Upon first meeting Yuvi, you can’t help but notice his impeccable style and attention to detail. Everything from his scarf placement to his skillful layering is street style snap worthy. I swung by the Men in Cities studio a couple weeks ago to check out their new collection and to hear more about the fresh new fashion startup. Their offices, located in Soho, is a perfect embodiment of the brand– both eclectic and cultured. I was intrigued and left inspired by the story; the story of an accessories designer who had a bigger plan in mind.
Men in Cities is a lifestyle brand of accessories found strictly online that reveals limited edition collections on a monthly basis. The mission: to add interesting details to a “modern man’s life.” The strategy is unique – put out collections of accessories and other lifestyle items with a price tag of $40 per item. With collections like “The Black & Grey Collection” “Open Road Collection” and “North Atlantic Collection” it’s clear that their ideal consumer is a man who’s attracted to product discovery as much as quality goods. Ladies, don’t get it twisted. Their accessories can be easily incorporated into your wardrobe.
I was intrigued to learn more about the man behind one of the more fascinating strategies to a Direct-to-Consumer fashion startup I’ve seen in a while. And trust me, I’ve seen A LOT of them. Too many, in fact.
Yuvi answered some questions we had about entrepreneurship, personal style, and of course, where he gets his grub on. Read on and keep your eyes on this man on the rise.
Tell us your brief career background:
I have been designing accessories for a while. I started it as a hobby/small business in college at the University of Miami. I was one of the founders of Ruby Kobo which was based in New York City and was selected to be part of the CFDA’s Incubator Program. Those two years in the program really helped clear my vision of what kind of company I wanted to build. I’ve always been passionate about details and decided to focus my time on developing men’s accessories.
What inspired you to launch Men in Cities and why now after having a successful accessories brand?
Part of it was for selfish reasons. I wanted to have the creative freedom to design whatever I wanted and just put it out there. The brand is built on a passion for details; I want to show men that details can be easy. Launching the brand online allows me make good design accessible while curating and simplifying the shopping experience for men.
What’s it like having launched an online startup versus running a brand offline?
It’s nice to have direct communication with your customers and then being able to learn from them. I want to create excitement for the customer so that you can wear what you want, when you want to wear it, and not have to wait for new collections to arrive at stores. Every month we release a new collection of 9 items that are designed to work well together. Everything from killer whale dress socks to Belts, Wallets, Tie’s and my favorite the warrior gloves. We want the focus to be on design rather than price. I felt that if everything is priced the same you can always buy your favorite item. Everything is designed at our studio in Soho, we source our own materials and work closely with different manufacturers that I have established relationships with. Selling directly online allows us to focus on quality and detail while still keeping prices at $40 per item.
I hear you’re a health nut. What is your food routine on an average work day?
Breakfast is always important to me. I like to start it off at Juice Press in the morning for some green juice, and after that I’ll usually have some eggs with tomatoes and cucumbers on the side.
For lunch, I’ll go near the office to Smile To Go a lot. I usually get the roasted chicken with a side of potatoes or quinoa.
For dinner I end up at Jack’s Wife Freda a lot which is right by our office and always has a good vibe. The food is excellent and everyone that works there is fun to be around.
What blogs do you read before jump-starting your day?
In the morning, I like to catch up and look at magazines. The Economist, Wallpaper and Man of the World are my current favorites. I also have to check up on the Lakers daily. It’s been a tough season.
What’re your top 3 favorite dishes in NYC:
1- The Roasted Chicken at Rubirosa
2- The Chicken Pad Thai at Lovely Day
3- The Duck Salad at Jack’s Wife Freda
I hear you lived in Miami while you were in college. Would you say the international appeal of South Beach attributed to your design aesthetic?
I think so. It’s a major city that has an international atmosphere…and the beautiful beaches and vibrant design scene didn’t hurt. There is no lack of inspiration in Miami with the beaches, stunning sunsets, art deco architecture, and diverse cultures that include Cuban, Brazilian, Argentinean, and Colombian.
What are your favorite restaurants down there?
If you could wear any other brand for the rest of your life other than your own, what would it be?
James Perse. I’m all about comfort and find his t-shirts and aesthetic to be ideal for me.
Do you have any healthy and motivating words of wisdom you can give us to keep up with our New Years Resolutions?
Well put, Yuri.