Behind the Curtain: Shipley & Halmos
Shipley & Halmos are Bird besties. We love them, love their clothes, style, sense of humor, and all around vibration. They’re awesome dudes, plain and simple, and über talented designers. I couldn’t have been more excited to pay them a visit at their radical Soho studio, the only bummer being that Sam wasn’t able to join us. As you can see, he was off fly fishing in Cape Cod, maxing out his summer vacation. Let’s hope he caught something!
Jeff greeted me with hugs and smiles as always, and gave me a tour of their duplex showroom and office space. And let me tell you something, it’s bitchin’. Jeff also let me in on a few brand secrets and inside jokes along the way. Did y’all know that Shipley & Halmos has an ampersand mascot name Ampy? And that whenever anyone from team S & H travels, they bring Ampy with them and take pictures of his misadventures? Apparently Ampy is going to Vegas and everyone is a little worried. If Ampy comes home with a bride, things could get a little awkward.
And the showroom’s most impressive surprise? A 40 foot ceiling and staircase hung with amazing neon lights that are . . . shaped like lightbulbs. Meta! They light up Sam’s minimal and cheerful MFA paintings hanging in the stairway, and it’s interesting to see where Sam’s optimistic aesthetic first took shape.
But onto the clothes! Sam and Jeff have really expanded their collection over the years, so a man can wear Shipley & Halmos head to toe. Socks, shoes, belts, ties, sunglasses — you name it. You can even smell Shipley & Halmos. They developed a scent with DS & Durga that launched exclusively here at Bird last December. The scent was a run of only 100 bottles, and as you can imagine it sold out pretty quickly. Jeff walked me through their Spring 2013 collection which is made up of sporty favorites like a classic baseball jacket, polo shirts and baseball tees, alongside their perfect and classic staples. Color has been a driving force the last few seasons, keeping things uplifting and positive — and the latest collection sure is chock full of brights. What I love about Shipley & Halmos is the magic in their details — custom patterns and colors, special ribbing, snaps and leather tabs . . . a button down shirt features a custom pattern of an artist and a subtle inclusion of Ampy. Jeff tells me, “We like to hide something in the print to make it signature” — all a nod to the creativity inherent in the Shipley & Halmos HQ, where they take pride in making things themselves.
Jeff let me interrupt his team to get a group picture, and I think maybe I wore out my welcome eventually, so I made to leave. But before I could do that, I had to take a nosy peek inside their fridge and was simultaneously impressed and disappointed. It was very tidy. I must admit that I was hoping for rotting food, piles of Chinese take out containers, and maybe an empty jar of mustard. A lone can of Budweiser, perchance? Not for these guys — they are far too put together and aesthetically inclined to ever let that happen. Their mothers must be very proud.
Bravo Shipley & Halmos! We can’t wait for the Year of the Ampy!
text by Starrett Ringbom, photos by Anna Li