SUM M ER 2 01 6
What To Wear Now All the Freshest Summer Fashion Gear
HOW TO SUCCEED WITH STYLE (AND A SOUL!) ROBERT DOWNEY JR. Inside LeBron’s Billion-Dollar Nike Deal The Caribbean Kennedys: A Marley Family Reunion Your Favorite Artist’s Favorite Art Books
PAGES OF REAL MEN WEARING THEIR FAVORITE SUITS
CARS, WATCHES, TRAVEL, AND MIND-BLOWING INTERIOR DESIGN
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
VO LU M E 1
GQ STYLE Summer 2016 40
46 PARI DUKOVIC Suit jacket $2,275 and shirt $825 Giorgio Armani
W H AT TO WEAR NOW 10 Essential Summer Trends
T H E S E PA G E S : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
3 L ABELS ON FIRE 48 Ring Jacket 56 Our Legacy 62 Common Projects
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
68 Buying for Value by michael williams 70 Five Art Books That Expanded My Mind by ryan m c ginley 74 Fashion’s New Experience Economy by devin friedman 78 Bulletproof Business Advice from Maverick Carter by mark anthony green 84 There’s Nothing Hard About the #Menswear Pose by mary h.k. choi
F E AT U R E S
86 Robert Downey Jr. by zach baron 96 Are You a Minimalist or a Maximalist? by brad dunning 106 Summer Suits with Attitude starring: Christian Slater, Odell Beckham Jr., and 17 more 126 Sid Mashburn’s Impeccably Tailored Universe by elvis mitchell 134 Cars & Watches with hodinkee’s ben clymer
T H E JA M A I CA N V I B R AT I O N
142 The Regal Style of Bob Marley
by marlon james 147 A Marley Family Reunion by edwin “stats” houghton 154 Escape to Port Antonio by benjy hansen-bundy 164 10 Essential LPs from the Golden Era of Reggae by edwin “stats” houghton
Bob Marley, showing o≠ his unique take on rock ’n’ roll cool while on tour in the Netherlands in 1976.
VO LU M E 1
E D I TOR ’S L E T TE R
A New Blueprint for Thriving Can I set a quick scene for you? Photographer Pari Dukovic is shooting Robert Downey Jr. for the cover of this, the first issue of GQ Style. We’re in the Downey world headquarters on the Westside of L.A. Pari’s camera is flashing away, but he and Downey haven’t yet found their groove, partly because the music isn’t quite right. So I start playing reggae from my iPhone through a portable speaker to keep the energy up. After a while, Downey’s constant companion Jimmy commandeers my iPhone and fires up the soundtrack to The Harder They Come. As the tune “Pressure Drop” starts to fade out, Downey looks over and asks, “Hey, is that Toots?” Yep. “If you play ‘Funky Kingston,’ I’ll get this thing going.” Jimmy plays the song. And that’s when Robert Downey Jr. proceeds to ska, skank, kung fu, Jagger-move, and Funky Kingston for four minutes and 56 seconds of ecstatic photo-shoot bliss. It was a triumphant moment for me—and not just because it was my first time seeing Robert Downey Jr. booty pop. Since we announced the launch of GQ Style in December, I’ve been trying to answer a nagging question that seems crucial for a so-called
luxury fashion magazine. Namely: What the hell does luxury even mean in 2016? At this point, the term is an empty shell—a talking point for marketers up-selling their wares. Do you know anyone who wakes up and aspires to general luxuriousness? I do not. What we’re all really after— and what GQ Style is all about—is the chargedup feeling that comes from living a limitless, unbound life. Making money is cool, but what we truly want is to flourish. We want to thrive. So the essential question is, what does thriving look like now? I went looking for it in photos of stylish people present and past. Some of the pictures I put up on my office wall are here on this page. Ralph Lauren is thriving when he stands barefoot in a sarong where the jungle meets the ocean. Virgil Abloh is double thriving: He’s the designer of Off-White and Kanye’s creative director. Colombian designer Haider Ackermann, the adopted son of a French mapmaker, has lived the internationalist life the rest of us strive to project—and his version of thriving looks enviably like swashbuckling. Paul Newman
was thriving just by wearing what looks like a Peruvian mechanic’s onesie. And Robert Downey Jr.? Thriving like hell. I mean, here’s a brilliant artist who pulled back from the brink and remade himself not just as a great and consistently surprising actor but also as the businessman at the center of a billion-dollar enterprise. He’s relishing marriage and fatherhood. He plays the piano and trains in Wing Chun and tells gut-busting stories—and, as it turns out, knows his reggae. That’s a life I can aspire to. So here’s the plan: Let’s have immeasurable success, but while we’re at it, let’s develop our taste. Let’s explore the far-flung corners of the earth. Let’s also explore our own hearts and minds and make sure we’re evolving. Let’s dress with panache. Let’s make our business lives more creative and turn our creative lives into kickass businesses. Let’s have great taste in music. Let’s dance. If that speaks to you, I think/ hope/believe you’ll like this new magazine. Do the Funky Kingston if you’re with me.
1. High-flying multihyphenate Virgil Abloh is the man the kids all want to be. (And I do, too.) 2. This photo of Ralph hangs in my o∞ce. I look at it more than I look at my computer. 3. My kingdom (or credit card info) for Paul Newman’s onesie. 4. Haider Ackermann has modernized the fine art of swashbuckling for 2016. Let’s all learn how to do this together, shall we? 5. Get ’em, Toots!!!
Will Welch editor-in-chief SUMMER 2016
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What To Wear Now 10 ESSENTIAL SUMMER TRENDS & 3 LABELS ON FIRE
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
The Complete Luggage Wardrobe
• You know a man is thorough about matters of taste and style when his luggage is on point. Here, we present the ultimate four-piece setup. You’ll be prepared for any trip, from a two-night staycation to a threemonth sabbatical—and you’ll cut a pretty clean ﬁgure at the airport, too.
Rimowa $595 | $625 | $525 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup $2,310 + Luggage tags Smythson Sneakers Common Projects Rimowa and Vuitton have 280 years’ combined experience making world-class luggage. For the rest of the best, turn the page.
A D R I A N G AU T
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
SEVEN OTHER PIECES WE ENDORSE If you crave more variety in your luggage, we’ve got you. Check out how the bags here mirror the aesthetic of the fashion houses that made them: Hermès began as a French saddlemaker, so its bags are made from aristocratic heritage leather. The Berluti is handburnished, just like the brand’s elegant dress shoes. Gucci incorporates two signatures from the house’s archive— the monogram logo and the redgreen ribbon— for a throwback ’70s effect. So if the clothes of one of these brands speak to you, the luggage probably will, too. Berluti $4,090
Bally (price upon request) 42
Tod’s $1,765 SUMMER 2016
Gucci $2,590 JOSEPHINE SCHIELE
Designer-Approved Sunglasses • Shades are like wine—you want to keep a stash around the house. These ﬁve were designed by some of the biggest names in fashion, which means they’re instant style boosters. Change them to match your outﬁt, the weather, or just your mood.
STAN T H E M AN
Actor Sebastian Stan appears in this summer’s Captain America movie alongside our cover guy, RDJ. Here he ﬁghts the injustice of harsh UV rays. Thom Browne New York $670 + Suit Boss T-shirt (throughout) Calvin Klein Underwear Ring Degs & Sal
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
Paul Smith Spectacles $370 + Jacket Dolce & Gabbana
Dior Homme $330 + Jacket Ermenegildo Zegna • Watch Rolex
Tom Ford $435 + Cardigan Burberry • Bracelet David Yurman
Brioni $950 + Jacket Calvin Klein Collection
JA M E S RYA N G
Missoni’s electric chevron stripes aren’t just for fall suits and sweaters. These mid-thigh-length nylon trunks will get you noticed—and dry out in seconds flat. Missoni $385
B ILL DO NOVA N
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
Groovy Swim Trunks • Looking like you’ve cracked summer style at the beach or hotel pool means more than having chiseled side abs and shorn back hair. Go for a pair of trunks with a wavy pattern to show you’ve got it down—even when you’re not wearing a hell of a lot. (And don’t be shy about breaking them out for a barbecue or music festival, either.)
Salvatore Ferragamo $290
Thom Browne New York $285
Neil Barrett $220
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
L A B E LS O N F I R E
The Japanese Suits America Is Flipping For Ring Jacket, the most cosmopolitan suiting brand out there right now, has Japanese roots and an Italian-American pedigree—which means the fabric is fetish-worthy and the tailoring is flawless. The shocking part? The suits, now sold in the states, cost way less than you’d think.
Fukushima-san runs the Ring Jacket showroom in Osaka, where his family’s brand is based.
Ring Jacket suits are based on these paper patterns. If you order a made-to-measure suit, you’ll get your very own pattern on this rack.
As if the pleats weren’t detail enough, these tailored shorts (based on century-old military trousers) come with a self-belting waist.
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
For years now, Japanese designers have re-invigorated and improved classic American styles with a fanatical attention to detail and historical accuracy. At the moment, the Osaka label Ring Jacket, with its take on Neapolitan tailoring, is the one that has American suit nerds all worked up. But it turns out this white-hot label was actually founded 60-plus years ago. Here’s the story: Way back in 1954, Jhoichi Fukushima (call him Fukushima-san) was an insurance salaryman, disappointed that his ready-to-wear suits couldn’t
hang with his clotheshorse father’s bespoke goods. So he decided to solve the problem himself, opening a factory and hiring veteran tailors to create exacting reproductions of the Kennedy-era Ivy-style suits that were then so popular in Japan. By the 1980s, though, Italian tailoring had exploded— so Fukushima-san and his son, Kunichi (now Ring Jacket’s president—call him Fukushimasan, too), pivoted. They looked to Italian tailors to nail their signature soft-shouldered, widerlapel pattern; developed their
unwrinklable light-stretch “Balloon” wool; and decided to make tricky suit collars and shoulders by hand. (The tailors run their sewing machines on the lowest possible speed, for maximal care.) After staying hidden in Japan for three more decades, Ring Jacket finally got accounts at The Armoury in Manhattan and Supply & Advise in Miami, and now they’re coming for the rest of the world— or at least North America. And it’s happening at the perfect time. Ring Jacket is half a century old,
but there’s something deeply modern about the project. The suits (which start at $1,500) cherry-pick the best bits and pieces from the world’s suiting traditions: That Italian shoulder. The perfect slim fit. The high-twist fabrics that hold up on an eight-hour international flight. These are globalized suits, somehow concocted before globalization. Which means they’re perfect for sending e-mails from the tarmac in 2016—after all, that suit traveled across three continents to get to you.— S A M S C H U B E
Mesh Tees & Tanks • Whether you’re channeling hoop dreams or golden-era-reggae vibes, mesh is the 2016 way to summer-fy your style. Use one of these tanks as a wife-beater replacement under a loosely buttoned shirt, or wear any of these options unadorned at the beach and feel the breeze.
Need inspo to make it real? Just remember, all the girls swooned over Matt Dillon in mesh as Randy in the 1980 cult ﬁlm Little Darlings.
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
Calvin Klein Collection $295
Tom Ford $390
Charming Colours $10
O P P O S I T E PA G E : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
Rag & Bone $125
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
Showstopping Loafers • Slide into a pair of dressy high-end loafers and instantly transport every look in your summer arsenal to the Italian Riviera. And don’t be all precious about them, either. (Even if they are red eelskin Guccis.) Wear them to the beach and trust they’re gonna look even better with a sunbaked, sand-scu≠ed patina.
John Lobb $795 52
Salvatore Ferragamo $1,250
Edward Green $1,350 SUMMER 2016
“At the beach, I like to wear swim trunks and a tank top with a fraying club-collar dress shirt and these decade-old loafers. The goal is to look sorta like a shipwrecked Kennedy.” —WILL WELCH GQ Style editor-in-chief
Polo Ralph Lauren $495
A D R I AN G AUT
W H AT T O W E A R N O W F RO M T H E R U N WAY
Loose Summer Pants • It’s not that slim pants are suddenly dead to us. It’s that your options have now diversiﬁed to include breezy-ﬁt chinos, trousers, and linen pants that project an effortless vibe to the world—and feel gloriously comfortable on you— through these sticky summer months.
T H I S PA G E : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
Mick Jagger’s trouser game—just one of the many imitable attributes of the Rolling Stones frontman (seen here on tour in 1972). GUCCI
Go with a full break or none at all. Just remember that loose doesn’t mean sloppy— a sharp crease makes all the difference. Ralph Lauren $460 + Sweater and espadrilles Ralph Lauren
Berluti $870 + Sweater Berluti • Sneakers Converse
Emporio Armani $625 + Shirt Emporio Armani • Loafers Del Toro
Prada $1,020 + Shirt and sneakers Prada JA M E S RYA N G
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
L A B E LS O N F I R E
Punk Fashion for Grown-ups
Turns out Scandinavian design isnâ€™t all minimal, functional, and readyto-assemble. The Swedish brand Our Legacy flips those expectations with idiosyncratic clothes that will make your personal style seem that much more, well, personal.
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
When Jockum Hallin, left, and Cristopher Nying founded Our Legacy in 2005, they were running a distribution agency for independent labels in Europe. But the demand for Our Legacy quickly surpassed the demand for all the others.
Our Legacy started as a punk band—but one that makes clothes instead of music. Jockum Hallin and Cristopher Nying met as kids in Jönköping, Sweden, where they worked at what Jockum calls “the best clothing store in our little town.” In 2005 they opened a distribution agency in Stockholm and soon started selling their own line of graphic tees. They called the fledgling project Our Legacy. According to Hallin, the name “was something we wouldn’t get bored of, and we liked that it sort of sounds like a punk or hardcore band.” What started as a side project quickly grew into a full collection of shirts, pants, outerwear, and suits. At first glance, Our Legacy might evoke classic Scandinavian minimalism (see: razor-sharp topcoats, smart tailoring, slim black jeans, white tees that fit so perfectly you could cry). But look closer and you’ll find that the über-clean basics are gateway drugs into Our Legacy’s quietly psychedelic world of far-out prints, space-age fabrics, and fresh, exaggerated proportions. Hallin and Nying are experts at taking workaday pieces like crewnecks and anoraks and using treatments like crinkled nylon, richly dyed suede, and washed-out tie-dye to twist them into something that subtly projects idiosyncratic taste. “We rarely use solid colors,” Hallin says. “We want to use colors that have more life, so we over-dye or wash the fabrics.” Anti-establishment subcultures may be stitched into Our Legacy’s fabric (Hallin and Nying still skateboard together to this day), but the brand’s more about lowkey subversion than shaking a fist in anyone’s face. The designers aren’t beholden to any particular trend or tribe; instead, they bury their influences deep. “We don’t want people to see what we were inspired by,” says Hallin. That means you can walk into one of the 250 stores around the world where Our Legacy is sold and cop a raw silk shirt or crisp white bomber jacket without having to swear allegiance to the brand’s cult. In an era of designers with hype and branding ploys that outshine the actual clothes, that’s probably the most punk thing a brand can do.— J A K E W O O L F
Decadent Silky Shirts • We’re entering an era of only-slightly-restrained fashion opulence, and damn, it feels good. Embrace it—and give yourself an easy conﬁdence boost—by reaching for silk when you’d otherwise buy cotton. Worked for Elvis. Works for you.
These shirts are supposed to fit a little looser. So embrace the drape like Sebastian here. You’re doing it right if it feels a little louche. Shirt $750 Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane + Jeans AG Watch Rolex 581
JA M E S RYA N G
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
David Hart $825
Jeffrey Rüdes $600
J O S E P H I N E SC H I E L E
The inside of the tie, where the lining would usually go, is totally unstructured, just like your best summer suit. FROM TOP
Cesare Attolini at Bergdorf Goodman $260 Isaia $225
ADRIAN G AUT
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
The Seven-Fold Tie • If you’re bored with buying yet another conventional tie, get familiar with the seven-fold. Instead of being buttressed by a sewn-in lining, it has one piece of fabric that’s precisely folded to give it structure. These ties are expensive—and like wearing a piece of high-end Italian neck origami. Which means you’ll have a story to tell the next time somebody says, “Hey, man, cool tie.”
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
L A B E LS O N F I R E
Common Projects sneakers are, simply put, a new classic. Conceived in New York, manufactured in Italy, and worn by the most stylish men in the world, these are the pared-down kicks that sparked and continue to define the now ubiquitous luxury-sneaker movement.
Flavio Girolami (left) and Peter Poopat launched Common Projects with just one sneaker (the Achilles) in three colors (white, black, and gray). Now the Achilles comes in colors like electric blue, and C.P. has branched out with suede Chelsea boots.
Achilles Mids in midproduction at the Common Projects factory in the Marche region of Italy, where all the brandâ€™s shoes are made.
