Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Luciano Barbera Preview Fall 2006

So I go to Barbera today for a preview and see Michal Sestak (above) who heads up the showroom in New York. In my day I was pretty good in the showroom but I have nothing on Michal. You don’t feel like Michal is ever “selling” you, his secret is how he involves you in the sale. I’m not really sample size but when he hands me a doubleface cashmere sportcoat he says in his Italianish accent “try on the jacket, enjoy the moment”. When he talks about the most expensive item in the collection, a cashmere overcoat, he says you buy it “no shame, no regrets”. Damn, why couldn’t I think of those things to say during an appointment. The best I could ever come up with was,,,”it goes nice with jeans”.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On The Street……Hudson Street, New York

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On The Street……Broadway, New York

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

At The Designer Collective -The Italian Gentleman

Monday, January 30, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview – The Modern Tuxedo

Does anyone really notice what the guys are wearing at the Golden Globes or Oscars? I love this tuxedo because I’m mad for DB suits right now and the contrast of the skinny black lapels against the charcoal wool is really outstanding. More than anything though this tux is all about fit: tight in the ribcage, slim in the sleeves and high in the button stance.

Just don’t wear this if Scarlett Johansson is your date because no one will ever notice it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ralph Lauren To The Runway For The First Time In 30 Years

As if to reinforce ,or more like anchor, the New York Menswear Revival that I have been focusing on lately, WWD reports that for the first time in 30 years Ralph Lauren will stage a menswear runway in New York on Feb 6th at 4pm.

Monday, January 30, 2006

On The Street……Little West 12th St.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Dries Van Noten, Fall 2006

I love to see a designer stretch, try something new. Dries Van Noten has become a master at ethnic references, and colorful cultural mixes in his collections. This season he showed a very subdued and tonal collection but with the same brilliant results. I know this seems contradictory from my usual call for menswear designers to be more daring with color, print and pattern but since Dries Van Noten has done just about everything possible in those areas somber was one of the only directions left to go.

The shoes are great, the band collar shirt seems new when mixed with the tiny suit, the outerwear is particularly strong, I think this is the first time I’ve seen denim on his runway, and again more great double-breasted suits.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview – Sportswear

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Designer Collective

I don’t know why these guys felt like posing by a giant pair of pants would make a great picture but who am I to judge? Maybe it is an Italian thing.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Albanese Meats & Poultry, Nolita, New York

Albanese Meats & Poultry has been in Nolita since it was called the Lower East Side. The butcher in the photo grew up in the neighborhood and his mom ran Albanese until she was 97. This is the real old-school neighborhood butcher not like todays gleaming white medical meat morgues of huge supermarkets. He was telling me how the whole street on Elizabeth use to be little food shops. Across the street was a Greek food shop that customers brought their own jugs to get filled up with olive oil and the same for milk. These leftovers from another era are hard to still find in Manhattan but they are so rewarding when I do.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview- The Detail Shots

-I love the Neapolitan sleevecap detail in the top photo.

-Mixing oldschool tailoring details like a turned under top-collar on a denim sportcoat is just crazy enough to work. The knit scarf around the second jacket has a Walt Whitman poem written across the length of it. While Michael was doing previews in Europe a reporter ask him if he had Walt Whitman’s phone number because she would like to call him for a comment on the scarf. Truth is stranger than fiction.

-In the bottom photo Michael pointed out that he took great care to fit the knits and vests to hit right at the waist.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

On The Street……At The End Of My Block

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sign Outside The Yale Club

Saturday, January 28, 2006

On The Street……Wooster Street, Soho, NY

I wouldn’t usually mix a pinstripe jacket with khakis but here it is done with such a “who F*** cares” attitude that it works for me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview- Part 2

Above (top) is a peacoat cut lean and a little longer than the original, and (below) a cashmere knit v-neck with the silhouette of Frank O’Hara embroidered on the chest.

Of the three main guys at the center of this New York menswear revival, Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, and Derrick Miller of Barker Black, one of the things I find most interesting is that none of them have formal design training. Thom was an actor, Michael worked at Sotheby’s, and Derrick worked for a photographer and at a magazine; all were in creative fields but they were not slaving away in the sequin mines of FIT or Parsons. The closest to fashion schooling was R.L.U. (Ralph Lauren University); both Derrick and Michael worked there, and Thom was at Club Monaco, a division of Ralph’s empire.

