Meet… Taylor Bruce of Wildsam Field Guides

we asked Taylor—the founder of Wildsam Field Guides, a series of small travel books focused on showing the heart of a city through interviews and stories—to create an exclusive series for us about our London store neighborhoods: Bloomsbury, Soho and South Kensington. here, he shows us around his favorite West Village haunts.
When did you first catch the travel bug?
I was a sophomore in college and bought a crazy-cheap ticket to Europe over Christmas break. No plans, no reservations. Just hopping trains and figuring it out.

What’s the story behind the name Wildsam?
It’s from a sentence in a Steinbeck novel: “The world was peopled with wonders.” The passage is about curiosity, living with an open imagination and dreaming big, and it was written about a man named Sam. We really felt like there was something true and bighearted in the name.

What’s the first thing you do when you go to a new city?
Eat. Hopefully with friends or friends of friends. It’s the best way to get inside a place. Everything we do with Wildsam is born from conversation.
Taylor, photographed in the West Village, wears a Garrison fatigue jacket and carries a Filson rugged twill briefcase.



How are Wildsam guides different from other travel guides?
Ours are less about where to eat or shop and more about the story of a place. These days, recommendations are easy to come by. But getting to the soul of a city is what makes an experience unforgettable. Wildsam is just as much about the world-famous chef as it is about the immigrant family running a small bodega.

Tell us the most interesting fact you picked up while canvassing the city.
There are so many. The green tea huts just for cabbies. The Rolling Stones’ old haunts. My favorite was that the author of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, willed the copyright to his famous stories to a Bloomsbury children’s hospital before he died. To this day, anyone who does anything with Peter Pan has to pay the hospital. There’s something very Neverlandish about that.
Photography by Bryan Derballa. Illustrations by Lucinda Rogers.

A very special thanks to Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee and Jeffrey’s Grocery in the West Village.

To learn more about our stores in London, click here.

Sunday with…Tracy Morgan
our set director, Tracy Morgan, may paint everything from nautical flags to pieces of plywood for J.Crew photo shoots, but it’s her weekend love of painting floral arrangements in her Williamsburg apartment that has us hinting at a custom commission…



Photography by Bryan Derballa.

For more of Tracy’s work, click here. To see more from our Sunday series, click here and here.

Meet…Alison Altomari
we couldn’t wait any longer for the sun (or warmer weather), so armed with Point Sur jeans, we headed to LA—the denim capital—to meet up with a few of our beach-loving counterparts. meet Alison Altomari, a food-blogging, olive-oil-making adventurer with a love of the outdoors.

Hometown & current home
Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and now, in the Franklin Hills of Los Angeles.

Food blogging, working at RTH, starting an olive-oil line, you sure are busy… Tell us more about what you’re up to these days.
It has been a really exciting time! I’ve joined the team at Summerland, an LA company that brings the farmers’ market to your front door. They’ve brought me on board to help source products and oversee the test kitchen. I help out with special projects at the incredibly inspirational RTH. Along with my fiancé, Jay Carroll, we are starting a food brand—the first product will be an extra-virgin California olive oil, which will launch this fall in time for the next harvest. And I’m always cooking and sharing photos and travel stories on À la Alison.

You love to travel—what trips are on the horizon?
New Orleans this month, Maine this summer, a motorcycle trip to Scotland’s Isle of Skye and weekend trips out to Joshua Tree whenever possible.


Your style, too, reflects your love of travel. Tell us about some of the pieces you wear from your trips.
1. The bag I carried during our shoot: a brown leather purse from Starnet in Mashiko, Japan
2. My favorite shoes: Cobra Rock boots from Marfa, Texas
3. My vintage Fred Harvey-style turquoise cuff from New Mexico

In the spirit of California, let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
“California Stars” by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

Fill in the blank: You know you live in LA when…
Your Uber tab is higher than your bar tab.

Since you’re a foodie, what are some restaurants that shouldn’t be missed in LA?
1. Breakfast at Sqirl in Silver Lake
2. Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood
3. Night + Market in West Hollywood



Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Gabi Pascua for the Wall Group.

To learn more about just how Point Sur denim is made in downtown LA, click here. Then, shop our entire assortment of Point Sur jeans here.

