Author Archives: Nicky Styles

A gentleman and a scholar.

Style Session #2: Barry Parasram

Wolf + Panther’s Style Session #2 turns the spot light on Barry Parasram, a Public Relations (PR) savvy guru who works at the National Basketball Association (NBA). Barry is effortlessly stylish.  Crisp and polished  yet always ready to cut loose. This man truly understands the art of presentation.

 

W+P: Describe your job?

I work for the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the Marketing Communications department. My job’s focus is to create awareness for the league and the players from an off-the-court perspective, bringing to life their presence in the following industries, entertainment, fashion, lifestyle and philanthropic efforts.

W+P: When did your style become your own? Did it coincide with a particular event/ life change? 

My style became my own the moment I started elementary school – sporting United Colors of Benetton and Le Tigre. Then it evolved over the years to include proper accessories. Now my standard classic style is complimented with a stylish timepiece, tie bar, pocket square, and shoes.  It is all about the details.

W+P: Who are your favorite designers?

My favorite designers span from Hugo Boss, and Uniqulo, to custom bespoke suits including Black Lapel and Knots Standard.

W+P: Who are your style icons?

My style icons include Ralph Lauren, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, and Cary Grant.

W+P: Who is the best dressed in the NBA?

The NBA has probably the best dressed athletes in all sports and they are constantly leading the charge creating new fashion trends. My personal view of the best dressed NBA players includes LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul.

W+P: What is the song that gets you ready for work/ hyped for a party? 

My “Get Hyped” top five (5) playlist – “FutureSex/LoveSound” by Justin Timberlake, “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z,  – Public Service Announcement by Jay-Z, “Headlines” by Drake, and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates

W+P: What is your style philosophy?

Orson Welles said it best “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Follow Barry on Twitter - @barry_pr  ,Instagram - @barry_pr and on Facebook @  https://www.facebook.com/barry.c.parasram

Photos by Shaun Mader Studios for Wolf and Panther

 

