Writing, reviews, interviews, photography.

Posts from the “Announcements” Category

In The New Year

Posted on January 20, 2018

In The New Year

Updates and Future Thoughts

Hello! Long time no talk. I hope things have been well with you and that 2018 is off to a great start. It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here so I thought I’d come back and do a little bit of writing as a creative exercise. I have a few articles in the hopper, a few more in development, so I’m excited to share things as they get finished. No schedules, no timelines. Everything’s going to be released organically.


I started The American Classic as a Tumblr page in 2008 (10 years ago!) focusing on menswear and motorcycles, two things I knew little about but knew the style I liked so just started reblogging other people which is what Tumblr was really great for. After about a year I wanted to start doing my own photography and focus on writing so I migrated things over here to WordPress which is arguably a better platform for the combination of the two. Things went pretty well and WordPress’ discoverability features helped grow my audience and attract more brands to be interested in having me write about their products.

After moving to Los Angeles in 2012, I found that it was much harder to go out and shoot shops like I had been when living in Philadelphia. The stores in LA weren’t as interested in write-ups and frankly most of them had the same products or brands or just generally were at a price point that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about. I’ll touch more on that in a later post but I started focusing more on brand specific work here which worked well for a while. Then I started getting hired to work on brand stuff for creative firms and ad agencies. My policy was always “paying jobs come first” and eventually that took over completely and left The American Classic at a standstill around mid-2016.


Something I’ve always enjoyed is travel writing and photography. I had the opportunity to go to Cuba for pleasure and then for a magazine which you can read all about in the previous post here. Subsequently I went to Japan, Singapore, and Bangkok, the photos from which are live on my portfolio but I’ve never had a good chance to write about the trip. That will come here soon. A few other upcoming posts include a maker or two here in LA I’d like to highlight, some thoughts on philosophy behind film photography in a digital world, a bit of travel writing, and further thoughts on Made in USA and small businesses focused on menswear as it stands today.


Thanks for reading, thanks for sticking around, and hopefully you’ll like the things you see in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, you can view our somewhat neglected Instagram here, my portfolio here, my Instagram here, and Steve’s portfolio here.

Advertisements

A Recap of 2014

Posted on December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to you from The American Classic. Around this time of year we typically spend a lot of time in Missouri, Colorado, and Pennsylvania; this year we’re keeping it St. Louis exclusive while returning home to Los Angeles just in time for the new year. Given my location, I have an inordinate amount of time to work on our annual report so hopefully this one will be as insightful for you all as it is for me. This year has been an interesting one for us. We’ve been absolutely slammed working on some very cool projects with very cool creative companies around the country leaving us the least amount of spare time to work on The American Classic since we started measuring our analytics in 2010. We’ve steadily reduced our features on this site by an average of 14 articles year-after-year for the past four years; this is somewhat intentional and somewhat just a product of focusing our collective attention on a lot of projects all at once. In 2012, I refocused all of our effort on “quality, not quantity” for 2013 and that year we trimmed the fat by 53%, losing unnecessary and somewhat forced article series designed to be low effort grabs at gaining followers. In 2013 alone, we had more visitors, views, and new followers than all of the previous years combined. Less content, better content, more engagement. This was incredible. Everything we hoped to gain out of cutting our publication worked perfectly and we were happier, being able to generate 100% of our own creative. We stopped using content from other providers, focusing solely on creating our own stuff for use on our own site. This decision alone cost us at least 10 articles that year, the remainder of missing articles made up entirely by ones we consciously chose to cut.

This year The American Classic featured 7 individual brands with an unprecedented average of 3 items featured per brand. We featured 6 different shops in 4 different states and visited at lest two dozen more than what you see here. Looking in to 2015, we already have 6 articles written in-full, just needing the photographic content to piece the whole thing together. As I write this, there are still one or two articles set to release in 2014 before the year is up and we’re looking forward to seeing those close out our year.

Our Instagram account had insane growth this year, thanks in large part to the kind dudes over at Snake Oil Provisions. The two photos I shot of them this year alone make up our most popular photos on Instagram since we started our account. We more than doubled our following this year, which comes on the tail of 500% growth in 2013, which I’m very proud of. While this site is our bread and butter, I’m happy to see such exponential growth in another medium for us.

