Archive for the 'Freemans Sporting Club' Category


Freemans Sporting Club — FALL 2013

Freemans Sporting Club. This is the latest catalog from Freemans’ Sporting Club. They make all their clothing in the United States. They specialize in a more retro look,  a “when men were men” era. They have two stores in New York City, one in San Francisco, CA and one in Tokyo. This fall catalog is quite different in that the models are all under cars and you can not see their heads. I love going to San Francisco and buying their stuff with the FSC tag on it.

From the Fall Collection of Freemans Sporting Club.

From the Fall Collection of Freemans Sporting Club catalog

Freemans Sporting Club is a true men’s store with a barbershop in their San Francisco and Rivington (NYC) locations. They have suits, shirts, undershirts, pants, shoes and some accessories. Their style is fun and a little retro. Take for instance the following ad which invokes a time in the 1960’s, a time before political correctness. To read more about Freemans Sporting Club, see my previous blog entries:  Favorite U.S. Stores #6 – Freemans Sporting Club and Freemans Proprietor Taavo Somer and his Anti-Style.

An homage to the 1960's Mad Men type ads

An homage to the 1960’s Mad Men type ads


Freemans Proprietor Taavo Somer & His Anti-Style — New York Magazine

How Freemans and Rusty Knot Proprietor Taavo Somer Developed His Downtown Anti-Style — New York Magazine. This was published in New York magazine on May 4, 2008. This is the best article covering the recent life and times of Taavo Somer, the owner of Freemans Sporting Club, a store that manufactures men’s clothing all within the United States.  Actually, it is quite interesting how an architect became a hip restauranteer and clothing store owner.

“I model irregular clothing.” – Jay London


Favorite U.S. Stores #6 – Freemans Sporting Club

Freemans Sporting Club — Welcome. Freemans Sporting Club (F.S.C.) is a very unique shopping experience, specializing in retro appearing Men’s clothing manufactured entirely in New York. I have just come back from visiting their newest store in San Francisco at 696 Valenica Street in the Mission District. They have been open for only seven months. Because I had visited their other two stores in New York City in November, 2011 (that’s right, last year), it is only acceptable that I compare them with each other. But before I do that, I would like to give some background on Freemans Sporting Club.

The Origin

Taavo Somer is the co-owner of Freemans Sporting Club. He was trained as an architect, who turned into an artist and restauranteer. He first opened the bar, The Rusty Knot, which was a big hit, followed by Freemans (a restaurant – located at the end of freeman’s Alley, near Rivington Street) known for its rustic charm and taxidermy of animal heads upon the walls. Mr. Somer did the taxidermy himself. Since that time he has opened two more restaurant Peels and his newest, Isa, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in August, 2011. Freemans Sporting Club came about as a continuation of the hip retro look that Freemans had instilled, rustic and masculine. The clothing store is located just down the street from Freemans (restaurant) at 8 Rivington Street. It opened in 2006, and in the back of the store is a very thriving Barber shop (just like the old dry goods stores might have done in the late 1800s and early 1900s). The second store is located on 321 Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village (sorry, no barber shop).

The Newest Store Located in San Francisco

Store #3 has very easy access from highway 101, just take exit 434A at Duboce Ave, make a left on Valencia, and go down about a half mile to 696 Valencia Street. It is at the corner of Valencia and 18th Street. When you first see it, you will not recognize it as a Men’s Clothing Store. In fact, it used to be a pet store. On the outside of the building, is “F.S.C. Barbers”, that is the place. When you walk in, you are walking into a barber shop, which is fairly busy, but unlike FSC #1, where the barbershop is in back of the shop, here you walk through the barbershop to get to the clothing shop. The clothing shop is smaller than the other two stores. It is flanked by two friendly salespeople. Because the shop is so small (like the other FSC’s), that if the size you wear is not there, they may have it in storage. Their style of clothing is definitely retro but still quite stylish. The have Sports Coats, dress pants, flannel shirts, casual long sleeve shirts, Henley shirts and several plain T-shirts. They have some coats as well that are made of a heavy fabric which feels a lot like canvas. You can click the link on top of this blog entry to see exactly what they carry. The dressing room is also quirky. There is only one. On one side of the shop, which probably takes up one tenth of the entire clothes store, is a large recess that becomes a dressing room when this extremely large and heavy canvas tarp slides across to stop prying eyes. (The San Francisco store closed in 2015.)

The clothes are all American made. They are expensive and do deserve special care. They should last for quite a long time. My final tally was: a checkered red and black flannel shirt; a beige short sleeve Henley shirt; and a dark charcoal gray long sleeve casual shirt. It is definitely worth a look.

If you are interested in more information about the co-owner Taavo Somer, tomorrow I will publish a reprint of an article by New York magazine regarding Mr. Somer, which was originally published in May, 2008.

“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” – Coco Chanel

February 2020
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