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Jay Z’s “Holy Grail”: A Style Breakdown

JZ_Header Google "MTV" and "news" and you’re still likely to get search results all worked up over Miley Cyrus and her already infamous foam finger. (Halloween costume, anyone?)

But in our humble opinion, the most important thing concerning the network—or at least the world of music videos—happened last Thursday, when Hova teamed up with Justin Timberlake and released his video for “Holy Grail.” The visuals include: champagne pyramids, all-black suits, immaculately chosen accent jewelry and, uh, sexy ghosts.

Behold, after the jump: all the notes you need on Young Hov’s visual lesson plan. »

Style Icons Playing Basketball

  • Najib Benouar


It’s a big day for basketball, with March Madness finally kicking off this morning.

And it’s been a big week for basketball here on Kempt, with our own bracket pitting icons of the sidelines against one another in our quest to name the most stylish NCAA basketball coach ever. You can catch up on the first-round action here, the second-round action here and yesterday’s Final Four here. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the grand finale...

Because today we’re taking a brief break in our tourney to present a roundup of style icons playing basketball.»

Teen Jeopardy, Badassery and Duckie Brown’s Style Advice

  • Kempt Staff


Sold in Bundles: Valet uncovers the ingenious Japanese retail tradition of furoshiki—and how Hickoree’s Hard Goods is employing it to fantastic effect with their pocket squares and bandanas.

I’ll Take YOLO for $18,000, Alex: Grantland recounts the story of the greatest contestant of Teen Jeopardy—nay, of all Jeopardy history: a gutsy olive-shirted wunderkind named Leonard Cooper.

Getting Personal: BuzzFeed catches up with the gents behind Duckie Brown to break down the four things every guy should know about personal style.

Tie Optional: Just in case Justin Timberlake has yet to make it totally clear that he’s definitely on his “suit and tie shit,” Esquire has the final cut of his with-artistic-director-Tom-Ford video.

Justin Timberlake and Tom Ford Are Collaborating

  • Najib Benouar

News of Justin Timberlake’s return to music took the Internet by storm—but we were more interested in the actual suit and tie he repeatedly mentions in the intro (of his appropriately named single, “Suit & Tie”).

Turns out it’s a Tom Ford number—not surprising, since JT chose to wear a Ford tuxedo during his secret wedding in Italy last year—but it doesn’t stop there. Timberlake and Ford have collaborated on a collection of suits (and ties, presumably) that will be “feature[d] heavily” in the album, The 20/20 Experience (presumably in the videos, but perhaps also the lyrics?). Mr. Ford styled the music video for the single. More than anything, we’re happy to see that JT is really taking the whole suit-and-tie thing seriously.

Naturally, we’ve got the video after the jump.»

The Stat Sheet: Made in Lieu Denim Sweatshirt

  • Najib Benouar

We’ve just stumbled upon the best-looking use for an old pair of jeans this side of jorts: this denim sweatshirt from NYC-based Made in Lieu.

Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: A couple of enterprising New Yorkers began snapping up leftover denim from some of your favorite jean companies and turning it into some incredibly durable sweatshirts. Hence, the birth of Made in Lieu. (They’re also repurposing flannel shirt scraps now.)

Who to Channel: Muhammad Ali on a jog in Zaire; a Canadian tuxedo gone even more informal; not a Spears-era Justin Timberlake.

When to Wear It: Throw one of these on anytime you might wear your favorite gray sweatshirt—over an oxford cloth button-down, under a blazer or just as an extra layer on the weekend.

Other Things You Can Do with Old Jeans: Make denim quilts; tie the legs around your shoulders and wear the jeans like a short cape; cut out the waistband and one back pocket to create a beer holster; cut them into strips to create an escape rope or an Etsy shop; make a scarecrow.

Find yourself in the happy medium between these two looks of Ali and JT.»

Kempt Man of the Hour: Justin Timberlake

  • Najib Benouar

Pictures of the Timberlake-Biel nuptials that went down in Italy about a week ago hit the newsstands today, and we’ve got to hand it to the guy—he cleans up well and married a very attractive lady. (That’s Kempt Man of the Hour material.)

The key was his tuxedo (a custom job from Tom Ford). It was a peak lapel, tipped in grosgrain and cut with a trim fit with some wiggle room that we’ll assume had the dance floor in mind, not the mid-photo-shoot jumping. He also went the extra mile with the studded shirt buttons, which is always a classy touch.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a long weekend in Italy.

The May Issues

  • Najib Benouar

The May issues are in and we’ve got a mixed bag on our hands.

May can be a tricky style month to predict. It puts us in the late-spring-but-it-might-already-feel-like-summer zone of weather, so it’s hard to know whether we’re going to want to see umbrellas or madrases. (GQ hedged with umbrellas). It’s safe to assume most of this stuff went to print while April showers were still raging (and Derrick Rose was still playoffs-bound), meaning everyone’s predictions were a little off. So, in the name of menswear journalism, we trod through the mid-weight blazers, the white canvas shoes (well in advance of Memorial Day), a few instances of déjà vu and an unsettlingly low amount of eye candy to bring you...

Everything you need to know from May’s crop of glossies.»

A Clintonian Surge for Santorum

Part one of PBS’s great documentary on Bill Clinton aired last night, just hours after a Gallup poll showed Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by 36% to 26% among national Republicans. All eyes are now on Michigan as 2012’s sweater-vested version of the Comeback Kid may be poised to send Mitt Romney the way of Paul Tsongas. (Unless, of course, a version of Jennifer Flowers emerges as well.)

Here’s what else you may have missed over the “holiday”...»

Samantha Gradoville Is Solving Mysteries From Her Apartment

More Benefits: As it turns out, Justin Timberlake knows his way around a suit. [Esquire]

Throwing Flowers: A uniquely British hand-wringing session on the subject of the floral shirt. [Men’s Flair]

Between Beast and Man: The latest Beastie Boys video involves assassination attempts and puppets on fire. [Gear Patrol]

It’s Like…A Book…of Faces: Paul Ford offers an aesthetic appreciation of the Facebook feed. [NYMag]