We’ve asked some of our friends in the industry to tell us about an item of clothing that holds special meaning in their lives. Thanks to the Netflix series Worn Stories for the inspiration.
JARROD WEBER, GROUP PRESIDENT LIFESTYLE & CHIEF BRAND OFFICER, AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
I’m wearing my mother’s cardigan sweater. She meant everything to me. Wearing it gives me a sense of comfort knowing that what she taught me will always be a part of me, and a part of my sons. (It’s a great sweater: my mom had wonderful taste!)
DURAND GUION, VP FASHION OFFICE, MACY’S
This Roland Garros polo has great sentimental value to me as I was selected to wear it as part of the #mylacostepolo photo series several years ago. I had recently moved to New York from San Francisco so this photoshoot and polo really marked the start of a new chapter in my life.
Were I allowed to pick a second, I’d have to choose these loafers that I had made on my first trip to Marrakech. It is such an amazing and inspiring place, plus they are my first pair of custom-made shoes.
RUSS PATRICK, SVP/GMM, NEIMAN MARCUS
I’ve held onto my iconic Prada “seatbelt” belt from the early ’90s. My first buying job at Neiman Marcus included buying men’s belts and I’ve had an affinity for them ever since. One of the great features of this style is that it is adjustable, but still chic. Unfortunately, even set at the largest circumference, it no longer fits me but I am keeping it anyway! I still love Prada: their new Prada Outdoor collection and pop-up at Neiman Marcus has incredible accessories.
KEVIN HARTER, VP INTEGRATED MARKETING & FASHION DIRECTION, BLOOMINGDALE’S
I’m out at our beach house for the summer with only a quarter of my closet. But the one clothing item here that has sentimental value to me is this Levi Strauss x Robert Geller denim jacket. It was one of the collaborative pieces we did with GQ and Levi during Bloomingdale’s “Best New Menswear Designer” partnership. This was a piece from the 2009 initiative. I’ve always loved a Levi’s denim jacket but this one, with its worn edges and great blanket lining, is my go-to item for those weekends in the country
CHARLES GARONE, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP/BRAND DEVELOPMENT, FASHION GROUP INTERNATIONAL
I am emotionally attached to this jacket (custom made for me in 1988 by designer Michoel Schoeller) because it encompasses all of who I was in the mid to late ‘80s. At the time, I believed wholeheartedly that if AIDS didn’t get me first, the world would be mine… I asked Michoel if he would make a leather coat for me in his signature style, requesting only that he add triangular patent leather elbow patches and have the front zip up into a turtleneck with patent leather under the collar. It turned out to be even cooler than I anticipated. I wore it everywhere.
Coming out during the ‘80s was a horrifying and exhilarating experience and that jacket was with me through much of it. AIDS was a constant black cloud but the flip side to fear was an inexplicable feeling of excitement, like something absolutely amazing and life-altering could happen at any minute. NYC still inspired me then; the creativity was endless. If that jacket could speak, it would tell some pretty incredible stories about the guy I used to be… PS: The hat in the pic came from the old flea market on 6th Avenue and 24th Street!
MIKE ZACK, OWNER, CIRCA 2000
It was 17 years ago that I had a heart attack in my store. The paramedics arrived, as did a fire engine and the police. At some point, I’m not sure if it was in the ambulance or the emergency room, I heard someone say “We have to cut off his shirt.” I was barely alive but somehow managed to articulate, “You can’t do that: it’s a Jhane Barnes!”
When I awoke from surgery, the shirt was in shreds. I was devastated because it was a special gift: Jhane would send me shirts periodically that I would wear with pride to help promote her brand. When I later relayed the story to Jhane, she asked for it back and ultimately repaired it, weaving a new pattern into the cuts in the shirt!
JACKY CLYMAN, FOUNDER, COCKPIT USA
I love wearing my woman’s Top Gun leather jacket which we started making years ago. I wear it the minute the weather is cool enough up until it’s too warm. I love that it has historic patches and a nice patina from the antique French lamb we perfected in the early ‘80s.
We first started making the men’s version in the mid-1980s around the time we worked with Paramount to publicize the movie. But it was only after a number of women requested a smaller version that we created the women’s model. It has our iconic “escape map lining” that Jeff created in the late 1970s from the historic silk escape maps that Allied pilots used after they were shot down and had to make their way back to England.
I sometimes think I’m now too “mature” to wear this very cool jacket but (the best part of getting older) I no longer care!
GARY WILLIAMS, OWNER, GARY WILLIAMS SHOWROOM
My favorite item of clothing is this soft unconstructed cotton sportcoat by Engineered Garments. It weighs nothing, has fabulous details, reinforced seams, buttonholes, stitching, pockets, and many hidden features. It’s one of very few items I own that always inspires people to ask who makes it. And after ten years of frequent wear, it looks better than ever. I can roll it up in a ball, throw it in an overhead compartment or stuff it in a suitcase, and it comes out looking fabulous! It’s a very special item: the more you wear it, the more personal and distinctive it becomes. Engineered Garments owner/designer Daiki Suzuki is an incredible talent!
HOLLY ADAM, FASHION WRITER/ENTHUSIAST
This dress was a collaboration between Bloomingdale’s and Allen Schwartz (ABS) to welcome in 1994. Despite the fabric being a bit heavy, I wore it often to help promote the collection at the store. But imagine my surprise many years later, while watching the wonderful documentary on photographer Bill Cunningham, to see a photo of me wearing that dress appear for a nano-second on the big screen. Twenty-seven years after that photo was taken on the streets of Manhattan, I can still hear Bill’s sweet voice calling me Child. Humble as he was, I hope he knew how much he was loved.
HAGEN PEYSER, OWNER, HAGEN CARMEL
My love of clothing came from my father. Before he was an investment banker in New York City, he worked in London for several years and learned to appreciate Savile Row tailoring. He wore only French cuff shirts and only polka dot ties (he had several hundred ties—all polka dots.) The first gift that I can remember getting from my dad is this pair of gold cufflinks featured in this photo from our lookbook. He gave them to me for my sixth birthday!!!
LEE LEONARD, CO-FOUNDER, DLS BUYING OFFICE
I look at fashion the same way I look at acting: you’re playing a part. And doesn’t much of life involve playing a part? I most enjoy dressing retro or vintage—from authentic Hawaiian shirts to color block knits to wide-leg cotton pants worn with a moto jacket. I guess it’s a flashback to more carefree days. Plus vintage is now deemed sustainable.
I also really like camo—I’ve worn it for years and when it’s not in style, I head for the Army Navy Surplus to replenish my collection. This Members Only camo jacket is at least 10 years old. I love it because it’s soft, subtle, and comfortable. A lot of camo is stiff and needs numerous washings before it looks worn, weathered, and ready to wear.
JOHN MCCOY, LUXURY MENSWEAR REP
I still have my tap and ballet shoes from when I was 6-8 years old; this photo is from the early 1950s. I obviously no longer wear them but I’ve saved them because of the sentimental value and because my mother liked to dance. For whatever reason, tap and ballet were popular pastimes for kids in my hometown in the 1950s.