Black Lapel Founder Warren Liao on risk-taking, leaving Wall Street, and the future of profesional menswear

Modern Fellows spoke with Warren Liao, one of the founders of online custom tailoring destination Black Lapel, who recently returned from a business trip to Asia.  Below is a lightly-edited transcript of our conversation, in which Warren discusses how Black Lapel began, his inspiration for starting a business, and what the future holds for his company and menswear more generally.

Modern Fellows Officially Launches

After several months of beta-testing, Modern Fellows officially launches this week. Dedicated to professional men’s style, the new website focuses on the entrepreneurs behind the current renaissance in tailored clothing.

First Look Inside Suit Supply DC

August 30 marked the eagerly awaited opening of Dutch-based Suit Supply in Washington, DC.  Their DC outpost, at 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue in the Four Seasons in Georgetown, is their third in the United States following entries into New York and Chicago last year. 

In Pursuit of the Perfect Dress Shirt

I still remember the first dress shirts I bought out of college.  In New York City, I went to the Brooks Brothers flagship store and bought several shirts with pinpoint collars and button cuffs.  Technically, they were my size, but they billowed out uncontrollably.  You could have stuck two of my torsos side-by-side in those shirts.

Baltimore: Highlights from Confirmed Stock Pop-up Event

Who goes to the mall anymore? Between online deal sites, warehouse events and, increasingly, pop-up and other alt-retail events, savvy retailers and entrepreneurs are coming up with new ways to part men from their money.  In Baltimore on April 28, Confirmed Stock held its inaugural pop-up event featuring “Menswear, vintage, dry goods, lifestyle.”

Slate.com on Superlative Socks

Happy-socksSunday’s Washington Post business section included an article by Seth Stevenson of Slate.com who went, tongue-in-cheek, in search of “the world’s most exquisite dress sock.” Since so few people can afford $200 cashmere Zimmerli’s, let’s look at a few more affordable choices for everyday wear.

The Trouble with Hyperbole (and GQ’s March Style “Bible”)

In an era of twitter and ever-declining attention spans, an increasingly-frequent tendency  is to adopt generic, over-the-top shorthand to describe a relatively ordinary event.  If everything is a “game-changer,” nothing is. When CNN suggests “breaking news” is happening 12  hours a day, it’s easy to tune out.  So it is with GQ’s March “Style Bible,” which might more accurately be described as a style pamphlet.