All posts in “style”

Panerai Luminor Due Collection Gets Its Newest Member

Do you love Panerai watches? Some do — the design, at least. The size, though? Not so much. Some prefer smaller case sizes, and Panerai has large ones. Which is why its Luminor Due collection is an irresistible anomaly to the watchmaker’s roster of fantastic timepieces.

In sizes like 38mm and 42mm, the watches come in a refined shape that doesn’t get rid of Panerai’s signature case and watch aesthetic. Consider them the same excellent Panerai timepieces but now in sizes friendlier to more petite wrists. Each watch in this collection boasts an in-house movement, titanium, steel, or Goldtech cases, and quick-release straps.

The Luminor Due collection features a water resistance rating of 30m, which should perhaps come as no surprise. After all, the brand has a history of tough, robust military dive watches. These are beautiful and ductile watches, in other words. You also get three days worth of power reserve plus a seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock.

If you find that none of these still appeal to you, don’t fret. The luxury brand seems like it will keep making just about any variation to please wrists of all shapes and forms. For those utterly in love with the Panerai aesthetic but were simply waiting for the company to output smaller variants, this is your time.

Prices for the new Luminor Due collection hover between $6,000 up to an upwards of $20,500 for the most expensive model. Make sure to check back with Men’s Gear for more updates as the Italian watchmaker announces more releases.

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The MSO Luggage Collection Fits And Matches Your McLaren GT

When you’re one of the privileged few who can afford to buy a McLaren supercar, money should not be a problem. In fact, there is a likelihood that you’re already wondering what to buy next to go with your fancy ride. As always, Men’s Gear is ready to help you spend your cash on most awesome stuff out there. Thus, we recommend that you upgrade your travel gear to match your snazzy new ride. If by chance you are the new owner of a McLaren GT, the MSO luggage collection is the perfect match for your grand tourer.

This is a common dilemma for those who have supercars. Since these exotic machines are designed to maximize speed, performance, comfort, and luxury, cargo space is somewhat limited. Of course, people who have the money to buy a McLaren will just scoff at this minor inconvenience.

However, being able to bring some stuff along for the ride is more practical. This bespoke collection features four pieces of luggage. A ($2,500) weekend bag, a ($6,800) golf bag, a ($3,800) cabin bag, and a($2,300) garment case. Overall, you’re looking at a jaw-dropping total of $15,400 for a complete set.

Other than the exceptional craftsmanship and quality of materials, McLaren claims that these will maximize space. Each of the pieces in the MSO luggage collection will exactly fit into certain spaces within the McLaren GT. Discerning owners can even grab these to match the interior of their supercar. If the price is not ridiculous enough for you, there’s always the titanium suitcases from Loius Vuitton to flaunt your deep pockets.

Visit McLaren for more details

Images courtesy of McLaren

The Best Briefcases for Every Profession

Last Updated August, 2019.

What makes a good briefcase? Ask any suit with a 9-to-5 and a penchant for vicuña, and you’ll hear a few requirements: it should be lightweight, with a comfortable handle; large enough to carry a computer and some documents (the word “briefcase” is derived from the legal documents, or briefs, that lawyers carry), but not so bulky it looks like a weekender; and made of materials built to last so it can be passed on to the progeny. A slim messenger or duffel bag with a shoulder strap, but no handle — that isn’t a briefcase. It’s time to get serious about the things you carry. These briefcases cover the spectrum, from simple and affordable to luxuriously-detailed and expensive.

Cambridge Satchel

Made in the United Kingdom, this textured leather briefcase has a minimal profile offset with slim handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. It is unlined and has a steel bar closure that fastens the flap.

Filson Original Briefcase

This classic style is made from soft, semi-vegetable tanned leather and has a zip closure. It is lined with green canvas and is designed to hold a 15-inch laptop and other daily necessities.

Jack Spade Barrow Leather Briefcase

This refined briefcase is made from rigid saffiano leather. It features a zip top and a lined interior with a padded laptop sleeve.

Tecovas Briefcase

This canvas and leather briefcase from Miansai is streamlined and minimal. It features a zip top, detachable shoulder strap and interior zip pocket.

Polo Ralph Lauren Leather Briefcase

This classic briefcase from Polo Ralph Lauren is made from pebble-grain black leather, guaranteed to look better after years of use. The exterior pocket easily accommodates small necessities (e.g. keys, passport, tickets); interior pockets do so for a laptop, smartphone and office papers.

Korchmar Dylan Briefcase

This briefcase from Korchmar has a zip-top design crafted from American aniline leather. Made in the USA, it holds most 15-inch laptops as well as business files.

J.W. Hulme Co. Leather Briefcase

This American-made briefcase from J.W. Hulme Co. features a zipper-topped main compartment and two external zip pockets. It includes rolled leather handles and is accented with brass hardware.

Lotuff Leather Briefcase

Made from fine pebbled leather, this zip-top briefcase has three main compartments designed to hold a laptop and business papers and files. This American-made briefcase features rolled leather handles and an adjustable shoulder strap.

Dunhill Duke Briefcase

Made in Spain from full-grain leather, this briefcase is sleek and refined. It is fully lined with navy canvas, and features an internal laptop pocket and two internal pouch pockets.

