06 February 2012

Mining The Vintage Vein - Part II

Designers are like dogs with bones. They'd much rather bury it than share it. Their holes of inspiration are all over Manhattan -- You just have to know where to look. John Gluckow of Strongarm Clothing & Supply Co. (SC&SC) is one such hole. A big hole and while John isn't hidden -- I'd say he's well camouflaged.

A lethargic elevator (I had a birthday on it) takes you to the 5th floor of 27 W 20th Street. It's one of those beautiful old buildings that most New Yorkers never look up to appreciate and the area is a target rich environment for the tourist brazen enough to ride off the Time's Square reservation. A few steps from Gramercy Tavern (Trad review here), Moore Brothers Wine (review coming) and Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace (historic NPS site of wild 1985 Ranger party), it's one of my favorite neighborhoods in the world.

Don't just show up. That would be rude. You're gonna have to call John Gluckow (917-453-3322) for an appointment. Tell him you read about SC&SC on the Trad. You don't need a lot of money but this isn't gonna be a $5 jaunt through a consignment shop. In fact, if you're anything like me, this will be a lot like standing in a whore house with your pants down and having no idea where to start. I'm not kidding. Gluckow really should provide an instruction manual.

Vintage can be hit and miss. Mostly miss. So much so, that when you find something barely passable, you tend to grab it. Never mind it doesn't fit or it's on its last legs. Here, everything you see would be gold in a typical thrift shop. John's vetted this place to the nth degree and the gold is everywhere you turn -- I kept stumbling over my trousers.

WWII and Vietnam era vintage khakis sit in a pile with striped morning suit trousers next to John Milius (a personal hero) shooting glasses, over a nickle presentation Zippo next to '60s Madras 3 button, button downs, next to a wagon wheel of ties next to...Anyway, you won't see much '70s Polly and Esther -- The bane fabric of any Trad vintage fanatic.

SC&SC is a source. What you see at Rugby, Crew & Hilfiger... it all came from here. How do I know? I haven't met a designer yet that was in the Army, Forest Service or Rodeo. This is where they come to learn and so can you.


Makaga said...

Thanks, Tintin! Any sense if he'd be open on the weekends?

heavy tweed jacket said...

Looks like an amazing place. I'd love to go through the shirts.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Ouch..those yellow tint aviators are a great find.

Trailer Trad said...

Sickening. Riding a Tilt-a-Whirl after three fried twinkies sickening.

tintin said...

Makaga- I'll have an answer for you tomorrow in Part III.

HTJ- More shirts tomorrow as well. A lot more.

Main Line- I thought you'd like those.

Trailer Trad- Don't throw up on my post!

gentleman mac said...

I love that straw hat, but cannot think of when/where a hat like that would be worn when other style straw hats might seem more suitable.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Send me a shirt catalog. I'm ready to order.

GSV JR said...

Hey will ya pick those shooters glasses up for me, hoss? I dropped mine in a Georgia swamp. You can put it on my tab.

tintin said...

Gent Mac- It's a great hat. No idea the size or price and it ain't gonna suit everyone -- But for the right person (and I like the idea of a woman wearing it) it would be amazing.

Heavy Tweed- It's very popular place with your neighbors.

GSV - John's in Las Vegas but I'll check with him when he gets back.

Makaga- John told me, "I occasionally take weekend appointments right after the fleas, but would prefer first appointment and retail appointments be weekdays."