Wardrobe Credits

Men’s watch black face brown strap: House of Horology 

Suit: Black Lapel

Grey lapel flower : J and HP

Neckwear : Hugo Boss

Orange is the new Black

Style Session #1: Carson Elrod

Wolf + Panther knows that the best way to lead is by example.
We’ve selected seven of our favorite stylish New Yorkers and created a photo shoot of them wearing their own favorite pieces.  The guys range from a Kung-Fu trained Bartender to a PR guru for the NBA who should really be on Dancing with the Stars.
First up in the Style Session Series is stage and film actor Carson Elrod. Carson is known for his comedic timing, dynamic physical acting, and, as we saw him do as a blue painted native in “The Explorers Club” for creating true depth in a character that could have been just comic relief.  The lesser know fact is that Carson is as committed and thoughtful with fashion and music as he is with his acting.
W+P: Describe your job?
I’m an actor.  At this point, I work primarily in the theatre.  I generally learn lines and collaborate with other actors and a director on an agreed upon framework for how we’re going to tell a story together.  And if we’re lucky enough to be part of a good project, then we share a daily recreated living story with an audience that hopefully lets people in on the secret of life. That secret, of course, is that no one is alone and that we’re all in it together.  I love my job.
W+P: When did your style become your own?
I feel like I’ve always had a stylistic point of view on how I present myself to the world.  I would say that I started to take authorship of my style in my early teenage years. I look back at pictures of what I was wearing and it’s interesting.  I was a kid growing up in Topeka, Kansas, but I can see so many influences on what I was experimenting with stylisticly.  My hair, in retrospect, was influenced by the Southern California skateboarders. And my clothes were a hodge podge of stylings.  Around fourteen, I considered myself “punk” in the way I dressed. Torn rock t-shirts, pants, and Docs with an oversized tweed topcoat was a uniform for a long time.  But, I also found myself in patterned rayon shirts and purple pants too. In some pictures I looked a lot like Duckie from Pretty In Pink.  So… the short answer is that I started to curate the way that I looked as a teenager.
W+P: Who are your favorite designers?
Well, now as an adult, I find myself gravitating toward traditional looks with a slim and fashion-forward bent to them.  I really enjoy what Thom Browne is doing with his own line and with the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection.  But, I have to admit, I pay more attention to the way people on the street in New York dress or to what certain stores are stocking more than particular designers.  For instance I will find myself spending lot of time checking out Unionmade Goods, Context Clothing, American Rag, and all my neighbors on the L train for ideas and inspiration.
W+P: Who are your style icons?
My style icons have always been people who kind of peacock.  I love people who take a brave, fun, and distinctly personal approach to fashion.  I recently worked with choreographer Chase Brock at The Public Theatre and was floored daily by how incredibly he dressed.  One day he came to work in a two piece suit that was a camouflage print with three or four versions of bright blue and green.  He proceeded to teach us all an intricate dance, wearing a suit and not breaking a sweat.  He became a style icon for me instantly.  Andre Benjamin of OutKast has an absurdly wonderful and distinctive style that I love.  Along the way I’ve had some people who really inspired me to find my own fashion sense just in how they dressed.  Belinda Macabee, who was the sexiest punk rock girl in the state of Kansas in 1989 was a big inspiration.  As were rock icons like Johnny Rotten, Peter Murphy, and Siouxsie Sioux.  Now, my style icons are usually my friends who know how to dress. Like Eric Peterson, who I worked on Peter And The Starcatcher with.  It’s not that Eric was dudded up in the most expensive couture pieces all the time. He just knew how to take pieces from a variety of places and put them together into outfits that just rocked. He showed me daily how easy it was to look good with just a little bit of thought put into how pieces go together.  Again, my style icons are usually my fellow New Yorkers.
W+P: It’s awards season, tell us who you would vote for in the category “Best dressed man on the red carpet?”
I think Russell Brand and Bruno Mars both show up on their on terms and I like that.  I think red carpets are hard places for men to convey their sense of style.  So often, it just has to be a version of a tux or a suit and everyone begins to turn into the same good looking fashion-robot.  But Bruno and Russell have the confidence to show up in materials or with looks that are distinct, unique, and full of personality.
W+P: Bruno Mars is pretty great.  What songs are on your play list to get you hyped for a night out?
Talking Heads ”This Must Be The Place-”
The Pixies ”Where Is My Mind?”
MGMT ”Time To Pretend”
Robyn ”Hang With Me”
W+P: What is your style philosophy?
At the moment, I’ve come around to what the French have always done, which is to emphasize quality over quantity.  A French closet may only have twenty things in it, but they are all very classy, timeless, and versatile.  So now, my closet is more sparse than it’s been in years past. But, it has more of what I would call “heirloom pieces” in it now.  So I have a pair of Red Wing boots that I pretty much wear every day and since Red Wing will always repair them, I plan to have them for the rest of my life.  The Mackintosh coat I used in the shoot is a new piece, but it’s also made for life.  So, that’s what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to strip down the closet to some bare essentials, but what remains is what’s important, timeless, classy, and in some cases, for life.  So my style philosophy is starting to emulate my own personal philosophy.  I want to strip away all the extra bullshit and noise in my life too and get down to the high quality things that make life worth living.  So…my fashion sense is a mirror of that journey.
Wardrobe Credits:
Jeans: Momotaro x Naked And Famous Skinny Guy CutRed/White/Blue Shirt: Black Fleece by Thom Browne for Brooks Brothers Trucker Jacket: Levis x Filson Oiled Tin Cloth Chambray Jacket: J.Crew x Billy Reid Ludlow Cut Pocket Square: Fine and Dandy Shop NYC Patterned Tie: Tommy Hilfiger Denim Tie: Levis made in Brooklyn Belt: Tanner Goods Natural Belt Buckle: Gift from mother found in her father’s’ house after his passing Shoes: Allen Edmonds Manhattan Oxford Socks: Happy Feet Key Chain: Brass Hardware from Home Depot Raincoat: Mackintosh x Doyle Mueser
Follow Carson on twitter @wanderingcde
And check out his blog The New Myth
Kone on the runway and Nicky checking out his shoes

Kone: Gray Line Map Edition

We love Kone Sidou.  He’s fam and we dig his style.  We recently shot Kone (with W+P Photographer Shaun Mader) for our Portrait Series (coming in October) to show off Kone’s sense of easy, sporty elegance and effortless cool.

