after that, the night, and you are on a 5 am flight that puts you into the office at 9:30 Monday morning.

The best part about the whole thing: Rincon is a paradise. It is a self-contained, not overly developed, accessible and thriving town on the West Coast of Puerto Rico. Go with a significant other, with friends, or by yourself. The beaches are white and sandy and there are daytime-outdoor-activities for all levels of expertise as well as nightlife that will leave a grin for months. The town centers around two main beaches and a few bar/restaurants. The pick of the litter being Pool Bar Sushi, a party spot that combines high-grade sushi, cheap drinks, and bikinis. It also features a large bar around a swimming pool and an outdoor movie projector. If you can’t have fun at Pool Bar, you probably can’t have fun. We all need something to look forward to.

Tans are fading with the sharpness of the memories of vacation. But what if there was something to look forward to this fall other than a dinner at a nice restaurant?

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A few weeks ago I wandered over to the new Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. While I do love the oxfords and classic north east aesthetic proffered by Polo Ralph Lauren, I wasn’t there to shop. Rather, I was there to get a cup of coffee at Ralph’s, the standalone coffee shop on the second floor of the space. It is comfortably furnished with white benches, the sort of seats you wished you could find in Central Park, and pale marble table tops, the kind of tables you would never dream of finding in Central Park.

I purchased my iced coffee from the friendly barista dressed in the Ralph’s uniform of dark jeans and a club collar oxford with a forest green knit tie, and turned to find an open table where I could sit and soak in a little bit more of the ambiance. As I scanned the room, my eye lingered on a table with a reserved sign nestled alongside two half-empty cappuccinos. Around the table sat two beautiful women straight from the pages of a Ralph Lauren catalog, a man in a Purple Label pinstripe suit, the kind that seems to never age, and at the heart of this table, in an RLX vest, matching black sweater and jeans, the man himself; Mr. Ralph Lauren.

The presence of Ralph Lauren in his own store’s coffee shop, at a table where at least four of his labels were being worn, got me thinking about what it means to be a lifestyle brand.

One of the key components of peddling a lifestyle is authenticity. You want customers to buy in to your vision, yet Ralph Lauren’s brand umbrella covers everything from Wasps to Cowboys. Can you be authentically schizophrenic?

In this instance, I think authenticity is derived from fidelity to the history and quality of the product. Clearly Ralph Lauren didn't grow up wrangling cattle, yet RRL creates some of the best chambray shirts and selvedge jeans you can find outside of Japan (an entirely separate topic best left for another day). The authenticity comes not from Ralph Lauren’s own story, but rather from an appreciation of what makes this lifestyle aspirational and a desire to do service to the originals. Mr. Lauren creates clothing for the lifestyles he grew up admiring, bringing his own vision to lives he could only see by looking on from the outside. 

Leaving Ralph Lauren aside, this new form of authenticity is perhaps best seen today in the world of surf brands. Surf culture has been associated with the long blond locks and low-key vibe around California and Hawaii ever since the Beach Boys went on their Surfin’ Safari. Two of the best brands interpreting surf culture today, however, come from the Atlantic Ocean: Saturdays Surf from New York City, and Cuisse de Grenouille from Paris. They’ve taken the relaxation and tranquility that is at the core of the culture’s ethos and blended it with elements of their own locations. Saturday’s uses a lot of color blocking and a slightly darker palette more aligned with their Soho roots, while Cuisse de Grenouille plays with fabrics and cuts garments in a distinctly clean European manner. Think a slim cotton sweatshirt with terry cloth embossed logos.

By transplanting surf culture, and blending it with their own experiences, both Saturdays Surf and Cuisse de Grenouille have created new iterations of surf culture. Cultures that are equal parts homage to the original and authentically their own. It may not be the Beach Boys, “mahalos,” and salty blonde locks. It doesn’t have to be. Authenticity today isn’t wrapped up in the original. Instead, it is about crafting a narrative surrounding your brand. Both Saturday’s Surf and Cuisse de Grenouille have distilled the aspirational elements of the original surf culture and applied them to their own geography and aesthetic sensibility. The resulting blend is what being a lifestyle brand is about. Be faithful to the originals, but stamp them with your own experiences. When in doubt look back to Ralph Lauren, he probably won’t steer you wrong.

Authenticity is derived from fidelity to the history and quality of the product. No one would think Ralph Lauren grew up wrangling cattle, yet RRL creates some of the best chambray shirts you can find outside of Japan.

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Field Jacket: Image by trashness

Ninety-nine percent of stylish people will tell you that fall is their favorite season. Although I can’t verify that statistic, I would wager it is not far from the truth. You see, although summer claims the longest days, warm sun, tans, BBQs and more, fall has one pretty important thing going for it; the return of layers. Few things beat that first brisk day when you can throw a sweater over your button-down and walk outside to the smell of leaves in the crisp fall air.

Because we love fall at Ace & Everett, this article is part one of a buyer’s guide to prepare you for the brief but beautiful fall season, and the dip of the mercury as winter bears down all too quickly. To begin, let’s talk light jackets.

Considering the narrow area on the calendar which fall inhabits in the Northeast, buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a jacket. The key is finding one that’s versatile. A jacket that is amenable to layering under or over, and one that works over anything from a t-shirt and jeans on the weekend, to a sweater and trousers at the office. The four jackets that follow are your archetypal light jackets. Countless designers have reimagined these coats in a variety of fabrics, and price ranges to fit anyone’s budget.

Field Jacket

The iconic field jacket is the M-65. Worn by everyone from De Niro in Taxi, to Bryan Greenberg in How to Make it in America (RIP), the M-65 field jacket was originally issued to US soldiers serving in Vietnam. When looking for a jacket of this type, you can go the military surplus route, but beware of the billowy sleeves and large bodies. These were meant to fit a flak jacket underneath. One’s best bet is to look to a designer interpretation. At an affordable level, Uniqlo often makes a decent interpretation, although their fabric leaves something to be desired. Aspesi, an Italian designer, makes what is widely considered the reference point for a modern reinterpretation of this classic coat. However, just about every brand has made one at some point or another. Their ubiquity is due to their versatility. Dress as you normally would for the day and throw one on. Field jackets look great over relaxed fits and have a nice way of dressing down a more formal look.

Trucker Jacket

Most often thought of in denim, the search for a trucker jacket should begin with Levi’s. Once the top half of a Canadian Tuxedo, and a major faux pas, today’s trucker jackets are more versatile than they may seem at first glance. A denim jacket looks great roughing up a sweater and trousers, and it has staying power in your wardrobe. When bought slim, it can be layered underneath a larger winter coat on those brutal wind biting afternoons in January. Double denim isn’t off the table. Reference The Boss in his “Born in the USA” days, just make sure you keep the color of your jeans and jacket a few shades apart.

Trucker Jacket: Image by The Sartorialist 

Waxed Cotton Coat

While you have options when looking for a waxed jacket, many people will tell you to just get a Barbour. You’ve likely seen their Bedale model on the street. Traditionally made in an olive cotton, these waxy jackets were originally made for the upper crust to ride across their estates on horseback, but they’ve found a second life due to their water-resistance and old world charm. Be prepared for a bit of a smell and for it to be sticky to the touch when new. The upside is that Barbour’s last forever and develop an amazing patina as they wear in.

Barbour: Image by Chad's Drygoods

Parka

A more American take on the waxed cotton coat, the 60/40 Parka, so named due to the composition of the fabric, has been a fall staple for half a century. A big hood, plenty of pockets, and a slightly water-resistant, but not waxy fabric make this a great choice for fall. Penfield, a Massachusetts company, has been making the Kasson Parka for ages, and it is as good today as it was when it originally debuted. It effortlessly channels New England cool.

