For us, 2009 will be looked at as a year where people started buying smarter. They wanted each purchase to be something that was quality—that was built to last and thus, had real value. One of the most prevalent trends we noticed in menswear seemed to align with this resurgence in items with old school ideals.
Traditional became trendy and companies that had been ignored for years dug into their archives, collaborated with up and coming labels or awoke from a long nap and suddenly … were in demand again. Here are our top ten revivals of 2009. – Cory Ohlendorf, Editor in Chief, Valet.
The Portland-based woolen mill collaborated with uber-hip boutique Opening Ceremony and suddenly their signature Navajo prints began popping up everywhere.
2. L.L. Bean
The company saw what a draw their classic Norwegian sweater was getting on the blogs and on eBay, so they went back to same Scandinavian knitters for its re-release this winter.
3. Gitman Bros
The 50-year-old shirt makers cracked open their line-books from the early 1980s and recreated shirts that sold out as soon as they hit the stores.
Collaborating with up-and-coming label Apolis Activism raised the profile of the Seattle outfitter, which already had a cult following for their bags and outerwear.
5. Cole Haan
Inspired by vintage designs found within the company’s archive, the brand launched a retro-themed line called Cole, Rood & Haan Co.
The luggage maker was no stranger to the fashion set (thanks to a partnership with Alexander McQueen) but it wasn’t until Thom Browne recreated their classic briefcases that guys took notice.
Though the New England shoe maker will always be classic, they’re not afraid of working with popular modern shops like Blackbird and Context on exclusive, one-off designs.
Between an innovative ad campaign, an internet-fueled scavenger hunt, and the popular One Trip Pass pop-up, Levi’s is a company that knows how to balance the value of vintage with new technology.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the preppy clothier re-released an archival shirt from each decade and signed up in-demand designer Michael Bastian for a capsule collection.
10. Lands’ End
The nearly forgotten catalog company went back to their archival designs for a new line, Canvas 1963, and returned to what they did best—American classics that are stylish, comfortable and affordable.
Valet. (www.valetmag.com) is an online men’s lifestyle magazine, founded by Cory Ohlendorf and Jeremy Norman. It specializes in fashion, grooming and culture features with an informative and visually rich presentation. Service is the backbone of the site, so each page is packed with additional information, graphics and insider tips. They recently relaunched their popular Ask Valet section with a 24-hour concierge service for readers.