Now, our boy also happens to be a model.  Like, a serious one.  He was the face of Cole Haan this season (is that why I bought a pair?).  So when we were thinking about what Wolf + Panther would report on for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) we thought it would be interesting to take a different angle on Fashion Week reporting by bringing you the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale A.K.A. a male model at Fashion Week.  We were curious what it’s like to be paradoxically at the center of the whirlwind and yet also removed from it the way model’s seem to be (they are the literal focus point, but they’re not the ones having the conversation – that’s the designers and the media).

First up for Kone was walking in the Grey Line Map show.  Model Call was at 10am for the Chelsea Piers show.  Because Kone has short hair and damn near perfect skin, he told us he often doesn’t need hair or make-up, so he got to skip those chairs in favor of hanging out on pleather sofa (with quite a nice view of the Hudson).  Plenty of time to enjoy the bagels and fruit salad (they DO feed the models!) and, just like the rest of us, dick around on your phone. How much of your time in this job is spent waiting like this?  Kone: “Yeah, it’s a lot of time spent waiting.  Mostly my job takes 15 minutes, I put on the clothes and then walk.”

While Kone waited and the other models got their hair done, clothes were unpacked and ironed and finishing touches were being put on many of the garments. To keep things organized, each model’s look was assembled on a hanger with a photo of what it looks like on.  Miguel Pena, the designer for Grey Line Map,  did his thing with gust and style making last minute adjustments.  The footwear for the show was surprisingly badass looking wingtip boots by Dr. Schole’s (what!? I know!!)  When asked the prerequisite question of “are they comfortable?”, Miguel’s excited response of “So comfortable! Super light wait, I couldn’t believe it.  Dr. Scholes!!”  I need a pair..like yesterday.

Twenty minutes before showtime the models practice their walk while production tests the lights and music.  Looking around, everyone is on beat and ready to rock.  As a flurry of bodies, lint rollers and clothes move in a choreographed dance the models are dressed and lined up.  The show’s production was recognizably smooth, organized and on point.  Kone told us about some other ones (often bigger names) that weren’t quite as clean.

“The job is very simple if things are organized, when it’s not then it get’s very stressful.  A model is supposed make a face that looks strong, but when you’re stressed you look angry.”

Of course when Kone said this his face split into that amazing smile of his.  Nothing to be angry about at this show.  A zen-like calm describes the mood backstage as Simon Alcantara adds his super cool necklaces and jewelry as a final touch to the looks.

And then it starts.  The EDM gets pumping, the lights get cool and the models do that thing they do.  Kone wore an irridescent white short-sleeve button down with harem pants that become tapered to tights at mid thigh.  He strides down the catwalk, turns and heads back.  Changes out of the clothes and he’s done.  Off to his other job.  Did we tell you Kone’s a chef?  Like, a serious one at Colonie on Atlantic Ave.  We love this guy.

W+P’s review of the show:

Grey Line Map’s S/S 2013 line looks good.  Lots of formally structured button-downs in iridescent fabrics, sleeve-less sweaters, sheer tanks, shorts and calf-length pants with brightly colored socks.  With fun details like longer-in-the-back shirt tails kept the structure and formality of the looks light and laid back.

He said:  The short sleeve sailing jacket in black paired with the capri-length black pants and yellow socks was my favorite look.  Crisp, but relaxed and fun at the same time.

She said: I really digged the use of color in the socks. And of my favorite looks were the sleeveless knit wear with the crispness of the tailored shorts. Did I mention that the Dr. Scholl’s shoes were everything?

focused

JJ Hat Center: Hats Off, Swag On

A hat is a next level accessory.  You don’t need one, so it’s a deliberate move and clear statement if you choose to rock one.  ”It’s the cherry atop the sundae”  according to Marc Williamson, the sharply dressed manager of NYC’s oldest (open since 1911) and illest hat shop, JJ Hat Center.