Any one of these jackets will quickly transform into a wardrobe workhorse. Toss one on in the morning, over a sweater or shirt when the air has a bit of a bite and enjoy the crisp autumnal air. After all, winter will be here before we know it.

60/40 Parka: Image by HYPEBEAST

Part 1 of a buyer’s guide to prepare you for the brief but beautiful fall season, and the dip of the mercury as winter bears down all too quickly. To begin, let’s talk light jackets.

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These books are influencing you as we speak. So let’s not waste any more time.

1. Mister Roberts – Thomas Heggen

Read Mister Roberts is because it is funny and a Heggen wrote Mister Roberts by fictionalizing his own experiences aboard a United States Naval ship in the South Pacific during World War II. The keystone of the novel is a charismatic, Lieutenant Junior Grade Naval Officer named Mr. Roberts. Roberts is the glue that binds the crew of the idling Naval vessel, the USS Reluctant, in their struggle against their primary opposition during World War II, the captain of the boat. The USS Reluctant, like many other ships posted in the South Pacific, would never see combat, and the crew was well aware of this. Their existence, and the strange schizophrenic fear and regulations that accompanied it, is a wonderfully concise dramatization of the anxieties, goals and reality of American culture and perspective during World War II. The reason you have not heard of it or its author, most likely, is because Heggen committed suicide shortly after its publication, and sales of over 1 million copies; deeming the book good enough to call it a day.

2. Old Gringo – Carlos Fuentes

Old Gringo is my favorite book ever written about Mexico, the Mexican Revolution, Revolution, and more specifically and universally, the relationship between human nature and ideology; what we believe is right, what we want to do, and how we end up acting. It begins as the story of an American author, based off of the actual author Russell Bierke, who, after the deaths of his two sons, decides to go to die fighting in the Mexican Revolution. As the novel unfolds, not only do you follow the old American’s story, you are taken for a galloping ride across Mexico with Pancho Villa’s army, and exposed to the misunderstood truths and beauty of Mexican Culture.

3. Sometimes A Great Notion – Ken Kesey

Sometimes a Great Notion is my favorite story about family, including Brothers K, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Grapes of Wrath; and it is American as fuck. Kesey puts the fog and chill of the Oregon woods in your bone. Bucking and exciting you like the surprises of a chainsaw. Kesey focuses the book on the middle generation of the Stamper family; a pioneer family that stopped briefly in Ohio before continuing on the great Pacific Northwest to become the most prolific logging family in Northern Oregon. The Stamper family, like many families, deals with the differences in generational perspective, the strain of balancing time and relationships, and the perversion of these balances and many more. This book will give you anxiety as you prepare to finish it because you realize that your time with the Stampers is coming to a close, and all you want to is to read about the next generation.

4. A Hero of Our Time – Mikhail Lermontov

Lermontov is the best Russian author that does not get taught in school. This is most likely because he died in a duel at the age of 27. And his protagonist, Pechorin, an “anti-hero,” might be a bit too subversive, unearthing some rocks that professors quiver to look underneath of. Lermontov questions the reader best himself in his preface:

A Hero of Our Time, my dear readers, is indeed a portrait, but not of one man. It is a portrait built up of all our generation's vices in full bloom. You will again tell me that a human being cannot be so wicked, and I will reply that if you can believe in the existence of all the villains of tragedy and romance, why wouldn't believe that there was a Pechorin? If you could admire far more terrifying and repulsive types, why aren't you more merciful to this character, even if it is fictitious? Isn't it because there's more truth in it than you might wish?”

5. And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks – William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac

The first thing that either Burroughs (Naked Lunch, Soft Machine, Junkie, Queer) or Kerouac (On the Road, Dharma Bums,   wrote, about the event that had a fundamental role in shaping the course of some of the best American Literature: The Beat Generation. And they co-wrote it, and it was kept secret for over 60 years! And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, in many ways, explains the zeitgeist of the Beat Generation. The novel is based on the true story of an incident where Lucien Carr, a friend of both Kerouac and Burroughs, killed an older man, David Kammerer, that was sexually obsessed with Carr in self-defense, and then dumped the body in the Hudson River. The day following Kammerer’s death, Carr went to Kerouac, and Buroughs, separately, and told them about the incident. Neither ever turned over any information to authorities. Both spent time in jail as accessories after the fact. Written in 1944, the book was not published until after Carr’s death in 2005. So, stop reading me, and start reading them!

 

These books are influencing you as we speak. So let’s not waste any more time.

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For the last decade it seemed that the balance of power had perhaps permanently shifted. Rockers, for so long the designers’ muse, and influencers of the common man’s taste, had taken a back seat to Rappers as culture’s tastemakers.

Indeed, as rap and pop music have become one in the same, the image of a rapper in a quadruple XL T-shirt has been supplanted by a more fashion forward mainstream style icon. It’s impossible to write this piece without mentioning Kanye West, who shot to fame wearing Polo Ralph Lauren at a time when pastels and polos were still the strict domain of the Northeast elite. Few people look more at home in haute couture than ASAP Rocky, a man who can seamlessly blend gold grills and du-rags with Rick Owens and Raf Simons. No mean feat. Even Jay-Z, a man who rapped “I don’t wear skinny jeans / ‘cause my knots won’t fit” has been stepping out in some trim black denim over the last couple of years.

And if Jigga wearing skinny jeans wasn’t enough to cement the fact that Hip Hop, popular culture, and couture were in the midst of a happy union, Ricardo Tisci, designer at Givenchy, was a guest of honor at the wedding of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, having designed tour outfits for “Watch The Throne” in addition to Kim Kardashian’s wedding dress.

Hip Hop’s influence on fashion, trends, and popular culture certainly isn’t going away anytime soon. And yet, a return towards a rock and grunge aesthetic is steadily picking up steam. With Hedi Slimane at the helm, it can be argued that Saint Laurent Paris is reinterpreting classic Rock n’ Roll style and bringing it back towards the center of our cultural zeitgeist.

Prior to his appointment at Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane was best known for his stint at Dior Homme in the mid 2000s. His time at Dior was marked by a tightened silhouette. Dior Homme was one of the originators of skinny jeans for men. Slimane is unapologetic about his love affair with Rock n’ Roll, relocating YSL’s creative headquarters to Los Angeles, where he has made his home. Slimane’s photography from the last five years is on display now in Paris at the Foundation Pierre-Berges. The subject matter, shots of rock icons like Lou Reed, Amy Winehouse, and Pete Doherty leave the viewer with little doubt over what inspires Slimane’s aesthetic. This is clearly seen in his collections for Saint Laurent Paris, with cigarette jeans featuring rips, tears, and other distressing providing the platform for perfecto and varsity styled jackets, plaid shirts, chelsea and cowboy influenced boots, and Vans style sneakers to complete the look.

Other designers, notably Ovadia & Sons from Brooklyn, have begun to move in a markedly more Rock centric direction as well. Not long ago, the brothers Ovadia were tapped to design York Street, J. Press’ diffusion line. From designing for J. Press, the originator in Ivy League trad, the most recent Ovadia & Sons collection shows mashed- up plaid Frankenstein flannel shirts, as well as a red plaid suit, the model wearing it with shoulder length blonde locks.

Popular music may be becoming more and more influenced by Hip Hop and electronic, but it would appear that designers are beginning to look back towards the rockstar for their own inspiration. It will be interesting to see whether this trend pushes music in a similar direction towards the frenetic energy and instrumentation championed by the original punks and rockers. Rappers may be the modern rockstars, but for a growing number of designers, it seems that nothing beats the original.

