Owning and designing your very own clothing line is one dream job many aspire to have.
But for Jace Lipstein, CEO and designer of Grungy Gentleman, it's his reality every single day.
Inspired by his success and drive, we sat down with the creative visionary to get the scoop on how his company came to fruition.
Here's what he shared with us:
What was your very first job?
I was a counselor at Camp Ramaquois and worked at a pharmacy called Drug World in my hometown. New City, NY, what's poppin'?
How did you get started in your career?
A chance encounter with rag & bone designer, David Neville at Barneys New York. He gave me the confidence to take a leap and dive into the industry.
Who are some of your career heroes?
I am always inspired by my family and athletes that I have looked up to from my childhood: Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Charles Oakley. As for menswear, GQ creative director, Jim Moore gave us guidance at a Berluti event during NYFW this season. I have looked up to him since day one and left the conversation with a clear focus on a direction for our company. He motivated me more than ever without probably even realizing it. My go-to for industry advice and styling is Nic Screws, Esquire's market editor. It is extremely important to have support and she always leads us in the correct direction. She is very responsible for helping elevate our brand.
What's a typical workday like for you?
Every day is unpredictable due to travel and what project I am working on. However our company culture is always consistent. I am fortunate to have an amazingly talented team behind me. They are the backbone of our business and I wouldn't know what to do without them.
Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration? Did you decorate it yourself?
I built my creative studio and am very proud of it. There is a lot of open space, comprised of white walls with hardwood floor. It has a 12-foot drop down for photo shoots and a shooting table for still life product photography. The idea behind the simplicity is to keep it a creative space, promoting a thought provoking atmosphere. We also have a showroom that displays all of our collections we have completed and future ones too. All of the furniture in the creative space is jet black. I believe using a lot of black eliminates confusion and creates a sleek, elegant vibe.
List five things that are on your desk right now.
I like to keep things clean, so nothing is on the surface of my desk. If you looked inside the drawer next to the desk, you would find my passport, a book of contacts that includes buyers, publicists and industry folks, Grungy Gentleman stationary, Beats by Dre black wireless headphones and an external hard drive.
What do you typically wear to work?
My appreciation for menswear has evolved since launching Grungy Gentleman. When I was growing up, I was interested in Nike SB's. Then I took to collecting vintage concert tees. Now I get to rock my own gear, which is rad.
What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?
I don't have to go too far for clothing. We have an e-shop at Grungy Gentleman and I mainly wear my own designs. Go check out Grungy Gentleman collections at one of our fine retailers including Aristocracy, Curated by the Tannery, CNCPTS, Fred Segal, Hypebeast, Mildblend, Odin, Shoe Gallery, The Zoo and plenty more.
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
"Making a cool product is not cool. Making a cool product that makes money, now that is cool."
Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had…tagliatelle bolognese from Da Silvano.
The first website I log onto every day is…Grungy Gentleman then Hypebeast.
The grooming product I swear by is…anything from Nivea and Anthony. They are the best.
My must-have work gadget is… pantone reader on my iPhone.
My usual Starbucks order is…non-existent. I am probably the 0.1% of America that does not drink coffee.
If I need a quick break during work, I usually…do more work.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…a sports broadcaster.
The best part of my job is…wearing clothing from my own brand. It is surreal each and every day.
And there you have it!