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A Continuous Lean: Reinventing ‘Made in America’

Complete video available for purchase at http://fora.tv/2012/03/29/Michael_Williams_Founder__Editor_A_Continuous_Lean

Michael Williams discusses the impetus behind his influential blog, A Continuous Lean. Williams started the blog by listing menswear brands that still manufactured their product in America. “I don’t want to live in a country that doesn’t make anything,” says Williams.

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The menswear industry is in the midst of a seismic shift, with brands and retailers feeling the effects in equal measure. As looks become more refined, brands—including iconic industry giants—are rethinking offerings to respond to consumers’ changing tastes. Private labels wield more influence, and new opportunities abound in the American luxury market. Mission critical for retailers is reconsidering the traditional sales model—including the restructuring of the legendary sales floor and the development of marketing that addresses new, omni-channel selling. Featuring insight from and about trailblazing people, products, brands, and strategies, the Fairchild Fashion Media Men’s Wear Summit offers tools for succeeding—and leading—in a shifting market.

Michael Williams is Founder and Editor of the men’s style website A Continuous Lean (ACL), an online collection of clothing, design, inspiration, and style. The website was launched in late 2007 in an effort to fill what appeared to be a void of menswear editorial online. Over the past four years, ACL has focused on creating quality content that centers on a masculine aesthetic. Additionally, the site has created several product collaborations with brands like Steven Alan, Tellason, GANT Rugger, London Undercover, and Cole Haan. These special products have been offered exclusively through the ACL online shop. In 2010, ACL partnered with Club Monaco to help evolve menswear at the brand by creating a new assortment of third party products, as well as helping with a special “made in the U.S.A” collection under the Club Monaco label. As someone long obsessed with provenance, Mr. Williams has made it his personal mission to champion domestic manufacturing, and in 2008 created “The American List,” a resource of fashionable clothing all made in the United States. As a native son of Cleveland, Mr. Williams takes pride in highlighting craft and quality in its various forms. Currently, Mr. Williams lives in New York City and works on the factory floor at Paul + Williams.

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