W +P asked the question what kind of a guy wears a hat?   Marc’s answer was “a confident guy.”  Marc is specific, making the point that he wouldn’t say it is a “well dressed guy” since “well” is a matter of taste.  Marc builds upon his distinction that a “man who dresses” is someone who thinks about their clothing as opposed to the majority of guys whom Marc says “don’t dress at all.”

Today wearing a fedora or stingy brim is considered the edgier fashion choice, a stark contrast of when a man wouldn’t be caught dead without a proper hat.  JJ Hat center has been around that entire time.  What changed?  Marc points to the Flower Power revolution of the 60′s which was an anti-establishment rejection of the trappings of tradition – the formality of suits, ties, and hats were given over to casual ease of jeans, beards, and t-shirts.

Marc is the kind of person that makes you want to buy a hat, his style is effortlessly cool and hats look straight up fly on him.  He’s owns over 30 and when asked how he finds the right one ”the mirror is the best salesmen in the house… It’s that nod of approval that you give yourself.”

When asked where his swagger came up Marc answered: “I grew up in the hip hop culture of Queens.  Baggy pants, one leg up, spotless Tim’s, gaudy gold jewelry… breaking out of that came with time.  I admired it when I wasn’t doing it, but it wasn’t until, number one: having the call, and two: I didn’t want to do it temporarily.  Dress one way one day, than back to the other the rest.  I wanted to wait until I could do it all the way.  Not wear the clothes until I had a closet full of them.”  He says one’s fashion game comes up “when life calls for it.”

Once life calls for it there are some details to learn.  Here is Marc’s advice on headgear wear and care:

Seasonality: “Traditionally it’s felt in winter, straw in summer.  Me? I’ve been wearing my felt all year.  It’s great to have tradition.  Tradition teaches and it trains you to not be traditional, so it’s good to have both.”

Care:  ”Treat a hat like a pair of shoes, don’t wear it in a torrential downpour, if it’s worn in light drizzle let it dry away from heat.  For straw hats don’t grab the pinch, even felt hats get worn out at the pinch.  Use a lint roller or packing tape to get the dust off the surface and a horse hair paintbrush to keep it fresh by brushing it counter clockwise.”

Etiquette:  ”It has gotten a little looser than it was 50-60 years ago.  If you’re in a restaurant take off your hat.  If you’re in a bar, no.  If you’re sitting at the bar in a restaurant, no.  I don’t think you have to take your hat off if you’re in an elevator with a lady.  If you know enough about fashion to be wearing a hat you should just know in your heart when you should take it off.”

Do you have to be dressed up to wear a hat?  ”I’m a believer that the hat you get you should be able to dress it up or dress it down and that’s for stingy brim or wide brim.  I’ll wear the same hat with a blazer or with cargo pants and a denim shirt.  Historically that’s been the case.  You had farmers or construction workers wearing a fedora with their coveralls and then wear the same hat with a suit to church on Sundays.”

JJ Hat Center also owns Pork Pie Hatters.  Check them both out here.

He said:  Hats, like all traditional fashion pieces, were originally created as performance gear.  A straw hat keeps the sun off you in the summertime and felt keeps you warm in the winter and I find hats quite effective in this role.

She Said:  There are few things sexier than a man who knows how to wear a hat.  It takes style and confidence to add that as the final accessory. Personally, I prefer wearing mens hats with my own outfits.  It adds sex appeal to any wearer.

 

Nice looking crowd

NYFW s/s14: Photo Book

Sneaking going into the main tent with proper credentials to see a show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is unlike any other New York City tradition.  Catching the shows are only part of the experience.  Seeing, being seen and wearing sunglasses indoor is the main event.  The tent dwellers are the epitome of free-form fashion self expression.  Wolf + Panther dove into the melee to find some examples of solid style amid the circus.  Thumb through the photo book and have a look at the suits, the style, and the swagger.  Next NYC tradition: Fleet Week #justkidding.

Tools of the Shave

Last Night at Bloomingdale’s

Why don’t they serve free drinks at Bloomingdale’s all the time?  Last night GQ x Bloomingdale’s British Invasion brought booze, food and some interesting opportunities.  Of the offerings Harry’s of London and Mr. Natty were the favorites.

