exploring what it means to be the modern man.

menswear // met gala 2016.

Posted on May 3rd, 2016

When it comes to formal menswear, I totally get and appreciate proper, gentlemanly attire. But I still stand for making a statement and making a look your own. For the Met Gala, Jaden killed it in a forward Louis Vuitton “suit”:

A video posted by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on

Zayn added (too literal interpretation of the theme) Iron Man arms to his Versace suit:

A photo posted by Zayn Malik (@zayn) on

And true Lucky Blue Smith saved us all with leather pants (assuming it’s Saint Laurent) but did see a few H&M mentions.

A photo posted by Next Artists (@nextartists) on

style journal // the loewe must-have.

Posted on April 25th, 2016

Transitioning from winter to spring is always a sartorial challenge, especially when temperatures rise and fall with the sun. One must-have piece that won’t change in my winter-to-spring rotation? My Loewe Puzzle bag. I’ve been wanting it since it came out a few seasons ago, and I finally pulled the trigger before SXSW. As my first non-black bag, its gotten a lot of wear in the short time I’ve had it, and as my wardrobe evolves and becomes lighter (I swear!) in the warmer months, I’m sure the cost-per-wear in the spring alone will justify this purchase (thank you Farfetch).

As for my wardrobe and evidence that it is getting lighter, my Proenza sweater (a marled Gap version here), Saint Laurent-inspired coat by Carine Roitfeld x Uniqlo (an all grey version from Topman), and Celine sneakers (the original og Vans Slip Ons) are helping me through this non-black slump:

 

 

[[ photography by justin duplantis ]]

style journal // modern chinos.

Posted on April 17th, 2016

What comes to mind when you hear the word “chino”? For me, it conjures up images of men in pants that are too loose in all the wrong areas. Too baggy in the thigh, too much room in the calf, and definitely not tapered enough at the ankle. And while you may be thinking that I wear clothing slimmer than most men, there is something to be said about fit and proportion, even on a regular joe. There is a fine line between sloppy weekend-wear and polished work-wear.

The chino pant style was one that I avoided, but Banana Republic’s new chino fits have changed my perception of them. The Fulton sits low on the waist, skinny on the leg and is an overall skinny fit. I also tried on the Aiden, which sits below the waist, slim through the thigh and leg, and an overall slim fit.

If you’re like me and you weren’t convinced that there were chinos out there that fit like they are supposed to, check them out (especially now that they are up to 40% off!)

 

 

Thank you Banana for making me a chino convert, and for helping step up my spring color game. Also wearing the new Soft-Wash Classic Crew t-shirt. Photography by Justin Duplantis.

on the go // tulum.

Posted on April 14th, 2016

You’ve heard these before: “Tulum is magical,” “You have to go to Tulum!,” “You haven’t been to Tulum yet?” and every other  iteration.. every single one of them are true, Tulum is a must-visit for anyone who loves the ocean.

As much as I love the ocean and spend countless weekends at local beaches surfing, swimming, sailing, paddle-boarding and kayaking, I have never been much of a beach vacationer. I have always preferred an immersive, culture-filled week in Paris or London, Seoul or Tokyo, or a long weekend in SF or LA to see friends, family and get out of New York for a quick getaway. But this year, I decided to give myself a laid-back, relaxing vacation with no real itinerary outside of eat, beach, sleep, repeat. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Tulum was not just an escape from the lingering winter chill in New York, but a cure that helped ease away stress and anxiety, relaxed my overworked body, and gave me perspective on life.

I came across Nest Tulum on Travel + Leisure while looking up places to stay. I was hesitant at first, the property had only one TripAdvisor review and a limited social presence, but the referral-only prerequisite, curated Instagram photos and nine bungalow/room limit were enough to get me to commit. It was probably one of the best travel risks I have taken, and it is a place I consider my Tulum home away from home. I referred so many of my friends, and a few have already book their trip. My TripAdvisor review here.

