Archive for June, 2015

Fitness Friday: Abs With Barrett Pall
Barrett Pall

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

The summer shenanigans have officially kicked off and if you’re like us, you’re probably hitting the gym a little extra hard to make sure you’re looking fit and toned for all those beach selfies. To make sure we keep our fitness game strong, we enlisted the help of our fitness guru Barrett Pall to roll out a new summer workout series where we will feature exercises for a different part of the body every Friday.

This week, Barrett shows us how to tone our tummies with a special ab challenge.

 

Men in Cities: A Passion for Fine Details
Men in Cities

Courtesy of Men in Cities

“I want to find the guy that steps out from the masses. He randomly speaks japanese or just got back from a horse trip in Mongolia. It’s the little details that separate him from the masses. Those are the Men in Cities.”

That is how ‘Men in Cities’ founder Yuvi Alpert described his target customer to us while hanging out in his SoHo showroom. The 30-year-old, L.A. native is the kind of guy you want to kick back with, have a couple drinks and just chill — but don’t like his relaxed demeanor fool you. This designer has years of experience under his belt ranging from bead making in Indonesia to becoming a part of the CFDA Incubator.

We sat down with the man of the hour to discuss his foray into the industry, the CFDA experience and how this lifestyle brand encompasses a passion for fine details.

 

Wingtip Jungle: You went for International Finance in college, but your first line was making jewelry — what got you into that?

 

Yuvi Alpert: I’ve always been a creative type and actually made my first piece when I was a freshman in college. I had an idea for a necklace so I made it for a bunch of kids at school and I guess they thought I was a designer after because a store in Miami reached out to me asking to see more of my stuff. So I started making jewelry for them.

After traveling through most of South America and East Asia for 13 months after college, I decided I want to live in New York. Everything happened organically. I thought there could be an interesting opportunity to create fine jewelry that is wearable every day. My first line [Ruby Kobo] was picked up by Bergdorf’s and that leveraged us into Fred Segal and other great stores which then got us into the CFDA Incubator program.

 

Men in Cities

Courtesy of Men in Cities

 

WTJ: What was that experience like?

 

Alpert: It was incredible! I didn’t know anything about the fashion world at that time and the cool thing about the program is it’s like a business school. They don’t get involved in your design or the creative stuff, but they give you everything else you need to create a successful business. It helped me realize what kind of brand and business I wanted to build.

 

WTJ: Did you meet some awesome people through that program?

 

Alpert: I think the nicest thing for me was that you’re surrounded by all these designers — my class had Prabal Gurung and Public School — who are all just passionate about design and want to tell their own story. It really felt like a family and now I have these relationships with all these great people who have made it.

The whole Men in Cities started as more of a selfish reason. I had just moved to New York and there were certain things I needed but didn’t want to go shopping at Barney’s and Bergdorf’s to get them. I’m someone who appreciates good design and quality, so it was kind of a challenge to find what I wanted — so I decided to make stuff I would wear and that I knew other guys would choose as well.

I wanted this brand to be built on a passion for details, but could also offer a good design at an accessible price. We’re not a discount brand, but there’s definitely a value to it. It’s really just about showing men that details can be easy. So I named it “Men in Cities” because that was me and those were the guys I was going after.

 

WTJ: What was the takeoff like from there?

 

Alpert: I didn’t know much about web design, but I made a crappy website and put some stuff up on there. Early on we got to work with a great Japanese brand that opened up a way to really test the market and we learned a lot from that. So we expanded from there and now we are a range of useful items for men who travel, work, study and play that all goes back to a passion for details.

 

Men in Cities bracelet

Courtesy of Men in Cities

 

WTJ: We saw you just did a collaboration with J.Crew, how did that come about?

 

Alpert: Honestly, I just cold emailed some of the top people. I sent Frank [Muytjens] an email and he responded within nine minutes and I met him three days later. It was really cool seeing how they responded to our brand.

 

WTJ:  What would you say your target audience looks like?

 

Alpert: Men in cities. [laughs] They’re like 22-36 and very creative. So anything from writers, to working at digital agency or a graphic designer. But they’re the guys who appreciate the little details that separate our pieces from everything else. So we really position ourself so we could reach that Barney’s consumer, but also the college student.

 

WTJ: So what’s the idea behind your different kits?

 

Alpert: I wanted to figure out something that would be easy to merchandise, so people really get who we are. I don’t just want to be a fashion store, I want to be a home store or be a brand that women turn to when they want to get something for their guy — you know, since we are so hard to buy for. So they’re really set up for the guy who likes Tokyo or live in New York.

