Hot Items at Project

Jeff at AgaveAt Agave, in addition to their great denim collection (including a new five-pocket slim jean that’s knit but looks woven, $65 cost for a $168 suggested retail), Jeff Shafer and team have really nailed their fall ’14 woven shirts. They’re mostly Japanese and Italian yarn dyes using true indigo-based yarns but made in a dress shirt factory for exceptional fit (comparable to Eton’s contemporary fit.) A western-inspired model in true Japanese denim is faded by hand and detailed with sterling snaps and selvedge taping. An Italian stretch denim features real wood buttons and a slight fade; some of the styles are both yarn dyed and piece dyed to achieve a special tint. Hangtags describe the unique details; retails range from $175 to $225.

Will Leather

Will Leather best-selling bag

I absolutely love the new bags from Will Leathergoods, originally made for the NBA. They’re 10.5 ounce waxed cotton in a grid pattern trimmed with suede and leather. Retails from $495 to $695 and well worth it! Also worth it: their top-selling bag in navy with saddle trim at $395.

Ben Minkoff 2

Ben Minkoff

And speaking of bags, check out the saffiano leathers from Ben Minkoff: loved the wavy embossed styles and the camouflage ($395 suggested retail).

Arnold Zimberg

At Zimberg, the buzzwords are weekend, comfort and sophistication. I loved the poly/cotton knits with a special enzyme wash and soft fleecy inside ($120 suggested retails) and all the cotton/fleece knits and French terry separates.

Sueded cottons Mod-o-doc

At Mod-o-doc, you’ll find a tightly edited range of live-in layer-friendly soft cotton knits in fabulous colors. (They are stocked undyed in their Asian factory and delivered to stores in the desired colors as needed.) Tees range from $14 to $18 cost for a suggested retail of $40-$55; checked out to their casual pant ($40 cost) and track jacket ($32).

Maceoo bracelets

Mehdi Raad at Maceoo

Maceoo, launched in 2009 and famous for their stylishly detailed woven shirts, has branched into new categories including double-collar polos ($45 and $55 cost), jackets made of scuba materials (as modeled by Mehdi Raad in photo) and some fabulous men’s accessories, including cuff links and cool bracelets in woven Italian leathers with silver details ($10 to $30 cost). In addition to its better specialty stores, Galleries Lafayette has done exceptionally well with this collection.

Kojak Martin at Martin Gordon

Finally, check out some great items from Martin Gordon. My favorites: the washed down indigo hoodie ($85 cost) and the spray dye cotton jacket ($110). (Thank you Kojak Martin for the tootsie roll pops!)

Catching up with retailers at the show, I learned that despite all the comfort clothes at the shows, the pendulum at retail is still in dress-up mode, with young guys still buying tailored pieces and mixing it with their denim. Says Tim Ryan at Harleys, Milwaukee, “Young guys are buying Zegna, Trussini, LBM and mixing it with denim (DL, AG, Citizens). Denim is the new khaki, and the sportcoat is the new sweater. But it’s all about comfort: the sportcoats are soft and the denim is stretch, mostly in a dark clean wash.”

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