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April 9, 2014

PERFECTION OF JAPANESE AMERICANA

This post is preaching to the converted, I know. If you already weren’t aware of the exquisite workmanship coming out of Japan and the hyper attention to detail the Japanese dedicate to their craft, you wouldn't be interested in the Japanese brands we carry at Bench & Loom, like Stevenson Overall Co., The Real McCoys, Rocky Mountain Featherbed, John Lofgren, Barns, Sugar Cane and Buzz Rickson.

The fact is while the Japanese have been at this for some time, the West – at large – is only now just realizing it. Call it recreating, replicating, resurrecting, reengineering or whatever you like, whether it’s selvedge blue jeans, aged whisky, horsehide motorcycle jackets or gourmet burgers, the Japanese are surpassing even the traditional “experts”.

Some say this eternal pursuit of excellence is ingrained in their psyche, part of the Japanese culture of dedicating one’s trade to perfection – kind...

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March 22, 2014

DISCOVERING JAMES DEAN'S "GIANT" BOOTS

The clothes worn by James Dean have been the subject of countless “inspired by” features, forum discussions, blog posts, magazine articles, and speculation for decades. Basically, everyone wants to know how to accurately replicate his iconic style but it’s always been somewhat of a guess.

So imagine our excitement when we hit the jackpot. It came in the form of James Dean’s amiable cousin Marcus, who runs the Fairmount Historical Museum in James’ hometown of Fairmount, Indiana.

Marcus and James were raised together in the same household so he’s a wealth of firsthand knowledge and just happens to have many of his cousin’s original clothes and shoes on hand. Because of Marcus, we confirmed the existence of a single hidden chest pocket and the true color of stripes in the Quarter Stripe Camera Shirt (red), and we were able to...

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December 15, 2013

10 QUESTIONS: JIMMY NELSON

Gifted photographer Jimmy Nelson.
Just three months ago photographer Jimmy Nelson released his inaugural book, Before They Pass Away , and it's been met with instant worldwide acclaim. Sold-out nearly everywhere, his stunning collection of images of indigenous peoples has captivated the public’s imagination and left viewers breathless, including us. We posted a brief write-up upon the book’s release and now we have the distinct privilege of having Jimmy Nelson as the subject of our exclusive “10 Questions” interview.

Where are you from and where do you now call home? I was...

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December 7, 2013

GABON: AFRICA’S LOST & LAST EDEN

This posting is long overdue. Back in June, after nearly an entire year of planning, we had the rare opportunity to visit Gabon.

This unknown Eden in western Central Africa was made aware to the world barely more than a decade ago by National Geographic Society explorer J. Michael Fay and his epic, even super-human,
Megatransect .

The discoveries made by Fay and, to give credit where it's due, the resulting designation of millions of acres of new national parks by then Gabonese president Omar Bongo, have revealed Gabon to be a paradise of natural wonder long thought extinct or nonexistent – ancient, virgin wilderness, vast, unpolluted and undammed rivers, the largest waterfalls in tropical Africa, forested mountains unexplored by man, natural jungle clearings known as bais where a Noah's Ark of animals...

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November 12, 2013

10 QUESTIONS: ADAM CAROLLA

Comedian and host Adam Carolla.

Comedian and broadcast host Adam Carolla doesn’t need much of an introduction. His radio program The Adam Carolla Show is the “most downloaded podcast” according to the Guinness Book of World Records, although he’s still probably best loved for the TV program The Man Show . Funny, smart and outspoken, we spoke to him over the phone for our exclusive “10 Questions” interview and found he’s extremely personable, not to mention hilarious.

Where are you from and where do you now call home? I’m from the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles and I still live there today.

What's your favorite...

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