When we think of influential people, we often default to Time 100 types — Oprah, President Obama, Steve Jobs. But what about the guy making your bike commute more comfortable, creating fabrics and garments that can replace your typical urban attire with performance-oriented equivalents while keeping your crotch area breathable? This guy moves mountains in our world, and he’s Alex Valdman, Design Director at Easton-Bell Sports. We caught up with him to talk about his work with Giro, his perfect last meal and his inspirations.
Late-blooming triathlon athlete
In 1997, Chris Lieto saw the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship on TV and decided to start training. Three years later, he became a professional triathlete. We caught up with the one-time mortgage broker to talk about technology, charity, and eating a healthy diet.
Two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion
While his contemporaries were putting on puppet shows and learning to play catch, Aaron Gwin was racing BMX in national competitions. He was eight. Today, Gwin is a two-time overall UCI World Cup downhill champion and the first American to win the Downhill World Cup Overall. We caught up with the “Fastest Man in Downhill” to talk ice cream, God and America’s best trails.
Head of Men's Design at J.Crew
Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is just what’s needed to achieve unique excellence. Frank Muytjens is the Holland-born head of men’s design at J.Crew, a proudly American company. Muytjens, who’s been perhaps the driving factor at the brand since he joined in 2008, finds his ideas nearly everywhere. We recently had the chance to chat with him and learned about what he brings to the staple brand, how he refreshes beloved classics, and his penchant for odd numbers.
The Zinn master
When it comes to household names in cycling, there’s Lance Armstrong and…who else? We’ll make the case for Lennard Zinn, whose bike maintenance books — among them, the best-selling Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance — have prime real estate on the shelves of anyone who knows a bottom bracket from a Krispy Kreme. Zinn is a former member of the U.S. national racing team, a technical writer for VeloNews.com and owner of Zinn Cycles in Boulder, CO, where he also designs and builds custom bikes. His college thesis? Building a bike. We caught up with Zinn to talk about what to look for when buying a bike, prepping for cyclocross season and not stressing out.
It started with a photo
Ask any photographer to pencil a list of dream clients and it might look something like this: Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, REI, Subaru, Polaroid, Lady Gaga and Red Bull. With notches in his grip for all of those and more, Chase Jarvis has one hell of a career trajectory. Oh, and he’s the youngest person to be named Hasselblad Master. We took a few moments to talk to Chase about his next project and what makes him tick.
The Pegu Club in NYC takes its job as one of the “gatekeepers of the classic cocktail” very seriously. So does Kenta Goto, the Pegu Club’s head bartender, whose work at the bar includes not just pouring excellent drinks on a nightly basis but also working with the Club’s owner, Audrey Saunders, to maintain an extensive menu of beloved traditional drinks and new creations that push the boundaries of modern cocktail culture. We had some burning libational questions for him.
This accomplished Charlestonian is just getting started. Really.
Brooks Reitz may not be a familiar name to foodies today, but don’t expect things to stay that way for long. As the GM of Charleston’s 2013 James Beard nominated finalist for best new restaurant, The Ordinary, Reitz has already garnered comparisons to a young Danny Meyer; in his fleeting spare time, he’s also the founder of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., which specializes in upscale, handcrafted mixers with a distinctly Southern flair. We recently sat down with the Kentucky gent to talk business, booze and life in our latest addition of 30 Minutes With.
A Fly Fishing Legend
Lefty Kreh is one hell of a fisherman. He’s lots of other things, too: retired outdoor editor of the Baltimore Sun, accomplished photographer, prolific author, father and grandfather, teller of stories, entertainer, absolute legend as a fly caster. It seems, though, that all of these things orbit around the first one. We sat down with him to hear about his 32nd book, common casting mistakes, how he was introduced to the sport, and much, much more.
The man behind Israeli wine
Victor Schoenfeld has been the Head Winemaker at Golan Heights Winery since 1992, where he’s spent time studying and understanding the terroir of northern Israel, building a groundbreaking vine propagation facility, and ultimately making wine that’s considered some of the best in Israel and in the world. Not bad for a guy who dropped out of high school. He told us all about that and more when we met him at the winery for their 30th anniversary celebration.
The Man Bringing an Icon Back, One Defender at a Time
After being told he needed a license to sell his personal Land Rover Defender 90 to friends, Matthew Perlman decided to go all in for his passion. His company, West Coast Defender, brings 21st century updates — refinished exteriors, heated seats, power locking and other modern amenities — to classic machines. Sourcing Defenders from all over the world and backed by a staff of former Land Rover mechanics, Perlman’s leading the charge toward the rebirth of the iconic British SUV right here in the U.S. We jumped at the chance to fire up the cameras and chat with him about his passion, why these cars are so special, and how one handles being held at the Turkish border for no reason.
The Youngest Man to Ski to the North Pole Solo
One of only three people to have skied solo to the North Pole — the youngest to do so by over a decade — Ben Saunders is also an avid cyclist, Twitter presence and Land Rover enthusiast. We chatted with him about his own heroes, what scares him and his next epic adventure.
