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The Things We Learned from a Real-Life Mad Man

  • Caitlin Ganswindt


If you’ve got a pulse, you know the final season of Mad Men premiered this week. And while the wide world of media is abuzz with the life and style of all things Sterling Cooper, we thought it was high time to get an insider’s take on the real-world glamour of a ’60s ad man.

We caught up with a Mr. Gareld Duane Rollins. A bit of background on GR’s credentials: spent 10 years working for Southwest Athletic Conference Broadcasting, had a 13-year tenure with McCann Erickson, helped coin the phrase “Put a Tiger in Your Tank,” shared an office with Reagan...

So, yeah—he’s got some credentials. And some words to live by. Presenting 12 lessons from a real-life Mad Man...»

The Wisdom of Marty Kaan

  • Kempt Staff

High finance hasn’t had much in the way of stylish role models since Gordon Gekko hung up his suspenders. Until now...

Enter House of Lies headliner Marty Kaan (played by Don Cheadle, who received a Golden Globe for the role this year).

He’s already spent one season as the rogue agent taking corporate America for all it’s worth—with his crew of fast-talkers played by Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson, among others—and he’s back on the Showtime blockbuster Sunday lineup at 10pm EST. Aside from the smart Italian suiting and knit ties, there are some sage lessons to be learned from the wily Kaan. And luckily, Showtime was gracious enough to give us a couple never-been-seen clips from this season where Marty dishes on a few key areas of gentlemanliness.

Check out Marty on promotions up top, and a few more clips, here.

Kempt Man of the Hour: Marty Kaan

  • Kempt Staff

It’s not often we’ve given Kempt’s Man of the Hour distinction to a fictional character, but in honor of season 2 of the Showtime series House of Lies, we’re making an exception—to applaud leading man Marty Kaan (played by Don Cheadle, who received a Golden Globe for last season’s tour de force).

As the Internet’s torchbearers of gentlemanliness, we’re obligated to mention that Kaan plays by his own rules (something that goes a long way in the personal style department), so there’s plenty to learn from the boardroom-dominating firebrand—whether it’s his stance on boundaries (never enter a liaison that could one day involve Jean-Ralphio) or the running man (Kristen Bell is still working on it, we hope). He’s also got his own nuanced take on politeness. Tune in for more life lessons Sunday at 10pm EST.

Remember: Marty knows best.

Laetitia Casta Is in Repose

  • Kempt Staff

via FashionCopious

American Way: Well Spent gets the skinny on Inland Clothing—a men’s shop selling affordable, American-made handsomeness. [Well Spent]

More Than 50: Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen is finally open for business on the e-commerce front. [Shades of Grey]

The “College” in College Football: Ranking the top 25 BCS teams in terms of the college ads they’re forced to play during commercial breaks. [Grantland]

Pump It Up: Four recipes for all that left-over pumpkin you’ll have from carving jack-o’-lanterns this weekend. [NY Times]

The Third Greatest Endorsement Photo We Have Ever Seen

  • Najib Benouar

And to our left we have... the third greatest endorsement photo we have ever seen.

For whatever reason, they all feature aging rock stars pouting at the camera with some out-of-left-field prop around their neck, in hand or precariously balancing on their head—in the case of Morrissey and this three-legged cat. It should be noted that of our two previous entrants (Noel Gallagher and Iggy Pop), Steven’s subject matter is more somber than sneakers or cognac, but the effect is still the same: it’s spit-take-worthy on first glance.

You could’ve just held the little fellow.

Your Horribly Misogynistic Vintage Ad of the Day

Some things make you want to be a better man. Other things remind you that you already are one—like this ad for Drummond Sweaters, which ran in a 1959 issue of Esquire. Here’s why you should buy one: genuine bone buttons, hand-fashioned, and there’s no need to haul a woman up a cliff just to show off your Drummond because these pullovers look great on any level. After all, women are useful indoors—even pleasant. But on a mountain they’re something of a drag.

Indeed, it’s a comfort to know we’ve become better men.

The Hats of Yore

It’s been a long time since men wore hats as a matter of course—and even longer since full-color ads for those hats filled the pages of magazines like Life and The Saturday Evening Post.

But having recently stumbled across a cache of classic Stetson ads, we can attest, they still look pretty good—and not just the hats. The imagined consumer of the Truman years was a pretty sharp fellow, all tailored overcoats and low-slung jackets. Check out our favorite examples below, if you’re not convinced. The chaps of today could learn quite a bit.

See a few favorites from the Stetson ad archive»

The Modern-Day Mad Men: Otto Bell

In honor of Mad Men’s valiant return last night, Kempt is proud to present the first in a series of profiles of some of the most thought-provoking individuals working in the ad game today—real-life Drapers, if you will (minus the brown booze and nooners.)

“The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” —David Ogilvy

Legendary adman David Ogilvy believed the best ads are derived from relatable, personal experiences. More than anything else, he said, consumers respond to stories about themselves. (If this sounds familiar, that’s because Draper masterfully employed a similar argument here, here and here.)

So, what’s in a story?»

The Kempt Profile: George Lois

  • Photography by Dan Smith

George Lois

At age 20, George Lois dropped out of school to join the ad world. Over the next 60 years, he was behind some of the world’s most iconic images and slogans, including Muhammad Ali’s 1968 Esquire cover, the campaign to free Ruben “Hurricane” Carter and “I Want My MTV.” More recently, he wrote a book called Damn Good Advice, and we were able to sit down with him for a few hours to unpack the wisdom of a life in the creative world. (Not coincidentally, our friends at UD Perks have tickets to a lunch with the man, if you’d like to see the show in person.)

The wisdom of George Lois, after the jump»