Welcome to our semi-annual celebration of the stuff that will make your life better. And just in time for Father’s Day. Look how that worked out…
We live in a world of near-infinite choices, which is both a blessing and a curse. Throw in the cacophony of online reviews and sponsored social media praise, and it can be tough to separate what you should own from what you should just “like.” But, the happy truth is, we’re living in a golden age of stuff. Never has there been less reason to settle. So, from the simplest accessories to the most impressive toys, here are the products that are worth your time — that are worthy of you.
Imagine a yacht. Now imagine a Transformer. Somewhere in-between is the Evo 43. Thanks to a series of hydraulic extensions, the Italian-made craft can go from performance speedboat to wide-body party boat at the touch of a button. Just remember to pack champagne (if you’re not behind the wheel, of course).
$817,000 / evoyachts.com
Two Ways to Play
They’re already talking about a PlayStation 4.5. Which is cool, sure, but you know what else is? A gaming system you won’t want to chuck after a couple of years. The R-Kaid-R, crafted from a stylish wooden box, acquires a patina over time and boasts all the fixings of an arcade: a joystick, big round buttons, and storage for countless retro games (i.e. the stuff you remember being much more engaging than it actually is). And, speaking of retro games (and not throwing away a gaming system), the Analogue NT Gold celebrates the golden age of Nintendo, and the 30th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda, by literally covering the classic console in 24K gold. Is it excessive? Definitely. But, so is your fondness for your childhood.
In these post-Mad Men times, the elaborate bar cart has become a required — if overly rote — piece of home furnishing. We’d be turned off by the whole thing, if we hadn’t stumbled upon this bar cart by Stellar Works, a steel-and-leather tribute to the good life.
$1,780 / stellarworks.com
Designers must have loved Drive, or at least they fell in love with Ryan Gosling’s scorpion-emblazoned silk bomber, because souvenir jackets are everywhere. Louis Vuitton’s take is especially bold, with hits of red and dancing cranes on the front and back. Wear it, then let it do all the talking for you. Just like Gosling did.
$4,250 / ca.louisvuitton.com
Pens That Kick Brass
Pens are either so cheap as to be forgettable, or so opulent they’re hardly used. The brass collection from the Taiwanese design wizards at ystudio offers the perfect solution. As the brass oxidizes, it will create something completely unique. We recommend their handsome-as-hell carrying tube, too.
$105 / ystudiostyle.com
Call The Shots
Ever since the gringos stole tequila from Mexico, it’s had a bad rap for being a frat party go-to and the ultimate cause of hangovers. But 1800 Tequila, named for the year the stuff was invented and made with 100% Weber Blue Agave — from the double distilled Silver to the barrel-aged Reposado — brings it back to its smooth, rich roots. Salud!
$35 / 1800tequila.com
Two Ways To Ride
Motorcycles are perhaps the only works of art that you put between your legs and ride. Especially when it comes to these two, utterly different, nearly impossible-to-own custom bikes.
The Type 8 from Autofabrica is a chrome aria, with curves as sexy as, well, name your starlet.
While the Lazereth LM 847, a heavy metal monstrosity packing the engine of a Masarati in it’s Tron-like frame, is the opposite. Both are worthy of praise. But, you know, a Harley would be nice, too.
Just because you don’t surf doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own a surfboard. These minimalist, handcrafted boards from the Australian company Gomez Surfboards are works of art in and of themselves. Don’t limit yourself to one; go ahead and hang ten. (Sorry.)
$1,055 / gomezsurfboards.com
Just In Case
We’re finally at a point where the cases for our devices do almost as much as the devices themselves. This Mod Laptop 2 sleeve can fit a laptop, tablet, phone, chargers, pens, a notebook, and even a pair of glasses. OK, it’s not quite an app that pairs you with a celebrity doppelganger, but it’s still useful.
$500 / thisisground.com
Hey There, Slugger
It’s official: computers are even trying to take over coaching jobs. This smart bat — by sports-tracking company Zepp and bat maker Old Hickory — measures every possible metric of your swing and suggests ways to improve. It’s real sturdy, too, but don’t go flipping it or anything.
$150 / zepp.com
Smoke, Sizzle, Simplicity
Barbeques are to the North American Man what lightsabers are to the Jedi. They are indispensable tools whose usefulness depend more on the skill of the person using it than any flashy design. All this to say: the M1 is a minimalist wonder that smokes or grills (with charcoal or wood) and is both surprisingly roomy and refreshingly modern, all steel and power and not much else.
