Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Jonas Binge: Stuff We’re Buying (some 80% ...

Let’s face it, Jonas is here and we’re pretty damn bored. We’ve been doing some online browsing & shopping and figured we would share the love with you guys. (not to mention we’ve found some killer duds at over 80% off…Margiela, Tods, Theory, etc)

Check out some of our top online picks of the moment, after the jump:

Cyber Monday: We Did The Dirty Work For You (aga...

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The online holiday shopping madness continues and as much we want to deny it, we’re going to do a little bit of  shopping and we know you are, too. To make things a bit easier, we’ve done it again. We’ve dug through the online clutter to find some of the coolest and best gifts from sites running great Cyber Monday deals. So make that day back at work a bit easier, and get a leg up on some shopping. Enjoy!

Gift Guide: The Best Black Friday Steals

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 4.30.28 PMWe’ve taken the time to dig deep, scour the web, and weed through the mess to find some of the best gifts at the best prices happening during Black Friday. SO…keep your PJs on, grab a coffee, skip the lines, and happy shopping.

Holiday Gift Guide: Under $100 – For The L...

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They’re baaaaack! Just like last year, we are going to be bringing you guys killer holiday gift guides each week from now until Christmas. WOOT! Preston has done some digging, scrounging, clicking, and stalking to round up the best gifts for just about everyone on your list. To kick things off, we’ve put together some of our favorite picks for the gals, for under $100.

To get the party started, simply click on a product that’s giving you the feels…and BOOM, happy shopping!

Video! Mens Style 101: Where the hell does the t...

We’re excited to show this to you guys! Preston recently teamed up with the guys over at That’s Good Media to bring you answers to some of the mens style conundrums, all in one minute. Up first, Preston has the answer to one of the most-asked questions; where the hell does the tie bar even go?!

New Prep Obsession: Johnston & Murphy Allre...

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One of the best things about early fall is getting to get back into preppy staples like navy blazers, plaid shirt, repp ties & penny loafers. We always like to mix up our prep staples (mixing stripes and checks, etc) but keep things classic when it comes to footwear. Enter our latest obsession, the Allred Penny Loafer by Johnston & Murphy – exclusively available at Nordstrom. Great with a festive sock as the temps drop, or sickles with jeans (as we are reaping) this shoe is a must have classic as Fall slowly approaches.

ZARA SLIM NAVY JACKET  / H&M CHECK SHIRT /RALPH LAUREN REPP TIE / AEO SLIM DISTRESSED JEAN / JOHNSTON & MURPHY ALLRED PENNY LOAFER – EXCLUSIVE TO NORDSTROM

SHOP THE LOOK, HERE:

It’s SALE time:

It’s that time in the Summer when the great sales start popping up….great time to stock up on marked down basics but also that time when you consider actually buying those hot pink shorts marked down 3 times. Trust us, you don’t need them. With fall only a few short months out (can you believe it?) Nordstrom is giving us a sneak peak into the new arrivals AND giving us a new collection discount…shop a few of our favorites after the jump:

Video Blog: 3 Summer Essentials

It’s official, we’re dying of heat & humidity (we know, we know…it IS JULY after all) but checkout out some of Preston’s top Summer essentials to beat the heat and still look like a boss:

Shop the video, after the jump! 

 

Downtown Dandies: VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets
VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets

Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

The fashion community is always looking for the next best thing — the new black, the hot jacket, the piece that makes you do a double take. And while we were browsing through the vast accessories market, we noticed an alternative brand that was presenting some truly unique pieces.

VITA E LIBERTA (Italian for “Life and Liberty”) is not your typical accessories line. The brand offers a range of bracelets and other accessories that give you a sense of the edgy and cool spirit of downtown NYC. What started out as just fabric wraps inspired by men’s haberdashery and linings of suit, developed into a full line of arm candy made from countless fabrics and charms.

We sat down with the owner/designer/publicist/social media coordinator/how does he have time to breath (you get it, he does everything) Frankie Venezia to see what his brand really was about, how it started and what the future may hold.

 

Wingtip Jungle: How did the brand start out?

Frankie Venezia: Three years ago, my best friend Fabrizio and I were at a party and he was wearing a vintage bow tie that had come undone and started to unravel. He didn’t want to loose it so he wrapped it around his wrist and people started asking where it was from — so that was kind of our lightbulb moment.

 

WTJ: How would you say your accessories embody the “carefree spirit of downtown?”

FV: I think that just looking at it, you can see the edgy features and fun fabrics. I think with downtown people, they’re always looking for the next best thing and something easy to wear that’s different. They aren’t label whores — they like to find something that’s more underground and not well known. So I think I fall into that place in which not many people know about me, but I still have a good following.

 

WJT: Do you have a criteria when you’re searching for fabrics or materials?

FV: I think things that are bright and vivid really catch my eye. Anything really different and something that my customers want — because they’re really my inspiration. Sometimes I’ll even create my own prints to make something that really catches your eye.

VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets

Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

WTJ: Do you see your line expanding past bracelets?

FV: I actually just started making earrings and have gotten a lot of positive feedback through those. Also, a lot of my double wrap bracelets can be worn as necklaces or you can combine two shorter ones with the magnetic clasps to make a choker. I want to branch out into handbags in the future — but that’s still in the concept stages.

 

WTJ: Who came up with your logo?

FV: I drew it. It’s a peace sign but is also “V” in sign language so that incorporates the ‘VITA E LIBERTA’ and then I always wanted to have the logo to have the origin of the product so that’s why there is the tie at the bottom of the hand.

 

WTJ: Do you think the accessories market is harder or easier to break into than RTW?

FV: I think it’s hard because there is so much out there — that’s why I try to reinvent themes that are already out there. I want to be sure that I’m producing quality material that people haven’t seen before.

 

WTJ: Would you eventually like to see your brand migrate to a mass retailer?

FV: Yeah, definitely. I think the road block for me right now is the financial aspect. Even though a big store may be interested, all the vendor and licensing agreements cost a lot of money. Right now I’m focusing on small boutiques — I’m currently working with Patricia Fields.

VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets

Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

WTJ: What celebrities would you like to see wearing your brand?

FV: I think it would be cool for someone like ASAP Rocky or some of the edgy top models in the industry.

 

WTJ: Have you done any collaborations?

FV: I collaborated with David Hart for one of his Spring collection in 2013. I had met him while working at Ralph Lauren so I made a bunch of pieces for his Hawaiian-themed runway show — everyone loved it and it was a great opportunity.

 

WTJ: How important is social media to your brand?

FV: It’s the only thing that I think gets a brand going. We’re in this generation now where everyone’s face deep in their phones and barely come up for air. So I have a heavy presence on Facebook and Instagram — I feel like those are the two big drivers for my business.

Do you think VITA E LIBERTA is the next big thing? Would you wear some of the pieces? Let us know in the comments below!

–John Soper

VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets

Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

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