THEMODMAN_NEST_01[[ the property walking to the ocean ]]

THEMODMAN_NEST_02[[ view from ocean 2, facing the ocean directly ]]

THEMODMAN_NEST_03[[ the shared living space. my white/sofa spot all the way on the left, where i ate my breakfast, curled up to read, and fell asleep after a glass of wine. james and juan carlos basically re-built the entire place, and sourced all the decor from mexico. the lighting fixture is hand-woven in mexico and can be found all throughout the property ]]

THEMODMAN_NEST_04[[ daily drinks start at 5pm – i took a shot of tequila every night before dinner (can you believe it?) ]]

THEMODMAN_TULUM_STYLE_01[[ lounging before dinner ]]

 THEMODMAN_NEST_06[[ everything is so authentic, lived in and welcoming. i loved the red blanket so much that i went out hunting for it in town, but couldn’t find it. i asked if i could buy it and it is now draped on my chair in new york, an awesome reminder of my trip ]] [[ la suerte del coyote is fairly new, with coffee, food, bar and good music. best part is that its literally across the street from nest ]]

THEMODMAN_TULUM_11[[ i went to a yoga class at sanara. they have classes mon-sat, 8:30-10am, 10:15-11:45am and 17pm, sun 10:15-11:45am. ahau has classes at 8:30am and 10am daily. a lot of the hotels/resorts like maya, be tulum and nomade have their own yoga sessions around 8/9am ]]

casa banana was always packed with a good crowd, good for couples and groups. with an argentinean twist, steak and seafood are mostly wood-oven cooked

casa jaguar is located on the jungle side, food influenced by asia, europe and mexico. casa jaguar owns thursday nights. tourists, locals, everyone

hartwood is the place to go. its been buzzed about since it opened in 2010, and the hype lives on. there was a long line of people that started around 1:30/2pm every day, with “doors” opening at 5:30pm. i’m sure the food is delicious, but i didn’t feel like standing in line for four hours alongside the dusty, smoggy road. peaceful beach > hartwood. maybe next time!

arca is next door to hartwood. it is farm to table mexican cuisine and a great option if you can’t get a decent time for hartwood (or don’t feel like waiting)

tres galeones has three outposts, the taqueria de puerto in located in tulum. food is made in an airstream and the dining area is lit up with christmas lights, perfect spot for late night eats

posada margarita is the italian spot if you’re craving italian (it may also be the only italian spot on the strip..). the owner and some of the waiters all hail from italy (ours was a lawyer in italy, a former neighbor of the owner, who decided to come and help out in paradise). the food was good, not amazing as people rave, but then again, i don’t know why i went to get italian while in mexico. i’ve had better, but the scene is super fun, super european

[[ caravana, one of the chicest boutiques on the strip ]]

[[ i ended up picking up a pair of exclusive ancient greek sandals x caravana sandals, in black of course ]]

[[ the famed coqui coqui on a surprisingly quiet afternoon ]]

[[ waiting for lunch.. service was terrible ]]

[[ when in tulum, and at coqui coqui, get the chlorophyll water. its supposed to be ultra hydrating ]]

THEMODMAN_COQUICOQUI_06[[ just an afternoon snack. octopus salad and fish tacos (and not the basic kind) ]]

THEMODMAN_COQUICOQUI_07[[ ended up picking up maderas ]]

[[ checking out the grounds ]]

[[ macando at nomade is the place to go when you’re looking for “holistic cuisine,” vegan, gluten free and vegetarian “prepared with the intention to heal from the heart and nurture your soul.” the service though was unfortunately. i went twice and had the same waiter – forgetful, pushy, slow, and he pre-added the tip before bringing me the check ]]

[[ delicious vegan at mocando ]]

[[ post-shopping, in need of a drink ]]

[[ back for more at mocando / nomade ]]

[[ each place in tulum claims to be human-centered or free-flowing, open-minded and for those ready to learn, share, awaken the soul. and as hokey as all of it sounds when you read it online, the experience fully lives up to the hype ]]

THEMODMAN_TULUM_PALMS

THEMODMAN_RAWLOVE[[ go to raw love inside ahau tulum. the juices and smoothies, vegan breakfast, lunch, and dessert are my jam. i had the most delicious vegan chocolate cake for breakfast, topping some regular chocolate cakes i’ve had ]]

THEMODMAN_STYLE_02[[ caught sleeping before dinner ]]

THEMODMAN_GITANO[[ dinner under the lights and stars at gitano. gitano is a mezcal bar, known as the trendy spot to go for a drink, dinner and dancing. and with its trendy reputation comes bad service. the food was good, but i recommend grabbing a drink and heading somewhere more authentic ]]