Rappers may be the modern rockstars, but for a growing number of designers, it seems that nothing beats the original.

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How do you want to spend your time? And what are you willing to do to be able to achieve that? Simply put: What are your ambitions? In order to actualize your ambition, you have to know yourself. Otherwise, how could you ever declare or even recognize it?

In Quentin Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown, Samuel L. Jackson looks at his beach-blonde California girlfriend who is lying in her bikini, smoking pot on the couch with gunshots echoing from the television and he tells her “Melanie, you gotta stop smoking so much of that shit, it will rob you of your ambition.” Melanie cooly looks back at him, and explains: “Not if your ambition is to lay on the couch and watch television.” To which, of course, he has no response.

There are many things one could say about Melanie. Two of the nicest are that she knows how she wants to spend her time and she is willing and capable of achieving it. Melanie wants to sit on the couch and smoke pot and watch television, and she is willing to put up with Samuel L. Jackson’s bullshit in order to do it. If your ambition is to be wealthy and successful, then just like Melanie, you must sacrifice. And there is a distinct valor and worth in all sacrifice, if it is understood.

Remember, if you decide that your ambition is to go sailing around the world, you will need a crew and knowledge. That knowledge costs time, and the crew costs money. In other words, you have to be conscious and thorough in understanding the costs and constrictions of the reality you attempt to create for yourself. If you want to work for a corporation, you should do that, just know that you may be told: “Ummm, I'm gonna need you to go ahead come in tomorrow. So if you could be here around 9 that would be great, mmmk... oh oh! And I almost forgot ahh, I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, kay. We ahh lost some people this week and ah, we sorta need to play catch up.” Conversely, if you want to work for yourself, you may end up working Saturdays and Sundays by choice. 

People that work at Wal-Mart have to deal with monotony; models have to deal with creepy cameramen. Ambition, and the basic enjoyment of the direction imposed by your own ambition, is what allows the privilege of not resenting the thorns in the rosebush. The conscious enjoyment of spending your time on earth how you see fit allows you to be truly happy. So figure out what you want, figure out how to get it, and never stop believing in your pursuit.

How do you want to spend your time? What are you willing to do to be able to achieve that? Simply put: What are your ambitions?

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We found him in a dumpster.

Strolling under the Brooklyn Bridge a peculiar sight caught our attention, two porcelain feet, lazily dangling over the edge of a large trash receptacle. The party slowed as the eyes grew larger in eager anticipation.

First on the scene, yeah that’s me (thanks Aaron Carter for the transition). Hopping head first into the dumpster I found Manny. With legs for days, and a behind deserving of a @squatspro regram, Manny and I were in love.

Manny was crafted in Des Moine, Iowa, and distributed to a lovely production assistant at Barney's. As a youthful mannequin, he had been the talk of the town, seen up and down 5th Avenue sporting Prada, Gucci, and every other luxury brand under the sun.

As time wore on, the inevitable sunk in. Younger, slimmer mannequins slowly stole his window spots, and with them his pride. Then one day he was gone, replaced, hastily removed from his store by a large man with a beer stained tank top and a well-worn back brace.

In the coming days, over coffee, crumpets, and a few too many glasses of red wine, I learned why Manny had been saved from a landfill: to give the people what they want. High quality, American made socks unique enough for the incredible people who populate this planet.

To help Manny live his dream, every time an image is posted by @aceandeverett’s Instagram or Facebook page featuring Manny, the specific sock he has on will be available that day for 30% off.  

So take a chance, when was the last time you put your trust in an inanimate object?

Every time an image is posted by @aceandeverett’s Instagram account or Facebook page featuring Manny, the specific sock he has on will be available that day for 30% off.  

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I originally simplified design to a set of technical skills that enabled one to sketch, draw, create etc. Much as I envisioned college teaching you hard skills to prepare you for a job, being a fashion designer meant creating patterns that resulted directly from the movement of their hands. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, these guys must have designed at least in a technical sense? In reality these “fashion designers” were really lifestyle designers, creating a tangible vision that they could effectively communicate to others who could materialize their vision into products. Immersing myself in the more creative world, I soon began to appreciate the breadth and complexities inherent in a seemingly rather straight forward word, design.

Industrial design, graphic design, and service design, each of these specific fields focus on different areas. Greater than the sum of its parts, design is the basis for every element in life. From law, to architecture, to societal norms, these systems are all designed to effectuate a certain end. Effectuating purpose through action. For trained professionals such as Supreme Court Justices, designers, surgeons, and CEOs, all of their work can be boiled down to design. Everyone is a designer, only differentiated by an awareness of the power that one has to improve the world that surrounds us.

Here are Ace & Everett's 4 favorite designers.

1. Stefan Sagmeister - Austrian, built his business around designing covers for CD’s. A unorthodox designer, he is know for his provocative designs that challenge conventional norms and ideas. Sagmeister goes on a year-long sabbatical every seven years, where he does not take work from clients. Notable work - Lou Reed CD cover, and having his assistant slightly incise his body to create an ad for his AIGA Detroit lecture.

 

2. Phillip Stark - French, “celebrity designer" for everything from hotels to household products. His work covers interior, product, industrial and architectural design work. Phillip is known for his preference for fluid, organic forms with the inclusion of subtle yet playful details. His most famous design, the Louis Ghost chair, is the most widely sold design chair in the world.

 

3. Jonny Ive - BritishSteve Jobs’ most trusted confidant, Ive was one of two people who Steve Jobs requested to see while recovering from surgery for a pancreatic tumor in 2004 (Laurene, Jobs’ wife, was the other). He has been Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design since 1996 and remained instrumental in their recent dominance of the tech space. Ive has the only private office in the Apple design studio, which has been described as a glass cube, furnished with only a desk, chair and lamp.

4. Marc Newson - Australian, an industrial designer who recently joined Ives and the Apple design team on a part time basis. His designs follow biomorphism, using smooth flowing lines, and tend to have an absence of sharp edges.

4.5 Ive + Newson - International, In 2013, Ive and Newson collaborated in an auction at Sotheby's for Bono's product Red. It took Ives and Newson two years to curate over 40 objects for the auction and show to benefit The Global Fund to Fight AIDS & Tuberculosis.  This lead to Newson joining Ives and the Apple design team on a part time basis in September 2014.

Designers are the most selfish and selfless, they must believe their vision is best, while never truly receiving credit for the beauty they create. While their jobs seem alive with creativity and passion, always remember the golden rule, “DESIGNERS DON’T SMILE!”

Greater than the sum of its parts, design is the basis for every element in life. Here are the top 5 designers living today.

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Well that happened quickly. Did you go apple picking? Did you make the most of the two days of sweater weather we had in New York? I hope so, because like it or not, it seems that winter is here. That Polar Vortex we heard so much about last year has already descended on the country. And because those Fall coats we told you about just a few weeks ago will probably leave you shivering, we feel we owe you a winter update. Think of it as another excuse to go shopping.

Peacoat

Like so many pieces of great outerwear, the pea coat has its origins in the military. Best exemplified by the US Navy, a Pea Coat is recognizable by its double breasted design, heavy wool construction (traditionally navy), and those large lapels, perfect for wearing up to protect yourself from the elements. As with other garments of military origin, surplus is an option. If you go the surplus route, be prepared for a decent amount of tailoring, as the body will be boxy. Pea Coats have crossed over into the mainstream conscious and can be found in most of your normal brands’ fall/winter lines. But the G.O.A.T. pea coat likely belongs to Billy Reid. His Bond coat, so named because Daniel Craig wore it onscreen in SkyFall, ticks all the boxes of a traditional pea coat, but adds luxe leather detailing and an immaculate fit. The price is certainly up there, but 007 has always appreciated the finer things in life.

