Sweater Weather

Published in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of NYLON Guys

After working as a designer for small brands in Los Angeles since 2008, Michigan-based Ryan Seng is hanging out his shingle. “I’m not coming from the traditional knit background,” explains Seng of his eponymous collection. “It gives me the ability to play.” With a debut inspired by his travels to Iceland, Seng aims to create both lightweight and heavier knitwear pieces that can be easily integrated into a man’s wardrobe. But they’re far from your average sweaters. The collection features long vest, blazers, and ribbed hoodies—all tricked out in daring yet approachable silhouettes. “Men are sold either cardigans, pullovers, or really basic sweaters, and they don’t look at sweaters any other way,” explains Seng. “I wanted to create a more interesting way for men to layer knitwear.” Looks like dressing for freezing cold weather doesn’t have to be one-note after all.

Creative Recreation

Published in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of NYLON Guys

When Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Leto, and Skrillex are just a few of the guys strolling around town in your shoes, you know you’re in good shape. But Creative Recreation isn’t resting on its laurels. After recently celebrating the brand’s 10th anniversary, founders Robert Nand and Rich Cofinco, along with new head designer Casius Arno, pushed the limits with their upcoming spring ‘14 collection by substituting many of the classic Creative Rec models with new styles. As one of the first brands to merge a casual sneaker with a dress shoe, Creative Recreation continues to put out fresh and innovative styles, while still paying homage to their chilled-out Southern California roots. Here’s the short version of how the brand came to be one of the major indie shoe purveyors on the scene.

2002 - Creative Recreation launches its debut collection with eight styles. Making its inaugural appearance at a trade show, Creative Red lands its first account with San Francisco clothing store True almost immediately.

2004 - Creative Rec secures an account with Barneys New York after executive vice president Tom Kalenderian discovers the brand at the To Be Confirmed Trade Show in New York. “I didn’t know who (Kalenderian) was until he handed me his card,” says Nand.

2006 - Kanye West is featured in The New York Times wearing the Cesario, a signature style. The brand’s first encounter with Kanye happened at a private listening for The College Dropout. Says Nand: “After, we reached into our sample bag and showed him what we had going on.”

2008 - Creative Rec expands business overseas. Nand says they were inspired by the culture in Tokyo. “Closets are only one or two feet wide. Every shoe has to matter and represent them and their lifestyle. It molded the way we present our product over there.”

Today - Casius Arno leads Creative Recreation in a fresh direction. The brand continues to modify its Cesario style in collaboration with Barneys and introduces new offerings, like Adonis, a double-zipper high-top. “We’re pushing the limits again,” says Nand.

Our favorite musicians are opening up shop

Published in the November 2013 issue of NYLON

We love when musicians collaborate with designers and clothing stores for signature collections (Rihanna for River Island at Opening Ceremony is a current gem), but it’s even better when they open an entire store because we get to see their creative eye in complete brick-and-mortar splendor. Coco Hames of The Ettes, Tennessee Thomas of The Like, and even rapper Pusha T have recently granted their senses of style to well-curated spaces. Fond Object in East Nashville, Tennessee, is The Ettes’ treasure trove of records and oddities, and The Deep End Club in New York City’s East Village neighborhood is Thomas’s vision of a pop-up with a penchant for showcasing local artists and designers. As for Pusha T, he’s already opened his second boutique, Creme, in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, which features his clothing line Play Cloths, as well as Nike, Comme des Garcons, and others. Now, if only we could get everybody on our iPod to open up boutiques…

Listen Up: Junior Astronomers

Published in the November 2013 issue of NYLON Guys

Nashville’s The Weeks love them, so what else do you really need to know? Self-described as “gritty and jangled on some occasion, mangled and diverting on others,” Junior Astronomers are just plain badass. Their recently released debut full-length album, Dead Nostalgia, is full of serious rock laced with heavy guitar, raw vocals, and never-feels-forced rhythm. Basically, think Nirvana if they were Southern and emerging today.

Listen Up: The Can’t Tells

Published in the November 2013 issue of NYLON Guys

Once the drums and distorted vocals hit on “Lying to Myself,” The Can’t Tells’ single off their upcoming debut full-length record No Television, the track lets loose into a Strokes-like work of art. With a little grit and sweat, The Can’t Tells boast just the right amount of genre-bending eclecticism, with prominent hints of punk, shoegaze, and pop. The tracks are lyrical with simultaneously strong and raw instrumentation, and we can’t stop hitting replay.

Kings of Leon's cover of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own"

Caitlin Rose’s cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits”