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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Burkman Brothers at Welcome Stranger: Beach Boys

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 7:30 AM

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By Page McBee

When I got the invitation to see NYC-based Americana darlings Burkman Brothers trunk show at San Francisco's best new menswear store, Welcome Stranger, I thought I couldn't be more excited. I arrived to discover that things were even better than expected: a DJ spun surf rock, spiked punch awaited me and the boho classic stylings of the Burkman Brothers' new spring collection were beach-dreamy and beautifully displayed:

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In many ways, the Burkman Brothers are a perfect fit for Welcome Stranger--one of a handful of menswear-only stores quickly making San Francisco a shopping destination for fashionable west coast dudes. The store's décor is elegant rustic. Wooden paddles and lantern displays line the walls above a well-curated selection of pieces by Band of Outsiders, Topman, and Rag & Bone. I want to buy everything, especially a leather Topman motorcycle jacket that I am sad to discover they don't stock in XS.

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The Burkman Brothers are the real reason I've come by today, and I love the laid-back flash of their spring line. Check out these belts:
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And the casual cool of these shorts:
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I can practically smell the sunblock and the 60's surf rock is not helping. I also try hard not to be jealous of Doug Burkman--who might qualify as world's nicest fashion designer-- as he says that the inspiration for the collection was a trip the duo took to Sri Lanka and their adventures in coastal fishing villages. "Ikat dyeing is very popular in Japan and India and so we used that method to make these shorts," He says. "We love the place where the familiar meets the unfamiliar."

The international influence on their collection results in beautiful beachwear alternatives to board shorts or muscle tees. "We're interested in the injection of interesting fabrics into casual Americana," Burkman says.

Here's Doug holding his favorite shirt from the collection:

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Meanwhile, sipping my punch and wandering among the socks and cufflinks and Pendleton blankets, I am cold. While awaiting the arrival of warm weather and the opportunity to outfit myself accordingly, I soothe myself with the purchase a dark grey, pure wool hat by the excellent workwear line The West is Dead. At least my head will be warm as I dream of wearing Burkman Brothers on a sandy, sunny beach.

"IBC X Exhibitionist" is a weekly blog column about San Francisco fashion. Check back next Thursday for more.

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