Bole Country Governor Briefcase

This Swedish briefcase is made from spruce-bark-tanned leather and has Italian brass locks. Its interior compartment is lined with Nordic reindeer skin and it features a strap handle. Definitely one of the most beautiful briefcases money can buy. It also includes a 15-year guarantee.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Nordstrom Rack Has Select Red Wing Boots on Sale for Almost Half Off

We suspect the current crop of Nordstrom Rack sales means they’re trying to clear up valuable space on the shelves, but we can’t confirm or deny that for sure. What we can tell you is…

7 Things San Francisco Chef Ravi Kapur Is on the Hunt for Right Now

Editor’s Note: Welcome to In My Cart, a regular series in which we ask some of the coolest guys we know what they’ve recently acquired, are thinking about buying, or need to buy more of — but for whatever reason don’t have in hand just yet. This week San Francisco chef Ravi Kapur.

Liholiho Yacht Club quickly became one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants after opening its doors in 2015. Hawaii-born chef Ravi Kapur — a veteran of SF eateries Prospect and Boulevard — turned a wildly successful multi-course pop-up restaurant (which used the Liholiho name since 2012) into a fully-realized destination with an incredibly exciting menu. (He was named a “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine the year after opening).

A sampling of plates on the current menu reads like this: “shaved pig head, pickled fresnos, pumpkin seed tomatillo pesto, nectarine, crispy pig ears”; “marinated squid, crispy tripe, lemon cucumber, red cabbage, watermelon, peanuts”; “slab of beef ribs, kimchi glaze, miso butter green zucchini, pickled onion.”

And, then there’s the ambiance. It’s like a casual party: unhurried, welcoming, fun. “Fun is interesting because it sounds so simple, but really takes attention to all the details in order to pull it off from the service being attentive, but not stuffy, the lighting being right, the music on point and of course the food and drinks giving you a reason to come back,” Kapur said. “I’m also big into vibe and how something feels.”

To him, it’s not a plug-and-play method, hiring some leading consultants to develop a trendy concept — it’s a completely holistic approach. “Vibe isn’t a switch you can turn on and off and it doesn’t start when you open the door. It’s the tone that’s set from the beginning of the day and carries through.”

And though Kapur has garnered effusive reviews in the years since opening, he hasn’t slowed down. “While the main draw for our guests is the experience of Liho and the vibe we create with all of the essential elements of a restaurant, I’m continuing to work on being a more effective leader and building a team and developing individuals in a positive and sustainable way.” In that realm, Kapur and Jeff Hanak (partner of Liholiho, Nopa and Nopalito) are partnering with chef David Golovin to open a restaurant called Dear Inga in the Mission.

“David will be drawing inspiration from his familial roots in Eastern Europe; of course, warmth and hospitality is a cornerstone,” Kapur said. “He has a passion for old-world techniques and will keep it seasonal, working with local farms: fermentation, preserving, smoking, wood-fire cooking and sausage making will be important culinary techniques.” Dear Inga is slated to open in September on 18th Street (taking over the former Farina property).

Between his various responsibilities, Kapur took a moment to share a few of the things he’s currently on the hunt for. From a tent conversion for a Jeep to fitness gear to barefoot shoes, the list depicts a man set bucking the trends of the restaurant industry in more ways than one. These great products facilitate a healthy lifestyle and will keep Kapur at the top of his game. But he describes it best.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with Ursa Minor Tent Conversion

“I’ve been eyeing this set up for a while: manual transmission Jeep Rubicon with custom pop-up rooftop tent conversion. The idea of being able to escape the city and head to the mountains for a quick camping trip escape sounds amazing.”

Vivo Barefoot Primus Lite

“Being on your feet for 16 hours a day can really do a number on your feet, back and hips. Understanding the origin of pain and addressing it before it becomes an issue is super important for me especially as I get older. I started working out barefoot three years ago and it has positively impacted me so much — no more foot or back pain.

“Understanding the importance of our feet and how to strengthen that foundation has positively impacted my life. I gotta keep up with my son! While I still have my slight sneaker addiction outside of the kitchen, I try to be barefoot or in a minimal cushion zero drop shoe that will let my feet work, strengthen and gather feedback.”

VooDoo Floss Band and RumbleRoller

“Always looking for tools to add to the kit for increasing mobility and range of motion.”

Filson Cover Cloth Bomber

“I’m a huge fan of wax cotton and am intrigued by the history of it. Originally, it was used on ship sails to provide durability and water protection. Hand-sewn in Seattle is a plus.”

X Oven Charcoal Oven

“Apparently these live-fuel charcoal ovens are huge in Europe. I saw it first here in SF at Dispensa. Well insulated, modular and with three cooking drawers and multiple temperature zones, this oven is on my list for sure.”

Rogue Echo Bike

“I have a consistent weekly workout regimen of strength and conditioning, but have my eye on this bike to get that cardio burn going.”

Dita Mach 5

“I’ve been eyeing these for a few years. I have a couple of pairs of Ditas, and the level of detail throughout is something you don’t see to often. Gotta check out the nose pieces.”

Filson and Danner Created the Ultimate Fall Boots

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These Oliver Cabell Phoenix Sneakers Are Made From Recycled Bottles

If you know sneakers, you’ve heard of Oliver Cabell several times before. They’re the hottest new sneaker brand right now, famed for its experimental turns on our favorite kicks. This time, they’re taking on a more eco-friendly project: the Oliver Cabell Phoenix Sacks, which are made from recycled bottles.

