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Step Inside Our New Factory

Earlier this year, after nearly five years of partnering with factories all over Chicago, we took the leap and opened our own shop, right here in the city, entirely focused on making Stock clothing. This new factory is the product of over two years worth of research and work, and is a fundamentally different way of manufacturing garments than is usually seen. Incorporating the philosophies of Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System, our factory is designed to eliminate waste and improve quality, all while empowering our employees to be a part of the team - not just a cog in the machine.   Our sewing machines are set up in a "U" shaped module, as opposed to side by...

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MOMOTARO UNIFORMS BY STOCK

Boka Restaurant Group's first asian-influenced restaurant, Momotaro, sits on iconic Lake Street in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. Below the world-renowned hospitality group's corporate office sits the 11,500 square foot masterpiece. This restaurant was the first collaboration between Boka Restaurant Group and AvroKO, the eccentric New York-based design firm. Momotaro marks AvroKO's first project in Chicago and it doesn't disappoint. In this short film, AvroKO designer Philip Pond notes they visited "the junkyard and the gallery" sourcing materials and inspiration for the restaurant's interior. The result is beautiful space inspired by the "economic miracle," a post-WWII period in Japan where traditional Japanese aesthetics merged with Western sensibilities. Our task was to carry this look and feel over to the staff uniforms...

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NORTHWOODS DOWN PARKA

As a brand that prides itself on it's Chicago heritage, it dawned on us earlier this year that we had never created a jacket that could truly stand up to our legendarily brutal winters. Ironically, when it came time to actually make the jacket, we decided to step outside of Chicago and rely on the expertise of Seattle's Crescent Down Works for the manufacturing. Blending CDW's decades of down manufacturing experience with our unique eye for design and detail, the Northwoods Down Parka is our take on their iconic Arctic Montagne. Originally engineered to withstand the frigid summit of Mount Rainier, our version is designed to weather the deepest freeze the upper midwest has to offer. The Northwoods Down Parka...

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AT WORK WITH CHRIS MANTZ

T: I know you're the founder of Drift Eyewear, but what is your current role? C: Currently I am founder, designer, head manufacturer, customer service liaison slash sales and shipping department. I'm the full-meal deal. T: What's the career path that led you here? C: I didn't have a background in the optical industry. I was an engineer by education and then an engineer/designer throughout my career. I experienced the birth and development of a product from concept to finished form in a variety of different capacities. I worked on everything from super high end valves and fittings to doors and windows to newly designed products that had never been to market before. I always wanted to create my own...

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BEHIND THE STOCK X HIGH LIFE HERITAGE COLLECTION

Introducing our newest collaboration: the Stock x High Life Heritage Collection. We were recruited by High Life to design and manufacture a menswear capsule collection celebrating the rich heritage of their iconic beer, and were given unprecedented access to their archives. We were able to draw inspiration from over 100 years of High Life's history. The collection features styles designed to feel both classic and contemporary at once - each one a celebration of the High Life enthusiast over the years. These garments are a collector's dream, but are so wearable you'll be hard pressed not to wear them in. Digging all the way back in the archives, we learned that the original High Life girl was most likely modeled after...

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AMERICAN HIGHWAY COLLECTION

Chances are you've laughed with the Griswolds on their Wally World-bound odyssey, screamed with Steve Martin on the wrong side of the highway with a lonely salesman riding shotgun, and meandered your way across Ohio in a tattered sedan with a brake pad slinging Chris Farley. The American Road Trip is a timeless piece of Americana with no shortage of pop-culture references. It's reminiscent of a simpler time. A time when Dad would load the car roof with luggage, buckle the kids into the backseat, and hit the road to explore the summertime beauty America has to offer. Mom would sit shotgun deciphering the road maps strategically splayed across her lap with "Are we there yet?" abrasively chanting behind her....

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CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION UNIFORMS, PART ONE

The first step of every project is R&D, and the CAA uniforms were no exception. So, in February of 2015 we had our first hotel walkthrough to grasp the design aesthetic and get initial inspiration for uniforms that would be cohesive and complementary to the buildout. Although the hotel was deep in renovation mode, we could tell that beneath the sawdust covered halls slept an iconic piece of Chicago history and we were stoked on the prospect of contributing to its resurgence. The Chicago Athletic Association hotel was built in time for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago (yes, the same World's Fair from Erik Larson's Devil in the White City). The design detail and construction of the 241-room hotel are...

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REVERSIBLE SHORT SLEEVE SHIRTS

Historically, reversible garments were developed to serve two distinct functions. For example, a reversible jacket may be cotton on one side, and waxed canvas on the other in case of sudden inclement weather. The Stock 2-in-1 short sleeve shirts are reversible simply for the function of two different looks, or possibly to instantly and fashionably conceal an unsightly stain. The idea came to us while browsing a swatch book from our favorite Japanese textile mill and stumbled upon a light airy double cloth. This particular fabric is unique in that it's two different woven fabrics tacked together, allowing for very different appearances (i.e. plaid/solid, stripe/polka dot). To develop a shirt that's fully reversible, we had to get creative. The initial...

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AT WORK WITH AARON FIRESTEIN

Steven: Long story short or short story long, what's the timeline on how you got to where you are now? Aaron: We've been around since 2011, so about four years now. It kind of all started when I would draw on canvas shoes in college. Then, through word of mouth or on Facebook I had people start asking me to make shoes for them. After graduating college in 2008, I bought a one-way ticket to Argentina because I really wanted to learn Spanish and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. While volunteering for an organization that worked with street kids in the slums, I met my then future business partner, Raaja, who I sold a pair of hand-designed...

