Manuary at MensWearNetwork’s January Lambs Club Gathering

November has Movember, for moustache-oriented mens’ health awareness. I vote we designate January as Manuary, for beard-oriented mens’ fashion awareness!

Case in point, the illustrious and magnificent facial hair on two of our distinguished guests last night at The Lambs Club as we celebrated the second year of our MensWearNetwork group, a gathering of menswear titans from around the world.

Derrill Osborn, retired Mens Clothing Director of Neiman Marcus, and former fashion editor and now Old School Shirt Makers‘ founder and creator, Kevin Stewart, both surprised us with their presence at The Lambs Club and their amazing beards.

Derrill’s has curls in his. Kevin’s is perhaps tamer than other past iterations he has rocked, but with a lot of wisdom in it! Note both of their accessories. Trust us, there will be more to be said about each one in future FWFash/Hi:5’s.

Derrill Osborn and his magnificent beard (note the watch fob!)

Kevin Stewart with Derrill Osborn and Bill Kaiserman in the background

P.S. At the end of the night, Kevin Stewart wound up the winner of the Brenthaven Collins laptop sleeve case, so generously donated for our second business card raffle by public relations expert Lisa Wells. Major thanks go out to Lisa and to the Brenhaven company!!!

BRENTHAVEN COLLINS LAPTOP SLEEVE’s Armando Gomez is FashionWhirled’s Friday:5ive

Armando Gomez is certainly the international man about town when it comes to fashion and style.  Based in Montreal of Spanish descent, the AskMen‘s advertising and promotions manager travels often, with brief sojourns for various events in the U.S., particularly Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Those trips have come fast and hard recently, especially ever since he initiated the AskMen Academy, a style series with, as he says, “a curated guest list of top influencers & tastemakers of must-experience events dedicated to helping guys look better, live better & know better.”

AskMen’s Armando Gomez

I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Armando ever since the last AskMen Academy event at the Dream Hotel, where he told me I had this fabulous aura, this glow, that emanated from my very being! Now, that’s flattery! Finally, FashionWhirled had the good fortune to catch up with Armando this past week at Continue reading

Nicholas K: Fashion Week SS13

The eccentric wind of a bedouin gypsy dressed for urban travel wafted through Nicholas K’s collection at the kick off of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center Thursday morning.  Layers, drapes, scarf prints and a desert-hued palette of neutrals and Sedona reds flowed throughout the men’s and women’s wear that the designer sent down the runway. Chambray and indigo were a highlight (I call chambray as the newest trend of the season!). Cool details like a laptop backpack pocket on the back of guys’ hoodies were reminiscent of early Daniel Poole and Marithe et Girbaud….

Rufus Apparel’s April Singer Straten on FW’s Fashion:5ive

I first met April Singer Straten a few years ago through one of my bff’s at a Coterie show while the founder, designer and creative force behind Rufus was pregnant with either the first or second of her now three children. She was absolutely adorable and over the years I continued to have the opportunity to run into her as I was walking or working various trade shows. I finally got the chance to see her highly-detailed, wonderfully-executed woven shirt collection at MRket a few seasons ago and then again when she showed for the first time at ENK this past July. With Rufus, her apparel business that incorporates both men’s and women’s apparel, including a three part men’s wear shirt collection, April gives guys top options.  
The native New Yorker majored in journalism before

veering into fashion after school (like me!), her path taking her to Ralph before Nautica, with a stint in London for five years as Nautica’s international team leader. When she returned stateside, she was determined to fill a hole in men’s contemporary dressing, and in 2004, prompted by her boyfriend, she focused on filling the need between the shirt styles that were permeating the market — woven shirts in boxy, classic shapes or super slim European cuts. Rufus was a hit, featuring details like signature red buttonhole stitching or red cufflinks, high-quality fabrics and a cool color palette. Which all ensured, according to her press materials, “the million-dollar revenue that the Rufus brand generated in its first year.”

Not bad for schmattas, as they say in our biz! April is now Mrs. Muse — yes, she not only married said boyfriend, but it’s his middle name that eponymously became the collection’s moniker. They have three young children and April admits that she is continually inspired by her husband’s personal style. Please read on to see how his style initially affected her and all about this special lady on FashionWhirled’s Friday:5ive today.

