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Warmest regards and thanks again for being here~ Michael Cress

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009... Out With The Old (We Hope!)

In the majority of my editorials I focus on what I like and what works. As 2009 comes to a close and we're ushering in 2010 and a new decade, there are a few things I just assume leave behind.

For a decade that has been completely out of proportion in a variety of ways, sartorially it seems we've had the same problem.

Perhaps it was Kate Moss and the "heroin-chic" look ushering us into the current decade that made everyone start looking at everything as if they were gazing into a fun-house mirror.

The Thom Browne label began in 2001 and not long after took the runways my storm with his shrunken suits that made a full-grown man look as if he's wearing 12-year old's clothes. The proportions are miniature. The jacket buttons near the sternum and the pants didn't cover the ankles. Oh, and the sleeves were- you guessed it, short. How did the Fashion Elite react? Just beside themselves in adoration and awards! Menswear Designer of the Year in 2006 by the Fashion Designer's of America and GQ's Designer of the Year in 2008. Ahem. We'll remind the CFDA and GQ in 10 years of that choice.

Men's pants have gotten shorter and tighter. Many now rolling up the cuff to show the ankles. Ties, fittingly, have become pencil thin and the traditional standard of 3 3/8"- 3 5/8" width is frowned upon as clown-attire by the fashion-forward types.

Proportions have come to a point that even Burberry has shortened the coats and trenches that made them famous for over 100 years. Short of special-order, a full-length Burberry is not in the offering. Sad when the venerable classic English apparel maker caves to temporary fashion whimsy and follows the herd. In a related note, the Thom Browne label is now rumored to be bordering on bankruptcy, having only netted $5 million in sales last year.

Men's magazines, former masculine staples such as GQ and Esquire seemed to have become more, well, feminine in the past decade. Heterosexual men wonder if some of what they're reading is satire. Are they serious? They've clearly gotten away from their old base. Looking at male models on the runway and print, they've become as feminine as many of the designs. Sadly, the designers have insisted that the female models follow the "heroin-chic" look and have bodies of 16-year old boys. In reviewing the Spring 2010 Menswear lines from the Fall shows, it was striking how similar the bodies were of the men and woman models- they seemed androgynously interchangeable.

This loss of the feminine look (i.e., curves) became very striking in the preparation of the recent Kim Alexis editorial. Kim having been in 6 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues in the 80's, I took an SI tour from 1979 (Christie Brinkley cover) to the present. What was striking was the shapelessness our current designers demand of our models compared to the days of Christie, Kim, Paulina, Elle, Kathy Ireland, etc.. Could there be any correlation with dwindling apparel revenues? I think we need some real men and real woman to step up and take control of the fashion world to redefine the sexes to what they're supposed to be.
In the December issue of InStyle, one of their predictions was that the gladiator sandal was here to stay for 2010. Please, tell me it's not so. I will say, 1 out of 10 designs are good but that one good design doesn't make up for how terrible the other nine look.

Since I've probably offended everyone at some point so far, just in case... let's talk woman's hip-hugging jeans. The derriere is a wonderful asset and best if not obscured by a low hanging waistband and a seat that sags down the upper thigh; thus making that God-given wonderful attraction no form or attention whatsoever. Hip-huggers are not sexy. The proportions are poor and they're not flattering. Ever. There, I said it.

I would have an endless list of styles I wish would come back. More classical. More masculine for men. More feminine for woman. More elegant. Classical lines that withstand the test of time and not the whims of designers rolling the dice to try and stand out. The masses actually caring how they dress. No, I shouldn't hold my breath this year either.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Putting My Hands Outside The Box

The definition of sartorial is: of or relating to the quality of tailoring or the quality of dress. As a sartorialist, it's implied that I specialize, adhere, advocate and editorialize about the quality of tailoring or quality of dress.

Wow. Put that way, I don't think I'm making enough for this work... at least I enjoy it.

I prefaced this editorial out of recognition I'm stepping a little outside the box here.

