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Archive for February, 2015

ianmichaelcosocks1

A few weeks back we highlighted 5 “Made in Buffalo” Companies you need to know about. One of those companies was Ian Michael Co, a maker of Buffalo color-themed socks. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Ian Michael Donnelly, the founder of IMC to talk about fashion, starting a business in Buffalo and of course, socks.

BD: Tell me how Ian Michael Co. came to be.

Ian: My mom has always been a really funky woman. She encouraged us to wear whatever we wanted so as a young kid I was always wearing plaids, polka dots… you know, things that never really went together. When comments were made like “you look like your Grandpa”, I was ok with that. Three or four years ago, she got me a pair of funky dress socks and I started wearing them to work. People liked them so I started buying more. They never matched anything and my socks sort of became my “thing”. After having many conversations with co-workers and friends I came up with a question: “What if I created a sock company with the Buffalo Community in mind”? I found that being a Bills and Sabres fan, there really wasn’t a sock that you could wear into a boardroom or a meeting with a suit that allowed you to support your team. That began the adventure of reaching out to suppliers, checking out American producers vs. overseas and it actually took some time to find someone who would entertain my inquiry.  Most companies required large orders, contracts, etc., and for a not-for-profit professional with little capital, I heard a lot of “not interested, but good luck” comments. Then I found a small, family owned operation in the Carolina’s and someone who was interested! The owner mentored me through the process; teaching me the components of a sock, the different compositions, how much spandex each sock should have and so on. I put a couple of designs together on my computer, changing up the Buffalo graphic on the sock a couple of times with the final one actually being drawn by my girlfriend. We did that so there would be no problems with the copyright from the Bills or Sabres. I put my first shipment in late last October, which were all pre-ordered by friends and family and started from there. We haven’t really done any advertising or anything yet. It’s all been word of mouth but the response has been so positive that Ian Michael Co. socks are already available in stores all over Buffalo! You can currently find them in Blue Collar, Bureau, Her Story, Sarah Danielle and Diamond Concierge (Gary Williams the “Shoe Shine Guy” in Key Tower).

BD: Tell me more about how your company gives back to the community.

Ian: What’s really great about buying our socks is you know you’re supporting a local business, supporting a local entrepreneur, and a dollar from every pair sold is going to the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Through working at the United Way I’ve learned so much about how companies should, in terms of social responsibility, give back to the community. This led to us starting our “Walking Proud Series” where we invite customers, retailers and people who appreciate the mission/the story/the product and join us for volunteer projects throughout the year. For our first event we volunteered with Westside Ministries and worked on the home re-hab at 307 14th Street. We scraped plaster off the walls, waxed the floors, and even dry-walled a room.

BD: What does the future hold for Ian Michael Co.?

Ian: We really want to create a brand here locally and then try to branch out to other markets similar to the makeup of the Buffalo community.  We’re also going to start working on some Youtube commercials, add a  “where to find the socks” map on our website to show all the stores which carry our socks and develop future sock designs.

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GIVEAWAY CONTEST:

Ian Michael Co. was kind enough to give Buffalo Dandy a couple pairs of their socks and we haven’t been able to stop wearing them. Being a long time fan of pop color socks, these truly are the prefect socks for the Buffalo fan. The socks are lightweight enough to work as dress socks, but not so thin that you can’t wear them with boots or heavier shoes. They have a nice high rise to them so you don’t have to worry about pulling them up all the time and they look just as good with shoes on as they do without. These are socks that you’ll want to show off.

Lastly, Ian Michael Co. has partnered with Buffalo Dandy for a special giveaway contest. One lucky reader will win a pair of Shout and Blade socks! To enter simply follow the instructions below:

Follow Buffalo Dandy on WordPress.com

Follow Ian Michael Co. and Buffalo Dandy here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ianmichaelco
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ianmichaelco
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iansocks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buffalodandy
Instagram: https://instagram.com/BuffaloDandy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/buffalodandy

Share the image at the top of the post on social media with the hashtag #IMCDandyGiveaway. A random winner will be selected next week and be the proud owner of two new pairs of Ian Michael Co. socks. The more follows you do, the better your chances are of winning. Good luck!