 

Men in Cities

Courtesy of Men in Cities

 

WTJ: Do you create a lot of the materials you use?

 

Alpert: We actually create our own beads. I got invited to go to Singapore a couple years ago with Timo Weiland. So I went to Indonesia while I was there and went on an adventure to find this little factory and learned the process of how they were made. It’s great because we can do our own colors and change it up every season.

 

WTJ: What inspires your brand?

 

Alpert: I think it’s really the everyday guy — not some celebrity. It could be a lawyer, a writer or whatever, but just everyday men who are doing something creative. I want to be able to expose the Men in Cities brand to them and make them the rockstars. Basically that cool guy you want to grow up to be when you’re younger.

 

Men in Cities

Courtesy of Men in Cities

 

WTJ: How important is social media to your brand?

 

Alpert: I think it’s so important and something we really to focus on. We’re not super strategic with our Instagram — it’s not even really product directed — just mainly stuff that relate to me. I want to grow to a place where if you need a table, someone would think, “Where would ‘Men in Cities’ buy a table.” I want to be a lifestyle brand known for great taste.

 

WTJ: You have accessories down, do you think you’ll ever break into RTW?

 

Alpert: Probably not. I want this to be a place that I want for myself. For example I made this meditation chair, it may not have a lot of buyers, but it allows me to express myself. So I won’t say, “I will do that” or “I won’t do that,” but it depends on what I’m interested in making that I would use myself.

Men in Cities jumprope

Courtesy of Men in Cities


To find out more about ‘Men in Cities’ and to get your hands on some of their awesome products, head over to their website here. (And to make the deal a little sweeter, we snagged an exclusive discount to get you $10 your purchase of $50 or more. Just enter the code “PKSTYLE” at checkout!)

–John Soper

Summer office must-have: the chino blazer

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Photo by George Evan / Instagram: @GeorgeEvanPhoto / Twitter: @TheGeorgeEvan

Warmer weather usually brings out some crazy looks on the sidewalks of NYC. We like to keep things classic by pairing chino blazers with denim on denim on denim.

J.CREW LUDLOW BLAZER / AEO DENIM WORKSHIRT / TOPMAN DENIM / GRENSON TASSEL LOAFER / ZARA CARY-ALL TOTE

SHOP THE LOOK, HERE:

Fitness Friday with Barrett Pall
Courtesy of Barrett Pall

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

We’ve been saying it for weeks — we are so excited that summer is finally here. However, we realized that with summer Fridays and babes in short shorts, we overlooked one tiny thing… IT’S BEACH SEASON! Assuming you were as dedicated at the gym as us (Ummmm watching a Jane Fonda workout tape while eating ice cream counts, right?), you probably have nothing to worry about.

 

But for those of you who feel like they can use a little more tone before you hit the sandy shores, we decided to consult our fitness guru, Barrett Pall. Pall, a personal trainer/model/blogger/Youtuber/world traveler/wearer of tank tops, has dedicated his life to personal fitness (and conveniently, works out at our gym a couple times a week.) So after much pleading, begging and unwanted flattery, he agreed to sit down with us to answer some of our burning questions about how to get in the right shape for summer.

 

Wingtip Jungle: How do you like to stay active during the summer?

 

Barrett Pall: I like to stay active by being outside first and foremost. If you can make fitness fun, then it doesn’t feel like fitness. So you can go for a beach jog with your friends or a bike ride at a park, you’re exercising.

 

WTJ: What advice would you give to someone who has never done much heavy lifting before?

 

Pall: I would say to watch tutorials online — that’s why people like me who make our videos to show you how to do something and the proper form. Form is key! If you’re doing something with the wrong form, you’re hurting yourself more than you’re helping yourself. If you can afford it, a personal trainer is a great resource that is taught to instruct people on bettering their bodies.

 

WTJ: What exercise(s) works the most part of your body?

 

Pall: Modified push-ups — that means adding a mountain climber in between or something like that. Planks are also amazing for your body. It’s definitely a core workout, but when you do a plank you’re using your shoulders, arms, back — your butt is squeezing and your legs are tight. If you can do those things for 10 minutes every morning, you will definitely see a change for sure.

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

 

WTJ: What would you recommend for someone who has limited time to workout?

 

Pall: Being a New Yorker, this is so important, but you always have to make that time. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes, you need to give time to yourself. So you could spend some time in the morning before you shower to do some situps and pushups. You will feel so much more energized and when you start your day with that boost, you will be more happier and focused throughout the day.

 

WTJ: Let’s talk abs. How do we get them out of winter hibernation?

