CEO - 18/8 Fine Men's Salons
Professor - Grazadio School of Business and Management -
The University of California Irvine - Chief Executive Roundtable
Member - Luxury Council / Board - The Surf Heritage Foundation
CEO - 18/8 Fine Men's Salons
Professor - Grazadio School of Business and Management - Pepperdine University
The University of California Irvine - Chief Executive Roundtable
Member - Luxury Council / Board - The Surf Heritage Foundation
I’ve posted and will be posting articles on trends in men’s hair/grooming/style. Many of the articles and much of the information should be useful to reference. Some, such as the recent movie/documentary by Morgan Spurlock continues a disturbing trend of pandering and patronizing the male ego. Terms like ‘metrosexual’ may make sense for segmenting a market for internal analysis of male market trends. But as a term that has moved to the vernacular, I would find it silly and soon forgotten, if it would not have been grabbed and blasted by the media. Through all my research and male centric brands that I’ve created and worked on – 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons, Mitch for Men, Ace Grooming Products, Rhino Chasers Microbrewery, I’ve identified ten clearly defined men’s segments, from ‘The Titan’, to the ‘Do It Yourselfer’, to ‘Eco Friendly’. However, I rarely use these terms in consumer communications. A word like ‘Metro-Sexual’ in the media robs men of their masculinity rather than appreciating the more sensitive side of men. Now we have the movie ‘Mansome’ that continues in the same vein as the metrosexual theme revealing a couple of guys that essentially act like, well… women. Read, and in some cases, enjoy and use the information provided – courtesy of The 18/8 Man.
A few weeks ago, I meet the President of JHilburn.com, Veeral Rathod, at a First Growth Venture Network Event. J Hilburn makes custom shirts, pants, and suits.
I thought the concept was interesting, but when Veeral told me that over 97% of his company’s 2,000 employees were women, I had to dig deeper. It’s not everyday you meet a former banker who is up-ending men’s fashion. I decided to interview Veeral and find out how JHilburn came into being. It’s a great story for any entrepreneur (or banker) and reminds us that there are always multiple ways to disrupt an industry.
What are the backgrounds of the founders?
Hil Davis (Founder & CEO), Veeral Rathod (Co-Founder and President)
Hil and I both come of out investment banking. Hil started out as an equity research analyst covering restaurants and retail at Thomas Weisel Partners. He spent time as Head of Investor Relations at Brinker International (owns Chili’s, Maggiano’s and Macaroni Grill) before getting back to equity research with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Most recently, he was at Citadel Investment Group managing a portfolio of restaurants, apparel and footwear.
I started as a mergers & acquisitions analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group. I then spent four years at Cogent Partners, a private equity secondary firm in Dallas.
We were introduced through a mutual friend. Hil shared with me an idea he had been developing to sell custom luxury apparel at attractive prices by compressing the traditional retail supply chain and selling directly to the consumers.
What made a bunch of bankers think they could do fashion?
We knew that the traditional retail model was fundamentally broken – high markups, heavy inventory, significant discounting. Also, consumer preference was shifting towards customized styling and product curation.
We launched the company with custom shirts, and significantly underestimated the difficulty of product design and custom supply chain. The apparel supply chain is built around bulk production and it took us two solid years just to reach a base level of consistency in our shirting program, from working with the Italian fabric mills to the few high-quality, scalable factories that would make custom. Good news is that while this has been one of our hardest challenges, it is now one of the most defensible strengths of our business.
1) Before you leave, make sure that your laptop, phone, iPad, kindle…anything that takes a charge, is actually charged…2) If you plan on working from the road through a VPN…test that you can connect to your company network before you leave for your trip…3) Learn how to tether your laptop to your phone…in case you find yourself outside of a wireless hot-spot…your phone can step in…4) Buy a sturdy traveling case that will hold all of your technology…so you don’t lose or break it…5) Pack an extra charger and/or laptop battery…keep one in the carry-on and one in the checked luggage…because you never know what the travel gods may have in store for you…
Despite being hard-working (68.6 per cent are in the workforce), charitable (32 per cent do volunteer work and 73 per cent donated money in 2006) and spending nearly three hours a day on average doing unpaid work at home, men are often represented as one-dimensional stereotypes.
