Vol. 

2.5

2.5

April 2015

I’m not entirely sure why today’s collection is called “Celebrate.”

That’s not to say I don’t like the name — I think it works well with the products (and the confetti looks fantastic) — but it’s more to say that I’m increasingly finding myself at a remove from some of these components and decisions of Need.

Two weeks ago, as I was flying to London to visit family, I was thinking about this shift.

I founded Need just over two years ago and it’s been running publicly for about fifteen months. And, for the first year and a half of that process — until about this time last year — I was the sole operator and employee.

Every shipment, handwritten note, word, tweet, and post was produced by me. Today, on the other hand, Need is produced by a host of five or six people, of which I am one.

The result is that the company is improving drastically. (Which is fun to sit, focus on for a moment, and walk away abundantly aware of your inadequacy.)

Nonetheless, I tend to think it’s important to remain in touch with the version of the company that was run exclusively by one person.

That’s not to say it should be memorialized as the right way to do things. Or, perhaps, as a sign of past prosperity.

(The reality is quite the contrary, really.)

But it does serve as a resounding reminder of the possibility and potential of one person pursuing something they care about. And it goes to show that you do not require hoards of cash or personnel to realize something.

The greatest threat to any project — company or otherwise — is that you lose track of the values that informed the foundation of the concept in the first place.

For me, Need — and, by extension, Foremost — is predicated upon integrity and dignity.

When you see that marketing email fundamentally works, though, you’ll be tempted to send more. When you see that additional capital helps, you’ll be tempted to raise much more than you require.

It’s easy to find yourself on a slippery slope, clattering clumsily away from the premise that made you interesting in the first place.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, simply put, it’s an interesting shift to undertake.

Releasing my hands from every possible facet of the company’s behavior and presentation feels counter-intuitive. After all, I established those binding values in the first place.

What I’ve come to realize, though, is that building things is about finding people of similar values as yourself.

Rather than finding people who can simply execute upon a premise and then leave promptly at 5 p.m., the crux of building something is finding like-minded people who perceive — and care about — a thing just as much as you do.

It ostensibly creates a support group of people working towards a common goal. You’re all hopelessly fraught with focus and passion, but you’re there to keep everyone on the right track. And to remind each other why the easy road is frequently not the right one to follow.

I share all of this because I’m deeply proud of what we produce each month. “Celebrate,” as much as I did not know the name, is one of the finest collections we’ve ever produced. And I’m intensely proud of that fact.

It goes to show that these people I’ve cobbled together have congealed into something bigger. That the values and very existence of Need as an idea have grown to larger proportions in which a larger group of people claims ownership.

And that’s a remarkable thing.

The photography this month was produced by Jordan Laessig and Amber England. And our model — the immensely talented Cory Tran — was extraordinarily kind to lend us his time. (Seriously, check out his work.)

With people like this working with us, I’m more sure than ever that we’re building something fundamentally good. Which is confidence-inducing, to say the least.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Alexander / Founder + CEO

  • Leather Camera Strap
  • Navy Windcheater
  • Field Linen Blazer
  • White Oxford
  • Pacific Cropped Chino
  • Grim Tim
  • Thin Finn
  • Emilio LE Chukka
  • Traveller Sock
  • All-In-One Lotion
  • Rosemary & Citrus Candle
  • Barrel Aged Honey
  • Cereal No. 9
  • Lagom, No. 2

Leather Camera Strap

Bell & Oak

I bought a DSLR a few weeks ago. And I’m having a lot of fun with the photography aspect.

I’ve been traveling (read: artsy shots of flowers and buildings) and the output is noticeably improved upon my typical iPhone photographs.

Nonetheless, I’m still grappling with the fact that — whilst wearing that camera around my neck — I look like an oddly curious tourist.

I could be walking through my own home with the camera and it’d still look like I’d just inadvertently meandered away from some sort of horrendous audio tour.

The perpetrator of this travesty? The colorful, heavily-branded strap.

For the photographers out there, we’ve seen this problem. And we’ve felt your pain.

So, working with our friends at Bell & Oak, we’ve created a completely custom tan leather strap. Produced just up the road in Denton, Texas, the Bell & Oak x Need camera strap is a true beauty to behold.

Sporting minimal Need branding — made with a custom dye — the strap is an understated, sophisticated, and utterly welcome accessory for any camera. (Whether it’s mirrorless or DSLR.)

It measures 0.5 inches in width and 46 to 52 inches in length. The shoulder strap is 1.5 by 11 inches. The edges are burnished by hand(!).

