Six years ago I met an ex-banker pal for drinks at Rose Bar in the Gramercy Hotel.
He was exuberant.
He’d poached the head of design from Lululemon for his start-up. He was making super high-end athleisure wear from a brand guys would be proud to wear.
I was convinced, but also four glasses of scotch deep. You could have sold me on snake oil. He stuffed a sample pair of shorts in my bag as I stammered up to my room. He called them Birddogs.
I put them on the next day to work out in the hotel gym…
It’s been a unique year to say the least. And undoubtedly, it’ll be a unique holiday season. However, we shouldn’t let COVID or political turmoil dictate our lives — how we celebrate, how we socialize, or how we give.
This year’s list (our 7th edition) is packed with all the things a man wants but feels guilty buying for himself, as well as the things he probably doesn’t even know he wants. Regardless of how deep your pockets are, this is the only holiday gift guide you’ll need — from the practical to the fantastical.
I never really thought about donating to charity while in my 20’s; I figured I would just donate more later in life once I had the means to make an impact. But it’s never too early to start donating your time and money, especially now in 2020. Individual savings are at an all-time high, the stock market is near all-time highs, yet unemployment is still at 7% and the less fortunate got even less fortunate this year. Not to mention over the next few months the entire hospitality industry will endure its roughest stretch ever.
Hopefully, most of us know the importance of staying safe and being considerate. But let’s not neglect our mental health, sanity, and the opportunity to use this time for personal enrichment. So here you go…
It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain. It makes you smarter, richer intellectually, more interesting, and a better person. Here are The 100 Books Every Man Should Read, but my quarantine list includes: Billion Dollar Whale, Skin In The Game, The Man Who Solved The Market, in addition to re-reading Too Big To Fail and The Road.
Backgammon — the game of Pharaohs —…
Since I started @GSElevator to illuminate and satirize Wall Street bro culture in a credible, substantive, and humorous way, I have grown an affinity for and fascination with the explosion of the #FinMeme genre of Instagram — where mostly finance bros share (and exploit) niche memes about everything from Excel spreadsheets and MD etiquette, to Vineyard Vines and “deal sleds”.
The current reigning king of financial memes is @litquidity.
I recently wrote about my personal transition from banking to social media to fashion — a men’s lifestyle brand focusing initially on the neglected top drawer — in which I cited Birddogs as an inspiration for me. When I first did a social media collaboration (as @GSElevator) with them in 2015, their sales were $300,000. Last year, they did $20,000,000. Incredible!
So I decided to check in on them now. And it’s hilarious. They are actively stealing Lululemon’s lunch, yet again, and it’s fun to watch.
Lululemon objectively has a great product, but the only guys wearing it in public…
I worked on Wall Street for a dozen years — from the Dot-com collapse through the great financial crisis — working in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Sitting above the Chinese Wall as the intermediary between the sell side and the buy side, doing bond deals with every major bank on Wall Street, I saw it all.
After getting sued for joining Goldman Sachs over a contractual non-compete, I decided to leave the industry.
Office parties are usually a mixed back of unpredictability: tedious, festive, boring, scandalous, embarrassing, or even sometimes fun. Where else can you drink free booze and watch people ruin their careers or reputations in a single night?
In the interests of helping you navigate this night of eye-rolls and eggnog, here are a few tips on how to get through your holiday party this year:
I thought I’d answer one of the questions I get asked most frequently on social media— how do I get a job on Wall Street? I’ll skip over the obvious answers (“Excel academically at a target recruiting school.”) and everything else I assume you already know.
Having started as an intern at Salomon Brothers (Citigroup) before joining the firm full-time and working in New York, London, and Hong Kong, I know well what it takes, especially having come from a university most banks didn’t recruit from.
So here are a few tips for getting a job on Wall Street:
Last year, I wrote a popular fashion article — How To Dress Like a Man. But everywhere I look, when it comes to style, I still see men either trying too hard or not at all. So here is an updated, succinct list for pulling off a timeless and classic look — 125 Style Tips For Men:
Signed contracts with Goldman Sachs and Simon & Schuster, and paid lawyers more than I made. Author of STRAIGHT TO HELL (not about @gselevator or Goldman Sachs)