“Not seeing the forest for the trees” is a scenario that so many young, formally trained designers fall prey to when they begin their collections. They have grown up wanting so bad to be “the next big thing”, that they feel that they can only do it by creating the first three-armed jacket. I guess that by not growing up dreaming of being a “designer”, Thom, Michael, and Derrick were more easily able to see the opportunity and reward of reworking already established classics, and adding their own personal twists. Actually, I find what these young Americans are doing is every bit a artistic as a Raf Simons or Slimane because they are working more with color, pattern, texture, and silhouette. Raf’s collections, or designers of that ilk (Kris Van Assche), seem to make it more about overall shape and coming up with a new gimmick each season. Not that there is anything wrong with that; fashion needs that, but I don’t agree that the Raf Simons of the world are on a much higher creative plane than that of these young Americans.

Friday, January 27, 2006

At The Designer Collective -Southwick Reps

Friday, January 27, 2006

At The Designer Collective – Buyer from Binghams

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview

In the New York Post today, there was an article about American Idol and the young singer Paris Bennett. In the tryout she had it all; the voice, the look, the background, basically they figure she has already won; all she has to do is not mess it up.

I kept thinking about that when I was previewing Michael Bastian’s debut collection for Fall 2006. He has the background (Bergdorf Men’s Fashion Director), the support (Robert Burke consulting on business development), the production (Brunello Cucinelli will manufacture the collection in Italy), and the eye to notice the huge void in the mens designer market for a fresh take on classic American design. All he has to do for the next thirty years is not pull a Lapo Elkann and continue to mine the rich heritage of American design, and he is golden.

During his time at Bergdorf’s, Michael kept asking himself why no one was capitalizing on American classics. He has a point; Calvin and Donna are American but they don’t really reflect traditional American design; they are more international. Ralph is Ralph – he has created his own vocabulary and rarely ventures outside of that. John Varvatos is kinda there, and Thom Browne is a super fashiony version of Americana, but Michael’s collection really nailed it. I guess the highest praise I can give it is that it is exactly how I want my closet to look. It is full of clothes that make a real difference in the day-to-day way that most men want to dress.

I remember feeling the same way when I discovered Giorgio Armani in ’83ish; he did clothes that, as a young kid in Indiana, I could recognize but were done just differently enough that you didn’t feel like everyone else, or even worse, my dad. When Michael tells his version of basically the same story, my Armani is replaced by his fondness for Perry Ellis.

For the next few days I will post photos of what I think are the first images of his collection to be seen anywhere (The Sartorialist’s first scoop!!). I will point out some of the finer details like the Neapolitan sleevecaps, the return of the pleated pant, the cashmere onesie, and knitwear with a touch of poetry. Stay posted and tell me what you think.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

At The Designer Collective

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Welcome Back? Hickey Freeman

I know Hickey Freeman has been around a long time and they are a great business, and they are important…….to someone.

They have never actually meant anything to me, until now.

Hickey Freeman has begun an aggressive introduction of the younger, much younger and far hipper Hickey collection. I had seen Hickey before in Bergdorfs, (honestly I had only noticed the sportcoats) but the collection is now front and center on my radar. I love the ads (above), what a way to shake up the stodgy image I had of the brand. It was just about….no, it was….the best thing I saw at the Designer Collective and ,best of all, the prices are great.

For someone , like me, who doesn’t have to wear a suit every day they have a lot of options.
I’m big on color, pattern and texture-they do a great job using all three, and sometimes all three in one jacket. I loved the olive/brown corduroy, camouflage print sportcoat that they had at Bergdoef for Fall 2005 and the quilted camouflage version for Fall 2006.

I have to make it up to the showroom for a more indepth Fall 2006 preview, I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

At The Designer Collective

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Old Man Style….Old Men Know About Color

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hart Schaffner Marx

It is official.

When even Hart Schaffner Marx looks good, American menswear must be back on track.

I’ve said before Robert Burke’s work at Bergdorf Goodman was the most influential in the market and this is a perfect example of his effect. These HSM looks sure look like Bergdorf windows to me.