Entry Level: Dock Peacoat from J. Crew

Archetype: Bond Peacoat from Billy Reid (below)

Topcoat

Topcoats are having a real moment right now. Traditionally, a topcoat, or overcoat, was meant to be worn over a suit, mimicking the lines of a suit jacket, keeping the wearer’s buttoned up aesthetic intact despite the harsh weather. As with most garments, however, designers have gotten their hands on this traditional piece and slimmed it down. The result is a jacket that can still be thrown over a blazer or suit when dressed up, but can play equally well over a sweater, jeans, and some rugged boots. The topcoat has become a great piece with which to mix high and low. For a reasonably priced coat, take a stroll over to Club Monaco. Aaron Levine has done a great job transforming the brand since he took over and they carry a broad range of coats this season, from a simple single-breasted number to a more ballsy double breasted jacket. Gray, navy, or camel, a top coat will add a certain panache to your winter.

Wool Topcoat from Club Monaco

Duffle Coat

The duffle coat, despite its origin as a coat worn during both World Wars by the British Navy, will forever be associated with Paddington Bear. While his floppy hat might be an advanced move for some, his navy duffle coat is an iconic piece of outerwear. Characterized by large fastenings made of wood or horn, the duffle coat is often referred to as a toggle coat. The duffle coat is most famously made by Gloverall, who has been offering the same version since the 1950s. When looking for a duffle there are plenty of options, but the original may still be the best. Channel your inner Paddington and button one up.

Entry Level: Wool Duffle from River Island

Archetype: Duffle Coat from Gloverall (below)

Parka

The coats above all have one thing in common; they are traditionally made of wool. And while wool is a great material, staying warm when it gets wet, it still gets wet. When the weather is truly terrible, you’ll need something stronger in your closet. That’s where a parka comes in. Parkas today are made in any number of materials, from more traditional nylon / cotton mixtures to truly tech-y fabrics. Find one with a great lining (down or otherwise) and a large enough hood to hide yourself behind when the snow and wind pick up. It won’t be the sexiest thing you’ve ever bought, but you’ll be glad you have it.

Entry Level: Parka from Penfield

Archetype: Cotton Appalachia Parka from Schott N.Y.C. (below)

 



Those Fall coats we told you about just a few weeks ago will probably leave you shivering, we feel we owe you a winter update. Think of it as another excuse to go shopping.

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The Holidays are a relaxing time. They come with a vacation from work, and afford us all with a few lazy days to spend with our family. But underneath this relaxation lies a tension, gift giving. Tell your family what you really want for the holidays and you run the risk of being laughed out of the room for living above your means. Buy something too small or insignificant for a loved one, and watch the frost from outside slowly creep into the room. Gifts are stressful. But because the holidays are here, we have collected a few Ace & Everett approved suggestions. Guys, forward this to anyone still asking what you want for the holidays. Or treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Ami Red Wool Beanie

Ami consistently brings out clothing we’d like to wear. They perfectly channel Parisian cool, mixing dressy and casual in an effortless way. The man behind the brand, Alexandre Mattiussi, is rarely spotted without his signature red beanie. Perfect for the dour days of January, it’ll be a little pop of color in a cold winter. 

Good Candle Brooklyn Cedar Mason Jar Candle

These candles smell delicious. You might be thinking, “Really, a candle? That’s the kind of thing I’m going to randomly get from my Aunt without this list”. And you might be right. But your Aunt is right, too. Have you ever had friends over, then realized you hadn’t taken out the trash? Have you ever had a lady come back to your apartment, and realized your sheets should have been washed last week? This candle is your answer. Less headache inducing than incense, the cedar smell is straight out of a crisp fall night.

Ace & Everett Holiday 3 Pack

Ace & Everett just brought out a new batch of socks perfect for the winter. With sophisticated new patterns like Gramercy and Split Square, these socks can take you straight from the office to a holiday party. Take your pick, you really can’t go wrong. Add 3 socks to your cart and the third sock will be half off. Consider it our holiday gift to you.

Le Creuset French Press

Buying coffee everyday adds up. Often, going out with a co-worker for a cup of coffee is a necessary evil. It gives you a break from the office, and a delicious recharge. But anyone who loves coffee should also know how to brew a good cup themselves. One of the easiest methods to master is the French Press. Simply pour hot water over some coarse ground coffee beans, steep for a few minutes, and press. This press from Le Creuset will definitely get the job done. The stoneware construction makes it easy to clean, and the beautiful glaze means you’ll want to display it proudly on your counter (even if you only make your own coffee once a week).

Coffee Table Books

 

Remember when you were a kid and you didn't have to read a book in a linear manner, looking for a narrative to follow? You could just open to a random page, look at a glossy image, and then flip through the book haphazardly. Coffee table books are like that for adults. Pick one around an area of interest, and you'll find yourself casually flipping through it for years. Two books worth checking out this year are "Rock Covers" and "Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film". "Rock Covers" by Jon Kirby, Robbie Busch, and Julius Wiedeman, is a collection of over 750 12"x12" rock album covers with information about the band and art directors behind them. "Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film", collates a series of pictures taken over the 12 year period in which Richard Linklater filmed his instant classic. If these two aren't to your liking, your best bet is taking a trip to a nice bookstore and flipping through the pages yourself.

Guys, forward this to anyone still asking what you want for the holidays. Or treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

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In a time when Girls is considered quality television, I often sit back and wonder where in this world of suicide bombers and North Korean hackers a guy can find a male role model worthy of the space above my bed reserved for a full body fathead. 

Right now, the absence of a definitive image of masculine sex appeal may well be the biggest problem facing the United States of America.

Looking back in time there was always a guide. Initially, that man was Theodore Roosevelt. A man whose mildly handle-barred mustache simply stated, IDFWU. Then came the Marlboro man, sucking down a cool devil stick in the hot Arizona sun. Next up was the son of a stunt driver and a prostitute, the badass who could kill you as easily as the three piece suit hanging in his closet, Steve McQueen. Lastly, the nineties saw the diminutive Tom Cruise dominate the silver screen in classics like Top Gun, and my personal favorite, Cocktail

It’s 2015 and there’s no god. FEAR NOT, I’ve gotten my Mary Shelley on and stitched together 10 guy’s with unique traits that when combined create a man truly worthy of admiration. Imagine, the male version of Cameron Diaz’s legs, that J-Lo booty, Kate Upton’s rack city, and the angelic face of Adriana Lima.

Matthew McConaughey - The Talent

With his golden blonde locks and his chiseled Spartan upper body, Matthew has graced the cover of more People Magazine covers than scantily clad 10s. That was before he lost 38 pounds for his role in Dallas Buyer's Club, beginning the onslaught of outrageously amazing film Matthew has been a party of in his recent manhandling of Hollywood. Dallas Buyer's Club, The Wolf of Wallstreet, True Detective, Intersteller, did I mention TRUE DETECTIVE? This man is so talented that he turned a five minute nihilistic and boozy monologue into the most captivating television scene of the year. 

James Franco - The Artist

New York Mag said it best, James Franco is a "Movie star, conceptual artist, fiction writer, grad student, cipher—he’s turned a Hollywood career into an elaborate piece of performance art," noted. Follow his Instagram @Jamesfrancotv to get a taste of his cluttered and busy mind. A master of the selfie who is honing in on 3K posts, the most refreshing thing about Franco is he doesn't take himself too seriously. (Full Article

Anthony Davis – The Trendsetter

No other man in the history of mankind has reached this level of success, with this level of disregard for commonly held facial hair etiquette (sorry Johnny Bravo). In a power move of the century, Davis has trademarked the phrases “Raise the Brow” and “Fear the Brow.” Davis recently stated, "I don't want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it... Me and my family decided to trademark it because it's very unique." Davis’ appeal comes from his bold commitment to have a straight line of hair adorn his forehead, taking a look that was so 6th Century and bringing it to the bright lights of the NBA.

