August 9, 2011
Yesterday was the launch of Park & Bond, Gilt Groupe‘s standalone luxury retail site for men, and I am very grateful to have been part of such an intimate affair.
It was a luncheon for just a little over twenty members of menswear press, and I felt very honored to be seated amongst editors of The Huffington Post, GQ, Details, and my favorite paycheck obliteration tool, Racked.com.
Il Buco‘s wine cellar, where the event was hosted, was delightfully tucked away in the basement of the restaurant on Bond Street, aptly chosen for the launch of a boutique named after the same street.
Park & Bond’s style director Josh Peskowitz, formerly of GQ and men.style.com, whose whiskey-fueled wardrobe videos with Tyler Thoreson from a few years ago amused me to no end as a college student in Manila
I found myself bewitched by those large black olives, so savory yet so mild. Does anybody know what they’re called?
bass with yogurt and farro
GQ’s Sean Hotchkiss
and Jace, thanks for patiently taking my photograph!
I knew this affair would be of importance, so, thankfully, I elected to wear a jacket in spite of the sweltering heat. (vintage white linen dinner jacket from Amsterdam)
Park & Bond director of editorial content Andy Comer
above, looking tenderly at his beautiful vintage Seiko, apparently the only watch in his wardrobe
I spied a couple more handsome watches in the room, two of which belonged to lovely ladies:
a lovingly worn solid gold Cartier Roadster on publicist Dana Gidney Fetaya
and the most dashing Van Cleef and Arpels Laterale men’s watch on Marcy Engelman of Engelman and Co. The silhouette of the watch echoes the more ubiquitous Cartier Pasha, but I find this Van Cleef quieter and gentler than its Cartier cousin.
Funny I saw so many nice watches in the crowd; coincidentally, Park & Bond’s vintage watch shop-in-shop was one of my favorite parts of the new site:
Readily available is a selection of exceptional, yet very wearable vintage timepieces by Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, and others. I appreciate the creativity the buying team put into re-strapping a couple of the vintage Rolexes in striped canvas. I’ve got my eyes set on the red, white, and blue strapped Air-King and maybe even the GMT Master with half of the bezel in pink. Now, if somebody can wire me a few extra thousand dollars…
The site feels much more American than its obvious competitor Mr. Porter, which has always kept a decidedly British tone.
Park & Bond‘s home page as of the launch
One thing I found impressive about Park & Bond is the range of brands available on the site right from the start. They run the gamut from Burkman Brothers and J. Crew for all you heritage fiends, to Paul Smith and Thom Browne, and even N. Hoolywood and Junya and Dries for fashion wackadoodles like yours truly. They also have an exclusive with Alexandre Plokhov (formerly of Cloak), for the debut of his new line. Oh, and the two magic words that I move to be mandatory for any venture in online commerce: FREE SHIPPING.
A glance at the e-boutique at point of launch is barely sufficient to fully determine the character of buying done for the store and the quality of its editorial content, but you could be sure that I will stay tuned to see what the talented minds behind this endeavor will put forth in the coming months.