Just to make it clear, that is a big compliment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

At The Designer Collective – 3pc. Suit

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

On The Street……15th Street, New York

Monday, January 23, 2006

Style Profile…..Derrick Miller, Barker Black

For The Sartorialist, I have profiled several Italian gentlemen that have grown up with elegant dressing as part of their molecular structure. Now, finally, I have found an American with the same kind of sartorial DNA. Derrick Miller, the creative director of Barker Black, recently told me about growing up with a true Sartorialist as a father. Derrick’s father, an artist in Minnesota, still changes his outfit three times a day. When he began research for the revamp of Barker Black, Derrick went straight to his Dads closet for inspiration. The Sartorialist asked Derrick a few questions about his personal style, and his Dad seemed like a good place to start.

Best Sartorial advice from your Dad ?
The idea of self-expression through clothing, using pattern and texture to create an individual look and style.

I only buy __________ in Europe.
Umbrellas (England)

You build your daily look around your ?
Now it is shoes (for obvious reasons), it used to be my socks!

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist?s outfit …
Fit of coat and shoes are always first.

I skimp when buying …
Food… I can afford the tailor!

I splurge on…..
having a good tailor.

I always break this fashion rule.
Argyle socks and pinstripes

I never break this fashion rule.
Tie must always have a dimple and end at the belt line.

Must have item for Fall 2006
Barker Black shoes and ties….oh, and a great Filson bag.

Favorite store
Eral 55 in Milan…Genius!
Old English meets the Old West on Corso Como

Style icons
My Dad, Fred Astaire, Pharrell Williams

Most cherished item
Bull Dog cufflinks and tie pin from my amazing girlfriend, Jennifer.

Favorite item of clothing
Vintage custom suit purchased at the Salvation Army for $12.99
(Derrick is wearing the suit in the picture above)

Guilty pleasure
Action movies and the NFL….Sunday morning series A soccer from Italy

Describe your personal style
Sophisticated, with a touch of fuck you.

You feel best wearing?
A custom suit with high armholes, and vintage Barbera khakis

Personal Style quirk
Bright socks and pocket squares…oh, and my vintage welding glasses.

Dress to impress who?
I dress to express, not impress

Most underrated item in menswear
A beautiful pair of braces and a brilliant umbrella

Most stylish city (Milan, Paris, London, New York, other)
Antwerp…..everyone there is cool.

Never caught wearing?
A suit or sportcoat that is too long; I wore hand-me-downs while growing up, and it is now my pet peeve.

When I was high school I wore?
One pair of jeans and hand-me-down Savile Row custom shirts of my Dads

Shine your own shoes?

Soccer, is there anything else?

Favorite fashion magazine?
Italian Vogue, Japanese GQ, and W

Cologne, skincare?
Bond 06….The one that smells like musk and coffee.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Designer Collective

Monday, January 23, 2006

At The Designer Collective

What is really impressive is that I watched this guy work an appointment for about ten minutes and the scarf never got in his way,

Sunday, January 22, 2006

At The Designer Collective

Sunday, January 22, 2006

At The Designer Collective – Duchamp, London

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Derrick Miller Of Barker Black

Prior to The Sartorialist I owned a showroom that specialized in young womenswear designer collections. I represented designers like James Coviello, Peter Som, and Shelly Steffee; all of whom continue to be an important voices in New York’s design scene. When I first opened the showroom in 1999 there was such an optimistic feeling in the air. Every new designer felt they had a chance to make it really big, and several did (at least for a while), like Miguel Adrover, Daryl K., and Zac Posen. Then 9/11 hit and the bottom just fell out overnight. Since then it has just been different; opening a new design house felt a lot more risky. Recently a few young women’s designers have shown the talent for staying around awhile, like Proenza Schouler and Derek Lam, but it still isn’t the same.
Surprisingly, where I have felt that air of confidence is in menswear, and even more surprisingly, New York menswear. Maybe ,in part, that helped the creation of this blog. I’ve met and profiled several of these young menswear designers, and I’m so impressed with the unique vision each one has for themselves, and how they plan to develop a profitable business.

In meeting so many designers through my showroom, I learned a few things: prices can be adjusted, assortments can be refined, distribution can be managed, and fit can be altered, but vision, real vision, for a unique product cannot be faked, either you’ve got one or you don’t.

I kept thinking about vision after I met Derrick Miller, the creative director for the super hot shoe collection Barker Black. I didn’t get the sense he had grown up dreaming of creating a shoe collection, but when two investors bought out a traditional and very old English shoe manufacturer, they started looking for someone to help them revamp the image. Through a typical series of twists and turns they ended up meeting with Derrick, who at the time happened to be working at Polo (all American designers have to graduate from R.L.U., it seems like). When the opportunity presented itself, Derrick took the proverbial ball (or in this case shoe) and ran with it. He quickly redesigned the entire collection of ugly English shoes into a line of really, really cool ugly English shoes. He incorporated an authentic crowned skull and crossbones logo that he had found while doing his design research, and upgraded everything in the make and design of the shoes. One of the original details that he did keep, and seems quite amused with, is the funny little bump at the toe cap of the shoe. He has also complemented the shoes with his own, very personal, take on colorful ties and pocket squares. Now this is where the vision comes in; most designers would be thrilled to have the quick success Derrick has had, but he is just getting started.

Derrick gave me a quick preview of the new prototypes for the Barker Black clothing line. It looks really good; I begged, but no photos yet. It is a perfect extension of the brand. It’s modern but classic, suit based, and it fits into this new school of American design in that the overall fit is slim and the jackets are a little shorter, but there are enough specific design details that give it a very distinctive look. I can only imagine, that once he finished the design for the very first shoe he knew exactly what the entire look would be. The vision also shows up in how intelligently he talks about expanding the brand; which stores he does and doesn’t think he can be successful in, and how he chooses to promote the brand( no ads, no fashion shows, yet). It sounds so basic but you would be surprise by how many designers begin companies without these basic concepts in place.

To get a first hand look at Derrick’s work the first Barker Black store opened last October, it is a perfect jewel box of a space in one of Manhattan’s coolest neighborhoods, Nolita. Using old upside-down shoe lasts (from the Barker Black factory) for the display of the shoes was a stroke of genius.

I really can’t think of another designer that literally started at the bottom and worked his way up the customers body.

With designers like Barker Black, Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, Cloak, and Duckie Brown there is enough young talent in New York menswear right now to create a really special moment. Like the Belgians of the 90′s and the Japanese of the 80′s, for retailers to have a group to buy into and present as a movement in their stores will actually make it easier for these individual designers to succeed. I can’t wait to see how this whole thing plays out.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

On The Street……Nolita, New York

I’m not usually big on red but I like this. I guess it is the casualness of the jeans that make it work for me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Longing & Lean

I love how everything in the look emphasizes a long and lean effect: the tie, the jeans, the belt, the stripes on the track jacket, even the white of the jacket zipper creates a stretched vertical line.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Giorgio Armani Fall 2006

These are the closest looks I’ve seen in a long time that remind me why I fell in love with Giorgio Armani’s designs in the first place.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Lord Willy’s Underwear

Lord Willy’s is a new store in the downtown menswear epicenter of Nolita. Alex Wilcox ,the owner, has packed the tiny store with limited edition sportcoats made of vintage fabrics, accessories, and wildly colorful solid and patterned shirts that come (complimentary) with matching pocket square and boxing shorts.

Ah, the boxing shorts. I will let Mr. Wilcox explain them in his own words.

Due to the fact that wearing a pair of Lord Willy’s boxer shorts has a
tendency to make one feel ‘a little larger than life’ our sizes have been adjusted accordingly:

Small is Big Willy’s
Medium is Large Willy’s
Large is Huge Willy’s
and XL is Massive Willy’s

Please have your wife or girlfriend ask for the boxers unless you are completely comfortable with asking for three pairs of Massive Willy’s.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Mom Saved My Baseball Cards and Threw Out My Bespoke Suit

In college I majored in costume construction, I made tutus, sketched costumes for opera, drafted patterns, made pleated skirts and measured and hand tailored an entire suit for myself.

Hand sewn button holes, hand rolled and pad-stitched lapels, chest padding ( which I didn’t really need as a 20 year old male), hand stitched twill taping, that suit had the works. By the time I finished it, it looked like hell but I was so proud. By the end of the class I received the top grade, calloused fore fingers and extremely strained vision.

After I graduated and moved to New York my mom (like moms do) cleaned out my room and accidentally threw out my suit.
I still have all my Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Joe Morgan, Dr. J, and Earl Campbell cards but I sure miss that suit.

