Author Archives: davidmacfaddenelliott

survivalon1

This Thursday: The Return Of Survivalon

We are thrilled to host Bert Pulitzer for a Survivalon trunkshow this Thursday, April 23rd. Pulitzer is an outerwear innovator, the man who taught Ralph Lauren about the neckwear business, and the guy that first made a name for Velcro. He relaunched Survivalon in 2012, and we’re happy to see it’s return. These waterproof jackets are stylish, in traditionally muted shades as well as brash and compromising colors. They are highly functional, long-lasting, and American-made. And their client roster has included titans among men, like John Wayne.

Here are some of the key features of the Survivalon jacket:

Why so many pockets? They are part of the “survival” architecture needed to carry the must-have devices of today’s world.
Interior:

  • Water repellent phone pocket
  • Water repellent tablet/mobile device pocket
  • Zip-closure deep document pocket (deep doc poc) for cash, wallet, passport, boarding pass, charging cords, a great bourbon(!), legal papers, the little black book/poker dates…very secure and private

Exterior:

  • Double entry front flap pockets keep keys, change and metro cards at easy access; They are also perfect for chargers and hot spot devices
  • Horizontal pocket for sunglasses is an obvious but you could put other things in there…cigars & accessories, a nail file, meds, your “return me home” if I get lost letter. The possibilities are endless!
  • All of these pockets are customizable for your daily adventure. Fly fishing, gentlemen?

What’s up with that zipper? The granddaddy of zippers, the YKK #10, is used for our Survivalon®. Back in 1975 they were only used for tents, but are now a mainstay and used for tons of applications. This zipper wears in for comfort and will last for many years to come.

And the Velcro? Back in 1975, Velcro was used only in hospital applications where quick and easy closure was important. We thought you deserved that on your jacket as well. Like the zipper, it also wears in for comfort and basically lasts forever.

What other stuff are you holding this jacket together with? Solid brass snaps nickel-coated or black anodized for tarnish prevention will not rust or corrode and will last for many, many years. The elastic draw cords with nylon cord locks that have stainless steel springs are military spec.

We examined the jackets thoroughly, looking for places to “fix” them, only to find that every pocket, zipper, snap are just enough without ‘gilding the Lily’, as it were.

Davek Alert Umbrella

Never Lose Your Umbrella Again (Davek Umbrella Kickstarter)

For years, Davek has been the solution for people sick of umbrellas that buckle and flip inside out at the slightest hint of a breeze. Now Davek has solved our final umbrella quandary–how not to lose it. Davek’s Alert Umbrella is about to conclude a round of funding on Kickstarter, and, from the looks of it, this ingenious innovation will be funded without a problem. When the Davek Alert the market, they will be priced at $125, but currently the umbrella is available for a pledge as low as $89. Many more details at Kickstarter.

sf_seals

Peanuts! Crackerjack! Tokens & Icons Baseball Cufflinks!

There’s something in the air today. Smells like spring. Fresh cut grass, white ash, and worn leather. Baseball season is here.

And we have the authentic, accessories for all spectators and man cave denizens. Tokens & Icons is our go-to source for nostalgic fan favorites, like Baseball bat bottle openers, MLB game-used baseball cufflinks, SF Giants World Series game-used cufflinks (pictured at left), and cufflinks made from seats of stadiums of yesteryear–coliseums where the greats used to swing redwood trunks and smash 1000-mph fastballs into the next county–places like Seals Stadium (pictured above), the Polo Grounds, and the original Yankees Stadium.

See all of Tokens & Icons’ MLB accessories here.

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Highland Park Valhalla Collection Dinner [THIS Friday. Public Seats Available.]

We are thrilled to invite you to this Friday’s Valhalla Dinner, hosted by Highland Park’s Brand Ambassador, Martin Daraz.

Let’s just say, this is a BIG deal for scotch drinkers and foodies, alike.

For this one special night, eat like valkyries, gods and goddesses as we toast to Thor, Loki, Freya and Odin, the four rare expressions of the Highland Park Valhalla Collection. In fact, three of these expressions are no longer available for purchase, making this an extraordinary opportunity to be in the presence of greatness.

The night would not be complete without Brand Ambassador Martin Daraz leading us through each expression while we indulge on a Norse feast.

Details

When: Fri, Apr 3rd at 6:30pm
Where: Wingtip 550 Montgomery, 11th floor
Ticket: $250/person – 2 spaces available.

RSVP: jennifer@wingtip.com

Highland Park Valhalla Collection

ODIN

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: OdinHighland Park Odin represents a single malt Scotch whisky worthy of its namesake – the formidable and commanding ruler of Asgard. Its intense complexity ensures this final release is deserving of its rightful place at the head of the Valhalla Collection.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Vivid burst of sunlight
Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice; cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak and still smouldering away are the rich charred walnuts.
Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.

FREYA

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: FreyaFor the third release in the acclaimed Valhalla Collection, Highland Park has turned its attention to the mesmerising Norse Goddess of Love, Freya.
Continuing the tradition of reflecting the character and qualities of the Norse Gods in the whisky itself, Freya’s intriguing allure and feisty personality has inspired a full, rich and complex single malt with a lingering beguiling finish.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Almond and Madagascan vanilla. White chocolate followed by candied cherries makes way for a vibrant wave of mango and melon, riding upon a cloud of cream soda.
Palate: Orange peel, butterscotch and rose petals provide the sweetness along with orange blossom and ginger. Lively popping candy, lemongrass and tropical fruits are lightly shrouded in peat smoke.
Finish: Complex and beautiful, the finish gives lingering spice and soft peat smoke intertwined with soft orchard fruits, toasted coconut and a light char, providing a rounded depth and allowing this whisky to soar.

THOR

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: ThorHighland Park Thor has a natural strength like its namesake, drawing influence from the environment unique to Orkney, to create a truly elemental spirit. Distilled where sea turns to ocean, this 16 year-old single malt is a meeting point of nature’s forces, exuding a dynamic and bold character on the surface, but with an unexpected softer side at its heart.

Bottled at a robust 52.1% abv this limited edition whisky comes housed in a unique wooden frame, which echoes the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower.
Palate: Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.
Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.

LOKI

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: LokiOne of the most complex characters in Norse mythology, Loki constantly challenges the gods, questioning their order and hierarchy within Asgard. Yet with every treacherous situation he engineers, his actions ultimately create heroes amongst the other gods.

Like its namesake, this whisky is unpredictable and impulsive, echoing the formidable weather of the Orkney Islands. It is a single malt which is both dynamic and energetic, with constantly evolving flavours and a fiendish inner complexity.

Tasting Notes

Nose: A spirited lift of dried bitter orange, which quickly turns into lemon peels. Cardamom notes trick then tease the nose, before an enticing hit of gingerbread develops. With water, liquorice and aromatic smoke are both unleashed.
Palate: The true shape‐shifting ability of Loki springs to life on the palate: its waxy texture is amplified by an intense smoke that doesn’t appear on the nose, shattering the light citrusy illusion of the aroma. All is not what it seems. The smoke fades as liquorice and rich spiced apple flavours come out to play. Lemon and grapefruit are consistent throughout this elusive, yet intriguing character. With a touch of water, lingering notes of melted dark chocolate over spent embers leave a soft smoky impression.
Finish: As Loki departs, he leaves behind toasted cloves, hickory smoke and soft vanilla. It is constantly changing, from appearance to finish. Loki is an enigma and truly another whisky of the gods.

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EyeBobs Readers At City Lights Bookstore [PHOTOS]

The beat generation was raised at a bookstore, just a stone’s throw from Wingtip, on a jagged block of Columbus Avenue, nestled between San Francisco’s North Beach and Chinatown districts. City Lights Bookstore was opened in 1953, the brainchild of Peter D. Martin, but it was co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti who turned it into a place where poets could read and publish works that weren’t necessarily “fit to print,” in the established sense.

EyeBobs Peckerhead Reading Glasses At City Lights BookstoreFerlinghetti’s name became synonymous with free speech in 1956 when he published a diminutive book of poems with a four-letter word emblazoned on the cover in stately Albertus type: “Howl.”

The contents of Allen Ginsberg’s monumental poem raised the ire of morality police and both Ferlinghetti and store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were arrested for disseminating “obscene” material. The case was taken to the California State Superior Court and tried under Judge Clayton Horn, where, thankfully, reason prevailed. Judge Horn’s decision reads,
in part, “There are a number of words used in “Howl” that are presently considered coarse and vulgar in some circles of the community; in other circles such words are in everyday use. […] Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemism?”

City Lights was granted landmark status in 2001. The adjacent Adler Alley, once a seedy shortcut, (and the only thing that stood between the poets and their favorite haunt, Vesuvio Cafe), is now a paved-over pedestrian walkway called Jack Kerouac Alley, with colorful walls and bronze placards of poetry set into the ground. City Lights continues to publish new works and serve as a Mecca for San Francisco literary adherents and tourists alike.

Special Thanks to Scott and Andy at City Lights Bookstore for their kind assistance in helping us shoot this series of photos.

EyeBobs Readers

We recently visited City Lights Bookstore and Jack Kerouac Alley to test out our EyeBobs reading glasses. [TOP: Wingtip Master Barber Joe Roberts wears Board Stiff reading glasses in green spotted tortoise; ABOVE-LEFT: Mr. Roberts wears Peckerhead reading glasses. All reading glasses pictured are $79.]

EyeBobs Dot-Com Reading Glasses At City Lights Bookstore
Wingtip Bespoke Assistant Timothy Niven wears Dot-Com reading glasses in tortoise / blue

EyeBobs Peckerhead Reading Glasses At Jack Kerouac Alley
Mr. Roberts wears Peckerhead reading glasses

City Lights Bookstore, Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

EyeBobs Total Wit Reading Glasses At Jack Kerouac Alley
Mr. Niven wears Total Wit reading glasses in clear

Jack Kerouac Alley, Chinatown, North Beach, San Francisco

EyeBobs Board Stiff Reading Glasses At City Lights Bookstore
Mr. Roberts wears Board Stiff reading glasses in green spotted tortoise

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Foster & Son Visits Wingtip This Week

Foster & Son’s Jermyn Street workshop in London stands as a testament to classic, understated craftsmanship. As they note on their brochure, “The tools of our craft are very simple. An awl, flax thread, beautifully naturally tanned leather, a hammer, pliers, sharp knives, beeswax, punches, and marking tools.”

Well, you know what they say about the shoe being greater than the sum of its parts, no? Join us to find out, 3/26-28, when Wingtip will host Foster & Son’s Retail Manager Andrew Murphy and Last Maker Jon Spencer for their spring trunk show.

For appointments, please contact bespoke@wingtip.com.

PICTURED ABOVE: Bespoke Advisor Michael Alzona visits Foster & Son during a recent trip to London.

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Whiskies Of The World (Tentative Pour List Announced!)

We have reserved a limited number of seats for public, non-members, at this month’s Whiskies Of The World tasting. Beam Suntory hosts this international extravaganza Friday, March 27th, from 6-8pm, on the 11th Floor at Wingtip. To save your spot, RSVP to jennifer@wingtip.com. Tickets are only $40 and there are only five seats available, so you may want to email Jennifer, and then read the pour list. (It’s a long list.)

Simon Brooking, Laphroaig Brand Ambassador
Laphroaig 18 Year Old
Laphroaig Triplewood
Laphraoig Select
Laphraoig 25 Year Old

Iain McCallum, Global Master of Malts/Scotch Whisky Ambassador
Bowmore 15 YEARS OLD ‘DARKEST’
Bowmore 18 Years Old
Auchentoshan Three wood
Auchentoshan 18
Glen Garioch 1994
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak

Dan Tullio, Godfather of Whisky/Brand Ambassador Canadian Club
Canadian Club Reserve
Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12 Year Old

Gardner Dunn, Suntory Brand Ambassador
Hakushu 18 Yr
Yamazaki 18 Yr
Hibiki 12 Yr

Michael Egan, Irish Whiskey Ambassador
Greenore Single Grain
Tyrconnell Port
Tyrconnell Sherry
Tyrconnell Madeira
Connemara 12 Year Old

Chuck Hwang/Jennifer Sobb, Beam Suntory Gurus
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
Distiller’s Masterpiece
JB Single Barrel

kentucky_memorial

College Basketball Cufflinks from the Sweet 16 Top Dog (and an Underdog)

University Of Kentucky Memorial Coliseum College Basketball CufflinksTokens & Icons College Basketball Cufflinks are now available with arena flooring designs from number-one ranked U Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum and 11th ranked UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. The authentic flooring pieces were recovered during renovations, and were set in sterling silver by Tokens & Icons. These are the perfect dressed-up accessory for those that wear their fandom on their sleeve.

