I reached out to the fellas over at Snake Oil Provisions in January about doing a writeup. I had seen their online shop, their insanely rabid Instagram following, and knew a brick and mortar store was in the works so we met in Long Beach near their current HQ for coffee and chatted all things menswear. Josh and Ben are some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and I mean that sincerely. We meet a lot of shop owners, brand owners, and dudes that are just generally stoked on menswear but rarely do I meet a pair of guys so easy to talk to and so genuinely friendly. Josh comes from an ad industry background and Ben has spent most of his life in retail, most recently at Unionmade, so right off the bat we had quite a bit in common. Their shop wasn’t ready for shooting so we waited for a few months until they were open and ready to go for me to come back down and shoot their shop. SOP is in a quiet stretch of Long Beach near Syndicate Barber Shop and a few other small retail stores which gives them a little pocket of semi-urban walkability with plenty of local flavor. Their web shop boasts quite a large number of products and their storefront, though small, certainly shows them off very well. They were still putting the finishing touches on the shop itself when I visited but it still had a homey, warm feel with plenty of great decor. Something about the high white ceilings and flat woven rugs makes you want to hang out in the space and chat menswear all day. Their brand list right now includes Rogue Territory, Apolis, Red Wing, Filson, Shinola, Teranishi Brand, White’s Boots, Ruell & Ray, AnonymousIsm, Schott, and many more. I picked up one of Rogue Territory’s new indigo dyed jumpers while I was there and have thus far been super thrilled. They consider as Rogue Territory to be one of their flagship brands so expect to see a good offering if you intend to visit. I sent over a few questions for the dudes; here are their responses. Click here to view the full article and interview.
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 of curating a diverse coffee offering along with creating a pleasing atmosphere in which to enjoy said coffee. Blueprint, in my opinion, does this the best of all of the new shops and they roast their own coffee which gives them a massive leg up in the branding department. Some of the best coffee shops in the world sell other roasters beans but there’s something special about the shop/roaster combo that buries its way into people’s hearts. Blueprint’s clean aesthetic reminds me of some of the great shops around the country (Four Barrel, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, etc.) while pulling a color palette and geometric accents that are uniquely their own. Click here to view all images and read the interview.
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 to the designs on the t-shirts and the art on the walls. Nothing was thrown up without care or a reason which is impressive; I’ve visited plenty of shops (most of which never made it on this site) where trinkets and props make up the majority of the space and nothing holds true value for the customer rather than the limited, precious items they have for sale. Not only does Almond maximize the small space they’re working with to display their famed surfboards perfectly but their retail display of men’s clothing shares the stage wonderfully. Even being a non-surfer, visiting this shop is completely worth it for any guy looking for some California inspired wear without feeling like a beach rat. Click here to view the rest of the article and photos.
Unless you’ve been living without the internet on a backwoods Alaskan retreat for the last eight months, chances are you’ve heard of the relatively new Svbscription service from the folks that brought you Portable. In case you haven’t, Svbscription is a luxury curated subscription service for men, released quarterly and based on a one-word theme. The items in the parcel below were curated around the theme of Study, and included an aluminum fountain pen by German manufacturer Kaweco, a suede folio by designer Loden Dager, a copy of the The Yips by author Nicola Barker, and finally two fragrances from Le Labo with a custom engraved metal travel tube. I haven’t been so excited to receive something in a long time, and regularly harassed the mailman until I finally saw a package with that familiar tape. I did my best to open everything slowly and really take it in, but sometimes your enthusiasm gets the best of you. Svbscription curates very high end designer items and custom collaborations, and it is very very likely that you will be receiving something that only a few hundred people in the world own.
The third incarnation, based around the theme of ‘Leisure’ is anticipated to be their best parcel to date, and is set to be released in the beginning of December. Earlier this month, we sat down with Andrew Apostola: co-founder and creative director for Portable, CEO of Svbscription, and probably one of the most down to earth guys in the industry. We decided to present the interview in it’s entirety, discussing topics from the subscription service model, retail in the Web 2.0 era, and what it takes to redesign aging retail models and connect the designer more directly with the consumer.
Would you like to win one of five limited-edition parcels co-curated with Brooklyn Magazine? Details at the bottom of the article!