For some good insight, our mutual friend Tyler Sharp wrote about his experience with a similarly-made strap.

If there’s one thing to leave you with: you don’t want to look like a tourist in your own home. Get a decent, attractive strap for your camera.

(The Bell & Oak x Need Camera Strap will ship out on Tuesday, April 21.)

  • $68.00

Field Linen Blazer

General Assembly

Summer is a time for celebration. (Look! I invoked the collection title!) And, as such, it’s a prudent time to invest in a lightweight, casual blazer.

General Assembly’s Field Linen Blazer is an exceptional option.

Sporting a rich hue of blue — shifting subtly in different lights — it’s an unlined, casual, and versatile option. Paired with jeans or chinos, it’ll be sure to add an air of sophistication to all manner of outfits.

And, as it’s unlined, it’s easy to throw into a bag or overhead storage bin. It’s built to take more punishment. And, at the same time, it’s breathable and lightweight for the summer.

I’ll be wearing one to a bevy of upcoming weddings. You should do the same.

White Oxford

Marshall Artist

Have you ever gone to quickly grab a shirt from your closet, but found yourself paralyzed by the volume of options?

Yes. You have.

The solution is an investment in an ever-present white shirt. It’s an immutable element of men’s style and it’s virtually impossible to wear poorly.

Paired with a suit, jeans, nothing, shorts, or otherwise, a white oxford shirt is an unquestionable and fundamental component of style. And you ought to own a good one.

Marshall Artist’s yarn-dyed oxford shirt is the embodiment of this ideal. Presented with minimal branding, a chest patch pocket, and matching white buttons, this is a shirt that’ll never become exhausting or irrelevant.

Solve your stylistic paralysis.

  • $98.00
  • Select Size

    S M L XL

Pacific Cropped Chino

Aloha Sunday

Remember when ankle-swinging trousers were a punchline? Those days are long gone. Today, there are few more stylish expressions than the cropped and cuffed chino.

It’s a casual, summer-friendly look. It’s contemporary, easy to pull-off, and exceptionally comfortable.

Paired with a pair of sneakers, chukkas, or oxfords, you’ll immediatly send a message of modernity and confidence.

Aloha Sunday’s Pacific Cropped Chino come in navy and are made with one hundred percent cotton twill. They have a relaxed fit, cropped 24.5 inch inseam, piping on all inside seams, and Aloha Sunday’s signature cut-out waistline.

In other words, they’re easily and comfortably worn. And they look genuinely fantastic.

Get ahead of this year’s trend and look the part this summer.

Grim Tim

Nudie Jeans Co.

Nudie's Grim Tim denim has been a Need staple since our first collection. And deservedly so. It's a phenomenal cut, designed and produced with exceptional care.

We've been looking for a variant on this staple for quite some time. When wearing blacks, whites, and greys, we wanted something different, but that still fit exceptionally well.

When speaking with Nudie, it was highlighted that we'd yet to experiment with their black denim. So, here we are to right that wrong.

Nudie's Grim Tim Black Rings are the perfect pair of black jeans. Featuring a black, stretch fabric — dyed over a deep indigo hue — these are jeans that will develop an unbelievable amount of character over time.

Made in Italy and weighing in at 12.25 ounces of organic denim, the Grim Tim Black Ring is the perfect, slimmer-fitting (but still not too tight in the thigh) option for someone looking for a good variant option.

Thin Finn

Nudie Jeans Co.

Dark denim is a wonderful thing. It’s versatile, easy to wear, and pairs with all manner of clothing.

At the same time, it’s pervasive. Walk into any non-Starbucks coffee shop around the country and you’ll hit a wall of dark denim.

If you’re invested in the prospect of standing apart from the crowd, look no further than Nudie’s pre-washed Thin Finn.

There’s no need to worry about washing and wearing them in perfectly. The work’s already done for you.

Concerned about skewing more towards your father’s look? Well, Nudie’s Thin Finn have a slim fit — slightly slimmer than the Grim Tim we typically offer — that lends itself exceptionally well to a more contemporary appearance.

All gentlemen should own some raw denim, some black denim, and some well-worn denim. Here’s the latter pre-made for you.

Emilio LE Chukka

Nisolo

Your shoes are bad and you should feel bad.

Wait. Let’s start that again.

Your shoes are bad and you should do something about it.

You know who you are. We see you.

We have a solution in the form of some beautiful handmade chukkas from the phenomenal folks at Nisolo.

Handmade in Peru in sustainable and responsible working conditions, the Emilio Chukka — available in a brandy hue of brown — is a versatile, comfortable, and exceptionally well-designed shoe.

