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  • Menswear: Then and Now

    Menswear: Then and Now

    Google the term 'menswear.' Go through the gambit of images. Check the menswear tag on tumblr, scroll and scroll and scroll. What does menswear look like? Who defines menswear? Does it look like you? If it does, well you've probably never had to think about having this conversation, which is fine.. but it's time to have this conversation.

    This blog has touched on the niche our collective looks to fill so we won't harp on it too much. Fact is, menswear has had a distinctly Eurocentric look, a look that lingers heavily today.

    It makes sense, Italian-made suits often reign supreme, bespoke tailoring hails from England, French fashion houses own the runways. But, the demographics of menswear have changed a bit, The Bellwether Project being one testament to that change.

     Guerreisms has become a staple of the menswear blog circuit, its moderator a fixture at notable events and shows. Aime Leon Dore is one of the hottest new menswear brands out. There's a changing of the guard taking place, even if at a small level. Menswear is changing. How will you shape it?

  • At Your Own Leisure

    At Your Own Leisure

    Chances are you've shopped at Uniqlo recently. Whether it's socks, warm futuristic underwear, or essential pieces like fleece sweaters and/or those puffy down jackets that resemble marshmallows, Uniqlo has has been a "fast-fashion" stalwart. Well, be prepared to cash out a little more next year as the Japanese "Lifewear" brand builds on its wearable tech background, giving us all the technological advantages we need to win out in the War Against Fuccbois.

    Check this guy out. So what if his hair is unkempt, he's tugging at his lady like they had scheduled sex beforehand but he said something stupid that has her like "bruh." Anyway, rumor has it that even more traditional menswear pieces, such as homie's ensemble here, will be lighter, more functional, and per Uniqlo's M.O., at a palatable price point for all of us budget ballers.

    (photo via Uniqlo.com)

    Oh look he's here again, probably after his girl decided she'd had enough of his tugging. Here he stares off into the distance, wondering why he ever spent insane amounts of money on designer suits when he's got the ultimate Uniqlo plug.

    All jokes aside, outfits such as this one are why Uniqlo has become so... well, essential. They carry all of the... well, essentials, that you need to put together a leisurely outfit that will help you look as cool as this guy.

  • The EGO has landed

    The EGO has landed

    We are excited to announce that our first tangible product "The EGO Bag," in collaboration with our friends at Aegis Handcraft, is finally available for purchase.

    This has been the most rewarding experience of the Bellwether journey thus far because we are finally able to offer a piece of our ideolgy.

    I wanted something that wasn't readily available at a price I could justify, so I made it. This bag is an extension of, and a commitment to, our idea to 'building things to fit in, and designing them to stand out.

    You ever get tired of dragging a large briefcase into a meting because it's supposed to be more "professional" when all you need ofr the meeting is your laptop, a note book, a few pens, and maybe a tablet? Get an Ego.

    Or better yet, have you walked into a board room, lugging a backpack, and your co-workers give you that look like "get it together." Get an Ego.

    This bag is designed to go anywhere and because it is 100% full leather it is able to withstand any condition you drag it into.

  • Hybrid Boots For When You Go Wine Tasting In Napa

    Hybrid Boots For When You Go Wine Tasting In Napa

    Hybrids are pretty cool. Hybrid cars allow you to drive long distances without filling up at the gas station. Hybrid strains of weed knock you out and keep you awake at the same time. But these here, these are the coolest hybrids of them all. A cross between brogue wingtips and traditional hiking boots, these cover all of the bases you need to thrive on a consistent basis. Don’t believe it? Let’s say you’re at a wine tasting in Napa with your shorty and you decide to wear these Brogue Ripple Sole Hiking Boots. A reasonable choice, to be sure. You’ll probably be doing a bit of walking, sampling all the free vino, so a hiking boot is in order.

    (all images via www.kithnyc.com )

    Still, it’s wine tasting (and Napa) so there’ll probably be a lot of ripped, rich dudes that graduated from like Chico State but got family moneys so you gotta stunt on them with the brogue wingtip look or be considered a peasant. And, if we can agree, those are the kind of guys highly liable to say something outta pocket in front of your girl, in which case you might have to stomp them out or play horseshoes or whoop that ass in chess. In any of the above situations, would these hybrid brogue boots not look exceptional on your feet? We rest our case.

    Jorge Courtade

  • Selling a Slice Of Pizza For $1 To Your Friend

    Selling a Slice Of Pizza For $1 To Your Friend

    Menswear is better with friends. I would say 'menswear, like everything else, is better with friends' but then I'm reminded of activities like scarfing down an entire Hot-N-Ready Little Caesar's pizza while watching 'Independence Day' on TV and quickly remember the flaws in that line of thinking. Anyway, I say this from a 'I do things alone 'cuz I'm a rebel without a cause' point of view. Fact is, despite our social media-driven desire to be the first, the only, and the best at doing any and everything considered 'rare,' there's still this little thing called "strength in numbers."