The new kicks are stylish, comfortable, and robust. Best of all, the Oliver Cabell Phoenix are pretty flexible in terms of what you want to pair them with, be it conventional streetwear or a more formal getup. The clean lines meld with a sharply defined profile and minimal colors to make for a sophisticated, subdued pair. Not to mention the construction of the Oliver Cabell Phoenix is pretty solid.

But that’s not what you came here for. The real highlight is that fact that they’re made from recycled bottles. Oliver Cabell sterilizes the bottles first, then cuts them into flakes, then spins them into a fiber and then uses a 3D printer to finish the process. Here’s Scott Gabrielson, founder of Oliver Cabell:

“Our mission has always been fairly simple. To marry the finest design, materials, and process with the latest technology, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.” He adds the shoes exemplify such sentiments. “We feel that the Phoenix is the culmination of what we’ve been striving for since we launched.”

It’s hard to argue with Gabrielson. Though the construction novelty of the Oliver Cabell Phoenix could wear off after a few rounds of wear, it’s always a welcome change of pace when someone tries to innovate. Oliver Cabell has a ways to go before it can become the next Adidas or Nike, but this seems like a small step in the right direction.

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Top Gun Fans Will Love This Limited Edition Bomber Jacket

When Ryan Martin — the founder of W.H. Ranch Dungarees — recently watched the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, he wanted to commemorate the sequel in a special way. “I had this idea for a hybrid Western-influenced bomber jacket that was not made of leather,” he said. “I have the Navy G-1 standard issue [flight jacket] and I love it, but there’s got to be, like, 90 total days I can actually wear it.” So he designed a bomber jacket for year-round wear made with black Cone Mills 13-ounce bull denim.

While the VF-1 Ghost Ryder jacket is inspired by an iconic style, the tailored pattern is all original and features Western-styled double welt flap pockets, single-needle stitching and had-felled riser seams. A nod to Maverick’s original Top Gun jacket, the VF-1 features reproductions of all of the patches on Tom Cruise’s leather bomber.

It also includes a genuine mouton shearling collar and some very unique Navy Anchor buttons from a sixth-generation metal stamping factory in France. “They cost me like $4 a button so there’s about $50 worth of buttons on the jacket alone,” Martin said. “But, I just wanted something super special to cap off the specialness of the jacket.”

Martin is offering only six of these jackets, and, like W.H. Ranch jeans, he is making them by himself, one at a time. The jacket costs $995 and custom sizing is available upon request (they will deliver during the last week of October). For someone who wants a unique piece of outerwear for fall, act fast — you’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality jacket for less.

“If you want to indulge in the nostalgia of your youth by celebrating what appears to be the Second Coming of one of the most iconic movies of that generation, then come join me,” Ryan said. “I’ve got something cool for you.”

The Story Behind W.H. Ranch Dungarees

Some of the best jeans in the world aren’t made in standard factories, but instead, are made by a single craftsman from start to finish. They come with a hefty price tag, but the attention to detail is unmatched. Read the Story

Levi’s Just Kicked off a Warehouse Sale with up to 75% off Select Items

We’re not going to pretend that it’s difficult to find Levi’s jeans, truckers and button-downs on sale regularly because it’s not. They might be the OG when it comes to all things denim, but they…

The Vollebak Black Squid Jacket Is Back

We’ve covered the Vollebak Black Squid Jacket previously, but even before that was published, the garment had sold out just like that. Thankfully, Vollebak has decided to reissue the phenomenally popular jacket.

That’s right. The company is reissuing its highly reflective, iridescent, waterproof, and windproof jacket. Just for perspective on how quickly they sold out: in just three days after first being released, Vollebak completely ran out of stock.

The jacket draws inspiration from its namesake animal. The Black Squid Jacket comes embedded with over two million microscopic glass spheres. In low light, the fabric shows mostly black with tiny splashes. But step into the daylight and you’ll see it explode into a mesmerizing maelstrom of colors and hues.

Its iridescence is a huge part of its appeal. But to be fair, the jacket itself features excellent construction, proof of Vollebak’s expert craftsmanship. The silhouette cuts the sharp angles into a more streamlined profile. It comes topped with geometric cutouts for a slight dollop of flair You’d think that would make it far too flamboyant, but the result is far from being such. It’s a sophisticated jacket oozing with style.

You might think Vollebak chose to design it this way just for show. But in fact, it’s got a more practical purpose. Here’s Steve Tidball, Vollebak’s founder:

“If you get lost on a mountain at night, it is hard to find you. If a search light goes over this jacket, it would look like a star on the mountain. You would be very visible, very quickly.”

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Oliver Cabell Phoenix Shoes Are 3D Printed from Recycled Bottles

There’s no doubt in our minds that Oliver Cabell is the best new sneaker brand of the past few years, but their recently released Phoenix sneaker seals the deal. It’s a stylish, airy shoe with…

Columbia SH/FT Collection Dare You To Brave The Wilderness

Whoever said hiking boots couldn’t slip inside a streetwear get-up should eat their words right this second. Columbia Sportswear unveiled just recently a line of sneakers and boots hybrid, marking the outdoor apparel company’s first venture into the world of sneakers. The SH/FT collection is, compared to its other offerings, much sleeker but still retains the expertly crafted utilitarianism.

