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Monday Muse: California Dreaming with the Row

The Row Pre-Fall 2015

It’s been a little over a year since Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen opened the doors to the Row’s flagship store on Melrose Place, but the designing duo have learned plenty in the span of those twelve months. Namely, that Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily have the seasonal dressing situations that other environs might. When those glass doors swung open, Angelenos were greeted with heavy wool, dark hues and plenty of options to brave a Polar Vortex. It wasn’t quite the swinging L.A. vibe that fans expected, to say the least. So this year, the twins have broadened their pre-fall collection (it was pre-fall, after all, that was in stock when the Row Melrose Place opened up) to include more than heavy coats and cold weather staples. Riffing on surf culture and the laid-back attitude of the ’60s, the Row’s latest collection is a cool walk along the boardwalk.

The Row Pre-Fall 2015

The Row’s go-tos are present and accounted for. Namely, slouchy pants, oversized linen coats and plenty of floor-grazing hemlines, but instead of tweeds and wools — two menswear fabrications that the Olsens have proven adept at using time and again — there were light-as-air linens, comfortable, cozy knits and nubby burlap that looked like they’d been sun-bleached from years of being forgotten in the back of an old Volkswagen beetle.

The touches of surf culture were subtle. There was nary a Hawaiian print to be found, but there were big chunky zip details, wetsuit necklines and double-faced fabrics built on neoprene backing. It was inspired by surf photography — a black and white snap showed up on the Row’s Instagram account the morning of the show — as well as the usual all-American ethos that’s been established since the very first presentation from the Olsen twins.

The Row Pre-Fall 2015

And as for those lessons learned? Fall staples such as knits, turtlenecks and more were offered in tissue-thin knits while fur coats and wraps were sheared down — cozy and luxe without the volume. For heavier climes or those chilly SoCal nights, the twins showed suede in both short and long options. Color was new, too. Paprika, lilac, loden green and russety orange were all shown against the Olsen’s signature ecru, almond and white.

The finishing touch to it all? Irreverent sequin slides. Flat and comfortable, they were each handmade by a crunchy granny and might not even go into production, but given how the Birkenstock was the shoe of 2014 and editors were all salivating over the kitchy-cool shoes against the austere and luxe clothes, maybe Mary-Kate and Ashley could convince that crafty lady to bedazzle a few more pairs.

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Wolverine Opens First-Ever Pop-Up Store in New York Today

Wolverine Company Store Pop-Up

Wolverine the brand, not the hairy Marvel Comics character, opened its first pop-up shop today, post-Fashion Week.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot

The pop-up shop carries Wolverine’s classics alongside brands that were hand-picked to complement the overall feel of the store. Filson (a longtime collaborator with Wolverine) bags and outerwear will be available in addition to David Hart & Co. ties, Tanner Goods belts, Tellason denim — a niche brand based in San Francisco — and a capsule collection of Wolverine boots designed with Brooklyn designer Samantha Pleet.

“For Wolverine€™s first pop-up we chose New York because there€™s nowhere else like it. New York is well known for pop-ups. People are very accepting of the pop-up shop concept and get excited to see pop-ups from their favorite brands,” said Christina Vernon, Global Product Line Manager for Wolverine. “We have a good following for our men€™s 1000 Mile Collection in New York, so we felt it was a good opportunity to showcase our other collections here as well.”

There’s been a major resurgence in old school workwear for guys. They’re picking up chambray shirts at J. Crew, pairing them with selvedge denim loomed in North Carolina and, of course, looking for the perfect shoes to show off that precisely cuffed selvedge-edge hem. Wolverine, which has been in the bootmaking business since 1883 has been a brand that guys have gravitated towards when they’re on the hunt for the perfect blend of fashion, function and American tradition. These hard-as-nails boots are still made in America today.

“People are less interested in throw-away fashion, which has led them to think about how apparel and footwear is made, what it€™s made from and how long it will last,” said Vernon. “We have heard from many customers who would rather make investments in their wardrobe with well-made classics. We€™ve also chosen to partner with other American brands like Horween leather. People have an appreciation for what€™s being made and where it€™s made.”

Wolverine Company Store Pop-Up

The shop is also carrying selected womenswear as well.

“A lot of people don€™t even know we have women€™s when they come into the store, but it€™s selling very well,” added Vernon.

There will also be a selection of vintage jewelry from The Shiny Squirrel and select vintage items from BKLYN Dry Goods.”

Don’t think for a second that the heritage trend is going away. While the menswear mags might be pushing minimalism and crisp Italian three-piece suits, there’s no sign that Wolverine and other American workwear labels are losing steam.

Wesley 1000 Mile Wingtip Chukka

“We love the fact that men are paying attention to what they€™re wearing and the brands they€™re choosing. We also like to see that men are dressing up more,” said Vernon. “It€™s not just about jeans and t-shirts. Men are taking time to be more conscious of what they are wearing and buying. Of course, denim is still a big part of menswear, but dressing up brings in a great opportunity for footwear like brogue oxfords and dressier boots.”

The store itself was designed using reclaimed wood brought in from the Wolverine factory in Rockford, Michigan, and is decorated with over 170 boot lasts and found objects courtesy of the pop-up pros at BKLYN Dry Goods. “With our own pop-ups, we wanted people to leave thinking they’d just visited a space that had been there for years — and would stick around for years to come,€  said Jahn Hall, co-founder of BKLYN Dry Goods. Light fixtures were found in a salvage yard and everything in the space looks weathered and thoughtful, even though it will =only be open until February of next year. Until then, however, expect special events and more to take place and consider the Wolverine pop-up your official outfitter for the upcoming winter.

The Wolverine Company Store Pop-Up is located at 242 Elizabeth Street, in New York. For more information, visit www.wolverine.com

Photos courtesy Wolverine