Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Iconic LA: Griffith Observatory

Today's post is dedicated to one of our favorite places to bike, hike, picnic, and star gaze: The Griffith Observatory. Angelenos know it as the domed, white, art deco building sticking out of the side of a hill, but "the Observatory" is the place where amateur and professional astronomers congregate to study the skies. In addition to being a bastion of the best science ever and housing a friggin' Tesla Coil, the Griffith Observatory also serves as the backdrop to a very iconic movie: The ending sequence of Rebel Without A Cause. You know, that one movie with this guy in it:

James Dean
Be Still My Heart
The area surrounding the facility includes a network of hiking and biking paths, the Greek Theatre just a mile (give or take) down the road, quiet picnic areas, and breathtaking views of the City of Los Angeles. Inside the observatory you will find a mural resting inside the lobby's rotunda, painted by Hugo Ballin in 1935. A myriad of rooms teach you about the many nuances of the celestial bodies and a Planetarium hosts incredible short films detailing the history of science and other nerdy exploits.

Since we are so enamored with this beautiful, quintessential LA point of interest, we're making it the first post in a series we're calling "Iconic L.A." In this post series, we'll share with you all the places in the City of Los Angeles where we derive every day inspiration for our brand. We'll share the ugly. We'll share the stunning, the beautiful, and we'll show you the mundane. Because, in the end, all of these spots influence and contribute to a certain attitude Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. embodies: The L.A. lifestyle.

James Dean Statue
James Dean Memorial 

Griffith Observatory
Rotunda Mural: History of Science

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

   Whiskey & Cigarettes Co.

Monday, March 18, 2013

They're baaaaaack: Gladiator Sandals

It doesn't seem that long ago when women were strapping gladiator sandals onto their feet, ankles, and calves. Gladiator sandals were the footwear of choice for music festivals, fashionistas, and avid lovers of the sandal when it made its debut in modern fashion many, many years before.  

Okay, maybe the last time we wore gladiator sandals, we were in college and that was almost a decade ago. Since fashion trends have a tendency of repeating themselves every few decades (albeit this trend is making its comeback at warp speed), we weren't entirely sure if we were ready for the Greco-Roman inspired duds. Fortunately, the new incarnation of gladiators are looking pretty sharp by maintaining the conceptual idea of the gladiator sandal while incorporating trends that have been cropping up all over the place: studs, metal and new age shapes.

Here are some of our favorites:


PJ Sandal
Phillip Lim 3.1


Asos shoes
What do you think? Are you ready (again) for gladiator sandals to make a return to you summer shoe rotation?

Whiskey & Cigarettes Co.

Friday, March 15, 2013

W&C: Weekend Edition

Taking a little trip this weekend. Goodbye L.A., hello San Francisco.

San Francisco
Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ode to the Godmother of Punk: Patti Smith

New York City in the late 60's and early 70's was a dream. Not only was NYC the mecca of artists, aging beat poets, Warhol, hippies, and other creative drifter types, but also the beloved home to our fair lady, Patti Smith. What we would give to be a part, a sliver even, of that creative movement...

Patti Smith
Photo by: Gerard Malanga Archive
When Smith was still a teenager, and after she gave birth to a daughter (a baby she put up for adoption),   she moved away form her family to New York City in order to pursue a life living as an artist. The only thing this girl was armed with a waitressing uniform gifted to her by her mother in the hope of attaining employment, a set of art pencils, and your proverbial "shit ton" of courage.

Smith was in New York, pursuing her dream, even if it meant tolerating obstacles like poverty and hunger. It was in this era of experimentation (or overindulgence depending on your age group) and unchecked free spirits that Patti Smith flourished. Through seemingly fortuitous turns of events she met Robert Mapplethorpe and began a lifelong journey of creative companionship up until Mapplethorpe's death in the late 1980's. Smith's tenure at the Hotel Chelsea, the creative commune at the time, allowed her brief encounters with giants of the era like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. She didn't know it then, but she was on a trajectory.

Patti Smith is a poet at her core. And, it was her writing, fused with rock, that catapulted her to where she stands now. After playing/performing poetry and music in coffee shops and spoken word venues throughout New York, Smith formed the Patti Smith Group with Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, and Richard Sohl.

Robert Mapplethorpe
Photo by: Robert Mapplethorpe Archive
The Patti Smith Group released 4 albums before the 1980's, including Easter, which was her most successful album commercially and contained the song "Because The Night," co-written by Bruce Springsteen. You've probably heard it:

Patti Smith continues to be a prolific writer, musician, and artist. If there is anyone an aspiring fill-in-the-blank should look up to -- it should be Patti Smith. We recently saw her perform at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco this past year and we were completely floored by this woman's stage presence and thoughtfulness, so much so that she immediately solidified herself as one of our public figure muses. Given this, don't be surprised if you find clothing from us that also happens to be inspired by the "Godmother of Punk."

Recommended reading: Just Kids by Patti Smith, Woolgathering by Patti Smith

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Making The Change: American Cone Denim

At Whiskey & Cigarettes Co., we're striving to bring fashion lovers the best American made goods possible. As such, we've decided to alter one of our popular accessories -- the Boson Nisshinbo denim and vegan leather pocket wallet. For those of you who don't know, Nisshinbo denim is manufactured in Japan and very popular amongst denim afficionados. From now on, we're discontinuing the use of Nisshinbo denim and making the switch to homegrown, North Carolina Cone Denim.

Whiskey & Cigarettes Co.
Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. - Boson Pocket Wallet
So Why The Switch?

Although we love Nisshinbo denim, we just didn't think it right that Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. use a material that isn't sourced from the USA. Clothing manufacturing jobs have been on a steep decline in our country for the past 45 years or so -- and those jobs weren't just statistics: There are faces, families, and lives behind those numbers. In an effort to really live up to the title of "Made in the USA," we, as company, have to ensure we're using best practices. Honestly, our conscience wouldn't be clear if we didn't know that an item we are selling isn't helping the Made in USA movement or providing jobs to Americans.

About North Carolina Cone Denim

Since 1891, the White Oak Cone Denim Mill in Greenboro, NC has been providing the apparel world with some of the finest denim. Their story is an interesting one and we suggest visiting their website for the full scoop. 

Basically, these guys have been around for so long, that their expertise, craftsmanship, and authenticity is unparalleled. The White Oak denim mill in Greensboro has been producing the same sought after fabrics for well over 100 years. From this gem, we can still get premium vintage denim and not only look good, but contribute to the Made in USA movement.  

Although we'll miss working with Nisshinbo denim, we look forward to getting our hands on some Cone Denim for future projects. Then, Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. will be an American brand through-and-through.  

North Carolina denim
Cone Denim Logo

Whiskey & Cigarettes Co. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013