The sneakers feature bright yellows and teals, and they unsurprisingly boast sneaker-like silhouettes, to boot (pun intended). With the SH/FT collection, Columbia Sportswear hopes to get some traction from the sneakerhead community, whose members prefer the slick, stylish profiles of Nikes and Adidas rather than the heavy-duty appeal of outdoor wear. Market analyses says there’s an audience for hybrids like this. Here’s Matt Powell, sportswear expert at NPD:

“The sneaker-boot trend has been around for a while, and we’re definitely seeing more blending and blurring of the lines between what’s athletic footwear and what’s fashion footwear.”

The SH/FT collection has much in similarity to Nike’s outdoor-focused ACG line, which couples industry-leading styles and silhouettes with characteristics typical of hiking gear. These urban kicks boast a 100% waterproof stretch-knit composition and call forth the spirit of streetwear’s most reliable footwear.

But they don’t stop on style, of course. This is, after all, a hybrid, so you get the best of both worlds. The gauzy stylish brio of conventional kicks and the robust, skillful craftsmanship boots bring to the table. The SH/FT collection is a win-win situation, in other words. Hit the link below to check out the collection.

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Photos courtesy of Columbia Sportswear

How to Buy a Suit for Warm Weather

A versatile four-season suit is a wardrobe staple, but it isn’t necessarily appropriate for every occasion. During the warmer months, suits made with summer-weight fabrics and breathable constructions are welcome substitutions for traditional tailoring. Though many retailers offer a few lightweight options for hot weather, respected made-to-measure and bespoke services can produce hundreds of different styles utilizing fabrics from mills around the world.

There are countless fabric colors and styles available in materials like wool, cashmere, silk, linen and cotton. Along with the type of fabric, the construction — whether the jacket is lined, half-lined or unlined — adds to the wearability of a suit in warmer climes. To make sense of it all, we talked to Suit Supply Vice President Nish de Gruiter. (His brand happens to offer the world’s lightest unlined suit.) So, before making your next purchase, refer to his simple tips on purchasing a summer-weight suit — you’ll look sharp and stay cool, no matter the situation.

Consider the location and occasion. Are you buying a suit for work, a wedding or something more casual? “If you go to a wedding, you want to make sure that your suit is half lined and that the fabric also holds its shape really well,” de Gruiter says, referring to destination-wedding linen styles. On the other hand, if you’re working in a warm climate, stay away from fully-linen fabrics. “It wrinkles quite a lot,” he notes.

If you appreciate the casual texture and breathable weave of linen, consider linen-silk blends or linen-woolen-silk blends instead. “Those things still have the feel of a linen suit and also they hold their shape really well,” de Gruiter says.

It’s all about the fabric weave and composition. For comfort in warmer climates, pay close attention to the weight and breathability of the fabric. For example, a hopsack fabric features a much looser weave than a jacquard or gabardine fabric. “That’s the reason we make a hopsack fully lined,” de Gruiter says. “It holds the shape a little bit better especially if you wear it everyday.”

While the lining of a jacket compliments the fabric, it should also reflect the occasion. “The office guy will be a bit more comfortable with a fully lined jacket so it doesn’t wrinkle that much and it holds its shape a little bit better,” he says. “But if you get travel fabrics, it doesn’t matter if you have a lining or no lining.” Versatile suits designed with those fabrics resist wrinkles and provide increased comfort (read: stretch).

Don’t forget about cotton. “One of the most overlooked fabrics in summer-weight suiting is cotton,” de Gruiter says. While it is commonly associated with wardrobe essentials like t-shirts, jeans and sweatshirts, it makes the perfect material for a warm-weather suit. It’s lightweight, it doesn’t require a lining and it doesn’t wrinkle as readily as linen.

Mind your shirt. When you invest in a lightweight suit for the warmer months, be conscious of the shirt you pair it with. De Gruiter sees many people opt for heavy twill or heavy oxford shirts, a choice that negates the positive features of the summer-weight suit. If you choose a suit based on feel and breathability, his advice is simple: “Make sure that your shirts are inline with that, too.”

The Best Suits Under $1,000

This guide to the best suits under $1,000 explores everything you need to know before you buy your next suit, including construction methods, fabrics and customizable options. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Paul Dillinger, Levi’s Head of Innovation, Wants to Change the World. He Might Just Do It

“Do you know how to sew a button?”

Paul Dillinger, Levi’s senior vice president of Global Product Innovation, asks me the question near a sewing machine on the second floor of Levi’s Eureka Innovation Lab in a nondescript warehouse in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood, just blocks from the company headquarters.

Before I can answer, Dillinger bounds down the stairs, out of sight, and soon returns with buttons, needles and thread. He grabs a pair of scissors and shears off a length of selvedge canvas in a single smooth movement before getting to work, sewing and lecturing simultaneously.

“In 1997, the state of California stopped teaching conventional home ec,” he says. Dillinger is tall and lanky in a denim jacket and black beanie, with sharp blue eyes and a dark, close-cropped beard. “Home ec and shop got turned into seven different vocational tracks, and now every school teaches all seven. But basic life skills aren’t part of it,” he says, threading his needle. Back when he lived in New York, Dillinger says, he gave similar button-sewing lessons to friends during weekly poker nights at his apartment.