Whether you’re reclining at a bar or wandering into a board room, the Emilio Chukkas will carry you perfectly from the beginning of the day into the late evening.

They’re made with extraordinary care — particularly for the price — and will add an immediate and unmistakeable air of class to your presentation.

(The Emilio can run up to half a size small, so, if you’re between sizes, it’s best to skew a little larger.)

Feel better about your shoes. Others will notice.

  • $178.00
  • Select Size

    8 9 10 11 12

Traveller Sock

Richer Poorer

We’ve been campaigning for better socks since our first collection. And we will not relent.

Richer Poorer’s traveler socks — sporting a phenomenal hue of teal — are our latest choice.

Paired with all manner of outfits and shoes, these’ll be sure to provide you with some added confidence and character throughout the day.

Also, while I’m here — as I've essentially run out of things to say — it’s worth warning all of you to remember to wear socks when traveling. I made the mistake recently and walked barefoot through my TSA scan.

It wasn’t great. Don’t let it happen to you.

Invest in socks. (Traveler socks, no less.)

  • $12.00

All-In-One Lotion

Manready Mercantile

Have you ever gazed at the seemingly endless options of men’s lotions and felt lost? Did it feel as though you’d glimpsed the breadth of the universe and you’d finally come to understand your smallness in the grand scheme?

Well, brought back for a triumphant second run, here’s an All-in-One Lotion from the fine folks at Manready Mercantile.

Featuring one hundred percent vegetarian ingredients, a bergamot and teak scent, no synthetic fragrances, no oily residue, and versatile absorption for all manner of skin types, this is the ideal lotion for gentlemen to easily improve their appearance with minimal effort.

The classic smell of “deep, mossy woods” will restore your sanity, whilst the lotion itself will instantly alter your skin for the better.

  • $22.00

Rosemary & Citrus Candle

Empire Apothecary

When we first offered a candle, I felt the need to justify and explain the validity and value of owning one as a grown-up.

And, yet, we sold out within moments, my words unnecessary and unheeded.

Evidently, you folks truly understand the purpose and importance of owning one or two good candles for your homes. (Which is good.)

So, with that in mind, we set out to one-up our last candle offering. And we believe we’ve done so.

Empire Apothecary’s Rosemary & Citrus candle — handmade with one hundred percent soy wax (with a forty hour burning time) — provides not only a beautiful, immersive scent, but also a great sight to behold.

From its double-wick for a rich flame to its sophisticated scent, this candle will not go amiss in any home.

Who am I kidding? No one’s still reading at this point.

  • $28.00

Barrel Aged Honey

TruBee

Remember that time we sold out of “crack” within a few minutes?

Well, it got us thinking about the possibilities around food-related items. What other well-named, delicious things could we offer to our voracious customers?

Our proud answer is barrel-aged honey. (Yes. It’s as good as it sounds.)

The wizards at TruBee have aged their raw honey in whiskey barrels. The result is 7.5 ounces of one hundred percent pure, raw, glorious honey.

Whether you use it with tea, toast, or as a marinade, it’ll serve its purpose extraordinarily well.

And it even comes in a muslin bag, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

(Seriously, it’s really good.)

  • $14.00

Cereal No. 9

Cereal

You’ve heard me gush about Cereal for the past two years.

And today is certainly no exception.

Cereal, Vol. 9 features chapters discussing Melbourne, Bath, and Lisbon, whilst also delving into the typical discussions of taste, travel, style, and contemporary culture.

It’s an utterly beautiful, minimalistic, and perfectly-produced object that’d be at home on any surface. And, taking it a step further, it’s an exceptionally well-edited publication.

Cereal is published several times per year, but its issues never go out-of-date. They are perennially relevant and deserve to be shared and vociferously consumed.

Don’t miss out.

  • $22.00

Lagom, No. 2

Lagom

Lagom, No. 2 is important for a number of reasons.

First, it’s a beautiful publication to behold. The typography is well-considered — as you’d expect from the gentleman behind Adobe’s TypeKit platform — and the photography is immersive and engaging.

Second, beyond its aesthetic, it’s a genuinely interesting piece of literature. From articles discussing Nashville’s creative world and craft beer in Copenhagen to examinations of physical design and cold brew coffee, Lagom is a diverse, sophisticated, and fascinating read.

Third, we have an advertisement inlaid on the inside of the back cover.

Lagom, No. 1 was one of our most favorite publications to grace Need in the past. No. 2 continues that tradition admirably well.

  • $20.00