2014 was a year that took a little more re-tooling and re-focusing. I upgraded all of my camera equipment which yielded some amazing photos but also left me shooting on outside projects so much of the time. This is great for my professional life and terrible for The American Classic. The mantra for 2013 was “trim the fat; quality over quantity”. The mantra for 2014 was “maintain” which we certainly could have done a better job of. Our mantra for 2015 is “growth while maintaining quality” and we’re excited to get started on some new programming in the early days of 2015. Be sure to click through all of the images below to see the articles or images on Instagram. Without further ado, here’s our top lists for 2014.

Our Top Posts of 2014:

alfred_lane_masthead1

sop_masthead

foodshop_titlecard1

berkeley_supply_masthead

boldfood_masthead-01

Our Top Instagram Photos of 2014:

Snake Oil Provisions in an alley. Long Beach, CA.

1168490_446536368781994_1578036044_n

Snake Oil Provisions in front of their shop. Long Beach, CA.

10598218_270118889853591_1571390484_n

Ray & Charles Eames Case Study House. Pacific Palisades, CA.

992172a6a7b311e3963d0eddec20ee24_8

Red Wing Iron Rangers at Lambert International Airport. St. Louis, MO.

10467716_1438196116449766_1558961990_n

Red Wing Iron Rangers in a field. Montgomery, AL.

10467716_1438196116449766_1558961990_n

Fi3 Santa Monica

Posted on July 7, 2014

10440200_147611315409447_1792554873101811697_n

I’ve been super fortunate to have made some new friends over the past few weeks. They’re putting on a really awesome event in Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport this week featuring a shop collection curated by our favorite LA-transplant, Wittmore, and a speaker series including a number of names that you’ve definitely heard of (Sonja Rasula from Unique USA, Davide Berruto from Shelter Half, Stuart Ramsey of Krochet Kids, and our friend Tristan Pollack from Storefront to name a few). The opening event features food trucks, plenty of booze, and live music. We’ll be there and hope to see you there, too!

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 up an enormous 536% from 2011. Our Instagram account alone increased it’s following by a solid 500% this year which really makes us proud given that our account was created by accident after Rogue Territory errantly tagged us. We added Leslie Zacharkow to the team, a talented developer and designer working with us on a few different projects. All of this means progress for us and we’re really happy to be here doing it. As we said this time last year, there will be plenty of new programming this year and lots of features that will take us more in-depth with brands. Be looking for updates to how the site looks and feels and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or just want to say hello. Here’s to another year!

Our Top Posts of 2013:




Summer Preview 2013

Posted on July 2, 2013

[vimeo 69526494 w=1200&h=500]

Over the past month I’ve been shooting our Summer 2013 preview to relay some of the awesome stuff we’re releasing coming up later this season. As the weather’s gotten warmer we’ve steadily moved into full summer mode, frequently serving watermelon, drinking hoppy IPAs, and spending plenty of quality time outdoors. We’ll be traveling a bit of the Californian coastline and heading back east for a few visits and are excited to share those trips with you. This summer will see our first review of products made for the home. Meriwether Field Gear is an amazing shop in Montana that makes some really great wooden home goods that we’re excited to showcase as well as the continuation of our usual Weekend Adventures posts, a few shop visits, and the release of our second playlist (here’s the first in case you missed it). Stay tuned.

NorthernGRADE Los Angeles Is Coming

Posted on March 15, 2013

I was hanging out with our pal Karl Thoennessen from Rogue Territory last night and he mentioned that NorthenGRADE, the menswear-centric pop-up shop located frequently between Chicago and Minneapolis (though recently moving around a bit), was coming to our fair city. Wouldn’t you know it? He was right. The show carries on here in sunny Los Angeles, CA. and oh-so soon. If you’re in the area, this is probably your best bet in the next year (at least) to see anything like this happening in LA so I highly recommend going out. Brand list and info posted in the image above, abridged version below. Real deal details here.

NorthernGRADE Los Angeles

April 6 & 7

821 E. 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA. 90013