Monday, October 29, 2012

Esquire nominates Steffen Morrison (best dressed man)

Steffen Morrison has been nominated by Esquire as 'best dressed man'. What a compliment for us, because most of the time he's dressed in OntFront. To vote for Steffen Morrison click here. Check out the great picture Esquire made of him in an all OntFront outfit:

(at Andaz)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interview with Valentijn Merkens (from Amsterdam shoe Co)

There's quite a few shoe brands from Amsterdam out there at the moment. They came up fast. In terms of minimalism, quality and craftsmanship there's a new player on the block that really stands out: Amsterdam shoe co. A shoe brand  founded by Valentijn Merkens. With quite a large collection, his products truly amaze us. Contemporary, simple and on point. We decided to stock Amsterdam shoe Co at our store (!). So here's an interview to get to know Valentijn and his brand a little better:

What is your name, age and were did you grow up?
My name is Valentijn Merkens, 27, grew up in the south of Amsterdam, born and raised

How did your passion for shoes came to be?
I’ve had an interest in the production process behind products for a very long time. I wasn’t aware that I had a passion for shoes until I heard it later on from people around me. Apparently I already had quite a lot of shoes when I was around sixteen. But still, I think for me, the thing I love most about it is creating a product from beginning to end. And shoes are a very grateful and rewarding product to do that with.

Why was it important to incorporate the city Amsterdam into your company?
First of all, I was looking for a very basic name, not a catchy brand name. In the old days your company would just be named after the product you made and the town where you’re located. So that was the Amsterdam Shoe Company, plus I thought it conveyed the right image of the type of shoes that I want to make, it’s an honest, straight forward, simple name.

And with Amsterdam in the name I also had the opportunity to make the wide range of shoes that I want to make within the label’s aesthetic. In Amsterdam the winters can be cold, the summers can be hot, we have an urban city-center and proximity to a lot of water whether it’s the canals or the open water of the lakes and the sea.

What is your ultimate goal with Amsterdam shoe co?
My goal is to make some great footwear that people like. I think we’re at a good point now where we’re creating something that is not there in the market yet. It’s not groundbreaking footwear but it’s something that people are missing. Of course, growth is a goal as well, but it doesn’t have to be the next big thing. We’re doing quite well in the Netherlands and Australia and we’ve added a couple of nice stores in other countries as well so nice and steady it goes.

What can we expect from Amsterdam shoe co in the future?
There are some exciting new things coming up. Some new styles, such as a tassel moc, a wingtip, a boat shoe. We’re definitely going laceless next summer, quite a few slip ons and even the wingtip can be worn without laces because of the elastic goring inside. We also have some new types of leather, such as nubuck, horse leather and a beautiful woven leather. And to finish it off we’re getting creative with some new colorways and outsole types.
Can you name us a celebrity with a proper taste for shoes and tell us why?
Uhm, I’ve never really thought about this. One name that comes to mind is Ryan Gosling, he knows how to appreciate a good loafer, a dress shoe and a boot. That type of versatility can only be applauded.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview with Mike Verhagen

 (Mike Verhagen, pics by Liza Koifman)

Mike Verhagen is the kind of guy who stands out in a crowd in a subtle way. His personal style also reflects in his work, he has launched an interesting website called Arculture. This website presents products from all major contemporary and stylish fashion websites. It features creative content and stands for up to date style in a specific way. So we decided to do an interview with him. Here goes:

-Where were you born, raised and what influenced you style wise?
Born in Nijmegen, raised in 2 little places called Middelaar and Gennep (both near Nijmegen). I think my influence have mostly been triggered by people and my environment. I’ve always been interested in people and the way they express them selves. Also traveling, Brooklyn and old movies with their current styles have influenced me.

-Which type of subcultures are influential to you and why?
Lets say dandies, rockabilly, geek chic and the Hip-Hop culture.

-Who are true style icons according to you and why?
The bearded man Ouigi Theodore, founder of the Brooklyn Circus is very inspiring to me business wise and style wise. Also people like Andre 3000 and Yasiin Bey former known as Mos Def. They are all guys with a really outspoken style and attitude. I love their vintage, timeless look; it will still be fly the next century.

-What are your three favorite garments at the moment and why?
A vintage Levi’s jeans jacket and my vintage dead stock slacks are always among my favorites. I love timeless pieces; they just fit amazing and look cool. At the moment I also love a 100% cotton shirt by our legacy, it’s a thick shirt, good quality with little arrows on it, why because I feel good in them. 

-Can you tell us about your company Arculture? Why did you set it up?
Arculture is a fashion web shop for premium brands and an emerging web platform about streetculture. Next to the business model, I started the project Arculture Awareness where in collaboration with creative minds we start cool cultural project to inspire people to be more aware of the influence they have on the people around them. 10% of all profit is invested in these cultural projects.

I started Arculture because of my love for fashion, culture, and entrepreneurship. I was missing a web shop that combines the best web shops worldwide with each other. I don’t like to browse separately in 10 web shops, but love to do all this at one place, so that’s what Arculture does for you.

-What do you hope to achieve with Arculture?
Success, I don’t know what that will be yet because you can interpret success in multiple ways.
I want people to visit Arculture to find their favorite brands and garments, in the future I love them to engage in conversation about the topics that they are most passionate about. I hope to create a full-on streetculture platform where people can find everything on shoe releases, new collaborations but also artist, gallery openings, parties, amazing architecture and this worldwide. So when you get out of the plane in New York, your app will tell you everything cool that’s about to happen in the next weeks.

Besides that and maybe even my biggest hope, I hope to create big campaigns that will really have an impact on the Dutch and maybe global society trough Arculture Awareness. I keep hoping that one man can change the world, why not me.

-Can you show us three favourite pieces on Arculture (in picture) and explain why?
·     Men’s marostica low vesuvio sneaker by Diemme.  Love the clean style combined with the hiking boot laces:


      Jacquard-knit merino wool sweater by A.P.C. Fresh warm and quality sweater, can’t wait to wear it:

·     Bracken brown twee scott field jacket By Barbour by To Ki To. Last couple of years I just love all the jackets Barbour is offering, but this vintage look old English jacket just got my attention. Tweed is always a winner.