If you believe some commercials, guys have never even learned how to go to the bathroom. It’s a little insulting, right?
News.com.au has looked at just how much the trusty television has to answer for. We’ve packaged six of the most obvious stereotypes floating around Australian television today – the dopey dad, the alpha male, the bad boy, the larrakin, the thinking man, and the average bloke.
These commonly seen characters are often clichéd and one-dimensional, and provide little in the way of role models.
Dopey dads can be found in any ad for cleaning or cooking products that aim to make it easy for clueless men, and alpha males are often objectified in much the same way women have rightly complained about being victims of for decades.
Foxtel’s Xbox commercial which depicted four women ogling a new male flatmate who walked in wearing only boardshorts attracted an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
And the clichés are just as heavy for the larrakin who is never taken seriously, the thinking man who is always shy and awkward and the bad boy who just needs the love of a good woman to turn him around.
Dr Karen Pearlman, head of Screen Studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio school told news.com.au no screenwriter ever sets out to create a conventional character but audiences like to see something familiar and recognisable, albeit with something “fresh” thrown in.
“If you see a character that is completely familiar with no nuance, nothing to add, nothing to help explain us to ourselves a bit better – that’s not really great writing,” said Dr Pearlman.
“There are other shows where people hope characters will behave exactly as expected and then a writer might be writing that show to a brief.”
“Less of a real person than it is desirable marketing”
Film and media critic Marc Fennell echoed the desire for familiarity on screen but also told news.com.au the truly one-dimensional characters are driven by marketing and advertising.
“It’s kind of a demographically derived character,” Mr Fennell said, “and not just a demographically derived character but a character that – in my view – is less of a real person than it is a desirable marketing quadrant.”
Top-rating drama Packed to the Rafters is well, packed to the rafters with these male stereotypes.
Mr Fennell said the Channel 7 program has applied all the lessons from advertising, with “100 per cent stock characters,” but it fills its brief of being broadly appealing and agreeable.
“They’ve somehow managed to create the most successful Australian drama with characters that look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a Sanitarium ad.”
These characters are just as easily found in almost any other Australian TV show or commercial.
In real life, most men are a combination of these characters, or perhaps they aren’t like any of them, but Australian television would have us think all men are one type, and only one type.
In fact, reality television fills this void, said Mr Fennell. Shows like Masterchef and The Block have also offered new on-screen representations of men.
“I don’t reckon 20 years ago you would have seen straight, blokey men cooking on TV but Masterchef has completely changed that,” said Mr Fennell.
“Craftsmanship has become a new male attribute in popular culture.”
So if you are a man who doesn’t fit inside the focus-tested, marketing-friendly stereotypes and are looking for representation on screen it appears you have to turn to reality TV. Or find another way to spend those two and a half hours a day.
Yes, the letter is about as self-indulgent as you’d expect a resignation letter from a banking executive to be.”
For once, we have a Goldman Sachs resignation letter from someone who isn’t an overworked first-year analyst. Circulating the interwebs today is this NY Times’ op-ed piece from Greg Smith, a (now former) executive director for the storied investment bank. In it, he details why Goldman has become a horrible place to work. Shocking revelation: Goldman Sach’s culture is one big greedy get-rich-quick scheme (allegedly).
Yes, the letter is about as self-indulgent as you’d expect a resignation letter from a banking executive to be (though his parents are undoubtedly happy he made the world aware that they raised the world’s third-best Jewish table tennis player), and there’s no denying the hubris of using the NY Times as a resignation vehicle. But looking past that, this is not your typical “I was meant for better things” resignation letter. In fact, this letter contains several lessons that apply to pretty much every man in the workforce, be they bankers or bartenders.
