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.)

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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.

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Whether its St. Patrick’s Day, or any other day that requires a quick pop of color, Stolen Riches laces are a fun and stylish way to mix it up. Seen here in pinch-deflecting Niklaus Green (above-right) and Moville Green (above left), Stolen Riches offers a shade of every color on the visible spectrum.

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The Harrington style dates back to the 1930s, but its place in pop culture was cemented in the 60s by scooting swarms of mods and titans of cool, including Steve McQueen (far left), Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Ryan O’Neal.

Wait, Ryan O’Neal?

Sure, his coolest film role was con artist Moses Pray in Peter Bogdanovich’s “Paper Moon,” but from 1964-69, O’Neal was a supporting player on TV soap “Peyton Place.” He played a high-schooler named Rodney Harrington, whose Baracuta G9 jacket was so on-point that he couldn’t keep the ladies off him.

The British manufacturers Baracuta continue to make that original, iconic G9. But here are the key features that make our Gentleman’s Harrington an upgrade: Its shell is a warm, refined wool, more substantial than the usual cotton. And it gets better, because this is no ordinary wool. It is one of the most innovative fabrics on the market. It is Loro Piana Storm System, which means the wool shell is reinforced with a weatherproof, but breathable, lining. Finally, although we appreciate the look of a flashy tartan underneath a solid exterior, the plain lining of the Gentleman’s Harrington strikes us as more business-friendly. Our Gentleman’s Harrington is offered in a true navy, a few ticks past midnight, but not quite black.

Available now in sizes Small through XXXL, $895.

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Next week, St. Crispin’s visits Wingtip for a three-day trunk show. We adore these shoes, and fell that they represent an investment-caliber value, even at their steep price tag. But we know some readers may get light-headed over the thought of parting with $1700 for a pair of shoes. So, here we embody the “Skeptical Shopper,” and volley the hard questions to our Bespoke Advisors Michael Alzona and Bruce Zuckerman:

Skeptical Shopper: What makes St. Crispin’s special?

Michael Alzona: The fact that they offer a custom fit and they design every single one-of-a-kind pair makes them particularly special. Saint Crispin’s are only available at the world’s finest retailers. Wingtip is one of four in all of North America.

SS: I hear they’re from Romania? I thought all the best shoes were from Italy or England.

Bruce Zuckerman: Although English and Italian products are renowned, the old world craftsmanship and worker pride in Romania is respected throughout the leather goods marketplace, worldwide.

MA: Sure, Saint Crispin’s is a smaller shoe company, but pound-for-pound they are a top-notch contender for the mantle of “World’s Finest Shoe Brand.” They have earned a massive amount of respect among the world’s shoe and fashion aficionados for their high quality and designs.

SS: What will make this trunk show exciting?

MA: We are very excited to have the owner Phillip Car at Wingtip again this year to help clients with custom fittings and consultations.

SS: Bottom line–Why should I spend $1700 on a pair of shoes?

MA: Finest quality hand welted shoes custom fit that I can design? Hollowed shoe trees specific to the shoe? Monogrammed sole? Sign me up!

BZ: These are more than just shoes; they are an investment in your wardrobe, style, and comfort, for years into the future.

Saint Crispin’s trunk show runs next week, Monday, March 16th through Wednesday, March 18th. Contact Mr. Alzona or Mr. Zuckerman at bespoke@wingtip.com to make your appointment.

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Whether you need to pick up some libations for the festivities, or if you find yourself in a swarm of green and need a quiet nip, or if you’re feeling the affects of said festivities and need a warm meal, we have what cures your ailments this Saint Paddy’s Day:

1. We are putting Murphy’s Irish Stout on tap this year! It was the tried-and-true Guinness last year, but in an attempt to always make the Wingtip Experience unique I choose to tap the other black stout from the Irish Isles, and boy is it tasty. Dark Toffee and coffee notes waft out of the glass, and of course the color of this fine brew is darker than a black hole; no light escapes once it enters. The first taste of Murphy’s is close to perfection. Low notes of bitter chocolate and a malty back bone guarantee a perfect sipping experience from start to finish. Come get this pint while you can, because once the month is over we will be moving on to another dark beer.