April Singer Straten, founder, designer of Rufus Apparel
FashionWhirled:  What role does fashion play in your life for you personally and as a designer? How does your personal style inspire or affect your shirt designs for Rufus?

April Singer Straten, Rufus Shirts:  I am inspired and amazed by how people wear their clothes.  Personal style is something that is innate and unique.  I love watching my three year old daughter put an outfit together.  She has very specific likes and ideas.  For me, I like to keep things simple with one little surprise which could be a splash of color or a piece of jewelry or a bag.  That is how I look at Rufus.  We are making shirts with a great fit and luxurious fabric.  We add one little detail that makes it special and that is what we are all about.
FW:  Is red your favorite color?! Why did you name the collection Rufus, which means “red” in Latin? Do you think shirts can change the world?! How and why?

AS: I do love red!  It’s strong. It’s bold. The line pays homage to my husband who’s a red head and was nicknamed Rufus as a child.
I think shirts are a large part of the world but won’t necessarily change the world.  My goal is to try to change the world within the shirt world.  Our shirts are classic yet eclectic.  Our distinctive approach to the mixing of colors, fabrications and patterns, coupled with our trademark fit, are the recognizable features that have become uniquely Rufus. 

FW:  Who is your muse and how does she/he affect the choices you make for your wardrobe or any style decision you make? 
AS:  My husband is my muse.  He wore pants in that yellow/brown workwear color with a sweater vest and a French cuff shirt on our first date.  I thought mixing workwear with a dress shirt was bold.  Although he is not really a fashion guy, he taught me how to mix ideas and simply not to take it all too seriously.

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — wear Rufus, who would that be and why? Which shirt(s) would you dress them in and why? How would you try to change their style?

AS:  I would have loved to dress JFK Jr. in Rufus.  He is the definition of our brand; classic yet eclectic.  He could have worn the mainline with a suit or our casual shirts with shorts while he biked around town. 

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by? You have a family, 3 children, I think…what legacy, fashion or otherwise, as a noted fashion designer and as a human being existing in our world today, do you hope to leave them?
AS:  “Pay attention to the details.”  People usually concentrate on the big picture and lose site of the small details.  It’s the chocolate on the pillow, a thank you note or red stitching on a shirt cuff that can make all the difference.

Stylin’ like a Celebrity ~ Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Style by Tom Julian

Are you stylin’? International trend guru Tom Julian is.

Julian, of the Tom Julian Group, knows that clothes make the man and in his just-released book, Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Style (Chronicle Books), he advises that “the right clothes can turn an interview into a job, a lunch meeting into a deal, maybe even a blind date into marriage.”

But, guys, how do you know you’ve (or, ladies, your man’s) got the right clothes? Julian’s new tome helps make the choices simple, breaking it down by style category and showing what clothes to wear and — here’s the important part — how to wear them.

First, take his super quick quiz at the front of the book to figure out your lifestyle style type. Questions are easy, like whose celebrity style you most admire and what do you enjoy doing on weekends. Since Julian’s savvy fashion work over the years for has reported on Red Carpet style trends on stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Daniel Craig, suffice it to say that it’s a piece a cake for him to help you determine your style. Julian’s four fashion stylin’ types are:

LUXURY: According to Julian, the clothes you’ll want “tradition, skill and craftmanship” in your wardrobe. Your personality is to “portray a quiet confidence.”

CLASSIC: You “appreciate quality, value and function,” but “take the basics and make them your own.”

CONTEMPORARY: Julian says you have a “modern approach to fashion,” with a desire “to be current but not flashy.”

TREND: Julian notes this style type likes to “stay on top of things” and “make edgy fashion choices…translating the runway into real life.”

Julian’s debut Style guide is garnering stellar attention, what with GQ Magazine’s recent swanky NYC book launch, Women’s Wear Daily’s reporting Nordstrom getting in on the book business and a style question-and-answer evening at the Princeton Club. Julian also ended up in The Dish Rag by Elizabeth Snead (, dishing on how ladies can dress their men like George Clooney, Brad Pitt or any one of their favorite celebrity stud they’d like to see themselves dating.

Who’s stylin’ now?