The Friday Read: Commemorating the Day, the Best New York City Brands & the Best Weekend Gear

Six gorgeous photos of the New York City skyline

Right off the bat, thanks for being here. It feels strange to be publishing a post on September 11th, as has happened in years past, but it’s a bit odd to be starting off the weekend, and the Friday Read, on a day like today. As a still rather newly minted New Yorker (six years and counting!), the significance of today is never lost on me, and it’s only grown more heightened in recent years, in fact. Last year’s September 11th felt patriotic rather than somber — I spent the evening at my favorite bar in Brooklyn, which was much more crowded and energetic than even I expected, filled with New Yorkers who seemed to celebrate the city and its remarkable rebound in the years since.

Today is bound to be much different — no drinks being served in crowded indoor bars across the city, for one — but I feel New Yorkers who are in it for the long haul are similarly resilient in the face of this year’s pandemic, and I’m proud to consider myself among them. In fact, today’s Friday Read is going to focus solely on NYC brands and designers. I hope you get some time to reflect in solitude, as I’ll be doing today, and I hope you enjoy the weekend all the same. Stay strong, stay safe, and thank you for reading. The rest of today’s Friday Read is below. 

Freemans Sporting Club — Overshirt- Black Plaid

The perfect fall overshirt, made in New York City and so ready for seasonal layering.

  • What better way to kick off things off than by celerating a tried-and-true NYC brand that makes some of the best modern menswear on the market? I’m talking, of course, about Freemans Sporting Club, nestled in Lower Manhattan and not all too far from acclaimed NYC hotspots like the legendary Bowery Ballroom. They make one of the best men’s T-shirts and of course, the best chore coat. But to start fall, consider picking up the rugged Freemans Sporting Club Overshirt for standout seasonal layering atop your favorite henley. Celebrate the city and support an NYC business by shopping Freemans Sporting Club, my friends.
  • Here’s a bit of a sneak peek for you — we’re going to talk PLENTY more about one of the best men’s gear sales on Sunday, but for now, let me point you towards NYC’s own Bespoke Post. To be more specific: The Bespoke Post Sale has plenty of the best style deals for men, and on everything from home goods to EDC picks, so you should surely check them out.

Suppprt a New York City brand by shopping the coolest headphones on the planet.

A classically cool Oxford shirt that channels NYC style to a T.

  • Here’s an unstoppable style homage to New York City. What could be more fitting for downtown-inspired style than a classic black shirt from one of the best designers on the planet (much less the city) — Todd Snyder? Snyder himself is a Midwest transplant that’s now defining style for Manhattanites, Brooklynites and beyond these days, and this Todd Snyder Oxford shirt is as good as it gets.

That’ll close out today’s Friday Read. I’m looking forward to supporting some of my favorite NYC brands — virtually and by wearing ’em, of course! — this weekend, from Todd Snyder to Master & Dynamic. I hope you’ll do the same while enjoying your weekend and reflecting on what today means. Of course, you can expect another Style Pick of the Week tomorrow, plus our Sunday Sale (this time featuring Bespoke Post). For now, thanks again for being here. If you’d like to read even more content from yours truly, you can always subscribe to my newsletter, The Style Guide In Brief. Cheers, thank you again, and stay safe & strong. 

Style Q+A: Rivay Menswear

Editor’s note: To read up on a host of great menswear brands & personalities, check out the rest of the Style Q+A series.

If tough menswear that blends vintage inspiration with timeless functionality is what you need ... you just found your new favorite brand.

If tough menswear that blends vintage inspiration with timeless functionality is what you need … you just found your new favorite brand.

