A Professional Menswear Curator feat. Michael Macko
July 29th, 2013
Michael Macko (as previously featured here) is a seasoned veteran with over 25 years of experience in the menswear game. He has held titles such as Fashion Director at DETAILS magazine and Vice President of Fashion, PR & Events for Mens & Home at Saks Fifth Avenue.
We caught up with the menswear consultant & stylist at the MRket Show, where he’s in charge of hand-picking the up-and-coming designers to be highlighted in a distinguished section of the tradeshow called the Vanguards Gallery.
“The idea was to create an incubator for new and emerging designers, those just starting out or launching in the US for the first time. For our first show we found 8 brands that we believed in…five seasons later we have 34.
I think what we offer in the Vanguards Gallery that no other show is able to provide is one-on-one mentorship. I use my experience in the fashion, retail and media industries to work with the brands and help them prepare for a great show. We don’t just sell and assign them a booth and wish them luck…We make sure they are ready to do business.
The greatest personal satisfaction from my work with the show is when one of the brands highlighted in the Vanguards Gallery gets picked-up by a retailer and I know that I’ve helped keep the menswear business that I love so much going.”
The team and I were wondering what a menswear curator, consultant and collector wears to the “office”… So here’s what Michael wore to grease the wheels of the menswear machine during the three-day MRket show.
1. Nerdy Cool
“Over 10 years ago when I was told to start wearing glasses it took me over a year to find the perfect frame. I settled on the Moscot Lemtosh, they are the perfect marriage of nerdy and cool and are the glasses that Truman Capote, James Dean and now Johnny Depp. I own them in every color they make.”
“I designed this denim lapel flower with my friends at Hook & Albert, since one of my clients wanted to give them out as gifts for visiting their showroom. They had not done a denim flower up to that point and it was a huge success. They’ve since put it in their collection… I love being part of the design process.”
“If I’m wearing a suit and tie I usually like to dress it down as much as possible, and I think these Yuketen moccasins do that. Plus when you’re on your feet for 10 hours a day at a trade show you need comfortable footwear.”
2. Suit & Slips
“If there was a theme to this outfit it would be “That’s what friends are for”. I love all the pieces that I’m wearing and I’m lucky to be friends with the people who design them.
I don’t wear suits very often any more, but when I do Michael (Bastian) is my go-to guy. I purchased three from his SS/13 collection, this is one of them. The one-button peak is my new favorite jacket style.”
“The pocket square is from Charvet. When I was with Saks Fifth Avenue one of my favorite trips was to Paris to buy Charvet. We would go up to the top floor of the store on the Place Vendome and select silk swatches with Jean-Claude Colban, the owner. We would work all day and leave in the evening after the shop closed. On my first trip Jean-Claude turned on the shop lights and said “We have a tradition, on your first visit, you get to select a gift from the shop”. I selected a chocolate brown silk knit tie, but on subsequent trips Jean-Claude always had a gift for me. I think of him every time I put the square in my pocket.
Finally, the shoes are by Stubbs and Wooton, which my dear friend Percy Steinhardt owns. I was staying with him in Miami Beach a few years ago and we started looking on eBay for vintage surfing patches… He did a whole series of surfing slippers and this was one of the designs. The embroidery is from one of the patches we found, so I feel apart of the design process.”
- Grey Linen with Blue Windowpane suit by Michael Bastian
- Blue Gingham Shirt by Michael Bastian
- Pocket Square by Charvet
- Slippers by Stubbs and Wooton
3. Colorful Collectibles
“Ascot Chang is a client of mine and I order a few custom shirts from them each season. The last time I was in Hong Kong I went through their archives and found some amazing fabrics, including this acidic red gingham.
A few years ago I decide I was only going to wear knit and bow ties. So I began collecting Charvet knits in every color, and I found a woman on Etsy who converts classic ties into bows…genius.”
“The tie bar belonged to my dad and is very special to me. I have this, his Mickey Mouse watch and his buffalo plaid Woolrich hunting jacket. For someone who was not into fashion, my dad influenced my style a lot.
Michael Saiger is also a client and I am lucky enough to get things before they are released to the market. I actually saw someone wearing a similar combo to these two bracelets and loved the way they looked together. I’m always inspired by what other people are wearing.”
“Vans did a collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation back in 2006. Each pair had images of the specific beach that they were named after and all proceeds went to the foundation. They sold out immediately, but I kept a saved search for them on eBay… I have all six pairs in the series.”
- White cotton suit by Michael Bastian
- Red & White gingham shirt by Ascot Chang
- Cobalt blue silk knit tie by Charvet
- Sterling silver tie bar by Vintage
- Watch by Timex x J.Crew
- Bracelets by Miansai by Michael Saiger
- Red/White/Blue vintage surfrider sneakers by Vans
- Yellow Gear Bag by Wm. J. Milss & Co.
Thanks for reading and special thanks to Michael and MRket for participating!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.