[[ and we just happen to be there during the full moon, where there’s a full moon party at papaya playa. djs spin until sunrise, people dance and hang out ]]

cn traveler pulled together a list of where all the locals go, ie the owners of hartwood, posada margarita, and casa jaguar. on that list (included below for convenience):

truffled pasta at hechizo at rancho san eric
ceviche and whole fried fish at el camello
antojitos la chiapaneca
real tacos al pastor at antojitos la chiapaneca
vegetarian: banana bread, fresh tamarind juice at restaurare
pozolería la mexicanita for authentic food from guerrero, oaxaca
drinks at todos santos on wednesday nights
la regia tulum for experimental mexican junk food
pizza at el almacen at villas tulum
mercado comunitario de tulum for natural, local products

My new friend Kevin recommended a party that happens at Dos Ojos Cenote, so ask around what’s going on the week that you’re there.

Heather recommended Chamico’s, a beachside cafe, but I didn’t get to make it out there. The NYTimes says this: “So laid back and charming you will swear you’ve seen it in a movie (you haven’t). Naturally, Chamico’s has no phone, website or address. To get there, turn off the highway onto a small dirt road (look for the sign for the Jashita Hotel) and drive down to Soliman Bay. Give the guard at the makeshift gate a look that says you know what you’re doing. Then drive past palatial villas until the road ends. Claim one of the rickety plastic tables in a thicket of palm trees and settle in. Your menu choices are fried fish or ceviche of whatever was caught that morning, followed by icy Sol beer. (Expect to pay about 300 pesos.) There are only two rules at Chamico’s: cash only and don’t tell your friends. (Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — or whenever the owner feels like it.)”

I didn’t get to do anything else, but there is a great deal to check out. Next time I’ll be sure to hit up a cenote, go hiking along the ruins, fishing off the coast, windsurfing at ahau, and more yoga. Let me know if you have any questions, or want an intro to Nest!

on the go // austin tx, sxsw.

Posted on March 20th, 2016

SXSW this year was a blast, here are some highlights:

With my PIC

McDigital Loft!

Whole Foods Test Kitchen, where chefs get to experiment with the latest and greatest and upcoming

The view from a hike with JB & Brandon

Camille Styles x WhoWhatWear party.. one of the best this year! Thank you for opening up your home!

And of course I totally geeked out over all the speaker panels, keynotes, and meeting new people. Here were my takeaways from SXSW 2016:

