Blogging your blagging is the epitome of douchebaggery, but some things are too good not to mention. At an event earlier in the year, the OTW goodie bag wasn’t your average tote bag print-up. The tote bag’s become the norm, but I think I’ve stockpiled a complimentary tote for every man, women and child on the planet, which pretty much defeats the re-use purposes of a cotton carrier and almost certainly missed the eco-friendly point. I can’t carry one around casually either, unless it’s a post-purchase trip back — they still look like shopping bags for the fey or elderly to me — I need something that hangs from the shoulder. As a result, I have no qualms about rocking the man bag. Round my way, every ‘yoot’s getting all JJB-metrosexual with a tiny Nike bag containing whatever ‘yoots are carrying these days inexplicably near their armpit. This OTW bag > blog-dandies with camo tote. Everybody’s doing a camo now, so it makes sense to explore military build rather than the stealth aesthetics, which, through sheer ubiquity at tradeshows and on store shelves means camouflage is starting to become invisible to me — mission accomplished, I guess.
Vans win on two scores – implementing the work of Mr. Rob Abeyta of Dual Forces as part of an OTW project and — in a very Dual Forces move — ditching the anonymity of the tote in favour of some mil-spec, US-made army standard baggage. I believe this bag is a DF spec take on the SO Tech Mission Go Bag — a bumbag, shoulder bag and seemingly indestructible creation that acts as part of a modular system. Made to ride below armour, and from a design that seems orientated towards combat medics, but it also seems targeted towards (no pun intended), snipers and anybody wielding a tiny military Panasonic laptop. Big, idiot-proof zips and plenty of space, plus plenty of pockets (Lexdray still get my vote of most insane amount of pouches, compartments and hidden stuff — I lost my phone for an hour in one of their backpacks) makes it a fine camera case. Special Operations Technologies are the real deal (“Built to Survive the World’s Worst“), constantly reworking existing designs, deliberately overbuilding their goods, using heavy threads and not skimping on their Cordura deniers.
Los Angeles based and kitting out every Hollywood film of recent years with a military element, the brutal-sounding testimonials page on their site proves they’re not dropping their standards to get an end credit mention. Any brand that boasts of stocking, “the most obscure buckle designs” is my kind of brand. Salutes to Vans, Dual Forces and Special Operations Technologies. Other brands need to unleash the American-made mil-spec goodie bag too.
Whenever friends visit Tokyo, I always harass them to get me plain grey Champion US-made Heavy Weight Jersey shirts from Oshman’s. These are my favourite tees on the market and with Mr. Michael Kopelman being one of the first I ever saw wearing one, it’s good to see that London’s The Hideout will be stocking 6 colours of the plain shirt from tomorrow. With import tax and all the rest, they won’t be cheap (the Real McCoys Champion tees, with the even older style branding and fit were an expensive proposition), but these shirts last and wear in nicely. If I was balling, all my UK sunny day shirts would be these. For NYC heat they’re not so good, because that thickness and softer lining borders on a semi sweatshirt feel. On the Oshman’s topic, their US-made UCLA tees are pretty amazing too. The difference between these and the cheaper ones is in the fact that the former are nigh-on unwearable unless you’re built like a brick shithouse. Even if you were a man mountain, I suspect they might look a little too blocky.