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
When it comes to iconic product design, there’s Dieter Rams’s appliances. Eero Saarinen’s seating. Steve Jobs’s hardware. So…are you ready for the Girolami-Poopat sneaker? Because, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it’s beginning to look like the Common Projects Achilles will stand the test of time. In some ways, it already has. Flavio Girolami and Peter Poopat’s silhouettes are now as recognizable as the biggest styles from Nike or Adidas. And the duo’s cult following has grown into a full-blown religion thanks to highwattage boosts from Kanye West, Drake, Alexander Skarsgård, and Aziz Ansari, among many others. “We’re always on the hunt for the perfect thing,” Poopat says. For the designers, that hunt has turned into a way of life that goes far beyond peerless sneaker-stitching. Girolami recently completed a search for a vintage watch—and humbly submits the 1950s Longines he just acquired. Both men also buy and work on motorcycles and are simultaneously renovating homes in New York—Poopat, a town house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn; Girolami, a loft in the West Village. “Most people would consider the work done,” Poopat says, “but we’re constantly tinkering.” You could say the same thing about their luxury-shoe empire, which started with just one sneaker but now includes a crepe-soled Chelsea boot (which has a devoted following of its own), basketballinspired sneaker shapes, and new variations on the Achilles in soft, instantly identifiable colors like mint green and tan. All of the styles maintain that extraordinary and highly sought-after C.P. restraint. But back to those homes the friends are finishing up: “We took the two spaces and reduced them to what we thought was original, and then we built back on top of it,” Poopat says. It’s a design sensibility that’s as much about what hasn’t been done as what has, and not everybody gets it. Which is perfectly fine by the designers—and the hardcore fans of their brand. “When people walk in, they’re like, ‘Oh, when you renovate it, it’s gonna be great,’ ” Poopat says of his town house. “That makes me really happy.”— N O A H J O H N S O N
Dolce & Gabbana printed this eyepopping silk shirt with art inspired by the Chinese Palace in Palermo, Sicily. Shirt $1,375 Dolce & Gabbana
ADRIAN G AUT
W H AT T O W E A R N O W
Asian Body Art • Designers looked to the East this season, incorporating cranes, koi, dragons, and other motifs lifted from old-world Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art into classic pieces of American sportswear like camp shirts and track shorts. Don’t shrug this off as just another trend— fashion is ﬁnally catching up to your high-ﬂying global lifestyle.
PA G E S 4 0 – 4 1 , 5 3 , 6 0 – 6 1 , 6 4 , P R O P S T Y L I S T: J O J O L I A T H E L L O A R T I S T S . PA G E S 4 2 – 4 3 , 4 6 – 4 7 , 5 1 , 5 2 , 5 9 , 6 5 , P R O P S T Y I S T: B I L L L A U G H L I N A T M A R K E D W A R D I N C . PA G E S 4 4 – 4 5 , 5 8 , G R O O M I N G : B E N J A M I N T H I G P E N U S I N G O R I B E .
Louis Vuitton $890
Christian Louboutin $1,995
Gucci $1,335 JOSEPHINE SCHIELE
W H AT TO W E A R N O W
The Barbershop Fade
• The coolest insurgent haircut for everyone from corporate rainmakers to multi-hyphenate creative types doesn’t require a glitzy uptown salon or a complicated styling routine. You just need a badass barber and 30 minutes a month.
Here at GQ Style, we jokingly call the hairstyle of the moment “the white-boy fade.” You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s the only ’do white dudes have ever successfully lifted from black guys (with all due respect to Post Malone and his cornrows). But the truth is, the fade, which has been adopted recently by everyone from Brad Pitt to Kristaps Porzingis, isn’t actually black or white: It’s rooted in the U.S. military. In the 1940s and ’50s, GIs returned home from World War II and Korea with close-cropped hair, often slightly grown out on top. By the 1960s, many guys abandoned the fade for an Elvis pompadour or a Beatles mop top, but black and Hispanic barbershops kept it going, modernizing it through the golden age of hip-hop to the present with the side part (like Drake’s occasional curlicue), the high-top fade (the Fresh Prince), and even the mullet fade (808s-era Kanye). “These days, any kind of guy can have a fade,” explains Mr. Bee, head barber at Frank’s Chop Shop on New York’s Lower East Side. “It’s more accepted now in the professional workforce, so you have both the young, cool downtown set, and you have investment bankers and lawyers. It really is a universal cut.” One guy who wears the modern barbershop fade well is Nate Brown, founder of the N.Y.C. creative agency Studio Institute and a frequent collaborator with Kanye West. Back in 2010, when Brown starred in Gaspar Noé’s trippy Enter the Void, his hair was straight-buzzed. But, as Brown tells it, he switched to his fade because the length on top requires less frequent trips to the barber: “Honestly, if I have to spend too much time worrying about myself, I’ve lost focus on my projects. The goal is to find a hairstyle that looks good and doesn’t require too much work.” So what’s the key to nailing the perfect fade? Mr. Bee won’t reveal his proprietary fade-sculpting tricks, saying only, “I’m looking to make that transition from light to dark as smooth as possible.” All that really matters, anyway, is that you know how to ask for it. If you like Nate’s dramatic look, request a tight fade, which means almost no hair on the sides. A dark fade, meanwhile, will give you a more conservative transition to haircut cool.— S A M U E L H I N E
T H I S PA G E : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
Brad Pitt slayed Nazis and redefined the high-andtight fade as Wardaddy in the 2014 film Fury; Zayn Malik’s gone from bleached buzz to pink spikes in the past year, but the barbershop classic suits him best.
Is cutting hair a form of artistry? It all depends on the barber. Mr. Bee has a background in painting, which is why he gradually “shades” the fade from light to dark using a combination of scissors and clippers.
Get to know the clipperguard numbering system. For a tighter fade, start at a 1 and fade up to 2. For a more relaxed approach, start at a 3 and fade up to 5.
“The eternal journey that every guy goes on is ‘How do I get a hairstyle that I don’t have to do anything to?’ ” says Brown. We can all relate.
W I N N IE AU
B U Y I N G F O R VA L U E
I DONâ€™T SHOP. I VOTE WITH MY DOLLARS.
if you believe in quality over hype, good design over gimmicks, and family businesses over corporate conglomerates, you donâ€™t have to start a nonprofit to move the world your way. You just have to think before you swipe that credit card. by Michael Williams
P H O T O G R A P H S : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S . I L L U S T R AT I O N : A N T O N Y H A R E .
A decade ago, I stood in a department store trying to decide between two button-down shirts. One was made in China and cost $188. The other was made in Italy, and the tag read $120. Considering the disparity in wages between Europe and China, the prices should have been reversed. Even as someone who has worked around the apparel industry my whole life, I was baffled. But the moment led me down a road that has shaped not only the majority of my purchases since but also my whole philosophy on what it means to buy for value. When I was a kid growing up in Cleveland, I was fascinated by factories and the complexity and scale of what goes into manufacturing the things we use. The preoccupation intensified when I started working for a Japanese company and regularly traveling to Japan. The Japanese obsession with provenance and quality struck a chord in me. There were entire magazines dedicated to meticulously showing how a pair of shoes is made, including photo spreads shot at the tannery where the brand sources its leather. Every step of the process was documented down to the smallest detail. These stories had everything I was interested in—style and industry all in one—suggesting that the only way to understand a product’s inherent value is to know how it’s made, what materials are used, and the people who are involved. After my Japanese epiphany, I started to visit factories all over the world. I went to see how Gucci loafers are made in Florence. I’ve toured nearly all of the tailored-clothing factories that are left in America. I met hand-sewers in Maine and Neapolitan shirtmakers. I’ve learned along the way that some of the things we buy are brought to market with inordinate value, while other things depend heavily on marketing or status. Rarely do these traits co-exist. Every day we all use our wallets to vote for what we believe in. When we buy a product, we’re saying the company that made it is doing things right and should continue to thrive. So I would much prefer to spend more cash to buy something that’s exceptionally well made. Something that will last a long time. Something that will only get better with age. Where the employees are treated right and things are created the hard way, without shortcuts. Better to pay more than to buy something cheap or to blow your cash on a product that’s all hype. I’ll give you an example of a brand with integrity: Crockett & Jones has been making shoes in Northampton, the traditional center of England’s leather-tanning and shoemaking industries, since 1879. Just as Savile Row is known for fine tailoring, Northampton is home to several of the world’s most respected footwear makers, and each has its own unique qualities. The reason I wear Crockett & Jones comes down to a few key attributes. First factor: purity. The company remains independently owned—controlled by one of the two founding families (the Joneses). There’s no corporate CEO pulling the strings
from Paris. And there’s a real responsibility that comes with that family legacy. Second factor: You’re not paying for marketing. Crockett & Jones barely markets at all. On this front, the brand has an endearing obliviousness that I really love. They’re just too busy making great shoes to be bothered with running an oversexed ad campaign or a killer Instagram. Everyone who buys a pair of their shoes benefits from this. What you’re paying for actually goes on your feet: The materials. Plus the labor. That’s pretty much it. And I’d argue that once you start buying this way, these value propositions are everywhere. Even in furniture. The Herman Miller Eames lounge chair is arguably the most famous piece of furniture design in the world. But what does design have to do with value? Well, a lot. Because the demand for the Eames lounge has continued unabated for the past six decades. As Herman Miller global brand director Sam Grawe told me, “The genius of Eames is that they were able to reconcile a technical manufacturing approach that resulted in the best-quality product with a design that still looks relevant all these years later.” So, yes, I love that these chairs are made in Michigan using top-standard molded plywoods, veneers, and leather. I love that they’re comfortable as hell. But what allowed me to talk my wife into the $5,000 price tag is that an Eames lounge holds its value better than almost any other piece of home design you can buy. I like to think of it as the Rolex of furniture. Come the apocalypse, you’ll be able to trade that chair for 50 gallons of water, a shotgun, a solar iPhone charger, and maybe even a rack of ribs. Now that’s buying for value. M I C H A E L W I L L I A M S is the founder of the blog A Continuous Lean—and many other stellar menswear-related projects.
Charles Eames once said that his leather-and-plywood masterpiece (seen here under construction in the 1970s) should have “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.”
Every single Crockett & Jones shoe is handmade. From cutting the patterns and stitching the uppers to welting the soles and burnishing the leather, each pair takes at least eight weeks.
M A N N A F R O M T H E C U LT U R E G O D S
FIVE ART BOOKS THAT EXPANDED MY MIND
I bought my first art book when I was 10. It was an Andy Warhol book, and I got it from a guy in a Pearl Paint parking lot. It’s not a valuable book; it was just some random one where they couldn’t even afford to reproduce all the images in color. I still have it. And it was the first thing that really opened me up to that world. When I was heavy into art books, I was on eBay all the time, spending time on AbeBooks, Powell’s. Then the Strand’s Rare Book Room. In L.A., I’d go to Arcana. I just had my spots around the world. The worst is when you go to Europe and you have to buy a new bag to lug them all home. You get to the airport and the luggage is obviously overweight—they’re books—and you’re sitting in the airport like, “Do I really pay all this money? Should I just toss these things?” All my books are alphabetically filed on shelves at my studio. And, you know, books are expensive. I might have bought a few between $500 and $1,000, but that’s really a book that’s very rare. Something I’d really desired for a long time. I can count those ones on my fingers. Usually they’re between $50 and $300. Once you start to spend over $300, you’re in dangerous territory. Hypothetically, I could resell some of them, but I haven’t done that. So part of the reason I know all my books
RYAN M C G I NLE Y
he’s arguably the most influential visual artist working today. But where does the photographer who inspired a zillion ad campaigns and imitators go for his inspiration? Here, Ryan McGinley picks five art and photo books that will sex up your co≠ee table—and maybe change your life.
so well is because we have to insure them. We have to figure out the price of them and catalog them pretty intensely. At this point in my life, though, I’ve stopped buying rare books. It’s an addiction, it really is, but more than that, I built up my library. That’s really the honest truth. Over the course of a decade, I really sought stuff out, I really collected hard. I got all the artists I was really interested in—I got all their books. With any sort of obsession, there gets to be a point where it’s like, “Okay, this is enough. I have to move on.” I really got all the books I wanted. Now I just buy new books that come out. I know some people might wonder how often a person really looks at these things, but I look through them a lot! That’s the best part: You always get something new out of them. That Opie book? I was looking at it just the other day. I was thinking about my Yearbook project [McGinley’s solo show at Team Gallery in 2014 that collected hundreds of nude portraits on color backgrounds shot over half a decade] and those bright backgrounds and was like, “Oh, this was obviously inspired by that—consciously or not.” Even the choice to go color. So my books are the gifts that keep on giving. I don’t have anything bad to say about them! — A S T O L D T O A L I C E G R E G O RY
McGinley and his trusty companion, Dick the Dog, peruse two of the photographer’s top picks. For more, turn the page.
M A N N A F R O M T H E C U LT U R E G O D S
Philippe Halsman Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book Y E A R : 1959 What can I say about the Jump Book? It was very influential to me; movement is such a big part of what I do. He was photographing celebrities, right, and he got all these people—Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon—to jump for him, presumably when he was with them for other assignments. It’s such a simple idea, so telling of his personality. And the pictures are so carefree and fun. I took a photo of Lizzy McChesney on a trampoline that was really born of the Jump Book, and it became the photo that advertised my Whitney show. I got my copy at the Strand’s Rare Book Room. When I started collecting and spending real money on art books, I kinda lived up there.
Kate Bush Catherine Opie, the Photographers’ Gallery London Y E A R : 2000 I love Opie’s photos, especially the ones of the queer girls of San Francisco in the ’90s. She kind of made this scene seem so… I don’t know what, I just wanted to be there. Those portraits of all her girlfriends and close friends both dressed up and nude, they’re so beautiful and powerful. The book introduced me to the idea of photographing a subculture, but in studio pictures. It pushed me to have the confidence to try it.
Danny Lyon The Bikeriders Y E A R : 1968 You know, you take a photo of anyone on a motorcycle in a leather jacket and it’s a great photo. But Lyon immersed himself in a subculture; he was there with those guys and riding a motorcycle himself. There’s one picture of two guys kissing—it’s part of a motorcycle-club initiation ritual, I think—and it’s just an amazing photo. They’re great reportage photos.
David Armstrong The Silver Cord Y E A R : 1997 This was the first book I ever saw of David’s work. They’re gorgeous black-and-white photos. It’s very East Village, very queer. There’s so much crossover between him and Nan Goldin. It was so interesting that two people made such di≠erent work about the same people. They had all the same friends, who were the subjects of all the pictures, but they couldn’t be more di≠erent in terms of style and vibe. David romanticized everything in a kind of Hollywood old-starlet way, and Nan’s were so crude and documentary.
Harmony Korine The Bad Son
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
Y E A R : 1998 I like it because it’s all photocopied and lo-fi. We all know Macaulay [Culkin] as the kid from Home Alone, but he’s not that kid anymore. The photos are from this Sonic Youth music video Harmony made, with Macaulay and all these little ballerinas. The whole project— where this book is coming from—is so rich for me.
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WOULD YOU LIKE A STEAK SANDWICH WITH THOSE $1,200 WINGTIPS?
After his first restaurant debuted in Chicago, Ralph Lauren opened his Paris eatery, seen here, in a 17th-century town house.
Awash in leather and parquet, New Yorkâ€™s Polo Bar is a celebrityfilled vision of the Ralph Lauren world, rendered in real life.
Have you heard of the experience economy? Well, the major players in fashion have, which explains why theyâ€™re opening hotels, restaurants, private clubs, and even pastry shops to bring the fantasies in their ads to life. Devin Friedman goes fully immersive in the next generation of fashion marketing. 74
rguably the baller-est restaurant opening in New York City last year was essentially a brand extension of a publicly traded fashion line. The Polo Bar. It’s not even in the right neighborhood to be a hot restaurant. You expect to see Kanye West at the Spotted Pig, crashing Charlie Rose’s party on Valentine’s Day with Kim Kardashian (note: that actually happened), not in Midtown, a few blocks away from the American Girl doll store. But there he was, seated not far from the table Barbra Streisand recently occupied. The dining room at the Polo Bar is located in what is essentially the basement of the Polo flagship store, but somehow the brilliant aestheticians of the Ralph Lauren empire have transformed it into something that feels like it’s been there for a hundred years, something that apparently appeals to both Barbra and Kanye. I met David Lauren, son of Ralph, there for a drink in the spring. The scion of the family business swept in on a rain-soaked evening, wearing a trench coat, a pinstriped double-breasted suit, and an old Polo baseball cap, looking like a vision of the ’80s. He is a man, in that suit, with those gentle eyes, who should be played by James Spader (not current Spader; vintage). He ordered an orange juice at the bar—they were making it for him even as he entered—then took me down to the dining room. It was such a pure execution: heavy leather dining chairs, thick parquet floors, nautical light fixtures, a bunch of polo mallets lined in a polo-mallet stand in case a chukker should break out before the digestif, all bathed in syrupy golden light. The word “Polo” was embossed on everything from the butter you spread on your bread to the linen
N E W F RO N T I E R S I N FA S H I O N
you wipe your hands on after you pee—one does not visit the Polo Bar for its subtlety. The room makes you feel like you’re dining on a fine ocean liner that was created when an old New York City squash club detached itself from Manhattan and began drifting toward England. With Kanye West inside of it. The restaurant, David says, is part of the question Ralph Lauren the brand is eternally seeking to answer: “How do you envelop people inside of a world where they feel taken care of? You want the beautiful clothes, you want delicious food, you want to be social with the right people. We’re creating a dream that you can live inside of.” Perhaps you’ve heard of the “experience economy.” The idea is that people find buying experiences—mountain climbing, seeing great works of art, eating corned beef next to both polo mallets and Kim Kardashian—more moving, and valuable, than buying things. It’s appealing both to people for whom material things hold no allure (like monks, or millennials) and to people who’ve bought basically everything you could buy but still don’t feel satisfied. (As Donald Trump would tweet: Sad!) The experience economy is a concept that brands like Ralph Lauren have lately seemed to embrace with fervor. It makes sense. Brands are convinced that they aren’t just selling you, say, shoes; they’re selling you the story that a pair of shoes tells. But the problem is that outside of their advertisements, there isn’t a way for designers to make that story seem real. Places like the Polo Bar are just such a way. Or consider Restoration Hardware’s cataclysmically ginormous Three Arts Club in Chicago, with its courtyard restaurant and wine vault. So oversize and comfy and perfect and well lit—it’s what a great French Country armoire would be like if it served Chardonnay and tapas—that you just know you’re being told a story. Lifestyle brands seem to want to manufacture associations, like reverseengineering the Proust-madeleine phenomenon. So when you taste the fresh-baked bread at the Prada-owned pastry shop (there is one of those), you later begin to associate the aroma of yeasty goodness with beautiful $1,000 sandals. The week before my evening at the Polo Bar, I spent a few days in the newest capital of the experience economy. Milan, where one can go to live the story that high-end fashion is telling us. Milan, where I had a drink at the Bar Martini at the Dolce & Gabbana palazzo before touring the private Alta Sartoria atelier where men can have clothes made by the company’s finest tailors. (I also had my hair cut at Dolce & Gabbana’s barbershop. Tiny, two chairs, two semibearded Italian men, enormous numbers of hot towels, your choice of manly fragrance.) Milan, where I stayed at the Armani hotel—dimly lit, handsomely space-age, so seamlessly designed at flush right angles that you feel like you’re inside a leather-paneled Italian version of Tron. Milan, where I had aperitivi at the Dsquared2 restaurant and rooftop pool—doesn’t it make
sense that Dsquared2’s story is sexy, gritty (it’s located in an industrial-ish zone), and artful, and involves being mostly naked? Milan, where I went to Palazzo Ralph Lauren, where one can peruse the seasonal collections before regular people get their regular little hands on them and afterward dine alfresco at the single, wellappointed table on the terrace. In order to have that particular experience, one must belong to Circolo Privato, Ralph Lauren’s private luxury club. If you’re in the market for a bespoke suit made in Milan by the highest-end division of a formidable fashion house, you’ve got a tough choice when it comes to D&G’s flagship atelier or Ralph Lauren’s Palazzo. After all, they both have quiet rooms with gorgeously buffed floors and tables festooned with giant decorative tailoring shears. The decision comes down to whether your fantasy is Italian or American. D&G is, of course, the more Italian of the two. The atelier is finished in an impeccable combination of classic Italian aristocracy and slightly over-the-top Dolce & Gabbana–ness. I was especially impressed by the bathroom, constructed of giant slabs of beautiful Iranian onyx. Leaving a deposit in the room is like entombing it in Sophia Loren’s mausoleum. Ralph, being the brand genius that he is, steers into his Americanness rather than running away from it, even here in Milan, where the heavy industrial skies hang over the damp Italian concrete and the Alps loom at the horizon. There are black-and-white photographs of vintage cars and motorcycles, and a feel of Gatsby-esque American-male certitude prevails, but with Italian-milled fabrics, of course. As a shopping experience, though, these places at first seem slightly off-kilter. The spaces are quiet enough to hear the sound of a lint brush on well-milled wool. I mean this in the most luxurious way, but they can feel almost dead. Gone is the social lifeblood of the shopping experience; the corporeal, human part of it; the smelling of others’ coffee breath, getting to
watch the almost visible self-fantasy playing in the mind of a human being as he holds up a motorcycle jacket and tries to see which story he’d be telling if he bought it. Instead, the D&G atelier and the Palazzo both give you the sense of obsessively built models, as if you’ve wandered into the parlor of an eccentric billionaire who, after the collapse of civilization, has constructed the most painstaking replica of the finest sartorial things of our departed society. It’s appealing to a lot of people, I bet. Those who want the most pure, uncut high-end retail experience; those who want to be left alone to breathe in fabrics; and those who would pay handsomely not to have their mental space invaded by a guy fantasizing about motorcycle jackets. Here’s the thing, though. Yes, all this is about commerce. It’s about the experience economy. But I get the feeling that’s just cover. I think these are as much aesthetic gambits as business ones. Designers are totalitarians. They resent the messiness of the world. The lack of uniformity. The fact that they did not personally approve the tartan cloth for the bus seat. They are constantly trying to create a world in their own image, so that you can feel as if you’re inhabiting it just by buttoning up a suit or stepping into the mist of an eau de toilette. But they’re often forced to be satisfied with simulations. Most retail spaces aren’t what you’d call pure experiences. A fancy store is often a place that’s constantly trying to get you to forget that it’s a store. But finally, in these cloistered rooms, Ralph and Miuccia and Domenico and Stefano have been able to create the unadulterated thing. The actual restaurant you’re imagining you’re dining in when you spritz yourself with a Ralph Lauren fragrance. The actual sexy/arty Milan nightclub you feel you’re dressing for when you wear Dsquared2. All of it designed with the exacting standards of a dictator of style. It’s about as close as one of these stories gets to being real. DEVIN FRIEDMAN
is G Q ’s editorial director.
Top row, left and center: When it opened in 2010, the Armani Hotel in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa— the tallest building in the world—was at the vanguard of a designerhotel boom. It features suites of stone and wood, with private gyms. Right: The poolside bar and restaurant on the roof of the Dsquared2 headquarters in Milan.
The Prada Foundation hired filmmaker Wes Anderson to design Bar Luce, a Milanese hangout with a midcentury vibe.
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
Dolce & Gabbana’s atelier in Milan features a martini bar and bistro—along with plenty of gilded flourishes.
THE IDEA IS THAT WHEN YOU TASTE THE FRESH-BAKED BREAD AT THE PRADA-OWNED PASTRY SHOP, YOU LATER ASSOCIATE THE AROMA OF YEASTY GOODNESS WITH $1,000 SANDALS. GQStyle
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THE LEBRON JAMES OF MAKING MONEY he’s l e bron’s business partner. One of the famous Four Horsemen who grew up with King James in Ohio. And one of the only people on earth who know if that lifetime Nike deal was really worth a billion dollars. Here, Maverick Carter shares his battle-tested tactics—and the big secret. by Mark Anthony Green
I AN ALLEN GQStyle
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What do you think is the biggest mistake you’ve made so far? [takes a moment to think] When I first left Nike to go work with LeBron and manage him, I was really bullish about managing other athletes. I really wanted to get more athletes besides LeBron and build this big management practice. And in hindsight that was a mistake.
ike Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan, Maverick Carter has his office on the Warner Bros. studio lot. Once you get past security, you drive by pinup western storefronts to a section of cookie-cutter houses with vinyl siding. (Gilmore Girls was filmed here.) Even the grass looks like it’s from Milwaukee. Outside one of the houses are reserved parking spots that read: “M. Carter” and “L. James.” That and the shiny silver Maybach parked out front are the only tells that inside this unassuming house, the future of sports marketing and entertainment is being crafted. This is where Maverick Carter gets to work. Carter is LeBron’s friend from Akron—he was a senior at St. Vincent–St. Mary High when ’Bron was a freshman. He’s also the Cavs star’s business manager. But most important, he’s the creative director of all things King James. What does that entail? Well, NBA basketball and an apparel empire. A Hollywood production company. (The Starz show Survivor’s Remorse is Mav’s.) A scholarship program. And a media platform called Uninterrupted, where players tell their own stories. Here, the man who just played a central role in the largest celebrity apparel deal of all time breaks down his negotiating strategies, his regrets—and how he turned a ballplayer from Akron into a billion-dollar global brand. G Q STYLE : You’re really making a go of this Hollywood thing. Was this always the goal? Was 8-year-old Maverick Carter dreaming about Hollywood? M AV E R ICK CARTE R: No. It was never my dream.
When did it become your dream? When people ask what college I graduated from, I say: I didn’t graduate from college. I graduated from Nike. I started my career as an intern getting coffee. I was working in sports marketing, which means building the brands of Nike and the athletes. What I realized after I left Nike is that they tell stories. These shoes I have on are just shoes. Obviously, they put some technology in it. This is knit. This is lunar. Blah blah blah. But they tell you the best story ever about this sneaker. They tell better stories than anyone in Hollywood. So it was just a natural evolution: marketing, storytelling, building your brand, producing content. I’d been doing it my whole life already.
Why was it a mistake? A couple of reasons. One is that there’s only one LeBron. Another reason is that other athletes always viewed me as LeBron’s guy. They thought: He can’t be my guy, too. It was a mistake because I lost time on it. And managing LeBron was enough. It was plenty to do. Do you regret managing Johnny Manziel? No, I don’t regret it. I met Johnny and liked him. He obviously was who he was coming out, which is gigantic. I feel like we did a great job with Johnny and helped him a lot. But he was his biggest opponent. He’s a very intelligent guy—he’s just his biggest opponent. Still is. But to this day, if he called me, I’d go help him in a second. So that’s another reason why I can’t regret it: I made relationships with him and his family that’ll probably last a lifetime. When did you and LeBron decide Hollywood was the next frontier? It was the natural evolution. Obviously, the goal was to figure out ways to take his talent, who he is, what he represents, and build businesses around that. Because being a great basketball player, there’s a very tight window. So you guys have always been working on life after basketball? Once basketball is over, you’ve got fucking 50 years left to live.
So you gotta hit ’em while you got the muscle, as they say in The Godfather. What did you want to be when you grew up? Well, like every kid playing basketball, I dreamed of being an NBA player. It’s kinda like that Chris Rock joke: In the hood, there’s only a couple professions. My dad was a drug dealer. My mom was a social worker. In seventh grade, I was on an AAU team, and we went up to this neighborhood called Hudson. It was nice, with big houses. I was like, Holy shit, people live like this? And to the Chris Rock joke, the guy whose house I was at, his dad was just an athletic trainer. He was an athletic trainer for the Cleveland Indians. He wasn’t a basketball star or a musician. Chris Rock says the white guy who lives next door is a dentist. The black guy has to be the greatest in the world. So when I saw that, I wanted to be an athletic trainer. Are you close to your father? Very close. You have to have a knack for business to sell drugs successfully. Did any of your father’s wisdom rub off on you? Yes, a hundred percent. He gave me the foundation, and I built on top of it. He dropped out of school in ninth grade to be on the street, but our foundations are the same. And that’s being passionately curious. Always wanting to know. When I was a kid, being a businessman meant that you wore a suit every day and ate steak dinners. But you’re wearing sweats, drinking a green juice. What does being a businessman in 2016 mean to you? The biggest thing it means is that you have to be infinitely flexible.
We caught up with Carter at his L.A. o∞ce—but he does most of his work on the go. Like from the back of his chau≠eurdriven Maybach.
Carter wears a full suit and tie only about twice a month these days. “When I walk in a room,” he says, “it’s more important that people go, ‘Okay, I get who he is and what’s important to him.’ ”
SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE PREPARED TO TAKE RISKS. I GREW UP A GAMBLER. THAT ’S MY NAME: MAVERICK. THAT ’S WHAT IT COMES FROM. ˜ m av e r ick c a r t e r
BU LL E T PROO F B US I N E SS A DV I C E
Tech is changing every industry every single day. All the cards are on the table now. And when all the cards are on the table, the game changes. You have to play it a different way. So I think it means being curious and flexible while still having principles you live by and guardrails that you do business within. Speaking of cards, how much of your job is actually risky? It’s all a risk. That’s the beauty of it. Some people are just more prepared to take risks than others. I grew up a gambler. That’s my name: Maverick. That’s what it comes from. My grandmother ran an after-hours joint, and they played cards and shot craps. But you have to know: What’s my baseline? What’s the worst that could happen to me? And that’s what life is all about. Every decision you make, you’re simply evaluating risk versus reward. LeBron being in Trainwreck was a risk. What if LeBron wasn’t funny? What if it was a disaster? When we were thinking about doing Trainwreck, I asked myself, What’s the downside? The downside is LeBron does a movie, he’s bad at it, and everyone goes: He’s bad in a movie. But he’s still the best basketball player in the world. Also, it wasn’t his movie. He’s not on the poster. He didn’t have to carry the weight. Nobody was saying, I’m going to see LeBron’s movie.
It wasn’t Space Jam. It wasn’t Kazaam. It wasn’t Kazaam! It wasn’t his movie. He’s like a pleasant surprise. So if he fucked it up, no one was gonna go, LeBron’s terrible. But the upside was exactly what happened: He’s fucking great. Now his movie career could take off. If he never did another movie, at least people would know, Oh, he can do that. He’s multifaceted. And another thing is, we didn’t do that movie until he had four MVPs and two championships. He had movie offers in year two, three, four. I was like, No, you gotta establish yourself as the best in your craft first so no one can say you’re distracted. A lot of successful businessmen are perceived as assholes. Is Maverick Carter an asshole? That’s a very good question. You know, you hate to call yourself an asshole, but yes. You have to be. It’s very hard to get shit done while always being super-extra nice. And ultimately, what is an asshole? It’s a person who has supreme confidence and believes in what he’s doing. It’s hard to get anything done without being an asshole. People always ask: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? But is that the right amount of time to plan out? How many years ahead do you set your goals? These days, it’s hard to look superfar ahead because shit changes on you so fast. Like, you wake up tomorrow and somebody’s sold
a business and that’s changing the industry, or somebody’s launched a new business. Yeah, you’re driving a taxi, happy with life, and then Uber pops up and now the game is different. Yeah! So these days it’s hard to look forward, but you have to have the ability to look out over three to five years for yourself. Where do I want to be? I’m sitting here in an office in Los Angeles talking to you. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have known that. I had no fucking idea. Boom. So you just negotiated an unprecedented lifetime contract for LeBron with Nike. What’s your secret to being a great negotiator? You have to go into the room understanding a couple things. You have to know what you want. You have to know how to clearly articulate those things. You have to know what’s important to the other side and what they want. Be able to articulate those things, too. And then you have to be willing to not take everything. If you go into the negotiation like, I’m gonna get every dollar, every piece of real estate—I’m just gonna take this guy’s fucking pants off—you may be able to do that once, maybe twice, but after that, people aren’t going to want to do business with you. When you’re negotiating something like the Nike deal, it’s gonna last a lifetime, literally. The minute this negotiation’s over, we’re gonna work with these people every day. So you don’t want to leave them with a bad feeling. How much was the deal for? I can’t say.
NIKE FEELS GREAT ABOUT THE DEAL. AS GREAT AS I FEEL, AS GREAT AS L E BRON FEELS —NIKE FEELS FANTASTIC ABOUT IT. IT’S THE LARGEST DEAL IN THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY. ˜ m av e r ick c a r t e r
Come on, Mav! Can you ballpark it? What are people saying? Kanye said a billion. So a billion. [Maverick smiles and points one finger skyward.] Holy shit. Yeah. It’s a fantastic deal. Nike feels great about the deal. That’s the most important thing. As great as I feel, as great as LeBron feels— Nike feels fantastic about it. It’s the largest deal in the history of the
Sometimes it’s a luxurycar-and-high-dollarscotch kind of day for Maverick Carter. Other days: green smoothies and golf carts.
S T Y L I S T: K E L LY M C C A B E A T A R T D E PA R T M E N T. GROOMING: HEE SOO KWON USING MALIN+GOETZ.
company. Their hope is he makes even more. And our hope is that, too, obviously. How important is it to keep projects secret while you’re still hashing them out? It’s just easier to get shit done that way. If you and I were in charge of Coca-Cola, it’d be hard to get shit done. Because a lot of people would need to approve every decision. Yeah. But if they give us Mello Yello, we can go do our motherfucking
thing. Nobody would notice until we did something great or something fucked-up. And in the meantime we’ll have a budget and we’ll have a good time. People are just now starting to catch on to our planning a bit. I saw an article in Business Insider the other day that said LeBron’s gambling with one-year contracts is about to pay off. It’s like, Yeah, we thought about that, like, three years ago. Why the year-by-year contracts? Because…um…money. The salary cap is going up.
So you knew that would happen. Yeah, I mean everybody kinda did. The TV deal tripled, right? So the salary caps had to go up, too. It kicks in next summer. Last question: When people talk about pro athletes’ contracts, they always compare them with teachers’. “Why does LeBron make $90 million when a teacher in Cleveland gets $60K?” But the truth is that LeBron is making big corporations hundreds of millions of dollars. He should make at least that!
So my question is, how much of what I make for somebody else should I get? If I make someone else $100, how much should I take home? Thirty? Forty? There is no algorithm. There’s simply this: You never get what you deserve, you only get what you negotiate. So if you can negotiate for $99 after making someone $100—that’s what you’re worth. MARK ANTHONY GREEN
is G Q ’ S Style Guy and the magazine’s associate editor.