All I have left is a 1/4 scale size practice undercollar with full hand stitching. Notice the extreme evenness and consistency of the stitches, that ruined me for future sewing. I still only know one extremely involved way to sew, so to this day, I still don’t hem my own pants. I just don’t have the extra time it takes (about 72 hours!) to do the job.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pringle Of Scotland Fall 2006

When I thought about doing a review of the menswear shows I didn’t count on the fact that I would see so little I would like.

That is until I saw the Pringle Of Scotland presentation.

Finally a show with almost no black, great color combinations, texture!, and great work with subtle pattern mixing. These are clothes that make a difference in a man’s wardrobe.

I have always heard from editors that they would prefer a tight 12 look presentation rather than an aimless, no direction 40 look show from a major megabrand. Well editor, get thee to Pringle Of Scotland

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prada Fall 2006

Let’s see….tight jacket, short jacket, short pants….uummm.
When I say that Thom Browne is influential…….well?
Seems like some very big designers have taken notice.
I can’t quite tell what is going on with this jacket but it looks great.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wonder Where Designers Get Their Inspiration?

When I first saw this guy I thought of Comme Des Garcons but I guess Miuccia Prada was right behind me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Grey Refined

I keep going pass this photo when I’m deciding what to post, there is nothing shocking or flashy or dramatic but it just looks so quietly refined. I don’t really notice glasses and how they work with the face but his seem so well coordinated. The scarf works so well with the coat and they both work well with his mostly salt and some pepper hair. Very refined.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Burberry Fall 2006

Maybe I have been looking at too many photos of Lapo Elkann but I’m starting to feel for the DB suit again.
Plush velvet for day, if you have the right job…..why not?
It takes skill to be able to use a weighty fabric and still be able to cut a very slim coat.
I love the “Flea Market Luxe” of this look.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Jil Sander Fall 2006

I know Raf Simons is widely considered one of the most important young menswear designers in the world but…could he give us a little design in his debut Jil Sander collection? I’m sure “they” will describe the show with sound bites like “wipe the slate clean”, a “new beginning”, “stripped to the bone” blah, blah-really, do we need 44 looks to express this vision. I’m sure the fabrics are superb and the cut is amazing but doesn’t jil Sander need a more dramatic reintroduction than this?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Complement & Contrast

The top picture is all about the shape of this jacket, the beautiful roll of the lapel, the roping of the shoulder and the perfect length.
Lately I’ve heard challenges to the standard plain white pocket square; above Mory enlivens the charcoal color suit with a colorful silk print pocket square. The freehand fluidity of the print contrasts perfectly with the solid geometry of the plaid shirt.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

On The Street……Meatpacking District, New York

I’ve always loved this shape of coat. Super slim sleeve and shoulder with a full skirt, does anyone know the correct name for this style? It seems vaguely military or riding?
I usually see it in a dark navy or black but the green is a nice touch.

In related news…..In reviewing my own blog I see everyone is wearing aviator sunglasses, I do also, I like these in white.
I hope I don’t start seeing a lot of fashion aviators though, if I have to look at one more pair of fashion Uggs I might just fall over.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I Always Wore You Close To My Heart

When I wore you with a tie you made me look respectable.
When I wore you with jeans you made me look nonchalant.
When I wore you with holes in the sleeve you made me look rebellious.

Now the end is near, we both know it.
If you were a tee shirt it would be easy.
I would shred you and wash the car with you, but you deserve better than that.
Instead I will continue to wear you until my wife can no longer take it.
Like all of my old underwear, she will steal you away in the night and take you to a better place.
Until then, remember, I always wore you close to my heart.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Totally Modern Vintage (The Girlie Version)

This is another great example of making a vintage coat look updated and not too retro. I love the rust coat, green glove, and blue shoe color combo.

Designers spend a lot of time trying to design the three armed jacket but if they spent half that time on creating great color combinations for the runway it would almost certainly and positively effect their retail sales.

Dries Van Noten is great with shape (both modern and ethnic) but can you really think of any other designer that is better at mixing patterns and color? His soccer field size retail space at Barneys 5th floor is a testament to the validity of this concept or maybe it is just because he is a genius.

Friday, January 13, 2006

If You Thought Short Pants Were Shocking! Jay Kos Offers Spring Clothing During – The Spring!!

Jay Kos marches to the beat of his own drummer.

The fact that he carries absolutely beautiful suits is well known, but he also offers a very nice hat selection (any selection at all is getting hard to find in NYC) and he also devotes a surprising amount of space in his Lexington Ave. store to children’s wear.