 

Pall: First of all, I think winter hibernation is B.S. — but if you’re coming out of that place, which I know a lot of people are, you should really focus on what you’re eating because it’s very easy to switch that up. Also be gentle with yourself. Too many people go from zero to hero and they burn themselves out in a week. Create a schedule that works — three days on, one day off — your body needs to recover.

 

WTJ: Guys always say they want that ” v” shape — what’s the best way to get that?

 

Pall: That’s always an enviable body part because you can have it even without the full six-pack. The muscle deals with a lot of cross-over moves. It incorporates standing exercises and ab routines that have you in many different positions.

 

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

Courtesy of Barrett Pall

 

WTJ: What are some of your favorite “super foods?”

 

Pall: Anything that is bright in color is better to be eating than something that is dull — for example bread is bland, beige and not the best thing for you. Blueberries, sweet potatoes are great — believe it or not, cottage cheese is a great source of protein. And I know it sounds basic, but chicken. You can cook it so many different ways and it really is a great source of protein that is lean.

 

WTJ: What foods should you avoid at all costs?

 

Pall: I never say “avoid anything at all costs” because if there’s something that you love, you’re going to crave it and at some point you’re going to give in. The key is moderation — to give yourself just a little bit of it, so you’re not thinking about it forever. So don’t buy a full cake, just get a slice and eat that. But remember, it takes 30 days to make or break a habit, so if you can avoid eating and drinking things that are bad for you, it will be much easier.

 

WTJ: What about drinks?

 

Pall: Soda! Soda is terrible for you — especially diet. If you’re going to drink it at all, have a regular.

 

WTJ: Are cheat meals REALLY allowed?

 

Pall: Again, I have a problem with the word “cheat” because it’s all about your mindset. You need to give yourself moderation. If you want something, have it in a moment but don’t binge an entire day.

 

Instagram @barrettpall

Instagram @barrettpall

 

WTJ: What’s your take on protein powders and supplements?

 

Pall: 15 minutes after a workout, you’re suppose to have a replenishment of some sort. People use to eat gummy bears because if you look they’re a good source of that simple sugar, but not that terrible for you. But a protein shake is good because then you’re giving your muscles something to “eat” to help them rebuild.

Pre-workout supplements can be good too. I personally like it because it gives you an extra boost, but it’s something you have to moderate. The FDA doesn’t regulate them and they’re actually banned in some countries. So if you use one, have one month on and then a couple weeks off.

 

WTJ: Anything else you think people should know?

 

Pall: Stretching! People seem to forget about it and think it’s unimportant. However, you need to stretch 10 minutes before and 10 after a workout because you will protect yourself from injury and get yourself loose and warmed up. Without it, you expose yourself to pulling something or injuring yourself.

 

Instagram @barrettpall

Instagram @barrettpall

 

Check back next Friday for a special video from Barrett and don’t forget to follow him on Instagram and YouTube.


–John Soper

Wingtip Obsession: Solid & Striped Swimwear

Neon sign

Probably one of the most annoying things about summer — besides the city humidity and smelly subway platforms — is having to pick out a new bathing suit. The market is flooded with thousands of options that, if you aren’t sure what you want, can be a bit intimidating. However, we recently stumbled upon a swimwear brand that has put our beachy woes out to sea. New York-based company Solid & Striped offers a range of vintage-inspired pieces that are timeless, classic and won’t kill your budget.

When arriving at the S&S office in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, one of the first things you notice is a bright blue-and-red neon sign that reads, “No Shoes, No Shirt, You’re probably rich.” (We knew this was a great brand already, but seriously— definitely want that in our living room.) We are greeted by the owner himself, 29-year-old Isaac Ross, who leads us back to his office to discuss the brand, their past collaborations and what the future holds.

 

Wingtip Jungle: How did  Solid & Striped start out?

Isaac Ross: A few years ago I was at a friend’s house and his dad was wearing a great pair of 20-year-old navy blue and white striped trunks. I loved the shorts and tried to find something like it — something classic, timeless, easy to wear at the pool but also to be able to wear with a shirt and shoes to go into town for lunch. I couldn’t find that pair of trunks or anything like it.

So I hired a friend from Band of Outsiders to make a pair. We had 8 fittings and perfected the fit so I had one pair of trunks and I didn’t really know where to go from there.

I found an old bathing suit that I had and I saw it had a [Made in] Morocco tag. So I called my friend from there and he helped me locate the factory that made the trunks. The next day I was on a flight and came back a week later with a bag of samples. I quit my job and started selling swimwear. We launched our e-commerce site in November 2012 and we shipped our first eight accounts. We did three seasons of men’s and then did a women’s collection and now here we are.

