The Brilliance of the Speakeasy
I’m not sure if everyone will understand this, but bear with me as I unfold what’s on my mind. Ever have that thing you see so clearly and it speaks so well to yourself, but you can’t actually explain it to other people and they look at you like, “Huh?”
If you haven’t, perhaps these next few paragraphs will give you a sense of what it’s like.
One reason I really love the name 18th Amendment and what it represents is the brilliance of the Speakeasy. The idea that if you knew where you were going, and knew the right people, you could find and gain access to some secret enclave of beauty, elegance and refinement. That was simply beyond awesome to me.
And the fact it was exclusive. Members only. All that, made it more amazing and more appealing to me. It’s gritty and gross on the outside, but remarkable inside, just like clothes. Oh wait. No. That’s what I couldn’t figure out. It didn’t make sense.
I was never about a gross outside. Not as a guy who liked to wear beautifully tailored clothes, or as someone who creates them for others. You should always look dope. And if you play it out as some kind of juxtaposition with the Speakeasy, if I look dope on the outside, I must be dark and broken on the inside. Not exactly the basis of an effective marketing campaign.
Is it just I love the way Lucky dressed? How Duke played? How my favorite movie is, “Once Upon a Time in America”? Maybe. But then I saw a quote in something I was reading in the New York Times the other day. It said, “The influencer culture has diminished the hunger for the exceptional.” And it all made sense.
No one is expecting incredible anymore. We’re all living with a spirit of contentment. Basically, we say, “Well, that’s what they came out with. I’ll take it.” In fact, there’s an abundance of spending, but people are mostly buying cheap stuff in bulk. That’s the gross part. That’s the gritty. That’s the crap you have to go through, the rat-infested alley, that leads to the Speakeasy.
So the password, then, must be 18th Amendment. This thing we are creating is intended to give modern gentlemen access to a world they didn’t know about until now. It’s a place to discover. And it’s up to the people who appreciate the elegance and aesthetic; to invite the people they feel appropriate.
So yes, it’s membership only. It’s exclusive. But it’s not up to us. It’s up to the members, to tell somebody the password. We’ll welcome them all.