I think this is the way most all of us dream of leaving a job we hate. Enraged, accusatory rants only make the employee seem disgruntled and incompetent, and boilerplate “I’ll always cherish the work I’ve done here” messages are ultimately transparent clichés. No, you want to tell your bosses to f*ck off in the most dignified, articulate manner. He stumbled a bit by shoehorning his resume into the body of the piece, but otherwise, nice work. Everyone should save this letter as a template for when they decide to leave a company they hate. He states his feelings and supports them with examples of the way things should be. His superiors may be free to disagree with his beliefs, but there’s no arguing with manner in which he presents them.
On a deeper level, Smith reveals a lot about the modern workplace and how easy it is to become complacent, even as the world crumbles around you. Smith and others sharing his views were and are afraid to speak out against Goldman’s declining culture, leading to the (predicted) demise of the firm but, tangentially, mirroring the deterioration of the U.S. economy as well. Every successful company, regardless of how lawless or derelict it may seem today, was founded on values that aligned with the best interests of its customers. If you speak out loudly enough about those values (even if it’s as you make your exit), the right people will eventually notice. In a memo released today, Goldman’s top brass mentioned an internal survey that reinforced the firm’s customer-focused culture. While the results of this company document would appear to contradict Smith’s perspective, companies typically don’t conduct those sorts of internal surveys unless they believe they have a problem.
The op-ed also brings to mind the concept of integrity, which isn’t something a lot of people think about when it comes to work. Sure, you might serve your clients, but in practice it’s more like “servicing” them (my parents will be so proud to see that I worked a sex joke into a career article). While Goldman’s size and influence magnifies and simplifies the implications of poor customer focus, it’s not limited to global investment banks. While companies pay us to do a job, consumers pay those companies for goods and services. When those goods or services suffer, the consumer will go elsewhere because in this day and age, there are few if any industries completely free of competition. When that happens, the quality of the work you do matters little, because eventually there won’t be a company to do that work for. There is a direct correlation between one’s integrity as a worker and the long-term health and integrity of one’s firm.
Finally, there’s one message that should resonate loud and clear with every person reading this: Don’t be afraid to leave a job you hate. No matter what kind of Kool-Aid the company tries to pour down your throat, no place is unique. If you don’t like the way your company does business, you can almost always find another one in the same industry. Remember, despite the way things appear, people are the commodities and resources, not jobs. If you’re a genuinely good employee and can articulate that, someone somewhere is ready and willing to lure you away from a job you no longer believe in. Sure, it helps if you have the kind of financial safety net Greg Smith probably does, but all men, be they new college recruits or 20-year veterans, should have their resume at the ready should the right opportunity come knocking.
If nothing else, Greg Smith will have plenty of time to work on his Ping-Pong skills.
Collapsible Grill Brush by Guy Fieri
Biting into a succulent freshly grilled medium rare 2 inch rib-eye - priceless. Biting into a steel fiber on your steak, from a cheap grill brush that caught on the grill - awful. Here’s a solution…
This 25-in. grill brush is collapsible for easier transport and storage. The stainless-steel-and-brass bristles work well for fine and deep grill cleaning. Use the scraper for removing grilltop residue. It also has a convenient hang loop for storage.
#10 Too many men think shaving is an offensive play with a man in motion. Experienced players know a good shave is the backbone of a zone defense, and the middle linebacker here is a hydrating shave gel. Keeping your pores soaked and the whiskers at attention help your razor glide across your jawline for a smoother shave.
This is a multifaceted play that will take some practice before you get it right, so let’s break it down.
First, drink less diuretics. Aside from dehydrating you and making you feel panicked most of the day, diuretics like pop also contribute to sleepless nights and anxiety, which are never good for you or your skin.
Second, choose a salad instead of fries. It’s this simple: Poor circulation means poor skin. If your blood can flow freely, then all the oxygen and nutrients you take in will move to your skin and other organs more efficiently. Fried foods slow down circulation and result in pale, grungy skin.
Third, eat less meat. It takes a long time to digest, and while you still need protein, you also need to up your fruits and vegetables intake. Fruits with plenty of water help to hydrate you and provide nutrients. Vegetables, while nutritious, also help to clean your digestive tract of toxins, which ultimately make their way to your skin and the rest of your organs. A healthy diet prevents this from occurring. Now, put all of these in motion, and you have an unstoppable defensive line.
