The custom clothiers Secret Empire threw a party for friends and family during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Since it was sponsored by Charles Heidsick champagne they had a lot of it they wanted to share.
So I made my way to the West Village.
On this hot and sticky night I came to see the designers of my go to summer suit, Natty Adams and Lee-Jon Ball, owners of the Secret Empire and purveyors of exquisite made-to-measure suits and shirts (you can get your own by clicking here). They made a beautifully light wool-mohair blend summer suit for me last year, and on a night like this when a suit was the only call, it was perfect.
As I arrived, I couldn’t help but notice the decor. The space was inviting and warm, adorned with eclectic artifacts, presumably from around the world. It was overflowing with color in a multitude of patterns, obviously decorated with a keen eye for beauty. It couldn’t have been a more auspicious place for us to drink champagne.
My hosts poured me a glass of Charles Heidsick champagne that was 10 years in the making. The venerable Champagne House sent 5 bottles of their recently released 2005 vintage to dispense appropriately. It was amazing.
Amidst the celebration you couldn’t help but notice how impeccably dressed Natty, Lee-Jon, and the rest of the guests were. Naturally the hosts wore Secret Empire suits and discussed everything that made great cocktail conversation: their Holland & Sherry fabric swatches, menswear, and worried about the total destruction of the western coast of the United States; a patron from Seattle was particularly anxious.
While I had some of the best dressed men in the city in one place, I became curious, I had some questions for the true dandies in attendance. I asked Kamau, of The Ideal Pursuit, how he carries things without a bag and told me he has all of his tailoring measurements taken with his pockets full, that way the tailor can adjust his suit to accommodate his wallet, keys, and notebook. Blew. My. Mind.
I asked another veteran dandy, Kelly, whom I’ve only seen in the most formal attire, how he deals with the brutal heat and humidity of summer, I was surprised by the answer.
As the party continued, one too many refills of champagne were had by all. It didn’t matter how far any of us had to travel home, everyone was glad they came. Eventually we departed for the dollar pizza stores that awaited us street-level in the humid summer night.
Get your own invitation to the Secret Empire here.