THE SOCIAL LIFE
it’s the male equivalent of duck lips. It’s gone the worst kind of viral on Instagram. And now it’s taking
THERE’S NOTHING HARD ABOUT THE #MENSWEAR POSE
Look, we get it. In the instant required for you to hit a pose for an Instagram outfit photo, there’s no room for hesitation. The mantle of dressing like an unrepentant swag lord can be a heavy burden, right? No doubt. And an outfit so flames that it compromises the emotional welfare of onlookers—hey, that justifies a pic. Such is your journey. But nothing dampens the sartorial majesty of your lightweight jacket, those shoes, them jeans, your fade, and that very, very rare watch quite like a prison mug and the tedious habit that seems to have been picked up by 100 percent of well-dressed human men on the Internet: the wrist-grab. It’s an epidemic. And a fairly recent one. Look back at what is likely the most important menswear document of our generation. You know the one. It’s from 2009, and Kanye West and his coterie are bedecked in the finest plumage specific to that nanosecond at
SEE ADDITIONAL CREDITS.
over red carpets and wedding photos. It’s the #menswear wrist-grab, and it must be stopped. by Mary H.K. Choi
Paris Fashion Week. Gratefully, the moment was captured for posterity—to inspire legions of fans, and a South Park episode. And in it, only Taz Arnold grabs wrist. Shot today, that image would have showcased a fist bracelet on everyone from Don C to Fonzworth Bentley. Maybe even Yeezus himself. And we would all be poorer for it. We realize, respectfully, that the move is a keen solution when it comes to the age-old question of what to do with your hands when a camera phone materializes. It beats the pants off dabbing, covering your mouth, prayer hands, or the kissing cousin of the wrist-grab and a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson favorite—fiddling with a nonexistent cuff link. Plus, steepling your hands at your sternum, Mr. Burns–style, only works for megalomaniacal villains, and Steve Jobs ruined the chin-touch for anyone less God-level. So options are indeed
limited. It’s just that when you, your mans, and your mans’s mans are all posing in the exact same manner, heads tilted slightly upward, stone-faced, wrists grabbed, it renders the scene as baffling, unnatural, and contrived as that basic-lady classic—the picture-perfect sorority squat. Again, we understand it’s a balancing act. Too much bodylanguage enthusiasm suggests that you’ve outright commissioned the photo. Nothing is more untoward than a grown man tasking another with snapping a pic expressly so he can “flex the ’fit.” It’s tacky—selfaggrandizing—and speaks to an existential neediness typically reserved for failed actresses and phenomenally successful rappers. But we’re not buying the overcompensating shtick of trying to look completely put out by the Instagram process, either. Frankly, dude doth protest too much in his Raf Simons Sterling
Ruby or his IWC—and there’s nothing even remotely candid, winsome, or hard about appearing to shake the back of your own hand in the neighborhood of your crotch. If you and your fash-bros are all wearing flagrantly louche ensembles of exceedingly rare provenance, why ruin the moment with identical postures? It is, as they say in contemporary parlance, “washed.” Even dudes with soul patches understand that there can be only one fedora in the group. Reassuring as the wrist-grab may be, it does little to cancel out the wee awkwardness or the pure silliness of what it is to pose for a picture. So what, then, should you do? We say, embrace the ridiculousness. Surrender to the mild narcissism, at least for a moment. Good photos for the ’Gram are an asset. Social-media thirst traps won’t bait themselves. And a certain degree of pride in your comportment and manner
of dress is an admirable quality. Never mind that provoking the correct mix of unconcealed admiration and unbridled envy among your peers is terrific for morale—and your “likes” count. Let’s remember that style is a game. And photos illusory. If the moment starts as awkward or posed, force it to be candid. Even if it might feel affected at the time, nothing is more gloriously handsome and self-possessed than genuine laughter. And the likelihood of getting some great photos increases if they’re shot in bursts, so just talk to everyone in the picture with you or crack wise at the photographer. Don’t pose— gesticulate! Create a sense of verve and looseness and geniality. Here’s a thought: The key to a great photo isn’t to look brutish or tough. It’s to look as if shitting down the throats of your fans and mortal enemies with the fire ’fit is not only easy but fun.
COVER STORY Robert Downey Jr. is always described as either the worldâ€™s highest-paid actor or one of the greatest actors of his generation. So which one is it?
& by Zach Baron
PAR I D U KOV I C
obert Downey Jr. keeps a couple of offices out in Venice Beach, near the water, in which he and his wife, Susan, and a handful of other people manage his affairs. There are development projects from their film-andtelevision production company, Team Downey: a new Perry Mason; long-gestating Downey vehicles like the third Sherlock Holmes and a live-action Pinocchio; and something new, based on an old sprawling treatment from actor Steve McQueen, called Yucatan, “kind of an action-adventure story,” Downey says, “almost like an apotheosis of this guy as he goes into these cenotes and caves.” Random Act Funding, their new charitable foundation, is based out of here, too. Mostly you get the sense that it’s nice for Downey to have somewhere to go during the day—he’s the kinetic-type guy who otherwise might just start drifting upward, toward space, without the gravity of routine and real estate to keep him anchored. The main building is all wood and glass and concrete, and Downey keeps it frigid. There’s a Keith Haring on the first floor and three Iron Man helmets in a glass case. He likes to give tours, and those tours inevitably become tours of his internal monologue, too, which is entertaining and weird and cutting in just the way you might hope it would be. When we get to the roof, he looks across the way at his neighbor’s property. His neighbor is Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Downey beholds Favreau’s wan, disheveled collection of outdoor furniture with mock dismay: “Look at Favreau’s fucking shitty... C’mon, dude, Jungle Book is gonna do a billion!” Downey is in fact one of the few human beings on the planet Earth to know what it feels like to do a billion. Both Avengers movies
made that worldwide. So did Iron Man 3. Think about that. What a strange and massive and surreal and bittersweet accomplishment that is. Name an actor over the past decade—actually, name an actor, period, short of maybe Leonardo DiCaprio—who has more seamlessly and improbably wed art and commerce. May marks the release of Captain America: Civil War, in which Downey’s Iron Man once again plays a large role, and it’s fascinating to look back on what he’s done with this character. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy often gets the credit for bringing a high-art seriousness to the superhero genre. But no one has made the genre more fun than Downey. His Tony Stark— mischievous, morally blurry, and more alive for it—embodies the feeling people are seeking when they go see these films, which are increasingly the only films that get made, and that’s because of him, too. He and Marvel have built an astonishingly large business out of this, a business that has now spread across the film industry like kudzu, choking everything else out, including many of the more modest, performance-driven films that Downey used to star in, back when he was frequently hailed as one of the greatest actors of his generation, rather than merely the most highly paid. The reality is, these days he’s a little bit of both. GQ STYLE: So, we’re going to do this slightly differently. Instead of just baring our souls to each other, I’m going to administer a nonlinear questionnaire. ROBERT DOWNEY JR . : Okay. Yes. “Robert, let’s start with your death.”
Exactly. What was that like for you? You know what? It came really out of context. Do you think your younger self would be surprised to see where you’ve ended up now? [exhales] Yeah. Yeah. But, you know, back then, I had that kind of confidence that is like the guy who’s getting out of his car, talking shit, and is probably about to get hammered. They always say, “If you make your wish list, oftentimes you’ll shortchange yourself.” Because usually, in the Western mode, it all has to do with a sense
of material attainment. And what I’ve found is, I get off on the wonderment of, Oh, my God, dude! We have, like, an office! What do you think your younger self would think about the Iron Man thing, specifically? Well, first of all, back then, the reference would have been Christopher Reeve. And Michael Keaton. Right? So I’d have been somewhere in the middle of either having a judgment on it or saying, All right, cool people are doing it. But I know that I must have read those comics before, or they were in the atmosphere. So what I would have said was, “Ugh, really? That’s a second-tier superhero!” What advice would you give to a young actor seeking what you have? If you always talk about all the cool stuff you’re gonna do, and you don’t understand why it hasn’t already happened for you, because, you know [snaps fingers]… The fumes of that will get you over the first hurdle, and nothing else. You must learn to put your nose to the grindstone for years and not look up, no matter how much rejection is heaped on you. Okay, these are about to get pretty kaleidoscopic now.… How long does it take you to get dressed in the morning? It’s very quick. Because I pick out my clothes the night before. What do you call that when something telescopes out and then it’s like a little rod? I have two telescoping rods. I could use a third. One telescoping rod has what I’ll be training in that morning. The other telescoping rod has what I’ll be changing into after I’ve soaked through my training clothes, as my outfit du jour. Now, were I left to do that in the morning, you said how long does it take you to get dressed, I would say six hours.
O P E N I N G PAG E
Suit $1,745 Boglioli Shirt $585 Marni Sunglasses Kiton
Weirdest grooming ritual? Well, it’s not weird, but I think it’s funny. If I’m gonna go promote one of these Marvel movies, I’ll want to have the thing [points to his chin, where the signature Tony Stark facial hair would go] done up right.... So I will attempt to do my own version. I’ll try to get the hourglass there.
T H E S E PAG E S
Jacket $21,600 Hermès Tank top $40 Calvin Klein Underwear Car (his own) 1970 MercedesBenz 280SL Pagoda
What’s your relationship to technology? Do you have one? Yes. I am like those guys that dressed up like chimpanzees in the opening sequence of A Space Odyssey. People who can type, they’re like Merlin. To me, tech ultimately is a distraction from experience. And, look, information is experience. You experience things when you get information. But I’ll tend to sub-intentionally misplace my phone or my iPad or whatever multiple times a week. In the mid’80s, I was one of the first guys carrying around that big battery
with the car phone, because I was like, “Bro!” But it was all about, you know, effect. How many TVs in your house? Very excellent question. You want a real count, don’t you? I do. Okay. [whispers] Two…three… four…[aloud] five. What do you watch on them? Well, last night, I watched the conclusion of The People v. O.J. Simpson. Previous to that, I doubled back and finished
up season four of House of Cards. Maybe the best season yet. I am frothing at the thumb controls for the second season of Mr. Robot, which is probably the best thing that’s been on TV or theater for five years. I am hopelessly strung out on what used to be the Military History channel—and then they changed channel 287 on DirecTV to the American Heroes channel— because I love military history.
I like are performances that, without reinventing the wheel, they create another color in the spectrum. I could refer to my mom’s work in these kind of more experimental associative films that she did with my dad. Pretty much anything that Shirley MacLaine has ever done. She’s the person whose gift has least diminished over generations.
Do you have a favorite performance by an actress? When Noomi Rapace did Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—what
What about actors? Um…Rami Malek. He’s the one right now. Everybody else should be studying this guy.
Most fun you ever had on a movie set? Tropic Thunder. The first Iron Man was great. Third Iron Man was great. As a matter of fact, you know what? Captain America: Civil War was a blast. Part of what makes a movie great is how oppressive the elements are when you’re doing it. Like, I bet if you asked Leo in 50 years what was the best experience, he’ll still say Revenant, because he got put through the gristle mill and survived it. And [on Civil War] we happened to be, by our own volition, shooting on what must have been one of the three hottest tarmacs in the history of North America, all suited up, just going, “This is crazy! We shouldn’t be outside!” And there was something so funny about it. It was like, “All right, Robert, now, War Machine’s in trouble.” I was like, “He’s in trouble?!” What about lowest moment on a movie set? Well, I mean, I didn’t know it at the time, but in Baby It’s You, my first studio picture, I thought I was throwing heat, and all my shit got cut out. My friends all called me and said Maybe It’s You. You just mentioned the new Civil War. Has your relationship to the Stark character changed over time? The era of standalone Iron Mans is done, right? I guess so. So if you ask what is my relationship to it now, it’s nostalgic! [laughs] What do you look at before taking on something new at this point? Honestly, just as someone who loves movies, it’s: Can I be bothered to go see that movie if that guy makes it? And I’m not saying that I only want to do quote-unquote popular mainstream movies. But life is short, and ultimately I’m in a service industry. As much as I exist to do anything else, I exist to create widgets of entertainment for other people to consume. And some people, that’s a big affront to their sensibilities, and I go, okay. End of the day, you are in a service industry, like Kirkland. It’s that simple. “World’s highest-paid actor” and “one of the greatest actors of his generation.” You’ve been
called both many times. If you had to choose just one, which would it be? Neither. Because they’re both so—I mean, it’s like, really? First of all, could you imagine back in, let’s call it the golden era, you know, my dad’s age, Pacino’s and De Niro’s—do you think they would ever have allowed such a paltry discussion, reducing them to a monetary figure? I have had and I have created some of the worst luck in the history of anybody in the public eye. And then there was five minutes there where I was batting a thousand. So why isn’t the answer just “one of the greatest actors of his generation”? Well, if I’m one of, you know, well, then, who else is one of? So should I have said “greatest”? The implication that we’re in competition with each other, or what the numbers are on Monday—I mean, all this stuff is largely chance. Although I’ll flip it around a little bit and say that you’ve financially played the industry better than a lot of people have. It seems like you’ve thought more about it. Right. Here’s what I would say. When you’re on the outside looking in, for years, for decades, only a fool misplays it once he’s given a winning hand. And aside from certain devastating genetic weaknesses, I am not a fool. What is money good for? It’s good for emergencies for other people. Do you think about worklife balance? Right now, it is embarrassingly manageable. I am also someone who really responds to a call sheet. Like, if you give me three pages with maps and times and scene numbers and all that, bless your heart, I go, “Oh, great! I know what to do! I’m gonna get up at 4:47 and I’m gonna go run, or I’m gonna train. You know what? I should probably start balancing…” Immediately, all my energies go into: I know how to do this. I’ve been doing this for 30 years.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception about you? Probably the fast talking. There’s always this thing where it’s like, [affected journalist voice] “Man, he’s razor sharp, fast-talking, blah blah blah.” I’m like: No. I’ve just played a lot of characters like that.
out, run a bath. Put four pounds of Epsom salts, which is essentially one big milk carton’s worth, and four pounds of baking soda, which is essentially four of the refrigerator size of the Arm & Hammer. Put those in a bath and sit in it for 15 minutes.
You just turned 51. Did that mean anything to you? Yes. Um…if I wanted to get all OCD, I’m in my 52nd year. I’ve gone through the whole deck. This can be a joker card for me. I can play around this year. I also burned out on the idea of celebrating myself, which is not a function of me developing a stronger, more humble moral psychology. It is simply a function of age.
And what happens? It just pulls… Well, you know what Epsom salts is good for. Baking soda is really good with all the inherent low-level radiation and frequencies that are going on. It’s very good for post–air travel. But sometimes when they [makes a gesture encompassing all of Team Downey] come to the end of the month, they go, “Would you like to know what you’ve gone through in Epsom salts and baking soda?” I would not! But can we buy bulk? I always offer a solution.
What do you collect? I like crystals and stones. I like vintage cars. But I can’t really say I have what would be considered a collection. You know what I collect? I collect the beginnings of collections, and then I lose interest. What do crystals and stones do for you? They’re tangible little batteries of energy and all that stuff. I’m not some New Agey guy at all. But there are things about, you know, particularly if they’re not tainted—I like the stuff that you can just pick up and put in your pocket or carry around. I used to collect Marvel Iron Man memorabilia, and then what happened is I started hanging out with a bunch of, like, kids and stuff, or meeting kids and going to friends’ birthday parties, and it’s all gone. Is there a piece of art that you own that’s particularly special to you? There’s a sketch of my grandmother, who was a Vogue model, and it wound up in her third late husband’s collection, and I got it at an auction. Did you go to the auction knowing it was there? No, I sent a guy who likes going to auctions.
What’s your favorite hotel? Probably the Hassler, in Rome, at the top of the Spanish Steps. It’s great. You know The Carlyle in New York? It’s hard to beat that, man. Claridge’s in London. I mean, some of these places, it’s not just the service or the staff. It’s that literally there’s just something about where it’s located, and something about the architecture that was probably not even intended. It’s just the way you feel when you go there. Is there anything cool about sobriety? There’s nothing uncool about it. I think the bigger question is: Is life on life’s terms okay with you? [traces the outline of an oval table between us] This is a nice table because it has no edge. The physical planet on which we live has the implication that it’s a circle, but what it really is, is a hundred trillion right angles that you have to navigate. And life is not a circular table. Life has edges. Anything somebody could do to distract themselves from that reality…
Suit $1,045 Boss
One ridiculous indulgence that you regularly splurge on? Epsom salts and baking soda. I highly recommend this to everybody. If you’re traveling, if you’re fatigued, if you’re training at a high level, if you’re stressed
Shirt $395 Boglioli
THERE WAS A BAR ON TENERIFE THAT I FELT WAS GONNA BE MY CASABLANCA, LIKE I WAS GONNA FORWARD MY MAIL THERE. Ëœrobert downey jr.
T H I S PAG E
Shirt $1,170 and T-shirt Prada O P P O S I T E PAG E
Coat $1,995 Emporio Armani Shirt $825 and suit pants $1,025 Giorgio Armani Sneakers (his own) Calto Sunglasses Brioni
Sobriety’s even a stupid word for it. It’s reality. Or rather, having a realistic assessment of your limitations. So, is there a downside to having a realistic assessment of your limitations? Yes. Because in certain instances, you can pretend that’s what’s limiting you. But in fact, what it really is, is just an honest account of your statistical probabilities. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go heli-skiing. It actually means you should. But you probably won’t. Most persistent vice? Nicorette. The problem is sometimes folks will put themselves under the impression that if I’m more stressed out, I need more of it. So my missus will be like, God, he’s getting on my nerves. “Here, do you need some more of this?” I’m like [gobbling noises]. I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Dick Van Dyke at an event five years ago, and he pulled out some Nicorette. I’d been doing it for three months or so. I said, “How long have you been…?” He goes, “Twenty years.” I was like, Whoa! He looks great! He’s in a great mood! Who’s your best friend? My missus. She has to be. There’s no shaking me now. Very, very loyal human being.
ABOUT THESE C LOT H E S
What are you reading right now? Getting Things Done by David Allen. Check it out. I’ve also been under the tutelage of a guy named Wayne Pepper, who is one of the expert practitioners of getting things done. Best concert you’ve ever been to? Steely Dan. The Beacon, New York. They played the entirety of the Aja album. I was visibly weeping to my astonished and amused wife. She’s like, “What is it? The lyrics to ‘Deacon Blues’ are, like, so important to you?” I was like, [sobbing] “You don’t get it!” Desert-island records? I really only need one. Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom. Searing sophistry in those lyrics.
We wanted Downey’s wardrobe to reflect his eccentric charm. To channel the same spirit this summer, mix at least one pattern or print into every look you put on.
How many pets do you have? Eight—if you don’t count fish. Two cats, two goats, four alpacas. And what does having four alpacas do for you? Quite a bit, as it happens. I had a momentary connection with Fuzzy this morning. I’m going to say she was about 50 yards away. You know that kind of East Coast cock-your-chin-back, “What’s up?” look? We shared one of those.