    I can tell you, wholeheartedly, that I would not be writing about menswear had I not forged meaningful friendships with Dario, Dante, and Tim over trap beats and open bars. Dario and Dante met on some random tip (something about a yacht, I don't know ask them for the rest of the story) and realized they both do this whole 'dress well' thing pretty... well.

    Everyone should be comfortable enough with their own company to go to the dive bar alone, eat alone at the lunch table, do things alone in general. That level of comfort displays a certain confidence that attracts jobs, money and future wifey alike.

    Still, that confidence usually comes from knowing that a friend, someone, somewhere really fucks with you. Your friend, somewhere, is an extension of you, killing it in their own right, different but connected. You guys talked about that last collection from Designer X but decided to cop that fire piece from Designer Y. You guys discussed the way people look at you now, the nods and sustained eye contact when they see you. You guys laugh off the confused glares from the throwback jacks still ridin' spinners. Menswear's fun... but it's even more fun when you decide to save a slice of that Little Caesar's pizza because the homie said he's got a dollar for you. 'Independence Day' can wait.

  • Whiskey Pourin' Up...On a Wednesday

    Whiskey Pourin' Up...On a Wednesday

    Weekdays are for parties, weekends are for rest! This past wednesday we had the pleasure of being invited to the Jameson Black Barrel X Movember launch party.   It’s not unusual for us to be invited to “industry” events in San Francisco that turn out to be sub par to say the least. With each invite there is always that feeling of skepticism…This was definitely not the case with Jameson.

    If there are two things that The Bellwether Project are fond of its fashion and whiskey. The event would be held at The NWBLK on Bryant St (if you ever are invited to any event held here, it’s a must do).

    Upon arrival to NWBLK we were greeted by Kelley who checked us in and provided us with a token and a brief overview of what the night would entail. Normally at this point hosts say their piece and send you are way to go cover the event. Kelley on the other hand stopped checking people in and took the time to give us a walk through. Before any discussion of business took place she said it was time for us to get drinks (Kelley, you are the real MVP). Three steps into the space we were greeted by waiters offering a series of appetizers consisting of a bbq Jameson slider, pulled pork on a chip with Jameson sauce, and fancy cheeses we won’t even attempt to pronounce.

     

    As we arrived to the first bar stand Kelley explained that the token we received was to vote for the best cocktail of the night (al of which were made with Jameson Black Barrel). There were eight stands to choose from and yes they were unlimited…No further comments.

     

    After grabbing two drinks each, Kelley said she wanted to hear more about what The Bellwether Project was all about and our take on SF style. Now most people who are responsible for hosting an event don’t have the time or effort to build rapport or don’t even care about what we have going (you know these PR types). We gave the rundown of what we did and exchanged stories on tech guys being the stereotypical image of SF style now and also a recap of our trip to New York for fashion week. While the conversation was going, a number of people walked up to say their hellos. It felt good to meet the cool people who played a role in making the event happen.

     

    After about 30 minutes of good conversation we finished our tour of the venue and all of its perks. There was a camera crew snapping photos using Jameson props along with an area to make a custom hooded t-shirt with a Movember X Jameson logo screen print. Outside in back of the venue was the designated smoking area that showcased a mural that was intricate to say the least.

     

    The crowd showed diversity with an age group ranging from 21-61. The DJ played an upbeat set making the vibe of the space approachable. After sampling all eight drinks, two-stepping as we tend to do, and a series of outlandish poses in photos, the night came to a close (those drinks were about to make things real unprofessional Kanye Voice) Kelley we thank you for the invite and look forward to more coverage from about Jameson's efforts to support the Movember movement. Support the Mo-stache!

  • Attaining Local Celeb Status At All Costs

    Attaining Local Celeb Status At All Costs

    How to put this.... menswear bloggers are very often very lame and very predictable. I would name a few who fit the bill but menswear beef sounds worse than Tyga v. Drake beef, I don't even want that issue. Plus, they might reach out one day and cut that nice check so we'll refrain from burning bridges - especially bridges made of cash. Anyway, hopefully you know about the dearth of interesting menswear bloggers by now, as you've chosen to read this particular menswear blog - one which features a multiethnic group of menswear crusaders who listen to Dipset and sometimes put a(n) outfit/runway show/leather portfolio together.

    Call it arrogance, bragadoccio (this word makes me think of cannolis and Christopher Columbus), whatever, fact is, you can't knock it. Or, maybe you can, I think 'hating' is protected by the US Constitution or something. Anyway, The Bellwether Project has played nice. Hey, we're nice people, you know? We offer you the opportunity to completely tailor (see what I did there?) your style to present the best version of yourself to a world that largely judges you by your outward appearance! At great rates, too!

    Maybe Mercury is in retrograde, I don't know, I just think this humble thing is for the birds. Don't get me wrong, we'll always be a grounded group, a group of individuals that never forgets to acknowledge that we, in fact, ain't shit. That being said, we have people who come to our day jobs just to ask for styling advice. Hell, we got special VIP wristbands at the Oakland Music Festival, fam. If that doesn't solidify our "local celeb" status, I don't know if I even want to be in this business anymore, my G. 

  • That Show We All Watched But No One Talks About

    That Show We All Watched But No One Talks About

    So I passed out drunk at like 8 PM last night, eventually waking up at 4:45 AM today in my most fire outfit. I had some hours to kill so I do what it seems I always do when I have hours to kill - I watched 'How To Make It in America.'

    The HBO drama only survived two seasons before the network pulled the plug... and The Bellwether Project still can't stop watching. People usually latch on to TV shows because they see something intrinsic in the characters (or plot or writing) that they identify with... and that's exactly how we feel about How to Make It In America.

    Centered around New Yorkers Ben, a stoic, self-loathing Jewish dude who works at Barney's, and Cam, a lively if not irresponsible Dominican dude who knows how to hustle, in their journey to, you guessed it, make it in America. Without spoiling the show, the two essentially start a denim line (aka 'Crisp') that turns into a line of vintage t-shirts. They look to manage their way through a convoluted industry all while dealing with the sh!t most twenty-somethings go through - paying rent, working in weak ass retail, having sex, you know, things of that nature. It feels like a show about... us. In a world that's focused on halfdead singing competitions and girls throwing chairs at each other, How To Make It in America felt like the last (..first?) refuge for the 'urban cool' on TV.

    Now here we are, preparing for our first launch (Nov. 30th people, stay woke) and it feels like our Pilot, our Season 1.

    Jorge Courtade

    P.S. - We'll make it past two seasons though. We're tryna hit box set numbers, fam. Catch us at Rasputins for the joog.

  • Toggle Options

    Toggle Options

    We've been waiting for this endless summer.. to end.. for the longest.. I've personally found myself staring into my closet dreaming of layers. It will happen soon, it HAS to happen soon. On the bright side, this elongated summer has provided all of us with ample time to shell out duckets for fire fall pieces. So, with the help from various tumblr accounts, we'd like to suggest some toggle coats as precipitation and cold weather (hopefully) draw nearer.

    Here's a navy, wool toggle coat by J. Crew worn by the dude in front of you in line at the cafe with the most intricate order. This dude looks like he'd try to take your girl by reciting obscure poetry and denigrating popular music, choosing instead to listen to NPR and smooth jazz. Touche, bro, touche. Anyway, the coat's a classic look and retails at $475.

    Here's a black, ASOS Wool Duffle Coat worn by a model who looks stoned as hell. The model looks like a person of color just told dude he can no longer afford his apartment because of gentrifying hipsters. In any case, don't let that dissuade you from copping this coat. Inexpensive at $152, this coat is utilitarian as all hell. Plus it's made of 5% viscose, a manmade fiber I had to Google, so it's gotta be tight.

    Now here are just some nice looking toggle coats.

             ^^^^

    This guy's so edgy, bro. He's teetering on the edge, bro. Sad Boyz, for real.

    (This is that v rare Mark McNairy New Amsterdam x Seattle Seahawks collab, fam.)

    With all of these coats to choose from, the waiting game for winter officially begins. ~prays for precipitation~

  • Saints and Savages

    Saints and Savages

    Aw man, where do we even start..? This is.. this is dope. I stumbled across Ikire Jones' FW14 collection, aptly named Saints and Savages, on these here Interwebs and thought the garments looked sharp. Then you read a bit about their story and realize 'these guys get it.'

    The images are sharp but what really did it for me was the concept behind the collection, a direct affront to preconceived notions about Africa and its relation to the West.

    (all images via http://www.ikirejones.com )

    In their own words, This is a challenge to the zealously held belief that Africa is a monolithic village in need of perpetual saving.

    Underneath several of the photos are personal accounts, moving tributes to the African experience, or ,better put, African experiences. They tell stories from the pitch (soccer field, guys, stay woke), stories from the "beneficiaries" of unwanted championship t-shirts of teams that.. you know lost the championship (you always wondered where those shirts went). They tell stories about gossip, about migration and refuge. All this while presenting an eclectic mix of clothing, plush with patterns, an intersection between the loud and the sublime.

    The collection is a reminder, don't let the story get lost in the clothes. At least not when it's a story worth telling.