This past June, when Target started selling chest binders (which for those unfamiliar are compression garments used to make a person’s presenting gender and gender identity more compatible) you could say that transitional dressing had made huge strides. But Bindle & Keep has been providing custom tailoring to all kinds of bodies in an inclusive, non-judgmental environment for more than a decade.
Run by Daniel Friedman, the founder and tailor, and Rae Dunn, clothier and de-facto ambassador for the brand, the company in 2016 was the subject of a documentary produced by Lena Dunham entitled “Suited.” Using classic techniques, the company crafts its suits out of an ethical workshop in Thailand. The thought that goes into tailoring a traditional man’s suit on a non-traditional body rests on the understanding that since men’s and women’s bodies are different, an off-the-rack suit is unlikely to be a perfect fit.
New consultations take two hours and are completely private; they can be done in person or virtually over Zoom. “Everyone is triggered by something about their own body,” Friedman said, “whether it’s a teen who is transitioning or a cisgender man who feels like their body is, for some reason, irregular. There are no body types that we don’t take. These are all just measurements, and we can measure anybody.”
Bindle & Keep suits start at $995, (jacket, $664; pants, $332) and go up to the $1595 – $3595 range for specialty fabrics such as Holland & Sherry and Scabal. They also offer custom shirting ($185 – $205) and discounts when purchasing three suits.
Afrosurf, the popular book by Cape Town native Selema Masekela (also the founder of lifestyle brand Mami Wata) showcases a vibrant, but previously unseen, segment of the surf and skate community. While the book focuses on Africa, the surf and skate community within the African American community is also thriving in the U.S. Mami Wata’s eponymous brand is sold at his pop-up in Venice Beach and also at Saks and Nordstrom. His vibrant graphics resonate with both the surf and après surf sets.
Another black-owned surf/skate brand, The Rad Black Kids recently launched both in The Park (Macy’s shop-in-shop for exciting new menswear brands), and in Bloomingdales. The collection features Thulani Ngazimbi’s Moyo sneakers, decorated with a lightning bolt shooting down the side.
While the contemporary concept of surfing was created by the Polynesians who settled in Hawaii, the centuries-old African practice of wave-riding — on boards and in canoes — evolved independently, in multiple spots along the West African coast. Included in the rise of black surf culture are surfing organizations such as Black Surfers Collective, Black Surfers Association, and Laru Beya Collective, which encourage surfing and water safety among underserved youth in the Rockaways in New York. People of African descent are reclaiming lost traditions.
There are few people I trust enough to completely change my daily grooming routine. Chris Salgardo happens to be one of them, and fortunately for men everywhere, he just launched a new premium skincare collection.
Atwater offers high-performance, superior-quality skincare essentials that are smart, simple, and solve everyday grooming concerns. My current concern is dull, winter skin and I must say that after a week of using Atwater products exclusively, my skin looks a little brighter, less gray.
Salgardo, who for years was president of the Kiehl’s brand, used his knowledge of simple packaging and products with clean, non-toxic, highly effective formulas to deliver results. It was designed to be uncomplicated and easy to use, which it is.
Collections are organized around skin type and regimen: Skin Armor, Heavy Armor, Oil Regulator, Smooth Target, and Clean Impact. Prices are reasonable: Facial Moisturizer ($35), Eye Moisturizer ($29), Face Scrub ($25), Lip Moisturizer ($12), Facial Cleansing Bar ($18), Shaving Cream ($18) and Body Cleansing Scrub Bar ($17). The brand is available at Nordstrom and at Atwaterskin.
Madhappy, the LVMH Ventures-backed fashion brand, is creating a new template for what a clothing brand could and should be. More importantly, they’re making the world a better place, one hoodie at a time.
The brand evolved out of the observation that people, primarily the young, need positive messaging to promote mental health and combat the negativity across social media.
Since their 2017 launch, Madhappy’s co-founders (Noah Raf, Peiman Raf, and Joshua Sitt) have created pop-up stores across the U.S., amassing a cult Instagram following of people who identify with the brand messaging and product.
The brand’s website hosts a blog that focuses on mental health and wellness, including interviews with celebrities and influencers, and podcasts and sponsored panel discussions centered on the issues. They clearly state on their website that they are “not experts or medical professionals, but guides – raising awareness and accessibility so that people can better identify what they’re going through and seek help when needed. Mental health affects us all, and the sooner we view it as a normal part of our everyday lives, the sooner we can get people the support they need.” Which is then driven home with their trademark Feel Together.
If you want to try a more traditional form of “retail therapy” on the Madhappy website, you’ll find comfortable/casual clothes leaning heavily towards fleece and a winter sport capsule with Columbia.
Just opened on January 2, 2023, Market Market is a new 40,000-square-foot vintage emporium in a former Stein Mart in Palm Springs, Calif. Founder James Morelos has included home goods and clothing curated by such notables as RTH founder Rene Holguin and vintage menswear icon Maurizio Donadi. Nothing in the space is new.
The Morelos business model is based on the traditional shop-in-shop, turn-key format, with each brand paying a flat fee for its space. Morelos takes care of the back of house and operations, optimizing the attraction of a group of brands together under one roof.
Morelos learned about shop-in-shops as a teen shopping at Ron Herman, who essentially created the concept. The Mojave Flea founder had a full-circle experience earlier this year when he created his own pop-up for three months, featuring a curated collection of high-end brands and designers. Since opening his first store in Palm Springs in 2021, Morelos has expanded to Joshua Tree and will soon be in Berkeley and The Hudson Valley.