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Sharp, Urban, and International

» 22 February 2010 » In Guest Manifesto, Guide, Style, Travel » 10 Comments

Guest Manifesto: Sharp, Urban, and International

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Trends for 2010: The next decade will be won with custom suits, urban adaptability and international mobility.

“You might not always be the smartest, richest, or best looking person in a room—but you can be the Sharpest Dressed. Work on the things you can control. Believe me, if you know my Tailor you can be the best dressed in any room you step into.” – MPM

The custom suit can play many different roles and, chameleon-like, can mean different things in different situations. Retro or futuristic, subtle or outrageous, the suit is the ultimate in adaptability. Movie stars and rock stars, heroes and villains, philanthropists and gangsters – all these men and many, many more have dressed to impress.

Going suited down is the best way to avoid blending in with the “casual crowd”. Wearing a hand-rolled Borrelli tie or a flashy, flagrant and far from low-key pocket square by Etro will always separate you from the status quo. They say you never judge a book by its cover, but you do take someone more seriously when they are suitably attired. “If you are wearing a suit and tie, doors open for you. If you show up casual, you aren’t going to get into certain places.”

This trend is ripe for 2010. Adam King, co-owner of the bespoke suit company King & Allen in London, says he has seen a twenty per cent increase in first-time customers: “People who wouldn’t previously have worn a bespoke suit, or even a suit at all, are coming to us because they want to sharpen their image.” Custom shirts by Charvet and Tmoro Benson Leather shoes by Tod’s never hurt anyone, either.

Urban Environments

Economic growth depends on productivity, and the most productive people are often the most mobile. Every country, region and city is engaged in a global battle for talent. The most creative people can live more or less where they want. They therefore tend to pick places that offer not only material comfort but an upbeat atmosphere as well. This makes life more fun. It also fosters progress. When clever people cluster, they can bounce ideas off each other. This is why rents are so high in Manhattan (it is also why there has been a population surge in Singapore). Robert Lucas, a Nobel economics laureate, argues that the clustering of talent is the primary driver of economic growth By almost any measure, the larger a city’s population, the greater the innovation and wealth creation per person. This is unlike small town America, where low-density sprawl and unsophisticated employees suffocate the postindustrial economy. Place still matters in the modern day—and the competitive advantage of the world’s most successful cities is growing, not shrinking. This is a trend that’s on the rise.

A crucial contributory factor to the development of global cities is the arrival of new talent to replenish their energy (never underestimate the need to replenish: Always Drink Fresh Blood). In short, cities’ diverse economic and social structures are the true engines of growth.

The jostling of many different professions and different types of people, all in a dense environment, is an essential spur to innovation—to the creation of things that are truly new. And innovation, in the long run, is what keeps cities vital and relevant. Remember, if you don’t adapt you become extinct.

Internationalism at its finest

“You want to be “Worldly”. Know about current events. Get “inside information” Everyone, and I mean everyone, finds Travel and Foreign lands interesting. At least anyone you want to get to know.” – MPM

While there are no hard numbers, more Americans seem to be trying to qualify for additional passports. They want to make sure they have two passports based on nationality because there are numerous benefits. Among those is the ability to work without restriction in various countries, particularly with passports from countries in the E.U. Dual nationals are doing better than ever, especially now that the E.U. has grown in size and scope. Multiple passports are also a way of hiding where one has been, which has obvious advantages.

Anyone considering dual passports should think first of the tax consequences, though–you can get certain exemptions because you’re a U.S. citizen. However, given the high tax rates in the U.S., a full-blown conversion to another nationality wouldn’t be such a bad idea. International mobility goes hand in hand with capitalizing on urban environments, making travel a priority.

This leads to the Five Flags Theory (think of it as the original “4-Hour Workweek“). Perpetual travelers are those who live in such a way that they are not considered a legal resident of any of the countries in which they spend time. By lacking a legal permanent residence status, they seek to avoid the legal obligations that accompany residency, such as taxes on income. Macao is an innovative move, and Buenos Aires is an opportunity waiting to unfold.

Le Parvenue

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