Brian Mendoza understands clothing. He likes to wear casual garments that pay attention to longevity and materials. That is why it’s no surprise that his eye for details attributed to the success of Wings & Horns, where he was the designer until he took on a new venture; head designer of The Men’s Contemporary Collection for The Bay. We catch up with Brian at his old apartment in Vancouver en route to Toronto to embark on his new career.
Closet of shirts: I like to wear button down shirts in almost every situation, work, after work, weekends, etc. I usually reserve this category to the likes of what I consider to be great shirt manufacturers like Gitman, Pendleton, various work style brands, etc. I do also buy vintage shirts from time to time like my favorite CPO Naval shirt made of melt on wool.
Blue Bill Hunting Vest: This vest was bought at Mr. Lee General Store in Vancouver. I first bought it as a sample for the details and the more and more I wore it I found it handy underneath all my jackets and heavy sweaters.
UDT Navy Seal Coral Creepers: A friend told me a bit of the history of use of the shoe. He said they were used by the units that later would become the Navy Seals. The shoe was used for underwater type missions. It has two mesh eyelets to drain out the shoe when you got out of the water and when running across beaches the soles were patterned to leave the least amount of imprinting in the sand.
Crescent Down Works down filled shirt:
My friend Rob was in Seattle sourcing manufacturing for W+H and product for his store Roden Gray. I told him to take a look at Crescent Down Works since he was in town and he brought it back for me. I have never really been a fan of down filled cause it usually gets so cumbersome, but after wearing this shirt, it has become my favorite item to wear during the cold months.
Marathon watch: When I first looked into this time piece I was living in Toronto and noticed it was manufactured fairly close to where I lived. I ended up going there and got mine straight from the manufacturer. An interesting thing about this company is that it is a Canadian business that supplies watches to the U.S. and Canadian military and SAR (search and rescue) teams. Now a days it is a little harder to get these watches as a friend and I found out cause he wanted one. In fine print on their site it says “Note: This watch is available only to Government and approved Departments and Ministries.”
Arcteryx Alpha LEAF: I got this jacket from the manufacturer first year of their LEAF (Law Enforcement and Armed Forces) contract. It is the most helpful jacket while I was in Vancouver for obvious reasons.
American Optical Aviator glasses: I really loved these for many years. The weight, shape, color. Some of the best sunglasses I have ever owned. I actually lost a pair while in L.A. but they were made by Randolph Engineering. These are actually the exact same as far as I can tell.
Canadian Flight Jacket: The model number or official name escapes me for this jacket. I like it because it looks like an MA-1 American flight jacket, however I find these ones better because of the small improvements that bother me about the MA-1. For one they did away with the rib at the bottom of the jacket which always rides up while you are moving in the jacket and have put in two pockets on the forearm which I actually use unlike the shoulder pocket. This one is a bit large. I hope to find one in my size in the future. I got it from a military surplus store out in New Westminster B.C. Canada again for the purpose of studying the details but after using it so much I noticed it just became a jacket that I liked to wear on a daily basis.
Kesner Cap Co. : It seems at one point these caps were popular and it is a shame that they are becoming harder and harder to find. I really like this cap cause it just makes sense to me. It is insulated and the ear warmer panel is lined with a knit rib and is one of the most comfortable caps I have ever worn. This one was bought brand new vintage in Kensington market in Toronto and is actually made in Toronto.
CPO shirt: Already talked about this shirt in #1.