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CEO, Founder and Editor-in-chief


SEPTEMBER 2017 We looked back at one photographer as inspiration for this issue. Bruce Weber. In the late 90’s (I was 16) I learned about Abercrombie & Fitch. This world was new, but familiar. I grew up in a very conservative home and those A&F Quarterly’s were well, shall I say it? Sexy AF. I admit there was a lot of skin in that ‘fashion catalogue’ but his images were playful, iconic, and beautiful. I somehow saw my life, or at least the aspirational version of my life reflect back at me when I looked at his work. I would later work at both Abercrombie and Hollister stores while making my way through college and graduate school. For almost 5 years I was surrounded by large work by Bruce Weber. In between teaching teenagers how important it was to fold a denim wall perfectly or greet every customer I was learning Bruce’s way. Studying his light, the casting, locations, and trying to meet anyone who had modeled for the coveted quarterly. I was a fan. Celebrity photographer John Russo had an idea that was very Bruce. He wanted to do a big casting of models in LA, shoot them in several sequences, very All-American. Our Endless Summer cover story takes you sailing and to the football field where we capture those final fun days of Summer. Next, is The Ivy Leaguers. Another tribute to Mr. Weber. Bruce call me. This shoot started with mood boarding from old movies like Dead Poet’s Society and School Ties, then we scoured the internet for old A&F Quarterly photos. Photographer Michael Del Buono and Stylist Alison Hernon brought this vision to life; a massive undertaking. The cast of models take on smart and sexy personas perfectly and are ready for fall semester. This issue is full of fall fashion inspiration for all our readers. Enjoy Autumn Treasure by Styler Director Gregory Wein will tempt you to go totally luxe this season, and wait till you see the Tommy sweater. I want it. We teamed up with talented photographer, Kevin Jude on Never Autumn shot on location in Miami. Don’t miss the exclusive fashion film for the story available on manofmetropolis.com, now. We also introduce you to some heavy hitters in fashion like Carlos Campos and Nick Graham, both whom have navigated the winding road of fashion and relevancy to be staples in men’s fashion. Rounding things out in this issue we introduce you to some incredibly talented guys across fashion, film, music, and art. September. It’s always been beautiful to me; just like a Bruce Weber story. Seth 4 MAN OF METROPOLIS


Igee Okafor


Legend of the Fall

Oh, Play That Thing!

Undressed by Mario Testino





The Ivy Leaguers The Ivy Leaguers

Endless Summer

Master Lucas


120 1148



Artist On Fire

168 132

Luke Guldan

134 Luxury Goods

52 Never Autumn 5


SAM PAGE In the first episode you get it on in the Elevator and in Bed with costar Meghann Fahy where her character is “using you for sex”. What did you do to prepare for the scene? We imagine you skipped pizza and doubled up on the gym? I wish I could say that I had the self discipline to quit eating the things I love, like pizza. However, I did double up on distance and frequency of my cycling rides, my main form of exercise. Also, I got back into doing pilates again. The result of the added exercise was that I got crazy hungry, and wanted pizza even more. You play a lawyer and board of director at a women’s lifestyle magazine. You wear a suit, clearly you are ‘the handsome type’ (pun intended) and your character is having an affair with a young assistant. Wow. All of that is revealed in episode one. What can you tell us about Richard Hunter’s character in the show; and how did you avoid the trip falls of playing a character that some might say is a staple character in an office setting in the big shiny city? Richard takes his job very seriously, after all, he has hit a pretty high level in the company at a relatively young age. However, with any character I get to play, I always start by looking at who they are on paper, within the confines put forth by the script, and then think of exceptional abilities or inherent qualities that could most interestingly explain their circumstances. With Richard, I took his rise to the top of his industry at a young(ish?) age as an indication that he was an exceedingly talented lawyer. Once I decided on that, I figured he wouldn’t be too serious of a person in general. That then opened up the possibility of him being a fun person, someone who Sutton could really fall for, and who, on a very real and deep level, fall for her. That’s a very long-winded response, but I guess it’s my way of explaining how I took creative license so as not to make the character a cliché or run of the mill. The Bold Type came out this Summer, and received rave reviews instantly. When did you know it was doing well and how you celebrate? From the jump, I always had a calm and optimistic feeling about the show. It was always evident that there were enough talented people in every photo by Tony Duran

department to really elevate what were already outstanding scripts. There was never a doubt that we would deliver a very good version of the show we set out to make, but what you hope for and cross your fingers about is that people get it; that it resonates with them. It’s not just enough to entertain, you really want to engage for success, I think. When the early reviews came in it certainly seemed that we had accomplished what we had hoped. As far as celebrating? We were going to work every day in an environment where we all got along so well; both personally and professionally, in the middle of summer in Montreal. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we were in a fairly constant state of celebration. Our readers also know you as Connor Ellis from House of Cards; another iconic series. You have starred in some incredible shows in your career; but most people rave about working with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as actors on set. Tell us about the call/email when you got cast. This show was HUGE from episode 1, and you were in an entire season. We know you are a professional actor -- tell us about day one on set, or the table read. What was the energy like, were you nervous, and did you chug a beer when you wrapped day one? After my first day of shooting on HoC, I walked into the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, where my hotel was, and treated myself to a cold one and smashed a bunch of boiled crab. It felt really good. I am so grateful for having been on that show. I got to work with two people I’d always admired and wanted to meet, let alone work with - David Fincher and Jamie Foley, who directed half of the episodes I was in. So wonderful to work with him. And then of course there was Fincher, who was really only there when I was to film the promos. However, a little over a year later he cast me again in a series for HBO about the music video industry set in LA in the early 80’s. Unfortunately we got cancelled in the middle of shooting Episode 7 or something. Another starring role you play now is father to Logan, your son! Congrats btw. He is about to be 1, right? What is it like being a dad? Any related duties to actor? We assume not much sleep like some days on set. Ha Ha, yes! Logan is a hair away from 1-year.

Being a father is my favorite role yet. It’s intimidating as hell; fear of failure is ever present, and the audience is fickle to say the least, but no applause could ever feel better than a smile, a hug, and kiss from my son. Also, much more improv than any role I’ve had previously. When you are not being dressed by a stylist on set for a role, how would you describe your sense of style? Do you shop at usual stores, online, does someone shop for you? I shop for myself, occasionally asking my wife if something works (or doesn’t). I don’t love shopping online, because I hate returning things. My sense of style is classic with a modern twist or two. I’ve been a sneakerhead for a longtime; dating back to when the original Air Jordans came out. So it’s usually some kind of dark jean and a very dark solid tee. The accent pieces are always the shoes. Maybe some glasses. You have walked a lot of Red Carpets. Can you tell our readers how you decide on a suit/tux and how much time goes into getting ready? Oh yeah, and what do you eat before you get in the limo, (nothing or like an in-&-out burger etc etc) Hard fast rule: if the situation allows for a tux, and you have one that fits nicely and can tie your own tie, you go tux. If its not a tux situation, then a suit if you must. If it’s either a suit or a tux, I can get ready, shower notwithstanding, in under 10 minutes, inclusive of tying the tie. However, any events for a show like “The Bold Type,” where my character is ALWAYS dressed in suit and tie, I will only wear dressed up casual. I don’t ever want the people watching to feel like I brought the character. I don’t usually eat anything before an event as there will inevitably be remnants of it in my teeth. When you are not playing Richard, or Greg, or Connor, or all the roles you are filming now; what is your hobby or down-time like? We know you have a small baby, so if the answer is netflix, or take a nap we won’t judge. ;) In the last 4 years I have gotten big into cycling. It’s my exercise as well as a distinct form of therapy. Most of my rides in LA are practically all climbs into the mountains, since I live at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains. You get a continued page 151 7

AQUA RUSH HOUR WeHo Aquatics - Waterpolo Team


Culture | Art


Lucas Murnaghan is a water photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He has worked as a photographer in and around water for the past three years. His early work focused primarily on surf and adventure photography, and he has always preferred to be in the mix, shooting from the water. He has travelled to four continents shooting in major breaks around the globe. He has worked closely with a variety of surf brands and has provided in-water photographic coverage for major international competitions, including the Rip Curl Pro Tofino and WSL Soup Bowl Pro. He has published his work in numerous publications and has staged two gallery shows. His early work in surf photography has recently transformed into underwater explorations. He has worked with swim and water polo teams providing competition coverage as well as lifestyle work in and out of the pool. His journey has further evolved to fine art and editorial photography in the underwater realm, and he has worked with several brands and subjects to create evocative and ethereal images. An accomplished triathlete and free diver, he works without additional SCUBA equipment, allowing him a deeper connection to his subject. This personal and organic approach allows for greater versatility in his shoots and a heightened level of intimacy in the finished product. Lucas brings a fresh eye to a challenging medium and brings his audience below the surface to see things from a novel


Culture | Art

What is your fascination with water? Where do you think it came from? Though it’s likely a cliché - I’ve always been a water baby. My mother is from the Caribbean so I guess there is a genetic component, and we certainly were always in and around the water as kids. Swimming, sailing, kayaking, canoeing - we’d get wet whenever we could. I worked as a lifeguard and ran the boating area of my summer camp as my summer job during high school. My brothers and I used to play games in the backyard pool trying to hold our breath for the longest, or creating our own imaginary underwater worlds. I’ve always felt a sense of calm from being in the water. Maybe it’s the silence, or the disconnection for reality - but I guess that has persisted through into my photography and hopefully translates in the images I create. You started shooting adventure and surf images, it seems the underwater fine art images have captured everyone’s imagination including ours, why do you think? Or what has been the feedback? My water photography absolutely started with surf photography. It was where I first put my love of water and photography together. I was lucky enough to shoot in some amazing places around the world, and continue to get a huge thrill out of the places, people and adventures that in-water surf photography brings. The underwater shots truly came out of a desire to shoot more often. I live in Toronto, and so for a few months of the year, shooting outdoors in water gets a little tricky! I approached our University swim team and the Triggerfish Waterpolo Club. Both were enthusiastic about giving me a chance to get in the water with them to capture some images. What started as a more literal approach evolved into more conceptual or editorial shots as I began to allow a dormant artistic side express itself. I became fascinated with the physical effects that water had on light and the human form and kept wanting to push further to explore what was possible. As I became more enthusiastic about my work, I was overwhelmed with the response that others had to my shots. I realized that I was connecting on an emotional level in a way I had never been able to before and I found that so therapeutic and rewarding. Everyone has some connection with water, be it positive or negative - there is nothing more rewarding than to hear how my images resonate with my audience personally and emotionally. Tell us more about the underwater process, and subjects you choose? I’m always scheming about my next shoot. Sometimes it’s quite passive, in the back of my head or concepts or images come to me as I lay in bed at night. One of my mentors told me that when you are kept awake by your creative process, you know you are on to something and I can assure you I’ve lost many hours of sleep imagining shots that I have created. I am a scavenger for locations, as I don’t have a regular underwater studio like some photographers do. As a swimmer, I’m also as fascinated by the pools as I am by my human subjects and try to choose locations that will add to the images environmentally. My early subjects were friends, or friends of friends - and more recently has evolved through social media connections and the like. I’m not above cold calling someone that I think would be great to work with and have learned more about rejection with this than I ever cared to know! I take my time with my subjects now, I find that with greater connection and creative collaboration comes more powerful images. I’ve been very lucky to get to work with some truly outstanding individuals, many of which took a chance on me far before I had anything tangible to show them. What has been the most challenging shoot so far, what has been the most fun? One of the great things about underwater photography is that there is no such thing as an easy shoot. Though I’ve gotten more comfortable with the technical aspects of the photography, working with my subject to make them comfortable always requires a customized approach as no two individuals are the same to work with underwater. I make ‘having fun’ my number one priority with my photoshoots, as I have embarked on this as a hobby and an escape from my regular work and life. If it stops being fun, I will stop doing it - but fortunately there is no sign of that happening any time soon. In terms of most challenging,




Culture | Art

Waterpolo Club that gave me my first underwater opportunity. We managed to get 58 athletes to the bottom of the pool in unison for an image that I’m quite proud of. That certainly took a few takes, but was well worth it when we pulled it off. There is something intimate about the images; the men feel vulnerable. Was that intentional? These are two emotions that I strive for in my images. I think the water lends itself to both, and I try to amplify that through my creative direction. I think the intimacy definitely comes through the process of the photoshoots. I choose to not wear any SCUBA gear and am in the water with my subject struggling along with them. I feel that creates a bond between subject and photographer which translates through in the images. I think the vulnerability likely comes through the autobiographical nature of many of my concepts. I have learned that through my photography I can convey thoughts and emotions that I’ve perhaps never been able to express in words - and this has been deeply therapeutic for me. Any dream concepts or subjects for your underwater series? I’m always dreaming up new ideas or scheming about people that I’d love to work with. I’d hate to jinx myself by putting my wish list out there, but I do have a few individuals that I would love to collaborate with. In terms of concepts - I’m definitely working on a few collaborations which I hope will continue to push me and my photography to new depths. What are you up to now, any gallery shows in the U.S.? I’m currently working on a coffee table book and few smaller commissioned pieces and collections. I also have a gallery show in the works, and would love to bring my work to a few American stops after launching here in Toronto.


Knit T-shirt: DDUCOFF

Cardigan: HERMES / Sweater: BURBERRY / Cargo Pants: MONCLER / Boots: MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION 15




OSHRI Proof positive that chance encounters and competition television can propel talented individuals into the spotlight, New York Citybased singer Oshri has a burgeoning music career producing work that seamlessly blends influences from across the globe. With his reputation solidifying and profile rising, we spoke with him to learn about his greatest inspirations, unique creative process and passion for giving back. Your career took off when you won the South African TRACE Music Stars competition. What was the experience of competing on such a large platform? Do you feel that it prepared you for your career today? Yes. My dream was always to move to NYC and pursue my music career, but life and reality took me away from it. Winning the competition gave me the push I needed and the confidence that I could actually make it happen. The experience had pressure, but it was because I knew it was an opportunity I could not miss and that I had to give it my all. Wyclef Jean was your mentor during the competition and you’ve mentioned that part of the reason for your move to New York City was to continue working with him. What is your relationship with him like and did his mentorship continue post competition? Wyclef has an important role in my career. He is the reason I came to the States in the first place. After winning, he gave me a call and told me how much he believes in me and how unique my talent is. He said I should come as soon as possible to work with him. There was no doubt. I just packed my stuff and moved. We worked together closely in his home studio the year after the competition developing my sound. He is a phenomenal artist, mentor and he believed in me from day one. How have your life and career changed since making the move New York? I had a fulfilling life in South Africa--friends, business, home...and suddenly I had to leave it behind and make a complete new start in New York, which was very difficult in the beginning. That

photo courtesy Carolyne Teston

struggle made me confront a lot of demons, but it made me grow a lot as a person and artist. My life today is amazing with lots of friends for life. I created a new home for myself. Career-wise, from writing alone at home in South Africa, I now have the privilege of working with top singer/songwriters such as Mike Campbell who wrote “Say Something” by Christina Aguilera and Great Big World and artists such as Wyclef and Akon. I could never get access to people like that anywhere else in the world. Were you always drawn to a career in music? Did music play an important role in your childhood? Yes definitely. I’ve sung since I was 9 years old, and my first writing experience was when I took cartoon opening songs and wrote new lyrics to their soundtrack. You’ve noted that your French and Middle Eastern heritage has had an influence on your musical style. How do you think those influences have expressed themselves? I grew up listening to a lot of Middle Eastern and French music, which are two different worlds. I feel like the biggest way I incorporate where I’m from is by the way I sing and my riffs and the quarter notes that are part of the Middle Eastern scale. I bring that into the contemporary pop music that I love doing. How does the songwriting process begin for you? Is it always the same? No, it’s not always the same. It might happen by setting up a writing session and in the session we might just talk about what’s going on with me and my life and take it from there. Or sometimes I come prepared with something specific I want to write about. But it can also be as spontaneous as a hang at a friend’s place where something is said or a note is played that leads to the birth of a new song. Do you feel as though your work ever comes

to a state of completion? Or is it a perpetual work in progress? It never feels complete. Even when I release the song and it’s on radio, I still feel like this or that could have been done differently or that a word could have been in a different spot. You always think things can be better. The work reflects where you are, and you always grow, so you feel the work should always grow. How would you describe your specific sound? Do you think it’s evolved since you began working professionally? Oh, yes. I would describe my sound as edgy pop with some Eastern spice. It’s definitely evolved as the years go by. I’ve become more focused with my music. Now, more than ever, I know what I want to say, how I want it said, and to whom I want to say it. What drives you to create music? What makes it something you want to share with others? The thing that drives me to make music is the understanding of how powerful music is and how big of a change I can make with my music. Most of the time, I try to share my point of view of life, lessons I’ve learned, experiences I’ve had or opinions I have so other people can hear it and get inspired or feel better about themselves. I try to change people’s set belief systems and I like to break social boxes. What artists would you count among your biggest influences and what made them have such an impact on you? I grew up listening to Celine Dion. The way she treats her voice and her big songs and dedication made a great impact on the way I do things today. What role does social media play for a modern music artist? Is it something you enjoy engaging with? The role social media plays is that it’s an amazing platform to personally engage with your fans and to have full control of the content you share with them. I feel like with social media today, an artist has to be authentic. People have to see who you are, what you do and what you like. In the past it was different in a way that record labels would pop out artists that


were like products. And yes, I like being on social media, but I also hate being on social media at the same time. When you put out a new project, do you still feel a certain ownership over it or does it become something shaped by the listening public? For me, releasing a song means basically to give it away. When it’s out, it belongs to everyone and I’m the legal owner of it, that’s it. The music industry is known to be in a great deal of flux at the moment. Has that affected the choices you’ve made when it come to outreach or deciding how to release new music? You can get really confused with everything that’s going on at the moment, but I decided to stick to what I feel is right for me, using my culture and the sounds I grew up with. If anything, I feel like you can be braver these days. Keeping in shape seems to be very important for

you. What’s involved in your regular routine and how do you motivate yourself to stay fit? I go to the gym at least four times a week and do yoga every weekend. I drink plant-based protein supplements and stick to a healthy diet with mostly vegetables and fish. Working out and eating healthy is a lifestyle, it’s not something that has a timeframe. It’s forever. By not being healthy, I’m letting myself down and that’s the biggest motivation for me! It’s like going to school: you can miss a day here and there and it’s ok, but dropping out? That’s a different story. Looking through your website makes it evident that charitable endeavors are very important to you, particularly the NGO Imagine Scholar. What draws you to that work and what made you choose to collaborate with this specific organization? I grew up poor in a very small town far away from everything. I had no one to guide me through life and teach me how to become successful at

anything. Where I’m from, dreams were a luxury. I found my way thanks to the love and values that my mom gave me, but so many kids out there don’t get to have that and they end up lost, not knowing what they want to do with their lives or how to if they do. The fact that I ended up doing what I love is a gift and I feel responsible to help others to try to achieve the same. Imagine Scholar does exactly that--they run mentorship programs for kids in schools in underprivileged rural areas in South Africa, so it was the perfect fit for me. What projects can fans look forward to in the future? New songs and new collaborations are just around the corner.

Text by Martin Lerma & Photogrpahy by Carolyne Teston



MM: Regarding your new show Snowfall, what brought you to this project? JS: We’ve seen other depictions of the drug epidemics across the United States, but I wanted to give people a glimpse of a world I grew up in, 1980’s Los Angeles. The audience will both experience a perspective on the breakdown of the family unit at the hand of crack cocaine. A drug so powerful, it could pry a black mother from her own children. MM: What’s your thought about television as a mode of creative expression? How do you bring your language of cinema to tv JS: The cinematic appeal is by making sure your show isn’t paint by numbers, it’s not procedural, and your characters are living in a world dealing with real problems. That is what I aim to do in my television series, to create an experience for our audiences that they couldn’t find anywhere else. MM: Your films are both socially conscious and emotionally intimate. How do you find the balance in telling stories that are political yet personal? JS: When telling stories we have a responsibility, both to represent a history, but also share a perspective. My hope is that projects will generate a conversation amongst the audiences, especially dealing with relevant social and political topics of the day. MM: Your work maintains a deep cultural relevance, especially for black America. How do you see your films both reflecting the time they were made, and their continuing resonance today? JS: Films are changing, for a while there was an obsession with stories of gang representation, then you have movies like Hidden Figures or Moonlight that switch up the formula. The more films we make the more nuance we can add to our community’s representation. For over 25 years, John Singleton has led a phenomenal and creatively rich career, working both inside and outside the Hollywood system, defying every expectation since his directional debut Boyz N The Hood. That film, for which he became the youngest person and first African-American nominated for a Best Director Oscar launched him (along with stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut and Angela Bassett), and brought his home of South Central Los Angeles into sharp focus. His latest project, Snowfall, returns to his hometown with a wide-scope exploration into the rise of crack cocaine in the 1980s. We sit down with him to explore his creative process, his views on film and television, and the role art plays in politicized times. MM: How does your life in South Central Los Angeles inform your work? JS: I grew up in a world that molded me as person, where I saw the strain of family units under poverty, gang violence, at the beginning of a drug epidemic. Luckily, I was able to pursue a career in film, and tell stories about my community to audiences outside my own. Although much of my work is made to present to broader audiences, I am proud that I still have my office in the neighborhood and I am close with many of my friends and family who I grew up with.