Here in the Northeast, Winter has come with a fury. Already a large snow storm, temperatures struggling to reach the freezing mark; the days of soaking up the rays of a warm summer sun seem so near yet so far away. I'm not a fan of winter. After the first snow the novelty's gone. Living in New York you have to take the bad with the good, so it goes with the territory.

One of the worst things about winter I've always encountered has been my hands getting so dried out they would inevitably split on the fingertips. Over the years, I tried many different lotions to prevent dryness but either they didn't work or left my hands feeling so greasy, I dreaded putting it on again.

A few years ago, I was reading another editorial and a suggestion was made about this Jack Black "Industrial Strength" Hand Healer. The recommendation sounded good and the name was catchy for what I had always gone through with my hands. Jack Black sounds like a pretty tough dude. "Industrial Strength" was heavy-duty and sounded a level above traditional civilian use. Hand Healer... yes, please!?

I bit. I bought. I'm still using it. I'm swearing by this stuff after a couple years of using it. It works great. Put it on in the morning and it typically can go all day. It's non-greasy which is a must. Put it on, rub it in, forget about it. That's what I had in mind! Finally.

It's been battle-tested. As some of you know, I've played competitive golf since I was 7, junior golf, college and professionally. Just play for glory now and not much of that these days. Couple of years ago, U.S Open qualifying was at the TPC of Boston. Open qualifying always held in early May, it's very hit or miss in the Northeast for weather. That year was a miss. Raw is the only way to put it. Cold, windy, damp and a long day. The kind of day that my hands would have been killing me. It's hard to swing a golf club moving 120 MPH when your hands are either greasy or hurting. Put on the Hand Healer before I went out and I was good for the day. Doesn't get any better in my book.

Jack Black is actually a men's product line but I see no reason why woman couldn't use the Hand Healer as well. It's in most good department stores, specialty stores and I recently saw it in Sephora. If all else fails you can order it online. Trust me, I'm not getting any kick-backs from the Jack Black guy for suggesting it. It just works and if one person is spared from that miserable winter dryness, then I've done good. For the rest, hopefully I've mildly entertained you.

Sartorial? Strictly speaking, no. However, as a matter of style I would rather my hands be as presentable as the clothes I'm wearing. As Cary Grant said, "It takes 500 small details to make a favorable impression", at least we're not going to miss on this one and I'm freed up to concern myself with things less painful.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Who Says You Can't Have It All?

This would make most men's heads swivel, and many woman as well. Dr. Shireen Fernandez looks radiant in her sleeveless Bebe top, Prada skirt with a sexy slit and her Chanel bag. What gives this look the prize are the leopard print BCBG heels. What was already stunning, the shoes brought that little extra bit of magic. A great look!

The Dr. isn't only good looks. Of Indian and Portuguese descent, she had lived around the world and while living in Bombay was a radio show host, had her own television show, was an actress and and worked as a print model. This after graduating with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Whew.

Not to slow down any, she then went to Med school and graduated last year. She's now in Residency training to be a Neurologist at NY Presbyterian.

Good grief, I was lucky to make it through Undergrad.

Who says you can't have it all? All of us guys can't get too excited, she's taken. Shireen, her boyfriend Alex Harris and close friend Bonnie Snyder created a group and Foundation called Society's Choice. Society's Choice's mission is to provide a venue for people to both socialize and make business connections outside of their normal circle, all while giving back to society through the Foundation. It's a wonderful group with tremendous warmth that serves a great purpose.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kim Alexis: Still Going Strong

Seen on Tuesday evening at the Stefano Marcantonio Launch Party was Kim Alexis, one of the top supermodels of the 80's and still ranked among the all-time greatest.

Kim looked gorgeous in her simple but elegant sleeveless black dress and her timeless and classical natural  features.

Twenty-five years after the middle of a career that put her on over 500 magazine covers and in a half-dozen SI swimsuit issues, her beauty hasn't faded.

Looking back at the stunning images from that period, the contrast from todays "supermodels" was striking. Kim, as well as other top models at the time like Christie Brinkley had beautiful hourglass figures. Yes, I'm getting on my soapbox now. Today, what would they say if an 18-year old Kim Alexis showed up again? Tell her to lose weight or just turn her away?

