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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
Yes, the holidays are chaotic: stores are packed. Traveling is a nightmare. Hangovers come in size XXL. But they’re also whimsical: the sweaters. Drunk Santa. Singing about snowmen.
Our advice? Embrace it all. Like an adorable doggy video on Kempt, it only comes once a year.
To that end, we’d like to tip our hat to the folks at Bergdorf Goodman for the short film Unleashed, which features a pack of dogs running wild through Bergdorf’s various departments in search of the perfect gift for their owners. Maybe it’s the eggnog talking, but we think it perfectly encapsulates two dominant themes of the holidays: chaos and whimsy.
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the cigarette ad.
Cigarettes are bad. But boy were cigarette ads good.
By good, of course, we don’t mean accurate. (“The finer the filter, the milder the taste.”) Or moral. (“Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.”) Or okay. (Barney Rubble: “I sure hate to see our wives work so hard.” Fred Flintstone: “Me too. Let’s have a smoke around back where we can’t see ’em.”)
It’s painted on a house in San Francisco and The Man (in the form of the San Francisco Planning Department) is trying to take it down over a few permit issues.
And while we have no strong feelings about Bay Area politics, Coca-Cola or urban planning codes, we’re strong defenders of old, handsome things—so we’re signing on to the rabid blog crusade to keep this thing alive. It’s a rare remnant of the general store days—and if that’s not worth pestering a civil servant over, we don’t know what is.
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but fashion ads have gotten downright artful lately—which means the time is right for some genuine heavy-hitters to enter the fray. The Raging Bull of fragrance ads, if you will...
To that end, CHANEL has enlisted Martin Scorsese to direct his first commercial ever, in honor of their newly unveiled, intensely masculine BLEU DE CHANEL scent. The ad’s full of all Scorsese’s best trademarks, like the Stones licks in the background, Italian film references (in this case, Blow-Up) and a giddy enthusiasm for all things movie. And, as you might expect, it’s one of the cooler ads you’ll see all year. The plot goes something like this: there’s a beautiful woman, a nice-smelling man, an irate press corps, a touch of ginger over citrus zest, a 16mm camera...