Studio Tour: nanamica®

on a trip to Japan, photographer Justin Chung visited with Eiichiro Homma, the creative eye and managing director behind the Japanese outerwear-centric label nanamica, to talk performance outerwear and accessories that look the part even on the slick streets of Tokyo.
nanamica cofounder Eiichiro Homma, photographed outside his studio and showroom in Tokyo.
SPORTS AUTHORITY
The brand, which is also known for distributing Filson and the high-end North Face Purple Label in Japan, quietly got its start back in 2003. Homma, a self-proclaimed nature enthusiast, spent 20-plus years working for other outdoor labels before bringing his familiarity with performance material to create his own line of high-end outerwear that’s both functional and sharp. “I thought to myself, why don’t I try to make fashionable but practical sportswear that I’d actually want to wear?” says Homma. “I wanted to design clothes for daily life—things you’ll wear every day.”
MADE IN JAPAN
“Japan has some of the best, highest-quality materials and fabric mills out there,” says Homma of the line, which is known in cult menswear circles for its technological overhauls of classic design and slim Western cuts. This translates to details such as fully waterproof Gore-Tex® finished with contrasting buttons, hoods lined with merino wool, snap button closures as well as thoughtfully placed (and sized) pockets throughout its assortment of outerwear.



Photography by Justin Chung.

To shop our assortment of nanamica, click here.

Meet…Paloma Jonas
we couldn’t wait any longer for the sun (or warmer weather), so armed with Point Sur jeans, we headed to LA—the denim capital—to meet up with a few of our beach-loving counterparts. meet Paloma Jonas, codesigner of Valentine NYC (a line of sweet, lacy lingerie), sometime model and mom to Vedder—a Great Dane who totally stole the spotlight.
Hometown & current home
I’m from Sydney, Australia. But these days, I keep it bicoastal between New York and LA. I get the best of both worlds.

Tell us about Valentine NYC, the line of girly underpinnings you started.
My friend and cofounder, Whitney, and I wanted to create comfortable but sexy lingerie. We wanted to design pieces that could be worn every day and at an affordable price point.
You guys maintain an addictive blog too. What came first, the blog or the line?
The blog was a springboard for Valentine NYC. We focus mostly on women, but also couples, asking them things we’re all curious about but are afraid to ask: “What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?” Whitney and I think of ourselves as women on a mission to revive romance.

Speaking of romance, do you remember the first pair of denim you really loved?
It was a pair of vintage high-waist Levi’s cutoffs. It’s funny to say out loud now because they sound trendy, but at the time, they really weren’t fashionable. I still have them.

Let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Beach Boys. I’m a sucker for vinyl from before my time.

Your best-kept LA secret?
Vintage! It’s not a secret, but it’s one of my favorite things about living here. Every Sunday, there’s a vintage market that travels around LA. I’ve found everything from rare furniture to perfectly worn-in T-shirts.


Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Gabi Pascua for the Wall Group.

To learn more about just how Point Sur denim is made in downtown LA, click here. Then, shop our entire assortment of Point Sur jeans here.

Meet…YACHT’S Claire Evans
we’ve been known to sing along to YACHT’s infectious LA love song, “Shangri-La.” so when we headed to the West Coast, we called up our friend Claire Evans, the songstress behind our favorite lyrics (“If I can’t go to heaven, let me go to LA”), and asked her to show us around the city she calls home.
Hometown & current home
Born in the UK, formative years spent in Paris, adolescence in Portland, Oregon, adulthood in Los Angeles… Tomorrow, the moon!

Occupation
I’m the lead singer/co-conspirator behind the pop group YACHT. My partner Jona and I make music, videos, apparel, apps—really whatever seems like an interesting project to take on. I’m also editor at large of OMNI Reboot, a reinvention of the classic ’80s science magazine OMNI, and I write for lots of different publications on culture, science, technology and science fiction.

Musician, science writer, app designer—any other hidden talents we should know about?
I make a mean old-fashioned.
Let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Not going to make any friends by saying this, but despite my undying allegiance to all things West Coast, I always preferred Biggie to Tupac. So, in this case, I choose the Beach Boys.

Your best-kept LA secret?
The thing about LA is that everything good is a well-kept secret. That’s partially why Jona and I made our app 5 Every Day, which gives people five interesting things to do in Los Angeles every day. Not just shows and events, but things like hikes, strip-mall ethnic food and forgotten fragments of LA architecture and history.
Speaking of forgotten fragments, do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
There was one pair of denim overalls that saw a lot of wear in the early ’90s. I was a tomboy as a kid—still am now to a certain extent—and I remember never washing those overalls, taking pride in the increasingly threadbare knees and accumulating paint splotches.