Charlie Sheen – The Crazy

After CBS stopped the production of Two and a Half Men, Charlie released a series of interviews littered with quotes such as “I’m winning, the scoreboard doesn’t lie. When asked about his substance abuse issues, Charlie replied, “"I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it once you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. It's too much." Every lady likes a little crazy, watch and learn.

Peter Dinklidge – The Myth Breaker (Size Does Not Matter)

Starring as the Imp in HBO’s Game of Thrones, the short man with sharp wit has slept with more woman than you can find in Westeros. It is intellectual capacity that drives this character onward in his quest to shield those he cares from the gilded rage of his Lannister family. It is said nice guys finish last, Peter is proof that smart men finish first.

Clay Matthews – The Flow

The chiseled face of countless sponsors, Clay Matthews hair is the epitome of what every middle school lacrosse player dreams about (and high school, and college). Whether worn long or in a messy bun, his golden locks are a gift from the god’s. For similar hair, I recommend Pantene Pro-Vitamin followed up with a lush volumizing shampoo.

Johnny Depp – The Gypsy

Here is a man who is equally as likely to sleep with your girlfriend as he is to hand you his baby while stealing your wallet. Tattooed, facial haired, and generally heavily made up, Johnny has tried every look on earth and nailed them all. His gift to masculinity is to throw out the rule book, raid the thrift shop, and wear whatever the hell you want.

Bruno Mars – The Michael Jackson X Factor (Without The Creepiness)

Love or hate his music, Bruno has it. His dynamic energy and gyrating hips catapulted him to the forefront of modern pop music. Channeling the King of Pop, Bruno’s quaff hair and retro attire show what you can do with a little elbow grease and enough time in the morning for a full blowout.

James Gandolfini – The Macho

Best known for his role as the Mafia boss Tony Soprano James demonstrated raw appeal of a strong, and often violent man. With 8 on screen whacks and countless assaults, Tony captured the old mantra that might is right. While we do not condone his violent actions, a toned down version of Tony’s aggressive power can certainly rev some engines.

Scott Disick – The Douche

 

Or should it be Lord Disick. A GNC exec who rose to fame while dating Kourtney Kardashian, Scott is the epitome of the modern ass. With an impeccable sense of style and a flair for showing off his arrogance, Scott is a living example of the power of the wealthy douche. In his own words, “You need to understand. I may be a douche to some people, but I actually do run companies. I make a lot of money, and I’m more than capable of supporting myself. I run multiple companies.”

 

 

Right now, the absence of a definitive image of masculine sex appeal may well be the biggest problem facing the United States of America.

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Legends never die. They also don’t arise out of thin air. Instead, legends of old and new are created through powerful techniques of personal branding. When applied to the digital age, these three historical lessons are crucial towards developing your personal brand, and ensuring legendary immortality.

Disclaimer: this article in no way supports the atrocious acts these men have committed to the people of North Korea. Rather, It is an examination of the powerful branding/brainwashing employed by North Korea's royal family that has enabled them to rule by force for over 50 years. 

1. Construct a Narrative

The son of “The Great Leader” Kim ll-sung, Kim Jong-il (KJI for shot, sorry KJP for the similar title) was destined for greatness. According to his official biography, KJI was born in a secret military camp and welcomed to the world by a glorious double rainbow that  stretched across the heavens.

After the light show faded, KJI quickly got to work, learning to walk in just three weeks (typically this takes babies 9-12 months).  In 1982, he assumed the title of “Dear Leader” after he was made a member of the Seventh Supreme People's Assembly. With the aid of the established propaganda machine, the North Korean government began to construct a cult of personality around the Dear Leader’s sensational abilities and intellect.

To cement his image as more than a mere mortal, KJI knew actions spoke louder than words. So he did what any reasonable dictator would, and created a list of accomplishments more absurd than the fake sign language interpreter who was on stage during Nelson Mandela’s funeral service. A consummate sportsman, in 1994 KJI shattered golf’s record books and with 11 holes-in-one shot a total score of 38, take that Tiger.

 2. Implement a Dress Code

Close your eyes and imagine a powerful leader, what are they wearing? Certainly not a beige anorak and blacked out designer sunglasses. Ok, maybe they are wearing badass sunnies. But KJI’s casual parka look was known to North Koreans and foreign diplomats alike. He rocked this look 24-7 / 365. So much so that in 2013, the huge bronze statue in Pyongyang honoring KJI was recast, replacing his previous choice of outerwear with the "threadbare and discoloured parka as a symbol of revolution.” Yes that is a legitimate quote. 

He chose a parka and Steve Jobs a black turtleneck. Thinking outside the box, maybe it’s time for someone to reclaim the Jim Tressel sweater vest?

3. Shoot to Kill: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Mankind’s narcissistic nature evolved long before the selfie stick, and for good reason. Statues, murals, and portraits have long been a tool of personal branding for the well to do. Technology has revolutionized the use of photography, enabling anyone with a smart phone and one arm to shoot, edit, and share a flattering picture.

In older times, leaders relied on manmade statues and structures to immortalize their faces and embellish their accomplishments. Unlike his father’s statues, Kim Jung-un has changed with the times, and embraces photo shoots as tools that allow him to demonstrate the military might and economic prowess of his nation.

Your nation may be the few hundred follows you have Instagram. Regardless, remember this the next time you update your profile picture or choose a more professional look for that Linked In close up… 

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Pictures matter, see below. (Images courtesy of The Telegraph)

Now, how do we get @FearlessLeader on Instagram?

When applied to the digital age, these three historical lessons are crucial towards developing your personal brand, and ensuring legendary immortality.

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It was an atypical Sunday. No coffee, no crumbcake, and certainly no pants.

Sunday marked the first Black Ops street art performance, with eight brave souls ditching their pants and bracing themselves for the scowling winds and awestruck stares of New York City. 

It started with a power hour. As the beer flowed the core temperature rose and pretty soon the apartment looked like an adult film awards after party. At the stroke of noon we went mobile, ten guys, one van.

Huddled in the back of an unmarked industrial van, the music started and the day took off. A dance circle emerged in the crowded and dark trunk alternating between the deep house of Booka Shade and rap anthems like X Gon Give It To Ya. The van skidded to a stop and the doors burst open as the animals were let out of the cage. Strolling down Soho’s sunlight cobblestones, eyes like magnets gravitated to the milky thighs adorned with Ace & Everett’s brightest and most captivating socks.

Leaving Soho, the van headed north towards Grand Central Station.

Emerging at the entrance to the infamous underground, we had our first run in with New York’s finest. The man in blue apprehensively approached the group like a divorced man at a dinner party who just worked up the courage to say hello. “What’s going on here?” Struggling to maintain a straight face while examining the scene, I matter-of-factly replied, “we are showing off our socks,” to which he raised both eyebrows before telling us to carry on.

With the law on our side, we slid down the railings and entered the palatial space. Making a scene and grabbing some Shake Shack sustenance before walking to our final location, Time’s Square. 

Entering the madness, someone dressed as Buzz Lightyear came up to the group, paused, and threw out a Marshawn Lynch crotch grab. Still no sure, but I think he wanted to join us.

Posing with the costumed professionals, we soon became the attraction with women flocking around and questioning us, “how much?” This was the first time many of us had been propositioned, and hopefully not the last. 

It was an atypical Sunday. No coffee, no crumbcake, and certainly no pants.