Dillinger grew up in a small logging town in Washington state, near Mount Rainier. He decided to become a designer at just 12 years old after seeing a fashion segment on The Phil Donahue Show. He spent his teens teaching himself sewing and patternmaking, eventually receiving a BFA in fashion design from Washington University in St. Louis. For postgraduate work, Dillinger received the first-ever Fulbright scholarship for the study of fashion, in 1994, attending the Domus Academy in Milan. It was at there, under the tutelage of design luminaries like Anna Zegna, Philippe Starck and Andrea Branzi, where Dillinger absorbed the idea that every design decision should be validated by research, which remains a core tenet of his work.

After his MFA, Dillinger moved to New York City. For the next 16 years he worked at a succession of competitive brands, including Calvin Klein, DKNY, and Martin + Osa. He quickly noticed similarities.

From left: A pair of jeans found at an abandonded mine in Calico, San Bernardino County, California dated to the late 1800s; modern pre-distressed jeans hang in the Eureka Lab.

“They manufactured at the same factories, offered the same fits and finishes, with minor deviations, and were sold at the same price points at the same retailers,” he says. As retailers began pushing for tighter cost margins, Dillinger saw profits being prioritized regardless of the effects on the supply chain, or on consumers. Disillusioned, Dillinger dropped out of the fashion world and joined the faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at his alma mater, Washington University.

In the two decades since he graduated, the school had affected a noticeably more sustainable facade — no plastic water bottles for purchase on campus, waste disposal marked specifically for “Landfill” rather than “Garbage” — though despite the nod toward eco-friendliness, Dillinger noticed a disinterest in other pressing issues facing the apparel industry, from child labor and sweatshop practices to the lessons of the American Labor Movement, and so he focused his academic attention on conceiving the most sustainable system possible, from all possible angles, for the fashion industry.

Later that year, Dillinger got a call from Doug Conklyn, a former colleague at Martin + Osa who had recently taken a position as senior vice president of design at Dockers, in San Francisco. (The Dockers brand is owned by Levi’s.) Conklyn was calling to offer a job — a return to the fashion industry, but also an opportunity for Dillinger to explore his personal interests from within the company.

“He’s quite simply the most brilliant and creative designer I’ve ever known,” Conklyn, now Speedo’s senior vice president of design and merchandising, tells me later by phone. “Paul is that rare individual that looks at things in so many different dimensions simultaneously. I haven’t seen it duplicated.”

Dillinger worked at Dockers for three years, during which time he attended the First Movers Fellowship Program at the Aspen Institute, a 60-year-old think tank for values-based leadership. (Dillinger describes the Fellowship as, “You go to the Aspen campus and engage with the brilliant people they have, and just literally bump into Madeleine Albright and have a conversation around the implications of the common economy on global security policy.”) He introduced an academic, research-through-practice methodology to Dockers’ clothing design in the form of the Wellthread program, which explores and showcases cutting-edge sustainability solutions through small collections each season. It was, and is, a revolutionary approach.

“One of the genius things the company has done with the Wellthread model is to allow it to exist at the smallest industrial scale, so that any idea we put through that model can be proofed through the gears of a major supply chain, but never at such scale it puts the ideas themselves at risk,” Dillinger says.

A laser at the Eureka Lab can distress a new pair of jeans in seconds.

On the second floor of the Eureka Lab, over the hushed whir of machines and the sounds of sewers putting finishing touches on custom garments for the upcoming Coachella festival, Dillinger frames the scope of his mission by first admitting the apparel industry’s dirty secret: it’s one of the world’s top industrial polluters, producing more CO2 in a year than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the dyeing and treatment of textiles accounts for 20 percent of industrial water pollution globally; greenhouse gas emissions from textile production in 2015 were equivalent to 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide. More alarming is that, according to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 60 percent of all clothing produced winds up in incinerators or landfills within 12 months. People, meanwhile, are buying new clothes at a staggering rate; according to McKinsey, “clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014, and the number of garments purchased each year by the average consumer increased by sixty percent.”

When Levi’s offered Dillinger his current position, in 2014, he saw a chance to implement the Wellthread program and similar initiatives on a larger scale. Levi’s is one of the world’s biggest apparel companies, with a reported net revenue of $5.6 billion in 2018.

“There’s probably no better soapbox to try to convince the industry to change its ways than Levi’s,” Dillinger says.

For many brands, adopting a sustainability narrative involves a misleading if not cynical focus on a single sustainable component — say, recycled ocean plastic — which can be marketed to eco-minded consumers even if it does nothing to extend the life cycle of the overall garment. But at Levi’s, Dillinger had the mandate and the resources to consider a massive, full-system redesign. He knew the hard limitations behind feel-good sustainability stories (fabrics made from reclaimed bottles, for example, can’t be recycled when snaps or zippers are added, and can release microplastics into the waterways when washed) and he wanted to create something better.

“There’s an abundance of bullshit in this space,” Dillinger says. “Don’t tell me you value recycling and haven’t considered the recyclability of the garment.”

Bolts of denim from mills across the world are stacked in tall racks for easy access while creating prototypes.