What Jay does, though, that is really unheard of is offering season appropriate clothing that actually reflects the weather outside.

Each season designers ship (at the request of stores) their collections earlier and earlier, to the point that you can bet the coldest day of the year will see the new Spring collection hitting the sales floor. I’m all for keeping stores looking fresh with new merchandise but the whole system is now out of whack. Some price-points have figured out how to do this well (like women’s designer bridge collections) by shipping 11 or 12 months of the year but even they are really too early with a lot of styles.

In menswear this usually works in our favor, If you can just hold off on that seersucker suit that you first saw in January, you could buy it on sale (May 25th) before it is ever warm enough to actually wear it.

I give Jay credit; stores have always told me that competitive store markdowns really test customer loyalty .
I think it speaks to the power of offering unique products and strong customer service in keeping customer loyal while markdowns are everywhere.

So what do you think?
Do you like buying shorts in a snowstorm?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Such Great Old Man Style For Such A Young Man

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thom Browne, Part 2

By complete coincidence today, I ran into a young man wearing a Thom Browne suit( i could just tell) instead of the actual Thom Browne.

There has been so much discussion about the length of Thom’s pants and the snug fit of his jacket but here is his work on a real person. The fit of the jacket is no more snug, nor the pants that much shorter than the guys I shot at Kiton.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On The Street…. In The Wild West Village

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Italian Version Of Casual Friday

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It Can Now Be Revealed

After receiving a slew of emails questioning the objects on Robert Burke’s tie, I sent the photo over to the lab that use to do a lot of work for Quincy,M.E. (I’m dating myself). It can now be revealed, Rats!

In related news, I heard a lot of comments that this was the first time most of us had seen a horizontally striped shirt work really well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

“On The Street”…….Juliette Longuet, Designer

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adam Derrick Of To Boot Plans Growth Of His Company Through (gasp!) “Trust”

I had coffee today with Adam Derrick of To Boot (which most Sartorialists know as the best shoe store in New York which just happens to be nestled inside the best clothing store in New York, Bergdorf Goodman). Of course we spent most of the time talking about shoes we own, shoes we want to own and shoes we used to own. It was really funny listening to him talk about the horrors of a fine shoe fanatic trying to find a sneaker to work out in. Needless to say it ran along the lines of “do these make my butt look big?” jean shopping stories every woman can relate to.

I asked him about his business which he admits is growing at a very strong but manageable rate. Of course my next question was “what’s next? ” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard first hand or have read about these huge completely unrealistic expansion plans; New stores, more ads, new product lines, blah,blah, blah. Adam on the other hand, without a second’s hesitation, says to me “build more trust with my existing accounts.” So simple, so effective and so achievable a plan.

Adam confesses to not knowing all the minutiae of every door of Nordstrom or Saks or speciality stores that he is in but he does know he customer, no matter where they are in the country. By focusing on building trust, Adam has been able to get his buyers to literally “buy into” his vision of what is right for the To Boot customer in their store. If you have ever dealt with store owners or buyers it sounds like an easy thing to do but it really is not. With how the balance of power is in the business though right now, it is brilliant to focus on this because he will have to answer for it at the dreaded end-of-season gross margin meeting anyway. It is just refreshing to see someone putting their focus where it really matters, the customers they already have.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Start Saving Your Money Now For The New Michael Bastian Collection

Have you ever had one of those friends that is really passionate about something and when their onto something good they just glow, Robert Burke is one of those people.

I met with Robert (the outgoing Fashion Director and VP of Public Relations for Bergdorf Goodman) today to talk about his new consulting venture. He must have recently met with Michael Bastian (Mr. Bastian will be one of Robert’s first consulting clients) because he could not wait to talk about his collection. As he was telling me about the design concept and the prices ($1200 for a jacket, $300ish for a shirt, etc) Robert had this small smile ,a smirk really, and the distant gaze of someone trying carefully to choose just the right words to express just how excited they are about a new project.

Michael Bastians collection will be big for a debut effort ,140 samples, and encompass all the categories a Sartorialist needs to face the world. Bergdorf is ,of course, very interested in carrying the line but the price points are at a level that will not make it restrictive to store all around the United States and abroad. A lot of the details are still under wraps but as soon as the samples are available in the U.S. (through my Sartorialist friend Massimo Caronna) I will be there with my camera to bring you a preview.

