Writing, reviews, interviews, shop.

Posts by A. Frankel

Field Trip: Berkeley Supply Co. in Denver, CO.

Posted on January 13, 2014

Every December for the past 7 years, I’ve made the pilgrimage to Steamboat Springs, CO. for some winter sports action. I like Steamboat a lot; it’s casual all of the time (read: don’t have to wear a fur coat to fit in), the mountain isn’t as miserably crowded as others, and the town has a great homey feel that some of the other ski towns lack. Every year we fly into Denver and make the 3-4 hour drive into the mountains. Every year we make the 3-4 hour drive back to Denver and fly out. I have distant family that lives in Denver and I never visit them because I’m an asshole and I really should make more time for them. This trip I…

A Recap of 2013

Posted on January 7, 2014

Happy New Year! 2013 was another big year for us here at The American Classic. We celebrated yet another birthday and couldn’t be happier to be around to see another New Year as well. We like to do a little number crunching annually to gauge how we did and where we’d like to go in the upcoming year. This helps us stay on top of what we’re doing by reminding ourselves of what kinds of articles do the best here. In 2013 we visited 12 shops, shot 10 separate brands, released several new creative writing series, released a new video promoting upcoming works, released two seasonal playlists, and traveled to 5 different cities for coverage. Our viewership is up 150% from 2012 which was…

Jeffrey George Co. Shirts

Posted on December 20, 2013


I live in Santa Monica, CA. which means that the weather is amazing almost all of the time. While you chumps were out shoveling snow, my friend Wes and I were out shooting shirts for Jeffrey George Co. in perfect 75 degree weather. We went to a park near where I live which was jammed with primarily families as well as a pretty massive group of geriatric residents doing tai chi. Santa Monica is home to many different walks of life but predominantly families as well as elderly folks. I do a lot of photo shoots in my neighborhood; it’s a beautiful place. Every time I do, I get a lot of weird looks and a lot of people asking questions. When we shot the Battle Royale of the American Made Shirt in 2012, I was asked no less than 10 times if we were shooting for GQ. Flattering, yes of course but it got the models in a weird mood and suddenly it felt like we had to put on a show of making this a “fashion photo shoot”. I went to 7-11 before we met and grabbed an Arizona Iced Green Tea and shoved it in a paper bag. No one will ask you questions when you’re carrying a tall can in a paper bag. Thusly, we had a very peaceful photo shoot. I had Wes jump in a shopping cart we found just for fun and a homeless man passed us (you can see him in the photo). He didn’t even bat an eye. Perfect camouflage.

Jeffrey George is a young company designing mens shirts and neckwear. Like most companies, this is a great starting point because there are many manufacturers based in the US specializing in these products and they’re quick sells to get a brand off the ground. Everyone needs shirts. I find that just when I think I’ve got enough and won’t be needing any more, something happens (read: life) and I have to replace one or get another for some sort of event. We reviewed two shirts for Jeffrey George: their standard Blue Oxford shirt featuring Japanese oxford cloth and their denim shirt featuring a very lightweight denim, almost like chambray. Click here to read the review and view the photos.


Field Trip: East & West

Posted on December 16, 2013

I had been hearing about East & West in St. Louis for a while; being from the area and still having a few friends there, they’d always tell me how I had to visit the shop next time I was in town. I went a year without going back to St. Louis so when I did around Thanksgiving, I made damn sure to check the place out. Brian Simpson runs an incredible shop, which is actually located in the Kirkwood neighborhood, just a little south and west of the city. I was blown away to find out that he carries brands like Rogue Territory, 3sixteen, Teranishi Brand, Apolis, and more. Not only are these all brands we’re huge fans of but any top level…

Field Trip: Blueprint Coffee

Posted on December 9, 2013

I worked in the specialty coffee industry for quite a long time and to finally have an article about a shop, especially one to which I have several connections, is pretty cool for me. I was visiting family in St. Louis over the Thanksgiving holiday and got the chance to visit Blueprint Coffee which was started by my friend and former bandmate Mike Marquard along with several other folks we knew from Kaldi’s Coffee and elsewhere. There’s been an influx of new coffee companies in St. Louis over the past few years; when I was getting my start, I worked for Kaldi’s and at the time they were the only show in town. Most of the new shops are fantastic and do a great job…

The Standard Relay: Outlaw Fasteners, Skinth Solutions, TCM Visits Red Wing, Secret Forts’ Fall Three, and more.

Posted on November 12, 2013

Outlaw Fasteners Reinventing hardware, one screw at a time I’m gonna’ level with you, I don’t install many nails/screws/fasteners in my day to day life. The times I do use them, I frequently wish that my drill had more torque or that I didn’t have to pre-drill holes. Maybe the drill shakes or the damn bit keeps stripping the screws (see first issue). Any way you look at it. Ye’ old Phillips head is a bit dated; enter Outlaw Fasteners who just raised over $109k on Kickstarter to kick screwings ass with 18 points of contact. Click on through for more info. Skinth Solutions For carrying the important stuff Skinth has taken everything that’s awesome about military spec equipment and turned it into a…

Field Trip: Almond Surfboards

Posted on November 6, 2013

I took a trip down to Newport Beach, CA. to visit Almond Surfboards, nestled on the north side of Newport Bay. Moving to California has provided me with the insight that whether or not you surf, you know someone here who does and by proxy you’ll become extremely familiar with a host of brands and their product lineups that you never even knew existed before. I can’t remember specifically where or when I had heard of these guys but was thrilled when their email popped up in my inbox. The shop itself is a beautiful space, reflecting the hard work and perseverance of a brand founded by a few young guys with a dream. Everything had a story, from the way products were displayed…


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