The Influence of Susan Buffet

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Before this week, my familiarity with Warren Buffet was limited to his net worth.  But from a weird sense, late in the morning hours before a snow storm in New York, I learned that world as I knew up until this point, put the money in front of the man, and the man, in front of his wife—Susan Buffet.  At these early hours, HBO brought to me the Becoming Warren Buffet.  A beautiful story that chronicled the life of the world's most notable philanthropist and value investor struck me as very revealing to the habits and influences of an American, father and husband.  Watching the documentary in subtitles made for a more engaging experience as I noticed that one of Buffet's final statements highlighted how his wife help influence him to become the man he is today.  

Buffet married Susan in his early twenties and the couple bore three children.  As Warren continued being the man that he always was, a man of ambition and avid reader, his business interest may have yielded him absent from family life as a result of his mind always turning and thinking ahead.  In spite of what can be characterized as a flaw, he remained open to the influence of his wife about, giving, politics, and the countries social issues at the time that grew contrary to the thinking of his late father.  As Buffet's investing strategies and businesses blossomed, his eye remained close on his wealth but in time, his life of giving began to reside as high in respect as his net worth.  His gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was notable and from my perspective the culmination of Susan’s prime influence.  Susan Buffet in old interviews I perceived spoke highly of Mr. Buffet and due to her character, she never let wealth determine her worth or in turn their children. 

Image | Business Insider

One of the core thoughts of Mr. Buffet strategies is compounding interest.  And after watching the documentary, I came to understand how some of life choices are indeed investments that provide much interest over a chosen period of time.  As the arc of time progresses, you start to see returns in your life based on the choices that you make.  In Buffet’s case, his choice of making Susan Buffet his wife, provided compounding interest for him in the form of family, his philanthropic efforts, and his world views.  I don't seek to reduce marriage down to a financial term but understanding the concept and coming to understand marriage more and more day by day by stories like Susan Buffet, my wife, and her parents who have been married for 35 years, I come to see the intrinsic value in the person you recognize as family that aides you in building family and your wealth.    

 

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2 / 14 / 17

Image | la Fleur d'Harlem

Image | la Fleur d'Harlem

On Valentine’s Day 1951, in the midst of his evolution from American civil rights proponent to Pan-African leader of the Council of African Affairs, W.E.B. DuBois married the multi-talented playwright, composer, and international peace activist Shirley Graham.  While you may or may not be thinking about such a radical romantic gesture on February 14th, the game hasn’t changed and your Valentine is equally as special, so she is expecting flowers. 

Image | la Fleur d'Harlem

Image | la Fleur d'Harlem

Even the most conservative era of Europeans did their due diligence to maintain the act of flower giving. “Victorians, living in an era when people did not believe in openly expressing emotions, found the language of flowers to be an acceptable form of expression.” Carolyn Black, Penn State Master Gardener.  Whether your relationship status is new or old or you’re intentionally celebrating your Mom as the number one woman in your life, Valentine’s day means flowers.

I was introduced to Louis Gagliano’s Fleur d’Harlem a year ago scrambling for a last minute bouquet.  Gagliano has spent 12 years in the floral industry creating beautiful bouquets for special occasions and his shop is for clutch procrastinating uptowners like myself.  “I’ve been up here for 10 years, this is my third location in Harlem. There are very few florists up here, so this was an opportunity to branch out and serve the community, and help the business grow.”

The key to a great Valentine’s Day is planning, but if you haven’t planned well like myself, bold and beautiful arrangements will surely make up for it.  Handmade vases and candles are definitely the best option to modernize the tradition and offer your special lady a gift that she can keep after the flowers are long gone. NYC artist Jonathan Castro’s ribbed vases add handmade charm to accent your heartfelt gift.  Also, Castro designs grip cup candles that will remind bae that she should hold on to you in the future.

Historically, the size and shape and brilliance of the flowers were of the utmost importance.  Today, it’s important to consider all the above and remind your Valentine of her uniqueness. Every aspect of the arrangement, the color of the roses, the accent flowers, length of the stems, are all a representation of where you are and where you want your relationship to go after Valentine’s Day.  In addition, the eccentricity of local markets is inspired by the people and place that probably brought you and your lady together or represent the city with some of your fondest memories.  So no matter where you live, find a reputable local florist, go to a local market and find a vase and gifts that are worthy of your date, write a note that summarizes her importance to you, and enjoy this Valentine’s Day, thoughtfully.

Sidney & Sons New York

When my wife and I set out to launch the brand MICHAEL THOMAS two years ago, we sought to do so in Harlem New York at the Sugar Hill Market.  From here we were able to build some fantastic relationships and partnerships through our passion not just for the products I designed but our enthusiasm for great brands.  This enthusiasm has lead to our very first brand partnership and we are grateful to present Sidney & Sons New York!