Founder of Wilderness Collective
Canadian-born Steve Dubbeldam, founder of Wilderness Collective, has been described as a “serial entrepreneur”, having begun multiple fashion collections and co-created an online magazine with his wife. His latest venture is Wilderness Collective, supplier of “Legendary Adventures for Men”. We sat down with Steve to discuss his approach to adventure, what men stand to gain from the trips he arranges and what went into starting a company built to satisfy man’s thirst for exploits.
Vice President of Product Design at Kalamazoo Gourmet
Plenty of guys think they’re grill masters. But Russ Faulk, vice president of product design at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, actually happens to be one. After asking him to add his personal notes to our tips for mastering the grill, we caught up with him to talk about life, family, battling squid and American craftsmanship.
Hunter, Safari Guide and Photographer
Alex Walker grew up in a National Geographic photo spread. Instead of a lawn with a picket fence or a city playground, the fourth generation East African’s childhood stomping grounds were the tea fields of Mufindi, the bush of southern Tanzania and Kenya’s Mau forest. Today he makes his home in Masai Mara, Kenya, one of the most famous wildlife ecosystems in the world. After staying at one of Walker’s camps on our adventure in Kenya, we were curious to hear more about what makes this safari guide tick.
Poised to make history
Kevin Krigger is a 29-year-old derby rookie and the rider of Goldencents — a favorite in this year’s race. As a native of St. Croix, though, Krigger will share the honor of being the first Virgin Islander to compete in the race. More importantly to some, he’s also the first black jockey to compete in the event since 2000 — and he has a chance to be the first black rider to win the Derby since 1902.
Woodford Reserve's Master Distiller
Talk about working your way up from the bottom. Chris Morris came to Woodford Reserve’s parent company, Brown-Foreman Corporation, in 1976 as an intern. The native Kentuckian stuck it out, rising to the position of Master Distiller as American bourbon rose, too, from a soda additive to a super-premium product on the same level as its haughtier cousins. We caught up with him as part of our summer preview to hear some drinking stories, find out what’s next and hear about his love of the Kentucky Derby.
Putting your semester abroad to shame
There are globe trotters, and then there’s Lee Abbamonte. Though he doesn’t consider himself a “competitive traveler” per se, he is the youngest American to visit every country (196) in the world. He is 34. We got to chat with him about his life in and outside of the suitcase.
A gin magnate shares his secrets
Martin Miller has been hatching money-making schemes ever since he can remember. His early business ventures as a schoolboy included hamster breeding and a magazine for local teenagers. The ambitious youngster’s first small-scale money-earning success came with a mail-order dating book called Success with the Fairer Sex. He was 14. In 1999, he struck gold in the gin business with his eponymous Martin Miller’s Gin. We caught up with him to chat about bucking industry trends, chess and what he’s working on next.
No, it wasn't a four-hour talk
Pine pollen is a powder that contains the cellular material used to produce male sperm cells in coniferous plants. It’s available on Amazon.com as a supplement to increase testosterone, with some companies marketing it as a source of “perpetual youth”, claiming that it helps with everything from improving endurance to regulating prostate function. As part…
Discovering local frontiers
How far are you willing to go to get something you want? Abe Burmeister’s search for the perfect pair of pants led him to start a new breed of clothing company, despite having no experience in the fashion world. In our final Drafting It interview, we sat down with the Outlier co-founder to talk about…
Discovering Local Frontiers
Drafting It Series: Seth Rosen of CustomMade | Todd Carmichael of La Colombe | George Vlagos of Oak Street Bootmakers | Abe Burmeister of Outlier A hearty thanks to our friends at Amstel Light for helping make this series possible. Savor complexity. Savor Amstel Light.
Bringing back original Americana
Social causes are almost ubiquitous in the fashion / product / branding world, but it’s hard to find a company that takes its commitment seriously. Mac Bishop, founder of Native(X) is focused on his mission from the inside out: to collaborate with Native American artists and give them a platform to communicate their traditions and…
Dessert, Discussion, Direction
Question: How can technology change our lives in the future? In this follow up to the Smart Lives of Smart Men Part 1, our guests Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean, Evan Orensten of Cool Hunting, Anthony Sperduti of Partners & Spade, Ben Pieratt of Svpply, and Richard Blakeley of Thrillist concluded the evening in…
Dinner, Discussion, Direction
Question: How is technology changing the lives of men and the world we live in? Rather than look to the usual pundits for the same canned responses, we decided to hunt down answers by inviting a group of friends and colleagues to the Royalton Hotel penthouse for an off the cuff conversation over dinner and…
Adventure, and the gear you take along for the ride never ceases to enthrall us here at GP. David Munson, CEO of Saddleback Leather Co. is a kindred spirit in that regard. Subsequently, we decided to sit down with him and pick his brain on everything from the best strategies for approaching world travel, to…
Gant has a long-standing tradition of helping men look their best, but a recent rival effort has thrust the brand back into the spotlight of men’s fashion. Characterized by modern tweaks on classic americana stye bred in the collegiate atmosphere, the company has also just launched a new online store, enabling anyone with a mailing…
30 Minutes with Liad Cohen, Lomography General Manager and Chief of Retail
We tend to believe that technological advancement in the last 20 years has changed the world mostly for the better. Still, the waning of film-based photography is the worst causality in our books resulting from the collateral damage of the digital age. Thanks to a passionate community of shutterbugs and the style elite, however, analogue…