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EastdaneBooks

These frigid Buffalo days are a great time to cozy up inside and lose yourself in a good book. While Eastdane.com is highly regarded as a great online clothing resource, the site also offers a wide selection of books; many of which would make a fine edition to your Dandy library. The following books are currently at the top of my wish list:

Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties
It’s the Roaring Twenties, and New York is exploding with jazz fever. Designed, illustrated, and edited by Robert Nippoldt, this award-winning book pays homage to the era. An entertaining blend of illustrations, facts, and amusing anecdotes presents 24 leading lights of New York’s jazz scene in the 1920s, complete with a CD containing some of their best songs. The texts, contributed by Hans-Jürgen Schaal, give a vivid account of the club scene and the “band battles,” as well as the legendary recording sessions.

The Monocle Guide to Better Living
The Monocle Guide to Better living is a survey of products and ideas built to treasure and last. Monocle has created an intelligent publication that continually inspires a global readership that is interested in everything from diplomacy to design. This tome looks at one of the magazine’s core themes: how to live well. It’s a book designed to be an indispensable guidebook to contemporary life.

Jane & Serge: A Family Album
The highly public love affair of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. From the earliest days of Jane and Serge’s romance until their split in 1980, Jane’s brother Andrew Birkin was a frequent presence in their lives. An avid photographer, he snapped thousands of candid family photos during those years. Birkin’s pictures offer a rare view of daily life for the couple.

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BuffaloAficionado

This Friday will be the 2nd annual Aficionado Event: night for rising leaders and influencers in Buffalo to meet other Aficionados in an environment curated to change the way you think about networking and charitable events. Featuring a slew of vendors which highlight the finer things in life, everything from hot shaves, fencing lessons, hand rolled cigars, fashion advice from the gentleman of Bureau and whiskey tastings by The Buffalo Whiskey Guild will be on hand at the event. Held in the beautiful Lafayette Hotel Grand Ballroom, this is not your average networking event. Sadly Buffalo Dandy will be unable to attend this year due to scheduling conflicts, but I highly recommend checking the event out. Tickets are available here.

The Aficionado
The Hotel Layfayette
Friday, February 27th 6-9 pm

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Chicago-based film maker Daniel Davison spent the day exploring downtown Buffalo after his flight got cancelled this past Valentine’s Day. Shot with a GoPro Hero4, the short film provides a beautifully haunting look of our fair city forever blanketed in snow.

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LeLaboureur

We’re coming to the realization that this Winter is never going to end. If that’s the case, we might as well look as good as possible while braving the elements and this Le Laboureur Wool Work Jacket will certainly help get the job done. A provider of reliable, beautiful work jackets since they were founded in France in the 1950’s, Le Laboureur jackets are made of 100% natural virgin wool taken from “black” Ouessant sheep. A derivative of burrel cloth, this rustic fabric has been used by peasants for centuries. In this wool version the traditional French farmer’s jacket gets body heat moderation and breathability, and retains the simple comfortable shape and practical pockets it’s known for.

The wool itself is tight and soft, traditionally constructed and well-sewn. Large contrasting buttons are distinctive but not distracting, and easy to navigate even with gloved or cold fingers. While thick and great for layering, these jackets also breathe very well and are ideal outer layers even into warmer months. Fit is wide enough to layer, slim enough to look dapper while you do it.

$140

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Ralph Lauren FW15

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After previewing Michael Bastian’s Fall 15 Collection and now seeing Ralph Lauren’s Fall/Winter 15 line, I think it’s pretty safe to say thick turtleneck sweaters are going to be a huge trend next Fall. While Michael paired it with a more apres ski look, Ralph takes it a step further by giving the turtleneck a more sophisticated look–pairing it with suits, leather jackets and… cowboys pants? Ok, scratch that last one. Yeesh! I can say, however, that the corduroy suit and brown sweater looks fantastic and is one of those looks you have to at least try to pull off. Buffalo Dandy been an advocator of turtlenecks in the past and we still are. Especially when in the grips of this never ending Winter we happen to be experiencing. Check out the full collection over at Fourpins.com.

