The Friday Read: Koio x Ben Medansky, Ao Skincare and NYC Beer Week

OK, Friday’s arrived once again — who’s amped?? It’s been a busy five-day work week here, not to mention a week packed with a heck of a lot of blog content. From my piece on the best weekender bag for spring travel (or, one of the best) to yet another look at casual winter layering via our #OOTD series, there’s been a lot of content to sink into these past few days. Closing out the week has me all the more excited for this weekend — in addition to prepping for a pretty big international (yep, international!) jaunt late next week, I’m pretty thrilled to be able to hit up a few choice spots for the much-lauded, much-loved NYC Beer Week. It’s a celebration of great craft beer, breweries and brewpubs around the city — think local, drink local, as it were. That means I’ll be checking out Marshall Stack in NYC’s Lower East Side tonight for a tap takeover by Gun Hill Brewing, a Bronx establishment that brews tasty concoctions like the solid Gun Hill IPA and the excellent Void of Light, a foreign stout. In short, what’s better than checking out a potential new favorite spot while enjoying a few much-loved beers? Not much — that’s the spirit of NYC Beer Week in a nutshell! It’s also, of course, the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament here in New York City; with any luck, I’ll be at Madison Square Garden watching my beloved Spartans play for the Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday, too. Fingers crossed until then. Be sure to follow along on Instagram for all the action, and good luck wrapping up your week!

  • Let’s kick things off by reimagining your sneaker closet. Premium sneaker brand KOIO — masters of crisp, easy-to-wear Italian-made sneakers — are back with a neat collab with ceramic artist Ben Medansky. The just-dropped Koio x Ben Medansky collab set of kicks draws inspiration from Medansky’s seriously cool ceramics work (right down to a piece of pottery threaded through the laces). These low-top sneakers also feature a striking blue sole and patterned leather based speckled ceramic pottery. They’re like a work of art for your feet, and a welcome change of pace from plain white leather sneakers (which Koio also happens to do very well). They’re extremely limited in terms of quantities — only 50 pairs were made — so act fast!
  • Speaking of sneakers … surely you know GREATS, right? The Brooklyn purveyors of classic, very affordably priced sneakers are continuing to make waves in the footwear industry — and if you’re based out West, you’ll now be able to make the brand your own! That’s right, GREATS just opened its first store in California, great news for sneakerheads out in Cali. The shop is located at 1505 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, and it opened back in February. As the brand says, it “marks a unique pivot in the digitally-native brand’s growth.” What does all of that mean for you? It means that if you live in Venice or LA, your sneaker game just got a BIG upgrade.
  • In the way of non-footwear upgrades, let’s talk winter skincare. If your skin could use a refresh right about now, I think we’re in the same boat. Ao Skincare, out of New Zealand, could be just the brand to reach for the next time you want to amp up your grooming routine. They combine nature and science, using unique cold-processed formulas that result in some seriously excellent product (I’ve been testing out the brand these past few months). Let me know in the comments if you’re going to give ’em a shot yourself?

Alright, folks — that’s all for today’s Friday Read. Catch you for the Style Pick of the Week tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

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