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

 

WTJ: When did you feel like your brand had finally made it?

Ross: It hasn’t. I’m really excited by results we’re seeing and the distribution is great. Our e-commerce performance is really strong and I think the product is better than it has been. I don’t think you really make it in this business. It never stops. There’s never a time to relax because there’s always the next season.

 

WTJ: You’ve worked with Poppy Delevingne — what is that like?

Ross: It’s great! She’s a lovely collaborator. She’s a very hard worker and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner on the project. She really puts in the time and creative energy and brings a good view and taste level. [Poppy] lives the lifestyle too because she travels all the time, lives out of her luggage and is constantly in a bikini.

 

WTJ: Do you foresee any other collaborations in the future?

Ross: We are launching a collaboration this week with Hilary Rhoda and Sean Avery that was featured in the June issue of Vogue. Otherwise, we are talking to a bunch of other brands, but nothing is set in stone.

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

 

WTJ: What’s your favorite part of designing swimwear?

Ross: My favorite part is that you’re dressing people for their happiest moments. It’s nice to know when people go away on vacation and are having a great time, we are a part of that. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

 

WTJ: What swimwear trends are you seeing this season?

Ross: My entire line was inspired by one pair of swim trunks that were 20-years-old, so I’m not really tuned into everything else that’s going on in the market. I try not to be. I think we spend more time referencing moods from different decades than trends. I want something that’s going to work today, ten years from now and would have worked 30 years ago.

 

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

WTJ: You’ve tackled swimwear, what’s next?

Ross: For the first time, we did a true fall collection which is coming out in August with a full line of ready to wear. It’s our take on fall — sort of what we want our customer to bring back with them from the beach when they close their vacation house after labor day.

 

WTJ: What are the main things you should consider when selecting a bathing suit?

Ross: How you feel when you’re wearing it. Swimwear is the least amount of clothes that most people are going to wear in public so you want to feel good in it.

 

WTJ: What would you say is the aesthetic of your brand?

Ross: Timeless, classic, understated.

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

Courtesy of Solid & Striped

 

–John Soper

Printed Chinos & Linen Tees



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Photo by George Evan / Instagram: @GeorgeEvanPhoto / Twitter: @TheGeorgeEvan

Temps are rising and so is our personal heat index during our evening commute. We’ve taken to linen blend tee shirts (trust us, they’ll be your new best friend, too) and lightweight printed chinos to brave the city heat while still looking on point. Keep the look tonal by sticking to a grounded navy vibe.

J.CREW LUDLOW BLAZER / DAVID BECKHAM X H&M LINEN BLEND TEE / SCOTCH & SODA PRINTED CHINO / GUCCI CANVAS LACEUP

SHOP THE LOOK, HERE:

EXTRA, EXTRA

Preston took to the streets of NYC for a fun #InstaFashion trend spotting segment for the Emmy award winning entertainment show, EXTRA.

Click HERE to watch the segment!

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Summer Obsession: The Banded Collar Shirt

Checkout a quick video (yes, video) with PK chatting about his newest shirting staple for summer, the banded collar shirt. (and shop the video, below)

SHOP THE VIDEO LOOKS, HERE:

Graphic Black & White Vibes

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Photo by George Evan / Instagram: @GeorgeEvanPhoto / Twitter: @TheGeorgeEvan

As much as we’re feeling the floral and color vibes for summer, sometimes in NYC we just want to wear black. We’re really into this short sleeved active inspired fleece paired back to a crisp pair of white jeans and a street sneaker for a little extra punch.

GAP SHORT SLEEVED FLEECE/ POLO SLIM WHITE JEAN/ ADIDAS ORIGINAL SUPERSTAR / RAY BAN SUNGLASS

SHOP THE LOOK, HERE:

Now Trending: Palm Print Shirts

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Photo by George Evan / Instagram: @GeorgeEvanPhoto / Twitter: @TheGeorgeEvan

If you can’t tell, we’ve found a new best friend for Summer 2015 and it’s serious, we’re really digging a sick floral print. One print in particular that’s keeping the Sumer vibes on point is the palm print. Ditch the shorts and pair these tops with a slim chino to avoid a full-on Copacabana moment. Don’t forget your white court sneaker.

AEO PALM SHIRT/ GAP SKINNY KHAKI / FOLK CLOTHING BELT / ADIDAS ORIGINAL STAN SMITH  / RAY BAN SUNGLASS

SHOP THE LOOK, HERE: