Men of the Moment 2018

Phebe Wahl | March 28, 2018 | Feature National

Six of Manhattan's most maverick men sound off on how they are making their mark and stylishly shaping the world—in their own deeply authentic ways.

TREVOR NOAH
WHAT'S NOW
The Emmy Award-winning comedian continues to amuse America as host of The Daily Show and change the world with the launch of The Trevor Noah Foundation.

WHAT'S NEXT
Noah’s second memoir, sharing his journey from South African to global acclaim, is due out this fall.

“I always like to go classic with an interesting detail. I’m not into flash—for me, it’s all about a well-made piece that will last. I get to dress the part for the audience I’m in front of, whether its casual for my stand-up shows, well-tailored classic suiting for The Daily Show, or a mix of designer fashion for appearances. I’m loving how everything that I do is helping me in some other area of my life: What I work on at The Daily Show improves my stand-up. In turn, doing stand-up across the country offers me more insight to bring back to The Daily Show. Being interviewed by Oprah as part of her SuperSoul Conversations—well, that pretty much improves everything. But the thing I’m loving most about my career right now is being able to share these experiences with my fans every day and that I’m having fun.”

Photo by Peter Yang for Comedy Central

ALEX ASSOULINE
WHAT'S NOW
The heir to the Assouline publishing empire grew up surrounded by splendid style but is now infusing his own unique voice.

WHAT'S NEXT
The next-generation leader is working to develop Assouline as more of a lifestyle brand and bringing the books to life through experiences.

“Our company is really all about images and how they portray a location, a theme, a brand, an idea. I find inspiration in these images from all of our books and this concept we portray of culture, luxury and essentially style—[for example,] I collect all of these vintage suspenders. I probably have at least 60 now, and my collection is still growing. We also recently collaborated with one of my absolute favorite brands, Gucci, on a special project for its launch of Gucci Places. They created a series of leather goods with Maison Assouline in mind that are really great. I have the iPhone case and I never leave home without my black Gucci backpack. I love everything about what I do. Every day I get to be creative, and these days I’m putting together very exciting new systems that are rebuilding the foundation of our company for a more productive work environment. Right now, we are in the process of developing Assouline to be more of a lifestyle brand, with custom libraries that I curate, objects and even candles. But more importantly, we’re focusing on bringing books to life through tangible experiences.”

Photo by Gregg Delman

ANDREW BOLTON
WHAT'S NOW
As Wendy Yu curator in charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the man behind fashion’s most fascinating and highly attended exhibitions is also at the epicenter of the most glamorous party of the year.

WHAT'S NEXT
This May, Bolton curates The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (May 10 to Oct. 8).

“People dismiss fashion because of its ‘ephemerality.’ To me, that is its strength. That’s what I love about it—it’s always evolving, always reflecting the zeitgeist; it’s a complete barometer to our times, and that’s what I always find fascinating about fashion. It’s all about storytelling. Even though the show is primarily about designers who’ve engaged with Catholic imagery and Catholic beliefs and practices, it sort of goes beyond that and looks at how these designers—of which about 90 percent grew up Catholic—how it’s really affected their creative lives. Many of them aren’t practicing anymore. They were raised Catholic, but very few of them are now practicing. But it has very much influenced who they are—their creative lives and their imaginations. It’s still very much a part of their identities, and how they look at the world and how they perceive [it]. So to me, what’s fascinating about this particular exhibition is, yes, we are looking at Catholic iconography and that impact on their work, but it really is about how growing up Catholic has affected their imaginative lives.”

Photo by Kevin Trageser/Redux

BENNI FROWEIN
WHAT'S NOW
Since becoming president, the industry pacesetter has injected 129-year-old interior design company Schumacher with a vibrant, new energy.

WHAT'S NEXT
This spring, Schumacher launches collections with Paul Poiret, Celerie Kemble and Mark D. Sikes, just to name a few.

“I tend to focus on fit and materials rather than on brands. Who doesn’t love cashmere? The way I dress, speak and act represents my personal sense of aesthetic and creativity, and hopefully conveys the same stylish sense on behalf of the company to the customer. Appearance is a snapshot of who we are: People who love design definitely dress well as much as people who are humorous like to laugh—it’s just in our nature. My two earliest style influences were definitely my father and James Bond! My father was always impeccably dressed with proper English leather shoes, a blazer and a tie (even on the weekends). He taught me how important the right width of a tie is and never to wear brown shoes after 6pm. James’ lavish lifestyle and wardrobe made me dream of a glamorous world I wanted to be part of one day—more the dinner parties than his stunts!”

Photo by Gregg Delman

JOHN DERIAN
WHAT'S NOW
Since establishing the John Derian Company in 1989, the decoupage artist has offered his eclectic collection of wares at his East Village curiosity shop and at retailers around the world.

WHAT'S NEXT
This spring, Derian debuted his first wallpaper collection with Designer’s Guild and another store in New York City.

“I’ve always made things; I’ve been passionate about making things, my environment and creating spaces. Even as a child, I moved my house around or living room or bedroom, constantly changing and rethinking and looking at things. I started collecting things as a kid—like coins and rocks and gems and things—and it just led me to being curious about stuff. Then, when I was 20, I started learning about antiques, and it led to me collecting things, which led to me making things with those things I collected. I’m drawn to the 19th century. I’m not sure why. My personal aesthetic and the things I make—all from that era—and my clothes represent that a little bit. I like history, and clothing has history, too. I like science, and maybe that’s why I like nature as well—maybe it all kind of goes together. My world blends together in that way.”

Photo by Gregg Delman

CRAIG POGSON
WHAT'S NOW
The revered restaurateur serves as managing partner of newly reopened La Goulue.

WHAT'S NEXT
The Upper East Side hot spot is buzzing once again thanks to Pogson’s spirited personality.

“My grandfather was always in a perfectly made three-piece suit. I have taken his gentlemanly stylish influence with me throughout my own journey, perhaps adding just a touch more color. I owned my own bespoke clothiers in Mayfair, London in the ‘Naughties.’ I probably went a little overboard with dressing myself, and still have closets full of fun and timeless bespoke pieces. I have never been close to this fulfilled. Joining La Goulue again, building the entire restaurant for a year, and being part of such an iconic and fun establishment, has been a wonderful dream. La Goulue is my primary focus for the foreseeable future, though as part of a five-strong group of established and esteemed restaurants, who knows what we can achieve!”

Photo by Gregg Delman



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