Soho, New York
Allegra and I started our Jenzemi journey at 9:00 in Soho on a Tuesday. Needless to say, stores were still closed and New Yorkers had already begun work. Defeated and tired, we headed into Ground Support Cafe on West Broadway, just before it started to rain. Allegra and I both ordered iced matcha with almond milk (they were pretty good) and took a seat at the wooden table in the far back. Soon, the cafe filled up with busy New Yorkers ordering their morning coffee and breakfast.
He sat on a bench adjacent to us, typing away on his phone as he waited for his bagel. I spotted him. There was just something about him; maybe it was the hat or the tailored blazer or everything together, but the man exuded confidence in his simple style.
To say Allegra and I were nervous to approach him is an understatement. Neither of us seemed to be able to open our mouths. “You do it!” we said to each other. Finally, I pushed my fears aside and did it.
“Excuse me? We really like your outfit.”
What is your profession?
“I work in retail. I’m a store director for Boglioli.”
Where are you headed next? Why are you dressed like this today?
“I’m actually headed to work. I’m just sending out some emails and running some quick errands before going into the shop.”
Who is your style inspiration?
“You know, it’s a very good question. I don’t think I have a sole inspiration per se. I’m sort of—I guess you could say—a minimalist. I try to simplify everything for myself as much as I possibly can, so I don’t have to go crazy in the morning trying to figure out what I’m going to wear. You will probably always see me in some form of very monochromatic color. So I guess you could say I’m inspired by the Japanese.”
Have you been to Japan before?
“I have been to Japan. I’ve opened a retail store for a Japanese brand called Tomorrowland. Actually, that’s the shirt that I’m wearing.”
Can you tell us about all the different pieces of your outfit?
“Well, it’s pretty simple. My beanie is from Agnès B. I like him: really simple, really easy. I sort of like a very clean shape. Whenever it’s warm or really cold, you’ll see me either with a wool version or a cotton version. Have to keep the noggin warm!—or protected. My jacket, trousers, and shoes are from Boglioli.”
I love the glasses.
“Thank you! That’s actually by a company called Vision of Division. It’s a Japanese brand. They do a lot of artisanal hand-cut frames. If you have a chance, you should look into them. They do a lot of really cool things, but they also carry a lot of Italian and German designers, as well, that sort of fall in line with their aesthetic.”
What is your favorite store?
“My favorite store...that’s a very good question. My favorite store right now would have to be—it’s really random—it would have to be…hmm, actually, the MOMA store is my favorite store. For multiple reasons. I almost said Nike, but they're just so fashion. The MOMA store is something that covers the full gamut, and I enjoy going there for inspiration or looking for gifts or cards—they always have something really interesting.”
Then, I took some photos of Yves right outside the cafe. He was a pretty natural model. Thank you Yves for being so kind and letting us take time out of your day to support Jenzemi. Be sure to check out Boglioli and maybe you’ll even spot the Japanese-inspired minimalist there.