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Washed, pre-distressed, ripped and destroyed denim is certainly back.  After a few years where the predominant trend in denim was unwashed, dark and slim, the last few seasons have seen a welcome diversity re-enter the fold. Whether one attributes the return of washed out jeans to the 90’s revival that has also seen more than one brand send flannel shirts tied about their models’ waists down the runway, or to the advent of normcore and similarly subversive trends, the take-away is the same.

Like many revivals, today’s washed jeans aren’t quite what Obama wore when he threw out the first pitch.

Instead, they are cut slimmer, more artfully distressed. And unlike the acid and stone washes of yesteryear, today’s jeans are not uniformly faded. They are selectively sanded and torn to mimic years of natural wear and tear. Distressing techniques have come a long way, but as you may have guessed from this article’s title, I’m not here to advocate for washed denim. As great as this new breed of denim is, I’m instead advocating for the old stand-by, a pair of raw jeans you wear, love, and eventually destroy yourself.

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that revels in the inherent imperfections of the world. Under the lens of Wabi Sabi, pre-distressed, hand torn denim lacks imperfection. Because it is done by design, washed denim is perfectly imperfect. These designed jeans lack the entropy and continual evolution of a pair worn from the beginning.

Applying a japanese aesthetic to an article of clothing originally designed for miners in the California Gold Rush of the 19th century at first seems a stretch. But, like so many things Americana, we would not have the durable selvedge denim that is usually sold raw and wears so well were it not for Japan. When American manufacturing and the demand for denim began to ramp up in the 1950s, factories had to replace the traditional shuttle looms on which the densely knit selvedge denim was spun. Japanese manufacturers purchased these shuttle looms from American factories on the cheap, and like their interpretation of Ivy style, began to manufacture high-quality fabrics for use in Americana designs.

The selvedge and raw denim craze in the US began in earnest in 2009 with the workwear boom. Brands like Filson, Barbour, and Red Wing, renowned for their heritage and quality manufacturing, served as an entree into style for many men. These brands stood for something and had a history that was fetishized by many in a way that overshadowed their interest in clothing. Instead of buying a pair of Red Wing work boots for how they looked, you could be said to be investing in quality, supporting American Labor. In retrospect, heritage clothing felt as much like building a collection as it did building a wardrobe. Wearing a pair of selvedge jeans was more about the fades and the quality of manufacturing than it was the style of the jeans. Often worn with a big upturned cuff to show off the distinctive strip of old-loomed selvedge denim, it was a sartorial secret handshake between those in-the-know.

Since the Americana boom, the tell-tale stripe of selvedge has been applied to all manner of pants, from fast-fashion jeans to artisanal trousers. But that doesn’t mean that a pair of “raw” unwashed jeans, that you take the time to break in yourself shouldn’t still form the foundation of a wardrobe. At the beginning of the process they are slightly rigid. But they are also a clean inky blue that lends them a polish and sophistication you don’t often see in a pair of jeans. As they break in and soften they will lighten up slightly, taking on a beautiful hue, neither too dressy nor too casual. In the first few washes, these jeans have a great versatility, sitting as comfortably with a t-shirt and sneakers as a pair of chukkas and a sweater or blazer. As they continue to break down and fade, tear and get patched, they only grow more comfortable and more interesting. Although more casual in nature once they lose the bulk of the original indigo dye, the result is a beautiful silver blue. You have a pair of jeans whose fades and wear patterns reflect the contours of your body. No designer can re-create this work.

Returning to the concept of Wabi Sabi, a pair of unwashed jeans is a beautiful representation of the tag often attributed to the concept: “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. Rather than viewing a pristine pair of jeans as something to be protected, treat them as something to be worn down. Don’t dance around them the way you would your nice clothes, even if you’ve spent as much on a good pair of jeans as you have on anything else in your closet. Wear them to that concert, the big meeting you have, and the drinks afterwards. Run errands, change your light bulbs. Live your life in your jeans. After all, these were pants for miners and laborers. If they could dig for life’s fortune in them, I’m sure they can handle your Saturday night, no matter how wild.

Wear them to that concert, the big meeting you have, and the drinks afterwards. Run errands, change your light bulbs. Live your life in your jeans.

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Katy Perry’s half hour long odyssey, entering on the back of Tiger before departing on a shooting star, garnered 118.5 million viewers this past weekend. This falls just shy of the 120.8 million people worldwide who tuned into the 4th quarter to watch Richard Sherman’s face melt when the Seahawks elected to throw on second and goal. The performance beat out Madonna and MIA in 2012 to be the most watched super bowl halftime show of all time.

When programming reaches that many people, it is worth reflecting on what a performance says about our collective conscious as a nation. The programmers at NBC and Pepsi, the presenting partners, faced the unique challenge of assembling a show that would work for the whole country, regardless of age, color, or creed. Perhaps this is an impossible task, resulting in sort of sterile, safety first spectacle.

It is impossible to discuss the Super Bowl Halftime show without mentioning Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s performance in 2004. Like a stone dropped in the center of a pond, that infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ sent a ripple through popular culture, coining a new phrase, and changing the way we program and digest live entertainment.

Justin Timberlake’s star was well and truly on the rise in 2004. Riding high on the release of “Justified”, his first solo album, Justin Timberlake and his producer Timbaland had created a RnB/Pop template that would be copied ceaselessly over the next decade. More importantly though, Justin Timberlake had broken out from the confines of N’Sync and boy band celebrity to be a bona fide star in his own light. Having played the same stage in 2001 as a member of N’Sync alongside Britney Spears and Aerosmith, returning to the Super Bowl as the headliner was a sort of debutante’s ball. The biggest performance of the year, performing alongside Janet Jackson, a member of Pop royalty, confirmed his celebrity.

It is telling that in 2005, the first year post nip-slip, the programmers of the Half time show elected to book Paul McCartney, a living legend, but about as vanilla a pick as you could possibly make. The frontman of The Beatles, no one complained that Paul McCartney played, he was an unimpeachable choice. But a new paradigm had been set. The rest of the decade saw a slew of classic rock gods, no doubt appealing to Football’s fratty center, but also safe, defensible picks for the programmers. To point, after Paul McCartney, we watched: The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who. So scarred by Janet Jackson’s nipple ring, it wasn’t until The Black Eyed Peas performed in 2011 that we even saw a woman grace the stage as anything other than a supporting dancer.

Madonna performed in 2012, but despite her efforts to stay forever young, she looks more like a mom on her one night a month out than the next big thing in pop culture. We watched Beyonce and a Destiny’s Child reunion in 2013, but that still traded on our generation’s nostalgia.

The half time show had become deeply entrenched: it was no longer a stage for the zeitgeist of pop culture. No longer announcing what was next, who was big now. Instead it became a stage for Hall of Fame inductees, or for aging stars to launch a come back. Even Bruno Mars in 2014, by all accounts a big star today, gave off a throwback vibe. A crooner from a bygone era, upstaged by the brash energy of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. One could even argue that Flea’s unclad torso was the most skin we saw at Half-Time for almost a decade.

2015 was meant to herald a return of Pop Culture. Katy Perry was the headliner, our nation’s self-professed teenage dream, so hot she could melt our popsicles. To be fair, she did come out on fire, literally. In a Jeremy Scott inspired dress of flames, atop a lion, it quickly became clear that the Super Bowl’s programmers were still thinking safety first. The fact that Lenny Kravitz’ head-to-toe Saint Laurent outfit was more revealing than anything Katy Perry wore speaks volumes. Her performance took on a sort of caricature, surrounded by palm trees with faces and plush dancing sharks. This wasn’t Pop Culture, it was a desexualized, sterile performance capped off by Missy Elliot coming out as the surprise guest.