On the main floor of Eureka Lab, bolts of denim are stacked in tall racks for easy access. The huge blue rolls come from mills across the world and are made almost exclusively from cotton. To a typical denim lover, this alone is the very image of sustainable fashion. But there’s more to jean-making than denim. The other components, from pocket bags to the tag, are of equal interest to Dillinger’s work, as they’re often made from less sustainable materials that can severely compromise the recyclability of “pure inputs” — like cotton and nylon that can be reused over and over again.

Take elasticity. Most people now want jeans that stretch, at least a bit. Manufacturing stretchy jeans typically requires taking cotton, a pure input, and blending in a small percentage of elastane. At that point, the new material can’t be recycled. And dyes, hardware, even thread material can further complicate or negate the recyclability.

This spring, Levi’s quietly released a line of garments designed with 100 percent cotton Thermadapt fabric. The thread starts as a polyester core wrapped in cotton, which is woven into denim. The polyester is then dissolved out and recaptured for future use. The resulting fabric looks like a heavyweight jean but is 30 percent lighter than traditional denim; it also wicks moisture from the body and provides enough insulation for year-round wear, which means stores don’t have to chuck it in the Sale bin at the end of a season.

The machines that produce Themadapt aren’t located in San Francisco, but Eureka Lab does house an array of scientific instruments for testing fabric and a room full of hi-tech wash and dye machines. As we walk past vats of natural indigo and a row of big, blinking contraptions for garment dyeing and ozone bleaching, the conversation shifts to hemp.

Hemp is superior to cotton in many ways; it’s resistant to pests, requires little water and has a short growth cycle. But it isn’t widely used in the clothing industry, mostly because industrial apparel machines are calibrated to accommodate cotton’s natural stretch, which hemp doesn’t have. Rather than creating a new manufacturing system, Dillinger wanted to process hemp so that it felt and acted like cotton. The result: cottonized hemp, recently introduced by Wellthread, which is produced using little energy or chemical processing and can move through a supply chain similarly to cotton.

From left, clockwise: The spacious concrete floor at the Eureka Lab is painted for organizing seasonal collections; vats of nautral indigo, warmed with lamps, sit next to a row of washing machines; an employee chooses a thread cone for work on a prototype.

In keeping with Dillinger’s research-through-practice ethos, Levi’s produced the Wellthread cottonized hemp collection after his team learned how to process, spin and weave the thread — but notably before they figured out how to color the material. In upcoming seasons, cottonized hemp will be incorporated into Levi’s indigo denim and finished with a range of washes, but in the meantime, the collection features only white garments.

“It’s exciting to be able to talk about cottonized hemp, to signal that one of the world’s big brands is saying, ‘Something new has happened here,’” Dillinger says.

Of course, the fashion industry is full of bold and misleading claims, but when Dillinger proclaims something truly new, people notice.

“Paul is one of the rare honest voices in our industry,” says John Moore, designer and cofounder of wardrobe essentials brand Outerknown. “He’s never afraid to speak the truth about his own work.”

During a debate at the Museum of Modern Art, in 2017, Dillinger won over a room of fashion heavyweights while arguing the position that people should stop buying clothes. And he asks me a question — one that he explicitly puts on the record as his opinion and not that of the mega-brand that employs him, but that is no less antagonistic to his industry for being rhetorical. “Why on Earth would you try to use sustainability messaging as a mechanism to sell more product, when in fact the quantity of product being sold is a problem?”

The belief that people should buy less is an odd position to hold as one of the most influential executives at the world’s largest denim brand. He mentions the Levi’s Wellthread x Jacquard by Google jacket, which he showed me back in 2017, in Manhattan. The jacket features a touch interface on the left wrist paired to the wearer’s phone, allowing on-the-go access to navigation, messaging, music, and more. The idea of Wellthread x Jacquard is that the jacket itself remains unchanged from season to season; instead, it’s the digital functionality that’s upgraded with new features, challenging Levi’s to devise ways of adding and monetizing digital value rather than simply producing more stuff.

“I know this season’s Jacquard has zero environmental footprint, because the season’s Jacquard is simply the addition of new abilities that keep you from losing your phone at the bar, or your jacket at the bar.”

New jeans with a variety of finishes hang in the Eureka Lab.

And while Dillinger’s role encourages him to experiment with new and emerging technologies — e.g., working with textile technology startup EvrNu to produce jeans from garment waste, or using bacterium to dye clothes the right shade of blue — his most radical thinking may be in his simple, humanistic approach to attacking the thoughtless consumption cycle, in which people treat clothing like entertainment, habitually acquiring and discarding garments.

From a manufacturer’s standpoint, according to Dillinger, that can mean “just making things that last for a very long time,” because people are less likely to trash clothing that isn’t falling apart. But more than that, it’s about teaching people how to find value in what they already own — how to use it, repair it, reuse it. “Our closets are stuffed full of value that we’ve been trained to ignore,” Dillinger says.

“It’s cheaper to buy a new pair of cargo shorts than it is to take your shorts and get a waistband taken out because your waist has changed since last summer,” he says. “Your clothes become a burden to own because you don’t know how to take care of them. I get why people throw them away to get something new. We’ve made it really cheap to buy something new.”

