Once a year, Ball and Buck brings the American Field Trade Show to the streets of Boston. As one would expect, the show features the kind of clothes and accessories that you can get real muddy with while still looking awesome. From axes to canoe paddles, watches to jeans, the third iteration of American Field brought thousands of made in America products right here to the streets of Boston. While each brand brought something unique to the event, with one hundred or so of them lining Boston’s industrial waterfront, it can be tricky to pick out the best. That’s why we’ve done it for you. Here are the top seven brands not to miss at Ball and Buck’s American Field Trade Show (continuing for one more day tomorrow – get to it!).
Shockoe Denim takes home our top marks this weekend at American Field. Based in Richmond, VA and started just about two years ago, Shockoe takes a new approach to denim. Skipping the all-too-trendy heritage label (“not everyone wants to dress like a miner”), Shockoe looks instead to the high end men’s suiting market (think Versace, Dolce). By taking construction techniques from luxury men’s suiting and applying them to denim, they have made jeans that look and feel better than just about anything in the market. With the cost clocking in just below $300, their price point is high, but worth it for the longevity of the denim. Come back to Boston anytime, boys.
Ursa Major has been on my map for a little while with Portland Dry Goods as one of their main re-sellers. Founded by a couple in the cosmetics industry, Ursa Major pursues the natural label with honesty and vigor. Their grooming goods are not only beautifully packaged, but sourced from family owned farmed around the country. With their workshop just up the road in Vermont, they are a tried and true New England brand.
Initially founded as a plan to breath new life into vintage watches through the creation handmade Horween leather straps, Throne Watches has expanded their vintage-only lineup into a full on watch brand. Throne is looking buck the overseas-only trend to instead take on competitors like Shinola on home grown soil. They just wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign for their very first Throne Watch, so keep an eye out for them on shelves very soon.
There’s not much left to say about Corter Leather that we haven’t said before. Their wallets are beautiful, the leather work is on point and they are awesome folks from right here in Mass. Fortunately, with Eric holding down the fort at AF this weekend you don’t need to head all the way down to the Cape to catch them.
Sanborn Canoe Co.
Talk about a product that you would never think you would ever crave. Sanborn’s artisan painted paddles are equal parts wilderness gear and mansion artwork. Each paddle is a laminated combination of western red cedar, aspen and black walnut, and finished with a durable varnish dip. In their own words, Sanborn Canoe Co. was “a summer hobby by a few buddies to build a cedar-strip canoe with little more knowledge than we had gleaned from a how-to book.” Even if you don’t have a canoe ready to go, swing down and meet these guys and see the awesome paddles. You can at least hang one on your wall.
“We’re really big in Japan.” That’s generally a line you hear out of the mouths of a small band hustling through Allston’s sweaty clubs. But, in the case of General Knot’s line of colorful, patterned ties, it’s totally true. Made right here in New England and shipped out all over the world, General Knot uses rare and vintage patterns collected from around the world to offer uniquely designed ties, pocket squares and scarves. You might not be heading out to Japan anytime soon so it’s worth checking these guys out while they’re right here in your own back yard.
Really badass axes made for actually felling trees, not hanging on the wall. Need I say more?