Power Model Garrett Neff on the Rules of New York Power Dressing
Before the Ferragamo fragrance face stopped by THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media party on Wednesday night, he told us how to make an outfit look like it really means business (hint: being approachable is good).
Garrett Neff knows power. Having walked runways for Dolce & Gabanna and Calvin Klein, the Ferragamo fragrances frontman makes his living off of having one of the best bitch faces in the land. And, of course, nothing says "domination" better than a gaze that could melt ice (his ridiculous blue eyes don’t hurt, either).
We caught up with the oh-so-handsome 30-year-old just before he headed over to The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media party in New York on Wednesday night to find out just how one of the most powerful catwalkers in men’s fashion uses clothes to get shit done.
Garrett, you’re originally from Delaware but live in New York — the most powerful city in the U.S., for sure. How long have you lived there?
I’ve been living in New York, primarily, since February 2007. So seven years.
You obviously have to travel quite a bit for work. What’s your take on New York vs. L.A. style?
L.A. is a bit more relaxed about everything, and style is no different. The weather is warmer, you’re driving more so you’re sitting down, and I think there’s less walking from place to place as a result and the clothes reflect this. There are very few times I’d wear a tie to a party in L.A., whereas I wear them to parties all the time in New York. That affects what shirt I’ll wear and then the shoes follow soon after and eventually the look is totally different. In San Francisco, the weather changes so much so it’s all about technical fibers and lightweight layering clothes you can take off and tie around your waist.
Yeah, you tend to get some strange looks in the Coffee Bean line here if you wear a tie and you don’t work at CAA. Or drive an Uber.
The East Coast is a little more buttoned up and put together during the week, probably having to do with both weather and the predominance of finance and the sense of formality that goes with it. Lots of L.A. jobs are creative and the weather generally requires a looser fit and attitude.
In L.A., we personally feel like tools when we wear crazy stilettos and the sun is out.
Oh, shoes are different, too. Especially for guys. On the weekend, you don’t want to walk a bunch of miles in Vans or Converse All-Stars. In New York, you see these same finance guys reaching for some New Balance or Nike Air Max if they’re kicking around on the weekend.
What are your secrets for creating a proper power outfit?
I think the most important element of a power outfit is proper fit. The one item to focus on is a suit. If it’s the right fit, you could wear it with a T-shirt and still convey the positive message. I think Ferragamo is doing a really great job with fit right now so I find myself wearing their stuff all the time.
And you’re wearing Ferragamo to our party, yes?
I’m wearing a blue blazer and navy blue loafers with a white shirt, knit tie and blue jeans. It’s powerful because of its simplicity and fit, but also because it’s still comfortable and approachable.
Speaking of approachable, we hear you’re about to open a Pho restaurant in Philadelphia, and we like nothing more than approaching a huge bowl of noodles.
Yes, my good friend Tyler — I was the best man in his wedding — myself and a good friend of ours, Alex, are opening Stock in mid-May in Philadelphia on East Girard. It’s a Vietnamese Pho restaurant and we’ll serve other Vietnamese dishes as well. I’m really excited for it to open. You can stop by when Tyler and his wife, Nicole, get back to Philly after my sister’s wedding; they didn’t want to open up then have to be closed on one of the first Saturdays in business, so they open the doors the week after May 10.
We'll be there with stilettos on.