Today we launch Sidney & Sons in our online store and release the first lookbook for ALWD.  We first encountered the brand's founder Lucy Thompson at the long running Sugar Hill Market and we were amazed at her knowledge of fashion, history and design that flows through her brand Sidney and Sons established in 2010.  While her English accent is enticing, the designer is considered a New Yorker moving to the city from London 18 years ago and continues to grow her brand bag by bag.  After recently seeing her framed waxed canvas tool bag in camouflage for the first time on Instagram, we were instantly inspired.

Specializing in weighted canvas, the brand's bags are utilitarian but authentic in a way that they are versatile without being pretentious.  Crafted in California by one of the long standing manufacturing companies in the country, Sidney & Sons New York earns the quality of being Well Made in America.  Enjoy some of my favorite shots from our lookbook featuring my wife Christian Warren aka MRSCHRISH talented fashion professional and California native.  

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Mr. Tyren Snyder - ALWD Contributor

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I am pleased to announce and introduce our first contributor to ALWD, Mr. Tyren Snyder!  A worldly gentleman, writer and resident of Harlem New York, Mr. Snyder represents the progressing thought of new age Renaissance Men.  With his knowledge and skill, Mr. Snyder will grow the profiles of leading men who embody A Life Well Dressed and also provide energized insights of Harlem and beyond.

We are humbled that before Tyren was a member of ALWD, he was a supporter of our first event with Zoe Zeigler "Guys and Dolls of Style" and of course MAN . A Life Well Dressed in DC and New York.  Welcome Mr. Snyder by checking out his first piece, Autumnspiration as he combines health and style in a passionate reflection of the fall season that so swiftly has left us. 

35mm Photo by M. Warren shot on Kodak 400 film

35mm Photo by M. Warren shot on Kodak 400 film

35mm Photo by M. Warren shot on Fuji 400 film

35mm Photo by M. Warren shot on Fuji 400 film

 

  

 

AUTUMNSPIRATION

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

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FullSizeRender.jpg

“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?”

- Autumn in New York, Billie Holiday

The leaves have changed and fallen.  Snow poised to cover what was once foliage carpeted landscape in grey and white.  As the first day of winter creeps in, we should reflect on the beauty of the autumn months and appreciate the calm inspiration that chilly weather and autumnal leaves provide.

 

A borage of seasonally appropriate red, yellow, green, and brown sweaters, jackets, and scarves are a nature-inspired palette for the well-dressed man. Imagine enjoying a warm pumpkin spice latte with great company in red cashmere, a tailored rust-colored blazer, hunter green chinos, and cognac colored cap-toe leather boots.  While we bundle up and hunker down for warmth, fall fruits and vegetables deliver vitamins and nutrients in shades of fall that we can unearth in our diets in the coming weeks.

As we close out the fall, let your refrigerator reflect your closet.  The healthiest plates may look more like your favorite retailers sales rack.  Greens like kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts are rich in zinc, a nutrient important to maintaining a healthy sperm count, and calcium, a vital nutrient for healthy-aging.  While pumpkins were great for Halloween decorations and thanksgiving desserts, that big orange jack-o-lantern, and other fall squashes remain great sources of potassium that aid in muscle recovery, especially when you exercise regularly.  Citrus fruits that are readily available in the fall contain loads of Vitamin C, a nutrient vital for energy and combatting skin-aging; if you can bear it, try to incorporate the peels for some added nutrients like Folate and Vitamin A that help with male fertility and healthier skin.

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

Image @FlameKeepersHatClub via Instagram

Next time you’re shopping for groceries, try some some end of fall, early winter vegetables, get home, make a homemade cider, and throw on Billie Holiday’s “Autumn in New York” while you reminisce over the past few months.

 

Check out these Foodie In New York’s Recipes for some great ideas:

Nocturnal Animals - A Tom Ford Tale

Image Focus Features

Image Focus Features

A respecter of the talents of Mr. Tom Ford since his sexiest days at Gucci, I knew I had to see his acclaimed movie Nocturnal Animals.  Featuring Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal a respected actor next to the versatile Amy Adams, this stylish film made for a visually enjoyable yet strikingly violent and suspenseful tale.  

Knowing the history of the director and actors, forced me to look pass the beautiful faces and simply focus on the fashion, cinemontography, and storyline.  The surprise of seeing an another admired actor in Michael Shannon added a gritty layer of dimension to the cast.  For a stylish escape, Nocturnal Animals provides a suspense story wrapped in a screen play transitioning seamlessly betweeen the real and fictional world.

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Image Focus Features

Image Focus Features

Image Focus Features

Image Focus Features

Image Focus Features