A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

We asked some far-from-regular guys from metro Detroit to guest star as models for our fashion feature. From artists and designers to chefs, passionate dog rescuers, car enthusiasts, and even the Honorary Consul General of Namibia, these men certainly wear it well.
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HUGO Hugo Boss jacket, $645,

Armani Collezioni shirt, $245,

Tom Ford tie, $220,

Brunello Cucinelli pants, $675 and Davek New York umbrella, $149, at Neiman Marcus, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-643-3300; neimanmarcus.com.

J.McLaughlin pocket square, $25, at J.McLaughlin, Birmingham; 248-792-6212; jmclaughlin.com

Shinola watch, $875, at Shinola, Detroit; 313-285-2390; shinola.com

// Willie Hahn is a self-taught modern sculptor who primarily works with steel. His pieces play on shadows, organic shapes, and unique forms. He’s also a massage therapist, and does other contract work in his downtime as a commissioned artist. “I’ve always worked with my hands,” he says. Hahn has been fascinated by ancient artifacts and architectural wonders like the Great Pyramids since he was a young boy. “When we build something or we do something, how long is it really going to be around?” Hahn asks. In Hahn’s sculptures he’s most satisfied with the outdoor pieces that patina and change colors due to oxidation, he says. But one of his most recent pieces hangs inside on the wall of the new U-M School of Information student affairs office that opened last year. Healthy living is another big part of Hahn’s lifestyle; he hasn’t eaten meat since 1982, and you can also find some of his sculptures at Cacao Tree and Inn Season — two vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Royal Oak. 248-807-2436

 

Vince shirt, $195, and jacket, $185, and Giorgio Armani shoes, $575, at Neiman Marcus.

Save Khaki United Henley T-shirt, $80, at Willys Detroit; 313-285-1880; willysdetroit.com.

Michael Kors jeans, $175, at michaelkors.com.

Shinola watch, $775, at Shinola.

// Matthew LaVere is used to being behind the camera, so being the subject of a shoot was a change of pace. The 27-year-old photographer has made a name for himself as a reliable guy to have on set. He’s assisted and photographed well-known photographers — such as Mark Seliger and Frank W. Ockenfels 3 — commuting to and from New York City on a regular basis. While he’s always known he was adopted from South Korea, he recently found out the name of his birth mother. “I want to start a photo project with Korean adoptees and get their stories,” he says. “The amount of information I have is almost worth its weight in gold, versus some people [who’ve been told they] were left at a doorstep.” LaVere also volunteers as a mentor to photography students.  mattlavere.com

 

Sand shirt, $275,

Santorelli tie, $195,

and Alberto trouser, $365, at L’Uomo Vogue, Bloomfield Hills; 248-855-7788; luomovogue.com.

Vince sweater, $295, at Neiman Marcus.

Smith’s own glasses.

// Kano Smith is a lifelong Detroiter. He’s also an adjunct professor at Wayne State University, co-lecturing a course on African democracy. His class focuses on the newly independent African country of Namibia, a place Smith is quite familiar with. Since 2009, he’s been the Honorary Consul General of Namibia — one of the highest civilian honors a country can bestow upon a noncitizen. “I was very active in the anti-apartheid movement,” he says. “That was a great honor to be recognized … because I had been involved with their struggle for independence during the ’80s.” In 1995, he convinced the company he was working for to make the largest U.S. investment in Namibia at the time, which sparked the country’s economy and created jobs. This month, he’s taking his students to Namibia to be part of the inauguration of the country’s new president.

 

Coach jacket, $450, at Coach Men’s stores nationwide; coach.com.

Michael Kors shirt, $125, and cardigan, $145, at michaelkors.com.

Tom Ford tie, $220, 7 For All Mankind jeans, $178, and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, $620, at Neiman Marcus.

Shinola Runwell bicycle, $2,950, at Shinola.

// Adrian Pittman is an entrepreneur with a diverse design background. His newest project, Space, a design program started by Wayne State University and the Blackstone Launchpad to help design students develop commercial-ready consumer products will launch this spring. “I’m overseeing the whole program,” Pittman says.  He’s trying to find retail and manufacturing partners, and helping choose which students join the program. Pittman is also behind the branding and promotional marketing of Dine Drink Detroit, a weeklong event where local restaurants and bars offer a food and drink experience for $15. In his free time he collects contemporary art, and recently became board member in the DIA’s Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art. wearemodule.com

 

Coach leather jacket, $1,200, at Coach Men’s stores nationwide.

John Varvatos T-shirt, $78, at Neiman Marcus.

// Aaron Cozadd started working at The Union restaurant in 1997. Today he’s the executive chef at all four Union Joints, where he makes everything from scratch. “We try to push peoples’ expectations of casual, approachable food,” he says. A regular day is 12 hours, but Cozadd doesn’t mind. “The culture of the restaurants is very much a giant family,” he says. Outside the kitchen, he does Cross Fit and Japanese sword fighting. The former addict also works at a Buddhist-based recovery program. “I do something to help others deal with addiction every day,” he says. “I spend a lot of my time helping … because it also helps me remember that I came from a place that wasn’t so good.” Today, Cozadd abstains from any sort of substance. “I’m substance free from anything that alters my mood — tea is as hardcore as I get.” vinsettagarage.com

 

Vince jacket with attached vest, $695, and shirt, $98, at Neiman Marcus.