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W2W-Vday

Struggling for what to wear this Valentine’s Day? Buffalo Dandy has you covered. Showing up well dressed for your romantic night out is just as much a sign of respect for your date as it is for yourself. This is a night to pull out all the stops so why not go big or go home (as we say in the Dandy household) and rock this classic dinner jacket and bow tie combo paired with these great burgundy corduroys and killer pebbled McNasty wingtips. As always it’s important not to forget about the finishing touches so a subtle pocket square and timeless watch from Mainsai complete the look. Just don’t forget the flowers.

Brooklyn Tailors Dinner Jacket | Theory Dress Shirt | Mason’s Pants | Theory Bow Tie | Alexander Olch Bow Tie | Mark McNairy Wingtips | Miansai Watch

Also, if you’re looking for some last minute gift ideas, head over to BuffaloVibe.com and check out some great local gifts for Valentine’s Day.

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QuarterCenturyPant

One of the biggest problem with pants these days is if you find a pair you really love that gets constant wear, they will inevitably fall apart. Dandy favorite and Kickstarter All Stars RPMWEST looked to solve this problem by making the most durable, long lasting pants ever: The Quarter Century Pant. RPMWEST is so confident in the longevity of these pants, they are backing them up with an incredible 25 year guarantee!

Made from an extremely rare 280 gram 3-Ply cotton twill, the pants have an amazingly soft feel but can still withstand the toughest wear. With a reinforced crotch to avoid blowouts, heavy duty buttons and zippers, double tacking at various stress points and a wide variety of colors, these might be the last pair of khakis you ever need. Available in both a straight and slim fit, the pants are made right here in the USA.

$85

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SaturnClub

After our previous post about The Buffalo Club, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to visit another of Buffalo’s oldest private clubs: The Saturn Club. As the story goes, in 1885 the club was founded by a group of men looking to congregate in a less formal setting than the Buffalo Club. Giving a nod to the many “University Clubs” which were popular at the time, the founders modeled their board of directors after that of a small college (a Faculty, a Dean, Registrar, Bursar, etc.). As the club grew in size, a larger space was needed. So in 1922, the club lit a torch from the fireplace and marched down Delaware Ave in a grand parade, carrying the flame of the old building and lighting it in the fireplace of the new.

After having lunch and being assured that it was ok to take photos inside, I was given a grand tour of the space, being regaled with stories of the club’s illustrious past and (without being told too much) about some of the various secret clubs and hidden messages placed throughout the building. There was still a sense of exclusivity to the club, but the entire atmosphere was much more welcoming and relaxed. Dress codes were still in effect in various spaces, and with so many dining rooms (9 bars) and meeting places throughout the club, it’s easy to get turned around in there. The vintage game room was awesome with the old school bowling lanes and oversized pool table and the indoor swimming pool was reminiscent of the Jr. Olympic Pool at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. The space feels like an ivy league college, which makes sense with it being inspired by University Clubs of old. The dark wood and dim lighting of the hallways were complemented with beautiful stained glass windows, allowing sunlight to pour in and only further enhancing the open environment of the club.

I had a wonderful lunch and an amazing time exploring the Saturn Club. Before I left I was treated to one last surprise upon entering the library, where I was shown a chair which is engraved by special guests who have visited the club. Scroll down to the bottom to see who it was.

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Gronk1

What the hell is Rob Gronkowski wearing?! I understand that Rob (a Buffalo native) is a mountain of man… dude is huge. All the Gronkowski’s are. But being a successful professional athlete you would think a stylist would come along and say: “Hey, you’re going to be on TV. Wear this instead.” Because this… this is just ridiculous. The suit looks enormous on him, but when paired with that floppy popover shirt, sneakers and backwards cap, I’m honestly getting a migraine thinking about how terrible this bro-tastic outfit is. Someone needs introduce Gronk to a tailor. Like our friends at Napoli’s (the official menswear provider for the Buffalo Bills), or check out J.Crew’s Crosby Suit which is specifically designed for a man of his stature. There is literally no excuse for this outfit to happen*.

Crosby

C’mon sir, try to represent Buffalo (or your team) a little better than that. Next time you think about wearing something like this on Kimmel or anywhere else and someone makes a face like the one below, maybe reconsider.

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*With all due respect, please don’t show up at my door with your 4 enormous brothers and beat the shit out me for saying all this. I only have your best interests in mind. Keep up the good work with Gronk Nation and congrats on that SuperBowl win…

-BD

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