 I honestly don't understand the rationale of this thin and less shapely trend. No one I know finds the current look more attractive. Yes, woman have hips. Yes, it's attractive. Yes, it makes the clothes look better.

Ahhh. The good old days. A little closer to when woman were woman, men were men and supermodels weren't forced to have measurements of 16-year old boys. At least we can go back and look at Kim Alexis.

Former NHL hockey great and Kim Alexis' husband, Ron Duguay, The New York Sartorialist and Kim Alexis.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Greatest Joy of Being the New York Sartorialist

It's a rainy Sunday in New York and I was reflecting on how much my life has changed and how much I enjoy the work. I've been very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people since I started the New York Sartorialist and I look forward to meeting many more as time goes on. Today, I'm sharing some shots of some of those that I've profiled on the site and that I've been honored to meet. This is a tribute to some of them as well as those I will in the future. Thank you for coming to visit and I look forward to continuing to grow the site in the future (I hope!).
Frendy Lemorin
Ted Danson

Jenny Romanelli

Georgina Chapman

Alex Harris

Chloe Callahan

Lauren Folly

Lisa Burkhardt

Michael Cress, The New York Sartorialist by Mark Fisher

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Class Act: Alex Harris

Alex Harris is many things. Seventh generation jewelry company owner specializing in high-end estate jewelry as well as contemporary designs, father of two, UK native, world traveler, a great guy and very stylish to boot.

Today, Alex is sporting Ralph Lauren trousers and blazer, YSL shirt and Church's (of London) shoes. Simple with elegance, easy-going to match his personality. Characteristically, two top buttons unbuttoned- he knows who he is, what works for him and what he is comfortable wearing.

With Alex's pedigree, offices in NYC, L.A. and London, rich and famous clients, well connected and a beautiful girlfriend training to be a neurologist- he could easily give a standoffish persona. Fortunately for us, he doesn't. He dresses as he is: approachable, pleasant and laid back.

As if his plate wasn't full enough, Alex, his girlfriend Dr. Shireen Fernandez and close friend Bonnie Snyder created "Society's Choice".  Their vision was to make NYC a better place by offering a venue for many New Yorker's to have a better social life by having frequent events and gatherings to bring people together. As large as New York is, it can be one of the loneliest places in the world. With Society's Choice, everyone is welcome and its clear in the pure warmth of those who come... it's hard not to feel welcome. Alex's special gift of making everyone feel welcome, making introductions and being a wonderful host gives you little wonder why the events have been such a big success. Alex knows first-hand what its like to be in New York as the new guy in town, having moved here 6 years ago and having no social circle to jump into. For him, the feelings of an outsider trying to make friends is still very fresh and provides inspiration for him to make it easier for those going through those feelings now. The New York Sartorialist gives a tip of the hat to Alex, Shireen and Bonnie for their wonderful efforts!
Alex's best rendition of the New York Sartorialist!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pure Style

Stylish, fashionable and a head-turner! Lisa Burkhardt, in town with her husband Bill for the UNICEF gala (highlighted in Town and Country this month). Today, Lisa was feeling a bit Dolce & Gabbana. From DG, she is sporting a dark brown wool skirt, perfect weight and texture for a pleasant Autumn day. She's purring in her leopard print silk blouse and coat (with matching purse). Accessorizing with diamond earrings, second only in sparkle to her beautiful face. The anklet boots are brown suede, braided Jimmy Choo's. The outfit is first class all the way, stylish, tasteful and well put together.  

Lisa has two stunning daughters (not surprising given the genetics), 18 and 16 years old (surprising since it doesn't seem mathematically possible). Both girls are already getting well-deserved attention from various modeling agencies. 

Bill and Lisa, both supporters of UNICEF and have pledged to raise $1 million for that great cause. The gala was star-studded and quite an event, well worth the trip from Scottsdale, AZ. As many know, at the intersection of 57th and 5th Avenue, every Holiday season there is a huge Baccarat Snowflake suspended over the intersection. As many don't know (including me until now), the US Fund UNICEF Snowflake Gala is in conjunction with the hanging of the Baccarat snowflake. Learn something new everyday! 

