Birchbox Man Q&A: GNTLMN

GNTLMN's raison d'être had us hooked right off the bat: "We believe that reviving the lost art of dressing, behaving and thinking like gentlemen benefits ourselves and the world around us." This new brand, which reminds us—in spirit and in font choice—of the classic '50's men's magazine Gentry, marries limited edition product runs (most recently this tote bag to end all tote bags with awesome editorial (the combination of design, savvy, and world wisdom all wrapped up in this single image is staggering). Now they have launched GNTLMN Lists, an ongoing set of curated foursquare lists from unexpected tastemakers "fit for a gntlmn." For example, DJ Mick Boogie maps out his favorite spots in Park Slope, and Fred Wilson dishes one about his top coffee spots in Manhattan. We caught up with GNTLMN founders Wesley Verhoeve and Kyle MacDonald to find out about a few their favorite New York spots as well as their audio and sartorial fall essentials.

BB Man: What are your regular haunts in New York?

Kyle: One of my absolute favorite spots is Columbia Place, a small street in Brooklyn Heights. It's tucked right along the BQE and adjacent to the newly developed Brooklyn Bridge Park. This tree-lined street can make you feel as if you've been transported out of the city all together. The Iris Cafe on Columbia is a great place to get breakfast and remove yourself from madness of the city for a little while.

Wesley: Cafe Select for meetings and lunch. Ten Belles for drinks after work. Damascus in Brooklyn Heights for amazing Syrian groceries. Governor's Island for itself, especially when there are no events.

BB Man: What’s your fall uniform?

Kyle: If the weather doesn't force me into my Duck Boots, then it almost always begins with cotton chinos and desert boots. After that you can usually catch me in a steady rotation of cardigans and oxfords. A good wool sock is the only accessory I usually need.

Wesley: For me, the uniform also includes ridiculous amounts of cardigans, and boots ranging from nice (Crockett and Jones) to sturdy (L.L. Bean, Red Wing). And lots of button downs. Fall is the best season to express a man's fashion sense—so many opportunities, so many layers.

BB Man: Have you made any amazing discoveries while sourcing materials or designs for GNTLMN?

Wesley: Just the realization that there are some real artisan craftspeople out there working in a way that's very similar to what their predecessors have been doing for centuries, churning out quality slowly and with care. It's inspiring.

BB Man: What's next for GNTLMN?

We're working on a few exclusive products, but the next upcoming new bit is actually our GNTLMN Lists, which are themed lists of favorite places curated by experts across fields. Emmy-winning chef Soa Davies (formerly Le Bernardin) shares her favorite places to buy ingredients for a dinner part, actress India de Beaufort shares her favorite date spots in LA. We'll be releasing three new lists every three weeks at lists.GNTLMN.com and through our GNTLMN foursquare account.

BB Man: Finish this sentence “Every guy should have _____.”

Kyle: A great umbrella. Especially for guys in cities.

Wesley: An appreciation for the beautiful and the true, and a commitment to honoring that. And a good attitude. And yes, an umbrella for sure.

BB Man: Three albums we should listen to this fall?

Wesley: The Lumineers' self-titled album. The Tallest Man On Earth's “There's No Leaving Now.” And everything by The-Dream.

BB Man: You guys are big into L.L. Bean. What's the appeal of heritage for you?

Wesley: Heritage for me is about lasting value. All L.L. Bean stuff worked 100 years ago, and it works now. It's not vintage, it's timeless. Their service is amazing, and their values inform what we do at our main projects—Carrot Creative and Family Records—and GNTLMN. It's about making the best possible product, and offer it in a customer focused way with an eye on the future. We're all about the lifetime value of our customer, rather than focusing on the fast buck.

Visit GNTLMN at gntlmn.com and follow Kyle and Wesley on twitter at @gntlmndotcom.

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