We give fashionable locals a place to go and they get All Dressed Up.
When we met up with Benjamin-Emile Le Hay at the Williamsburg branch of Cadet, he was wearing a royal-blue blazer with a pattern of black paisley, a muted striped button-down, and a pair of very significant sneakers. We were lucky enough to catch Benjamin, who works at the New York Observer as a fashion editor and is a contributing columnist at Shindigger (meaning he gets paid to go to parties full of fancy, crazy people), the day before New York Fashion Week began. He’s attending Milan Fashion Week at the moment, tweeting about Ferragamo’s use of python.
Benjamin lived in Williamsburg for three years before moving in with his boyfriend in Fort Greene. He still admires the womenswear at Bird, in his old neighborhood; closer to his current home, he stops in at indie designer shop French Garment Cleaners. “Lately I would rather get my stuff in Brooklyn than Manhattan,” he said. “Shopping in Soho or on Fifth Ave is just not very fun anymore. Not when there are so many young, fresh and independent designers.”
Speaking of, Cadet’s Williamsburg shop is its second location (the first is in the East Village’s boutique-packed stretch of 9th Street), but the year-and-a-half-old menswear brand — which tends toward the structured and military-themed, with unexpected lines and simple, thoughtful details — was born in North Brooklyn. Partners and CEOs (Chief Everything Officers) Brad Schmidt and Raul Arevalo design and sew all pieces themselves at their factory and studio space in Bushwick.
Click through our slideshow to see what went down during Benjamin’s shopping trip, from a French vocab lesson to a meditation on an “asymmetrical codpiece.”