Lisa's husband Bill (quite stylish in his own right) was nice enough to get on the other side of the camera and take a photo of Lisa and I. This is truly my favorite part of what I do- meeting such extraordinary people. Both Lisa and Bill are wonderful, a pleasure to spend time with and the epitome of style in every sense of the word. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sassy, Classy and Fun

Fresh to NYC via San Francisco, Lauren Folly brought the fun with her. A great look with a lot of good spirit to accompany it. Today, Lauren looks fantastic in her light silver, three-quarter sleeve coat, black skirt and knee-high leather boots that have a flair to match her outgoing, fun-loving personality.

She keeps it simple with a two-color ensemble. Notice how the boots flair at the knee, the jacket is fitted but flairs at the waist, complimenting the skirt. It's just a cute, fun look that has continuity of style from top to bottom.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Out and About: Zhanna Ved

When Zhanna Ved is walking down the street, everyone notices. What's not to like? Today, she's wearing a white French Connection coat,  brown Miu Miu leather boots and dark jeans. She contrasts and breaks up the white coat to her blonde hair, light complexioned face by wearing a black shirt and wrapped scarf to highlight the face (personally, I would have noticed anyway, but nonetheless...).

The gorgeous Julie Haus red-heart necklace is a wonderful piece that is eye catching and a beautiful accessory, particularly contrasted with the black background.

Of course the genuine warm smile to match her personality is the greatest accessory of all.

Zhanna clearly knows what she's doing with her look in the way she is able to use colors to contrast, compliment and maximize her natural beauty. Of course, she's had practice. A model since 15 and currently with Wilhelmina, I caught her here on a way to a casting. I'm quite sure she got the job.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Georgina Chapman: Beauty, Style and Grace

Heads turned when Georgina walked down the street in New York. A U.K native and growing up between the Alps and the British Virgin Islands, she has an International style that is all her own. Oh, and she loves hats! Woman really should wear stylish hats more these days, it's an unfortunate break from our sartorial past.

In this shot, Georgina (not to be confused with the designer of the same name) is wearing cream leather Jaime Mascaro boots, the baquette clutch is Stephane Kelian. The beautiful white cotton and silk fitted jacket is from Fray. The Fedora was a recent acquisition from LF in Southhampton (N.Y) and a lovely off-white scarf.

As much as New Yorker's love to wear dark colors in the Fall and Winter, the light colors are a pleasant respite for weary eyes desensitized by black. It's little wonder Georgina's style, and beauty, turns heads on Manhattan streets.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Out and About

This lovely lady was spotted across the street from the Plaza. Sporting a scoop-neck blouse, jeans and some interesting black lace-up peek-toe heels, she looked good and it showed in her walk. Fortunately no one was injured by the purse's swagger.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Warm Regards,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urban Cool

Frendy Lemorin: Actor, Model and Blogger ( http://General-Made.Blogspot.com)

Frendy is looking hip with Billonaire Boys Club (BBC) jeans, Bape Cardigan and Tee. On the feet, he's sporting a very rare pair of Kanye West Nike Air Yeezy's (he's not giving up sources how he got his hands on them). He looks comfortable and the style is all his- he owns it. Each piece is well thought out and high quality. These get top marks in the Urban-wear department. He's cool and it shows. For the sneaker crowd, the Yeezy's are enviable. Looking good Frendy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I was sitting at my favorite coffee joint working away on the laptop. My buddy Mark Fisher, a well known photog who's shot everything from the Stones to the highest of high fashion, said "come on, let's get a shot". Wondering what on earth got into him, he led me across the street, stood over a bicycle and told me to get on. Thinking this is hokey, he starts shooting away.

Back inside 30 minutes later, he spins his laptop around and shows me an image. My jaw dropped. The vintage quality, the colors, the timelessness of the image was striking. The artistry of a true professional is amazing. He looked out that window and knew exactly what he wanted, the image in his mind was already there and made it come to life.