Suit $2,050 Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Shirt $540 Etro Location (throughout) Team Downey Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu. Contributing stylist: Kelly McCabe for Art Department. Hair and grooming by Davy Newkirk at The Wall Group. Produced by Cathy Mele-Lyman for Bauie Productions.
Do you do therapy? There’s two kinds of therapy. Crisis therapy and maintenance therapy. There’s two kinds of relationships. Relationships that begin—and maintain—couples therapy and relationships that have nothing to do with that and end in couples therapy. It’s like housekeeping. You know what I mean? And it’s so much better to have housekeeping come in, just changing the sheets a couple times a week. Not when Ron Wood has just trashed it. So I think half the job is communicating to the point where what you’re really doing is team-building and conflict resolution and all that stuff. And then there’s times where, like, maybe we’ll have an appointment, Susan says, “I’m fine. You need to talk to them about this, that, and this.” I’ll be like, “Okay, yeah, that’s good, too.”
When do you think you looked your best, in general? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. When I watch that movie, I say, “You
were beautiful. And now…you just need to accept the fact that you’re going to age as gracefully as possible.” I think it was also just because me and the missus were in lockstep. No kids. Not married yet. We saw nothing but each other. And we had a project. And it’s [director] Shane Black. Who, you know, it’s hard not to adore. And 35 days of night shooting. I mean, we were giddy. But I think there was something about sleeping till two o’clock in the afternoon every day, where it reminded me of when we were all beautiful young club kids. It was also very good lighting. Most regrettable sartorial phase? [pause] I’m just gonna say this as the blur it was: I was on Tenerife for a weekend. A large and volcanic island. I got in so much trouble that it was almost like the island itself was telling me I had to leave. Except for all of my new best friends. There was a bar there that I felt was gonna be my Casablanca, like I was gonna forward my mail there. I drank that island under the table. Wait, I asked what was your most regrettable sartorial phase. What did you think I was asking? When you said “sartorial,” I thought you meant “like a satyr.” Like, where was somewhere where you had a particularly debauched lost weekend? You answered a more interesting question than the one I asked. I was wondering if there was a phase of your life when you dressed in a way that you regret. I’m gonna say there were two years in the mid-to-late ’80s where I had a penchant for ascots and spats. [laughing] There was a place on Sunset, right across from the Chateau, called Oscar’s. Which was the great kind of English pub, flapper banjo music, you know what I’m talking about? Noice-in-the-drinks-type joint. So I believe that might have inspired… Do you get more or less like your father as you get older? [pause] Well, he’s a pretty eccentric guy. [pause] I know that the quality of our conversations are definitely conversations I couldn’t have with him in my 30s. But really, I think the bigger question is, are you
becoming more anxious and self-centered as you look at the back nine of the golf course, or are you becoming less anxious and self-centered? And I’d say it would depend on the week, but in the aggregate, you start realizing anxiety has nothing to do with anything except something that I’m imagining is approaching. When’s the last time you really failed at something? Last week, Exton [Downey’s young son] refused to go to sleep. I told Susan, “I got this.” We were both up until 3:09 a.m. But as far as straight-up failure, I don’t want to talk about failure. I want to talk about moments of humility. Like when you feel suddenly sick and embarrassed but then you have to continue on to the next moment immediately in full view of others. Because it’s not failure if you just recognize, I fell short, and that’s okay. How do you imagine yourself at 70? Ornery. More ornery than you are now? I mean, it’s a goal worth working toward. Is there a right age for Hollywood retirement? Sixty-five. Why 65? Look, I just need a 14-year plan. That’s all. I got seven projects left before tee time. Buried or cremated? Cryogenized. Really?! Got to. It’s inconvenient. It’s expensive. But it’s gonna be someone else’s problem. I mean, come on. Let’s do in death what we’ve done in life! Is that actually what you want? It’s all a fantasy. My only wishes for death are to go to it with an open mind. You know. You have an empty Reddi-wip bottle in your hand. You had your fun. It’s empty. Now you can’t even use it for what it was meant for. You can’t even put it on pecan pie anymore. You gotta toss it. ZACH BARON
is G Q ’s staff writer.
Weâ€™re living in a rare and opportune design moment, when two opposite aesthetics are not only acceptable but downright fashionable: stark minimalism and bursting-at-the-seams maximalism. Only question is, which one suits you? by Brad Dunning
PATRICK BATEMAN’S MANHATTAN APARTMENT
So…what’s right for you? Minimalism is the design equivalent of a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet—and about as difficult to adhere to. To paraphrase Baloo from The Jungle Book, it’s the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your clutter and your strife. Minimalism is a philosophy, a reaction to all of modern life’s visual vomit. As the world becomes more cacophonous, perhaps a design alternative is to have your home decor simplified, calm, and serene, with a heightened sense of clarity. The idea is to put all your thought and dough into just a few really great treasures. Then fine-tune every detail. The style of a picture frame, the kind of cord on the lamp, the finish on the floor. Stuff you wouldn’t notice if the room was cluttered becomes a beacon when a space is pared down. It has been said that minimalism is not a style that precludes possession, but a style that precludes careless possession. Only the essentials, thank you very much. The idea of “minimalism” began to gain traction in the late ’60s and ’70s, when it described the work of fine artists like Donald Judd, Robert Ryman, Agnes Martin, and others whose work was very spare. The British designer John Pawson— we’ll look at one of his spaces shortly—is perhaps the godfather of this architectural and interior genre. The release of his 1996 book, Minimum, was a watershed moment for the movement. He called his rooms “the excitement of empty space.” How’s that for a Zen declaration? I actually think it’s a bit harder to be a great maximalist. You’d think you’d be freer when allowed to mix styles and periods.
But, done wrong, it’s just a chaotic mess. To quote the Divinyls, there’s a fine line between pleasure and pain. And dare ye not forget the pithy expression “Sometimes an embarrassment of riches is just an embarrassment.” One of the greatest maximalist rooms of all time is a collaboration between two of the most stylish men of all time—Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. That’s their legendary Paris apartment on the previous page. Of course, each object in the room, from the Fernand Léger painting The Black Profile (1928) to the Jean-Michel Frank sofa to the African artifacts and Renaissance-age bronzes, is worth more than my whole house. But the combination of all these perfect items mixed perfectly together is pretty much, well, perfect in every way. It requires some serious retinal energy to explore it, but man, it’s worth it. The most effective maximalist rooms are expressions of a life well lived. They’re celebrations of objects and design— things that have been collected with a freestyle combination of judiciousness and wild abandon. Maximalist rooms are bereft of the current style trends; they’re more about a well-confected hoard of delicious design goodness. Seldom will a first impression of a minimal room induce that jawdropping Wow! like a good maximalist room can. If minimalism is about the empty breathing space, maximalism is about taking the breath away. Here, we’ll look at some enviable examples of each style— and teach you how to decode them.
ANONYMOUS BRUSSELS APARTMENT Now, here is a great collection of modernism from different periods, all of it casually combined. That vintage mirror— Ultrafragola by Ettore Sottsass— is about the hippest thing on the planet right now, isn’t it? And there’s a Poul Kjaerholm leatherand-steel stool, a Jean Prouvé bookcase, and a Le Corbusier sofa. There’s even a sprig of California modernism, with Greta Grossman’s Grasshopper floor lamp. I want to be friends with these people; maybe their cool will rub off.
T H E S E PA G E S : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
pples or oranges? New York or L.A.? Spotify or Apple Music? Warriors or Thunder? These days you can pick your corner, your subculture, your team, and just wallow yourself to death in it. Even with interior design, there are so many options that are all fashionable at once. You want your Steampunk Man Cave? How about your Zen Room, Safe Room, or Retro Midcentury Tiki Scream Room? Feel free to let your interior-design freak flag fly. But do it right. At opposite poles of this vast spectrum of sanctimonious spaces are minimum and maximum. Both styles are aesthetically ambitious and completely relevant right now. Would you care for a spare, elegant, sophisticated style for your home’s interior? Or a highly personalized hemorrhagic tableau expressing your multifaceted collections and richly curated life? After your sartorial style, your interior decoration may be the most personal billboard of them all.
One might think that only a psychopath could live a true minimalist’s life— and the American Psycho condo upholds that theory. The interior is emblematic of Wall Street’s crazy ’80s, right down to the Robert Longo Men in the Cities print and Mies van der Rohe’s timeless Barcelona furniture. All these pieces sit in eerie deference to the violence about to be executed within the stark black-andwhite interior. It’s minimalism as evil lair.
1. Nothing beats a neutral sofa that disappears into the wall. A great, a≠ordable ivory fabric, wonderful for upholstery, is Fabricut’s Primary Eggshell. 2. For a bright, contemporary stark-white paint: Farrow & Ball’s Strong White.
STUFF YOU WOULDNâ€™T NOTICE IF A ROOM WAS CLUTTERED BECOMES A BEACON WHEN A SPACE IS PARED DOWN.
JOHN PAWSON’S NORTH SEA APARTMENT The current trend in minimalism is home-as-art-gallery. This noted minimalist architect’s place is a perfect example. A bent-plywood chair by Grete Jalk complements a wall sculpture and daybed by Donald Judd and a pair of brown leather chairs by Fabricius & Kastholm. They’re all displayed elegantly in a minimal white envelope—the epitome of suavity. Consider mixing furniture that is both organic and biomorphic with more severe right-angled pieces. The juxtaposition creates a fluid “dance” and keeps the eye moving nicely—and endlessly.
1. Benjamin Moore White Dove is a perfect, flexible white paint color. Warm but not too yellow. Works for contemporary and traditional scenes. 2. Many minimalist designers prefer wood floors from Dinesen. I like GrandOak, Classic, best. Gorgeous. Flawless. Expensive.
3. Wood with a deep ebony finish provides a great rich contrast in a predominantly white contemporary room. 4. Poul Kjaerholm furniture is particularly in vogue; consequently, it’s being knocked o≠ often. If you can’t a≠ord the real deal, these are Restoration Hardware.
KARL LAGERFELD’S PARIS LIBRARY There’s no better aspirational image of maximalism than Karl Lagerfeld’s legendary library— a visually baroque book lover’s wet dream. Notice that most of the books are stacked horizontally. What’s that about? I wonder if it’s a design choice or a practical one— so Karl doesn’t have to turn his head to read the titles. That stiff-starched high collar in your way, Herr Lagerfeld?
AXEL VERVOORDT– DESIGNED MANSION Please note: Minimal interior design doesn’t necessarily have to be executed in an all-white wrapping. Witness the stark but nicely patinated confections of the great Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt. He creates exquisite interiors, often working with rustic, centuries-old European buildings. Maximum beauty with minimum ingredients—no matter the period of reference. He’s big on organic materials and can easily be diagnosed as having a finish fetish—walls of Venetian plaster and floors of ancient reclaimed timbers, woodwork pickled to within an inch of its life. Or, better yet, old walls and materials left looking old but waxed to preserve, enrich, and exploit the age. But a minimalist interior should not feel empty—note, in our photograph here, the regally perched and perfectly art-directed kat.
1. You can replicate these walls with a good natural milk paint and a little (or a lot) of experimentation. 2. A nicely constructed linen slipcover hides a multitude of sins and can class up a cheap sofa. (Not that you would have one.) 3. Useful in any style of space: rustic wooden bowls, like these from Restoration Hardware. 4. Vervoordt favors East Asian pottery and Roman glass. For an all-American take, try Heath Ceramics from California.
ersonally, I’m a binger and a purger—I tend to start out in a new house empty and stark, vowing to stay pure; then, after a few years of traveling, collecting, and picking up stuff from the dock of the eBay, I end up with the producers of Hoarders slipping fan letters under the door.
Exhausted with excess and inspired by those beautiful empty rooms, I move or purge and start all over again. I aspire to minimalism and backslide easily and willingly into decadent maximalism. Where’s my support group? It’s unusual to be living in a time when
both minimalism and maximalism look and feel fresh, vital, and relevant, so I say take advantage. Pick the style that moves you, and do it well. B R A D D U N N I N G is known for his writings and his work on architecturally significant properties, restorations, and his own original designs.
LOOK BOOK We believe every man should wear a suit his own distinct wayâ€” whether that means baggy, mismatched, or camo-lined. So we asked 19 sartorialists of the moment to come by our studio and make a statement. JASON KIBBLER
Summer Suits With Attitude 106
Christian Slater AGE :
Mr. Robot on Mr. Robot THE SUIT:
Slim three-piece camo-lined suit from a not-sodystopian future CONFESSION:
“Over the years, if I look back at photos, I think there was a pretty frightening lack of style. I was just grabbing whatever I saw in the closet and putting it on. Now I know that I’m good in single-breasted suits, a really thin lapel, a shorter jacket. Less material is key: I didn’t really get that when I was younger. Now I’m just trying to streamline things as much as possible.” Suit (three-piece) $3,840 Dior Homme + Shirt and tie Dior Homme Jewelry, his own
Mark McNairy OCCUPATION:
Iconoclastic menswear designer THE SUIT:
Summer tweed PREFERRED SHOE:
1970s Chuck Taylors (one white, one black) ON TAILORING:
“I went to my daughter’s graduation in New Orleans, and I found out that I should be wearing a suit. So I go to Brooks Brothers and try on the jacket, and they ask, ‘Do you want to tailor the sleeves?’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’s fine.’ ‘Do you want to try the pants on?’ ‘No, it’s good,’ I said. ‘I don’t want to wear them tailored. I’ll roll them up.’ ” Suit $1,845 Junya Watanabe Man + Shirt Junya Watanabe Man Watch Tudor Sneakers Converse
Josh Peskowitz and Eugene Tong OCCUPATION:
Josh is co-founder of the new Culver City, California, menswear store Magasin. Eugene is a stylist for Public School and John Elliott. THE SUITS:
On Josh, a seersucker number from Japan with drawstring pants. On Eugene, breezy and baggy stripes from Paris. J O S H ’ S A DV I C E :
“Tailored clothing isn’t about fitting in anymore, so it’s like—why not be comfortable in that shit?” F R O M L E F T, O N J O S H
Suit $1,390 Camoshita + Henley Massimo Alba Necklaces Giles & Brother Sunglasses Garrett Leight Watch Tudor ON EUGENE
Suit $4,415 Lanvin + Shirt Public School Cap Supreme Watch Rolex
Odell Beckham Jr. AGE :
Wide receiver and game-breaker, New York Giants THE SUIT:
Tonal olive for end-zone dancing at bars, clubs, and black-carpet events Suit $1,575 Calvin Klein Collection + Polo shirt Calvin Klein Collection Necklace Cartier Sneakers Nike
I love wearing a suit. Anytime. Deion Sanders always used to say: You look good, you feel good, you play good. And it’s true! ˜ ode l l b eck h a m j r.
The 1975 OCCUPATION:
Pop stars THE SUITS:
From left, on Adam Hann (lead guitar): Advil red three-piece with some shine. On Ross MacDonald (bass): dressy midnight blue with killer boots. On Matty Healy (lead vocals): skinny-fit rock-star shit. And on George Daniel (drums): sharply tailored jacket, easy-fit pants. A L I T T L E C O N T E X T:
The 1975 are a British rock band. They’re also a ’60s soul band and an ’80s synth group. They dabble in R&B. EDM, too. That eclecticism explains why their second album topped the charts its first week. It also explains the band’s style. “It’s all about juxtapositions, isn’t it?” says singer Matty Healy. “Like my hair: I don’t really do anything with it, but then I’ll contrast that with a sharp bit of tailoring and sneakers. I’m a complete composite!”
Suit (three-piece) $2,995 Dolce & Gabbana + Shirt Valentino Sneakers Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Suit $1,495 Z Zegna + Shirt PS by Paul Smith Scarf (in hand) Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane Shoes Tom Ford Suit $3,440 Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane + Shirt and sneakers Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane Ring Degs & Sal Bottom necklace David Yurman Bracelet (next page) Tiffany & Co. Suit $1,045 AMI Alexandre Mattiussi + Shirt Ermenegildo Zegna Cuff bracelet Miansai Watch Rolex Shoes Prada
WE PLAY WITH THE VOCABULARY OF ROCK ’N’ ROLL—MUSICALLY AND AESTHETICALLY. ˜matty healy
I like things to be simple, and I like things to be clean. Seriously thought out, but not pretentiously thought about. I think having a uniform keeps things so much easier. It frees you to think about other things and other people. Ëœ t hom b row n e
Thom Browne OCCUPATION:
Museum-caliber fashion designer THE SUIT:
His own signature almost-suit in mismatched grays Suit $2,500 Thom Browne New York + Shirt, tie, tie bar, pocket square, and shoes Thom Browne New York Watch Tiffany & Co.
