Vael Project

While technically useless, vestigial bits can be aesthetically powerful -- in WWI, now-flashy trench-coat D-rings were used to carry hand grenades, and your jeans' ticket pocket is now little more than a designer crevice to lose your blow in. For stylish kicks that suggest you once got up to all kinds of cool crap, try Vael Project.

From a globetrotting couch-crasher, Vael's a startlingly diverse footwear line that pays lip service to hardcore activities, an ethos summed up by the question "Can I have a pair of shoes that can...hike in Hokkaido, and then look good at a dinner in Tokyo?" (answer: what's for dinner?). All leather with "adventure-tested" Vibram rubber insoles, Vael starts with sneaks like the Klipspringer (a reinterp of a "classic trainer" w/ full-grain leather lining), the Terminatrix (a horsehair-accented, nouveau hi-top boot-sneaker w/ moccasin laces, zipper, and ankle support evoking Hermes' wings), and the mid-top (Bjorn) Borg, whose "rolled gold"/green/purple colorway was clearly meant for a sharper ensemble than 80s Wimble-nutters. More formal models include the Maine fisherman-inspired Deckard (leather boat shoe exterior, rubber sole), the moccasin-y Walther (slipper construction w/ hiking soles), and the Brogue Boot, a dignified, mid-top, sneaker-soled version of the Scottish men's country shoe -- for contentedly surveying your 600 square feet of walk-up studio.

Vael also peddles three rustically traditional leather bags (messenger, tote, rucksack), plus leather iPhone slip covers -- already prepped for the inevitable day the iPhone becomes obsolete, you'll have an even bigger pocket in which to lose your Nu-Blow.