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The Fashion Geek Podcast

40 | We’ve Been Going Through Some Things Lately. A Conversation with Caustic Man.

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Description

Reg (Tiff is online shopping) talks with Mr. PM (aka “Caustic Man” on Instagram) about life in Houston, rocking Wranglers (with no label) and his opinion on Brooks Brothers (and Rowing Blazers and Polo), Ivy style, Prep and Trad. This episode sounds even better with jeans and Top Siders on.

Transcript

Reginald Ferguson [00:00:01]: The Fashion Geeks are hosted and powered by Blueberry. That's Blueberry, b l u b r r y. Thinking of launching a podcast? Want your episodes to be deployed smoothly? Go to blueberry.com, type in the word fashion, and get a deal on us. Just put in the word fashion. Blueberry Always hostfly. Hello. I'm Reg. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:23]: And I'm Tiff. And we're the fashion geeks. Trying to make New York. And the world. Well, New York is the world. A little flyer, one outfit And podcast. At a time. Yes. We're back. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:36]: It's a beautiful day here in Brooklyn. Mad, sunny. But we got a guest on, and he is live I from Houston. We've been following each other on the Insta for a minute, and then it dawned on me, I was like, let me see if I can rope this guy in. Yeah. Not for real. I wasn't sure I wasn't sure if he was gonna be up for it. Tiff [00:01:00]: Consider me roped. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:03]: Well, you're in Texas, so that's appropriate. Tiff [00:01:06]: That's right. I got my Wrangler jeans on today, Me too. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:09]: Oh, yeah. I've been I've been seeing Yeah. We need that's one of the many things we need to talk about. We we got to spin the wheel episodes today because, yeah, I've seen those Wranglers, and, I should I should yeah. We should talk about those. So I guess Texas staple. Yeah. I see it. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:25]: Yeah. But I've only started seeing you doing that recently. I didn't know this has been so that so why don't we just talk about that? We got our guest We got our guest, caustic man, Bonnie Mosques, live from Houston. Bonnie, the first thing I really have to ask you I'm not gonna get into the genes. How is it in Houston? Well, Tiff [00:01:50]: we've been going through some things here lately. You know, when I look at the situation here, I kinda have to, take a step back and count My blessings because I know what you all went through over in New York, and Reginald Ferguson [00:02:05]: Sure. Tiff [00:02:05]: Things haven't quite gotten that bad here. Thankfully, there seems to be some improvement in the medical side of things with the treatment of COVID and all that, people seem to be doing a little bit better if they have to go to the hospital, but, it seems to be spreading pretty quickly unchecked. And, Unfortunately, there is no or at least very little political will to, enforce too harshly The mask requirements and go back in a down into lockdown. So we're dealing with it day by day doing what we can. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:42]: Understood. I mean, you're you're the number one for the state of Tiff [00:02:47]: Texas. Yeah. Houston, as far as my understanding is concerned is, The epicenter of Texas, so to speak. And, I've been hearing people talking about, it's Texas 1st in terms of the explosion of the virus, then California, then Florida. So I don't know how this whole thing is gonna pan out, but I can only hope that on the other side of this that, we emerge from it stronger and hopefully a little bit wiser. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:16]: Sure. Sure. Yeah. I mean, like you said, you know what we've been through, and actually I'm concerned now. I don't know if you're aware. Our governor is starting to crow about, how we've overcome things. He's got this poster out now. I don't know if you saw it. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:33]: You should Google it. It's a little weird. Yeah, for real, and then and then to be honest, I mean, I'm I'm nervous because Q4's around the corner, Q4's always flu season, Mhmm. We've done a good job. We could always do a better job, obviously, everyone thought that we were done for, but I just I just feel, like, actor hubris coming on after this poster. I just feel like it's chest beating. And I'm like, we're not we're not done. Tiff [00:04:03]: Well, tell me about it. What did what what was the message? What did it say? Reginald Ferguson [00:04:07]: The message is convoluted, to really be honest. I mean, In a way, you really have to see it to believe it. It's it's this graphic poster, and it's got all these weird messages on it. It's really to me, it's really unclear, but the one thing that's ignored is that we're the number 1 in deaths for the state, so much less the city, really. So that that's totally ignored. I just I feel like the government started feeling himself a few weeks ago on CNN. And, you know, listen, we're we're in phase 2. That's it. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:46]: Mhmm. So I'm cautious as you know, I'm cautious. It's not even about being cautiously optimistic, But, I just, like I said, I know where you are and, you know, I just wanted to start that way because, you know, beyond what we wanna talk about, which is our love for fashion, No. Mhmm. It's about it's about life. It's about humanity. And I hope, I hope governor Abbott and I hope Mayor Turner, Get on the same page for you guys, because it seems to be very bizarre down there. Tiff [00:05:15]: Well, I hope so too. And, I mean, when it comes down to it, yes, you know, we The presence that you and I have on social media and in other places is fashion focused, but nobody exists on those platforms forms outside of the community aspect of it, so, I mean, you I think you might have seen the last post that I did on my Instagram page. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:35]: Yeah. I wanted to talk about that. I wanted to talk about that. Tiff [00:05:39]: Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, we there's this incredibly powerful tool at our fingertips to create community in a time when We're all sort of having to be separated from each other. We we don't get to congregate in the ways that we used to do, And it just seems to be an overwhelming sense of loneliness for a lot of people. And this is the way that we have to connect now. Podcast also, video conferences, all these things that we can do to build communities. And as far as At least the menswear community is concerned, and maybe this is natural. Maybe this isn't all that bad a thing, Nobody's really talking about it. It's just it's odd. Tiff [00:06:20]: It's as if everybody's just trying to pretend like Regular life is still going on. Oh, let me post a picture of what I'm wearing. Let me you know, this is my vacation dream. Wish I was here, You know, nobody's talking about the tough things, I don't think. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:36]: I think, you know, I think we are, as a podcast, Mhmm. It took us it took us a long time to restart. Tiffany, as I like to tease, She's just been doing a lot of online shopping right now, so, not that I haven't, Tiff [00:06:54]: but Yeah. I hear you. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:59]: But I I felt it was important, for us to have conversations with what I've what I now call the 2 pandemics. So these things are going on, and like you said, from a posting standpoint, yeah. You know, we We you know, we met on Instagram, and I agree with you about something to me, which was when I started To be on Instagram, you know, a few years ago, my immediate interest was for community. Mhmm. And that's why whether it was you or anyone else, I'm very irreverent, so I like to make a comment here and there. Obviously, there's always truth in jest. And then it's funny how sometimes I think, you know, people take commentary wrong, but my whole thing was, hey, I just wanna I wanna meet people and learn from people, you know, particularly these influencers. I mean, I'm not an influencer. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:53]: I know you don't consider yourself 1. Mhmm. You know, like you said, you just have a is interest in fashion and it's, you know, it's garnered you an audience. But I just always felt like, hey, we're all on the same gang. There's no competition here. You know, I do consultancy for my part of it. You know, I'm still, to me, the new kid on the block. I'm just trying to learn and grow, Pick people's brains. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:18]: But, yeah, like, we shouldn't be enemies. We should we should all be in lockstep. We're not a monolith by any stretch Imagination, but probably to your point, you know, now more than ever, let's, you know, let's let's connect. Tiff [00:08:34]: Yeah. And just briefly to go back on on something you just mentioned in terms of your podcast, one of the things that I've been impressed about is You haven't shied away from talking about the deeper issues that are connected to clothing as well. I mean, I think that there's this tendency Among especially the menswear community, such as it can be called a community, I suppose, but people who like clothes, who are men, That, well, you know, you don't wanna get too deep into it. You don't wanna take it too seriously because, well, it's just clothes and men Men are supposed to be a little bit aloof to that. We got more important things to think about. And, yeah, I looked good, but I didn't really think too hard about it, which, of course, is not true. We all think hard about it. But I really appreciate the fact that You're able to to sit down and sort of tackle some of these issues, especially when it comes to things like, inequality, whether it be racial or class and the kind of class messages that our close send and trying to deal with the, I suppose you might say the seeming dichotomy between dressing well and wanna be wanting to be a communitarian minded Person, I guess you could say. Tiff [00:09:52]: So and that's a tough job. So good on you, mate. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:56]: Oh, thank you, man. No. You know, I appreciate it. I I'm very passionate about fashion like yourself. I love the podcast. And it's funny. It's because of Tiffany that I have it. I was kicking and screaming. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:11]: I think because I'm a Ferguson, and I'm a native New Yorker, I'm I'm unafraid. So, you know, why would I be and and and you're right. I mean, the irony is Fashion can be viewed as something, you know, very light, presentation only, but, You know, deep diving and asking questions and and going back and forth. I mean, I mean, to me, that's fun. That's what makes things interesting. People who don't like fashion, whether it's men's or or women's, they'll look askance at people like ourselves because It seems as though we're superficial, but I know I'm anything but that. And I sense that from you as well, You know, even though you're caustic. Hey, that monicker, man. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:04]: That monicker. I was like, hey. Hey. Hey. Maybe I should stand back. Tiff [00:11:09]: Well, then it's serving its purpose, I guess. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:17]: Alright. Let's get into the Wranglers. You've been rocking Wranglers lately. It's totally old school. What what is that about? I have not had a pair of Wranglers since I was a child. Tiff [00:11:28]: Well, I, I had Wranglers when I was a child too. Honestly hadn't really paid much attention to them. And, I mean, let's be honest, it's not a high fashion item. Nope. It's not something that's made out of Japanese salvage denim or anything like that, but, actually, it Reginald Ferguson [00:11:46]: was North Carolina. Tiff [00:11:49]: And it was it was moving to Texas, actually, that sort of reawakened my interest in them, well, that and a couple of things. I mean, they're just such hard wearing pants. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:02]: Yeah. Tiff [00:12:02]: And, we remember that. Well, I'd say you know what? Now that I think about it, I think the main thing that attracted me back to them after they started to come back on my radar is the rise on them. You know, we're coming from a time when jeans were just low, low, low. And, you know, the women's Jeans these days are are pretty high waisted, but I think the men's have yet to catch up to that. And, you know, us menswear guys, at least on The classic side of things, we like to tuck our shirts in. And, the the, you know, Levi's just weren't cutting it for me. But the Cowboy cut had a nice high rise, so I thought I'd give those a try. Really hard wearing, really gritty sort of, Material's available and, boy, I tell you, there's not a whole lot of Levi's in sight around here in Texas. Tiff [00:12:50]: It's Wranglers all the way. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:51]: Really? Mhmm. Wow. So Levi's are looked down upon in the lone star state. Tiff [00:13:00]: Among some people, I'm sure. I don't know if if it's fair to say They look down upon, but the choice is always Wranglers. Really? Reginald Ferguson [00:13:09]: No. No. Leave Tiff [00:13:10]: it or not. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:11]: For real, I had no to really be honest, I had no idea that the brand still existed until I saw it on your Insta. I was, like, what the heck? Weird. Yeah. Where does he pick these up? He's like, he's deep dive on Ebay. I mean, Seriously, I haven't thought about that brand, and I love that brand. As a kid, I mean, that's when I was calling in light of my grandfather's influence. That's why I was calling Jean's Dungarees, which I still do. Tiff [00:13:38]: Mhmm. There you go. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:39]: Yeah. Oh, I love this. Tiff [00:13:40]: And they're dirt cheap too. I'm sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:42]: What? $20? Tiff [00:13:44]: Yeah. Roughly. Yeah. Depending. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:46]: Oh my goodness. Recession proof. Tiff [00:13:49]: Uh-huh. Exactly so. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:51]: Use the pandemic jeans, y'all. Tiff [00:13:55]: You can make a mask out of the leftover material that they wear out. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:02]: So how many pairs do you have? You just got the 1, or what did you do? Tiff [00:14:06]: I probably got 5 or 6 different pairs. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:09]: You're in. You're in. Oh, you're Tiff [00:14:13]: hooked. Couple in white, couple in tan, Maybe 1 or 2 in the classic Faded Blue. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:20]: Nice. Tiff [00:14:22]: Just the essentials. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:23]: You got to take a photo of the patch for me. Even if you don't put it on Insta, which I would love you to, because of that I would comment, I guess I'm gonna have to ask you, man. Yes. Could I could I do a Google search? Of course, I could, But I would have I would rather have it from you. Take a photo of that patch for me, man. Tiff [00:14:41]: The Wrangler's patch? Absolutely. I cut them off, dude. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:45]: What? Okay. I come off. Okay. Woah. Woah. Woah. I'm giving you all this love. Tiff [00:14:52]: You cut out Here's the thing. Here's the thing. That patch sits right on the right rear pocket. That's not happening for me, man. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:01]: I'm sorry. Why? Will you cut off the patch? Tiff [00:15:05]: Cut off the patch. It's gone. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:07]: Okay. I'm gonna give you I'm gonna give you a old school New York City story that search may know because search always amazes me. He's from the state. He's not from the city, but he knows a lot of New York City stuff before he landed here. Tiff [00:15:22]: Slow it on me. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:23]: Yeah, when I was growing up, Lee was a big brand, so Lee Jeans. Tiff [00:15:30]: I remember Lee. Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:32]: Particularly in colors, You know, distinct patch, very distinct patch. So this was the hip hop era of New York City. I'm the 1st generation hip hop. I had a bunch of leads, and I kinda feel in search noses. I like to beat him with stuff, and then he goes, yeah. I know that. I'm like, you don't even hear. Speaker C [00:15:50]: That doesn't mean that that doesn't mean that knowledge doesn't leave just because I'm not here. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:55]: That's correct. There there he goes. Watch. He's gonna know this, Ponnie. He's gonna embarrass me. So there was a group of individuals. They were a gang, And the big thing was ripping the lead patch off of people's jeans. This was really a thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:16]: You had to look over your shoulder, which back in the day in New York, you had to look over your shoulder every day anyway. So because we were rough. We were rough city, and they were called Lee Busters. Tiff [00:16:30]: Wait a minute. Lee Busters. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:32]: Lee Busters, I can't remember. Tiff [00:16:33]: This is the name of the gang. Lee Reginald Ferguson [00:16:35]: yes. Leo, Lee Busters. And I mean and this was serious. Like, It wasn't like, oh, may I rip off your patch? It was you're gonna get beat down, you're gonna get your patch ripped off. So Really, it was it was really it was really a thing. Lead Buster search evolved into the Decepticons. Speaker C [00:16:56]: Yes. This is Reginald Ferguson [00:16:58]: So yeah. So, yeah, that was that was real, man. So my point is you cutting off this patch Decades late, and maybe you should form a game. That's all I'm saying. I really heard that you cut the patch, Man, it's really I don't know. I don't know. Tiff [00:17:18]: You see? We're not starting off well. The next one No. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:20]: It was going Oh, well. And they'd be like, cut those off. What are you talking about? I'm like, I'm just dying a little inside, but it's a start. You You know, maybe when you get your next pair, you'll think of me and go, oh, keep this patch for reg. Tiff [00:17:35]: Yeah. We'll get there. We'll get there. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:36]: I don't know. You got 6 pairs, dog. I think you're done. Yeah. Tiff [00:17:41]: We'll see. It's not it's it's not expensive to replace these. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:48]: Now speaking of another brand, you've been rocking, a chore coat from, epaulette. Tiff [00:17:55]: Oh, yeah. Love that piece. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:57]: I I could tell, because you you claim that you wore it to sleep. And I'm sure your wife was upset. She seems to be a very understanding woman, but, you know, people have to grow up lines, Bonnie. I'm just saying. So Tiff [00:18:13]: This is a napping jacket. It's not it's not a it's not a sleeping in bed jacket. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:18]: Oh, I I thought you I thought you said that you were going to sleep in it. That's what I thought. I was like, okay. You know, he's not I Tiff [00:18:26]: also have a talent that Reginald Ferguson [00:18:27]: he's in the tub. He's gonna sleep with a chore jacket on. I'm like, wow. I don't I don't know what this is. I've never heard this type of breaking in. The reason why I'm bringing it up though, Unbeknownst to you, so Epulet now is out in LA. Mhmm. But they started in New York City. Tiff [00:18:47]: That's right. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:47]: It started in Brooklyn. Their store was on Smith Street. I am a block away from Smith Street. I knew those Hello? Yeah. I knew those dudes. I think I lost Tiff [00:18:59]: you, buddy, if you can still hear me. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:01]: I can hear you fine. You can't hear me anymore? Bonnie, can you hear me? Do I Tiff [00:19:11]: still got you? Reginald Ferguson [00:19:12]: I I I can hear you fine. Can you hear me or no? Man. We've been doing so well. Can you hear me? Serge, can you hear me? Speaker C [00:19:25]: Yeah. I can hear you. And then Pawnee's still on the call. Tiff [00:19:31]: I got your back. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:32]: Oh, you got me? Oh. There we go. Scared of Tiff [00:19:38]: Just we were getting to the good stuff. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:39]: I know. I know. I'm like, oh, no. So, yeah, when they launched that brand, they launched that brand in my neighborhood. So I love these guys a little bit. And then they closed the Brooklyn shop, and then they opened a shop in the lower east side in Manhattan. And then, of course, they just wrapped up New York operations, period, and then went to LA. So when when I saw you rock that, and then, you know, obviously, they're online and stuff, but I'm not really an online guy, a little bit. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:13]: And, actually, I gotta give you props because you introduced me to Luxwap. I remember. Yeah. You were very nice, very patient. I was like, what is that? What is that? Yeah. And they're they're out on the island. Not that far. Tiff [00:20:26]: Yeah. That's, Yeah. It's just around the corner for you, isn't it? Reginald Ferguson [00:20:29]: Car wise, they're like an hour and a half. They're in, Tiff [00:20:32]: just around the corner for Texas. Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:34]: Seafood Oyster Bay. Yeah. I don't have wheels yet, but with the pandemic, who knows what may happen. True. True. But, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:44]: Yeah. So I guess I'm name dropping. I didn't realize that. But, yeah, I just want I think I'd like to let you know because I know you're way out there, and I'm here in the city that makes everything happen. So I just I wanted to make those links, but the chore code is dope. I, I have a chore jacket. I'm sure people would be shocked, but I have a Tiff [00:21:06]: What do you think of that? As a classic menswear guy, what What role does that fit in your wardrobe? Reginald Ferguson [00:21:13]: For me, it means I'm completely slumming, for me. And I don't mean that, you know, to be insulting. It's just I'm suited and booted as I'm sure you've seen Monday through Friday. Yes, sir. Saturday, Sunday, you know, I'm casual. So, particularly now, on Saturdays, you might have heard one of the previous episodes, during the pandemic, I walk a mile and a half each way to the supermarket. Tiff [00:21:38]: Right on. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:39]: Yeah. Well, the train doesn't make sense anymore, so and this is really only good exercise I get. I'm gonna start trying to incorporate the stairway of my building for some other exercise. I'm kinda pumped up for that. Tiff [00:21:52]: That's so smart. That's such a smart way to do things. I mean, you're not really changing much about your routine, maybe, you know, trivially. And then you're getting that exercise in, which is infinitely better than nothing at all, so that's awesome. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:05]: Yeah. I'm trying to keep I'm trying and to keep in a rhythm, I'm definitely in pandemic time, you know, brain wise sometimes. Tiff [00:22:13]: What do you mean by that? Reginald Ferguson [00:22:14]: Well, meaning meaning this, I definitely keep my regular habits. I wake up regular time, go in the shower regular time, eat breakfast regular time. But then the rest of the day, I definitely have things to do, But sometimes the days blur a little bit. Sometimes I get a little spongy. I forget I forgot someone's birthday, and they gave me hell. And once I realized it, I was like, oh, And it was and it was definitely because of the pandemic. Mhmm. Because I haven't candidly, I have not looked at my calendar app since March. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:53]: I have not. Tiff [00:22:55]: So you started losing track of the days of the week? Reginald Ferguson [00:22:58]: Oh, it's a little bit of a blur. I mean, for me I don't know if you've heard, but I've mentioned on the podcast, so I have a 2 week rotation in suits. I've got a friend yeah. Big shout out to my boy, Jared Gooding, Jay Good. He teased me because he goes, oh, you know what day it is, and he's right. So My Wednesday suit, every 2 Wednesdays, you're gonna see the same suit. My Monday suit, every 2 Mondays, you're gonna see the same suit. So my point is, Based on what I literally have on, I know what day it is. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:31]: Wow. It's it's helpful. Tiff [00:23:33]: Yeah. That's an Extreme level of organization, I would say. I don't think I Reginald Ferguson [00:23:37]: can I'm organized, bro. So the 2 week rotation started when I was an undergrad. My late grandfather was a fashion hero to me. He's one of the people who really taught me about everything pertaining to style and fashion. And I remember when it was happening, and matter of fact, even talking about Wranglers, it makes me think of my grandpa, not that he wore them, But because he didn't wear dungarees. Dungarees for him, that was a work item, and that's probably an interesting thing. We talk about the, you know, the epaulette jacket, and like I Said I have a chore, chore jacket too. It's waxed, waxed cotton, Alex Crane, but The 2 week rotation started really from his genesis. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:21]: If he was alive today, he would just shake his head no, but, really, it was in tribute to him because I understood, hey, if I have a 2 week rotation in suits, that's gonna mitigate Wear and tear. So this is my uniform. It's been my uniform since I was, You know, again, in an undergrad as a stern as a stern student, NYU. So, you know, as a business guy, so this is my uniform. I remember when I was starting when I figured that out, that plan, that structure, and started doing it, my grandpa just shook his head at me, Because what I realized, it was a tribute to him, but he didn't understand that because for him, a suit was Sunday best. Because Monday through Friday, he was a mechanical engineer. He wore he wore Dickies a Dickies suit or separates or Sears? You know, so that's why jeans were never gonna be a fashion item for him. There were work items. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:19]: There were dungarees. So, yeah. But now if I don't go out every day, it doesn't mean I have the suit on every day, hence, pandemic brain, and then it gets it gets blurry. Well, there Tiff [00:25:34]: are some advantages to that. I mean, that that's One less thing you have to think about. You know, that actually it reminds me of a, professor of Eastern philosophy that I used to have as an undergraduate. He came in this in the same clothes, literally exactly the same clothes every class. There's a black t shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans. And I just imagined his closet being sort of like, like a cartoon character who's always wearing the same thing every day. And he said, yeah. I just do that because it's something I don't have to think about. Tiff [00:26:05]: Gotta think about so much stuff in my day. That's just one less thing. Okay. Rock on with it. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:11]: Yeah. Well, I mean, listen, it's it's whatever works. I I love for me, I love the system. The few people that hear about the system, I think they chuckle. You chuckle. I understand that. It work, you know, but it it really works for me because to your point, I don't have to think about it. And even though I'm fly every day, I mean, the great thing about That is people don't know. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:34]: I just pull out a shirt, pull out a tie. It's really not planned outside of the structure of the suit. So Tiff [00:26:41]: 2 weeks is a long time to remember what somebody wore too. So you're yeah. I'm sure you're fine on that. No problems at all. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:48]: Hey. You never know, man. It's New York. People watch you. They do, man. They're like, hey. Hey. You know, listen. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:56]: It is a constant and I keep on laughing because I I realized I'm referring to previous episodes. It's a it's a constant competition out here. Tiff [00:27:05]: Oh, gosh. I can only imagine. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:08]: It's New York. Of course. Competitive. Check you out. It is And Tiff [00:27:14]: you all reward You reward, eccentricity too. That ups the stakes. That's something different. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:24]: I, yeah, I'm, you know, I'm trying to show improve. So, the chore jacket is in my closet. It's never been adorned. Tiff [00:27:35]: What? Reginald Ferguson [00:27:36]: I know, well, it's not it's not really my steez, though I love it. It's burgundy. Like I said, it's waxed cotton. Again, shout out to Alex Crane. So I just figured, like, hey, one day, when I'm slumming, when I'm really chilling, I'll put it on. That day hasn't come yet. Tiff [00:27:56]: And then post Reginald Ferguson [00:27:58]: it. I yeah. Oh, totally post it. Tiff [00:28:00]: Yeah. Yeah. Come on, dude. I gotta see this thing now. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:03]: Oh, no. Tiff [00:28:03]: About it for half an hour. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:05]: It's too warm now. Tiff [00:28:08]: Fair enough on that. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:09]: Hey. And you and really, I mean, hey, man. You had that on. You're in Houston. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. What's the temperature there right now? Tiff [00:28:18]: Let's see. I think with the heat index, what is it? We're close to 90. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:25]: Oh, my god. Yeah. You had that jacket on, and you look cool as the other side of the pillow. And I forget sometimes you're in Houston. Most times I don't, but but Tiff [00:28:37]: What? Well, listen. I'm not out there doing yard work. I'm not walking 2 or 3 miles. Houston is probably one of the most air conditioned cities in the country. I mean, imagine. Oh, yeah. You know, there's a guy that I follow, who lives in Houston, rev DMR, I think it is, and he's always in a jacket and tie. And when I first moved there, he was wearing tweed, I think, probably well into 90 degree weather. Speaker D [00:29:04]: It is. Tiff [00:29:05]: I said to him, dude, how are you doing this? What is this? He says, well, you know, I've lived here my whole life. I'm really used to the heat. And besides that, I'm not really outside all that much. So Side all that much. So fair enough to that, I guess. But, I Reginald Ferguson [00:29:18]: mean Yeah. Tiff [00:29:19]: I I'm not wearing tweed Over 70 degrees at all. Speaker D [00:29:24]: I'm not wearing no. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:25]: I'm never wearing Tweed, like, 60. Like, Tiff [00:29:29]: Well, you get snow. It's different. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:31]: It's not Tiff [00:29:32]: the same. Speaker D [00:29:32]: Right. No. No. No. Right. I mean, Reginald Ferguson [00:29:34]: to me, that's the point. Tweed is Fall and Winter. I have a Harris Tweed that was that was given to me. It was a family heirloom of my friend who I mentioned earlier, Jay Goode. I couldn't have been more touched when he gave it to me. It's beautiful, and you know what Harris Tweed specifically, Man, when you put that on, it's like a glove. So Tiff [00:29:58]: It's hefty. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:59]: Yeah. Yeah. You're, like, all of a sudden, you're just, like, Oh. You're like, you're you're toasty, man. You're like, I really don't need to wear anything else but a scarf. This thing, This is it. So my point is it's 80 something today. Right? Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:15]: If I if I put that on, They just better call The Stretcher because I'm gonna be I'll be laid out. They'll be like, hey, Branch. What's the I feel bam. Speaker D [00:30:27]: So Tiff [00:30:28]: I hear you on that one. There's no tweet for me right now at all. No. No. It's impossible. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:35]: No. That's illegal. Well, big ups to the ref, but he must just live in AC. He just must have. Tiff [00:30:42]: Undoubtedly. Sheesh. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:46]: Arnie, I would be remiss if we don't talk about something that you and I have talked about privately, briefly, Brooks Brothers. Tiff [00:30:54]: Let's do it. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:55]: You, you know, you're really into the Ivy style. You know, I'm gonna be really candid with you. For me, it's all commingling when we talk about Ivy style prep, trad. I mean Yeah. That's you know, it's it's like the father, son, holy ghost. To me, it's it's all the same to me. I'm not saying you can't make distinctions. I think also because I grew up in New York, I went to Riverdale Country Day, I was known and still, it's probably not really shown on my Insta, but to me and my mind, I'm still preppy because, I mean, I grew up that way. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:33]: Mhmm. Tiff [00:31:34]: Well, you know and that's been one of the the I hesitate to call it a controversy or a major point of contention because it's I mean, it seems so silly on the face of it, but, among people who are interested in those kind of things, the difference between Ivy style, preppy, trad, You know, people argue about it ad nauseam, and the reason they do is because they are so similar, and the boundaries are so blurred between those things. But, I mean, it's American clothing. It's aspirational clothing to a degree. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:08]: Yes. And it's Tiff [00:32:08]: so, I mean, why wouldn't it start Melding together like that. I mean, you can you can pull hairs on it, I suppose, but who gives a shit? Reginald Ferguson [00:32:21]: Yeah. I I agree. And I wasn't I wasn't sure how you felt about that. You know, I've read some of your articles. I know you cited other individuals, so I I really candidly wasn't sure where you stood on it. For me, it's like, and I think I think the reason why I do that is because I literally have lived one of those aspects. So and I would be remiss, Like you said, my willingness, so here's the willingness. Only in America can we have a podcast in which an African American and a Mexican are talking about Preppy, and talking about Tread and Ivy, because The things change, kind of like when I meant when you went when you mentioned Wrangler, I went into, you know, a deep dive in my head and thought about my grandpa, meaning we understand how clothing changes in significance through its history. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:16]: Hey. It's workwear, now it's fashion wear. Now we talk we talk about this. Those items of clothing, we weren't thought of when all this was created. Now we're part of the conversation. You're really heavily in the conversation. It probably is not represented well for me on my Insta, but prep is always gonna be an influence for me because, again, that's literally how I grew up. Right? I went to RCS from 1st grade to 8th grade. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:42]: So even though people think I went there through high school. So, heck, I grew up. I think I've I've done my posters on my Insta. My grandparents. I think it was my grandma. My grandma gave me the Snoopy It's Cool To Be Joe prep poster. So Tiff [00:33:59]: Classic of course. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:00]: Door of my bedroom. Tiff [00:34:02]: So Well, you know, I think I would I would probably push back just a little bit, and say that, you know, if you if you look back into the history of the style, and not just Ivy or preppy or whatever you wanna term it, but just American clothing in general. You go back to mid century and earlier. I I I feel like there was much more of a tendency for people to center around a particular kind of American clothing. I think that a lot of that was expressed through the Ivy style. I mean, in the mid century, that was the everyman's style. You saw amazingly stylish Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:42]: That's true. That's true. Tiff [00:34:43]: Black men, Hispanic men, all wearing these things. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:48]: Yeah. No. No. No. That that's true. Obviously, it embodied an institution, But like you said, I mean, there were there were epics of time that it didn't matter what you looked like. It was emblematic. Tiff [00:35:02]: And that speaks to the the ways that I think that we at one time viewed American culture and multiculturalism, And, you know, you can take that and sort of, and contrast it with the way that we view things. Today, I I feel like in the mid century and earlier, there was a much Stronger sense that there was a Central American culture that everybody had a stake in, that everybody could buy into that wasn't perfect Literally. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:32]: By any means. Literally. Literally, you could buy into it. Literally. Tiff [00:35:36]: Right. You you could buy into it no matter what city you lived in. It was available everywhere, but there was also something of you know, we talked about aspirationalism a a little bit, and there was an aspirationalism that I think went along with That as well that people truly believed that they might have. Maybe that's not so much the case today. Maybe the economic and Racial or ethnic inequalities that we're seeing in this country have sort of soured people to that image. I don't know. But, I do think that this was something that more people bought into to a greater degree in the past than they do today. And maybe Maybe that's not strictly true because, you know, we've seen the rise of brands like Rowing Blazers who are appealing to a more Urban, customer base and so on. Tiff [00:36:27]: Yeah. So maybe that's sort of coming back to a degree, but it feels different than it once did, I Reginald Ferguson [00:36:34]: think. No, I agree, you know, and again, Rowing Blazers is here in the city. I know them a little bit, really nice. I know Jack just a smidge. I know one of his business partners a little bit better. And, yeah, literally, through their advertising, they're making it inclusive. And you had mentioned something. I think I read something. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:55]: And even now, in kind of the 2nd act of Polo Ralph Lauren, you know, he's he's going, hey, hey, hey. I did this back in the day. Let me show you again. Tiff [00:37:06]: Yep. No. That's actually I was thinking about them just recently in in their advertising, In particular, I was having a conversation with my wife a little bit earlier today about, The sort of the tendency that that we're seeing, especially on social media for companies like Ralph Lauren, to really put out front The the things that they're doing, in in terms of social justice, like Black Lives Matter, Pride, and and really pushing that hard. And I was raising the question, okay. Why is this happening in the way that it's happening now? And I'm I have no doubt at all that there's genuine concern for social injustices in this country among many many people in that company. But at the same time, to me, it feels a little disingenuous. And I think the reason is because Especially among larger companies like Ralph Lauren, they seem to be going about doing these things as a way to, To use an overused term, I think, to broadcast their virtue, to signal their virtue in in a way to maybe kind of Cover up for some of the, less savory things that they do to run their business. You know, we've heard a lot about worker exploitation in Bangladesh and other Places overseas, and it's almost as if they're saying, no. Tiff [00:38:36]: No. No. No. No. Don't pay attention to that. Look at what we're doing here. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:39]: Right. Obfuscation. Tiff [00:38:41]: Mhmm. That's right. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:43]: Yeah. I mean Tiff [00:38:44]: It's in a sense making an excuse for the darker aspects of of capitalism in our country. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:50]: It's so funny you say that. I'm gonna slightly pivot. So you're probably aware of the Blamo podcast, and now it's Blamo media. And they just did a they just have a new spin off Podcast. I don't remember what it's called, but essentially, they're talking to the captains of industry. Their first guest is Jamie Dimon. And to be candid, not that Kirkland, you know, even knows who I am, but I couldn't in good conscience click like on that. I also didn't make a comment, and I usually could, and, you know, I'm very capable. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:27]: I was just like, Even I even I have to be selective, but I was like, Jamie could time in, hasn't really done a lot for people who look like you and I. So I can't I can't I can't support him per se. Am I the positor in the same breath? Yes. So I'm not trying to sound like I'm a hypocrite, but people don't do the research, so when they when they see Diamond go, we're really doing a lot, they're just not in the getting standpoint with all these brands. And I was talking about it with my previous guest, Frank Neal of Man Your Style. It's so head scratching me. He's gay. Right? So, like, in like you aforementioned, Black Lives Matter or Pride, you know, take your pick. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:22]: Is it is it just signaling? So and it's really up to us as consumers to really hold these individual companies' feet to the fire. The willingness, I think, is a different story. I never have a problem jumping into the fray, and that hopefully, maybe it'll be something else that we that we talk about for, you know, before it's all over today. But, yeah, it's it's it's it's weird. I mean, Ralph Lauren has a cancer center that he funded up in Harlem. Mhmm. I can't I can't front on that, at all, but there is definitely to an extent The ability of people to jump on a bandwagon. But it's really up to the consumer. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:15]: My late grandfather used to always tell me when I was growing up, He was like, Reggie, you're the consumer. You're always in control. And particularly, when you live in a place like New York, Heck, even in my own neighborhood, we have such a wealth of services, if someone doesn't treat me right and my friends know, I walk away from that establishment. I go to another establishment. I take my I take my dollars seriously. But it's ultimately a matter of respect and self respect. So when I when I look at these brands, I mean, you can hear it. You could hear it in my in my voice. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:50]: I'm like, It can't be for an ephemeral representation. But, again, if the consumer doesn't hold the individual's feet to the fire. They're just gonna do their ad and keep it moving. Tiff [00:42:08]: Well, and I think that your your granddad was ultimately right in saying that you have the control as well because would these companies be doing this if The consumers didn't in some way or another demand it? Probably not. You know, maybe they would be, you know, doing their charity work and so on. That would be a wonderful thing. But, you know, it's especially in the age of social media, I think that we're so sensitive to artifice that we're always kind of asking the question why. And, you know, it's it's it's kinda like, You know, you see an amazing photograph today, and you just wonder, is it photoshopped? So, you know, maybe a little bit of the same thing. Who's to blame? I don't know. Maybe it's us. Maybe it's the consumers. Tiff [00:42:54]: Maybe we should be the ones who are expected to behave differently. I'm not sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:00]: Mhmm. Let's get back to my my original query. Brooks Brothers, Epicenter of this triumvirate that we talked about, Ivy, Trad, Prep. They're having a hard time. Tiff [00:43:18]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:19]: And I've always known the brand. Certainly aspirational growing up. Certainly, when I was in prep school, seeing friends with the golden fleece polo and being introduced to that, It wasn't always necessarily my steez at all. So, I mean, my polos were, eyes all across, but learning more about the brand from prep school on up and, you know, gotten older. It's it's not my go to. It's really your go to. You have stronger opinions and probably deeper, more intelligent opinions about this than I. So I'll give you the floor. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:00]: What what are your thoughts? What are your feelings? Break it down. Tiff [00:44:03]: Well, I I the first thing that I would say is that, I don't think anybody who Even has a remote interest in men's clothing, is happy to see what's going on with Brooks Brothers. I know it's it's not everybody's thing, But it is an American institution. It's been around for a long, long time. Yeah. And, you know, their bankruptcy filing is A major deal. It doesn't mean that they're gonna go away. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:29]: Right. Right. Tiff [00:44:30]: But, it's in a certain sense, it's really not surprising. You know, maybe the pandemic was the last straw, so to speak. But just from a consumer standpoint, to see Brooks Brothers in the last decade, maybe more, I guess, they just had an enormous number of SKUs and, you know, you would see sport coats in the same fabric in 3 or 4 different fits and styling configurations. It must have been a massive undertaking to to keep that stocked. And, you know, they had an enormous real estate footprint as well. They had stores everywhere. And, those stores were closing down slowly, more or less, before the pandemic. But, You know, who's who's gonna go out to a to a retail location right now, and who's gonna, you know, spend $2,000 on a, on a factory made suit, especially when there are so many other alternatives out there that are at the same price or cheaper where you can get pretty much exactly what you want made to measure. Tiff [00:45:41]: I don't know. The the Their ability to pivot to new consumer realities seem to be limited. I don't know if that's because of the size and the inertia of the company. I'm really Not that close to Brooks Brothers as a, as a business entity, but, it's, It's sad to see, but, they've gone through massive changes like this before. And I have no doubt that if there's any value at all, whether it be aspirational or otherwise in the Brooks Brothers name that, they'll they'll be around for a good long while. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:18]: Yeah. It's It's it's definitely strange. These are, you know, not these. This is this is a old Lion Brand. So, like I said, it was never it was never my steez. Not really. I mean, matter of fact, Since we connected on Insta, you know, however many years ago, anytime I walk past that spot, I think about caustic man. Actually, a matter of fact, I took some photos once, and I was gonna post it and tag you, and I just never did. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:53]: I find sometimes when I tag people, they feel like, oh, this is bait. This is bait. I'm like, I'm tagging you because I like this makes sense, like, you know, this is your thing. Or, you know Tiff [00:47:02]: Do it any time. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:05]: So, you know, but anytime I walk by there, you know, I guess I've thought of you because It's it's a party that brand is a part of your wardrobe, like, for real. Right? A major part. It's like, you know, I got a few things. There's no question. I mean, matter of fact, I'm joking right now. I pressed out a, a, I've got a a double breasted navy blazer. I'm thinking of rocking the day. So Nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:30]: Yeah. With the with the with the b b brass buttons. So Tiff [00:47:35]: Well, I'll tell you something else That you just reminded me of, as a matter of fact, something that's really incomprehensible to me, in terms of what Brooks Brothers has done in the last several years. You know, the the resurgence of Ivy and preppy clothes in the last, I don't know, maybe 5 or 10 years, probably 5, I would say. You know all about that. You've seen it. We talked about rowing blazers. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:58]: Yeah. Tiff [00:47:58]: Brooks Brothers, I I didn't see them try to take advantage of that Hardly at all. I mean, they had a few archival ties that they pulled out, and they must have a huge archive of things that they could have done and nothing. Almost total silence. Maybe a few, you know, patchwork seersucker shirts here or there that weren't that interesting, but almost nothing. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:21]: So you hit on something that I hadn't thought of until we just started conversing about it. Is it literally a thing of they needed the infusion of young blood, because when you think of Rolling Blazers, I think what you're saying I don't I mean, you know, I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. Rolling Blazers is doing what Brooks should have been doing. Am I correct? Tiff [00:48:42]: I I don't know that Brooks Brothers could have done what they What they did. I mean, maybe that's part of why they had such a huge variety of SKUs on offer. They tried to be everything to everyone, maybe. I don't know. But, you know, we talked about inertia for companies that size that may have had something to do with it. I mean, when you're starting out with something like rowing blazers, it takes so much guts To do something like that, you have to have such a clear vision of what you're trying to achieve. I'm not sure Brooks Brothers could have done it. They could have sort of maybe did it the way Ralph Lauren did it. Tiff [00:49:25]: You know, they kind of went back to some of those old school designs with the, Prince of Wales checked that they started incorporating a little bit more, I think, and, some of the more preppy oriented staples that they were offering. But on the other hand, I do think Ralph Lauren has always been a little bit more wacky than Brooks Brothers. So maybe they were better suited to do that anyway, but Brooks Brothers, Yeah. Just I I don't know why they didn't do that. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:52]: Yeah. It seems as though I I I think it's really the stereotypical. They're so big. They don't they can't have because of scale, they can't be nimble like a rowing blazers. Obviously, in terms of size, I mean, them and Ralph Lauren, that's pretty, you know, that's a one that's a one to 1 ratio. Mhmm. But I think it's obviously and I was and listen, it's not just one thing, clearly. Again, the infusion of younger people, you know, with younger ideas, you know, maybe that could have been one thing, not the only thing, That would have helped because like you said, it's funny, I wrapped with a guy. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:36]: I can't remember his name right now, so I can't name drop, but there's a cat Who works at Alan Flusser, and I met him at, at the anthology. And and it's weird When you can talk about somebody else's business, you can't help your own. Right? So, I have a growing BASH consultancy, and I'm like, this is a great product, and no one knows about it. You know. So the consultancy to podcast is all the same to me. So I'm talking with this guy, And again, Alan Flusser, I've known that name. You know, again, I feel bad, but when you live here and if you're semi aware, a lot of these places come from here, come from New York. So I'm like, man, you guys should be doing this and this and this. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:19]: He was like, you're right. You're right. You're right. But Alan won't do it. Oh my God. Like, you know, he's he's a old head, he's one of the he's one of the lines, and it's like, It's not about, oh, you must target millennials, oh, you must target Gen Z, but it's about trying to be relevant. I can't remember the phrase. There's a Forbes article about Brooks Brothers that came out this week. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:45]: I don't know if you saw it, but Did not. You may wanna check it out, because, essentially, They're saying, you've got this core, you know, consistency. How do you use that? You know, how do you use that to your advantage? Because like you said, from an archival standpoint, oh, my god. Could you imagine? So Listen. I have no clue. I was much easier trying to figure out Alan Flush's problems, but, And like you said, it's not it you know, chapter 11 always is a symbol of a deaf no. So, and like I shared with you in a in a DM, when they when they closed up the the shirt operations down south, you know, in NC, I was like, uh-oh. So Very sad. Tiff [00:52:35]: Sad to see that go for sure. And I know a lot of people are because, I I'm I'm not, You know, pinpoint on on the, operations down there. But my impression was that, you know, they were doing a lot of really quality garments for, some other folks as well. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:52]: Oh. And Tiff [00:52:53]: so sad to sad to see that go, one way or the other. But something that also also I've been kind of thinking about, and this is something that I think a lot of, I I think some of the more hard headed Ivy aficionados have been Chuckling about for a while. Del Vecchio. Brooks Brothers was owned Reginald Ferguson [00:53:13]: by Italian. Del Vecchio all this time. I just just haven't I haven't had the chance because I know. I felt like he tried to put an Italian spin on things, but, please, I interrupt. Continue. Tiff [00:53:23]: Well, the it's and it's not necessarily wrong for Brooks Brothers to to take inspiration from Italian tailoring. Obviously, it's very popular. It's it's taken the world by storm. It seems to be the default mode for people around the world who wanna build a classic menswear wardrobe. But on the other hand, There's still a question of where Brooks Brothers Place is if it's trying to to emphasize an Italian or at least an Italian inspired Style in the midst of an Ivy and preppy resurgence in the United States. Does somebody like Del Vecchio really understand what Americans want in this particular moment. And I I understand that when I ask that question, I'm probably talking about a relatively Small group of people who buy clothes, who pay attention to those things. Okay. Tiff [00:54:17]: What is the Italian shoulder? What's you know, what what are the style, hallmarks of the Italian style versus the Ivy style. Probably a lot of people don't think about that. But There is a question as to whether or not somebody like that is well positioned to understand what the American consumer wants. Now, he's enormously successful. Yeah. And, you know, he he's he's got the kind of money to buy a company like Brooks Brothers, so I can't really criticize him too far. But, it does make me wonder. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:47]: I mean, heck, he he enlisted Tom Brown. Mhmm. That's right. Black police. Right? So so it's not it's not that he doesn't get a a for effort. I guess maybe he didn't get a a for execution. Tiff [00:55:04]: Undoubtedly so. Undoubtedly so in many ways. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:08]: Man, we could talk about so many things. It sounds like maybe one day, if you're willing to dare, You'll have to you'll have to come back on the show. Tiff [00:55:20]: Sure. Been a great time. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:22]: But yeah. No. Absolutely, man. I really like I said, I Really chuckled because I was like, oh, this guy would not enter my podcast. Tiff [00:55:34]: Why not? Reginald Ferguson [00:55:35]: No. I was like, no. And again, now we we don't have time to talk about it, but, like, you you had, you had put something on Insta once, and I was like, you should talk about me because she was, Hey. Don't lose sight of things. I'm talking about QI, and I was like, hey. Hey, mofo. You talking about me. Hey, man. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:52]: I got my eyes on everything. Last, we don't have time to talk about that, or other things that we could have. So many deep dives. But, Bonnie, I really, really appreciate the time. We totally should do this again. Absolutely. Want you and yours to to be safe down there in Houston. Tiff [00:56:14]: Well, I think thanks so much. I appreciate that. Look, it's been a great time. And, look, I don't know how many times this virus is gonna come sweeping in here and there, so Y'all be careful up there too. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:26]: Thank you, man. Stay out of trouble. Tiff [00:56:29]: Alright, buddy. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:30]: Always be fly.

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