When Katy Perry departed the stage on a shooting star, it wasn’t the career defining zenith she and her team may have intended. As with the rest of the show, it confirmed that production and spectacle take place over performance. The show would have been the same with or without Katy Perry. But hey, at least we found out in the aftermath that the dancing shark who forgot his routine is actually a hot dude. That’s something, right?

 

Katy Perry’s half time odyssey garnered 118.5M viewers. When programming reaches that many people, it is worth reflecting on what a performance says about our collective conscious as a nation.

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Kanye West is pop culture’s favorite villain. Odds are pretty good that in the last couple of weeks, you’ve read a few of his quotes. After Beck won the Grammy for the year’s best album, Kanye walked up to the stage, in pantomime of his famous interruption at the VMAs a few years ago. Never one to let the media put words in his mouth, he explained his actions as a form of protest over a perceived snub of Beyonce in an interview with E! after the show.

While one could debate the merits of Kanye West’s statements about industry awards, racial bias, and any number of other readings that could be laid on top of his statements, let’s instead fast forward a few weeks to New York Fashion Week and Kanye’s debut collection in collaboration with Adidas.

Because Kanye West does not want to be pigeon-holed as a rapper. Just as he didn’t want to be confined to producing other people's hits before he recorded The College Dropout. Kanye has long sought a broader influence in our culture, and one of his preferred outlets is as a designer of clothing.

His success in the highly closed off world of fashion has been mixed. He can count two highly successful collaborations with french favorites APC, and of course his two highly coveted sneakers done in partnership with Nike as wins. But two ready-to-wear lines in Paris in 2011/2012 were met with tepid reviews.

After signing a monster deal with Adidas, the hype has been steadily building to see what Kanye would show with greater creative freedom and the technical and infrastructural backing of a giant. The results were mixed, a collection of technical athletic clothing that leans beyond the gym. Sweats done in a largely neutral palette that didn’t exactly push the boundaries of fashion. It is clothing that can be found with a little variation, executed with a clearer vision by Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, and John Elliot, a first-timer at NYFW but certainly one of the week’s biggest winners. The sneakers were better received, but then again this is Kanye and highly-lusted after exclusive kicks come as naturally to the man as controversy and platinum albums.

If the collection was slightly unremarkable, the way he framed his collaboration with Adidas is worth a deeper look. In an interview with i-d, Kanye is quoted as saying:

"I thought it was something really new to have this Adidas collaboration where Adidas sort of positioned themselves as an LVMH or a Kering group, and supported me as a creative. It was more about using their resources and their technology than it was about using their logo.”

Name checked by Kanye West, Kering offers a great example of being an incubator of creative talent. After hiring Hedi Slimane to revamp the YSL house a few years back, the line has grown to be one of Kering’s most profitable. The control afforded to Slimane is pretty remarkable, he shoots all of the brand’s ads himself, and has changed the name of the collection from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris. Far from being dependent upon the YSL logo, he has in fact redesigned it.

Nike, Kanye West’s former bed-fellow has become another model in the power of collaboration. Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment Design has long been a collaborator with Nike. His work for the swoosh ranges from subtly branded Jordans and classic trainers done in wearable palettes to working with Tinker Hatfield, a true legend, on Nike’s HTM line. The clothing coming from Nike’s HTM line, like the recently released free mercurial, successfully mashes up the best technology from various Nike silo’s into silhouettes that make sense for day to day life.

The future of collaboration is not a unique colorway and two logos separated by an X. It is a generative sharing of perspectives and resources that allows brands to be reimagined and technologies to be applied beyond their initial utility. West’s initial collection with Adidas may have fallen short of his lofty ambitions. But as with many things Kanye West, while his approximation of himself may be exaggerated, the sentiment he expresses is timely and culturally relevant.



Kanye West has had a busy few weeks, from Grammy drama to a debut collection with Adidas. Beyond the clothing, his partnership points towards the future shape of collaborations.

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House of Cards, the most maniacal, powerful, and downright diabolical show on the planet. Centered around the Macbeth inspired character of Frank Underwood; the viewer gets to meet a man who knows what he wants, and stops at nothing to achieve it, isn’t that right Zoe?

In just three seasons Frank has captured America's heart, along the way reinterpreting our cultural norms and making the following 5 sins cool again.

1. White Undershirts

Frank Underwood makes old man style look boss. Whether he’s rocking boxy navy suits, white undershirts, or presumably tighty whities, he’s the most powerful man in the earth without a good tailor. I digress, it comes down to what lies beneath, a 100% cotton, fruit of the loom, vanilla white undershirt. The type both your geometry teacher and the guy in an Escalade with a Bluetooth wear as a status symbol. 

2. Adultery

Well, cats out of the bag, the Underwoods aren’t exactly “monogamous.” Frank, for all his personal control in the realm of politics, is an animal in the sack. Dirty pics, check, a mistress 1/3 his age, check, dropping unbelievable lines immediately after finishing? “Everything in life is about sex, except for sex, sex is about power,” CHECK. The weirdest thing about all Underwoods' adulterous sex is that it serves to strengthen the bonds between these two odd creatures, a not so subtle commentary on the modern American view that monogamy is essential to meaningful relationships. Paging Mr. Meechum…

3. Murder

And so it goes. In a gruesome extrapolation of the American dream, Frank will stop at NOTHING to amass power. Peter Russo, Zoe, and a number of soon to be identified bodies since I haven’t finished season 3, whoever it is, Frank just does not give a fuck. His goals are paramount to the rest of human existence, as a self-reliant man who relentlessly pursues his American dream, his flaws fade in the face of his achievements.

4. Cigs

Understood, cigarettes are terrible for your health. Statistical fact, cigarettes contribute to over 443,000 deaths per year. Social fact, they can be pretty cool. Frank and Claire’s windowsill cigarette sharing is a modern day re-enactment of Lady and the Tramp locking lips mid spaghetti and meatballs. When the world is crashing down around them, they find comfort in each other, and the old familiar taste of tobacco.

5. Lobbying

A dirtbag profession you say?!? Let’s look at Remy Danton, ok, maybe he is a dirtbag. Tall, dark, and undeniably handsome, his sharp suites are only exceeded by his intellect. Slap on a six pack you could dine off and why do people want to be investment bankers? A magnificent foil to Frank, Remy’s position includes the same political intrigue with the added perks of loose regulation and bottomless checkbooks.

The touch of humanity lining the Underwood's ice cold souls makes Frank and Claire just believable enough to capture your interest and never let it go. Hopefully the same can’t be said for the items listed above.

In just three seasons the Underwoods have captured America's heart, along the way reinterpreting our cultural norms and making the following 5 sins cool again.  

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Ducking out of the heavy Greenwich Village snow storm this winter, I entered the warm coziness that can only mean one thing, caffeine. Already toasty in Caffe Regio was 23 year old Erick Urgiles, better known as Erick Hercules. His trimly cut charcoal overcoat sat atop a crisp white shirt punctuated with a forest green tie.

Born in Ecuador, Erick knows his way around coffee. With a body that responds to coffee like most to water, Erick strongly suggested the expresso. Two cappuccinos arrived in short time as Erick described coming to the United States at age eight to pursue music. By twelve he was singing professionally in the likes of Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Lincoln Center.

At eighteen Erick and a high school friend started their own clothing brand. He purchased a camera for company shots and has yet to put it down. Like many Instagrammers, Erick began his foray into photography with an Iphone and was quick to stress that “it is all about the creativity, not the latest technology or the best camera.” A common critique of talented photographers is that their art is a product of expensive equipment transforming ordinary images into masterpieces. Yet to this day, nearly half of Erick’s work is shot with his phone while darting around the city and can be identified with the tag #bringtheiphoneback. “I don’t plan to shoot evert, I capture shots moving from point A to point B.”