This point, about the feverish, unsustainable consumption cycle, is why Dillinger stops everything to teach me how to properly sew a button. We practice, with the sun falling in through high windows onto the painted concrete floor, and I consider just how many millions of cheap, disposable shirts and pants and shorts and sweaters have been tossed because someone can’t sew on a new button or fix a hole, can’t even be bothered to pay someone else to do it because that garment can just be replaced with a few mouse clicks and twelve bucks plus tax. Sure, it won’t last two seasons, but it will arrive tomorrow. Maybe sooner.

“You’re not creating tension between the surface of the fabric and the button,” Dillinger tells me, demonstrating the technique. His method is considered, practiced. He secures a thread shank with double knots.

“It’s a much more durable way of sewing a button,” he says. The way he explains it, it sounds downright revolutionary.

A version of this article originally appeared in Issue Ten of Gear Patrol Magazine with the headline “Wash. Fit. Rinse. Revolution.” Subscribe today.
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Levi’s provided accommodation during the production of this story.

One of Our Favorite Bag Makers Just Released a Premium Line for Everyday Use

Australian bag maker Bellroy just released a major upgrade to a few of its best styles. The Premium Collection — made up of a backpack, a sling and a tote — features environmentally certified leather and contrast details. Each bag is available in two versatile colors, Black Sand and Desert, and is backed with the brand’s three-year warranty.

Each bag pairs hard-wearing woven nylon with leather tanned under gold-rated Leather Working Group environmental protocols. “We designed our Premium bags for those who take pleasure in fine aesthetic detail,” said Bellroy designer Rowan Dinning in a statement. “That bit of extra care makes all the difference. We even specially developed a leather for this that’s softer and more robust than our wallet leather, with extra body to hold its shape.”

Ideal for everyday use, the bags have capacities that range from 7 liters for the sling to 20 liters for the backpack. Both the tote and the backpack are designed to hold laptops or tablets and each bag has a range of functional details including water-resistant pockets, soft-lined sunglasses pouches and key clips. Starting at $159, these bags are well worth investing in and will serve you well for years to come.

Sling — Premium by Bellroy $159

Tokyo Tote — Premium by Bellroy $199

Classic Backpack — Premium by Bellroy $229

7 Things Designer John Moore Is on the Hunt for Right Now

Editor’s Note: Welcome to In My Cart, a regular series in which we ask some of the coolest guys we know what they’ve recently acquired, are thinking about buying, or need to buy more of — but for whatever reason don’t have in hand just yet. This week Outerknown co-founder John Moore.

Outerknown’s debut collection — which hit shelves in fall 2015 — heralded a new approach to sustainability in the clothing industry. While many men’s brands had approached ethical and sustainable garments before, Outerknown successfully prioritized these methods across its range of stylish wardrobe essentials. Co-founded by pro-surfer Kelly Slater and respected designer John Moore, the mission of the brand wasn’t a stretch. “Surfers are, by nature, environmentalists,” Moore told us in 2016.

Since then, Moore has been quite busy. He participated in the inaugural Levi Strass & Co. “Collaboratory” in 2016 and launched a clothing collaboration with Levi’s Wellthread program in 2017. Also in 2017, he founded a multi-disciplinary design studio called Group Efforts with clients including Firewire Surfboards, Jerde, and Kelly Slater Wave Co., among others.

Notably, in March 2019, Moore expanded Outerknown’s offerings to include women’s clothing. “Just like in men’s, our mission of making the decisions with the highest regard for people and planet was woven throughout every decision while creating women’s,” he said. “The best part is every single item is made in a planet-friendly, preferred fiber.” And in May, another first: Outerknown opened its first shop, the Outerspace, located in Culver City, Los Angeles.

Taking a moment out of his busy schedule, Moore recently shared a few of the items he’s currently had his eye on. From a reusable cup to a planet-friendly Bronco, the products point to man incredibly focused on beautifully designed, planet-friendly solutions. “Sustainably-minded shopping means you have to have a lot of patience,” Moore said. “Some of these items might be in my cart for a long time while their makers work out how to bring them to the market. And I’m going to assume that Gear Patrol is giving me some fun-money to play within these purchases, right?”

Zero Labs All-Electric Ford Bronco

“Clean mechanics with classically good looks! The idea of stepping into an early Bronco every day with a planet-friendly electric engine inside gets me so excited. I put my name on this waiting list, but I’m hearing rumors of a $250K price tag so I’ll also be waiting on my fun-money allowance from Gear Patrol.”

Adidas Futurecraft.Loop

“I’m actually a Nike or New Balance guy, but I want all the giant sneaker brands to get into the responsible innovation and materials game, so I’m talking about this fully recyclable shoe from Adidas while it’s still a ways out.”

Outerknown Salty Sweatshirt

“Earlier this year, we made a fair trade certified usa-grown Supima cotton sweatshirt called the stowaway at Outerknown. It’s a lighter weight than my usual sweats, and it’s become my favorite layer during this mild summer we’re having in California. I don’t usually wear graphics on my tops, but we made small run that just says ‘SALTY’ and I’m digging this right now.”