Dexter and Byron Peart OCCUPATION:
Designers of the upscale accessories brand Want Les Essentiels HOME TURF:
Montreal THE SUITS:
Classic two-button business suits without a tie or dress shirt in sight F R O M L E F T, O N D E X T E R
Suit $3,770 Prada + Cardigan and shirt Tomorrowland Watch Cartier ON BYRON
Suit $900 Tomorrowland + Polo shirt Tomorrowland Scarf Louis Vuitton Bracelet and bag Want Les Essentiels Watch HermĂ¨s
THIS BELT IS MY DAD’S, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE I DESIGNED. I’M THE GREAT-GRANDSON OF TAILORS ON BOTH SIDES. THIS SUIT IS VERY MIDCENTURY ITALIAN. I THINK ABOUT ‘YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW,’ WITH MARCELLO MASTROIANNI. ˜ a n t on io c iong o l i
Antonio Ciongoli AG E :
Creative director of Eidos, the new-school N.Y.C. tailoring line owned by the people behind classic Neapolitan suit brand Isaia THE SUIT:
Raw silk Italian realness…with a pajama shirt Suit $2,090 Eidos + Shirt and espadrilles Eidos Sunglasses Warby Parker
MY THING IS, I ONLY WEAR REALLY FIRE SUITS. Ëœluka sabbat
Michael Lockley and Luka Sabbat AG E S :
Professional cool kids (who also model) THE SUITS:
Peak-lapel Givenchy in angelic all white. And swashbuckling high-waisted Haider Ackermann in black and gold. F R O M L E F T, O N M I C H A E L
Suit $3,700 Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci + Tank top Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Necklaces, from top Giles & Brother Degs & Sal Bracelets, from left Miansai Cartier ON LUK A
Suit $2,813 Haider Ackermann + Boots (this page) Haider Ackermann T-shirt Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Top ring Maison Margiela Other jewelry, vintage
When I began doing Buster Poindexter down at Tramps on 15th Street, the musicians I was playing with, they were all degenerates. If you left them to their own devices, God knows what you were gonna get. Maybe a bathrobe. So I thought weâ€™d go with suits. Ëœ dav i d j o h a n s e n
David Johansen A.K.A.:
Buster Poindexter YEARS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS:
Lounge act (as Buster); New York Doll (as David) THE SUIT:
An unfuckwithable combination of classic style (windowpane plaid) and legendary fashion designer (Dries Van Noten) Suit $1,960 Dries Van Noten + Shirt Dolce & Gabbana Pocket square Polo Ralph Lauren Glasses Tom Ford
Evan Peters OCCUPATION:
X-Man. (He plays Quicksilver in X-Men: Apocalypse.) THE SUIT:
Denim. On denim. On denim. [Americanflag emoji.] Suit (three-piece) $1,740 Polo Ralph Lauren + Shirt and pocket square Polo Ralph Lauren Bracelet David Yurman
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne OCCUPATION:
Designers, Public School HOME TURF:
New York City (obviously) THE SUITS:
Call it suit sharing among friends. Dao-Yi wears a royal blue jacket and navy pants; Maxwell, the opposite. MA X WELL SAYS:
“Our suits are always really easy. You can be on the move and be comfortable. For instance, it looks like Dao’s wearing a suit, but really it’s a T-shirt, a blazer, and knit sweatpants.”
YOU CAN’T REALLY CHANGE TOO MUCH ABOUT A SUIT— IT’S A JACKET AND PANTS. BUT THE LITTLE DETAILS? THAT’S WHERE YOU MAKE IT FEEL NEW. ˜ da o - y i c h ow
F R O M L E F T, O N D A O -Y I
Blazer $1,100 and pants $395 Public School + Cap Public School T-shirt (opposite) Gap Watch IWC Sneakers Jordan Brand ON MAXWELL
Blazer $945 and apron pants $495 Public School + Sunglasses Oliver Peoples x Public School T-shirt, vintage Watch IWC Sneakers Converse Styled by Madeline Weeks. Beckham’s hair and grooming by Barry White at barrywhitemensgrooming.com. All others’ grooming by Carrie LaMarca using La Roche-Posay. Hair by Thom Priano of Garren New York for R+Co. Set design by Juliet Jernigan at CLM.
THE GOOD LIFE he’s a designer. a suitmaker. And a shopkeeper. But more than all that, Sid Mashburn is a man who has remade his world according to the slightly twisted notion of the modern gentleman he has in his head.
Sid Mashburn’s Impeccably Tailored Universe by Elvis Mitchell
WILLIAM & SUSAN BRINSON
T HE G OO D L I FE
GROOMING: CLAUDIA MEJERLE ROGERS
S Sid Mashburn is more than just a menswear shop. “We’re in the hospitality business,” says Mashburn, “and we’re trying to build community.” Whether you go in for a handmade suit (or to have your old suit refitted by the in-house tailor), some hand-dyed Tretorns, tortoiseshell frames, or a cold beer, you’ll be treated like a guest, not a mark.
ome people bring their work home with them. You might suppose that Sid Mashburn is one of those guys—the man was born with a name so brand-ready he basically had to become an entrepreneur. But for the long-limbed and quick-to-smile creator of the rigorously assembled yet completely relaxed clothing line and expanding series of men’s stores that bear his name, the membrane that separates work from home is so thin and porous that it’s nonexistent. How permeable? On a picnic table in his Atlanta backyard is a sea of denim Tretorn sneakers, each pair a subtly different shade of blue. The shoes are baking in the mid-afternoon Georgia sun because Sid has run all of them through his home washing machine. His wife, Ann—together the couple have five daughters, and her women’s boutique adjoins Sid’s place— shrugs bemusedly. He’s gonna do what he’s gonna do. The whole equation of Mashburn’s endeavor is something he carries around with him constantly, developing it through interaction and conversation—it’s an aesthetic that’s both fully formed and a work in progress. It’s probably why his home, a loving accretion of furniture and acquisitions he and Ann have culled over their three-decade-plus relationship, has a comfy-chair elegance. And, as with their stores (Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Washington, D.C.; and a booming e-comm operation), you wish you could own much of the stuff this couple have collected. The most welcoming part of a visit to Sid’s is that the Mashburn perspective doesn’t engender envy, as some retail enterprises (or, for that matter, homes) do. Nor do you end up feeling the aggression that sometimes informs southern fashion enterprises—the fratty rugby elbows that say, “You, buddy, don’t belong here. Keep it moving and don’t let your nose smear the window.” Rather, Sid’s warm-blooded openness just makes you want to want to kick it with him. Yet Sid’s most formidable characteristic might be his generosity—it grows out of his curiosity, which he wears as a form of assurance. What’s his is yours, and—again—all areas of his life intersect. Example: As we’re sitting in his living room, he points out a desk that he’s owned for more than a decade. I notice that the finish on the beveled edges of the desk chairs matches the finish on the Sid Mashburn tassel loafers he had made in Italy. Turns out, the cobbler told
Sid that giving the shoes such a finish was unnecessary and, moreover, the strap of suede that attached the tassel shouldn’t be as long or as visible as Sid was proposing. Sid smiles and notes that he agreed with the craftsman. But he got what he wanted anyway without confrontation; it was a conversation about ideas and philosophy that won the shoemaker over. There’s something blissful about Mashburn’s conviction, gentility, and ability to connect. He’s a born communicator, and isn’t that finally what style is all about?
An afternoon at Sid Mashburn, Atlanta ELV IS M ITC HEL L : What kind of stores did you shop in when you were a kid? S I D M A S H B U R N : The stores I grew up in were the kind of stores where, when you walked in the door, it was like, “Elvis! Where you been, man? Make yourself at home.” They were really open to the whole community. Those kind of stores are going away. There’s no succession plan. Not ’cause the store owners don’t want one; it’s just that the kids don’t necessarily want to be in the business. They don’t want to work on Saturdays, you know? I mean, this is hard. You’ve gotta love this to do it and do it well. The chain stores will never act like the local independent specialty store. They will never get into the hearts and minds and lives of people. They’re too big to act local. My grandparents owned stores in a small agricultural community in Pelahatchie, Mississippi, which is not even on the map. They had a hardware store, a clothes store, and a furniture store. And they served the whole community. There was lots of layaway. [laughs] Their role was to make a living, not to get rich—to take care of the community and do something they loved to do.
And I’m sure they were in the town square, weren’t they? Yeah, just off Main and Main. And what’s interesting about our stores now is we—it’s a little bit like a frat, but everybody gets a bid. So, a guy comes out of the dressing room at our store on Saturday; he’s got a sleeve of tattoos, and he’s getting his Levi’s fitted. Then, the managing director of an important law firm is in the next dressing room. He comes out and they look at each other like, “What are you doing here?” The guy with the sleeve of tattoos, he was a roadie. He’s a music guy, and the managing director of the law firm plays guitar in a band, so all of a sudden we’re helping people connect. We’re all a hell of a lot more related to each other than we purport to be. So, in a funny sense, we’re a service business. So, how did this whole enterprise begin? My wife was working at Vogue when we met. I was working at British Khaki. We both came from design. But what we put into this space—something that comes through with maturity—is the idea that the experience is super important. The service is super important. The quality is paramount. And then the value is important. Because whether you spend $65 on a pair of Levi’s or $15,000 on a handmade suit, either is going to deliver for a long time. Everybody’s idea of value is a little bit different, but we want you to always feel like you got more than your money’s worth. We used to carry a lot of [Brunello] Cucinelli apparel. Which is like a really high price point for you, right? Super-high prices. A man came in who was a farmer, but a very well-to-do farmer. Could’ve bought and sold
â€œMusic, sports, and clothes defined my youth,â€? says Mashburn. â€œThereâ€™s always some music going on in the house.â€? The drum set was a gift from his wife, Ann (pictured lower right), and five daughters. While the interior of the Mashburn house maintains a tastefully genderless decor, donâ€™t be mistaken: â€œItâ€™s like estrogen city,â€? he says. â€œAnyplace I go to carve out as my own gets colonized by the female culture.â€?
Although Mashburn has expanded to Texas and D.C., with new locations in the works, he first fine-tuned his store in Atlanta over six years. The family home is just a couple of miles from the Westside flagship.
our store a hundred times. Heâ€™s very successful. Heâ€™s in the poultry business. Heâ€™s a country guyâ€”very nice, very quietly elegant, but not a fancy dresser or anything. He went straight to a Cucinelli down vest. Cashmere. And he went to turn the tag over and my stomach just dropped. Itâ€™s, like, an $1,800 down vest. Iâ€™m like, â€œHow in the hell did I have an $1,800 down vest?â€? Now, was it worth it, based off of the economics of Brunello Cucinelli? Absolutely. But you know what? One of the reasons we got into this business was to make fashion and nice things more accessible to more people. In the end, Iâ€™m just a guy from Mississippi that likes nice stuff and wants to share it with everyone. Our version of that vest now is $500. Brunello Cucinelliâ€™s a good guy. They have a great product. So I donâ€™t mean to cast a negative stance towards that. Itâ€™s just that, for us, it wasnâ€™t right. As I see it, our job is to provide solutions for people so thereâ€™s economy of mind, time, and money. Okay, the economy of mind is that weâ€™ve made the choicesâ€”Iâ€™ve been doing this for 40 years. Iâ€™m cool with only offering two brands of jeans. The economy of time is getting you in and out of here as quickly as possible. â€™Cause youâ€™ve got more fun things to do. Now, we make it pretty nice in here. Weâ€™ll give you a drink, we get you some good music, we donâ€™t harass you. But oftentimes, a beautiful day like today, I want to either go exercise or go do something with my kids.
And then the economy of money is, weâ€™re direct. I buy the fabric. I buy the buttons. I contract for the manufacturer, so Iâ€™m skipping the wholesale markup and coming straight to the consumer. Or, in this case, our friends who are our customers. My style icon has always been Sidney Poitier. And I love that you have the Virgil sports jacket in your line, named after Poitierâ€™s Virgil Tibbs from In the Heat of the Night. Heâ€™s the man. My other jacket is called Kincaid, after my dad, and the third is called Landry, after the coach. I hated the Cowboys. I was a Vikings fan! Anyway, I love Coach Landry, who said his job is to get men to do things they arenâ€™t inclined to do, to achieve what they want to achieve. Thatâ€™s my role here. The Virgil is the first jacket we built. Back in the â€™60s, the suit that Sidney Poitier was wearing was loosely based around the idea of a sack jacket. Undarted, single vent. And when I say undarted, in a way that means youâ€™re kind of unvarnished. We took that idea: natural shoulder and also the three-button, rolled to two. So weâ€™ve got guys who say, â€œShoot, man, I do court in south Georgia. I canâ€™t show up in side vents and tailored all tight, you know? I need a jacket with a center vent!â€? <RXVDLGWKDWWKHLGHDRIWKHZKLWH/HYLĹ?V\RXVHOObLVWKDW WKH\Ĺ?UHEDVLFDOO\WKHFKHDSHVWIDVKLRQDPDQFDQEX\ULJKW"b Yeah. It really is your entry. We wear them year-round. Guys come in here, and we go, â€œYou gotta get a pair of
“It’s super important for me to have the foundation,” Mashburn says. “I can dress pretty well in any place that I show up, from Manhattan to Milan to Morocco.” His personal collection includes the wardrobe standards (blue jeans, gray trousers, navy suits), as well as a few pieces with unique character (Justin cowboy boots, a handwoven shantung tie from India, and a handkerchief embroidered by his wife).
Sid and Ann met in New York when she was working for Vogue and he at British Khaki. “We helped find each other’s design voice,” he says. Over the years, they’ve collected an eclectic mix of pieces for their home and stores, but they keep plenty of open space in both.
these.” And they’re like, “Never.” And then we finally get ’em on them, and then they wear them, and they want more: “I need a second pair!” Because you wear them with everything. So the weight, mentally, allows you to wear them in the wintertime, because they’re warm enough, but also I’ll wear them in the middle of the summer. I don’t feel like it’s too hot to wear a pair of these jeans. I’m noticing that there’s not a lot of black in the store. We don’t sell black. Except for a tuxedo, a black cashmere sweater every now and then. We’re actually going to have a black suit next year for the first time. But black just tends to go a bit funereal or real fashion. So we like dark charcoal. It’s a tad softer and a little bit more versatile. What did you learn in the first week of opening? When somebody crosses over the threshold of our store, they’ve said, “I want to find out about you.” So when someone invests their time in us, I feel the responsibility to deliver. It may just be a smile. It may just be a Coke. It may just be a beer. It may just be an encouragement. Maybe just an introduction. Doesn’t cost anything. I mean, it’s really about responsibility, isn’t it? It is. Also, our prices tend to be better on products of the same ilk, ’cause we’re making it in the same factories, using the same fabrics and raw materials that the best of the best are using. You know, we use a particular calf out of France—it’s the finest calf in the world. We use alligator from tanneries that are used by you-know-who. We don’t really cut corners. We’re looking to add corners.
A morning at Sid and Ann’s house, Buckhead So, who found your house? A NN MA S HBU RN: A Realtor who we had for about five minutes. S M: I bought it without seeing it. A M: We wanted a pool, because in Atlanta, it’s so hot in the summer, and we’re totally not club people. You get so burnt out at the end of the week. We just needed a place to chill. And I really wanted a house that had a kitchen that was crummy, because I really wanted to renovate a kitchen. And that I got to do. It actually looks a little bit like the store. A M: Yeah, it is like the store. We trade stuff in and out. SM: We probably spend more time, though, on developing and designing and outfitting the stores than we do on the house.
WHEN SOMEONE INVESTS THEIR TIME IN US, I FEEL THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DELIVER. IT MAY JUST BE A SMILE. IT MAY JUST BE A COKE. ˜ s i d m a s h bur n
A M : Yeah, definitely. And also it was, like, we were broke. Not broke, but we just put our own stuff in the store to spend less money when we first built it up. SM : This is a nice, beautiful house. But I’m self-conscious of it, to be honest with you. I don’t want to give people the wrong impression, but the truth of it is, there’s only three bedrooms in this house. It’s not lavish.
How far is the house from the store? SM : Ten minutes, and ten minutes from the office. This is a thing that’s interesting: New York, if I had gone back and done this there, I would not have lived outside of the city. I think you gotta live in your store. I think you can’t act local; you gotta be local. We have core values, and the core values are hopefulness, helpfulness—those were the first two things I encountered when I came to Atlanta. ’Cause everybody here was hopeful: “Today’s a good day, and I think tomorrow’s gonna be better.” And helpfulness doesn’t know boundaries here in Atlanta. “What can I get for you?” “What do you need?” “How can I help you out?” The other piece that rounds it out is humility, and the combination of all of that together leads to honor. ’Cause we’re trying to build a location where you have honor in what you do. And it doesn’t get any higher than serving people. Martin Luther King said you don’t have to be Socrates, you don’t have to be Aristotle, all you have to do is have a heart to serve. That’s it. And when you can do that, you don’t have to worry about pay, you don’t have to worry about anything. It will come back to you in some form or fashion. Cool thing is, I get to do it in product I love. E LV I S M I T C H E L L has hosted KCRW’s pop-culture interview show, The Treatment, since 1996. He likes clothes.
CARS & WATCHES
Sync Your Machines ANDREW BETTLES
Audi RS 7 $106,500 3.7 seconds HORSEPOWER: 560 TOP SPEED: 174 mph 0–60 MPH:
Cartier Drive $6,250 41 mm MOVEMENT: In-house L AUNCH: May 2016 WIDTH:
ƭơƞƧƞư ƞƱƞƜƮƭƢƯƞ ƬƭƚƫƭƞƫƤƢƭ For decades now, the surefire way to project that crystalclear corner-office image has been to get the big German sedan and the regal watch— and hire your first wealth manager. That’s still pretty much true, but the brands are shifting. The new move is Audi—the RS 7 takes the sedan to deranged levels (174 mph!). And Cartier might be best known for making women melt, but its Drive is masculine as hell and sits as nicely on your wrist as the RS 7 does in your new reserved parking spot.
The first rule of style is this: know yourself. Once you’ve got that down, every choice you make will send a clear, strong, consistent message. That’s why we think your car and watch should, well, not match, exactly— but share a certain spirit. Here, GQ Style and Hodinkee founder Benjamin Clymer choose four pairings that are dialed all the way in. GQStyle
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 $49,500 CAS E : Platinum MANUFACTURED:
Glashütte, Germany P OW E R R E S E RV E : 72 hours
ƢƟƲƨƮōƯƞƠƨƭƚƭƚƬƭƞƟƨƫƝƢƬƫƮƩƭƢƨƧ Do the fusty tastes of the establishment make you retch? If so, this pairing’s for you (and any newly minted Silicon Valley billionaire). Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne has detonated the once ironclad wisdom that said if it’s not Swiss, it’s second-tier. And Tesla has exploded the assumption that if it doesn’t run on gas, it runs (and looks) like a Prius. The P90D even has a supercharge setting that’s called Ludicrous mode. (High five, Elon Musk.)
