My Canali Story + The Urban Gentleman’s Favorite Canali Looks for the Season: Suits, Polos, Pocket Squares, Denim, Loafers, Dress Shirts, Belts

 
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CANALI: Since 1934 in Italy

Suit, shirt, tie, pocket square. Suit, shirt, tie, pocket square. Suit, shirt, tie, pocket square, belt, shoes, socks, cologne. This was how I spent my slow hours as an intern in the Men’s Furnishings department at Nordstrom. I would sit around doing these combos, honing my ability to pick out the perfect suit combo off the cuff.  My eye for a suit combo became amazingly good, I was sort of a machine, the suit-tie-pocket-square combo slayer if you will. When a man walked in my department I scanned his frame, processed his wants and needs sized him up and paired him perfectly within minutes. This particular Nordstrom was located in the wealthiest part of town so the men I dressed were CEOs, NFL players, restaurant owners, and I even dressed my first "royal" there. Given the clientele I had to prepare myself for these types, for the men who came in wanting the absolute best we had to offer. My combo was nearly always the same for these men: Canali Suit, matching dress shirt (the brand would vary), Zegna or Robert Talbott SevenFold tie, Ferragamo shoes and belt. 

The Canali Suit — I remember asking Stacey, the dashing perfectly dressed and groomed manager of the suit department, if he could teach me everything he knew about suits. It was during this training that I first learned what cuts, brands, and styles looked best on certain body types. He also taught me that Canali was the best, and they've been one of my favorites menswear brands ever since. 

Read more about their history below and checkout The Urban Gentleman's favorite Canali Looks for this season:
 
 

CANALI offers a complete range for The Urban Gentleman's wardrobe
Suits, Polos, Denim, Pocket Squares, Belts, Shoes, Dress Shirts, Trousers, and more
(use light gray arrow to scroll through several pages of looks)

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Southern Businessmen: A.G. Gaston, My Grandfather, and No Excuse Success + Matching Entrepreneur Style

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Last month my grandfather turned 80. Yep, the big 8-0. *round of applause*. He's the man in The Urban Gentleman classic logo. Georgia born and bred. This Southern Urban Gentleman is still moving the same way he did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, shoot 30+ years ago from my perspective. He owns two businesses and just keeps it moving. The oldest of 8 children and a true pillar, a backbone, in our family. I enjoy talking to him about life, business, and generally any topic at all… 80 years of knowledge will certainly give gold nuggets to those who listen. 

Well, one Sunday dinner, not too long ago, he told us about A.G. Gaston. I, shamefully admit, that I hadn't heard of him, or perhaps I had, but not in any sort of memorable way. Long story short, A.G. Gaston is nothing short of amazing, truly amazing. He was born in Alabama (the super deep south) in 1893, and he was a multi-millionaire. When he passed away in 1996 at 103 years old, his net worth was over $130,000,000. Many think that’s a gross underestimation– it may have been closer to half a billion. So of course, as my grandaddy was sitting their talking and reminiscing about Gaston, to a table full of his grandkids, I had to do a little internet searching (I'm a millennial that's what we do). I discovered a wealth of practical and inspirational information.
 
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Men in Floral Prints Fashion Trend: History, Celebrity, and Look Book

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Celebrity Men in Floral Prints: rapper A$AP Rocky;  rockstar Jimmy Hendrix; UK rapper Tinie Tempah; menswear editor Nick Wooster

 

Floral – a print that was thought to be for women only has beautifully made its way into menswear. It's always been around, but more commonly seen on Hawaiian shirts and in paisley prints on ties and pocket squares.  Now, it has expanded to so much more than just a vacation shirt. Why? It's the mood of the world, I suppose. I don't know if it's debut, several years back, was indirectly a political thing— making its way into designers hearts from the happy loving years of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama being in the White House. OR Like many trends it could be based on the growing success of a particular designerand other designers being greatly inspired by their creativity and style (Etro maybe? They've always had prints, which is why I've always adored them so). Then there's the widespread expression that, "What Comes Around Goes Around", and perhaps it's the natural way of trends recycling themselves… a little 1960s – 1970s Jimi Hendrix swag never hurt nobody, right? Or lastly, one could guess the likeliest cause might be the natural need for more variety. With the menswear industry growing and more men spending time (and money) to uniquely outfit their wardrobe, they want more than just solid colors and stripes to choose from– floral is one of those options.

As a men's fashion stylist, I humbly recommend having atleast one floral piece in your wardrobe– a hat, a backpack, a shirt, or if you're really feeling yourself, a suit that can be worn as separates when you're feeling less audacious. From tonal to brights, Gucci slippers to Etro polos, I've custom chosen several pieces for you below…

 

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Day 3, Men’s Fashion Week New York: Michael Bastian, Greg Lauren, Backpacks, MCM, and Trends.

Day 3 was the day I most anticipated. Let's put it this way– my dogs first middle name is Bastian (don't judge me). So yea, I'm a fan of his work. 

