A few weeks ago, my brother sent me a picture of some “Le Tigre” shorts he’d seen at a yard sale. Le Tigre was, to be a charitable, a budget brand back in the Eighties; one of our best friends at the time endured a few weeks’ worth of vicious ribbing because he showed up to school wearing their stuff. Perhaps “junk” would be a better word for Le Tigre, actually. And yet the tag on those shorts that Bark found read “Made In USA”. Yes, there was a time when even our cheap and junky stuff was domestically produced — and until we get back to the days when “Made In The USA” does not almost always correlate to “expensive and upscale” we won’t really have a manufacturing renaissance in this country.
In the meantime, however, we have the Artisans of Freedom, a charmingly (if haphazardly) arranged group of high-end clothing and accessory manufacturers assembled like the Justice League by the nice people at Allen-Edmonds. The “Artisans Of Freedom” watch by Weiss sold out almost immediately, and given what I know about production quantities in Cameron’s two-man shop it will be quite some time until the orders are filled. That’s exciting in and of itself, but there’s more to the Artisans than a very handsome manual-wind watch.
Not all of the links in the new Artisans Of Freedom site actually work, but the ones that do bring up some very handsome products, including a pea coat from Southwick and some sharp bags from Korchmar. I’m stoked that Allen-Edmonds is leading the charge here and bringing some smaller companies to the attention of their fairly broad customer base, although I’m sure they aren’t doing it for free. Here at Riverside Green we will continue to seek out and share American manufacturers and American-made products with you. As always, if you know something we don’t, share it in the comments!