Tesla Model S P90D $124,000 2.8 seconds (in Ludicrous mode) R A N G E : 265 miles TOUCHSCREEN: Huge 0–60 MPH:
B ROW N B I R D D E S I G N
ƠƨƨƝƟƨƫƬƭƞƚƦƫƨƥƥƞƫƢƧƠƭơƞƜƨƦƩƞƭƢƭƢƨƧ Picnic date on a glacier? Strap on your IWC and hop in your Range Rover Autobiography. Both are as rugged as tanks, without any of the rough edges. The inside of this Range is more like the interior of a Bentley, with handstitched leather seats and an actual-factual mini-fridge. The IWC Mark XVIII, meanwhile, is as sturdy as it is beautiful—and is resistant to temperature, water, and magnetism, too.
Range Rover Autobiography $144,995 35.4 inches I N T E R I O R S P E A K E R S : 29 M I N I - F R I D G E : Included
IWC Mark XVIII $3,950 WAT E R R E S I STA N C E :
Splash-proof Royal Air Force pilots STR A P : Santoni calfskin
Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona
P R O P S T Y L I S T ( C A R S ) : N I C O L E M CB R I D E
About $200,000 Y E A R : 1968 REFERENCE I.D.: 6241 R A R I T Y: Extremely high
ƩƮƭƲƨƮƫƨƟƟƢƜƞƢƧƭơƞƫƞƚƫƯƢƞư You’re doing it right if you can break out a Daytona and an oversexed Italian sports car when you’re off the clock. Especially when the watch is a 1968 “Paul Newman” Daytona—the holy grail of vintageRolex collecting. Newman supposedly got one when he took up racing, which is exactly what you’ll want to do with the 4C Spider—an aggressively styled, superbly nimble, and very, very quick car.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider $65,900 4.1 seconds C H AS S I S : Carbon fiber T R ACK- R E A DY: Hell yes 0–60 MPH:
MUSIC’S FIRST FAMILY Bob Marley took reggae, Rastafarianism, and the singular culture of jamaica worldwide— but what do you find when you look past the smoke clouds and clichés? Booker-winning novelist Marlon James considers the real (and very stylish) soul behind the image.
Meanwhile, in a rare photo shoot, we caught up with Bob’s living legacy: the marley sons, daughters, and grandchildren who are keeping Tuff Gong tougher than ever.
mean, you can’t help but wonder. When a black man—yes, a rock star, but still a black rock star from the so-called Third World—struts onstage in a way that makes a peacock seem bashful, in a brown leather vest and pants, tripping on ballsy, risking ridiculous but still coming off regal, prophetic, almost like the Lion of Judah he sang about, you gotta wonder, where did all that come from? The swagger, the attitude, the don’t-try-this-at-home fearlessness. Well, if you were Bob Marley, you picked it up from hanging out in the most fearful place you could think of: a graveyard. In Jamaica even now, duppies (ghosts) are some serious rassclaat bizniz, so nobody treads into a cemetery lightly, not even in the daylight. Rewind, then, to the early 1960s, when Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh (already harmonizing as the Wailing Wailers) are under the visionary tutelage of Joe Higgs, one of reggae’s first true geniuses and a man with a nose for bringing out talent even in people who didn’t know they had it. As a test of their mettle, he wakes them up at 1:30 a.m., drags them off to the May Pen Cemetery, final resting place of many a rude boy, and dares them to put on the performance of their lives. Higgs’s mad logic was actually sound. If you could get through playing for the dead and the undead, you could stand up to anybody. Marley even got a classic song out of it, “Duppy Conqueror.” By the time Marley moved from Nine Miles up in the St. Ann hills to Kingston in the late 1950s, eventually falling in with the Studio One crowd in the mid-’60s, he wasn’t yet a singer but already looked like a star. In his earliest photo, it’s almost all there: The hard stare, lips in a near grin. Attitude masking bashfulness, because Marley’s biggest secret was that he was actually shy. And of course the sharp blazer, maybe his only one, and the casual white shirt, rakishly open. It’s like looking at a photo of Joan Jett, or David Bowie, or Keith Richards as a kid: That thing, that star thing, is already there. Cool, but not yet with a groove. And Studio One, near the dividing line between ghetto and good-life Kingston, popped out an assembly line of stars like a tropical Hitsville, though a better comparison might be
Stax, just because of the raw, mercurial power of the up-andcoming superstars who paid their dues cutting tracks on wax. By 1964, Studio One was making hits and history, detonating ska on the cool kids in Kingston, the U.S., and the UK, then ushering in its slower aftershock, rocksteady. And when Marley finally got his star turn in a vocal group—part mod, part Motown—he, Bunny, and Tosh made sure they looked the part. That meant slim ’60s suits perfect for slipping into the cocktail parties they were never invited to, then turning the whole place out with a rude-boy ska step. Living in Trench Town, then one of the worst slums in the world, didn’t mean you couldn’t have style. But it did mean money was so tight that you usually had only one chance to make it work—because those extra six pounds sterling weren’t coming around again for weeks, and the reason you were fashion-model thin was because you hadn’t had dinner in a month. If you were just one of the many singers, musicians, and hustlers hanging around Studio One, downtown, desperate for your big break, money would sometimes not come at all, even with hits on the radio. So that shirt had to count. That jacket had to roll just as hard at a 10 p.m. party as it did at 10 a.m. church. There had to be 99 ways to rock that one pair of jeans—and those Clarks shoes were yours only until somebody stole them. Style meant making unmatchable things match, because what you’d got was all you were going to have for a while. A voracious student of music, Marley enrolled in his own college of sounds, devouring the records that Studio One head Sir Coxsone gave him. Marley studied them like sacred texts and instruction manuals, burrowing through each groove on his way to himself. Just like Zimmerman went through Guthrie to get to Dylan, and Jones went through Dylan to get to Bowie. By 1964, the Wailers had a hit with “Simmer Down.” But by 1966, music-industry bullshit (big hits, little money) tore the trio temporarily apart. Then three things happened that changed everything. First, Bob took a break from music and went to join his mother, who had moved to Delaware. He worked in a DuPont lab and a Chrysler factory. Nothing like being away from your true love to realize how much you missed it, and Marley sank even deeper into music, passing days in his mom’s basement playing guitar. Around this time, he picked up a fashion sense that was equal parts genes, attitude, and a factory worker’s budget—big enough to leave Jamaica for a while, but not big enough to stay in the States. Check out a ’66 photo of him in the street, wearing a tight black leather jacket over a working-class hero’s overalls (from the factory job?) and a gray knit cap, and you find yourself wondering if he was spending his meager paycheck on a stylist. The overalls would become one of his signature looks, an un-rockable thing that he made rock.
The next time you’re in Ibiza, make a pilgrimage to Plaza de Toros, where Bob performed in 1978 on his Kaya tour, his first trip to Spain.
He had opened for Sly and the Family Stone and Bruce Springsteen. Soon he was opening for nobody, everybody having learned what a big mistake it was to let Tuff Gong jump the stage before you. Natty Dread brought the cool kids, and Live!, tracked from a blistering set at the Lyceum in England the following year, brought everybody else. Check the footage from around that time and you see a man almost impossibly cocksure. The ’70s were made for album rocking, nonstop touring, and fashion rule-breaking, and all three were made for Marley. Rastaman Vibration broke into the Billboard Top 10, landing at No. 8. He was selling out tour dates all over the planet and landing on the cover of every magazine. Better yet, he was the rare man who could pull off anything. For his iconic 1976 Rolling Stone cover, he wore a sweater-vest. Nobody had made a sweater-vest cool since…well, nobody. Thirty years before Kanye, Marley was apparently cribbing prep style and rebranding it all shades of black. The truth is deeper—he wasn’t actually taking from prep. He was cribbing from what prep cribbed from, the private-school English gent at leisure, ready for work and play in his wool V-neck. About to play a spot of cricket, maybe. Marley could rock a sweater-vest as if Jamaica never hit 96 degrees in the shade. Part of that might be conditioning. Jamaicans in the UK always shipped “barrels” back home, usually full of clothes (trench coats, sweaters, and winter boots) that made no sense in tropical weather, but Jamaicans rocked them anyway. For the Natty Dread cover photo, he’s even wearing a turtleneck. The blistering Jamdown heat might have had something to do with Bob’s perfecting casual cool. At home, Marley dressed like he was up for a soccer match, which he always was. It didn’t matter if he was wearing ’70s shorts and a T-shirt or head-to-toe sweats: Marley did the job of making Adidas cool long before Run-DMC made it permanent. He might as well have been sponsored. The hits kept coming, and by that we don’t mean the songs. That’s him hitting the stage again in denim on denim. Or a windbreaker in Rasta red, green, and gold. Bomber jackets and big cowboy buckles and a Fair Isle sweater. Tight military shirts matched with loose bell-bottom jeans. An Adidas tracksuit from head to ankle—but on his feet, spit-shiny dress boots. Him throwing a poncho over jeans because he’s in Gabon, bredrin. Caps and berets cocked off to the side. By December 1976, some people thought he was saying too much. An ultraviolent year in Jamdown culminated: Two days before his Smile Jamaica concert, gunmen broke into Marley’s house in Kingston, machine-gun fire blaring, and shot Bob in the chest and arm, Rita in the head, and his manager four times in the groin. Miraculously, everybody survived and the concert went on, but all the confidence that even gunmen failed to snuff out may have been what finally did him in. Marley started taking bad advice. A doctor told him in 1977 that curing his toe cancer was just a matter of outing that damned spot; he patched on a skin graft and proclaimed Bob cured. By 1980, the cancer had spread, and the next year he was gone. But by that point his influence was everywhere, and not just musically. His style DNA passed down through punk rockers like the Clash, straight to Bad Brains, Lenny Kravitz, Wyclef Jean, and Gary Clark Jr. When hip-hop went Native Tongues, the rappers looked like Marley children—and when the Marley children grew up, they looked like updates of big papa. He still stands as the most convincing and exciting rock star in a decade chock-full of rock stars, in huge part because he had something to say, but also because he looked so fucking good saying it.
T H E S E PA G E S : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S .
A family portrait circa 1972, with (from left) Rita, Sharon, Ziggy, Stephen (in stroller), and Cedella.
Second, after returning to Jamaica, Bob became a Rastafarian. There’s enough written about Rastafari, so no need for a crash course here, but along with faith and purpose, it gave Marley a profound sense of self. He knew who he was and what he was supposed to do. And that spunky individuality spilled right over into his fashion sense, from the proto-Afro on the Catch a Fire cover to the ultimately leonine dreadlocks that reached all the way down his back. He was simply obeying his Nazirite vow to never cut it, but millions showed up just for the cool hair. It also turns out that in addition to being central to his faith, the red, green, and gold Rasta colors worked well for him, especially together. The guys at Studio One didn’t like Bob’s conversion any more than Berry Gordy liked Marvin Gaye turning serious around the same time, so Marley cut the place loose and found a new scene. Third, he teamed up with Lee “Scratch” Perry, who himself was no slouch in the style department. Reggae’s wild man (known for sporting a pink beard into his 80s and burning down studios when they ran out of vibe) pushed the Wailers from a group to a band and even gave them his own rhythm section, the Barrett brothers. No producer before or since brought out so much of Marley’s feral side. In less than two years, the Wailers were the most spellbinding band in music. They were the band rock ’n’ roll didn’t know it needed, sounding like sex but shooting for something higher. Their 1973 appearance on the musical TV program The Old Grey Whistle Test was their Ed Sullivan moment, and Bob seemed to have known it. The show’s unstuffy setup (in a studio behind an elevator shaft) and sometimes not-quite-there host, “Whispering” Bob Harris, belied that Grey Whistle was a crucial pop groundbreaker, bringing Cat Stevens, Judas Priest, and Heart to the British audience just as they were breaking in the States. The band looked impossibly smooth, as if the gig didn’t even count that much, and everybody brought their style A-game without appearing to try. Controlling lead guitar like he just left Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew band, Tosh wore a skullcap, a plum trainer jacket, and shades. Marley himself looked like a rocker. And he pulled it off by again doing that thing that most of us can never do, making an unworkable thing work, wearing denim on denim, notoriously difficult to pull off if your name wasn’t Marvin Gaye or if you didn’t just walk off the set of Badlands. This was Marley moving on to wild and loose. His underrated way with an Afro. That big gold pendant, bouncing off a dark shirt flanked by a light denim jacket, and shades as if he’d stolen them from Tosh. Those crazy patchworkquilt pants and explorer hat, a badass move considering that the shot was taken in serious rudeboy-gangster territory. Huddled in a parka like he came from Brixton, not Kingston. After Grey Whistle, and after Tosh and Bunny left in early 1974, Marley was on his own and could do anything. He brought in backup singers the I-Threes, including his wife, Rita, and created his core band. Still signed to Island Records, he started dropping brilliant albums as if running out of time, first breaking through with Natty Dread in 1974.
SCIONS OF THE LION by Edwin “Stats” Houghton
Ziggy Marley AG E :
Conscious Party (1988), produced by members of Talking Heads If the world’s expectations ever fazed Bob’s firstborn son, he’s never let it show. “I don’t carry any weight,” he says. “This is a family. Whatever we are is the same way we grow up—nothing has changed, really. Each individual role is important.” He sees himself less as a patriarch than as a “voice of reason.” Still, there’s a clear “hierarchy of the elders, the adults, which is Cedella, me, and Sharon (the oldest). Stephen is a bridge to the younger ones, who wasn’t around Bob a lot.” If anything, his siblings’ success—both in their own ventures and in shepherding the Marley brand— has freed him to be more personal in the studio. His 15th record, Ziggy Marley, is out May 20. “It’s the album I’ve been most hands-on with: engineering, mixing, songwriting. I put all of myself into it.” Tuxedo $3,695 Dolce & Gabbana
E R I C R AY DAV I D S O N
Shirt $600 Jeffrey Rüdes
Cedella Marley AG E :
SHE’S A BUSINESS, MAN:
Cedella spearheads Tuff Gong enterprises and cannabis brand Marley Natural, among other projects The glue that holds the family together, Cedella is the undisputed queen bee, the driving force behind the many businesses that bear the Marley name.“It’s a family discussion,” she says, “but whatever business ventures we get into, I’m the one who has to deal with whoever we partner with on a day-to-day basis.” Although she’s authored children’s books and collaborated with Puma to design the Jamaican 2012 Olympic uniform, most of her work fits into the bigger family picture. “Anything I do is for Marley. That’s what I wake up for, to help build this empire that I promised my parents I would from when I was, like, 10.” That mentality underlines a fierce work ethic to match the Marleys’ creative ambition. “When Mummy and Daddy were on the road all the time, they were workin’,” Cedella says. “I didn’t see them really take a day off. We weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouth. I’ve grown up fightin’.” Jacket and skirt Etro
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley AG E :
M U S I CA L RO L E :
Ambassador to the streets Born to Tuff Gong and the beauty who won Miss World in 1976, Jr. Gong has always been the outlier of the musical Marleys, if mostly for generational reasons. “You have to remember,” Damian says, “Ziggy is ten years older than me. So I grew up with dancehall and a whole different set a influence.” Until recently, he’s been more apt to use the scratchy voice he shares with his father in a vocal style that’s more rapping than singing—laying it over a Skrillex beat, collaborating with Nas, or spitting gritty rhymes on his instant-classic 2005 record Welcome to Jamrock, which spawned a monster hit in the title track. (You know it: Out in the streets, they call it muuuurder.) Still, Damian says, “I was kind of missing that real live roots reggae sound.” So his next album, due later this year, will include “more ballads, more singing…more what you might think of hearing from my brothers.” Shirt $595 and pants $795 Ralph Lauren Shoes $495 Florsheim x Esquivel
Stephen “Ragga” Marley AG E :
E S S E N T I A L S U M M E R JA M :
“All Night,” his collaboration with brother Damian The younger of Bob and Rita’s sons and our host for this photo shoot, Stephen performed onstage with Bob at his legendary Zimbabwe Independence concert at the tender age of 8. At Reggae Sunsplash ’81—the year Bob passed—he bravely dedicated “Sugar Pie” to “all the pretty girls out there.” It was a precocious preview of his adult catalog, known for smoldering duets, including “No Cigarette Smoking (in My Room)” with Melanie Fiona and “In Love with You” on Erykah Badu’s LP Mama’s Gun. Big brother Ziggy describes him as “the bridge” between the kids who knew Bob and the Marleys who came after, and Stephen lends production to many of his siblings’ releases from his Lion’s Den home studio. This summer he’s slated to drop his own album, Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, which just might win him his ninth Grammy. Robe $5,990 Tom Ford Loafers $820 Fratelli Rossetti
TO P R O W, F R O M L E F T
Rohan Marley AGE :
B OT TO M R O W, F R O M L E F T
Ky-Mani Marley AGE :
Julian Marley AGE :
MOST RECENT ALBUM:
The films Shottas and One Love
Seven children, five with Lauryn Hill Suit $1,045 and shirt $165 Boss
Jacket $3,495 Ermenegildo Zegna
Jumpsuit $2,195 Valentino Shoes $1,660 Berluti
Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley AGE :
Grandson of Bob, son of Stephen
Karen Marley AGE :
Fashion Dress Missoni
Shirt $600 Jeffrey Rüdes Pants $1,100 and shoes $795 Salvatore Ferragamo
Robert “Robbie” Marley AGE :
Graphic arts, motorcycles Vest $245 Boss Shirt $385 Burberry Ring Degs & Sal
Skip Marley AG E :
Son of Cedella, grandson of Bob, grandnephew of Marcia Gri∞ths (of I-Threes fame) He may’ve grown up in the definitive musical family, but it wasn’t until one night on his uncle Stephen’s tour that everyone realized Skip had the knack. When he got onstage for a chorus of “One Love,” Cedella says, “it was like a jaw-drop moment.” That led to his debut single,“Cry to Me,” which sits upon a skittery postTimbaland modern R&B track. Currently working on an EP (and fresh off appearing in a Gap campaign), Skip has the eerie ghost-of-Bob rasp that is his birthright, filtered through a kid who loves “Kendrick Lamar, Coldplay, Major Lazer, and Diplo.” Coat $1,495 jacket (beneath) $995 and pants $595 Calvin Klein Collection Loafers $730 Gucci Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu. Ziggy’s hair and grooming by Hee Soo Kwon using Fresh, Inc. Cedella’s makeup by Rebecca Warren.
