Monday, May 23, 2011

Rep Your Hood: 8 Local American Brands You Should Be Rocking

Striver’s Row USA
Atlanta, Georgia

The South isn’t known these days for influential brands, so when Striver’s Row opened their doors in 2009, it was a good look. The Jason Geter and Emmett Harrell owned shop and label has filled a hole in the Atlanta, Georgia garb scene. They focus on telling a story with each garment, whether it’s a 1930’s denim workwear-inspiration, or hunting camouflage. They do it in the details. What do you expect, though? They’re strivers.

In sports, you are expected to support the home team, no matter how God-awful they are. When it comes to fashion, though, that kind of regional loyalty is a little harder to come by. We decided to profile eight of the best brands that deserve your attention—especially if they’re from your neck o’ the woods. And if you aren’t? No sweat, there are no front-runners in the style game. So grab an atlas and check out 8 Local American Brands You Should Be Rocking.

Baldwin Denim
Kansas City, Missouri

The meteoric rise of Baldwin Denim is no fluke. Cut and sewn selvedge denim sourced from some of the best mills around will garner that kind of attention. They fit great too. Though they’ve been making great denim since 2009, they've recently been getting major play on some of the best menswear blogs (they got the ‘net goin’ nuts!) and getting carried by the top shops like Need Supply and Steven Alan.

Fox River Mills
Osage, Iowa

Fox River Mills has been around since 1900. Originally manufactured in Fox River, Wisconsin, with a focus on quality, they recently began to rethink their strategy a bit and put more focus on the style and “fashion” aspect of their socks. It’s paid off. They’ve been getting play in the fashion mags, and at New York Fashion Week—Fox River socks were featured on the Riviera Club models—and sold in shops like Woodlands and UNIS. They’ve also been known to keep a style blogger or two’s feet warm. Ask A Continuous Lean’s Michael Williams.

Artifact Bags Co.
Omaha, Nebraska

Chris Hughes, founder of Artifact Bags Co., has an obsession with honing his craft, so when Artifact Bags Co. was launched in 2010, spawned by his love for authentic military garb, he knew he worked to perfect his gameplan, which involves individually hand-making utilitarian waxed canvas bags that will last a lifetime. People took notice of this philosophy quickly, and one of his more sought after items, the No. 215 Lunch tote, helped make a name for his brand.
Oak Street Bootmakers
Chicago, Illinois

George Vlagos, the son of a well-known cobbler, launched Oak Street in August 2010. Using his connections in Chicago, he was able to source some of the finest leather from Horween Leather Co., a renowned tannery. “Oak Street is all about delivering the absolute best product, at the most attainable price. Hand crafting in America isn't cheap, but it yields an absolutely beautiful product,” says Vlagos. He is now featured in numerous shops across the country and is even catching the eye of some well-known celebs. “We found out a couple of weeks ago that Usher bought a pair at one of the shops that carries us in New York. He bought the navy camp sole camp boot.” Honest goods receive honest love.

Draught Dry Goods
Missoula, Montana

Caesy Oney has perfected the artistry that goes into making every single bag and leather accessory for his brand. He claims most of his success has come from his huge presence online amongst the style community. “It would have been difficult to get to the place I am in now without the support of the community in fashion and design, all of which is remarkably accessible due to the burgeoning social network and blogging communities.” With some of the crazy good products Draught Dry Goods is producing, things are only going to get better.

Warwick, Rhode Island

Robert Babigian, WHARF founder, built his store from ground up and launched an in-house line, concentrating on shirts, canvas bags, and ties. And it’s all based on one philosophy: Built for a guy, by a guy. “The in-house line will always be understated basics, high quality, and utilitarian. It's based on my taste, but more importantly, my needs. Anything that eventually comes from the WHARF brand will probably have been traced to something in my closet at one point or another in my life,” says Babigian. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Look for a downtown Providence, RI location opening soon.

Tanner Goods
Portland, Oregon

Started in 2008, Tanner Goods has grown exponentially over the last two years and is the middle up putting the finishing touches on it’s first very own shop in downtown Portland, scheduled to open in early June. They have grown from a small operation to more of a production and manufacturing family which has taken on the challenge of being one of the leaders in the handmade leather goods revival.

No fitted hawaii or in4mation? or Quoddy pictured but they r hot tooo

Keyshia Cole Marries Daniel ‘Boobie’ Gibson in Las Vegas

Daniel Gibson and Keyshia Cole
Keyshia Cole is on cloud nine after tying the knot with her fiancé Daniel “Boobie” Gibson in a private ceremony in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Cole, 29, and Gibson, 25, celebrated their union in a helicopter ride high above Sin City on Saturday night (May 21).
“It’s OFFICIAL!!!!! #Done & #TrulyBlessed.. Mr. & Mrs. Gibson. We appreciate all the Well Wishes!” tweeted Gibson, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “One of the Best nights of our Lives.. #NoQuestion.”
The couple got engaged in January 2010 after meeting the year before. They have a 14-month-old son Daniel Hiram Gibson Jr., named after his father.
Keyshia’s close friend Monica was among the first to send her best wishes. “Congratulations to @keyshiacole Wishing u guys a lifetime of happiness,” she wrote.
The newlyweds had previously shared plans for a tropical wedding in Bora Bora, but their schedules did not permit.
Keyshia Cole and Daniel Gibson Las Vegas

Mixtape Cover: Da Brat – ‘Life After Death’

Life After Death
Da Brat goes up in smoke on the cover art for her mixtape Life After Death, which borrows its title from the late Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous album. Dropping May 27, the freebie will feature the So So Def rapper’s remixes of Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation,” Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” Miguel’s “Sure Thing,” and more, and marks her first body of work since serving time behind bars.

On the Scene: Solange, Janet Jackson, Kid Cudi, Dawn Richard, Aubrey O’Day, Cee Lo

Solange looked simple, yet elegant in a white slit dress at the Range Rover Evoque Live concert in New York City on Saturday (May 21). The 24-year-old singer warmed up the crowd with her DJ set before Cee Lo Green took the stage. She recently gushed about her sister Beyoncé’s video for “Run the World (Girls),” writing, “I don’t use the word epic….but errr emmm.”

Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson joined former President Clinton and Brooke Shields to help raise money for those with HIV/AIDS at the 19th Annual Life Ball in Vienna, Austria.
Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi, who’s currently filming the second season of HBO’s “How to Make It in America” in New York, pitched in at the Olevolos Project’s fundraising brunch to benefit orphans in Tanzania.
Dawn Richard
Dirty Money’s Dawn Richard kept cool in all white at the 4th Annual Take Action Leadership event hosted by Nick Cannon at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
Aubrey O'Day
After making a splash at Liquid Pool Lounge earlier in the day, Aubrey O’Day slipped into a cheetah-print D&G dress to attend the Billboard Music Awards pre-party at Bank nightclub at Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green revved up the crowd with a live concert at the 2012 Range Rover Evoque launch in New York City. The Lady Killer will return as judge for a second season of NBC’s hit show “The Voice.”

Nicki Minaj Hosts an Evening in Las Vegas

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj turned the Las Vegas Strip pink while hosting a gig at the Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris Las Vegas on the eve of the Billboard Music Awards. The blonde-bobbed Barbie, dressed in a white studded vest and leggings, puckered up with a lollipop at the Sugar Factory American Brasserie before treating guests including LL Cool J to a performance. “Chateau is pure ecstasy right now. Amazing people,” tweeted the Pink Friday rapper, who will take the stage at tonight’s awards.

2011 Billboard Music Awards: Arrivals

Nicki Minaj
From the top of the charts to the middle of the desert, the stars flocked to Las Vegas for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday (May 22).
The ladies turned the white carpet into a runway with their bold looks—from Nicki Minaj’s curly pink wig and light blue bodysuit to a red-headed Rihanna’s sophisticated white pantsuit. Kelly Rowland electrified in hot pink, Keri Hilson glowed in yellow, and Fergie showed a darker side in a custom-made Hervé Léger dress by Max Azria.
The fellas also flaunted their fashion, with Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, Nas, and Taio Cruz all looking like class acts.
Check out all your favorite stars strutting their stuff in Sin City.