I must say, the first Style Q+A of 2017 is a pretty exciting one here on the blog. Investment-worthy and incredible to shop, yes — but also very exciting. The opportunities the menswear world provides to so many people — both as a career and a creative outlet — are pretty cool and often unexpected. That’s the case with Rivay, a relatively young new menswear brand based out of NYC that I’ve had the chance to learn more about this winter season. It sprang from unexpected beginnings (stick around for the Q+A), and I’d wager it’s here to stay. Certainly, if it’s sturdy, handsome winter style essentials that you seek, you’re in luck — lots of luck. I won’t give everything away here, but Rivay gets plenty of things right on multiple #menswear fronts. From a ridiculously beautiful hand-knit cable sweater to everyday pieces that blend functionality and style — like the Keats Hooded Parka — the collection feels of a different, more rustic and rugged age … yet it would be easy to wear in the streets of NYC and well beyond this winter. I caught up with founder Jon Ruti, who provided some excellent insight into the brand’s unlikely beginnings and how the streets of the Big Apple shape the design, technicality and yes, truly great style of his menswear line. So as you take stock of your 2017 menswear resolutions — be they upgrading your closet itself or upgrading your home goods — you’d be wise to look into Rivay to help you with a few choice menswear pieces. You really won’t regret it. For now, I’ll let founder Jon Ruti fill you in on a brand that’s making big waves in the NYC menswear scene.

TSG: Tell me about the start of the Rivay brand, in your own words?

 JR: The idea for Rivay began when I was still working as an Assistant District Attorney here in New York City. Prosecution is a tough job. The long hours and subject matter can wear a person down. To maintain balance, I made a point to dedicate weekends to pursuing my hobbies. Vintage cars, travel – anything that took my mind off the job.

When it came time to leave the office, I couldn’t find a brand for the transition from profession to off-duty. Existing brands were either too technical or too fashion. I wanted a clean, modern, well edited collection that looked natural going to and from my weekend passions. That’s when Rivay took shape.

TSG: NYC-centric design is a big focus for Rivay – how does the city shape the clothing you produce?

JR: NYC informs our designs in several ways. Living and working here gives us insight into how our styles should function. Crowded subway cars, freak downpours, cracked sidewalks – daily life here can be tough on a man’s wardrobe. To combat this, we source the best fabrics, those that can handle the daily commute as well as a weekend of adventure. Our silhouettes are clean, modern and made to stand up to daily life. So no matter if you’re using our parka for a rainy commute or a weekend drive, you can be sure it’s going to perform, look good and last.

In the more general sense, NYC is a place where classic and modern exist in harmony. It’s a characteristic that informs our designs. Using modern, clean silhouettes and constructing them with classic, time-tested fabrics is a cornerstone of our design philosophy.

The Kipling Wool Overshirt and Hopper Selvedge Oxford Workshirt are excellent examples of perfect pieces from the brand.

The Kipling Wool Overshirt and Japanese Cotton Chambray Popover are excellent examples of perfect pieces from the brand.

TSG: What’s your favorite item in the current line? Any plans to expand into different product categories in future seasons?

 JR: I love our Keats Parka. It’s unlined, paired down to the absolute essentials and looks just as good over a suit on the way to the office or over a t-shirt on the way to a Saturday cars & coffee. Pair it with one of our lightweight and ultra-soft Japanese wool shirt jackets and you’ve got yourself a warm & seriously stylish alternative to the typical Barbour or Patagonia setup.

For Spring-Summer 2017, we have some exciting developments in pants, shorts and printed shirting. Some of the hardest things for a man to find are flattering pants and masculine, restrained prints. We’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the fit of our pants and sourcing fabrics and prints that will have you looking stylish for the warmer months.

TSG: On a style-related note, what’s one essential (either from your brand, or a style classic) that every guy should own?

 From Rivay, our Hopper Selvedge Oxford Work Shirt is an excellent alternative to the typical oxford. Just as soft and durable as the classic, but in an updated silhouette that is both rugged and refined.

For items outside of Rivay, a vintage timepiece or a car with some character. On the pricier spectrum, a Rolex Submariner 5513 and a Defender 90 look good with anything, anytime, anywhere. For something a little more approachable, a vintage Smiths W10 Military watch and late 1960s all-original Ford pickup are timeless. So long as you invest in good design, it will never go out of style.

Shop the beautiful Rivay collection just as soon as you can, and follow Rivay on Instagram for quite the dash of visual inspiration.

Beckett Simonon