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The Sartorialist


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

On The Street.... Michael Macko, VP Fashion Director, Saks Fifth Avenue

I'd like to send a big shout out to Michael - he was just promoted to VP-Fashion Director at Saks. Bravo Michael!

On The Street.... & The Short Of It, New York

The Story Behind The Style - Harlem

I had been in Harlem for a few hours and just hadn't found anything to shoot. I finally gave up and decided to head back to Soho. After walking a few blocks down Madison Ave ,around 120th street, I see this gentleman - I literally stop in my tracks. I introduce myself and ask to photograph him. He says yes in a voice that sounds exactly like Ray Charles speaking voice. As I'm shooting he is telling me proudly about his community work and an upcoming Harlem bike race he is helping to organize. As I finish shooting I ask him about the suit he is wearing. I guess I was expecting to hear something about how he bought the suit back in the 70's and has been wearing it every Sunday since then. That is definitely not the story I got.

"I got this suit in 1990, I was dealing drugs then and one of the girls I sold drugs to threw this suit at me as payment. She would usually steal $20 or $30 bucks and give me that but this time she just threw this suit at me"

I can't make this stuff up, I can only hope to remember it until I can write it down. His story was not hard to remember.

On The Street.... The Long Of It..., New York

This young lady's dress was the most beautiful soft shade of lilac. The color is what caught my eye from about a block away.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On The Street.... Black Summer, New York

This is a great example of how to wear black in summer. The fabric weights were spot on but more important was the overall fit - shorter, slimmer and more athletic makes black seem less oppressive in the warm months.

On The Street.... Daisy Of A Dress, New York

Adam Kimmel

Last week I saw Adam Kimmel's collection for the first time. He really has hit the trifecta of accounts with Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Bergdorf's in NYC. If he gets 10 Corso Como he should just quit because it is all downhill from there.

Adam's collection is based on real workwear fabrics (the kind the super in my building wears), and he has played those against super luxe fabrics like cashmere or fur. One of Adam's smartest moves was knowing that if you are going to use very basic fabrics then production has to be very good, so the manufacturing is done in Italy. The outerwear is particularly good - think stylized Carhartt (the heavy cotton coat with a squirrel fur lining was very interesting), and the jackets and suiting have a deliberate quirkiness to the cut. I can see why his collection appeals to the more advanced stores.

I asked Adam about the prices and he said, in a mater-of-fact way, that they were "all over the board". He felt no need to overprice the workwear fabrics just so they fell in line with the cashmere groups. As long as he stays mostly with speciality stores this strategy should work. Only when he begins to court the more price structured department stores will he begin to have to deal with the questions of where do they place him. With such a wide price range he could be placed in designer in some stores, or contemporary in others, all depending on which part of the collection they buy into more. He could even have to move by season within an existing account depending on the buyer's presentation, but that would really be a pain for everyone so it will be a challenge for him.

With that said, Adam has set himself up in a really great position for future growth. He has been able to charm some of the worlds most discriminating stores with a collection of very proletarian fabrics and the most luxe fabrics. Going forward he has the whole world of fabric (at all price points) to begin layering into his collection. If he continues to build a reputation as a "quirky fabric guy" he can add everything from denim to super 120's and still have it fit his aesthetic without seeming like he is selling out or stretching to get a lower price point. A designer like Thom Browne, for instance, has set such a premium on luxe and tailoring that he has given himself very little room for expanding into new fabrications or price points. If he begins to add layers to his collection that are anything less than the original, won't it seem a little like "Thom Browne Lite"?
To me Adam has really set himself up with an almost perfect business model. Sure, anyone could think of it but to actually do it is so, so difficult.

This is another one of those dance-of-the-young-designer that I think is so fun to watch. It will be really interesting to see what choices Adam makes and if he can turn this early success into a "big time" or at least "long time" business. After all who am I to say that "big time" business should be his goal? Maybe Mr. Alaia has had it right all along.

Not to put more pressure on you Adam but we will be watching.

Memorial Day White Dress, NYC

I don't know who this is but she just looks famous.

Monday, May 29, 2006

On The Street....Happy Memorial Day, New York

Old Man Style....Washington Square Park

On The Street.....Nolita, New York

Sunday, May 28, 2006

On The Street.....Midtown, New York

Notice no crease in the pants

On The Street.....Uptown, New York

Saturday, May 27, 2006

On The Street.....West Village, New York

On The Street.....Soho, New York

Friday, May 26, 2006

On The Street.....The Navy Blazer And Layer, New York

On The Street.....Bleeker Street, New York

On The Street.....Fat Bald Man Always Looks Great, New York

The key to the entire look is the perfect lenght of the suit jacket

On The Street.....Retro In Shorts, New York

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Style Profile.....Simon Kneen, VP & Creative Design Director, Brooks Brothers

One of the first posts I did on The Sartorialist was about how surprisingly good the Brooks Brothers Fall 2005 advertising campaign was.

The store is also looking really good lately - they seem to be finding and good balance between classics and modern fashion. I guess it helps that so many of the classics Brooks Brothers has introduced through the years are so fashionable right now. I sat down with one of the main men behind the Brooks Brothers revival Simon Kneen ,VP & Creative Design Director, to find out a little more about his personal style.

Best Sartorial advice from your Dad?
Be Smart!

I only buy ____slim pants_____ in Europe.

I only buy ____button down shirts______ in America.

You build your daily look around your?
Color palette – coordinated and never matched

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist’s outfit.
Overall togetherness

I skimp when buying.
My rule is to always buy the best you can afford

I splurge when buying.
Socks - as I only recently discovered cashmere ones

I always break this fashion rule.
There are no rules in fashion and if I felt there were I would certainly break them.
Now good taste is another question…..