Atelier & Repairs Braga Tuta

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we re-use materials that already exist. Atelier & Repairs with Candiani Denim made this collaboration overall without raw cotton. It’s a 100-percent regenerated denim, a blend of recycled fibers including cotton from Candiani’s own mill. I’ve always been a big fan of designer Maurizio Donadi and his approach to design. The coveralls are a little trendy at the moment, and I’m not sure I can pull these off, but I was able to hear Maurizio and Alberto Candiani talk about this collaboration in person a few weeks ago, and I’m a sucker for a good story.”

Donald Judd Furniture

“After dreaming about it for most of my life, I’m working on a house project with my girlfriend, and I hope at some point we can include something vintage by Donald Judd. A table or chair maybe. Until then, the inspiration will do just fine.”

Keep Cup Espresso

“We got rid of the straws and plastic bags a long time ago, but considering how much coffee we drink, it took me too long to find these. Recently I grabbed two Keep Cups which I take with me every morning for our quad latte and capucino. Dig these clean lines, black lid and cork detailing. Will be investing in a few more soon.”

Outerknown Woolaroo Trunks

“Outerknown recently collaborated with Woolmark to bring the world’s first 100-percent Australian Merino wool boardshort to the market. This was four years in the making for us, but wool has been part of the surfing’s heritage since Duke Kahanamoku wore his woolen onesies in the early 1900s. I like my trunks cleaner, a little shorter and built with strength. These hit above the knee and have some serious guts. They get better the more you beat them up.”

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Seiko 1968 Prospex Automatic Diver’s Watch Is Back

Can you believe Seiko has been around since 1881? Yes, we can’t either. That’s a testament to the brand’s relevance that they still manage to cater to a millennial audience despite being so ancient. Because they’ve been around so long, that means the company has acquired quite a sizable treasure trove of classics. One such example is the 1968 Prospex Automatic Diver’s watch, which is now getting a limited edition re-release.

There are several noteworthy differences between the original 1968 Prospex Automatic Diver’s watch and the variant for this new era. Most importantly, the new one boasts a 37-jewel calibre 8L55 movement with a 55-hour power reserve. It can survive, theoretically, up to 300 meters underwater. Though summer is almost nearing its end, which means you won’t be diving anytime soon, the sophisticated design of this watch will make you want to wear it for any occasion.

In terms of aesthetics, however, much remains unchanged. There’s still the coated stainless steel exterior with its signature flat caseback. Plus a gorgeous unidirectional dive timer bezel, and for good measure, a durable and robust yet super strong silicone band. Seiko will hand off just 1,500 examples, so better hurry if you want one.

This iconic timepiece is now available for $5,400. That’s a tad bit too pricey for a diver’s watch, for sure. However, the classic design and time-tested quality and performance make the asking price more than worth it. Make sure to hit the link below for more information on how to purchase one.

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10 Weekender Bags for Your Next Getaway

For short trips, travel light. The weekender — a carryall or small duffel — is designed to hold enough clothes to keep you looking fresh, whatever grooming products you require (within reason) and a few other daily essentials (e.g. laptop, reading materials, headphones). When deciding on the best weekender for your lifestyle, first analyze function, then hone in on an aesthetic. Do you need a bag for professional business trips? What about a weekend at the lake with your friends? Maybe you’ll be on the slopes for 48 hours? No matter the type of excursion, one of these weekenders will keep your necessities organized and compact, all without compromising classic styling.

Rains Weekend Bag

This minimalist waterproof bag by Danish brand Rains is excellent for any weekend getaway with inclement weather. The main compartment fastens with a two way-sealed zip to keep your clothing and accessories safe and dry.

Patagonia Black Hole 90L Duffle Bag

Need a bigger bag to take on a variety of excursions? This 90L duffle from Patagonia is made of ripstop fabric with a water-resistant coating, and features a dark color palette that won’t draw too much attention.

Joshu + Vela Small Duffle

This barrel-round duffle features leather handles, hand-set American-made copper rivets, and a smooth excella YKK zipper. Choose from a range of limited-edition fabrics and leathers.

Tecovas Ranch Duffle

This classic leather duffle features a heavy-duty YKK zipper and a snap-close grab handle. The interior is lined with green canvas and includes three open pockets and a secured zip pocket.

Filson Small Duffle

Made in the USA, this small duffle from Filson is made from rugged canvas, includes bridle leather straps and features brass hardware. Its two-pocket interior is unlined.

Korchmar Twain Weekender

This leather weekender from Korchmar is fully lined and made in the USA. At 22 inches, it will fit in any airline overhead compartment and still hold a weekend’s worth of clothing and accessories.

Montblanc Sartorial Jet Large Duffle Bag

This understated duffel has a water- and scratch-resistant nylon body with black Saffiano calf leather accents. The design features one main compartment with a top zipper, one interior zipped pocket and two interior open pockets.

Bleu de Chauffe Hobo Holdall

Made in France from full-grain leather, this bag features two top handles, a detachable shoulder strap and a two-way zip fastening. It has a detabchable internal zip pocket and holds about 20 liters.

Bennett Winch Weekender

This canvas weekender is made in England and holds about 40 liters. It has two top handles, an internal zip pocket, a padded tablet sleeve, a waterproof shoe compartment and leather accents.

Globe Trotter Leather Holdall

This minimalist leather holdall is made in England from full-grain leather. It features two handles, an canvas lining, an internal zip pocket and a capacity of 18 liters.