Two years ago I penned 36 things every man should do before dying, on the list was to create your own piece of jewelry. With the birth of my daughter I decided to add one more piece to the short list of items that I’d like to pass on to her long after I’m gone. I decided to have commissioned a bracelet from Comstock Heritage.
I was initially introduced to Comstock Heritage while at Axel’s in Vail Colorado, one of the exclusive shops to carry Comstock Heritage products. I eventually had a chance to interview James Stegman, president of Comstock Heritage. While Italian brands continue to promote craftsmanship, great quality and tradition, I must say I have yet to find an American brand that exemplifies that idea more than the oldest Western Silversmith shop in America. The difference between this and some of the best Italian product I’ve had the opportunity to come across is that the backbone of Comstock Heritage is 100% Americana. If you associate America with rebellious undertones and adventurous spirit, this brand and its product is a true example of American work at its finest.
Comstock Heritage is best known for its belt buckles that are second to none. Be it the hand engraved silver belt buckles (starting around $700), sterling silver and gold pieces (around $2,700 ), or the solid gold pieces ( up to $39, 000) there is no compromise in quality, or dedication, no two pieces are exactly alike as each item is handmade. Add bracelets and a few other silver accessories to their inventory and you have a gold mine (literally and figuratively) on and in your hands.
For my bracelet I decided on a sterling silver and rose gold detailed bracelet with as much detail as a watch with the most complex movement.
Without question this is not my last piece from Comstock Heritage ( I have my eye on one of the belt buckles, and be it a bespoke suit or off the rack, the little details are always what make the difference in the end.)
Street style has taken me from Brooklyn to Tokyo (plenty stylish places in between), my passion for style has been my reason for venturing from back ally thrift shops to exclusive appointment only bespoke showrooms, one thing I’ve learned from my Brooklyn roots - ‘game recognize game’ and truth in life lies hidden yet still visible in every stich, and every detail of our daily lives. I’ve taken these 2 life lessons and always try to differentiates between the stylish and fashionable.
My first time in Florence my senses were inundated with true Italian style, it is there that I learned first hand about Sprezzatura, for the first time what I read about in books was part of my reality. With time I understood, appreciated and respected elements of style that were singularly Italian and part of their fabric as pasta was part of their diet. While Italians who pride themselves on construction, heritage, quality are common, the brothers behind the brand Sciamat stand clearly at the forefront of style spoken from an Italian perspective.
My first introduction to Valentino and Nicola Ricci was shooting them randomly (and individually) while at Pitti. What struck me was the fit, the fabric and construction of what they wore, the next thing was how what they wore seemed to frame the artwork (the personalities). The clothes were an extension of the individuals, so I naturally wanted to know more. I had a chance to visit their booth at Pitti were I first tried on a green double breasted jacket and spend time learning about the brand. Fast forward to a year and a half later and I had an appointment at their showroom in Milan. This time it wasn’t to try on items, instead it was to pick up a piece of art (a red and black wool and cashmere herringbone blazer). While I have a closet full of blazers, this is not a blazer, it’s a Sciamat.
To the untrained eye a jacket is just a jacket, but after sitting down with Nicola Ricci you understand what makes Sciamat possibly the crown jewel in men’s clothing. This post isn’t looking to focus on the product as much as it is meant to focus on the spirit of the product. Search the internet and you’ll find product reviews for days, Sciamat makes this more than a product review, this is a lesson in art.
There is an ongoing question concerning blogging and product, “is it cool because you have it or do you have it because it’s cool?” Cool is not an issue for Guerreisms or Sciamat, neither bother to focus on cool - substance is the only thing that matters.
Live with style.
For more information on Sciamat visit:
THe site: Sciamat.com
The Blog: Sciamat
I must admit that at times my sense of luxury brands may have been a bit distorted by great ad campaigns and overall good marketing, but being somewhere between 9000 and 10,000 feet above sea level has a way of rendering you both short of breath and with lucid thinking.
Prior to the new year I visited Axel’s in Vail Colorado while they hosted their annual holiday trunk sale. There I learned intricate details about some of the Italian brands they had relationships with (in particular Kiton, Finamore, Sartorio, Luciano Barbera, and few American brands that they carried Comstock Heritage, and Stallion boots). While there I made it a point to simply observe and take in the whole experience, I went with one goal in mind - to really dissect the shop.
Before venturing to Vail there was one brand/ name that I really felt promoted a complete lifestyle from a distance the unnamed brand encompassed living a certain lifestyle and I have long respected its movement. My experience in Vail added the name Axel’s to my short list of brands that I really felt promote lifestyle over product, and remained consistent in every aspect of what they did. Axel’s stocks only items that the family believes coincide with the shop’s philosophy - only the best, from the shearling they stock, the Kiton suits, the Finamore shirts, to the Comstock Heritage belt buckles (more on them in a future post) each piece was possibly the best in terms of construction, quality and detail. Prize fighters are measured pound for pound, shops should be measured item per item, and if that is the case,Axel’ s may just be the best overall luxury clothing shop in America.
I traveled to Vail to get away from the bright lights and New York shops all while experiencing a different side of America (we tend to forget that New York is not America). There I had a chance to see the other side of American style and Americana. Americans don’t only wear Italian suits and English shoes, there is also a large population that embraces cowboy boots and belt buckles without being cowboys. Some stores talk of American made product, others focus on Italian made items, Axel’s captures the best of both worlds.