Harry’s of London specializes in italian made leather shoes with Vibram soles.  If you bought a pair last night Harry’s was offering to custom dye them any color you wanted on the spot, right there in the store while you load up on shrimp.

The other interesting option, and the reason W+P stopped by, was the Bloomingdale’s launch of Mr. Natty’s line of grooming products.  To celebrate the duo behind the brand, Matt Brook and Matt Raine, were on hand to offer the traditional experience of a straight razor shave.  Yes, it was the kind of night where you can wander into a storied department store, get a hot shave, down some WhistlePig Rye, and try on formal wear that is lined with images from the covers of Beatles albums.

Stay tuned for a full interview with Mr. Natty where we will get the details on how they combined refined with gruff to create the kind of products guys have been waiting for (seriously, where has this Beard Elixir been all my post-pubescent life?) and find out if in fact everyone involved is named Matt.

Summertime cool: Canvas Sailing Jacket and Blackboard Sweatshort

NYFW: Shades of Grey Spring/Summer 2014

Somewhere on the spectrum of casual elegance, in between the sloucher chic of James Perse and the ever-so-precisely-rumpled high end formality of Todd Snyder, is Shades of Grey by MIcah Cohen.  And yes, he was using this name for his line way before the soft core book craze.

What we like about this designer is the easiness of his formal wear and sharpness of his street style pieces, the perfect wardrobe for the kid who grew up rocking Vans and living on his board. The coolness of these clever design choices were evident at his Spring/Summer 2014 presentation during this years NYFW.

This time around Cohen took his Shades of Grey moniker quite literally, forgoing the bright hues and patterns of the S/S 2013 collection in favor of keeping the palette tightly controlled and anchoring the look with black bucket hats and dark socks in Birkenstocks (this latter move is never going to be ok in my book, but innovating and pushing the boundaries always are – so I applaud the move, but dear reader, please don’t try this at home!).  This segment of the collection conjures images of grey mornings along an atlantic beach: cool and meditative.

The other part of the collection skewed towards a casual formal look, combining suits with basketball jerseys to emulate the rocker cut t-shirt and blazer combo that has always kept it’s place in the book of downtown cool.  The silhouette of the pants mirrored those of the sweatpants giving the suit a fresh jolt of modern street style.  I’ve particularly got my eye on the wool suit in… (you guessed it) grey.

This collection won’t be available until next year, but hit up Shadesofgreyclothing.com to get your fix.

 

 

Remembering Summer

In it to Win Win it

We started the summer with our Father’s Day Field Test of  Win Win Beachwear.  As summer sweats to finish we thought it appropriate to revisit the retro-chic Cabana Set makers (and this time tell you more about them!)

Jenn Michael and Kevin Chipman created the company based on cabana sets of the 50′s and 60′s, a solution to comfort and style, which somehow had fallen completely out of the cultural mindset and, like the electric car, this great, but forgotten invention is now back and better than ever.

Options of what to wear amid the sand and surf are plentiful as designers tackle the unique combination of comfort requirements and opportunities for style. Most results leave me feeling a bit underdressed for whatever activity (usually drinking) comes next.  I found from personally wearing a Win Win set that few things are as satisfying as discovering a clothing solution that is as equal in style as it is in performance and quality.

Win Win makes their cabana sets from Turkish terry cloth which is the softest and most absorbent; perfected by the long tradition of hamams.  This makes these jackets more comfortable that a towel and far better looking.  And a folded up Win Win jacket makes the perfect beach pillow.

The outer shell comes in a variety of patterns ranging from a classic, seersucker-like blue stripe to wild retro Hawaiian patterns.  Many of the prints are vintage, which means those designs have a limited run.  A thoughtful detail are pockets that perfectly fit a beer bottle (no coincidence that co-owner Kevin owns a brewery in the Caribbean, St. John Brewers)

As the brand continues to grow in popularity so does the visibility. Tenacious D rocked a Win Win on stage and the company recently collaborated with Viceroy to create a specialty cabana set perfect for pool parties and other places fun loving fans of the “summer time all the time” DJ might want to throw down.  The jackets are sold out but you can still snag the trunks.

Summer isn’t over until you say it is, so get a Win Win, hit the beach, the pool and that opened fire hydrant down the block.

