Matt Van Damm, New York Real Estate Developer at Naftali Group
For luxury property developer Matt Van Damm, a normal workday almost never includes long periods behind a desk. His varied schedule might include dashing from a construction site or stone yard to a design meeting with architects or meeting with potential investors—all of which he tackles wearing a suit and dress shoes that “always end up dusty!” Work sometimes takes him as far as Italy and Greece, where he sources high-end materials for projects. The combination of his warm, engaging demeanor and sharp, clean look serves him well in his field.
“My style is classic and tailored, and no matter what, I always wear a suit. Lately I’m loving solid suits with classic, fitted details—the Italians have it down to a science, as evidenced by this Isaia suit! For shoes and bags, I need something durable, and I tend to gravitate toward classic styles with clean lines and a bit of flare, like a great lining or color. These Giacometti shoes have a subtle blue color and patina on the leather that make them special.”
Alexander Olch, Filmmaker, Designer, and Founder of Metrograph
Alexander Olch is a polymath who approaches his namesake line of men’s neckwear and shirting with the same passion and intellect he does being a filmmaker. Earlier this year, he opened the doors to the Metrograph theater in the Lower East Side [pictured above], which houses archive-quality 35mm reels and state of the art digital video screenings, a restaurant, bookstore, and candy shop. Alexander’s fingerprint is in every detail from the furniture he designed for the space to the selection of indie and art films the theatre screens. His particular attention to style is reflected in his personal taste, which fuses his uptown New York upbringing with his downtown lifestyle—a look he describes as “formal disorder.”
“I love contrasts and find the combination of something formal with something a little messy to be very interesting. The challenge is then to stay inventive and not repeat yourself each morning, and I’m still working on that part. When it comes to my accessories, comfort and practicality come first, which makes it especially hard to find pieces that are also perfectly chic. I tend to wear black sneakers almost every single day, so choosing a smart pair is key. I love a sturdy bag that can hold all my things and feels balanced in my hand—surprisingly difficult to achieve—and this Boldrini Selleria briefcase has nice proportions and feels as great as it looks.”
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Correspondent VICE on HBO
As an Emmy-nominated journalist and news correspondent/producer, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin keeps busy tackling global news stories. While he’s interviewed plenty of high profile politicians and celebrities, his passion is giving a voice to the voiceless and bringing to light difficult, under-reported stories. As a VICE correspondent he reports on difficult, hard-hitting stories, like following the Syrian refugee trail. His engaging, storytelling approach to journalism has earned him accolades, including Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of “young disrupters, innovators, and media entrepreneurs impatient to change the world.” Whether he’s catching a plane to the Middle East, appearing on CNN, or kicking around his Brooklyn neighborhood, his hectic lifestyle and “inability to sit still” are reflected in his playful, versatile wardrobe.
“Usually, I’m dressed down, except for my shoes and bag, which I use to class up my look a bit. These Harris Chukka boots are sleek and eye-catching but also comfortable, which I need. In Arabic, we have a word kashkha, which means chic. If casual can look chic, then that would be how I describe my work style. Even though I am not a big fan of wool, this navy light-wool blazer is elegant and refined. I love that it cleans up a very casual look—perfect to throw on for a last minute TV appearance or dinner date.”