2. Chef Matt will be making corned beef and cabbage for the week, as a one-time special. We will have reubens for lunch and corned beef entrees at night. I personally love corned beef. My family always served it the week of Saint Paddy’s, and always with Irish stout. The spicyness and juiciness of the beef always puts a smile on my face, and Chef Matt is making this year’s corned beef extra special with the debut of his new sous vide machine. Corned beef a great start to a party, and a great aid to your recovery the next day.

3. We offer a quiet reprieve from the Saint Paddy’s revelry that takes place through out San Francisco’s FiDi. While most places are throwing their alley parties, and have bathroom lines around the block, our members can come and have a quiet pint and a wee nip in between bar-hopping.

4. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey.

5. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey. We have so many different types of Irish Whisky it warrants mentioning twice. We have whiskies from Jameson, Connemera, single grain Irish whiskies like Greenore, single malt Irish whiskies like the Redbreast, Kilbegan, and…

6. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey, plus one: Mosswood is a brand new, locally-imported, barrel-aged Irish Whiskey “crafted from a four-year-old Irish whiskey distilled at Cooley.”

Jake Chevedden of Mosswood Distillers, elaborates, “The finishing for this batch was a blend of two barrels, one of which spent 7 months in Amontillado and the other which spent 13 months in Amontillado. The sherry we used to treat the barrels was Valedespino’s Contrabandista. The barrel finish lends a dry, nutty characteristic in the whiskey, with notes of marzipan, cinnamon and cardamom, and a rich, creamy texture. A complex Irish whiskey with a long finish. This whiskey is brought to proof and bottled by hand.

Mosswood is available now at Wingtip’s Bank Of Wine And Spirits for 15% Off its regular price of $60 (or $51) when you mention the code ERIN GO BRAGH. Offer good now through Saint Paddy’s Day, in store only.

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We don’t offer many art reviews at Wingtip’s Modern Gentleman’s Blog, but the occasion of the “Skating Minister” visiting the De Young Museum for the next few months is cause for a trip to Golden Gate Park. This 1790s painting, allegedly by Sir Henry Raeburn, is fully dubbed “The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch.” It normally resides at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, so it is a rare treat to lay eyes on this dapper gent.

Why do we like this painting? Well, if it’s not already evident by the top hat and tailored wool overcoat, we like the juxtaposition of a guy who’s dressed for the gala while playing on the loch. A modern-day equivalent would be something like Justice Ginsburg skateboarding in her robe and jabot. We also like how the reverend is trying his hardest to look like he’s slogging through manual labor, while the faint glimmer of an inner child is screaming to jump out of his hat.

“Masterpieces From the National Galleries of Scotland” opens this Saturday, March 7th, at the De Young, and runs through May 31. The show boasts of pieces by Botticelli, Vermeer, and Cezanne, but we’ll be there for the vintage-1790s menswear.

Advance tickets are available at deyoung.famsf.org.

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One of our favorite grooming products makes its long-awaited return.

Baxter Of California’s new formulation of their Under Eye Complex is “infused with caffeine, antioxidant vitamins, and seaweed extract to re-energize skin while fighting wrinkles and improving skin texture.”

It’s the key to combating a long day after a hard night.

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We are thrilled to welcome back Saint Crispin’s shoe company for a trunk show featuring spring 2015 and custom selections. The trunk show will run Monday 3/16 through Wednesday 3/18. Contact bespoke@wingtip.com to make an appointment.

Below, we’ve snapped some shots of some of our current stock, but these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Saint Crispin's Custom Shoes Featuring Pantherella English Socks

Saint Crispin's Custom Shoes Featuring Pantherella English Socks

Saint Crispin's Custom Shoes Featuring Pantherella English Socks

Saint Crispin's Custom Shoes Featuring Pantherella English Socks

About Saint Crispin’s

“The craft and our company: The Saint Crispin’s company in Brasov, Romania employs 25 highly trained crafts people and has an output of approximately 1.500 pairs per year only.

Our business model is based on the single pair order, which allows us to provide excellent service to customers. Due to limited output, the company works with only a handful of select international partners. Saint Crispin’s is one of the worlds smallest shoe manufacturers, but we are renowned amongst shoe and fashion aficionados for their impeccable craftsmanship and design.

Saint Crispin’s shoes are only presented in the world finest shops in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom and in the United States.”