Stitches jeans, $259, at L’Uomo Vogue.

Z Ballerini backpack, $895, at zballerini.com.

Gottlieb’s own watch and glasses.

// Dan Gottlieb is a 6-foot-8 yoga instructor at the Detroit Athletic Club and RenCen Fitness. He holds regular spots as a fitness expert on Fox 2 News where he incorporates many physical therapy techniques into his practice. The recently married Gottlieb discovered yoga as a rehabilitative workout after a series of injuries he acquired from playing college basketball. Gottlieb is known widely on social media as Yoga Dan (Instagram: @misteryogadan or Facebook: Yoga Dan The Original), where he has a large following. “Social media is the new frontier of individualism and branding oneself,” he says. Even his two rescue dogs have their own Instagram account: @samsonandelilah. He is also a Wilson’s Disease survivor, which he discovered he had in 2011. While the disease is manageable, Gottlieb is looking to raise awareness about it. Wilson’s Disease is a rare genetic condition that causes too much copper to accumulate in the liver and brain. ytc.co

 

Ralph Lauren shirt, $98,

Sweater, $225,

Vest, $185,

And pants, $98, at select Ralph Lauren stores and ralphlauren.com.

Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, $1,150, at Neiman Marcus.

Shinola basketball, $195, at Shinola.

// K’Kio Hardin is a veteran art director specializing in helping push the boundaries of how companies brand themselves. He grew up in Detroit, and went to Cass Technical High School and The College of Creative Studies in Detroit, and has watched the city’s revitalization firsthand. “I have stories about what Cass Corridor used to be like that you wouldn’t believe,” he says. “Small treasures like the old basketball court on Grand River and Schaefer that me and one of my best friends used to go to and play at 2 a.m. after leaving an ethnic festival downtown.” If he were a foot taller, maybe he would have pursued basketball with the same intensity he put into art, he jokes. While Hardin is excited to see so many new things happening in Detroit, he’s still waiting on the same optimism to spread beyond the downtown and Midtown areas. “There’s a lot of cultural beauty in the city you don’t see, and people will never know about unless they experience it themselves.” kkiohardin.com

 

Sand suit, $1,595, and Ingram shirt, $375, at L’Uomo Vogue.

Carlisle’s own earring.

// Daniel “Hush” Carlisle is the co-founder and executive director of Detroit Dog Rescue, Detroit’s first no-kill animal shelter. To date, more than 560 dogs have been adopted and close to 3,000 dogs have been through the nonprofit’s programs for vaccinations, spay and neuters, microchips, or emergency vet care. The idea for the organization started when he was filming a reality show for the Discovery Channel on the urban survival of stray dogs in Detroit, but the city’s film office shut the show down. “I knew we had to get the homeless dogs off the streets of Detroit, and rehabilitated back into loving homes,” he says. “We did a grassroots thing … and started in 2011.” Today, the center has three full-time staff and support from hundreds of volunteers. Carlisle’s also been a hip-hop artist. “The goal is to integrate rescue into hip-hop music, and not use the pit-bull as a bad image.” detroitdogrescue.com

 

Etro jacket, $1,895,

Ingram shirt, $375,

Codice sweater, $350,

And Fidelity jeans, $198, at L’Uomo Vogue.

Moncur’s own glasses.

// David Moncur is a father of four children and the principal behind Moncur, a branding and digital agency headquartered in Southfield. While he jokes his home address is 4C (he prefers the aisle seats while flying), his home is in Grosse Pointe Woods. He travels a lot to offices in Miami and Austin. Moncur was started in Silicon Valley as a creative “startup kit,” working for venture capital firms. “When [a startup] received first-round venture funding and needed a partner to help brand them and take them to market, we were the assigned team,” he says. “It was a wildly creative and tremendously exciting beginning.” When he’s not traveling, he loves to cook. Moncur prides himself on teaching each of his kids how to cook restaurant-quality meals. thinkmoncur.com

 

J.McLaughlin jacket, $595, at J.McLaughlin.

Save Khaki United shirt, $140,

Steven Alan henley shirt, $98,

And Imogene + Willy jeans, $250, at Willys Detroit.

// Bill Jagenow, or William the VI, is owner of Brothers Custom Automotive in Troy. Born in Japan, both his parents were in the Navy, and he followed in their footsteps by serving in the Navy Seabees for eight years. A car enthusiast his entire life, his passion evolved into a career. “My first car was a ’63 Cadillac in high school, and I just kept buying older and older cars,” he says. The master mechanic took the leap and opened his own shop eight years ago when he lost his longtime job working as a supplier for the Big Three during the downturn of the economy in 2004. “It was a bad time to try and open my own business, but I struggled through it, and now I have a 13,000-square-foot facility that is very popular and very busy,” he says. But Jagenow is more than just a mechanic: he’s the go-to guy in town for appraising and working on classic car collections, and is well-known for the restoration on his 1927 Ford Roadster. 248-760-0700

 

Fashion Feature Credits:

GROOMING: LOREN PAPASIAN, BERKLEY CHOP SHOP, 248-546-2237, BERKLEYCHOPSHOP.COM

MAKEUP: LAURA ROCKWOOD, LAURAROCKWOOD.COM

STYLING ASSISTANT: JENNIFER PICKERING

SHOOT PRODUCTION: JEFF NEWSOM

THANKS TO DAYSPACE STUDIO, DAYSPACESTUDIO.COM

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