Mark said this would be great for the site. I was a bit reticent about putting it up- but everyone who's seen it seems to have enjoyed it... so here we are! A tribute to the great American photographer, Mark Fisher.

Sartorially, I'm accustomed to commenting on others but here are a few comments on what I happened to be wearing that day. I started with checking the weather to gauge what would be required to be comfortable and that dictated weights and textures. I started with the jacket and worked out from there. The jacket is a nice mid-weight wool, forest green and cream houndstooth, perfect for a mid-50's Autumn day. Next choice was a pair of caramel-brown, mid-weight trousers with wonderful texture. Next was to choose a nice button down shirt to pull both jacket and trousers together and went with a soft yellow solid. The vest at this point gets a bit tricky to pull it all together while not distracting. I went with another mid-weight, a subtly textured light brown vest with thin tan vertical pinstripes. The light-brown was darker than the trousers and complimented the colors in the jacket and shirt.

Brown shoes were a foregone conclusion, it was just a matter of which shade. I went with a cognac- I love the richness of the color and felt a darker brown would have been too harsh. With socks, Style 101 says match the socks to the trousers (not the shoes). Style 201 says you can bend this rule if you're careful and thoughtful about it. I wanted a color that would compliment, not distract- but ultimately allow the bottom of the outfit to pull the top together and ultimately draw the eyes upward towards the face. The color needed to be pleasing between the trousers and the shoes but pull out colors from the jacket, shirt and vest. A nice light tan with subtle brown patterns did the trick for the light cream in the houndstooth, the light brown (and matching tan pinstripes) in the vest and a general comparative lightness with the shirt.

Last choice was the pocket handkerchief. Silk is a nice subtle textural contrast to mid- and heavy-weighted and textured clothing. To mix additional patterns or not? I took the easy route and chose a very subtle-yellow tinted silk solid, much lighter than the shirt and soft enough to bring out the cream in the jacket without overwhelming it. White could have worked as well but a stark white could have been distracting and overwhelming. I thought a matching cream (to the houndstooth) or yellow (to the shirt) would have been too contrived (ironically, given the effort).

Mixing colors, patterns and textures takes some understanding of the basics and plenty of practice... of which I'm personally still doing and probably always will. The elegance of the timeless fashion icons prove the sartorial journey's worth the effort. So, there was a window into one of the New York Sartorialist's small pleasures of life, as insanely obsessive as it may be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet New York's Newest Promising Young Model

Less than two weeks ago Chloé Callahan was sitting in class at the University of Toronto as a Neurobiology major. She was asked through her local Toronto agency to come to New York to meet with one of the major agencies. The trip to New York was for three days. She's not leaving. Immediately signed and put to work, she hasn't had time to catch her breath as things are moving so quickly. 

A San Francisco native, the choice to move to New York to model full-time was an easy one. Her family is fully supportive of her opportunity, in spite of the necessity to suspend school. She's already in a sublet apartment and his heading back to Toronto over Thanksgiving so she can pack up her belongings destined for their new New York home.

Tall, thin, a classic beauty. Chloé has a bit of an Eastern European look- in fact a number of the other models were shocked when she spoke and realized she was pure American. Warm, outgoing and a pleasure to talk to, she'll be easy to work with. America is grateful.

So now Chloé Callahan's wild ride continues and we'll get to see her in action in print and on the runways. We'll keep our eye on her and report back on her progress in the NYS. It's truly amazing how life can turn on a dime. Good luck Chloé!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twiggy Was Fat!

I was working my way up Broadway in Soho to go do my thing and I ran into a shoot. Of course, New York being New York, you can't shut down streets and sidewalks every time you have a shoot or filming for the City would be in perennial lockdown. That lends to getting close to the action.

First thing I noticed was a girl wrapped in the customary blanket when a shoot is required in temperatures 30 degrees colder than the outfit's minimum threshold. A stylist was working her over to make sure there was enough black eyeshadow. As all's fair in love and the sartorial, I decided to participate a bit.