Check the site, follow on IG @winwinbeachwear, like them on FB

 

CoverTargetPhilipLim

Phillip Lim for Target

Target is at it again with yet another one of their high end designer collaborations.  This time the mega retailer has enlisted Phillip Lim.  Known for cool graphics and tailored silhouettes, finding Mr. Lim’s 3.1 Collection at Target is a big win for the well dressed man.  This capsule collection will be in stores September 15th.

As with all Target collaborations the best way to get what you want is to hit up the store super early on the first day (or take three buses and two trains to the Target in Rockaway Queens).

Check out the gallery below for a taste of the Mens Lookbook.  The collection contains a lot of great essential items to update your fall wardrobe.  The Leather Jacket in Black for $300 is a clear winner for the “most likely to be sold out within two hours” category.  The Shirt in Navy/Camo print and The Blazer and Pants in Navy being tied for second place.  The beauty about a collection like this is that many of the silhouettes are repeated in different patterns. Use this to make a quick getaway when shopping the sale.  If you try on the shirt in Blue, just buy the same size in White and the Navy/Camo color right off the rack.

Stick to braving the lines at the store rather than taking a chance with Target.com.  I’m sure we all remember how the Missoni sale crashed the site the first day.  Besides, at the end of the day its much more fun to rock a fresh purchase right out of the store.

The dynamic duo

All Black Everything: Apt 606

Apt 606 stands in stark black and white contrast to the neon and pastel that is the hallmark of Miami fashion.  Owners Lee and Dune stay rocking all black, making the simple choice of t-shirts, jeans and boots a profound visual statement.  Asked about the monochrome palette Lee says:  ”I mean, it’s still color.  Black is just like your mentality and it’s a beautiful thing, it’s very minimalist, its very clean, it’s a statement.  Because I guarantee you right now, you walk outside in all black and people are looking at you like, you know it’s mysterious, it’s calm.”

Black is also elegant, heightening the impact of impeccably designed details.  And this is the essence of Apt 606′s identity.  The core brand roster includes Rick Owens, Boy LondonPublic SchoolJuliusBLK DNMRaf Simons, Alexander Wang, Surface to Air and Marcelo Burlon  It’s like a little piece of the Meatpacking District in NYC broke off and floated south.

For Lee and Dune these are more than brands, they are a lifestyle. They wear the clothes and  study the designers – learning everything from where they source their fabrics to the influences that inform their design choices.  Shopping at Apt 606 is like taking a master class in the future of urban menswear.  ”They just don’t hand you their brand, they want to make sure that the person that’s representing their brand are decent people that respect the business. So when they look at me and my partner, they’re like ok who are you?”  To answer that question, and be entrusted with the brands the duo admire, Lee and Dune built a deliberate reputation, ending up on the radar of street legends like Teyana Taylor and A$AP Rocky.

While most boutiques in Miami cater to the city’s numerous athletes, rappers and producers by stocking the high end names those customers use to signal their wealth, Apt 606 is dedicated to their vision.  ”If you call me and say ‘hey I need this particular hype brand.’  I’m not going to do it.  I’m not a shopper.  Now, if you like the looks that I provide, that’s totally different.  If you’re not into the lifestyle that I’m into, or trying to be into it, then it’s hard. I can’t sit here and just put you in something just because. I have to like it.”

Not only are the clothes well chosen, but the location is too.  Lee and Dune placed their supper swagged boutique in the Wynwood Design District, which is definitely the place in Miami to create a style mecca.  To see more of Wynwood, check out W+P’s photo-tour of the famous graffiti city here.  There aren’t many stores like Apt 606 in Miami because of this,it draws a distinctive clientele looking for fashion’s cutting edge.  ”I have customers that come in here, they want to be educated, what we are trying to do is …curate the clothes.”

To learn more about Apt 606′s meticulously curated collection hit up their site, their badass tumblr page and follow them on IG @apt606. In September the boys will be making their unique curated style more accessible with the addition of an e-commerce store. Coupled with the additon of brands like Christopher Kane, Kenzo, Kris Van Assche, Acne, Phillip Lim and Juun J for S/S14 and you can see why W+P digs Apt 606.