$2,585 / mgrills.com
There’s something to be said for investing in a statement-making accessory, and this Saint Laurent Hunting Backpack definitely fits the bill. The red velvet may seem like overkill at first, but the vibrant and texture-rich fabric is grounded by a classic shape that marries functionality with fashion-forward design.
$1,235 / ysl.com
Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
The only place you can smoke inside these days is your own home — so you may as well embrace that. This El Purista chair, designed by the Chilean architect Rodrigo Gonzalez, is the ultimate spot to sit back and light up a stogie. Sleek shelves within the chair will keep them safe for you, and a built-in ashtray makes sure you won’t damage the leather.
$4,000-$7,300 / elpurista.de
If you are a lover of magazines — and, for our own egos here, let’s assume you are — you’ve no doubt been searching for the best way to store them. This is it. The Float Magazine Rack is an elegant solution to traditional media-induced clutter. You may need more than one.
$100 / dwr.com
There’s nothing worse than outdoor furniture that needs more care than your grandmother’s silverware. This chair from Tanner Goods has the look of a high-maintenance piece without the upkeep. Made from hand-rubbed mahogany and natural tooling leather, the chair just gets better the more it’s used.
$705 / tannergoods.com
Air travel might be full of indignity, but aviation — the concept, from the Wright brothers through PanAm through business class — is wholly, utterly elegant. Take these storage units from Harbor Metal Company, which upgrade standard-issue drink carts with luxury finishes like leather, natural cork, or crocodile skin.
$1,165 / harbormetal.co
If you’re looking for a hardwearing, understated bag to get you through the weekend, Roots is always a good bet. Their newest style is a surprisingly large tote made from buttery soft waterbuck.
$370 / roots.com
Damascus, Hot Damn
Knives are as handy as you make them, but they don’t make them much more beautiful than this handmade Damascus hunting knife. Just imagine all the letters you can open, and maddening plastic containers you can punish.
$155 / jacksonblades.com
The Art of Beauty
It’s been 20 years since Naomi Campbell cavorted in that George Michael video. And while most of her contemporaries have slipped into obscurity (seriously, has anyone heard from George?), the It Brit is still killing it. Taschen’s 496-page monograph — limited to 1,000 signed copies — immortalizes her illustrious career, capturing her many iconic (read: stupidly hot) moments. Here’s to many more.
$2,750 / taschen.com
Ride The Wave
Surfing too often gets mischaracterized as the pastime of the eternal beach bum, when, really, it’s the sport of kings. (Seriously: it was once a sport reserved only for Hawaiian royalty.) Taschen’s 900-page tome charts the evolution of surfing, from its pioneers to cultural impact to philosophy. Plus, the gatefold can extend to be as long as your board, which is just gnarly, dude.
$260 / taschen.com
Moleskin Be Damned
Unless you want to be laughed out of your company’s next brainstorming session, you need a notebook. Sure, laptops and tablets and cell phones can hold your thoughts. But where is the romance in that? Bull and Stash’s rich leather notebooks are not only beautiful, they’re refillable, so should you ever actually fill one, you don’t have to settle for a lesser brand as a replacement.
$65 / bullandstash.com
Don’t get why everyone’s so into the new Radiohead song? Then either a) you’re deaf or b) the sound on your phone is lacking. If it’s the former, we apologize for our insensitivity; if it’s the latter, consider: Astell & Kern’s AK380, boasting high resolution, 32-bit, 384kHz, bit-to-bit playback. It makes you hear each element of a tune so clearly it tickles a little.
$4,530 / astellkern.com
Low and Slow
Nothing is immune to the Slow Movement — not food, not art, not even your living room. The locally handmade Sideboard 001, by Toronto “slow-design” masters Kroft + Co, features three drawers, two linoleum coated doors, and a bit more craftsmanship than those Scandinavian drawers you’ve been using.
$2,450 / kroft.co
Gucci’s archival tennis sneaker, dubbed the Ace, is rendered in simple white leather, which serves as a blank canvas for the brand’s trademark wit — the traditional red and green Web stripe is bolstered by the flash of metallic snakeskin at the heel and gold embroidered stars and bees seemingly placed at random on the shoe.