I’ve noticed that, geographically speaking, when you’re not in a place, it can seem quite far away, but when you are in that place, it seems a lot nearer. Apologies for the highbrow cartographic jargon. But such was my experience last week when I visited premium menswear venue Union Made in San Francisco. All of a sudden the place I visited online, daily, was real. An actual place. With stuff in it.
And what stuff. Kapital, Yuketen, Blue Blue Japan, Journal Standard, Needles, United Arrows… For the menswearist, it’s like visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza. Only with more brogues.
The guys I spoke to in store were incredibly friendly. And aside from servicing me with a Hill-Side hat and a pair of wide-legged Barena trousers, they were keen to talk about other menswear stores, far away from them. For these San Francisco bros, The Bureau in Belfast was top of the hit list, with one of them professing a desire to go, “on a pilgrimage” to Ireland, specifically to check it out. I guess, this is really just a case of ‘the grass is always greener’. But I do love the idea that amongst certain menswear fans, visiting a physical store is still a huge draw. Seeing the brands, seeing how things are merchandised and just generally taking in the vibe. Which is exactly what I did at Union Made, here be the pics:
I visited the new Marvy Jamoke store on my last trip to Tokyo. I would describe it as ‘small but perfectly formed’. Blue Blue Japan’s stores are beautifully curated, too. Both are certainly better than Engineered Garments’ stores. My award for best dressed staff goes to Yoshida Porter.
You have an award for best dressed staff?
News agents on the corner on Red Lion Street though.
Another level with his needle & cotton, tweezers and SuperGlu display.
I think he runs it with his brother.