Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

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Navigating an Enormous Sample Sale

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The Italian mail order outfit Yoox just launched a massive sample sale with literally hundreds of designers at clearance-level discounts. It’s quite a haul, but since the selection ranges from highbrow labels like Etro and Comme des Garçons to obscure euro labels and, well, crocs, sorting through it can be a job of work.

To that end, we’ve picked out a few favorites, starting with this Aquascutum poncho marked down to an eye-popping $190 just in time for the rainy season.

But wait, there’s more…»

Staple Remover

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Much as we love the risk-takers, most designers are judged by how they do with the staples. And our Mr. Benjamin is finally showing his hand…

This blue flax shirt from Benjamin Bixby is a pretty good start. It’s flat enough that it won’t stand out at most offices, but the fabric is stiffer than the usual oxford cloth, and the overdyed hue makes it stand out from the crowd just enough to matter.

Andre’s stated influence is Colonial India—which makes sense given the wash of the fabric—but to our eyes it looks more western than eastern. Are tortoise-shell buttons bigger in Bangalore than we thought?

Stam, Stan, and Andre

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Lost in Translation: Ms. Jessica Stam travels to Tokyo. [FashionIndie]

The Man, the Myth: Hypebeast lands an interview with Stan Smith, and traces his shoe’s evolution from one-off endorsement to style icon. Our jealousy is palpable. [Hypebeast]

Check It: Behold, the plaids of spring. [Shoptometrist]

Mr. Bixby: Andre Benjamin unveils a few more wearable items from the Benjamin Bixby line. Sadly, no balloon this time around. [The Steel Closet]

Geller’s Win, Sasha’s Stockings, and Natalia’s Skivvies

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Behind the Camera: Natalia Vodianova sets out to make her name as a lingerie designer. But who will they hire to do the ads? [Luxist]

And the Winner Is…: Robert Geller takes home the GQ/CFDA award, beating out Rogues Gallery and Benjamin Bixby. Oh well, Maine will rise again. [Material Interest]

Dressed like a Porn Star: Sasha Grey shares her fashion wisdom…which seems to involve a lot of fishnets. [BlackBook]

Wrestling with Success: Mickey Rourke continues to be a magnificent trainwreck. [Vulture]

Zebras

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When people think of sports-inspired clothing, they’re usually talking about the players, not the refs.

This cardigan is one of the less obviously retro points in golden boy Andre Benjamin’s Benjamin Bixby line. The NFL-style “B” on the back makes the reference even clearer. It’s not an easy look to pull off, by any means—we might even recommend layering it under a jacket to cover up the back—but the thick vertical stripes are a lot bolder than most of what we find in Barneys, and its more eye-catching by half.

If there are any aspiring dandies out there looking for a challenge, consider yourself called out.

All About the Benjamins

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We finally got down to Barneys to take a peek at the Benjamin Bixby line from Andre 3000 (née Benjamin), and it’s quite a display. The line doesn’t stray too far from the Lauren party line, but the moves it does make—like the Lindbergh-esque bomber jacket and scarf—suggest a few places Bixby could go once it gets its sea legs. It’s broader and a lot more earnest than the typical preppy fare…which we should have expected, given Benjamin’s wide-eyed enthusiasm.

More importantly, the folks on the floor informed us they’re already restocking. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who are impressed.

Better Be a Household Name

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Not everyone gets to be a two-time MOTH, but with his Benjamin Bixby line finally hitting stores, we think Andre Benjamin (or 3000, if you prefer) may be on the verge of becoming a full-fledged style icon.

Part of his charm is the sheer oddball unlikeliness of his style. Who would think that the next big defender of preppy-dom would come from the world of hip-hop? Who would think that the space-invader hallucinations of the *Stankonia* years would morph into depression-era traditionalism? Celebrity clothing lines are usually inoffensive at best, but Benjamin is dodging those clichés the same way he dodged the clichés of late 90’s rap: with actual ideas.

More on Mr. Benjamin's rise»

Kempt Man of the Hour: André Benjamin

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*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

Here making his second MOTH appearance, the multi-talented André Benjamin (aka André 3000) stole the show at the Met Costume Institute's gala Monday night.

What won us over was his beautifully-cut cream shawl-collared dinner jacket with a subtle tone-on-tone glen plaid pattern, which could be from his Benjamin Bixby line, though it looks a little on the formal side—perhaps Ralph Lauren or Brioni is a better call—worn with Hollywood-waisted dress trousers, velvet evening slippers and a perfectly-proportioned pointed-end black velvet bowtie. His signature flourishes were apparent in the straw fedora, pearl shirt studs and a somewhat faded-looking but nonetheless brassy boutonniere»

Kempt Man of the Hour: Andre 3000

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*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

We have always regarded idiosyncratic impresario Andre 3000 (née Andre Benjamin) as one of the most stylish men in modern music. A fitting heir to Jimi Hendrix in many ways, it's felicitous that Benjamin (who has several acting credits to his name) has long had a Hendrix biopic in the works. Now he's branching out into fashion with his own line called Benjamin Bixby, inspired by 1930s football players.

More on today's MOTH »