No.8 Exfoliate Every Other Day Shaving with a blade helps to exfoliate your beard areas, but you still have to worry about your nose, forehead and the skin behind your ears and along your neck. These areas and those you shave should be exfoliated every other day in the shower to scruff away dead skin cells and clean clogged pores. Think of exfoliating as the defensive audible play you call when you know your skin has had a rough couple of days.
Yes, your dad and grandfather used an abrasive aftershave that stung. Even your uncles might swear by it, but they also played with leather helmets and no face masks. Nothing should sting after you shave, and if it does, then you’ve done something wrong. Using a moisturizing aftershave balm is the play you call right after a great shave
Get this through your head now: You need sunscreen all year. Even if you already have a tan, you still need it to protect the deeper layers of your skin. How much you use and where you put it depends on the offensive positions of the sun and weather.
Getting your blood flowing around your body is beneficial for your entire being, but your skin will literally come alive when it gets fresh oxygen quickly. Even if you can’t get to the gym every few days, a quick walk every day will do you good. Just put some hustle into it like it’s the last play of the game.
The “sleeper” play is simple and easy. Sleep is the most underrated tactic in maintaining healthy skin. You might be sleeping, but your skin is slowly regrouping for the next challenge. Don’t let yourself become sleep deprived. Take a nap if you need one. You’ll have to work on this without feeling like you should be doing something else.
Wash your face with a cleanser when you shower and again before going to sleep at night. Keeping your skin clean and hydrated should be a daily habit. If traveling, be sure to wash after long-haul flights once you have landed. It may be a simple play, but the good ones usually are.
Between plays, you have to stay hydrated from the inside out, which makes drinking water a play all its own. Even when you’re on the go, you need to drink water. Of course, sometimes we’d just rather have something else instead of paying for another plastic bottle of “spring” water, so invest in a bottle with a built-in filter. The water will taste better, and it’s better for you.
Like it or not, you can’t keep using your girlfriend’s or wife’s facial products on the sly. Your skin is different, and this is no joke. You sweat differently, and your pores are larger, so you trap more dirt and pollution with your skin than she ever will. Get your daily grooming drills in order with a face and body wash made for you. This is a preseason play that works all year. You have to use a face and body wash every day, no exceptionsRead more: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/entertainment/10-plays-to-improve-your-skin_1.html#ixzz1qB9FMAQ5
Written by the Author of this blog and an Interesting and Intriguing man himself. He recommends this read to all cooking and brew lovers!
“A sophisticated cookbook for beer lovers contains recipes by such noted chefs as Michael Richard of Citrus and Francesco Antonucci of Remi, and includes such dishes as A Shellfish Trio in Ale and Roasted Winter Vegetables with Honey-Pilsner Glaze.”
Whiskey Stones: A new clink in your drink!
I love a fine single malt scotch from a fine Baccarat Tumbler. I even make my ice cubes out of purified water, so there is no unpleasant impurities as the single cube cools the fire. However, what I don’t like is the dilution of the scotch that comes from the melting ice cube. The product below provides a solution for the aficionados.
On The Rocks
Skip the ice; Serve your drinks on the rocks.
These innovative soapstone cubes were designed by Andrew Hellman, a big fan of single malt scotch, who wanted to chill his spirits without diluting them. After much research, he came up with the idea of using natural soapstone to chill drinks due to its softness (won’t scratch the glass) and its unique ability to retain temperature for extended periods of time. Milled in Perkinsville, Vermont by the oldest soapstone workshop in the United States.Glasses made in Slovenia & the Czech Republic.
Simply chill the stones. Add three to your next drink, let stand for five minutes and enjoy. Sold as a set of nine.
Want to upgrade your gift to top shelf?