Must have item for Fall 2006
Something in natural camelhair – sweater or sportcoat

Favorite store
New York – Brooks Brothers Madison
London – Purdey
Paris – Old England (sadly closing)
Milan – Biffi Uomo
Hong Kong – Dries Van Noten

Style icon
Anyone in Milan

Worst fashion mistake
Too many to mention

Most cherished item
Denims that have aged with me.

Favorite item of clothing
Brooks Brothers Made to Measure suits and My button down oxford shirts.

Favorite “fashiony” movie
Funny Face

Guilty pleasure
I never feel guilty about any pleasure.

Personal Style quirk
At the moment no socks with shoes and pocket squares

Most overrated item in menswear
I’m not a tie person

Most underrated item in menswear
Having things tailored to your body.

Most stylish city?
Milan by far –though London is catching up .

Never caught wearing?
Flip –flops and headwear indoors.

When I was high school I wore?
School uniform of grey flannel and the most horrendous shade of Royal Blue for blazers and sweaters.

Shine your own shoes?
Sometimes yes. It is good therapy in making me appreciate the good things I can afford.


Tennis when I visit my family in England

Favorite fashion magazine?
American Vogue

Favorite other magazine?
Vanity Fair

Cologne, skincare?
Creed Eurofla – been wearing it forever and I always moisturize with anything available after shaving

Human Game - A Sartorialist Take On Sports & Style

Two of New Yorks top Sartorialists , Nick Sullivan of Esquire and Stefano Tonchi of New York Times have contributed on a new book called Human Game.

The book explores the relationship between Sports and Style. If you read the recent article about Thom Browne by Sandra Nygaard in DNR it is easy to see how dramatically sports can inspire even the highest echelons of fashion.

The book will premiere at Pitti Uomo in Florence so as I figure it the book will cost about $9,000 - once I pay for the plane ticket, hotel, and food.

I guess I could check B& before I go through all that but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On The Street......Karim Rashid In All White

On The Street......Brown Dress #2, New York

So Simple, So Sexy!

On The Street.....Madras Pants, New York

On The Street......Brown Dress #1, New York

So fresh, so simple, so sweet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On The Street...Blue Moleskin Jacket, New York

This makes the second time in a week that I have seen a blue moleskin jacket look really good.
Here he has paired it with tonal cords.

On The Street...Scalloped-Edge Coat, New York

The cold snap we have had in New York the last two days has fed my need for scarves!

On The Street....Madison Ave, New York

This look falls under the "not something I would wear " but it is a perfectly executed expression of personal style.
So many great elements - the loafers, the club collar, the DB jacket w/ only the inside button buttoned. Bravo

On The Street....That Hair, That Smile, New York

Ok, I have come to realize that women with great hair usually have a great smile.

Is it the hair that is giving them such a joyful smile?

Here is a hint to the gentleman - try giving your wife/girlfriend a gift certificate to a top notch hair salon for her next birthday/anniversary/getting-out-of-the-doghouse gift and see if you don't end up with the biggest smile by the next day.

Monday, May 22, 2006

On The Street.....For Hedi, New York

On The Street.....Spring Street, New York

On The Street.....Seersucker Sunday, New York

Could there be a better example of the two ways to wear a seersucker suit than these two gentleman? I love the shoes on both guys - I would probably wear Jack Purcells but thats just me.

Actually, the gentleman in the top photo is the creative director for J.Press, the gentleman in the lower photo is wearing a J. Press seersucker suit and probably has been wearing them since before Mark was born.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

On The Street.....Westside, New York

So what would we call this style? It is not American or Italian or even modern Jil Sander or Dior-ish, I'm leaning towards a Retro French late 50's thing - I think it is the shape of the coat that is giving me that vibe

Saturday, May 20, 2006

On The Street.....Headphones, New York

Both the pants and jacket are moleskin - I love that fabric for clothing. You really have to make sure the fit is just perfect because it is not very forgiving and the stiffness can look very bad on a shorter man but if tailored correctly it can look great - like in this example (notice it is a tall guy)

I also love that I shot him in his old=school headphones right outside the brand new Apple store on Fifth Ave.

On The Street.....3/4 Sleeve Princess, New York

I'm a complete sucker for a 3/4 sleeve. Whether it is done as "straight-up princess" like this or even when is is vintage and layered over a hoodie.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Style Cue - Part 2 "Scusi"

I saw the young guy I posted earlier and this fine young gentleman only a few blocks apart the other day. They both share the very Italian style of wearing the back of the tie slightly longer than the front. So Italian ,in fact, that I find it easier when approaching these guys to say "scusi" first, in my very limited but decent Italian accent. I find that this gives the subtle clue that i completely recognize they are Italian by their style alone - it has worked everytime so far. The down side is that they start speaking to me in Italian and I have to quickly explain that "scusi" is one of the few Italian words I know.

This gentleman happens to be an executive at Saint Andrews. Besides the tie, I also wanted to point out that he is wearing a buttondown shirt with his suit. I see buttondowns on Italians much more than Americans even though the buttondown is so essentially American. Thom Browne has done a great job working the buttondown back into our suited wardrobe but I would love to see versions done by some other houses like ,maybe, Hickey. Fred Astaire wore a lot of buttondowns, I would love to see that look modernized.

On The Street.....Prince Street, New York

Style Cue

When I approach someone to shoot ,especially if they don't seem like New Yorkers, I often look for some type of style cue that may help break the ice.

Can anyone tell the style cue with this gentleman and how that might help me approach him?

On The Street.....Red,White & Blue, New York

Thursday, May 18, 2006

On The Street....Jay Kos, UES, New York

On The Street.....Ninth Ave, New York

Sorry but the leggings completely take this look to a higher level of style.
I love how they dip under the ankle strap of the shoe.
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