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LIBERTY FASHION & LIFESTYLE FAIRS
A trade show for men's contemporary fashion and lifestyle products was held at Pier 94 in NYC on January 24 - 26, 2016. This show features lots of brands from new and upcoming companies. Since I'm so staunch on interviewing vendors that make in America that I had no trouble finding them at this show. I loved the fact that many Millenniums were very interested in manufacturing their craft by hand and right here in good old USA. Some sections of the show are: The General Store which carries home wares, apothecary and small batch grooming products; Freedom Hall is about a group of menswear brands sharing a common thread of community, creativity, and craftsmanship; and Liberty Presents is a new area that allows designers to show their clothing collection without racks or booth walls. The charitable aspects of the fair were Art for Africa and 14+ Foundation where Levis and Schott donated jackets to a roster of artists who basically painted on them and then they will be auctioned off online end of February by a company called Paddle 8. Read more about the charity and fair at WWW.LIBERTYFAIRS.COM
The name stands for Mia Wright-Ross whom is the designer and a Parsons graduate. She makes all these bags herself in Washington Heights, NYC. As an artisan she is very particular on her craft and doesn't let any bag leave her shop unless it's perfect. The large bags are made in tumbled leather which is a heavy duty/sturdy leather that will last for years to come. The small pieces are in vegetable tanned leather and woven embossed leather. All the bags are unlined because with her signature hand stitching the pieces would become too bulky. Since I have worked with leather in the belt and hair accessory business I can tell you the process of how she stitches these bags together is very difficult and precise. She punches each hole by hand then laces edges with calfskin cord in black or natural colors with a chain stitch. These bags are for men or women and the styles are make-up case, wristlet, clutch, backpacks, waist satchel, tote, cross body bag and circle luggage which is my favorite. Her bags were featured in the Freedom Hall section of the show. Prices are $295.00 - $4,000.00. To buy these made to last bags go to WWW.MWRWCOLLECTION.COM
HIDE & HOWL SUPPLY COMPANY
Made in Indianapolis, Indiana by disabled veterans. Christian Resiak, whom I interviewed in the General Store section of the show; told me he started this project with 10 men one year ago by teaching them how to stitch the leather bags by hand. After this he developed an apprenticeship program to develop permanent employees. The bags are full grain cowhide from cows in Maine that are even tanned there in colors of umber, matt black, and distressed brown. Even the waxed thread used to sew the pieces of leather together in a saddle stitch is from Maine. The designs are classic and timeless and will last you I would say 25 years or longer even with everyday use of the bags. The idea is a bag should be sustainable against the elements and look better as it ages. Styles consist of roll top bags (bottom photo) rucksacks, briefcases, (top photo) day packs, and small leather goods (middle photo) such as wallets, dopp kits (men's toiletry bags), tool kits, billfolds, trucker wallets, card cases, key throbs all for men. For the ladies they make unlined sling bags and rebel yell handbags. With this hard leather their is no need for linings because the bags are already stiff. All the hardware is sourced in the USA also. Prices for small leather goods - $80.00 -$150.00, men's bags - $325.00 - $425.00, women's bags - $150.00 - $350.00. To buy these great American bags go to WWW.HOWLANDHIDESUPPLY.COM
BLACKROCK LEATHER 'N' RICH
Thomas Angelo's Grandfather started this business in 1976 when Grandpa owned a chain of western stores in in Illinois called Christian Brothers and he sold a jar of this with every pair of cowboy boots that he sold. This product is still made in Illinois by hand with Grandpa's recipe. What's in this Blackrock jar will clean, condition, preserve and water repel your leather shoes/boots/bags/wallets/belts. Thomas was nice enough to give me a jar to try which I used on my Made in Italy leather purses at home. The outcome was that this product made my bags look brand new! The middle photo shows Thomas using his fingers to rub in the product into his shoes but if I were you I would use the white cloth he sells in the bottom photo to do so and then buff the shoes to a shine with the brush (in a circular motion) in the photo also. I was brought up to take care of my shoes because before Made in China we didn't have lots of shoes and back then they were all leather shoes. Prices $4.00 for white cloth, $20.00 brush, $8.00 laces, and $10.00 for a jar of Blackrock. To order anything he sells WWW.BLACKROCK-LEATHER.COM.
AVI-8 - Article and Photos by Patricia Ann Parenti
This watch line was started 3 years ago with an idea about the dials being designed straight out of the cockpit of an airplane. The name stems from fright aviation. All the dials come in black/white/gray but the watch straps are in leather or nylon bands. The Japanese movements are quartz or powered by batteries. One of the nice features of these dials is they have day and date that list Monday thru Sunday. This classic pilot watch involves a chronograph timer and a Tachometer which measures speed and velocity. These watches are high quality and compare to brands such as Hamilton. Many of the styles feature a sub dial which consists of it measuring 1/10 of seconds. The second dial measures seconds and the 3rd dial measures minutes . The brand plays homage to WWII and the British Royal Air Force. Looking for a gift for a man than this is it for you can see the product as a gift in the middle photo. Prices range $145.00 - $150.00. To order these fine watches so that you can stop looking at your cell phone for the time every two minutes then go to: WWW.AVI-8NATION.COM. Before end of February 28, 2017 put in code LFWI7 to get your 30% discount off the price.
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