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Gabi Pascua for the Wall Group.

To learn more about just how Point Sur denim is made in downtown LA, click here. Then, shop our entire assortment of Point Sur jeans here.

Meet…Jessica de Ruiter
we couldn’t wait any longer for the sun (or warmer weather), so armed with Point Sur jeans, we headed to LA—the denim capital—to meet up with a few of our beach-loving counterparts. first up? stylist Jessica de Ruiter, a girl who certainly knows her way around a pair of high-waist skinny jeans (barefoot and all)…
Jessica, photographed at her home in Silver Lake, wears the Point Sur hightower skinny jean in drifter wash and an Isabel Marant blouse.


Hometown & current home
I’m originally from Toronto, but I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the past 12 years—with a stint in NYC somewhere in between.

Occupation
Fashion editor, stylist and consultant.

“California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Tupac. Hands down.
Do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
Of course! A pair of Guess jeans that had the upside-down triangle label on the back pocket and zippers down the sides of the ankles. It was the mid-’80s, and I was probably six years old. It was a very important fashion moment for me.

Biggest misconception about style in LA?
That there isn’t any.



Photography by Bryan Derballa. Makeup by Lauren Andersen for the Wall Group.

To learn more about just how Point Sur denim is made in downtown LA, click here. Then, shop our entire assortment of Point Sur jeans here.

Beauty Notes: A Fresh-Fruit Mask from Tata Harper

the Colombia native and beauty entrepreneur talks to us about starting her own line, the secret behind her glow (hint: We think her Vermont surroundings have something to do with it) and gives us a DIY fresh-fruit face mask that will have you dreaming of summer…



How did growing up in Colombia affect your attitude toward beauty?
I grew up in a house with a lot of women, including my two sisters, mother and grandmother—and sharing beauty rituals was a way for us to spend time together. On Saturday mornings, we would make homemade beauty concoctions and do skin and hair masks…

What inspired you to create your own line of natural products?
After a family member of mine became ill, I was inspired to purge my home and beauty closet of ingredients that I couldn’t trust. I started swapping everything out for natural, nontoxic alternatives, but I couldn’t find a replacement for my high-performance anti-aging skin care. It didn’t exist, so I realized I had to create it myself.


Why did you decide to manufacture your products in Vermont?
Most beauty companies don’t manufacture their own products, so what we’re doing is pretty unusual. With 100 percent natural products, we’re dealing with very delicate ingredients that need extra care. We source natural ingredients from around the world, as well as our own farm in Vermont, and create our products by hand in small batches.

Is there any one product you swear by?
The Elixir Vitae serum. It works wonders for my skin.

Beauty icons?
Christy Turlington and Carolyn Murphy.
To shop our assortment of Tata Harper, click here.

Field Notes: Frank’s Tokyo

Tokyo is a constant source of inspiration for our head men’s designer Frank. we took a closer look at what he brought back after a recent trip (including the BIC pens he can’t live without)…
Frank’s desk covered in vintage postcards and his favorite BIC pen.




















To shop the entire assortment of Japanese items we’re obsessed with, click here.



we’ve got denim on the brain. with our new J.Crew denim in hand, we asked a few friends to pick a favorite pair to take for a spin. here, photographer Bibi Cornejo Borthwick (all 5’3” of her) gets into our vintage straight jean.







What person—dead, alive or fictional—wore denim best?
Bianca Jagger. And Jane Birkin.

Do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
The OshKosh overalls I wore when I was teeny tiny.

Your father (Mark Borthwick) is a photographer and your mom (Maria Cornejo) is a fashion designer. Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to follow in their footsteps?
I went on a trip to South Africa with my dad at 16, and it really blew me away to be surrounded by such beauty. Instinctually, it felt right to document everything.

Is it true that you only shoot film?
Yes. For the aesthetic I love, I shoot film. It’s so important to me—I don’t get the same feeling when I’m shooting digital. I also love the process of shooting film—waiting for the film to develop is the best part.



Photography by Alexey Yurenev. Hair by Nathan Rosenkranz and makeup by Moani Lee.

Special thanks to the Standard East Village.

To shop our newest assortment of J.Crew denim, click here.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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