Having good taste and impeccable style doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, it takes learning from the best in the industry to truly perfect dressing like a fashion-forward, modern man. Welcome to our series, “How to be Stylish,” where we pick the brains of some of the most respected figures in fashion for their ultimate style tips.
T-shirts, shorts, sandals. Face it, summer clothes are sometimes less-than-thrilling. And then there’s Slate & Stone, which has offered men with elevated basics for nearly four years. Soft cotton polos? Check. Slim-fitted chinos? You bet. Punchy swim trunks? Naturally. Regardless of the piece, Slate & Stone provides quality threads that make getting dressed for the summer fun. At the helm of the budding menswear empire is Jeffrey Jacobs, who’s dedicated to giving American staples a cool, international twist. Here, we pick Jacobs’s brain on what it takes to be the ultimate international man of style.
The Cheat Sheet: How did you get to where you are now, career-wise?
Jeffrey Jacobs: I grew up in the apparel business, watching and learning from my father, which sparked my initial interest in menswear and the retail industry. My goal was to change the men’s business and cater to the young man seeking clothing he could actually afford, especially as his career begins to grow.
CS: Who is the Slate & Stone guy?
JJ: Slate & Stone is for the millennial man who takes pride in his appearance and what he wears. He appreciates quality fabrics, tailored fits, and refined style. Though he doesn’t necessarily follow trends and the ever-changing whims of fashion, he looks to Slate & Stone for a point of view and a sense of style direction. He understands that fashion moves as fast as the world turns, which is why he can explore his style with new takes on pieces he knows and loves, but in versions updated for the season.
CS: What makes the brand different from the other American menswear brands on the market?
JJ: The collections have a clear focus on polished, modern style. This gives men the opportunity to stay with the familiar, yet invigorate their wardrobes and engage in fashion with contemporary and unexpected pieces. When I look at most classic American brands, they don’t feel international to me. It’s more uniform dressing: The traditional, preppy guy and the west coast, surfer guy, etc. Toady, there is nothing at Slate & Stone’s price point catering to the man who is no longer born into just the American culture, but the international world. Our millennial guy looks for more out of his clothing than just the American codes to dressing.
CS: What is the one thing that every stylish man should invest in?
JJ: A tailored navy blazer. A man can never go wrong with this classic piece. He can throw it on for a more formal feel or dress it down with jeans and sneakers.
CS: What are five things every modern man needs in his closet?
JJ: A tailored white button-down shirt; the perfect black fitted jean; a pair of white sneakers; a leather jacket; and a Slate & Stone swimsuit.
CS: Slate & Stone meshes European fashion with American style. Can you walk me through the design process? How do you and your team blend two distinctive (and sometimes opposing) styles together?
JJ: I build inspiration from my travels: I spend a lot of time in Europe studying the trends, observing how men dress from country to country, sketching on the streets, and attending European fabric shows. On the plane ride home, I have some time to reflect on everything I saw from Milan, to Paris, to London. I begin each collection with a color story. From here, the possibilities are endless and the tough part is choosing which path to take. For me, it all comes down to refinement.
CS: Where do you see your brand five years from now?
JJ: This fall, Slate & Stone is entering the women’s category and will begin to focus more attention on accessories like bags, hats, scarves, etc. We are also beginning to dabble in the collaboration world. I would love to work with a young artist on our swimwear. The collection debuts this season and it’s something I want to keep evolving each year. I also see a Slate & Stone brick-and-mortar store in our future and expanding our category offerings into luggage, furniture pieces and really building out the company into a true international lifestyle brand.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs