A Letter from the Editor
We all dislike clichés, don’t we? Especially when someone tells us that “every cloud has a silver lining” after we’ve just received bad news. Or perhaps “what goes around comes around”, a phrase that’s never done anyone any good (save for that Justin Timberlake guy).
But perhaps one of my favorite clichés to hate is “it’s all about the details”. In the world of menswear, this banal phrase is often accompanied by a selfie of some well-meaning gentleman overcome by one too many colorful accessories. And hashtags.
I’m not averse to this phrase because of my distaste for overly coiffed pocket squares (though that doesn’t help). I object to it for the same reason we all object to such platitudes — not because they aren’t true — but because their generality extracts their potential substance. What’s all about the details? Which details are the details?
While there are times befit for generalization, details live and die by specificity. By nuance. So what are details when it comes to menswear? Are they unique flourishes? Unseen finishes? Material choices?
Details are all of these things. Perhaps one of the most iconic arbiters of detail, the late Steve Jobs, said it best when speaking about diligence in design.
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there. So you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
Though not many hold Jobs’ religious fervor for the little things, details nonetheless exist “all the way through” every aspect of craft. Whether you pay attention to them or not, they are there. Be it the hand feel and drape of a shirt, the green stitching on its cuff, or the poorly sewn placket that’s separating after several wears, the attention to detail, or lack thereof, is saying something. Details are inflection points of thoughtfulness — those elements both visible and invisible that make a product feel great. Or, inversely, those that make them feel like shit.
This issue, therefore, is a celebration of those points of thoughtfulness done well, including the individuals who create them. Those who are committed to designing and crafting exceptional products day after day. Brands ultimately rise and fall by their ability to stand out amidst the competition, and it is often their attention to detail that defines where they land. After all, the devil is in the details, no?
Ian Deming, Editor-in-Chief