As for Robert’s other clients, I’m sworn to secrecy, but suffice to say it will probably include at least one very important young designer collection besides Michael Bastian, several other design/merchandising consulting assignments for both large and small, mens and womens, designer brands and consulting with a few very major investment firms on potential investments in the luxury market. Not to be pigeonholed Robert is also entertaining offers from such diverse sectors as entertainment, food and wine, and mass consumer goods, basically anything that could benefit from Robert’s finely tuned aesthetic and commercial sensibilities. Ok, basically he took my dream job, but I’m not bitter, I just made him look shorter in this photo than he real is,oops.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Thom Browne

Thom Browne was robbed. He definitely should have won the CFDA award.

Whether you like his style or not he is the the most important young menswear designer in New York. Thom is at the fore front of a new retail niche; Sartorial Designer Menswear.
This new niche will offer super high end quality but with a fashion edge that will allow stores to bridge them between ,say, Borrelli/Kiton and Dior/Marc Jacobs.

Tom Ford and Michael Bastian (formerly of Bergdorf) will also soon be in this segment, I hear even Luciano Barbera is retooling their collection to bring a younger hipper edge to their offerings.

I can’t wait to se how he evolves, he has already created a signature look (some designers take years too find theirs) that he can spread across all the new categories he introduces.

I also like that he is an American designer that has based his look in traditional American design without losing its edge or ability to be exported around the world. He is teaching an entire new generation why JFK was so cool.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Don’t Ask….Don’t Tell

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Some Sartorialist’s Look At The Shoulder First, I Look At The Sleeves

I love how slim the sleeves are on Lapo Elkann’s jacket in the photo. It is well known that he inherited his grandfather’s ,Gianni Agnelli, old clothes. Lapo had found himself in a sticky situation lately but at least he continues the family legacy of sartorial excellence.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Totally Modern Vintage

I really like it when someone can put together a look made totally of vintage pieces and still make it look totally modern.
Again ,back to fabric weight, the only way I knew it was vintage was by the obvious weight of the cloth on both the coat and pants.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Red Scarf

Friday, January 6, 2006

On The Street…… Slim Paul Smith Coat

I love the coat, and the fit of the coat, and even the attitude of the flipped up collar but some type of an accessory (a scarf, a hat, or if he was Italian maybe gloves in the breast pocket) would have really finished off the look.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Henry & June, Sid & Nancy, Ronnie & Nancy

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Man-Tailored Always Looks Best On A Woman

Thursday, January 5, 2006

On The Street……Meatpacking District, New York

The linchpin to the whole look was the white chiffon scarf with a faint yellow floral print. It completely f%#@k with the strict tailoring of the military coat, but in a good way

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

On The Street……Corduroy Suit

A corduroy suit ,like this one from Domenico Vacca, is a great option for Fall/Winter.

I’ve seen so many, too many actually, super 100′s , 450′s and ultra 6000′s that I’m looking for a fabric with a little more body, and little more chunk, a little more tweedy.

I love the suit Clark Gable is wore in “It Happened One Night”

I’ve been on an old movie kick lately and those heavy-in-the-hand fabrics from the 20′s and 30′s look so fresh to me again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Vanity Fair – Feb.- Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is on the cover of the new Vanity Fair.

The magazine has a great article about a self-destructive young hottie with too much money, drug overdoses, family controversy, and wild sex stories that have kept the tabloids buzzing – and that is just the story about Lapo Elkann, the grandson of Gianni Agnelli and the Fiat heir.

Oh yeah, and a topless shot of Lindsay.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Style Profile…G. Bruce Boyer

Author and men’s style guru G. Bruce Boyer took a few minutes to answer more than a few questons about his own personal style for The Sartorialist.

I only buy __________ in Europe
I used to buy all my clothes in London, but for the past ten or fifteen years I’ve found several tailors and shirtmakers I like in New York.

I only buy __________ in America.
Everything now.

I build my daily look around my……
Mood first. Then jacket (since I don’t wear many suits).

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist?s outfit…..
Fit of the jacket, shape of the shoulder and lapel.

I skimp when buying….
Gym gear. I also find that very expensive alcoholic drinks are usually beyond my palette’s appreciation.

I splurge when buying….
Any article of clothing. Books.

