We made a quick visit to beautiful (and blazing hot) Las Vegas to check out the Liberty Fairs and Capsule trades hows, so we thought we’d give you a look at what we think were some of the highlights. Overall we enjoyed both shows, and felt when it came to the classics like Red Wing, Danner and Chippewa, Liberty Fairs was the place to be. Capsule, on the other hand shined when it came to newer-school US-made brands such as Archival and Yuketen. Mind you there were a ton of Made in the USA brands, there were just too many to sift through them all, but we applaud those independents and you’ll see many of them featured in posts to come. That said, we’ll feature mainly footwear, well, because, that’s what we like and boots are a staple of American work wear. Check the slide show above for some highlights, commentary below…
1. Archival Clothing – Continues to come correct with some great, and uncommon Made in the USA pieces.
2-5. Chippewa – No frills, but amazing boots. They showed primarily their heritage line, and they continue to prove that they are a leader in American heritage work wear.
6-7. Danner – A Pacific Northwest favorite (we actually learned about them in Japan in the early 2000’s, where they have a fanatic base), Danner‘s booth looked the fanciest, appealing the the neo-old-school-camper (read camper that looks retro, but wants the best stuff). We loved the callout to their recrafting. NOTE: Some of their newer footwear is being made over seas, but we have no doubt the quality will remain better than their contemporaries as they enter the casual footwear space.
8. North Sails – We have to admit, we don’t know if North Sail’s clothing is made in the USA, but we love the fact the make sales as their core business so we included them anyway.
9. Red Wing – The favorite among American heritage footwearenthousiasts, and often the most recognizable and first boot brand of said group, Red Wing showcased step-by-step construction of their classic 6″ Moc, which was awesome to see. Nice work Red Wing.
9. Vans – Vans does some cool stuff, and we saw a sneak peek at their collaboration with Hoffman Fabrics (one of the oldest and most heritage rich fabric supplies of aloha shirts). Vans can be quick to copy what some independent American makers are doing (wait until we showcase their veg-tan biker style wallet), which is a cause for concern. Let the American makers do their thing, no need to co-opt – you’re VANS! American surf/skate heritage is in your blood already. Perhaps do what PF Flyers has done and introduce some Made in the USA sku’s of the SK8 Hi with a little nod to your Cali roots?
11. Yuketen – Man, it’s hard not to love these guys. Not many people know that Japan is single handedly responsible for the current resurgenct of American made goods. Who jocked Filson, Redwing, Danner, Redmoon, Chrome Hearts, Chippewa, Irish Setter, Levi’s, vintage Nike and Chuck’s (the list goes on) before anyone? Yep, the Japanese. And now Yuketen is keeping that tradition alive with their line of amazing USA-made shoes and boots.