  • All about community this year vs just pure innovation. How do you build, engage and activate your community to add value to your brand, company, product, service, etc. (thanks Musa)
  • Overall the buzziest subjects were products that are years away from actual production or human rights issues: Artificial intelligence, Hyperloop, autonomous vehicles, online harassment, online security (from all the speaker panels, buzz from friends)
  • Tech is not just about hardware and software anymore, it is a lifestyle that has created a culture and style, including new foods (Nootrobox – its innovating food and the human body)
  • Obama’s keynote was about technology and how it can be used to solve some of the country’s issues, including innovation in healthcare, voter turnout and civic engagement (watched from the Convention Center)
  • Disruptive Philanthropy in the Digital World: Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org, spoke on how with large revenues comes large responsibility to give back. Google.org focuses on more than just giving money, and she discussed the benefits of gender equality in the workplace, catalyzing Googlers (Google donates $1b in products, employees give 100k volunteer hours) and how to scale social good, as Google.org has a global & local mission. A digital service corp and creative solutions team was created to bring technologists to solve problems around the world (attended, wish this were more about philanthropy vs gender equality)
  • Marketing in Messaging: Next Billion Dollar Opportunity. Apps like Whatapp, Snapchat, Kik have overtaken social networks as the dominant social platforms in terms of active users. 257 billion text messages are sent per day and, with that, a huge opportunity to engage audiences where they are spending most of their time. But advertisers and technologists cannot approach messaging as they did social or other apps. Mobile messaging is much more personal and users are younger. Panelists addressed how to organically and effectively engage people in messaging apps, specifically through Snaps, which creates branded emoji keyboards. Examples included Dove’s Love Your Curls and Broad City. Kik believes that the age of the app is coming to an end. Kik wants to be mobile messaging system for everything: access car service, purchase products, order food, and everything else people do on their phone, directly on their platform. Super interesting to think about how to brand jewelry in a similar way. (super cool – I want to execute something like this)
  • Innovative Brands Using Data-Driven Marketing: Panelists from 360i, Johnson & Johnson, Theory and Now What shared how each of their companies have used big data to solve problems in personalized product recommendations, mobile POS systems, virtual fitting rooms. Most of these examples are all things that each brand is working towards, and not necessarily successful executions. Theory talked about how to use personalized email targeting based on clicks, an example that was shared on serving color specific emails based on customers who clicked on 3 white/black/beige products (nothing new here.. more of the same, vendors creating speaker panels with their clients)
  • Gifs capture human emotion, a new type of vocabulary similar to emojis to describe the human condition. Giphy’s mission is to make the world move, and they are redefining search, how things are created, and how we communicate (yay Julie, Alex!)
  • The Future of Retail Isn’t What You Think: Panel with Coach, Westfield, Perry Ellis and Stylus. The panel discussed how retail is evolving the consumer journey, from mobile to in-store to new shopping experiences within their brands. For Coach, one vision for their stores is finding ways to empower associates with more information on the consumer. They integrated Tulip Retail into their backend system so that associates had consumer info, past purchases, etc. on hand. Perry Ellis has found work with dept stores challenging, specifically Macys, and called on wholesale accounts to break out of the mold to innovate. Bespoke at Westfield is a experimental work space for cowering, demo and events. Bespoke is about experiences, bringing value to brick and mortar not replaceable online. Westfield works with 70+ retail tech companies depending on what the brands needs are, i.e. Retail analytics, styling, fitting rooms, etc. Westfield used VR to preview and sell future workspaces. (more of the same..)
  • McDonalds created McDigital Loft, their HQ at SXSW where it offered a VR demo featuring the inside of a Happy Meal box, allowing people to paint and draw all over the canvas. It was an amazing way as a consumer to interact with the brand, to surprise and delight and draw on nostalgia of people’s memories of Happy Meals. The execution was on-point, and was a sign of the endless possibilities of VR. McDonalds also hosted three pitches: “Reinventing the Restaurant Experience,” “Advancing Content Creation,” and “Mobilizing Transportation and Delivery,” their attempts at engaging the tech community and attracting the younger, savvy crowd. (super fun to relive childhood McD memories in a new form)
  • Foursquare continued to have some buzz at SXSW, as an app that people still use to discover new places, see where friends are and connect. (I still do, do you?)
  • Adyen is a global provider of online, mobile and point-of-sale payment solutions including best in class global acquiring and processing services. They are evolving with consumers to offer new ways to pay: through messaging, local mobile wallets. Brands are forced to connect to old systems, it is difficult to make changes. Adyen transformed payments industry with fully integrated system. Zara launched their native app which allows consumers to integrate and pay with Apple Pay. WeChat is only getting bigger as Chinese are transacting more through the app. KLM added Facebook and Twitter integrations to upgrade and change tickets through those platforms. Adding the functionality of picking up web purchases in store (Zara, adidas) allows for an endless aisle, getting consumers in store to experience the brand and continue to shop.
  • Charge It Spot has grown incredibly – it is the leading provider of free, secure cell phone charging stations for retailers, casinos, hospitals, etc. You have to offer up your phone # and email as security code, and in terms of use, they can send marketing material.
  • Evolution of Malls – communal areas, space services, premium food, temporary stores, morning fitness classes. Malls are rethinking operational and technical infrastructure as they focus on both the physical and digital manifestations of their spaces. Westfield creates flagship malls where retailers want to have their flagship stores and shoppers want to shop. Digital enhances the shopper experience and helps generate sales opportunities for retailers. Westfield Labs is testing popup shops: to test markets and new brands, localization: physical presence can activate and create value in an entire region, also driving acquisition online (JC Penney as an example), brand experience: offering emotional, convenient, entertaining and integrated experiences will ensure shoppers will visit, spend time and purchase. This has become the new advertising in many ways. A brand campaign is now trending toward a full brand experience that projects brand attributes across its entire retail landscape.