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Saturday Night Live turns 40 on Saturday, and will air a 3+ hour secial on Sunday (blasphemy!) to mark the occasion. We want to celebrate too, but we don’t want to get into an argument about who the best cast members or sketches were. Instead, we present to you our top, favorite, and most outrageous menswear moments, in no particular order. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.

Wild And Crazy Guys

Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd’s George and Yortuk Festrunk were “Two Wild And Crazy Guys” from Czechoslovakia who were single and ready to mingle. In the late 70s, these two pulled out all the stops to entice “foxes” to join them in their swinging pad. But whether due to their tacky leisure wear or just their pathetic pick-up lines, they failed, and were left at the end of each sketch wondering whether America’s promise of easy women and hot, combustible polyester was just an illusion.

The Blues Brothers

Classic cool and good music. That’s what the Blues Brothers, played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, represented, and that’s the kind of music they played. Everything they did had swagger and they always killed it when they performed live on stage, especially their rendition of “Soul Man” in 1978. We here at Wingtip love a good suit and they both rocked good suits in solid, solemn, no-nonsense funereal black.

White Like Me

Bravo to Mr. Eddie Murphy for sitting down in that chair and getting that make-up done for god-knows-how-long; and big props to the costume department for putting together that three-piece with the button-down collar. One of the funniest and most controversial sketches of all time, Eddie Murphy does a fantastic job showing us what it’s like to be a white guy in America, while looking like Ned Flanders from “The Simpsons.”

What Up With That?

This sketch has everything going for it in the funny and costume department. We have Fred Armisen doing a spot-on Kenny G impersonation, we have Jason Sudeikis in an awesome Adidas tracksuit, and we have the main man, Kenan Thompson, in a ridiculous brick-colored three-piece suit. By the amount Kenan sweats during this sketch, if we didn’t know any better, we would think he’s doing his best Katt Williams impression.

Bill Swerski’s Super Fans

Is it possible to wear too many sports-themed articles of clothing at one time? If Bill Swerski’s super fans are any indication, the rule is: The more the merrier. The Chicago sports fans, played by George Wendt, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Robert Smigel, accessorized their orange-and-navy hued Chicago Bears gear with thick mustaches, aviator shades, and a smorgasbord of Polish sausage, deep-fried-what-have-you, and mugs of beer. “Da beers.”

Jeffrey’s

His phone caromed between miniature and gigantic. His bangs were fussy. And, when he couldn’t be bothered to walk, he rode a Rascal. That’s Will Ferrell as the owner of “Jeffrey’s,” a boutique that was so hip, no one but its workers could feasibly shop there (especially before they installed their front door).

Stefon

Weekend Update’s New York Correspondent Stefon is easily the city’s hottest person. If anything is happening in the Big Apple, Stefon knows about it. The only thing more magnificent than Stefon’s highlights and signature olive Ed Hardy shirt are his choices in New York’s hottest night clubs, like Taste, which has everything: “Ice sculptures, winos, Germfs–German smurfs–a Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara, an old lady wearing Kid ‘N Play hair, and none other than DJ Baby Bok Choy.”

David Bowie

There’s no way Bowie misses a list like this. Bowie brought Berlin back to New York for this December 1979 performance. The outsized costume was inspired by Klaus Nomi (to Bowie’s immediate right) who lived the cabaret lifestyle in Berlin before taking his act to New York. When Bowie saw him performing, he knew he had to have Nomi and Nomi’s black-tie-meets-Sprockets suit in his show. The ensemble was so binding that as the opening chords of “The Man Who Sold The World” were struck, Nomi and backup singer Joey Arias had to hand-carry Bowie to the front of the stage.

More Cowbell

Easily one of Will Ferrell’s most recognizable sketches, never has rock-n-roll been more expertly portrayed (except for, perhaps, “This Is Spinal Tap,” also a product of the greater SNL braintrust) than in this instance. The best thing about this sketch is the attention to detail. From Ferrell’s unzipped sweater to the masterfully exposed midriff, the looks here scream 70s rock.

Pat

“It’s Pat” was a sitcom-styled sketch staring Julia Sweeney. It’s not really fair to call this a menswear moment, since the whole sketch was predicated upon Pat’s ambiguous gender. But we give Pat points for putting curves in places we didn’t know were possible, and for sticking to a signature style (khakis, button down cowboy shirt, thick frames, and perm).

With additional reporting by Tim Niven

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