MM: What do you do to cultivate your creativity? Are there things you gravitate towards? Things you avoid? JS: I think you’ve got to have an urge to tell a story, and once you find that, you will go to no end in order to complete that task. I like surrounding myself with positivity and knowledge, whether I’m spending time with friends in Miami or reading a book, the process helps me keep inspired. MM: What function does film serve today? As an art form, how does it speak differently from other mediums? JS: Film is king in the sense that people still need to sit down, for the most part, in a dark theater in order to take in your work. It is an exclusive experience that trickles down to all other formats such as streaming, television, and new media. MM: What excites you creatively? Is there something that you are responding to now in the culture? JS: This whole political state right now, it absorbs, distracts, and intrigues me. The effects of it are something that everyone has been feeling, and allows us as artists to better express ourselves. We give a clear voice to those around us, and for better or worse that voice can transcend broader audiences. 19

SUN SOAKED SATURDAY Photographer: Frederic Pinet Stylist: Veronica Garrote, Utopia the Agency Stylist Assistant: Jasmyne Boivin



Carson Blue orange and pink shorts: Rufskin Blue tinted sunglasses: American Eagle


Eduardo Dark green palm tree shorts: Hydrogen luxury swimwear Straw hat: Stylist Own Wrap Bracelet: Miansai Valentina Stripe bikini: Montce swim Jewelry: Stylist Own Choker: Stylist Own COVER: Karl: Henley: Vince, Pant: Jeans by Seven John: Top: J. Crew, Body Chain: Crave Salt

Khakis: Sacoor Brothers, Necklace: Aldo Lucas: Sweater: Vince, 23 Jeans: Models Marcus: Henley: Vince, Jacket: Jbrand, Pant: Jbrand


Gabe Orange palm tree shorts: Everest Ssles Necklace: Fender Carson Blue, orange and white line shorts: Chubbies Valentina Crochet bikini top: ÉcoltÊ by Urban Outfitters Black bikini bottom: Beach Bunny Body Chain: Crave Salt Eduardo Green shorts: Everest isles Wrap Bracelet: Miansai 25

Valentina Rashguard: Roxy Bikini bottom: Montce Red reflective glasses: Hydrogen by Jplus 26 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Gabe Blue and red shorts: Chubbies 27


Eduardo Neon Aztec print swim shorts: Chubbies Gabe Blue and red swim shorts: Chubbies 29



Eduardo Dark blue & white stripe trunks: Selected Homme Black snapback: Urban Outfitters Wrap Bracelet: Miansai Shoes: Converse Gabe White palm printed shirt: Ralph Lauren Yellow shorts: Lacoste Sunglasses: Hydrogen by Jplus Necklace: Fender Shoes: Nike Carson Floral shorts: 2(x)ist Tropical island orange shirt: Vintage 60s/70s from FlyBoutique.com Sunglasses: Vintage Shoes: Vans Valentina Orange bikini top: Model’s Own Snapback hat: Little Rio Studios Miami Short jeans: 1990s Bongos Jean Shorts Jewelry: Stylist Own Body Chain: Crave Salt TJ Woodard (Jeep Driver) Blue white and red shorts: Tommy Hilfiger Chambray Shirt: Ralph Lauren Watch: Rolex Submariner Bracelet: Fitbit Shoes: Sperry Top Siders Sunglasses: Tom Ford 32 MAN OF METROPOLIS













Special Thanks To: JBrand, Lucky, Vince, Jbrand, Gstar, Ralph Lauren, A.P.C., Theory, FHWadsworth, Michael Kors, & Levis 45




JOHN RUSSO John, we have had the pleasure of working with you for little over 6 months now and it is no secret that you are a phenom; you have captured every celebrity we can think of. Can you tell us a favorite shoot, or a funny story on a shoot with one of the Actors? One of my favorite shoots was with Sir Elton John in Zurich, Switzerland this past summer. After the shoot, he asked me what I was doing later and I replied, “My aren’t you forward.” He started laughing and said “no, no, I want to invite you to my concert tonight!” My crew and I got the VIP treatment from Elton and had the most memorable experiences. Take us back to the beginning; tell us more about John Russo the human, before he became a Tennis buff and pro photographer. I was always the most driven kid. I knew there were bigger things for me outside my town in New Jersey. I always envisioned leaving and pursuing greater things. I came to LA in 1995 and put my horse blinders on and focused on success, not becoming just a photographer, but becoming the photographer. Was it a hard road? Absolutely. But I’m always up for a good challenge. When was your imagination captured by photography, where were you, what camera did you have, give us the nitty gritty; and do you remember your first photo shoot, dark room, published work? When I first saw Madonna’s sex book and one of

Bruce Weber’s earlier books. I thought, “I can do this, and I will do this.” I started off with a Canon AE1 and my small one pack dynalite lighting kit. My first photoshoot was for a terrible magazine called Fitness For Men Only, at least I think that’s what it was called. I under exposed all the film and it was unusable but did I throw in the towel? Absolutely not, I went back to the drawing board and never did it again. But I have to say it was the most embarrassing moment. Shooting celebrities is not as easy as maybe travel photography, which you do well; how do you manage it all? I have an amazing team that keeps everything in check. I pride myself on staying calm and not letting any of it stress me out. It must be a little crazy leading up to a shoot? No it’s really not. Once again, my team makes sure everything’s in place. All I have to do is show up and execute. Can you describe the mood on set? It’s always tons of fun. We laugh, we joke, and we have a great time and we listen to loud disco music. We have a zero drama tolerance policy. Inspiration is key, and since this is the Arts Issue; we want to know how you stay inspired, energized, and keep every celebrity shoot fresh and unique to the talent?

boat, track and field. It must have been a day filled with fun, laughter and some work... Bruce Weber has always been one of my icons of photography. I have always been inspired by his work, the way he approaches his subjects and the raw spontaneity his images convey. For this shoot, I drew inspiration from his amazing body of work. Can you tell us about 100 Making A Difference? This is really cool work you do with your art, and connections. How did it get started, and what can you tell our readers about it? I’ve always wanted to do a book to highlight not just on one charity, but many. There are so many amazing human beings doing incredible things around the world. This was my opportunity to immortalize them with my photography. I started this passion project about six years ago and we’re finally finishing it up this year. It was a very long tedious process of photographing 100 philanthropic icons around the globe but once again, I love a challenge. Any famous last words; quotes to live by, or a favorite emoji? I love the quote, “In life you will meet two types of people. One will build you up and the other will tear you down. In the end you will thank both of them.” This basically sums up my experience with the entertainment industry. I also love the clapping emoji.

We’re constantly pushing our boundaries and coming up with new and innovative lighting techniques, interesting sets, and cool concepts. I’m inspired by all the other amazing photographers who have come before me and continue to do great work. How did you come up with this concept for MAN of METROPOLIS? A lot of models, a



NICK GRAHAM A Never Ending Fashiontale


By Kristopher Fraser

Nick Graham FW17 Runway Fashion designer Nick Graham boasts a rather intimidating figure, almost like the Lyndon B. Johnson of fashion (except he still has a full head of hair). Unlike the ironclad Johnson, Graham is a jokester and a creative, but the one thing he does have in common with the 36th President of the United States is that he’s a visionary. Albeit, not the conventional one. Known for his floral patterns, bright colors, and democratized approach to fashion, he makes fantasies into fashion realities. Surprisingly, he never sketches a single thing. “I tell people I don’t design, I’m just really good at pointing at things,” Graham says. “I do PowerPoints for mood boards, and I don’t use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.” He also has no formal fashion education, and didn’t grow up in any fashion capitals like New York or Paris. Rather, he grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada. His parents moved here from the U.K. and bought a ranch because they were into horseback riding. Despite his rural upbringing, he always had a great sense of clothing. When he was a teenager, he bought a sewing machine because he wanted to impress a girl and thought if he made her a dress it would win her over. “Well it worked,” he says. Unlike most young designers who dream of working for the big design houses or starting their own labels when they grow up, Graham had no idea what he wanted to do with himself. His first break came when he was 19 on a ferry in Greece and someone saw him sewing something by hand. The gentleman in question offered him the opportunity to come sew clothes for his store in Naxos, where Graham spent the next seven months of his life. From there, he returned to North America, and started a clothing store with his then girlfriend Maria Goldinger, where they sold futuristic costume style apparel. When he needed to start generating more money, he began doing ties. Their neckwear line was called Summ. The fabrics caught the attention of a buyer at Macy’s who asked him to make underwear from it. Thus, Joe Boxer, where Graham became Chief Underpants Officer, was born. “That company was a total lark, I decided I needed underwear, so why not,” he says. His unconventional approach to design has always followed one philosophy, “Design is what pushes a company forward. Great design will always sell.”

After Joe Boxer was sold to Iconix Brand Group, he became involved in various fashion projects for several years. Eventually he realized there was a void in menswear that wasn’t being addressed so he said he would give another brand a try. In 2012 he began developing his eponymous label, by 2013 the brand launched online, and by 2014 it was selling in department stores. Unlike many men’s wear designers nowadays who are going for either the luxury market or high street, Graham keeps his products at a very accessible price point because, “I believe so much in the democracy of design,” he says. “I’m not one of those designer trying to get into luxury department stores. I want inclusivity, not exclusivity.” Every show is a feel good experience for him, and there’s a reason his models are always so happy on the runway. “I tell them If they don’t smile, I’m not paying them,” he says. Since he showed at the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s in 2015, Graham has evolved his brand to take us all over the world. He’s taken inspiration from the great outdoors, Havana Cuba, and most recently he blew audience minds with his fall/winter 2017 collection which was inspired by life on Mars. “I just had this idea for what you would wear to a date on Mars, you know if we ever started living there, and the collection happened. Space is the new black,” he says. After asking his friend Bill Nye (whom he has a bowtie collaboration with) what his favorite planet was, Nye replied, “Earth, because all of my friends are here.” This led to him thinking about the ocean, which became the inspiration for his most recent collection: Atlantis. It was perfect timing, as it’s the fiftieth anniversary of Donovan’s Atlantis Record, which was used as music for the show. “We are Atlantis, we are the lost civilization, “Graham says. He describes his customer as the “perennial millennial”, a man that could be between ages 25 and 50, of no particular income level. “I like that we can sell to anyone,” he says. “You’d be surprised at how many floral shirts I sell in these red conservative states.” Over thirty years in the business, and he still hasn’t run out of surprises.


Culture | Art


Photo by 2wenty

Artist Gregory Siff was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977. He lives and works in Los Angeles. His distinct emotionalism style merges unique elements of abstraction, pop, and action painting. His artworks are included in Swizz Beatz’s The Dean Collection, Deitch Projects, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Siren Studios, Moscow Museum of Art and in the Google HQ Collection, to name a few. We sat down with the artist to talk more about his collaboration with Saint Laurent and where he gets his inspiration.


When you were a kid what forms of mediums of art were you up to? I was painting action figures to be the ones they didn’t make in the toy stores. Special Spider-Men and movie characters that didn’t exist with deco color acrylic paint pens. I’d be so exited they now existed so I’d play with the figures before the paint would dry. I didn’t care that they left paint all over my hands. I was so happy they were now real. Making things. That’s where it’s at.

Do you have a favorite artists then vs. now? Basquiat, Louisxxx, Pollock, Warhol, Haring, Van Gogh. I love the artists that live Shakespearean lives. When did you know you wanted to fuse art and fashion together?

graphics felt very cookie cutter between 20052010. Then we started to see more artists bring art back to fashion. Can you tell us when you saw things changing and what you like about it; is there a danger of over saturation?

Mostly my life and what happens in the days and nights. I like to show that in the work, tell my story.

Yes! That’s true. I saw a shift when my great brother Cyde-1 said to me “Art is the new HipHop.” Having a real artist add his comment to a project, clothing, concept opens up a pathway to communicating with the human heart. That’s why art is so important. We don’t have to worry about over saturation because not everyone comes from this place and only strong artists who are daring enough to tell their story and are rooted in their soul can be heard.

We love the “HANDSOME” sweater you did with SAINT LAURENT, can you tell us more about how the collaboration?

If you could dress a a star who needs a style updgrade with a more creative twist; who would it be?

I love it too. I wore that sweater climbing a Saint Laurent billboard on Sunset Blvd and it photographs so well at night because the metallic reflective stitching reads strong. I didn’t select this piece or the way it was presented. Handsome is a favorite and a face from one of my paintings. I was in Miami during Art Basel last year and met the YSL family. This is all Anthony Vacarello. It’s amazing.

I would put a Handsome Sweater on Kanye. I respect him as an artist and think it would suit him. He definitely is on point though.

When people started to stare at my sneakers. There is power in paint and how it commands attention. Where do you find inspiration?

Any shows coming up? Shows in NYC and also in Connecticut. I’m also excited to be at Art Basel Miami again this year.

How does it feel to be tapped by Anthony for this? We want to know where you were when you found out, how you felt, what you said out loud in response? I was in LA. I opened my email on my phone. There was no sound. Just a smile that grew and wouldn’t go. I called my manager and it was very rewarding to know all our hard work is real. And it’s being noticed and called upon. Love your work. It will love you back even greater. Fashion as it is tied to design &






photography k ev i n j u d e fashion anthonybermudez

Photographer: Jay Mathews Stylist: Alejandro Lopez Model: Kris Koslop with New York Model Management


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Culture | Music

Aaron Taos


Text by Martin Lerma & Photography by Carolyne Teston

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Aaron Taos is a rising music star who’s made waves with his unique alternative pop sound inflected with everything from R&B to rock. On the heels of a new release, we spoke with Taos about finding his sound, what he hopes to achieve with his music and what’s coming up next. How did you get started as a musician? Is music something that’s attracted you since childhood? Not really. I played in orchestra and band when I was really young in elementary school through middle school. It felt forced and I didn’t like playing other people’s music. I rediscovered guitar and along with it the fun of creating new songs, songwriting and jamming with my friends in high school. Right when I started writing songs at age 15/16, something immediately clicked. I could spend hours doing it without thinking twice. That’s the point I realized it’s something I’d love to do full time. Would you consider your work pertaining to a specific genre? Are those kinds of categorizations still useful in today’s music? Can they be harmful? I think genres are still helpful when giving someone a ballpark range of your style. I hear a lot of people say we are in a “post-genre” music landscape, and while I think that’s true to a degree, I have no problem telling someone basically where my music fits. Personally, I think my stuff is somewhere in the alternative/pop sphere with strong indie rock and r&b/hiphop tendencies. I feel like people are a lot more open to everything these days, but I don’t think labeling things in that framework is necessarily harmful. Do you feel as though your music has evolved since you began professionally? Definitely. I feel like I’m a way better songwriter than I was before. In the past, I would overthink a song too much, i.e. changing chord progressions constantly between verses and choruses and trying to fit in too many lyrics in spaces that just needed a break. I think I’m way more concise than I used to be, saying more with less. Over the last year, I’ve studied what makes my favorite songs so great and generally I’m finding that letting things sink in with space is a helpful tool. Did you study music formally when you attended Vassar or has it always been a selftaught endeavor? No, it was always a self-taught endeavor. My parents bought me my first laptop when I started college and I would spend hours and hours in my dorm room recording guitar loops into garageband. I was doing it really poorly, but looking back that was a very formative time that informed how I make music now. Later on in college, I would spend hours in the library’s digital media zone which had Logic Pro and a midi keyboard. That was another point during which I spent just so much time looking up tutorial videos on youtube and making beats in between classes and in procrastination of doing homework. After I graduated, I bought Ableton [music production software] and spent a summer learning it. That’s when I first started writing and recording my first EP “GUITS” in late 2013. Are there any particular themes that you feel drawn to again and again when looking for inspiration when writing songs? Relationships are always a pool of inspiration for me. I always sort of tend to head in that direction naturally. I feel like the best songs are written when I’m not consciously thinking about a source of inspiration in particular--it just sort of comes out with my first inclination of lyric or melody and then I go back to re-work into a story. I feel like it’s a 63


good way to tap into your unconscious. Sometimes I’ll look back at a song a couple years later and be like, “Oooooo, I understand what I was getting at,” when at the time it was more of a feeling than me analyzing it if that makes sense. Is songwriting a solo or collaborative process for you? It started out being a very solo endeavor for me. In my band in high school, we would jam and come up with ideas, but I always felt more comfortable writing at home and bringing in an idea. Over the last year, I’ve been put in more and more sessions by my manager and publishers and I’m really coming around to the whole co-writing culture. You challenge yourself to think about songs in a different way, and ultimately it can lead to something really special. Is there anything specific you hope to achieve with your music artistically? Yes. I feel like I’m almost at the point where I’m carving out a unique niche for myself in the musical landscape. It’s taken me a while to figure it out but I want to be one of those artists who you hear and immediately know it’s them; to never get lost or confused with others. For me, it’s a blend of an emotion-based quirkiness in my songwriting that I always want to come across. I’m a pretty goofy guy in normal life, so even in serious songs I don’t want to lose that part of me. As an emerging artist, how do you define success for yourself? Hands down the best success for me as an artist is when I write a new song or a chorus, verse, beat or whatever that I know has the potential to be something great. That has been, and always will be, the thing that is most special about music for me: creating something from nothing, plucking and organizing melody and words from the ether and sculpting it into something tangible. That is always the best part. What is your most potent music-related memory and how did it impact you? Picking up a bass guitar at age 15 and writing my first song in many years. It was so natural that it really made me think I could do something with that innate excitement about writing. What singers and/or songwriters from the past do you most admire? Oh boy, lots! Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys was someone who I really admired as I was starting with my band through high school. His sense of lyric and melody really connected with me as a listener and I always try to translate that feeling when I write. Besides that, I LOVE Drake. He’s someone else who I feel like just gets it in terms of songwriting and making something catchy. Growing up, I’d listen to Outkast and Nas for a deeper sense of storytelling. Now I get that feeling from Kendrick Lamar. You mentioned in an interview with the Independent that 2016 was a hibernation period for you that led up to a host of new

releases in 2017. Why was last year so quiet? 2016 was a lot of exploring for me musically and personally. I was meeting a lot of new people in the music industry and trying a bunch of things related to that whole machine. It took me a minute to go back and check in with myself that I was still writing how I wanted to write, and now that I had access to people who really could mix and produce at a grand level, I wanted it to still be me. What’s your creative process like when the spark of a new project begins? Has it evolved over the years? It’s still mostly the same. It goes one of two ways: I’m sitting in front of Ableton or my guitar or something and start plucking notes, picking sounds that give me inspiration of a feeling or melody and then go from there building out the identity of the track and then sculpting the story around it. OR sometimes a concept will just sort of pop out of the air while I’m doing something else like walking, fishing, dreaming and then I match the music to it later. Those are actually usually the better ones. Lately I’ve been enjoying working with other producers and writers who bring their own catalyst for an idea or instrumental and then I can really start fresh with whatever comes to me at the moment. Are your inspirations drawn mostly from other music or do other arts play a role as well? Mostly music. I listen to something and I’m like wow, I want to emulate that feeling or emotion in my own way. Watching movies also really gets me inspired. After watching something, I often feel really inspired to pick up a guitar to put those emotions to use. What do you enjoy most about the recording process and performing, respectively? Does one create more nerves than the other for you? Honestly, and this is going to sound funny, I get most nervous when I feel like I write something special or make a track that has a lot of potential and I’m worried about getting it “right”. So many factors go into making sure the song is produced right: am I singing the idea right, is it mixed right, will it get the right exposure or platform? For me, when I’m really excited about an idea I immediately get nervous because I want this thing to be a tangible, finished product. Demos lying around scare me. What’s the most exciting project for you at the moment? I actually just spent a whole week recording material in my parent’s home in Connecticut. I brought all my recording equipment home and took over the living room (to their dismay). I hadn’t written there since my first material in 2013, but I found myself really inspired again in taking risks and writing from a really calm place far away from Brooklyn. I’m going over all those demos right now as I’m doing this interview (I’m on a plane to Alaksa) and I think I have some really good stuff. Besides that, I have a new single [released] on July 13th called “Not Over Yet”, which is a collab track with a producer duo named TŌN out of LA. The song is the closest I’ve ever come to making a dance record, and I’m really excited to see how people dig! continued page 150

Duffel: Go Forth Goods / Sweater & Duffel: Jacket: Zara Go Forth Goods / Sweater & Jacket: Zara


Shirt: Diesel / Jeans: Zara 66 MAN OF METROPOLIS


Photos: Blake Ballard Stylist: Blaire Ballard Model: Carson Aldridge 67

Shirt: Diesel / Jeans: Zara 68 MAN OF METROPOLIS


Jeans: GAP Black Sweater: Ovadia and Sons provided by Neiman Mar-



Brown Leather Jacket: Theory provided by Neiman Marcus Atlanta, T Shirt: Levi’s

Rucksack: Go Forth Goods / Shirt: Diesel / Jeans: Zara

City Sweat Joggers: LululemonKE 71


JAMES AGUIER MM: Tell us about James at 18 years old? JA: James at 18 is as curious today as he was then. I was passionateabout style, club culture, society, NYC life and new I had to move there…which I did one year later after working in a factory and saving money! MM: Have you always worked in fashion? JA: Since I consider the way I look at life as “everything is Fashion” the short answer is yes. I am always looking, noticing, feeling trends, rhythms, and filtering everything I see and do through the lens of fashion and style. Which, by the way, are not at all the same thing. MM: Did you attend a specific fashion driven / art college? JA: I attended Danceteria, The Limelight, and the Palladium for my degree. I majored in nightlife. MM: What lead you to your position Modern Luxury? JA: A wonderful writer by the name of Rima Suqi suggested me. I had never worked at a traditional magazine and didn’t have a ton of experience on paper, but there was no doubt I could do the job and make a difference. Which has been the most rewarding. After some convincing I worked my way in. MM: Tell us about the role you play at ML? JA: My role at Modern Luxury is an amalgamation of all of my talents. I come from a visual background having designed the windows at Bergdorf Goodman along side the now iconic Linda Fargo for years. Thats why certain shoots feel theatrical, surreal and dreamy. All of the things we aspired to do in a glass box is now on the pages. I spent years interviewing designers, celebrities and industry insiders for television which gives me the comfort on set. And I acted as a creative director for a French House while living in Paris which gave me the understanding of fashion. I’ve spent years on the front fow, the last row and everywhere in between. ALL of it is in the images we create. MM: What is the most challenging thing about your job? JA: The most challenging part is fearing the dreaded creative drought. That you don’t have another idea left in you. And then BOOM it hits you. A gorgeous collection, an incredible film or and art exhibit can turn things on its head..and we start again. MM: You work with a lot of celebrities. With that comes their reps and publicists. How do you handle a publicist who thinks they are stylist (by choosing what they want)? JA: I think the publicists are doing their job and if they are great they know their clients. The truth is there is no protocol. I may think something is great and so does the publicist, but the talent doesn’t. Or vice versa. Its a creative dance. I am more than happy to collaborate on set. I always say we don’t see what the photographer sees. Sometimes its not about an outfit. Its a shoulder detail or an interesting collar. As creatives we tend to see the final product not what ids just in front of us.


MM: How do you handle celebrities who don’t understand or cooperate with your fashion direction for a shoot? To what level do you compromise your artistic vision? JA: We need talent to be comfortable, to feel it. Thats when we get the best, we are always looking for “the moment” in order to achieve that, the talent must feel engaged, not a prop. I am so sensitive to the process with which actors prepare and work and each one is spectacularly different. MM: Was there ever a moment where you simply wanted to walk off set because of uncooperative talent or reps? How did you handle it? JA: I am professional. Are there tense moments sometimes? Sure. But we are there to have people pick up a magazine, to sell a movie, or an album or television show, to enhance, support, and hopefully make an image that is lasting far beyond the summer blockbuster. I think in images and I want to be happy with them in 20/30 years. MM: How would you define your personal style? JA: I am asked this question a lot. I think to define is to limit. To say its one thing. I need to feel like wearing an insane Gucci look one day, and a chic simple Tom Ford look the next. If I had to, I would say I am a “style swinger”. MM: How do you think others would define your personal style? JA: I could never say what others say about me. I do get stopped a lot in the street with a pleasant…”nice look man” that I always appreciate MM: What is your number one fashion “no no “? JA: Take the labels of your suit sleeve and trim the threads on the vents!!!!! PLEASE MM: Who are your past and present fashion Icons? JA: The Dreamers and the Romantics Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto, Dior and Valentino MM: In the last 70 years fashion has changed significantly each decade. Which decade do you associate your personal style with? JA: This is something I do think about…it will always be right now. MM: Any plans for your own line? Or a TV show? JA: I would love a mentoring role on TV. To help, guide, steer and tell the truth about the fashion business. MM: Lastly, where do you see yourself in 10 years? JA: I see my self in Mr.Turk running around Palm Springs in my mid century dream house with my partner of over 20 years Mark Haldeman.



CARLOS CAMPOS From Latin America With Love

By Kristopher Fraser

A sit-down with OTHR founder & creative chief EVAN CLABOTS Photographer: Carolyne Teston

Carlos Campos is a designer who has taken New York’s men’s fashion scene by storm. He always has one of the most packed houses and talked about shows every New York Fashion Week: Men’s (not to mention he sure knows how to throw an after party.) From a young age, he was fascinated by design. His father owned a tailor shop when he was growing up in Honduras, and he always had this idea in the back of his mind that he would grow up to design clothes just like his father. At the age of 12, Campos and his family moved to America, and


he started taking the idea of becoming a designer more seriously. His father always had the dream of becoming a bigger designer, but didn’t have the privilege and advantages of the education and connections to get there. “There’s not a big fashion scene in Honduras, its not like now where fashion is everywhere,” Campos said. “My father was the tailor of the town, and he always dreamed of taking his business to another level. Unfortunately, he passed

away, but I did get to ask him ‘What do you mean take this to another level?’ Well, he wanted to learn more. He was that person who thought if someone was better than him, he had to learn more and do better.” This motivated Campos, and he didn’t let the sacrifices his parents made to come to America go in vain. He went on to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, where he actually studied womenswear. He began making clothes for his friends and putting on Fashion Week style presen-

Carlos Campos FW17 Runway Product: Cloth Designer: Luca Nichetto

“I don’t want to forget what or where I came from. It’s part of my DNA as a human being. I try to embrace my culture with every collection. Whether it’s a poet or writer or graffiti artist I take inspiration from, it’s all part of who I am, and it pays a big role in every collection.” tations for fun. After he graduated, he continued doing womenswear, but eventually made the switch over to menswear because that’s where his business growth was. One of the most important things for him is for his customers to feel the love he puts into every garment. On the list of things he’s most meticulous about he mentions the quarter of an inch of the right color thread, the proper dye for a fabric, and the lining color of tailored pieces. “You think no one cares about your lining color, but here at Carlos Campos we definitely do,” he says. To that extent, he also keeps his team very small, so his workforce truly feels like a family. They are involved in every aspect of the decision making process from getting the patterns made to getting the right colors from the manufacturers in Italy. Last July at NYFW: Men’s, they even came out to walk with him for the finale of his runway show. The designer’s big break came in 2010 when he was nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, which was also when his transition to being

primarily menswear happened. “Starting my career, it was hard to do everything,” Campos said. “I told myself I needed to concentrate on one line and it was going to be menswear.” Campos is now an official member of the CFDA, which catapulted him further into the spotlight. While he has built his business here in New York City, he always pays homage to his Latino roots. “I think every collection we have is inspired by a Spanish character,” he says. “I don’t want to forget what or where I came from. It’s part of my DNA as a human being. I try to embrace my culture with every collection. Whether it’s a poet or writer or graffiti artist I take inspiration from, it’s all part of who I am, and it pays a big role in every collection.” Campos says he’s not one of those designers who has to travel the world to be inspired, but traveling sure helps. For him, it’s a matter of thinking about what’s happening in the world, even the music people are listening to right now. His whole design process can take around three to four months between inspiration, color story, dealing with vendors, and finally the cutting and sewing. The biggest challenge he’s facing right now is the perception of American menswear. “People are having a hard time thinking of America as more than sportswear,” he says. “People are asking if Fashion Week is working, and designers are concentrating on other things, beyond just whether or not we are doing well. We aim to design something that is global, but truth is customers behave differently everywhere. We are trying to push the envelope in menswear, but the consumer isn’t responding. American customers take a while to respond, so how do we convey a message if people haven’t made up their mind yet?” Until they do, at least there are designers like Campos to help them figure it out. 75

Culture | Design


“Design is a continuum, a continuity of newness often evolutionary, occasionally revolutionary. I continue a lifelong commitment to push the boundaries of modern design in pursuit of achieving the very best of what’s next.” 76 MAN OF METROPOLIS


Robert Sonneman is no stranger to the world of light, design, and luxury. His works have been exhibited in museums including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York; the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; St. Louis Design Center; and the Saskatchewan Science Centre, Canada. His aim has been to make cosmopolitan American style through the use of technology and innovation. Sonneman has become a leader in the LED market for lighting and design and has his own marketplace of products on his site; sonnemanawayoflight.com. His resume is seriously impressive including collaborations at RH Modern, and former CEO of Ralph Lauren Home Product Development. With over five decades in the industry there are few like him, who exist both by shear years in the industry and passion for the craftsmanship he shares during our interview. Since the late 1960’s, Robert Sonneman pioneered modern lighting, making it an art form. “I don’t look back a lot, once it’s done it’s yesterday’s news.” said Sonneman when asked about his past work. We think that approach is what has solidified him as such a successful designer, always looking forward always looking to the future. After all looking ahead is the at the core of modern art and design. Sonneman has some new and beautiful work ready for the the marketplace, and he suggests to our readers to buy quality pieces to invest. Sounds just like fashion. Some of our favorites from the collection include his most unique and beloved designs; his Suspenders pieces, and pendants are ubiquitous to the modern man’s decor and we really like the QUATTRO LED TASK LAMP not shown in this article. The new product offerings from Mr. Sonneman are quite literally a spotlights directing us towards a path that leads us out of the dark and into very good light.



Igee Okafor

Story by Christopher Tomรกs, Styling by Brandon Murphy Coat: GANT, Shirt: GANT, Cardigan: Tomorrowland, Shirt: Diesel Jeands: A.P..C

I have always liked to describe my style as clean and classic with influences of contemporary movements in menswear. These days, I am gravitated towards a more well detailed, finished and refined look. Something that feels a little more mature. Transitioning from Summer to Fall feels right as the season gives gentlemen especially the opportunity to work with more clothing options. Getting the option to work with MORE is what I really look forward to. I’m going from lighter colors to more season appropriate color schemes. Sweaters are my ultimate favorite menswear piece. They feel so comfortable and are so warm and snug. If purchased from the right brand, they’re very well fitted and that always feels good. Style in the city is very extensive. There are very wide ranges of menswear concepts. I find more people tend to work with darker color schemes most of the time. Good style in the city is generally chic, visually enticing and aspirational. Dressing for the occasion is the best way to sum it up. I prefer dressing up over being casual. I find that I feel my best when I am wearing a three piece suit or a sweater over a white shirt with a pair of trousers. I enjoy being casual as well but getting dressed up gives me something to look forward to.


Shirt: Diesel 80 MAN OF METROPOLIS

GO FORTH Classic Sweater: H&MZara Studio Duffel: Go Forth Goods / Sweater & Duffel: Jacket:Glasses: Zara Go Forth GoodsSpecs, / Sweater & Jacket: 81

GO FORTH LEFT: Coat: GANT, Shirt: GANT, Cardidan: Tomorrowland, Diesel Jeands:Shirt: A.P.C.RIGHT: Shirt: J.Crew, Sweater: H&M Studio, Suit: GANT, Sunglasses: Vintage 82 MAN OF METROPOLIS

GO FORTH RIGHT: Shirt: J.Crew, Sweater: H&M Studio, Suit: GANT, Sunglasses: VinDuffel: Go Forth Goods / Sweater Duffel: Jacket:Suit-Krammer Zara Go Forth Goods / Sweater Jacket:Hechter Zara tage LEFT: Suede & Leather Stoudt, Shirt:&Daniel 83


RIGHT: Suit: Tomorrowland, Shirt Gant by H&M Rucksack: Go Forth Goods / Shirt:LEFT: Diesel Suit / Jeans: Zara 85


starring Ben Jordan & Tommy Hackett with Drew, Prasad, Dina, Maria, Marcus, William, Mira, Ben, & Louren

by Michael Del Buono and Seth Travis fashion Alison Hernon

Benjamin Shirt: Reiss, Navy Sweater: Reiss, Maroon Pants: Banana Republic, Tie: David Hart, Shoes: Florsheim Dina: Off-White Cream Coat: Christina Economou, Striped Blouse: Banana Republic, Green Pants: Christina Economou, Navy Shoes: Marc Fisher, Red Scarf: Turnbull & Asset

Dina: Black & white blouse: Banana Republic; Brown Jumper dress: Banana Republic, Boots: Sigerson Morrison Maria: Oversize fairisle sweater: H&M; Denim blouse: H&M, Shoes: Marc Fisher, Knee socks: American Apparel Mira: Blue Button up: Banana Republic, Cardigan: Banana Republic, Plaid Jumper: Banana Republic: Tie: YSL, White Loafer: Marc Fisher

Peacoat and Turtleneck: Ports 1961 92 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Plaid Jacket: Levis /Pants Jeans,onBoots, Ralph Lauren Boys: Shirt: Banana Republic 93

Peacoat and Turtleneck: Ports 1961 94 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Dina: Dress: Ted Baker, Loafers: Marc Fisher, Shades: Lacoste, Scarf: Turnbull & Asser Benjamin: Pants: Banana Republic, Blazer: Selected Homme, Pink Shirt: Selected Homme, Shoes: Florsheim Plaid Jacket: Levis / Jeans, RalphShoes: Lauren Maria: Blouse: Banana Republic, Blazer: Banana Republic, Skirt: Boots, BananaShirt: Republic, Guess William: Navy Blazer: Lacoste, Shorts: Banana Rebpulic, Yellow Shirt: Selected Homme, Loafers: Billy Reid 95

Denim One Piece and Boots: Ralph Lauren / Hat: Stylist’s Own 96 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Shirt: Ralph Lauren 97


Lauren: Sweater: Penguin, Grey Pant: Scotch & Soda, Navy Trench: Scotch & Soda, Shoes: Florsheim, Tie: David Hart & Co. Ben: Denim shirt: Scotch & Soda, Striped Tee: Scotch & Soda, Maroon Jacket: Scotch & Soda, Pants: Turnbull & Asser, Shoes: Florsheim, Bow Tie: Billy Reid Marcus: Shirt: Steven Alan, Navy Pants: Scotch & Soda, Green Jacket: Scotch & Soda, Shoes: Florsheim, Tie: David Hart

“It’s really a scent I really connect with its authentic, masculine, and down to earth.” Brown Suede Jacket: Ports 1961 White Thermal, Belt, Pants: Ralph Lauren 99

Tommy: Black pants: Lacoste, Plaid Green Shirt: Vineyard Vines, Puffer Vest: Banana Republic, Tie: Billy Shoes: 100 Reid, MAN OFFlorsheim METROPOLIS

Sweater, Shirt, Pants: Ralph Lauren

Drew: Pants: Turnbull & Asser, Jacket: Selected Homme, Green Sweater: Banana Republic, Shoes: Florsheim Prasad: Pants: Banana Republic, Jacket: Selected Homme, 102 MAN OF METROPOLIS Polo: Lacoste, Shoes Reiss

Hat and Striped Shirt: Ralph Lauren 103


Brown Suede Jacket: Ports 1961 White Thermal, Belt, Pants: Ralph Lauren 105

Lauren: Shoes: Florsheim, Pants: Banana Republic, Striped Shirt: Banana Republic, Jacket: Turnbull & Asser 106 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Brown Suede Jacket: Ports 1961 White Thermal, Belt, Pants: Ralph Lauren 107

Briefs: Versace 108 MAN OF METROPOLIS

Sweater, Shirt, Pants: Ralph Lauren

Marcus: 3-Piece suit and shirt by Reiss Ben: Lacoste Pants, Sweater H&M, Shirt: H&M, Shoes: Billy Reid, Jacket: Penguin

Denim One Piece and Boots: Ralph Lauren / Hat: Stylist’s Own

Shirt: Ralph Lauren 111

Hat and Striped Shirt: Ralph Lauren 113

Hat and Striped Shirt: Ralph Lauren 115


RAF’S CALVIN By Martin Lerma

When I first came to New York City in 2010, I had a list and Calvin Klein was on it. I grew up a Midwesterner determined to make a career in fashion and constantly studied America’s sartorial capital through the lenses of countless publications and websites. Klein was a childhood favorite whose soft minimalism combined with a signature neutral palette drew me in, and visiting the global flagship was essential. Eventually, I found myself standing on Madison Avenue, just south of Barneys, noticing how the architecture so beautifully framed the sole store in the world dedicated to the label’s vaunted Collection pieces. Then, the strict stone facade housing the jewel-box-like space was sliced by impossibly tall windows that revealed the stark white inte116 MAN OF METROPOLIS

rior lined with racks and sculpture-like displays intimidatingly sparse in their selection. Double faced cashmere jackets with softly rounded shoulders hung next to expertly cut trousers in the finest wool for the women while slender suits with a subtle sheen brushed up against sublime shirting for the men. It was a vision of restrained excellence. However, that time, and every subsequent visit (with the exception of one instance when acclaimed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, father of Ansel, and his team swept through), I was the only non-employee in the store. Yes, things were going to change even if I didn’t know when. Six years later, they did. Raf Simons’ appointment as the head creative for the entire Calvin Klein brand, the

first person to hold the position since Klein himself, in 2016 was a shot in the arm to an industry struggling to navigate the digital revolution and increasingly troubled sales figures. Having one of Europe’s most respected and influential designers come to New York was, for once, a positive shakeup. The changes since have been constant. Calvin Klein Collection (the designer-level tier that shows during New York Fashion Week) was renamed as 205W39NYC after the address of the company’s famous headquarters, the logo revised and ads upended. All these collectively represent a seismic shift for a fashion brand so thoroughly established, but their ramifications resonate deeper still. Before Simons came aboard, responsibility for the Collection shows was divided between

Francisco Costa who took charge of womenswear and Italo Zucchelli who took charge of mens. Both worked with Klein, the man, for years and were his handpicked successors once he announced retirement in 2003. And both were incredibly successful with more than a few blockbuster shows between them that built on the Klein legacy’s sense of purity. But after more than a decade of cranking out clothes, the whole thing had grown stale. The widely held perception in the industry was that the runway shows were fine, good even, but not necessarily newsworthy--a truly frightening thought for a fashion house of its size in the current social media landscape. Plus, rumors circulated from those with knowledge of the business that Collection never actually made any money with its minuscule distribution and high overhead, but was essentially subsidized by those famous jeans and iconic fragrances. The odd thing was that Calvin Klein’s identity was so familiar to people everywhere--the black and white imagery, aquatic scents, tight denim, sensual underwear--yet felt rudderless. It had a vision without a visionary. Once Costa and Zucchelli were let go from their respective roles, expectations for Simons and his right hand Pieter Mulier’s runway debut could not have been higher. One could be forgiven for thinking that Simons and his creative team would latch onto the kind of ultra minimalism so synonymous with Klein as it felt like an easy extension of his lauded tenure at Jil Sander. Though what came down the runway was spare, it was far different from what editors and customers imagined. Just as when he first showed couture at Dior, Simons went back to the very beginning to retell Klein’s story in such a way that suggested he too was trying to find out what it stood for in a modern context. Bronx-born Calvin Klein founded his label in 1968 after working behind the scenes at the various garment manufacturers who then ruled 7th Avenue and did their best to ensure that individual designer talent remained nameless. Even then, his love of clean lines and easy silhouettes was apparent. Klein started by making impeccable sportswear that simultaneously referenced and codified a distinctly American look. It was only later, especially during the 90s, when Calvin Klein’s clothes would focus assuming the now famous aesthetic rendered almost exclusively in shades of black, gray, navy and camel. The Fall/Winter 2017 show was a kaleidoscopic view of Americana with high-neck shirts in dark denim or color blocked configurations, many of which sported Brooke Shields’ silhouette from her famous 1980 Calvin Klein Jeans commercial along the back waist. Cowboy boots, slim gray suits with a

muted check, tough-as-nails black leather jackets and faux fur coats covered in clear plastic reminiscent of your grandmother’s couch rounded out the offerings. In typical Simons fashion, it was difficult to distinguish the men from the women as the clothes were largely identical, save for a skirt or two, with minute differences in tailoring being all that separated them. Seemingly out of nowhere, Simons had rediscovered Klein’s boyishness after many adonis-exclusive decades. His concept of a waifish United States was brought to life by the baby-faced, slightly anemic- looking models who also populated the ad campaign for the season. It is an undeniably radical departure from how Calvin Klein is perceived in the American psyche. Klein’s advertising always revolved around images of models wearing as little clothing possible, nearly every muscle and taut section of flesh exposed with little covered... though one wouldn’t mind getting rid of what scant fabric remained. Athleticism. Power. Sexuality. A certain rawness and primal attraction that demanded attention. These were things one associated with the brand. It seemed to be one of the only companies in fashion that represented a healthier image of beauty to the larger world, and for that reason alone it will be missed. But this new iteration has something different to offer. There’s a wonderfully messy quality that mirrors the social fabric of contemporary American life. The new campaign created a youthful cohort of different

people who march determined through a desert landscape unsure of their destination but bound together on their journey. Its ethos is in keeping with a viral underwear campaign which immediately preceded it starring the actors from the 2017 Academy Award Best Picture winner Moonlight. It was a rare thing among high fashion brands for exclusively featuring dark skinned black men--something practically unseen in the past or elsewhere in the present. Simons’ profound love of art has been a throughline in all the choices he’s made to date. The visuals he has established have the remove of a painting hanging solo in a delicately lit gallery space. You really have to stand back to take it all in, but putting your nose to it allows you to get lost in the work. It’s dazzling in its deceptive simplicity and how it has completely reorganized and re-engaged the New York fashion schedule. Not to mention the flagship store on Madison. Simons called on frequent collaborator and fine artist Sterling Ruby to create an interior based on his interpretation of the brand’s new direction. Gone are the clinically white walls, replaced by canary yellow that calls to people in the street through those same vast windows. Matching scaffolding crisscrossing the shop suggests a perpetual work in progress (though it is actually a precursor to a more substantial renovation) while also doubling as an expansive display rack composed of countless shelves for bags and neatly folded garments. It is thrilling. And it is only the beginning.

Briefs Calvin Klein Jeans All Saints


Culture | Art

MARIO TESTINO UNDRESSED If you love fashion, you love Mario Testino. The world renown photographer has shot endless campaigns for luxury brands like Gucci, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana and many more. He is also famous for shooting over 200 VOGUE covers including the memorable September Issue documented with Actress Sienna Miller. Mario IS Fashion. Mario’s work IS also very sexy. See his ‘Towel Series’ on Instagram his work with Tom Ford during those Gucci days, and of course one of my favorites; the cover image of GQ with actor Michael Fassbender co-starring a singular hand of a woman gently touching the actor’s cheek. Mario Testino’s signature style is beautiful, sensual, raw at times, often glossy, and always glamorous. Mario’s last book released was SIR, a tribute to the men he has photographed for decades. Now he strips things down for us with Undressed. Mario Testino’s Undressed removes various layers. Coinciding with an exhibition conceived exclusively for the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, this intimate series explores the notion of undressing in photography as much as it lays Testino’s archive bare, probing beyond the photographer’s established public image to reveal a deeper understanding of his practice and oeuvre. A special highlight are previously unseen photographs shot in the Testino studio, with the implicit nudity, playful moods, that tantelize but never slip into the obscene. MAN of METROPOLIS was fortunate to land in Berlin this Summer to see the exhibit 54 larger-thanlife images affixed directly to the walls in three of the Foundation’s exhibition halls, reaching 118 MAN OF METROPOLIS

into the corners of the room and up to the ceiling, filling the rooms with bodies and that created a beautiful landscape or skin. The Display at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin runs through November 19. If you don’t find yourself in Germany, not to worry the book, Undressed is available at Taschen stores and on Taschen.com.

Copyright © Mario Testino Mario Testino. Undressed Matthias Harder, Manfred Spitzer, Carine Roitfeld Softcover, 24.4 x 34.5 cm (9.6 x 13.6 in.), 144 pages US$ 29.99 | £ 24.99 | € 24.99

James Gooding and Donovan Leitch, Los Angeles 1999 Copyright Š Mario Testino

Paris, Vogue Hommes International, 1999 Copyright Š Mario Testino 119

MASTER GO FORTH Photography: Blake Ballard Styling: Blaire Ballard Creative Team: Good Talent Management Models: Austin Sikora of Good Talent Management, ICM, and Soul Artist Management

Shirt: Diesel 120 MAN OF METROPOLIS


LUCAS GO FORTH Photography: Blake Ballard Styling: Blaire Ballard Creative Team: Good Talent Management Models: Austin Sikora of Good Talent Management, ICM, and Soul Artist Management

Duffel: Go Forth Goods / Sweater & Duffel: Jacket: Zara Go Forth Goods / Sweater & Jacket: Zara 121

Shirt: Diesel / Jeans: Zara 122theMAN OF METROPOLIS Shop artist’s jewelry designs at lucasplus.com

Lucas Goossens started making jewelry in 2011, after owning a ring to represent his spirituality – the same year he moved to New York City. Realizing it wasn’t the perfect ring he had in mind, he taught himself how to design jewelry through youtube tutorials and 3D printed his very own Plus Ring to remind himself of his mantra, “Think Positive”. Amazed by the whole process of manifestation through computer aided design and the internet, he then continued to create a collection inspired by the Plus symbol – at the same time intrigued by the technology available today resulting in his pixelation aesthetic. The result: a utilitarian, unisex and unique jewelry brand named LucasPlus, produced three blocks from the Empire State Building and available through LucasPlus.com. 123


Rucksack: Go Forth Goods / Shirt: Diesel / Jeans: Zara 125


Kings of the Surf Luke Davis

Mike Reinhardt



A R T I S T O N F I R E AmbassadorS


Luke Davis 1. Did you grow up on the water? And when did you learn to surf? I’ve been a beach kid my whole life. My dad took me surfing at the age of 3 and I’ve been in love with surfing ever since!!! 2. Tell us your craziest surf story?! I traveled over 48 hours from California to a remote island off of Indonesia for a surf trip with my friends. The first day out in the water, I was amped, the weather was top notch and the waves were gnarly. I was out to catch my first wave and I tore my hamstring pretty bad. That ended any chance for me to surf for the rest of the trip so I decided to head home. No flights out were available so I had to hang out on the island for 3 days before traveling back home to California. 3. When you aren’t surfing what other adventures do you get into? I’ve been really into making music lately which is always fun. It’s a good creative outlet for me as I’m constantly inspired when I’m traveling the world to these remote tropical islands. Creating anything is always a really enjoyable feeling when I’m chilling at home. 4. How do you protect your skin from all the elements out there? I put on a lot of sunscreen throughout the day when I am hanging out at the beach or surfing. At the end of the day, I make sure to take the time to remove all of the sunscreen by using the PRO LS All-In-One Face Cleansing Gel and apply the PRO LS All-In-One Hydrating Gel to re moisturize my skin so it doesn’t peel or get dry from all the sand and salt water that I was also exposed to that day. 5. What’s your go-to night out grooming regime? ex: shower, exfoliate, shave, face balm etc etc walk us through it step by step. I like to keep it pretty simple. I make sure to shave, shower, and if I’m crunched for time, I use the PRO LS All-In-One Shower Gel that works as a shampoo, body wash and shave gel. After I shower and shave, I then apply my PRO LS AllIn-One Hydrating Gel face moisturizer and then I’m out the door. BONUS QUESTION: What is currently on your playlist? Any good Summer music or albums you are into? Nothing specific but I’ve been listening to a lot of disco and funk. Definitely keeps the good vibes flowing all year long!


By Sarah Holland What inspires New York Based Artist Michael Benisty to go into the desert and build a nearly a twenty foot sensory illusion? Everything Growing up in Antwerp Belgium Michael got his attention to detail by studying gemology, with his family business, and quickly learned he enjoyed the organic process of working with his hands. From there he developed a passion for the fast paced environment of something unexpected, becoming a hair stylist. After working on a few sets with being a free-lanced stylist, he became more interested in what was going on behind the lens and began exploring the art form of photography. His diamond life flash forwarded to his photography coveting several major publication editorials. Michael then adapted a passion for mixed media based art, that he created using the same digital techniques to refine his photographs. His mixed media art was a result of the lasting impressions he had while working on international assignments throughout India and China. Two stories that really inspired his artistic career were shadowing well renowned artists Subodh Gupta and Zhang Xiao Gang for Whitewall Magazine. His first exhibitions debuted with his mixed media works at the Xerxes Gallery in London and the elite Pearl Lam Gallery of Shanghai, with a political based concept “If It Disturbs You Then It’s Art”. The pieces from the exhibition touched upon his growing feelings of helplessness seeing large scale hunger, poverty, and what the end outcome would be from the environmental impact from pollution as well as climate change. Michael credits Pearl Lam for really introducing his work into the Asian contemporary art scene and influencing his grand scale sculpture dreams. In between covering stories in Shanghai, Michael spent his days studying the Artisan techniques of large sculpture making at a local foundry. Understanding the use of materials and precision of metallurgy became Michael’s passion, that is still alive today. His first large scale sculpture was brought to life with the help of design icon Nadja Swarovski. While on an assignment photographing Nadja for an upcoming feature for White Wall Magazine, Michael began to share with her his concept for creating a large scale skull. Michael’s vision formed after covering a story for Subodh Gupta where he showed the process of building a giant clay mold of a skull in his backyard, and also being inspired by Damien Hirst’s diamond skull. Michael credits Nadja as being the first collaboration for his career in large sculpture making. In 2012, Die to Live debuted at the

Delano Hotel during Art Basel Miami. The eight foot tall mirrored polished stainless steel skull was adorned with thousands of golden-black Swarovski crystal elements, with a delicate fleur de lis crystal pattern. The Softness of the Swarovski Crystals against the industrial lines of the form, symbolized the delicate balance of life and referenced one must die in order to be reborn and live again. Transcendence and regeneration would be common themes in Michael’s work, as his own conclusion was drawn the only constant we have in life is change. Michael’s political based artwork reached its peak with his second large scale sculpture “The Dragon” that presented during Art Basel in 2014. The twelve foot tall gold leaf aluminum sculpture over looked the garden at the Delano, and was the backdrop to a star-studded event. It was shown grasping a hand blown glass globe of an American flag referencing Chinas impact and responsibility in today’s global economy. After reaching a period of inner self-reflection with becoming a Father, Michael’s strong political based artwork started to melt away. Michael became more inspired by creating pieces that added more positive light back into the universe. His political messages started to shift to empowerment and love concepts in result of this awakening. His latest installation debuted at the Faena Hotel during Art Basel this past year. Sharing the same space Damien Hirst for an installation is something he considers a great accomplishment in his career, which Ximena Caminos and Alan Faena made possible by giving him that stage. The six feet high Love Buddha sculpture was created from gold leaf aluminum and represented a symbol of love and empathy from Buddha’s original message of enlightenment of the self and to others. Benisty’s self taught artistic technique was just followed up with his largest installation to date ‘Mirage” a sculpture that was unveiled at Burning Man. The stainless steel sculpture, was made from forty seven layers from the ground up and nearly twenty feet high. Michael references this piece as a milestone in his career as it was built on over a decade of work and learning experiences

of growth. The sculpture represented sharing feminine divine with one of the most unique places on earth. Inspired by the magic and science of the natural occurrence of light rays bending through air – some have described her as Fata Morgana or Morgan Le Fay, but the natural occurring optical illusion is more commonly referred to as a - Mirage. When mirage arrived to the desert it was just the beginning. I had attended burning man in the past which is what inspired this installation but it was like nothing else I had ever worked on. The wind, heat, sun, and the environmental factors all carried through the installation. Honestly at one point I looked around seeing the cranes and what looked like a human figure and I couldn’t help but think, wow I must be on some archeological dig. After anchoring the sculpture into the granite base with an expanding mechanism then from there the overall sculpture was secured into the playa dust. The end result was such an amazing and rewarding experience to share at burning man.

When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?

What lights you on fire in terms of getting creative juices flowing?

At a very early age I became intrigued by working with my hands. I developed a love / hate for the process of polishing diamonds. I had the precision and attention to detail, but I was curious about other forms of self -expression. I guess you could say my first sculpture was hair as crazy as that sounds, but I enjoyed moving quickly and shaping peoples style. After spending time on various shoots styling I started to learn more about the art form of the photography process and then began enjoying using the same process that I was editing photography with into creating mixed media art.

I think everyone who knows me knows I’m pretty go with the flow. Things tend to inspire me when I least expect it. My entire life / career has kind of been this intuitive evolution into something more. My creativity is really sparked lately with wanting to build bigger and I know with that comes more planning and construction, so I am excited to move into this new direction - for me its about evolving and growing just like organic processes of nature, but also staying true to yourself with your vision.

Your work is grand in scale; tell us more about your process and how/where you work on sculptures and installations? The grand scale pieces came after I started out on a small level. I began moving out of the mixed media pieces and into sculptures through the use of a digital rendering process. After the renderings are completed - I move into clay cast molds to shape the forms. The resin pieces that I create for the small sculptures are hand polished after the mold process at my studio in Brooklyn. After fine-tuning that process I began building larger sculptures through foundries in Belgium and Shanghai that I have worked closely with for many years. Quality is always my mission for carrying out a concept and its important for me to work with people where I know the execution will be impeccable for the presentation and for the client. I am also commissioned for projects and clients. For me it’s about understanding the space, the client, and what makes sense for the project. My clients always inspire me, where something is created to fit their space. An upcoming commission will be debuted soon at the Assemblage building in New York, which evolved from the concept of human connection – the sculpture is titled “Magnetism” and is made from reinforced fiberglass with a gold leafed antique lacquer polished finish. You have shown at Art Basel re: Faena and are set to show your NEW work at Burning Man. Can you tell us more about the new art for Burning Man; where will it be; what is it? Burning Man has been a dream come true really, I have to thank the Art Production team with Burning Man for giving me this amazing opportunity. The concept of Mirage was a body of water in the form of a shape of a woman. With everything going on currently with the challenges of women’s rights I wanted to bring a piece to the playa that honored and respected women. I became intrigued too by tales of this natural optical illusion occurring, and suggesting a body of water was appearing out nowhere. I also really need to thank everyone that believed in this evolving process and donated to the Kickstarter project to bring this dream alive.

People also really inspire me - my family my friends. My daughter Gia, who is the love of my life - she inspires me everyday to be a better person and contribute positive art pieces back into our world. My Mother who taught me nurturing love and acceptance – My brother Steve Benisty who you will often see my work photographed by he is for sure a creative inspiration for me seeing what his latest projects are. My Father who taught me how to be strong and how to never give up in life and I think that’s a reoccurring theme throughout my career. I often say everything we are is a result of what we have thought. Favorite artists out there you love to watch? Artists that really inspire me are definitely ones I have referenced to that I looked up to such as Damien Hirst, Keith Harring, Jeff Koons – and Banksy is for sure an inspiration for me as well. A new collection that I have just finished referenced art history of the renaissance with one of the three pieces as Michelangelo’s David. In many ways the renaissance period can be seen as a time of chaos and darkness, but it was also a time of rebirth of humanistic values. The three classical sculptures are juxtaposed with BDSM accessories to reflect on today’s views of acceptance and openness with gender and love equality. The collection is inspired by a sexual revolution, to be accepting and loving of everyone.

and full of dreams – I walked outside and saw a mural and from there it took me nearly twenty years to build it… but I did! It is available in a large-scale size and small version. I wanted to show the love fusion between these two iconic Artists and sculptures, and interpret the two pop art forms in a different way that I had seen throughout Europe and New York. After Burning Man, I am really looking forward for the Assemblage project In New York for the Magnetism piece. And for Art Basel… All I can really say about that right now is - stay tuned there will be more magic to come in December. A lot of Fashion Designers are collaborating with designers; who would you like to collaborate with in Fashion? Interesting that you ask this question, because so much of my early years were spent kind of hovering around the fashion industry with photography and owning a studio salon. The way I look at fashion collaborations for me is it has to be true to the art and for the fashion designer. Something I am curious about though are these Judith Leiber clutches. They are sculptural and covered in gorgeous Swarovski crystals which I love to work with as well - so very interesting concept for me. Also with my families business in the diamond industry, never say never to an accessories collection. Someone who really inspired me and still does is Zaha Hadid, because she found a way to stay true to her vision throughout her projects from designing skyscrapers to shoes. Something that will happen before the fashion though, is a lifestyle collection. I am very excited to be creating a design collection for interiors right now. That is both form + function art. And I can’t wait to share more.

Can we see your gallery/show dates for rest of year? Anything planned for Art Basel this Dec? The small sculpture collection is now available online through Contempop gallery, it has been great working with the gallery founder Roy Seifert who has been established in the New York and Tel Aviv art scene – and all over the world. The small sculptures are a collection of editions of the larger sculptures. Love Buddha is offered in silver or gold leaf aluminum. Some of the Electro Love Animals I designed are available as well, they were inspired by my time spent traveling throughout South America and Africa seeing these supernatural love creatures. A peculiar concept I came up with is also in this collection, “When Balloon Dog Meets Keith Haring Dog” I was inspired seeing Keith Haring’s work unexpectedly at a party when I first arrived to New York fresh in my twenties



Kings of the Surf Luke Davis

Mike Reinhardt










THE GULDAN BOY Richard Gerst lenses actor Luke Guldan and offers an exclusive interview for MAN of METROPOLIS. Let’s get the important questions out of the way: Dog or cat person? And fav Breed? Dogs. Great Dane. How did you get started in acting? And what was your most memorable moment in a casting? I had wanted to get into acting for a long time but I wasn’t completely certain the best way to break in or how to even begin. But amidst the unknowns, I suppose my official “start” was when I finally voiced it out loud - making it real- in college. That was the start. One time in New York, I was pulled off the street to randomly audition for a musical. I thought it was a joke but I ended up getting ushered into a room with about 15 of the creatives casting the theatrical version of “GIANT”. They insisted I knew at least one song, and then cued up “Happy Birthday” after I only ended up knowing five words of “Luck Be A Lady”.

What other projects do you have coming up? The Good Place premieres on September 20th, and I just wrapped shooting a feature in NYC called “FLUIDITY. Name something you stand up for / believe in, and why? Encouragement. I believe the right word at the right time can change, or even save, a person’s life. It’s important and it’s free!

Tell us about your character in The Good Place. How was it working with Kristen Bell? Chris is Eleanor’s (Kristen Bell) soulmate. He’s a great guy, honest. He’s comfortable in his own skin, sensitive but strong, and enjoys exercise. Working with Kristen was awesome. She’s seriously a mega talent - she legit can do everything - so having an opportunity to see her work and be apart of it was an amazing experience. Fav music to workout to? Fav music to makeout to? Beastie Boys. Sade. One day you may have an opportunity to attend the Emmy’s or something similar. Name an actress or actor you might have fun inviting to go with you & why? Al Pacino. He’s it. The best “the sun rises and sets with him for me.” So whenever there’s an opportunity to invite anyone, it’s always Al.

Styling by Alejandro Lopez Jacket- Kramer & Stoudt Tank- Haines Jeans- CK Calvin Klein


Cool Hand Luke We sat down with the new face of Ralph Lauren POLO RED fragrance and Hacksaw Ridge star Luke Bracey to talk adventures, nature, super hero roles, and more. Photographer: John Russo Cat Tapper @ OPUS

Denim One Piece and Boots: Ralph Lauren / Hat: Stylist’s Own 134 MAN OF METROPOLIS












Denim One Piece and Boots: Ralph Lauren / Hat: Stylist’s Own 136 MAN OF METROPOLIS


Peacoat and Turtleneck: Ports 1961


Plaid Jacket: Levis / Jeans, Boots, Shirt: Ralph Lauren 139















The Ivy Leaguers production credits Alison Hernon, Fashion Stylist: Agency Gerard Artists Lead Assistant Fashion Stylist: Victoria Ochoa Arce Assistant Fashion Stylist: Katie Hogan and Rose Mae Turner Hair & Grooming, Amanda Markoya Carissa Swany: Boby Gerard Agency

Dina - Pants: Christina Economou, Navy Sweater: Ted Baker, Long Tan Cardigan: Banana Republic, Leopard Loafer shoes: Marc Fisher Mira - Striped Blouse: Scotch & Soda, Coat: Banana Republic, Shoes: Marc Fisher and Skirt: H&M Maria: Sweater Vineyard Vines, skirt Banana Republic, Shoes: Sigerson Morrison William: Plaid flannel: Vineyard Vines, Olive Pant: Billy Reid, Grey Jacket: Billy Reid, Shoes by Billy Reid Drew: Paint Brush Shirt: Penguin, Pants: Penguin, Belt: Calvin Klein, Shoes: Billy Reid, Black Wool Cardigan: Reiss Marcus: Plaid Shirt: Lacoste, Cardigan: H&M, Black Shorts: Selected Homme, Hat: Krammer & Stoudt, Brown loafers: Florsheim Loren: Shirt: Billy Reid, Shorts: Banana Republic, Blue Blazer: Billy Reid, Dark Green Shades: Lacoste, Bow-Tie: Billy Reid Prasad: White Shirt: Billy Reid, Pants: Donrad Duncan, Cardigan: Donrad Duncan, Jacket Donrad Duncan, Shoes: Florsheim, Square: Turnbull & Asser Ben: Plaid shirt: Billy Reid, Button-up Vest: Billy Reid, Pants: Selected Homme, shoes: Florsheim Tommy: Grey Pant: Scotch & Soda, Blue Button-up: Billy Reid, Black Vest: Banana Republic, Scarf: Selected Homme, Grey Jacket: Ted Baker Ben: Red check button-up: Penguin, Pants: Selected Homme, Grey Cardigan: Reiss, Tennis shoes: Reiss

Tommy: Pants: Ted Baker, Top: Banana Republic, Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna, Shoes: Billy Reid William: Button-up + Sweater: Banana Republic, Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna, Shoes: Reiss Drew: Button-up: Turnbull & Asser, Suit: Ermene gildo Zegna, Shoes: Billy Reid, Pocket Square: Billy Reid, Bow- Tie: Billy Reid Marcus: Floral Shirt: Banana Republic, Pink Sweatshirt: Lacoste, Shoes: Florsheim, Suit: Banana Republic Benjamin: Polo: Banana Republic, Quilted Grey Sweatshirt: Penguin, Shoes: Florsheim, Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna Ben: Yellow shirt: Banana Republic, Suit: Reiss, Tie: Billy Reid, Shoes: Florsheim Prasad: Turtleneck: Lacoste, Suit: David Hart, Scarf: Turnbull & Asser, Green Loafers: Florsheim Lauren: Suit Banana Republic, Shirt, Banana Republic, Tie: David Hart 150 MAN OF METROPOLIS


continued page 151 lot of thinking done in the saddle. I definitely watch more streaming content than most people, especially when I’m on location. I am flat out obsessed with television. Its what I do, so I’m always watching something. I cannot stand it when I’m working with another actor who says, “I don’t really watch television” (though, it happens much less frequently these days). I always reply to that with, “yeah, I know loads of musicians that don’t listen to music.”

Follow Oshri on Spotify and oshrimusic.com

Finally, you are 40 and have had an incredible career on some of the biggest shows. If you could go back to your freshman year at Princeton, and deliver a message to your 18 year old self with all that you have learned so far in life and in your career. What would the message be? I don’t know about this one. When you try to think about the number of decisions and choices and accidents and luck and serendipity that have inexorably led to my life as it is in this very moment, where I am so happy, that I shudder to think about disrupting the pathway here in the slightest. It wasn’t always easy, and downright trying at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing so far!

photo by Tony Duran

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SAM PAGE continued


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Endless Summer  

Celebrity photographer John Russo takes us on a journey through the final days of Summer in Endless Summer.

Endless Summer  

Celebrity photographer John Russo takes us on a journey through the final days of Summer in Endless Summer.