University Of Kentucky Memorial Coliseum

University Of Kentucky’s college basketball cufflinks are available in a bluegrass blue taken directly from the classic floor of Memorial Coliseum. The Kentucky Wildcats have racked up the most wins in college basketball history, and this year’s team, which may be the best in school history, has added at least 38 W’s to that total.
UCLA Pauley Pavilion College Basketball Cufflinks

UCLA Pauley Pavilion

The true blue paint of UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion was the early stomping ground of luminaries like Kareem Abdul-Jabar, as well as young stars like Russell Westbrook. The Los Angeles location has also hosted glitzy media events, like the Who’s induction into the Rock-and-Roll hall of fame. At press time, UCLA was an 8.5-point underdog in their Sweet 16 match-up with Gonzaga.

Additional College Basketball Cufflinks

If you’re not a Wildcat or a Bruin, you may be interested to know we also carry college basketball cufflinks from Kansas, U Penn, and Syracuse. All Tokens & Icons College Basketball Cufflinks are $160. Click for more details. (Tokens & Icons also carries cufflinks, bottle openers, and other memorabilia for NCAA football, NBA, MLB, and the NHL.)

hydrogen1

Q&A: Introducing Hydrogen Leather Shoes

As manager of San Francisco’s Hotel des Arts, Hero Nakatani took the meaning of “hotel art” to a new dimension, offering the rooms as blank canvases for artists to create modern, arresting visuals that made guests forget all about dull seaside landscapes and generic vistas. Nakatani then took on the footwear business, seeking to bridge the chasm between comfortable, urbane sneakers and sophisticated, but unforgiving oxfords. The result was Nakatani’s Hydrogen-1 shoes, a name that relates how these shoes are elemental, essential, and classically simple. Below, we talk with Hydrogen founder Hero Nakatani about his journey.

Wingtip: What is the menswear niche that Hydrogen-1 shoes seeks to fill?
Hero Nakatani: Understated style with comfort–for work or leisure.

WT: How did you set up your shoe manufacturing arrangement in Italy?
HN: We found a manufacturer with experience making our kind of high-end shoes. It was far from automatic that they would agree to work with a small, new company like Hydrogen-1. But they loved our designs, thought they were something really new and different, and it’s been a great relationship.

WT: What were the shoe production details that were at the top of your list while seeking that manufacturer?
HN: In comparing samples from different manufacturers, what really set them apart was the quality–across all the aspects. The leather, the soles, the cut, and the stitching. It was also really important to find someone who collaborated well, that is, translating a design into a finished shoe.

WT: Where are the shoes manufactured?
HN: They’re made in Italy’s Le Marche region, known for its shoe, and other artisanal, manufacturers.

WT: Was there a certain pair of shoes in your life that inspired you to get into the shoe business?
HN: I had these great looking Italian shoes that worked well with all my suits. The leather had this great patina, but they were so uncomfortable. Standing up all day, working at the hotel, I thought there had to be a better way!

WT: What was your experience like launching Hydrogen-1 on Kickstarter?
HN: It was a whirlwind, nail-biting, and ultimately very gratifying experience, just one month from launch to finish. Compared to other Kickstarters, we were raising a lot of money, $86,000, to buy the inventory for our first collection. The success rate for fashion businesses wasn’t all that promising, but if you can get around 25% of your goal raised in the first week or so, the odds look much better. And with the help of various friends in putting together an amazing launch party, we were able to do just that!

WT: How did your design or hospitality experiences from Hotel Des Arts inform the creation of Hydrogen-1?
HN: I’ve always been most inspired and motivated by the creative aspects of my job. The Hotel des Arts [pictured below] experience was a big milestone, doing that in the hotel trade. That, and other successes, gave me the confidence to believe that I could change professions altogether, and be successful.

WT: What is your favorite hotel in the world, besides Hotel Des Arts?
HN: Gosh, there are so many, but ultimately I like hotels that are small and intimate, like the Mercer in New York. It’s been around for so many years now, but has stood the test of time. Then there is also the tiny Gallery Hotel in Florence Italy. It’s very Italian.

WT: Any recommendations for lodging or restaurants for Wingtip readers visiting Italy?
HN: Gallery Hotel, right off of the famed Ponte Vecchio. If you take your wife, she will love you even more when you take her to the Salvatore Ferragamo museum (You will get special access if you stay at the hotel). Then go to dinner at Piazza Santo Spirito. There is a great local hangout “Osteria Santo Spirito.” I worked there when I was a student in Italy.

Hydrogen-1 Shoes’ spring collection is now available at Wingtip.