Keep Company

October 2, 2008

I recently stumbled on Keep in the latest issue of Nylon. A clothing, shoe and apparel company, Keep was originally started with women in mind and continues to tailor most of its products towards women. Interestingly though, Keep recently became inundated with requests from men to begin carrying their footwear in men’s sizes. Intrigued, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Keep’s footwear incorporates mostly classic styles and patterns, often reminiscent of the timeless designs of Clarks and the Converse All-Star hi. Yet two designs really caught my eye. First, the Nuss—pictured above—stood out for combining a solid color midsole with the patterned fold-over. It reminded me a bit of Visvims, a brand highly touted by my pal Soybomb. I really like the use of traditional plaid, argyle and southwestern patterns on this particular shoe.

I was also a fan of the Benton—pictured left—which looks like a moccasin/dock sider hybrid. Not sure if I’d ever actually wear this style, but I really like the concept. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed Keep shoes in stores, but according to the website, you can find them at shops like Reed Space, Atrium and even WeSC. Who knew. To peep the rest of their collection, check out http://www.keepcompany.com/

American Apparel

September 3, 2008

By now it’s no secret: American Apparel sells hip, comfortable clothes, but uses very suggestive images of women in their ads to do so, a practice that seems contrary to the company’s claims of being a socially responsible brand. I stumbled upon a Newsweek piece from a while back that discusses this very issue. It even mentions a particularly provocative billboard that used to be at the corner of Houston and Allen and one that we would always comment on walking past. Turns out the reason it came down was because someone had tagged the phrase “Gee, I wonder why women get raped” across the top of it. Jeesh. That’s one way to make a point. Take a look at the Newsweek article HERE, it’s pretty interesting.

WeSC

May 23, 2008

I don’t consider myself particularly fashion conscious, but one brand that I have had my eye on for the past year or so is WeSC. Founded in Sweden in 2000, WeSC (WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy) rapidly emerged as one of the country’s premiere labels with little to no marketing push by sponsoring artists, musicians and skaters in Sweden’s underground scene. Gradually, WeSC opened boutiques in NYC, LA and Japan and has achieved a presence in other countries as well. Still, the brand maintains an aura of exclusivity as the clothing can only be purchased at boutiques or through select dealers.

WeSC translates an urban/skateboarding sensibility to stylish yet casual clothing, which is what I find most appealing. Their affinity for plaid and striped patterns also aligns with my own stylistic preferences. WeSC makes the type of clothing with which you can either dress up or down comfortably. Plus the logo is sleek and they call themselves ” a street fashion brand for intellectual slackers.” Nifty.

Apparently, WeSC has come under scrutiny in Sweden recently for “selling out” (i.e. placing stores near high-end retailers like Gucci) while portraying an underground image. Who cares. What hasn’t “sold out” in this day and age? WeSC makes ill clothes and I’m going to continue to support. Hell, why don’t they just sponsor me?

Check out the collection HERE.