I always break this fashion rule.
There don’t seem to be any rules today, but I particularly like to blend casual and formal items: a button-down shirt with a double-breasted suit, or a tweed jacket with a wedding tie. I also wear brown shoes with everything except a dinner jacket. Men who are too studied and all matched up tend to make people either bored or nervous.

I never break this fashion rule.
A dinner jacket should have either a shawl or peak lapel, never a notched one. And nothing but a real bow tie will do.

Must have item for Winter 2005?
Must-have item: trim cut, plain-front corduroy or cavalry twill trousers.

Favorite store(s)?
Jay Kos, Bergdorf Goodman Men, Cleverley (London), Wilkes Bashford (San Francisco)

Style icon?
Astaire, Bill Blass

Worst fashion mistake?
My most recent was that I bespoke several garments from an English tailor, none of which worked out very well. So much for experimentation.

Most cherished item?
How could a happily married man not say his wedding ring? Sartorially, I suppose an old tweed herringbone jacket that I’ve had about a dozen years, and it’s starting to look good. Another dozen years and it should be perfect.

Favorite ?fashiony? movie?
I love the men’s and women’s costumes in John Irvin’s “A Month by the Lake”. I believe the costume designer was Lia Morandini.

Guilty pleasure?
As things stand now, I think I’ve cured myself, but for a long time I read books about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Not a particularly good thing because they were both rather dull, selfish, and not very bright.

Describe your personal style.
In 1528 Baldesar Castiglione published a book called (in English translation) “The Book of the Courtier”. In it there’s a short, but perhaps the best discussion of dress ever penned. Castiglione urges that a man assume a certain studied nonchalance (“sprezzatura” in Italian) in dress. I couldn’t agree more.

You feel best wearing?
An old tweed jacket, flannels, soft-collared shirt, AND a tie.

Personal Style quirk?
I used to wear brown suede shoes with everything. But I don’t wear them with pajamas any more.

Dress to impress who?
My feeling is that both men and women dress to impress men. I dress to impress those few men who know a well-cut lapel when they see one.

Most overrated item in menswear?
Today it would have to be the hyper-designed, cheaply-made but expensively sold, violently unflattering jogging footwear. And now comes the new evidence that they may even be unhealthful. What could be more wonderfully ironic?

Most underrated item in menswear?
The pocket square. It’s on its way to extinction, which is a shame.

Most stylish city?
Milan, far and away.

Never caught wearing?

When I was high school I wore?
The entire preppy wardrobe.

Shine your own shoes?
Absolutely. And Berluti shoe creme is the best I’ve ever found.

A hobby, I take it, is something one loves, but is unable to make a living from doing. I’m an integrationist: I love my work, and integrate everything I do into it.

Dressing well, on The Sartorialist level, is a blood sport.

Favorite fashion magazine?
“Apparel Arts” and “Esquire” from the 1930s.

Favorite other magazine?
“The New Yorker”, “The New York Review of Books”

Cologne, skincare?
Cologne: Roger & Gallet Extra Vieille or Lavender; moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil-Free; shave gel: Aveeno.

I always dress my best for?.
Someone with the potential to hire me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The Sartorialist Christmas Office Party

For this year’s Office Christmas Party I decided to take everyone here at The Sartorialist (me) down to see my friend James Habacker, the owner of The Slipper Room on Orchard Street.

If you have ever seen the Friday and Saturday night burlesque shows then you already know how great they are. If you haven’t been yet, mark it on your calendar.

The shows are sexy, campy, outrageous and all together fun, imagine a John Waters movie meets a 1930′s Robert Doisneau photograph.

The showgirls are voluminous, curvy, and sometimes men. The crowd is typical downtown cool and show hosts are certifiable.

This is the kind of place I hoped I would go to when I moved to New York.

Monday, January 2, 2006

On The Street….Purple Scarf, 6th Ave.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Do I Really Need A Reason?

Sunday, January 1, 2006


For me, this look is all about her beautiful curly hair and how she has combined it with an equally textural fur collar to perfectly frame her face.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

A Gentleman’s Style

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Happy New Year!

I know last week was a little boring but I just got back from Phoenix and I’m bursting with ideas for how to make The Sartorialist even better in 2006. A couple of projects are already in work so keep your eyes open.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Happy New Year! 2006 !! Chinatown, New York

Sunday, January 1, 2006

On The Street…. Brooklyn Bowler, New York