Scotch whisky maker, The Balvenie, in partnership with menswear designer Todd Snyder, is teaming up to celebrate some of the best examples of American craftsmanship with the Rare Craft Collection, a series of gallery-style events that honor the practice and preservation of traditional crafts.
The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection is a first-of-its-kind exhibition featuring original works from some of America’s finest craftspeople. Curated by award-winning designer Todd Snyder, every piece in the exhibition stands as a passionate expression of craftsmanship in all its forms. From bowler hats and bicycles to electric guitars and Ping-Pong tables, this groundbreaking collection represents rare crafts from every corner of America.
This unique collection of crafts and labors of love will be presented in the following six cities across the U.S.:
- Carmel, California – August 13-17
- Dallas, Texas – September 10-11
- New York City, New York – October 7-11
- Chicago, Illinois – October 15-17
- Washington D.C. – November 11-12
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – November 19-20
“As the only single malt Scotch whisky to retain complete control over the five rare crafts that go into the production of its acclaimed single malt, The Balvenie has a kinship with artisans who still ply their craft the way it has been done for decades,” stated Andrew Weir, US Senior Brand Manager for The Balvenie. “Todd Snyder has shown a discerning eye and appreciation for well-crafted goods through his work on his own menswear line as well as his history with Ralph Lauren and at J. Crew and he’s helped us create a remarkable Collection that honors some of the best in American craftsmanship today.”
Iowa native Todd Snyder, whose surname means “one who makes outer garments” in Dutch, learned the art of cutting and sewing at the iconic Des Moines haberdashery Badowers while studying textile and clothing design at Iowa State University. Inspired by Savile Row craftsmanship, military tailoring, and a distinct New York sensibility, Todd launched his eponymous menswear collection for Fall 2011 and garnered wide critical and commercial praise in the US. Snyder has been nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear in 2012 and 2013, was named one of GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers in 2012 and is currently one of ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
During the previous two decades, Snyder honed his skills in New York, designing outerwear for Polo Ralph Lauren, working as Director of Menswear for the Gap, and SVP of menswear at J. Crew, where he revamped men’s styling, introduced formalwear, and launched a series of collaborations with heritage brands that culminated in the popular Liquor Store boutique in 2008.
“I’m honored that The Balvenie has chosen me to curate their Rare Craft Collection,” stated Todd Snyder. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of American craftspeople and this is a great opportunity to highlight some of them to a wider audience with a brand I personally respect and admire.”
A sample of the craftspeople to be featured in the Rare Craft Collection includes:
- Graham Thompson of Optimo Hats in Chicago, Illinois along with his team of expert hat makers, create top of the line fedoras, porkpies, homburgs as well as many other styles for hat lovers around the world.
- RH Lee of Offerman Woodshop in Los Angeles, California who along with a team of woodworkers builds handmade furniture, small boats, cabinetry and much more to order.
- Rick Kelly of Kelly Guitars based in Greenwich Village, New York, crafts guitars by hand, using reclaimed lumber, specifically white pine that he rescues from trash heaps and decomposition.
- Schirley Zisman of Golden Bear Sportswear in San Francisco, California is the lead designer for the authentic leather and wool outerwear manufacturer that has produced Varsity, Bomber and Motorcycle jackets since the 1950’s.
To attend, and learn more, go to TheBalvenie.com/Collection.