What we love: kiltie tassel loafer, tortoise rim glasses, tousled hair.
The sun is glaring down on a Cap d’Antibes beach from a vast blue perch. It’s the summer of 1923. Gerald Murphy—artist, F. Scott Fitzgerald muse, and heir to the American leather accessories maker Mark Cross—takes refuge from the blistering heat in a shirt he discovers in a Marseilles market. It’s striped. The navy-on-cream Breton stripe looks so handsome on Murphy that his friend Picasso follows suit.
The jaunty appeal of the striped sailor top Murphy first discovers not only escapes the Murphy’s meticulously curated coterie of characters but achieves a devout following of royals, artists, and rebels. The likes of The Duke of Windsor, Jean Seaberg, Andy Warhol, and Joan Baez all go on to iconize what is essentially the French naval uniform. It isn’t until the 1970s that the Breton stripe shirt settles down as the androgynous staple we know now lovingly adopted by American preppies.
One of those American preppies is Nikki Kule. A Parsons-trained fashion designer with a stint at Brooks Brothers manning the boys and girls collections and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Nikki is obsessed with stripes. One might even say possessed. She currently designs her namesake line Kule out of New York. The collection for women and men boldly embodies this “Preppy Luxe” aesthetic Nikki has embraced so warmly throughout her life.
This fixation has Nikki deep in the pursuit of the perfect striped shirt. More specifically, the Breton striped shirt. With a handful of silhouettes to fancy any whim, we’ve been living in them this entire summer (we affectionately refer to it as being "Kule for the Summer"). While the royal blue-on-cream is a modern interpretation of the striped shirt Pablo Picasso made famous, Nikki’s exploration of color results in a prism of color-ways likely to be crowned new classics by summer's end. Fortunately, a 3,915 mile trek to a Marseilles market isn’t necessary to get your hands on one, just a quick trip to a striped corner of the world wide web called kule.com.
Women We ❤️ is a chance for us to sit down with the women in our lives whose style we love, work we admire, and heart we adore. We give them the celebrated Proust Questionnaire—which dates back to 19th-century Parisian salons—and throw in a few of our own. Grab a coffee, something to take notes with, and get to know the women we love as they ponder love, death, and the meaning of life.
Without further ado, Maxi Britt Roberts...Read More
We don't know much about B Sides jeans but we know they're cool. We do know they’re designed by Claire Lampert and Stacy Daily. We don't know much about them either. In this age of oversharing, that's kinda cool too (a quick Google search turns up factoids such as Lampert formerly being a nationally ranked competitive downhill ski racer—also cool!).
It started with a vintage pair of Levi’s 505s. Lampert and Daily began re-purposing denim collected from the American west and east and hand-worked them in New York city. While there are scads of companies repurposing vintage denim, the girls maintain the fit and character of the original denim and instead experiment with scaling, tones, and washes to create patchwork to add to vintage jeans. The jeans end up looking like your mom patched up your blown out Levi's with your other pair of blown out Levi’s. Each pair is essentially a work-of-art-level American classic.
You can shop pairs of B Sides at a handful of boutiques in the U.S., including one of our favorites, Sleepy Jones in SoHo. And by shop we mean try them on. You’re going to want to spend a minute with them in a dressing room. Since they’re 1960s and 1970s vintage, sizing is wildly unpredictable. Vanity sizing? Forget it. Used to wearing a 27” waist ladies? Don’t slit your wrists if you’re buttoning up in a 31”. But not to worry, the ink on the Levi’s leather patch will likely be so faded that no one will be the wiser.