We recommend the gift set: Gift Set includes a set of six Whiskey Stones and two elegant sipping glasses (pictured)
Another option is The Whiskey Stones and Stone Shot Glasses Gift Set: includes four soapstone shooters and nine soapstone cubes. Leave the shot glasses in the freezer for at least 4 hours before entertaining for smooth shots of vodka or any sips of your favorite spirits.
Why should I use Whiskey Stones instead of ice?
Whiskey Stones are ideal for drinking with high quality whiskey because they keep it at the perfect sipping temperature (50 degrees), whereas ice cubes can make the whiskey too cold and ruin the flavor.
A handful of ice will take a drink to just under 40 degrees, and to deep freeze a drink quickly, there is nothing better. But some drinks you neither want to dilute nor deep freeze. Temperatures in the high 30s are far too cold for good whiskey. Reason being that the wood oils in the whiskey, which have leeched into the liquid from the carefully selected cask it was aged in and which carry all the flavor, tend to congeal and “close down” the flavor of the drink itself when the temperature goes below 50. The stones are specifically designed to “take the edge off without diluting or closing down the flavor.”
Specifically, 3 stones in a glass containing 2-3 oz. will take the liquid temp from mid-70s (room temperature) to the 50s.
The elite member with a bigger and bolder mansion than his equally rich neighbor also bests that neighbor as alpha male.”
The recent financial crises have exposed the enormous power wielded by financiers. These top bankers, hedge-fund managers and other financial-services industry determine many aspects of the wider population’s lives, shape the outcome of the regulation process and influence geopolitical order. I’ll call them the “elite,” as they occupy commanding positions and exercise control over knowledge, skills, talent, and wealth.
Though these elites hold great power over us, most of us fail to understand them. To better grasp their impact on our lives, this series aims to shed light on what makes them, well, elite.
This first article explores the relationship between luxury products and status.
How do we recognize elites on appearances alone? From the outside, we can’t judge if J.P.Morgan’s Jamie Dimon has a large bank account or if Larry Page and Sergey Brin own shares in Google. Does it actually matter, though, if we can? Apparently it does. Luxury brands and high-end clothes wouldn’t sell so well if it weren’t for the elites. One could argue that the elites’ craving for the latest sports car, designer clothes and diamonds for their wives stems more from pleasure than from purpose, yet a closer look reveals something else.
Money and control of scarce resources are not only what matter to elites. They also need to noticeably distinguish themselves from others. Large and richly ornamented residences, expensive jewelry and fine art are just a few external signs of superiority, but manners, taste and leisure activities also help to mark distinction. It is not sufficient to possess wealth or power only; they must put in evidence. As French sociologist/anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu argued, financial power might be the ultimate basis of power, but this wealth can only wield power in the form of all kinds of capital (cultural, social and symbolic).
Priceless collectibles, lavish mansions and the newest, flashiest cars are the symbols on which elites rely in marking their status and symbolic superiority. Dressing smartly, bragging about a chalet in St. Moritz and adorning a mistress with Cartier symbolize power — not only to the outsider, but to insiders as well. The elite member with a bigger and bolder mansion than his equally rich neighbor also bests that neighbor as alpha male. The banker who drives around in the latest Ferrari — because he was able to skip Ferrari’s waiting list — isn’t just showing off his wealth.
Such status symbols make the elites’ exclusivity known to the outside world, and it is the pomp and ostentation that we outsiders envy — the stuff we can only dream about. But the symbols of wealth, success and elite distinction not only set the elites apart from the rest of the population; they appear to garner a payoff too. A recent study on elite business consultants illustrated this: The advice of a consultant arriving with an expensive car is judged worthier than the same advice from someone with a lesser car. Therefore, symbols of wealth create more wealth.
Are Page and Brin richer than Dimon, then, because they have a fancier private jet? Maybe, but every elite setting has its particularities when it comes to symbols of elite superiority. Page and Brin can easily show up wearing jeans in Silicon Valley, but Dimon won’t be taken seriously if he doesn’t wear a suit and a tie. The underlying sociological logic, however, remains the same, as elites must always show their power through their status symbols. After all, we can’t see the millions on someone’s bank slip from the outside.