Dries Van Noten, Toru Takemitsu and a Boar's Head

Staff Favorites: John Zientek, Style Writer

Editor’s Note: It’s pretty clear that we’re passionate about gear. And with this series, we want to share with you our own personal favorite pieces. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you our staff’s 10 personal favorites — goods we personally own and use. The selection will run the gamut, from heirloom pieces to practical gear that can be easily procured. Last but not least, each will share one “holy grail” item that still remains the stuff of dreams, out of reach, but hopefully only temporarily so.

As a style writer at GP, I spend my working hours exploring a range of men’s clothing and footwear brands. But, my other interests often make their presence known on the site, from agave spirits to avant-garde music. Below, a selection of objects from my favorite creators.

Yuketen Sports Chukka

These crepe-sole shoes from Yuki Matsuda are sturdy, comfortable and chunky but cool.

Accord Flight Case

If you have an expensive instrument, invest in a case that will protect it. This carbon-fiber beauty is as sleek as it is strong, and gives necessary peace of mind in all travel scenarios.

1976 Rossin Record

Marco Rossin was the lead frame builder at Colnago until 1974, when he started his own brand, Rossin. I picked my ’76 up from a collector in the Bay Area, and I loved to let it shine on weekend rides, twisting through Marin County.

Wild Boar Mount

A statement piece on the wall, inspired by Four Barrel Coffee.

Prada Lace-Up Oxfords

Along with being understated and beautiful, these shoes have lasted longer than any other pair I have owned — year after year, they continue to look amazing.

Where to Sin in San Francisco


Published in 1939, this tongue-in-cheek travel guide to Old San Francisco — its restaurants, bars and places to get lost for a night — is a favorite on my bookshelf. When reading the historic travel recommendations, you quickly realize that though the city has developed a lot, it’s hasn’t really changed.

Dries Van Noten Shirt

Perfectly tailored with beautiful fabric and an understated collar, this is my go-to dress shirt.

Toru Takemitsu’s Music

Takemitsu’s use of space and color, among other things, creates a compelling sonic world based in subtlety and gradients. Though I was first exposed to his guitar music, when I heard A Flock Descends, I realized the immense power behind his use of dynamics and timbre.

‘La Pierde Almas’ by Jonathan Barbieri

While winding through the hills of Oaxaca, Jonathan Barbieri told me about a forgotten cantina on the top of a remote mountain with a bartender nicknamed El Pierde Almas, he who loses souls. Barbieri based a set of visceral cantina paintings on the place, and compiled them in a book with text by Guillermo Fadanelli and Ulises Torrentera. Every time I page through the book, it takes me back to the dusty hills, the incredible mezcal and Barbieri’s intense story.

The Grail

Gaxala Mask

Cisco’s Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has a truly breathtaking collection of historical pieces from the American West. The past few times I’ve visited, this mask has called my name.