Since sometime around the seventies or eighties, the conversation on “the best of” American menswear always seems to include the same, undoubtedly deserving, but all too familiar cast of characters.  Ralph Lauren, Jacobi Press, Henry Sands Brooks, Cliff Grodd, Ralph Ostrove, these are the names that pop up time and time again, riding an infinite echo that drowns out any mention of other possibile contenders.  While these men were (and still are) responsible for the guiding the ever-changing look of American sportswear and it’s modern white-meets-blue collared audience, they still do only make up a fraction of the story on continental menswear over the past century or so.  The rest of the tale is full of designers and figures, most of whom have fizzled out over the years, or never really made a mainstream mark, but there is one man in particular that certainly deserves consideration as one of the greats: Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia.

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