Vision – July


“It is believed that before things get better, they must get worse.”



It seems like this thought rings very true in today’s times. My heart and soul ache watching the senseless killings, hate and anger that has consumed the human existence.

However, in these times we are forced to reflect on what is really important. It is the simplicity of life that’s what’s really important. To laugh, love and embrace the gift we have been given is finally being treasured by those who are awake.

Our time here is limited and the expiration date is unknown. We have to continue to focus on making each moment, each day extraordinary.

As with everything we make, the goal is to make life more enjoyable. Sure, it may just be laundry but even laundry should put a smile on your face.

 

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VKN Vision | March

I have to be honest, I really have no idea what I am doing half the time.  16 years ago I thought to myself that I could create the best socks in the world without any idea of what that even meant.  I have often been guided by intuition and a genuine desire to avoid mediocrity at all costs.  Today, about six weeks away from opening our flagship boutique, I find myself in the same place as I was 16 years ago.  I have no idea what the hell I am doing.  However, my passion and sincere interest in creating something special squashes any doubts that I may normally feel.  There is a bit of anxiety, but very little fear.  This is a mission.  This is a duty.  This is a responsibility to men who seek better.

I find myself looking back to my childhood trying to remember everything my grandfather would say and do.  There are lessons there that I am recalling and only now able to understand the meanings.  Sure, we have a great plan in hand, the numbers, the goals, the damn spread sheets; all of which leave me more anxious than anything else.  To me, this is about fun and raising the bar.  My grandfather never spoke about numbers, but rather client experiences and craftsmanship.  I am bored of the status quo and find myself determined to elevate the game.

There is nothing ordinary about 87H.  You can purchase socks like you would a bag of chips from our vending machine.  You can have bespoke hangers made, select a customized vintage watch, create a custom pair of jeans and be able to let your imagination run and watch it come to reality.

 

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VKN Vision | February

As I prepare to leave for Italy, I find myself preparing for the trip with a totally different mindset.  This will be the first time that I am going to create clothing exclusively for the consumer.  No longer do I have to worry about what “buyers” will buy for the stores or have to work within price restrictions.  I am allowed to just create for you, the consumer.

This sense of freedom has unleashed an incredible flow of creativity.  This new influx of creative juices compels me to create pieces that will exceed your expectations.   The fun is just about to begin.  My job is to never stop trying and to never find myself being complacent.  Our clients, friends, expect us to constantly push the envelope.

The new boutique will re-define how men will shop, the product will continue to raise the bar and the ultimate goal is to make sure your experience is second to none.  Imagine, a finely curated shop that features all things essential to the male experience.  Personally, I cannot wait until June.  From clipping nails, to vintage timepieces, transcontinental rehydration serums and hangover revitalization kits, the new shop is designed to bring back the essence of masculinity.  Are you ready to evolve?

As always, I am very grateful to all of you who have helped make my vision a reality.  I assure you, with my new found freedom, I will bring forth a new level of exquisite.

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VKN VISION | January

Change is both scary and exciting often leaving a bitter sweet feeling.  After three years at the Lodge, our days here are numbered.  As we venture on our new path to becoming a full fledged men’s experience center, I find myself becoming more and more excited.  I will finally be able to create a shopping experience that I have been yearning
for years.  To me, the future of luxury retailing is creating theatre along with providing you with incredibly unique merchandise.  Outside of our clothing collection, I have been curating very unique pieces from vintage watches to cufflinks and nail clippers.

We are building a jean shop where you can choose from an array of vintage jeans and have them shaped to your body yielding the perfect fit.  Should you wish, you can even have a pair of jeans custom-made for you.  We will feature a capsule collection of shoes that work with our clothing.

The décor is intended to transport you to a bygone era where you will be inspired to embrace your masculinity.  As you enjoy your favorite libation, you are asked to describe your lifestyle.  From there, we select pieces that we feel will enhance the way you live; therein, creating a wardrobe that not only functions but will ensure that you are the best dressed man in the room.

We will be opening in June of 2016 and look forward to you visiting what we believe will be a one of kind experience.