It took a few minutes for the half-dozen or so to do their customary thing and I'm taking shots the whole time. I finally settled in right above the photographer who was kneeling (wonder if hers came out better than mine?). Being the self-described New York Sartorialist, I was trying to focus on what she was wearing to see if it struck me one way or the other.

Somehow, I was having a hard time getting focused on the sartorial. I only had one major impression of the whole scene. All I could think was... "They haven't let this poor girl eat in months, can't I run and get her a sandwich?". Thought of it for a moment and in despair realized they would wrestle me to the ground before I could make the hand-off. Just another day in the world of high-fashion.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Profile In Style: Jenny Romanelli

This Italian beauty gets her fashion-sense honestly with both parents working in Fashion and Jenny herself having worked in fashion and as a model.

In this image, Jenny has on a Gianfranco Ferré dress, a butter-soft leather Gucci jacket, handbag by Blumarine and Italian leather boots. The quality of every piece is quite evident and striking. The details are refined; the earrings complimenting both the dress and the bag, the bag color and red fingernails pull in the red in the Gucci jacket labeling, subtly drawing the eyes upwards towards the face and punctuated by the red lipstick… just in case you somehow weren’t already paying attention. It’s subtle but quite intentional and well thought out. An illustration of true elegance.
True fashionista Jenny Romanelli is, the New York Sartorialist had some questions for her.

What is your hometown?  Florence, Italy. Actually, it’s a small neighboring town just outside Florence, called Vinci. The birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci.

Who are your style icons?  Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. They both had beauty, elegance and style.

Describe your personal style:  It’s fairly classical. I don’t buy things because they are “in fashion” but because I like them. I like to buy quality, not to have for just one year but that I can have and wear for a long time. I would rather have less but higher quality.

How do you build your daily look?  First, I make sure that I’m dressing for the day or the occasion.  I start with my dress or trousers and work out from there. The next is shoes, I LOVE SHOES! The next is the earrings, they need to match with everything else. Finally I pick the bag and the jacket to match. (Indeed, in a different ensemble, she uncannily showed how the earrings matched the outfit, the hardware on the bag as well as her belt. The bag complimented the outfit and matched the boots and the belt!)

… The New York Sartorialist is feeling better about not being the only one putting this much thought into a look.

What is the most stylish City?  Probably Paris, but it’s just different. I like New York, everyone dresses to show who they really are- whatever that may be, it’s very individualistic.

How would you compare New York to Italy? In Italy, everyone follows fashion so it seems everyone is wearing the latest trends. In New York, as I said- everyone dresses in what they feel suits them.

What are your favorite stores?  Of course I like Gucci and Armani but I really don’t shop to go look around. Maybe its opposite of most people. I get something in mind I want and I go to stores looking for that one particular thing. I do love Jimmy Choo shoes, Blumarine and Gucci bags. I look for quality, not the labels.

Favorite place to visit?  India. I love their culture and how they think in that they strive to be in peace and relaxed. I just feel I’m in such closer contact with myself, doing yoga and other things- it’s just their way of life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Gucci Icon-Temporary Collection Tour

On October 24th, Gucci opened a temporary store in Soho to showcase their Icon-Temporary collection. The collection is made up of 18 Gucci designed sneakers (16 for men, 2 for woman). Not your your average sneaks. An entry-level pair starts at $520 and ranges upward to $1,400 for the black alligator trimmed kicks. You do get unique Gucci packaging if the price tag makes you hesitant. Each pair also comes with either silver or gold Gucci dog tags. It's safe to say you would be the only kid in the neighborhood sporting a pair of these sneakers and they do scream for attention in a wild array of colors and materials. Speaking with the Gucci people, many buyers are planning to keep them as collectors items, so the special Gucci packaging could be even more invaluable.

For Gucci, as for many other luxury brands, it's not entirely unusual to bring a line to market that is out-of-the-box. What makes this different are the details. Exclusive these are! Only four pairs in each size are available. Temporary stores first in New York, then on December 1 they will be opening a temporary store in Miami before moving on to London and Tokyo. Each location is slated to be open for two weeks!