So, who is Erick Hercules? “I’m just an artist who wants to create something people haven’t seen before. I want to show people what is possible. Growing up, my mom would take me to music shows, pointing out the first chair of the orchestra and telling me, you can do that.” Erick’s belief in the possible lead to a fascination with the surreal, “I want to find loopholes within art and see what can be accomplished.” Well on his way, in addition to #bringtheiphoneback Erick has played a large part in bringing #puddlegrams to the forefront of Instagram. With an innovative style, Erick’s shots also focus on motion. He wants to drive the viewer to step back and ask, “What the fuck?” When a subject is captured with his levitation style, he wants you to wonder, what happened before the jump, and what happened after?

What keeps you up at night? Figuring out how to make my dreams a reality and contemplating new ideas to advance my art. If you’re going to make art, why not take some time to make great art?

If you were the mayor of NYC for one day, what would you change? I would stress more public funding for art. It is scientifically proven that creativity courses help you develop as a person. Some people are meant to be creatives.

Have you seen the Harry Potter movies? Yes What would your patronus be? A wolf, I like to just look from afar and observe, to think before entering a situation.

It’s Friday night and you haven’t eaten a lick, where to? Easy, Bear Burger, eating a Supreme burger. Medium rare, topped with thick cut Canadian bacon, onion rings, and house special sauce.

Where is the last place you’d like to travel?  Not hating anyone who lives in remote areas, but I think the last place would be Kentucky, what’s there?

Your levitation shots are enchanting, do you believe in magic? No, but as a magician produces the illusion of magic, so can a photographer create surreal images of reality.

Marry, Fuck, Kill: Zoe Barnes, Claire Underwood, Rachel Posner (Doug Stamper’s old flame).

Fuck Zoe, marry Claire, kill Rachel.

How would you deal with ISIS? Levitate them to hell.

So, who is Erick Hercules? “I’m just an artist who wants to create something people haven’t seen before. I want to show people what is possible."

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Step 1, Nail the Detail

A strong marriage is held together at the seams. Start off right with your favorite shoes, a custom suit, and a pair of socks to warm up those cold feet. 

We've worked with handfuls of grooms & groomsmen to find the perfect sock for their wedding day. After all, when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you marry well. Shoot a note to details@aceandeverett.com to learn more!

Step 2, Zip Up

Step 3, Find a Beauty

 Step 4, Seal the Deal

Step 5, Turnup

A very warm thank you to Lauren and Paul for including us in their special day! All images compliments of Charmi Pena Photography

A strong marriage is held together at the seams. Start off right with your favorite shoes, a custom suit, and a pair of socks to help with those cold feet. 

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Hello, my name is Scott and I'm from Los Angeles, CA.

Why photograph? I've always been a creative person and photography is one of many outlets for me. I notice things use the tools I have to translate them and share with people. 

 

Who are you away from the lens? I'm riding my bike anywhere or hanging out with friends. I have friends who are heavily involved in the music scene and it's cool to watch them do their thing. LA is pretty big but once you meet the right people you see how small it really is and how everything is connected.

Favorite LA neighborhood to shoot? Downtown or Venice. Maybe Venice more just cause it's closer to the beach and you have the skatepark. The vibes there are wild.


Describe your dream shoot? I never like to plan things out. I like letting things happen organically. I don't have a dream shoot per say, but I would like to travel more. It would be cool to go back to NY and visit people or just to see the world in general. I'd really like to visit Asia, specifically Cambodia to see their ancient temples. Ta Prohm is probably my favorite temple but there are so many amazing architectural wonders out there. If it's ancient and has history, I want to see it. 

How does your work influence your art? I freelance as a photographer, but I'm also a printmaker. Photography is cool but I love seeing what media I can display it on. I've printed on paper and vinyl, but I want to print on metal eventually, or even wood. It's expensive and I only have so much equipment so I can't quite do it yet. But I'm patient. I have a feeling I'll eventually meet the right person who can help me out.
 
 
If you could shoot one female model, who would it be? I would hang with @swopes. She's a babe. But on the low I also like her work a lot. I've never met her or ever talked to her but she's successful for a reason. My mentor always says, "If you want to be a superstar online you gotta be a superstar in real life," and I think that maybe that's what she is. Her work speaks for itself, for sure.
 

Lakers or Clippers? C'mon really, bro? Lakers all day. We're not what we used to be but you gotta back your team through the good and the bad. That's what makes you a real fan.

Who are your favorite photographers? My favorite photographer right now is probably Eli Reed. He's well known but his shots are iconic, not the commercial ones, his personal ones. There are quite a few others I really like. Humza Deas is dope. We've never met in real life but we text every now and then. The kid has a good head on his shoulders and I admire that he's passionate about his city. I'm the same way about LA. Another favorite photographer is my buddy Chris aka @jetjaguar. His shots are insane.

He's got this one shot of a gang member looking all hard holding a shotgun, but in his other hand he's holding his daughter. I thought it was great because it shows that even though this dude might be involved in some sketchy shit he's still a dad at the end of the day, he's still a provider, he's just like you and me - just trying to get by. It's very human.

What is the favorite photo you have taken? My very first post. It's a pic of a dude with his skateboard looking back at the city skyline. I like it because I'm a dreamer and I like going after what I want. And that's what I tried to capture. Here's a dude looking at the thing that he wants. It's within arms reach and all he has to do is grab it. It's there. Whatever it is you want, I hope when people see it they feel some sort of way and can think. hey that's me!

 
 
What do you want viewers to take away from your work? I hope people fall in love with LA. I think for the most part people romanticize big cities with huge skyscrapers, but we're not that. I see so many people here only shoot downtown and it's like yo we have so much more to offer. We have the beach, we have the mountains, we have the valleys, we have the best tacos in the country, the hottest girls, and the best weather. Shit, even Jay-Z and Beyonce moved here. Why would you want to be anywhere else? 
 

"If you want to be a superstar online, you gotta be a superstar in real life."

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Fresh off a championship season with the New York Lizards, this fall we teamed up with lacrosse legend Rob Pannell for a dynamic editorial shot by Erick Hercules.

Rob: “I have done a few different types of photo shoots, but this one with Sage and Erick combined a different type of creativity, combining action and fashion, and bringing it to life with the landscape of NYC.”

Sharing beers in the Lower East Side, a collaboration was born to incorporate Rob’s powerful movements into a showcase for the release of Ace & Everett’s new collection.

Rob: "When first being introduced to Ace & Everett socks, I was intrigued by their unique patterns and colorways, along with the detail that went into designing and making each pair."

Pannell plays lacrosse with passion, beautifully executing aggressive moves to the cage with skill and grace. We wanted that same energy to shine in our shoot.

Incorporating New York City’s architecture and unique style, the collection is a fresh look at the geometric patterns seen in NYC’s urban design, subway paths, and iconic skyline.

Building on Rob’s recent transition from athlete to entrepreneur, this is the next step in Rob’s plan to build out his own brand that currently consists of equipment, shirts, and bucket hats. Rob has an eye for detail honed over years of training and peak athletic performance.

Rob: “One way in which I have been trying to develop my personal brand is through fashion. In meeting Sage and seeing the quality of product they had come up with at Ace & Everett, it was a natural fit with my brand and partnering with them to showcase my love for both lacrosse and fashion.”

Fresh off a championship season with the New York Lizards, this fall we teamed up with lacrosse legend Rob Pannell for a dynamic editorial shot by Erick Hercules.

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