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The Founder of Luxury Cashmere Brand the Elder Statesman on What Keeps Him Inspired:
My Way

The Founder of Luxury Cashmere Brand the Elder Statesman on What Keeps Him Inspired

My Way My Way

I think, live, work and talk in a stream of consciousness. Let’s just call it a fluid life. A trip to Tokyo, 10 executed ideas, six great meals, four dips in the ocean, two dates, three trips to a Russian banya, countless beers with friends, one and a half major hangovers, a lot of quality family time and much dreaming—these are only a fraction of what can happen in a typical week.

When I think about what “my way” means in my personal language, it translates to “living free and unwavering belief.” Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” resonates with me because it’s beautiful—and because it partly describes my process.

I have literally and metaphorically been saying “when in Rome” my whole life, in my business, my personal life, my family life. But my Rome isn’t so much about conforming to society as it is about conforming to the spirit of the moment, whatever that may be. Let me explain.

Want to go to Normandy for a day? Sure. Make an eight-foot cashmere teddy bear? Make it 12 feet. Eight days to finish a collection? Totally possible. It may seem fragmented, but viewed all at once, everything adds up.

A lot of people need to go far away to find themselves, or need to head to big social gatherings to have fun, or need a drink to relax, or have to go to an office to work, or have to drive a certain car to feel good. These are things I do and like, but they can be limiting if you overcommit to just one as the solution. I view them as evolving tools in an ever-expanding tool kit put to use for the greater good of Rome. Let me explain further.

When I close a big deal: Rome. Find just the right color: Rome. Have a beautiful moment with my kid: Rome. Figure out a modern-family tactic with my ex and her new husband, whom I call a friend: Rome. Have a crush on a girl: Rome. Brainstorm a totally insane but executable project: Rome. Fight for a belief even though no one thinks it’s going to work: Rome. Have the freedom to make the hard decision: Rome. Take small hits: Rome. Take major hits and get right back up: Welcome to the Vatican.

Not pursuing a dream because of imagined fears: not Roman. Staying with a shit project out of ego: not Roman. Justifying good when great is possible: Roman suburbs at best.

I applied this ethos to the creation of the Elder Statesman, and a beautiful monster was born. She’s a vehicle for my expensive eye, my weirdness, my addiction to work and fun, and my need for creative instant gratification. She’s forever young, fertile, sensitive and sometimes mean, but she’s beautiful, strong and sweetly naive with a very old soul. I built something I could love.


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