Upon the move overseas, the entire collection will be switched out for different models.  Never to be offered for sale again. New York got a break; they extended it for three weeks. Location. The present store is located on Crosby Street, which runs parallel to and east of Broadway between Spring and Broome. Not a high traffic area, nor in what would be considered the heart of Soho near other luxury boutiques.

The New York Sartorialist loves Gucci as much as the next fashionista for their high quality and stylish wares; however, this is puzzling. I'm clearly missing something in this initiative and how they're going about it. Branding and exclusivity is important for any luxury brand. Understood. Why keep it a virtual secret? Why put it on a backstreet in Soho where few will see it instead of near other luxury stores and boutiques where other luxury buyers are likely to be?

The New York Daily News reported several days ago that Gucci is about to have "some major layoffs". Even prior to this news, the business side of the NY Sartorialist scratched his head as to the economics of this flash-tour. Retail rent in Soho, even on Crosby Street is not cheap. In preparation, the store was gutted and the interior was molded to fit the Gucci image. Special lighting put in place, walls, fixtures, computers, special cases, etc.. Neon Gucci signage on the exterior, a full-time immacuately dressed security guard, staff used from the 5th Avenue store. Furthermore, it must be costly to design and fabricate a pair of shoes that perhaps only 50 will be made. Multiply that by 18. Then double it for an entire new collection overseas.

The pure economics, even at an average of $700 a pair, must be horrible. If few know about it, is the branding benefit/brand equity of the venture worth it? If nothing else, the Gucci employees facing layoffs may not feel so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Man on the Street

Perhaps the pattern won't become permanent fashion, but you have to give Ricardo credit- he's wearing it with his own brand of style. On the way back from a party, it took confidence to pull this off and he had in spades. This Jill Sander suit is meant for getting attention, and that it does. Perfectly fitted and tailored, coupled with confidence- he owns it. The attitude is what made the difference between being a big hit or a big miss. Next time you reach for that accessory that may be a bit out of your comfort zone, remember- it's not necessarily what you're wearing, but how you wear it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What is Style?

Style is not effortless. It's anything but. However, if you're naturally interested in how you live in all areas of your life, care fundamentally, you're going to apply it to every aspect. Your wardrobe, the tailoring, what you eat, where you live, the work you do. Good manners and manner of the heart. How you speak to and treat others as well as the thoughts you allow to occupy your mind. Style is not a garment, literally or figuratively to wear for the world to see. A stylish life is about being true to yourself and a fundamental interest and passion for how you live it.
 To live stylishly, meticulously applied to all of life, it will- it must, emanate and exude from your being. It can be seen in any view of your life, no matter how large or small, from how you make your bed to how you enter a room. If you do care about style, that attention is just the natural thing to do.

Cary Grant said "It takes 500 small details to make a favorable impression". To me, this is what he meant. Not only attention to every sartorial detail, but attention to every detail in general. If one does these things, others would say you had effortless style.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vintage Italian Race Cars, Luxurious Clothes... Who Wouldn't Go?

These guys know how to suck you in... huge open doors to see in as you walk by, Italian racing paraphernalia going up the high ceilings, luxurious clothes, and... an Alfa Romeo Vintage Race Car!!! Awesome. Granted, I have a thing for Alfa's since my first car was a red '86 Alfa Romeo Spider convertible, but this was something special nonetheless. It's an Argentinian based store called Etiqueta Negra. Never heard of it? Neither had I. This is the first stateside store, opened in December of last year on Lafayette Street on the border of Nolita and Soho. Reports are that in spite of the tough business environment, business has been good. They carry both men's and woman's lines, both of which are classical and high end luxury quality. The company prides itself in providing top-of-the-line quality at lower price points consumers will find with better known luxury labels. They have plans to open several more stores in North America, both in Manhattan and elsewhere. Let's hope they keep the eye-candy coming... both the clothes and vintage roadsters!

Etiqueta Negra
273 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-4015


Friday, November 6, 2009

Man on the Street: Choreographer Prince Riley

Tasteful, confident style!
Prince Riley
Choreographer- NYC

The Beauty is in the Details

This beautiful lady looks stunning, stylish, elegant and fun in her oh-so detailed and unique Mark Jacobs!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Boutique Review: Nolita's SEW

Why pay over $2,000 for an off the rack suit when you can have a supremely crafted bespoke suit, made right here in Nolita? Third generation tailor and designer, Scott Wasserberger learned the craft early. Scott's father, Arty taught him at an early age the value of classical, well-made garments. Seeing his son's penchent for rebel-rousing when Dad was at work, Arty began taking Scott to work with him at an early age. From there, he caught the passion of bespoke design. Eventually taking over his father's design and tailoring business in Brooklyn, Scott had a vision and changed paths. Four years ago, SEW (for Scott Evan Wasserberger) opened on Mott Street in Nolita and hasn't looked back.

A long, narrow shop with both walls tastefully lined with SEW creations of suits, sportscoats, vests, shirts and more, you instantly feel you've found an oasis from the fashion quagmire. Entering the store, you're instantly greeted with warm smiles and helpful, passionate- but not pushy staff. More often than not, Scott is there and sometimes his father Arty is as well- truly a New York character that will leave you smiling. There are some ready-to-wear items available on display and illustrate the sampling of great design, tailoring, cloths, colors and detail in which to choose from in a bespoke garment. Virtually every detail will be carefully designed just as you like it with .All items are made here in New York, nothing is sent overseas. Have something in mind you can't find? Run it by them, chances are good they can make it for you. For those who truly care about fine craftsmanship, tremendous style and great value- SEW is a can't miss.

One of the newer lines is the woman's "Boyfriend Shirt", which has been extremely popular. Made in a variety of colors and styles, there's enough variety for the most discriminating buyers to leave happy.

As for trends, Scott sees greater interest in grey's and silver's over blue's for traditional suits and sportscoats, particularly with the younger buyers who view the traditional navy blue as too conservative.

Other trends are that velvet jackets are in the early stages of coming back as are rounded collars for dress shirts. Vests, particularly vintage styles have regained their popularity but are being worn casually in less traditional ways.

Since the downturn in the economy over the last two years, buyers have tended to stick with basics and have bought less whimsical or occasional items. According to Scott, the tide is beginning to turn as people are feeling the need to break-out.

Whether buyers are looking to stick with supremely crafted traditional items or looking to add that "rockstar" item to their wardrobe, SEW is an excellent boutique to explore.

Bespoke suits start at $2,100 and custom shirts at $200 (minimum of 2).

229A Mott Street
(212) 686-1630

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cheers! Ted Danson and the New York Sartorialist

The New York Sartorialist was hoping for just a shot of Ted but he was having nothing to do with it. "Only if you're in it with me!" Who was I to refuse? Dressed casually on a cool night in a silk button-down, a smart Loro Piana scarf and a nice black mid-weight jacket- he makes a casual evening in Manhattan look quite stylish.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seen On the Street- SOHO

This well dressed gent is fashioning a well-tailored, tweed windowpane suit that is perfect for the Fall. The brown tie and matching handkerchief pull the subtle browns from the suit. The wider tie perfectly matches the lapel width and the larger knot maintains proportion with the spread collar so as to remain seamless and well put together. The brown bluchers provide a consistency which pulls them together with the tie and leads the viewers eyes to the face.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Would New York Style Be Without Black?

Around the world, it's known. If you're going to New York, pack black. Today's two new friends are both originally from Germany (they didn't know one another until introduced today). Illustrating our global renown for black, our newer residents here were quick to get with the program, doing so fashionably and with their own style. How do you think they're doing so far?

On a personal note, ironically, the attractive brunette is a fantastic professional photographer named Özge Celik (www.oezgecelik.com). So, we had the amateur photographer (me) shooting a professional photographer (Özge), all being shot by another professional photographer (Mark Fisher). Too bad the film crew wrapped earlier (Below).