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FATHER'S DAY COLLECTION

For Father's Day 2015, we wanted to do something special to honor the men who truly helped Stock get it's start: our own dads. Each of our fathers either started or took over a family-run small business and have taught us the spirit of entrepreneurship, how to conduct business in an ethical way, and how to weather the storm when going gets tough. For this collection, we (with some help from our moms) dug up vintage photographs of our dads that we thought best captured the spirit of who they are. With the dates in these pictures ranging from the mid-70's to the mid-80's, it's a testament to the timeless cool of these legends that we were able to create...

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AT WORK WITH ALAN GAGNÉ

Steven: You have a pretty good set up, how did you get to where you are right now? Alan: Well the story goes, I had always wanted to go to law school, but before spending hundreds of thousands on a degree, I decided to get a job in the field as a paralegal. Did the whole corporate 9-5 grind and sure it paid well, but it wasn't fulfilling. I had been living in Lakeview at the time and while the shop was under construction, I noticed some Stumptown Coffee and Bowery Lane Bicycles signs in the window. I was pretty familiar with both so I began riding by often and getting to know Mike the owner. Long story short, I left the...

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AT WORK WITH WADE MCELROY

Steven: Tell us a little about your career path and how you got to where you are now. Wade: I moved to New York in 2008 after college at ASU. I started working for a start up doing sales and I fucking hated it. In 2009 I began working as a captain on the floor at the Standard Grill in the new Standard Hotel NYC. I worked my way up to the bar until I left to bartend and eventually take over the bar program at Rye House. From there I left to be on the opening team of a restaurant called The Dutch. I spent my time there until I was sick of paying New York rent prices and up and...

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FULTON STREET ATHLETIC WEAR

Introducing the Fulton Street Athletic Wear line. Named after the street of our flagship store, this collection is Stock's first venture into knitwear. For over 40 years, our Chicago factory has made tailored military garments and that has remained our specialty, but for knits we had to look elsewhere. Over the course of several months, we vetted out different knit factories and settled on one in Los Angeles - the land of the knits. Staying true to the history of athletic wear, we decided against synthetic materials, opting instead for 100% cotton French terry that was woven specifically for Stock in LA. This fabric has a great weight to it, breathes well, and wicks up sweat the way sport garb...

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GRAND OPENING PARTY

A gigantic "Thank You" to everyone who came out to help christen the new Stock store! It was a night filled with stellar jams, great food and drink, but most importantly an awesome crew. We had Wade McElroy of Sportsman's Club fame slinging drinks behind the bar, and Stock-themed snacks via the crew behind Underground Social, the surreptitious local dining club. Visitors were also treated to 20% off all in-store purchases. Plenty more events to come- make sure you stay in the loop!

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STOCK SHOP BUILDOUT

After spending some time in the space, the design process started, as it often does, with a sketch. Our creative director, Mike, drew up a concept for the space and fashioned up a basic floorplan so that we could start building immediately. The design would incorporate cedar paneling and shelving, with black iron piping for racks and support columns for an industrial, but earthy feel. Tim's father, Tom, took the lead on most of the construction. With him at the helm we were able to knock out most of the base elements of the buildout in only a few days. We salvaged some glass from the demolition, which we installed in the wall behind what would become the bar, to...

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SOHO HOUSE UNIFORMS BY STOCK

We recently had the honor of designing and manufacturing uniforms for the staff of the beautiful new Soho House Chicago. The entire collection was conceived and produced from the ground up, exclusively for the staff of the House. The men's uniforms, consisting of chambray club collar shirts, twill double-breasted vests, corduroy bow ties and wool herringbones trousers, were designed to reflect the casual vibe and refined English heritage of Soho House.  The project began with a walk-thru of the raw space at 113 N Green St. The club was still under construction, but the robust decor and buildout were apparent throughout. Once we surveyed the space and discussed creative direction with the management we had a pretty good idea of...

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STOCK X SUPERDANGER

Introducing the Superdanger collection - designed in collaboration with menswear aficionado Alex Maier, better known by his blogger pseudonym: Superdanger.The capsule collection consists of two separate looks designed to be near-mirror opposites. A modern play on the "casual suit" popularized by the gritty crime classics of the 70s, the offering features a matching pant and jacket combo contrasted with floral and denim popovers. Pair matching colors for a unified outfit, or swap one piece in for a contrasting yet cohesive look. ALEX ON THE POPOVERS : The indigo popover came out better than I ever expected. The fabric is very soft to the touch and super lightweight considering it is denim. I am excited to see what It will look...

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THANK YOU APRONS BY STOCK

Our favorite thing to do at Stock is work with other awesome companies that we admire. When we heard Land and Sea Dept., the team behind Longman & Eagle and Parson's Chicken & Fish, was working on a new concept that needed aprons- we jumped at the opportunity. The criteria was simple: make a high-quality apron that's functional and attractive. When you're designing with functionality in mind, it's easy to over-design. To avoid unnecessary bells and whistles, we met with the L&S team to discuss how the aprons would be worn, what function they'd serve, and with what tools. The next step was sourcing, development, and sampling. The Stock x Thank You. aprons feature a box-stitched utility strap across the chest and a 5-compartment pocket below...

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