Bob performs in 1976, the year he released his Top 10 album Rastaman Vibration.
TRAVEL While we heartily recommend soundtracking your whole summer with reggae (more on that soon), there’s one thing music alone can’t replicate: a pilgrimage to Jamaica. Port Antonio, to be specific, where you’re worlds away from the cheesy resorts, and right in the thick of pristine private beaches and a decadent castle called the trident. A A RON FEAVER
Around Town in Port Antonio OPPOSITE PAGE
Jacket $1,750 Bottega Veneta Swim trunks $275 Isaia Hat $750 Berluti Sunglasses $599 Mykita Necklace Degs & Sal Bracelet Miansai THIS PAGE
Her dress Nili Lotan Necklaces throughout Dolce & Gabbana Fine Jewelry (cross) A.P.C. (octagon) Bracelet HermĂ¨s OPENING PAGES
Skirt and sandals Dolce & Gabbana Bikini top Louis Vuitton Swimwear
On the Secluded Beach at Frenchmanâ€™s Cove OPPOSITE PAGE
Tank top, vintage THIS PAGE
Swim trunks $220 Charlie by Matthew Zink Her bathing suit Peter Pilotto 159
T H I S PAG E
Blouse Dries Van Noten Hat Berluti Sunglasses Mykita O P P O S I T E PAG E , TOP LEFT
T-shirt $195 Burberry Shorts $510 Louis Vuitton TOP RIGHT
Robe, hotel’s own C E N T E R R O W, FROM LEFT
Her bathing suit Emilio Pucci Swim trunks $255 Isaia Her bathing suit Dolce & Gabbana Shirt (blue) $580 Gucci Vintage jeans Levi’s Sandals Barbara Shaum Hat, vintage B OT TO M R O W, FROM LEFT
Suit $2,050 Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Red dress Edun Her white shirt Louis Vuitton Vintage jeans Levi’s Her orange top Edun Skirt Adam Selman Heels Mansur Gavriel 160
At the Trident Hotel and Castle T H I S PAG E
Her top Dries Van Noten Panties and ring Louis Vuitton Bracelet Hermès Watch Patek Philippe O P P O S I T E PAG E
Polo shirt $420 and suit (jacket in bag) $1,495 Boglioli Espadrilles $195 Ralph Lauren Bag Bottega Veneta Watch Piaget Sunglasses Mykita Her top, pants, and belt Hermès Heels Mansur Gavriel Hat, vintage Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu. Hair and makeup by Taryll Atkins using Chanel and Oribe.
Annie McGinty and Wesley Herron are a real-life couple from Los Angeles. She models; he’s a DJ. Follow them on Instagram: @anniemcg and @jungle_rot_.
ESCAPE THE BIG TOURIST MACHINE When you announce a trip to Jamaica, the standard response is: Negril or Mo Bay? Here’s your answer: neither. Port Antonio, where Errol Flynn once hosted glamorous postwar bacchanalia for Hollywood starlets and the playboys who loved them, is a pristine swath of North Coast that couldn’t be farther from the island’s beer-chugging springbreak scene. There are a few legit spots to stay, but we like the Trident Hotel and the castle next door, which channels the nearby Flynn estate’s bygone old-world grandeur. It’s within striking distance of town, where you have to eat at least one lunch at Piggy’s Jerk Centre, famous for the all-the-way-authentic jerk chicken. It’s also a short drive from the epic private beach you see here, Frenchman’s Cove ($10 entry fee). We promise no one there will try to sell you a damn Rasta Mon beanie. The evening is all about cocktails on the hotel veranda followed by sunset on the sweeping steps a couple of hundred yards downhill at the castle. For dinner, hit up Mike’s Supper Club, where somebody will likely be playing jazz on the Ferrari red 1917 Steinway. For your Jamaican-music fix, check out Cristal Night Club, where the biggest records from Kingston get rewinds alongside Drake and Rihanna’s dancehall homage “Work”; the Red Stripe, Guinness, and Red Bull are all flowing… and hey, if you can’t find any good ganja, well, maybe you’re on the wrong island. —BENJY HANSEN-BUNDY
THE FOUNDATION: 10 CLASSIC LPS FROM REGGAE’S GOLDEN ERA by Edwin “Stats” Houghton
Jimmy Cliff The Harder They Come Y E A R : 1972 Simply put, reggae as a global phenomenon begins with The Harder They Come. Before most people outside Jamaica could tell you who Bob Marley was, Cli≠ put the world on notice that something explosive was happening in downtown Kingston, with his role as Ivanhoe Martin in Perry Henzell’s 1972 film. The equally iconic soundtrack was built around songs Cli≠ wrote for the film, but is rounded out by a who’s who of reggae’s first wave, including Desmond Dekker and Toots & the Maytals.
100 MINUTES OF WILD JAMDOWN STYLE Author Marlon James on the film ‘Rockers’ Back in 1975, Ted Bafaloukos flew to Jamaica to make a reggae documentary. By 1978, he had a feature called Rockers. Don’t bother watching for the plot (poor dude buys bike, rich Mafia-ish dude steals poor dude’s bike, poor dude steals bike back)—you watch Rockers for the dazzling feats of Jamaica’s fashion imagination: sweatervests, tracksuits, sweater-vests with tracksuits, suits tailored for a wedding but put to better use at a party… The fashion bull’s-eyes fill every frame, especially near the end, when the heroes assemble one by one, strutting into the scene like it’s a catwalk. Rockers seems styled without a second thought (or a first one). But believing that would be a bad misread of the deliberately risky choices that happen with black glamour. And an underestimation of the Jamaican genius for using what you’ve got to Beau Brummell on a budget.
Horace Andy Skylarking
Y E A R : 1972 This release from pioneering singer Horace Andy—a man with a spooky, melismatic, highly influential vocal delivery full of vibrato arabesques—represents the transition from an era in which Studio One dominated with rocksteady (a sound heavily based on jump blues and Motown) to the post-1968 era of reggae proper. The title cut became Andy’s signature tune, seeing countless remakes, including his comeback collaboration with Massive Attack in the ’90s. You couldn’t start your reggae collection on a better cornerstone than the debut full-length from this most influential of artists.
Bob Marley and the Wailers Catch a Fire Y E A R : 1973 Marley’s catalog is deep. But if you had to pick one shining moment as his Camelot, you’d set your time machine for 1973. The Wailers, a Motownstyle harmony trio in the rocksteady era, had absorbed enough influence from Lee “Scratch” Perry to step out as a proper reggae outfit. On a trip to London, they persuaded producer Chris Blackwell to front them the cash to cut their own album. The result? “Stir It Up,” “Kinky Reggae,” “Concrete Jungle”—and the genre’s most fully realized album statement to date.
King Tubby King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown Y E A R : 1977 With apologies to Pu≠ Daddy, Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock and his contemporaries actually, factually invented the remix. By the late ’60s, it was standard for a Jamaican 45 to have an instrumental “version” on the B side, but it was Tubby and his peers Lee “Scratch” Perry and Ruddy Redwood who made the engineer’s mixing desk a soloist’s instrument in its own right, transforming the composition with extreme use of echo, spring reverb, and fragmentary snatches of vocal melody. It was the birth of dub as reggae’s parallel art form—and one that really demands its own Top 10.
BIRTH OF A LEGEND: STUDIO ONE by Scratch Famous of Deadly Dragon Sound Studio One is the most important record label in Jamaican history. Started by ghetto entrepreneur Sir Coxsone Dodd, it captured the Zeitgeist of a newly independent Jamaica by releasing the upbeat, homegrown sounds of ska. As the music evolved to the more soulful sounds of rocksteady and finally to reggae and roots, Studio One was at the forefront. It helped that relative to other early label owners, Coxsone had a high tolerance for a Rastafarian presence in his studio. 165
The Congos Heart of the Congos Y E A R : 1977 Lee Perry may be best remembered for mentoring the Wailers. But his finest album statement is with this lesser-known harmony trio. The album was recorded in his legendary Black Ark studio at the height of his dub experimentation—before Perry supposedly burned it to the ground and refused to work with Rastafarians.
Third World Journey to Addis Y E A R : 1978 Michael “Ibo” Cooper and Stephen “Cat” Coore formed the backbone of not one but two of Jamaica’s great reggae bands: Inner Circle and Third World. With the latter, their mission seemed to be to connect their devout Rasta philosophy to the soul and disco sounds of the wider world. Their cover of “Now That We Found Love” surpassed the O’Jays’ original to become the definitive version, providing dance-floor catharsis to generations of clubgoers. This album is best described as “picnic jams til infinity.”
THE ART OF THE SLOW WIND Ri-Ri and Drake’s unstoppable “Work”
Althea and Donna Uptown Top Ranking Y E A R : 1978 In 1977, teenagers Althea Forrest and Donna Reid had an accidental hit when their playful response to another deejay’s version of an old Alton Ellis song was inadvertently played on UK radio—and promptly went No. 1 on the pop charts. Producer Joe Gibbs quickly pulled together an album that paired the duo’s breezy singsong with backing tracks by the Revolutionaries. Though often dismissed as one-hit wonders, they had a sound that’s still addictive decades later—and proved influential by establishing the demand for female voices in reggae and the blueprint of childlike voices over tu≠ riddim.
There’s a moment in any reggae dance when the jockeying for position is over and dancers lock in with their chosen partners. A qualified selector will recognize the moment is ripe for a “slow wind” tune, and grinding commences in earnest. Things get serious—and much quieter. (Hey, the room is only a few flimsy scraps of cloth away from an orgy.) The day Rihanna dropped the video for “Work,” the odd intimacy of this uniquely West Indian phenomenon was extended to the entire Internet. Though often categorized as Tropical House (a thread of EDM drawing heavily on Afro-Caribbean rhythms), “Work” sounds equally like early 2000s dancehall, when Afro-Caribbean riddims drew heavily from EDM. Whichever way the influence flows, “Work” succeeds by identifying the magic elixir that’s kept reggae at the top of the playlist summer after summer: sweat.
Scientist Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires Y E A R : 1981 If Tubby presided over dub’s birth, it became a movement with Scientist’s ’80s releases. His concept albums are full artistic statements that are far better remembered than the vocal tracks and albums they remixed. They also influenced a whole host of UK sub-genres (trip-hop, drum-andbass, etc.). Each song, or dub, works as a miniature revelation unto itself—psychedelic moments outside normal conceptions of time. They also serve as distinct reminders that summer is not just for sunbathing and sunset cocktails on the beach—it’s also for watching ganja smoke waft slow-motion through tropical moonlight.
T H E S E PA G E S , P H O T O G R A P H S : S E E A D D I T I O N A L C R E D I T S . I L L U S T R AT I O N S : A N T O N Y H A R E ( 4 ) .
SOUNDCLASH IS MY SPORT by Walshy Fire of Major Lazer The Field: outdoor dancehall arenas. The Equipment: extremely loud sound systems. The Score: You have to master three things. Speech, or the MC’s personality on the microphone. Riddim, or the way the MC’s vocals ride the tempo. And Tune, or the way the vocals translate the dub to the listener. The measure of victory? Receiving the bigger “forwards” (audible crowd responses), which is equivalent to scoring a goal. Most forwards wins, and if it’s close, we go to sudden death, or as we call it, dub fi dub. Best of seven or eleven—and done. Trophy presented. After the clash, everyone looks for the reviews and audio online just like score results on ESPN.
Hugh Mundell Africa Must Be Free by 1983 Y E A R : 1978 Hugh Mundell might be reggae’s brightest star that never rose. From 1976 to ’78, the teenager recorded a series of sterling rockers tracks, including “Africa Must Be Free,” “My, My,” and “Where Is Natty Dread?” Mundell wouldn’t get a proper album release until 1983, the same year he prophesied African liberation—and the same year his life was ended by gunshots fired into his car in East Kingston. Mundell was only 21. Who knows what he might have accomplished had he lived to 31?
Dennis Brown Revolution Y E A R : 1985 Before his death in 1981, Bob Marley declared Brown the “crown prince” of reggae—and Brown was one of the few frontmen with the artistic depth to carry such a mantle. While his smoother singing style means he’s often remembered for his infectious love songs, this set collects his more socially and spiritually conscious work with “riddim twins” Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, a.k.a. Sly & Robbie. The producers’ trademark gun-clap snares echo through Brown’s angelic vocal on “Revolution,” “Promise Land,” and “Get Myself Together (New Style)”—three highlights of the genre that are equally moving in a dance, at a soundclash, or at a Sunday barbecue.
T U FF G O N G L I V E S O N
For our exclusive shoot, the children and grandchildren of Bob “Tu≠ Gong” Marley gathered at Stephen Marley’s Lion’s Den home studio in Miami. Back row, from left: Ky-Mani, Skip, Stephen, Rohan, Julian, and Joseph. Front row: Damian, Cedella, and Robert.
E R I C R AY DAV I D S O N
Additional Credits Page 28. Clockwise from top left: Josephine Schiele (3); Winnie Au; Josephine Schiele (2); Jim Marshall Photography LLC.; Josephine Schiele; Adrian Gaut; James Ryang Page 30. Peter Mazel/ Sunshine/ZUMA Page 32. Clockwise from left: Nabile Quenum/ Jaiperdumaveste; Terry O’Neill/ Getty Images; Acielle/ Styledumonde; © SKREBNESKI PHOTOGRAPH; Adrian Boot/UrbanImage (3) Pages 48–49. Left: courtesy of Glen Allsop/Ring Jacket. Other photographs: courtesy of Ring Jacket (4). Page 50. Dillon: Everett Collection Page 54. Jagger: Jim Marshall Photography LLC. Runway photographs, clockwise from top left: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage/ Getty Images (2); Catwalking/ Getty Images (2). Page 55. Top left, silver bracelet: Miansai. Leather bracelet: Degs & Sal. Top right, belt: Scotch & Soda. Bottom left, bracelet: Degs & Sal. Bottom right, watch: Tiffany & Co. Bracelet: David Yurman. Page 56. Left: courtesy of Our Legacy. Right: courtesy of Frida Marklund (2). Page 57. Courtesy of Erik Wåhlström (4) Pages 62–63. Courtesy of Common Projects (7) Page 66. Top, from left: Giles Keyte/Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection; Kevin Winter/Getty Images Page 68. Courtesy of Herman Miller Pages 72–73. 1–4) Matt Martin Page 74. Karsten Moran Page 75. Courtesy of Ralph Lauren Pages 76–77. Clockwise from left: Lutz Jaekel/Laif/Redux; courtesy of Davide Lovatti/ Armani; courtesy of Dsquared2; courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana; courtesy of Attilio Maranzano/ Fondazione Prada Pages 84–85. Top row, from left: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Runway Manhattan/ Invision/AP Photo; James Veysey/Camera Press/Redux;
Joe Schildhorn/BFA; NYC Pictures/Runway Manhattan; AFF/Runway Manhattan. Middle row, from left: Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash; Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/ Getty Images; Axelle Woussen/ Bauer-Griffin; Chris Ashford/ Camera Press/Redux; Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris; Joseph Marzullo/WENN. Bottom row, from left: Axelle Woussen/ Bauer-Griffin (2); NYC Pictures/ Runway Manhattan; Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images; Vince Flores/AFF-USA; mpi200/MediaPunch. Page 96. Pieter-Jan de Pue Page 97. Ivan Terestchenko; Fernand Léger’s Le profil noir © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Page 99. From top: courtesy of Lionsgate Films; Nicolas Mathéus Page 100. Pieter-Jan de Pue Page 101. 2) Courtesy of Jesper Ray/Dinesen. 4) Courtesy of RH Modern. Pages 102–103. The Selby Page 104. Laziz Hamani Page 105. 3) Courtesy of RH. 4) Courtesy of Jeffrey Cross/ Heath Ceramics. Still lifes: Josephine Schiele (6). Prop stylist: Mary Ellen at Mark Edward Inc. Page 143. David Burnett/ Contact Press Images Page 144. Dennis Morris (3) Page 145. Newscom Page 153. Pictorial Press Ltd./Alamy Page 164. GAB Archive/ Redferns/Getty Images Page 165. From top: Ian Dickson/Media Punch; Beth Lesser/Urban Image Page 166. Top: Adrian Boot/ UrbanImage Page 167. Top left: Jeff Roth. Still lifes: Josephine Schiele (9). Records courtesy of Justin Kelley, Deadly Dragon Sound System, and the author. Pages 168–169. Far left, blue shoes: Berluti. White jeans: his own. Far right, blue sneakers: Bottega Veneta. White linen pants: Brunello Cucinelli.
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