Michael Bastian's showing at New York's first Men's Fashion Week was also his first time showing for women. Job well done, Mikey B. job well done.  Personally, I think of Michael Bastian as a mix between Dsquared and Ralph Lauren. Classic Americana, but with a current main stream edge that men want and desire. His Spring/Summer 2016 Collection was no different – he offered lots of obvious multi-use pieces that are easy to place in your closet. From athlete to power broker, polo to double breasted blazer, tassel loafers to high-top kicks… he depicted the new age Bel-air man. Carlton meets Gordon Gekko meets Stephen Curry. 

 

 

Duck Dynasty has finally made it to the runway – Hey! Uncle Si would be ecstatic:-)

Bastian and his crew also used grooming beautifully. We had our token beard, the proud pompadours, and even a delightful surprise of the ever-so-popular gray/blue/purple pastel hair. 

The (Hunger) Fashion Games

Greg Lauren. Greg who? His son, his nephew, his cousin on his mom's side twice removed. The chatters inside the gates of men's fashion week were everywhere…  who is Greg Lauren? One things for sure, his last name is Lauren… so we had to attend his show. And apparently everyone else did too. The now familiar Victor Cruz and real life giant Amar'e Stoudemire was present, but also actual living icons like Bethann Hardison. Ex polo model Tyson Beckford. And after the show I found myself living out our ode to the 90s by conversing with Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) from Saved by the Bell. Celebrity filled indeed. 

 
 
But how about the show? Once again I shot from "the pit" and got a straight on view and experience of the runway show. And so, it began. Greg took us on a journey, the western workman brimming with style through the ages. At moments I found myself unintentionally guessing the faction of a particular set of looks, is it dauntless or abnegation? Can't be candor, must be amity. As the looks changed so did the mood which was provoked by an abrupt switch in music. We traveled to the dessert for a little then slowly made our way to the oil mines. From sand to dusty green to faded black. American field worker to English peasants. But no matter his arduous occupation he was movie set ready… hat, scarf, bag, jacket, and all… Lauren gave us abounding variety in fashion apparatus
 
An Army of Greg Lauren Looks

It was clear the designer was proud of his work when an army of additional looks came stomping out. Followed by an additional set. It was a good (and popular) first showing. So now you might ask– what's the difference between Greg and Ralph? So far, he's Ralph but with grit. We love Ralph because of his ability to take the clean and classic and make it luxurious, similarly we'll likely love Greg for his ability to take the simple and gritty and make it opulent.  
 
Sidenote: The collection reminded me of Atlanta based brand Striver's Row.  (Workwear, Utility, Etc Trends)
 

The Trends and Street Style of NY Men's Fashion Week, Day 3: 

While Day 1 gave us beards, sandals, and hats, and Day 2 gave us the first Yeezy siting, Day 3 brings us much more… 
 
 
Men in backpacks at NYFWM

Backpacks.
While messengers and murses may be okay for Europeans and others. American men wear backpacks. Now of course any man can still carry whichever style bag he'd like no matter his nationality, but the handy dandy backpack– that's a made in the USA type thing.  From models to businessmen NYFWM, and NYC in general, was filled with them. Why? Because they're practical, easy to carry, and now come in a whole host of styles. 
 
I think you can tell a lot about a man from his choice of, hmmm,  let’s call it "carry wear” (you heard it here first, lol). The style, the color, the texture, the size. Some like it canvas, some leather, others nylon. Some want several pockets, others want clean crisp lines. Which style is best for you??? We'll go more in depth later :-) So bookmark this page and come back. 
 
Street Style at New York Fashion Week Mens, monochromatic navy and black 
 
Mirrored Sunglasses.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the dopest of them all?  You couldn't throw a stone without hitting someone in mirrored frames. Me included. Round, aviator, square, blue mirror, pink mirror, green mirror… all the cool kids can see you, but you can't see them.
 
After seeing orange shoes, pants, and backpacks, this solidified it all– a bright orange vintage Bronco. It passed us while chillin' in Bloomingdales Tailgate area. This guy must be the one passing around the note…
Pops of Orange.
First there was a few spottings on day 1 and 2, but by day 3… I wondered if there was a secret note being passed around. Pops of orange was popping up everywhere– off duty models, fashion executives, and bloggers alike. Of all the bright colors, orange shined the brightest. Shorts, shoes, backpacks, sunnies, and even… cars. 
 
 
Green & White.
A palpable palette for all because of its ties to nature and military, this color combo found its way out of the closet and into the streets of many NYFWM goers. 

 
A NYC real estate exec makes his way to Men's Fashion Week sporting an elegant "tuxedo" short set, white crew neck tee, marijuana velvet loafers, and burgundy MCM luggage

MCM Luggage. 
The most recognizable branded bag of choice was MCM. In burgundy and tan, each day I'd observe MCM logo gear everywhere. Not many LVs, no MKs… just MCM. Makes sense to me. I see MCM as one of the first true to to heart "street" luxury bands. It's luxury first of course, but it was the first brand in it's range to gain authentic street cred by integrating rappers and street inspired influencers into its brand. While others enjoy the million dollar spoils of their names being mentioned in rap songs, they not dare invite those same artists to dinner. MCM went opposite. So taking 1st place in branded gear at NY's first Men's Fashion Week is deserved… your trophy is in the mail. šŸ˜‰

See more on our Facebook page for more pics of the trends and fashion shows. 

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