 

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VKN VISION | December

Good Lord, is 2015 really over? On behalf of all of us at VKNAGRANI, I just wanted to say thank you for your support, your friendship and your individuality.  With each year the goal is always to be better than the year before.  2016 is going to be one crazy year.  We are working on building our first VKNAGRANI boutique in downtown Manhattan.   We found a funky space on the corner of Houston and Bowery, where SoHo meets Chinatown.

The goal of our new Experience center is to give you a one of a kind shopping experience that not only elevates your wardrobe but also your mind. Working with Hecho, Inc. and John Kole, we are certain that your shopping experience will be unlike anything before. We appreciate each and every one of you who have helped us make our vision a reality.

We wish you and your families a very Happy Holiday and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

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VKN VISION | November

Most men have no sense of style because they are always in search of a look or image. They seek external factors rather than embracing their internal self. For example, they look to magazines, celebs or depend on the choices of their wives, mothers or girlfriends, rather than looking within and accepting who they are. Let’s face it, not everyone is fucking Dean Martin or Steve McQueen. Relax, the great part about you is you. You just have to come to terms with it and own it.

Step one, magazine pictorials are done to sell stuff that some label knocked off another label and wants you to believe that for that season you have to wear it so you can look like every other dick in town. I mean, you have to look like everyone else right? God forbid you man up and just be your own damn self. No way, what on earth would Larry from accounting think, would the neighbors think you were “gay” and stop inviting you to drinks at Applebee’s?  If those are your concerns, even God cannot help you. Step two, embrace who you are. Step three, own it. Confidence makes anything cool.  Not everyone should look or be the same, it’s boring as hell.

Most men go through life in three phases of dressing or trying to determine their self image. Few men, REAL men, get to phase four. Phase One: As a child you dress to fit in with your peers. You don’t even know who you are so it’s totally acceptable. It is important to fit in so you don’t end up bat shit crazy and start killing people because you were a damn outcast. Phase Two: you dress to attract a partner.  You need to express your style and start to showcase yourself in hopes that someone finds you attractive. You have no game at this point but you want to play. You’re an amateur. So, like all amateurs, you fall victim to what’s “fashionable” or “trendy” which hopefully you will soon realize is douchy. Phase Three: you want everyone to know you da man. You buy a “brand” that you know everyone else knows.  You get off on the fact that everyone knows how much your clothes cost. Do not be a dumbass, most of those “designer” brands are labels created by a group of interns that knock another label off that knock another label off that knocked off a real designer past work.  Finally, the fourth level, you embrace who you are. What is cool, what is style is defined by you. You no longer are trying to impress others, you are simply impressing your own self. At that point, you are always welcome at VKNAGRANI.

VKN VISION – OCTOBER

As I scroll through my calendar, I find myself wondering where the hell the year went. Every single aspect of our business has changed or is in the process of changing. It has been 16 years since I started the company and back then I thought for sure by now I would be taking it a lot easier. The reality is that I am working much harder and longer than ever before. As I mentioned, time seems to be flying by faster with each minute and it has caused me to really start reflecting on purpose. Time is a very limited entity and therefore it is a must that we make each moment matter.

Sure, I get it, I sell you laundry. I am not curing the woes of the world but for what it’s worth, the intention is there. This past month we tested our first private shopping event with our esteemed associate, Mrs. Nita O’Neal. She invited a handful of her VIP clients from Texas to visit us at the Lodge. We threw a hell of a cocktail party and enjoyed a lot of laughs and watched clients turn into friends. It was here that we realized that we have built this company for the consumer. Each piece is made by a family owned laboratory, each piece is created with purpose and only a handful of pieces are ever made. This, to me, defines luxury. Sure, we can buy clothes anywhere, but leaving with a great memory and actually enjoying the garment is what really separates us from the rest.

As we begin to shift gears and move into the future, our focus will remain on ensuring that each and every client becomes a friend. We are in the process of finding a new home which will allow us to create an incredibly cool shopping experience. As we get closer, I will make sure to keep you posted. Keep your fingers crossed, trust me, it will be for all of us to enjoy.