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Editor’s Letter: Inside Robb Report’s March Style Issue

It was as the dessert course was being served at a swanky awards dinner in London over a year ago that I first got talking to Laurent Malecaze, the new (at that time) CEO of Dunhill. Over coffee he agreed with my assessment that his brand, a storied British luxury label for men, was in a bit of a slump and needed a strong shot of inspiration and imagination. 

Malecaze seemed to have both: He was young, French, and smart, and I was excited to hear his plans to return the label to its historical best, when it exported an eccentric English elegance and sophistication to America and the rest of the world from the Jazz Age onward, as distinguished gents, such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Frank Sinatra—not to mention royals from all over—wore its designs and carried its iconic lighters and other essential objets of modern life. That was when the seeds of this issue’s exploration of the brand’s new direction took root. As we met again over lunch some months later, he reiterated his promise to give us whatever we needed. 

And he was as good as his word—right up to two days before he was supposed to be photographed as part of the portfolio of changemakers at Dunhill, when it was announced by the house’s parent company, Richemont, that it had appointed him CEO of Chloé, just as he was getting warmed up. 

Awkward. But bumps in the road are par for the course in business, as we know, and the personnel that Malecaze had put in place remain committed to what needs to be done to return Dunhill to influence. Which, for me at least, is hugely promising. To see what I’m getting excited about, check out our feature story

Elsewhere in this style issue, we took real-life model couple David Miller and Gabriela Salvadó to the South of France to showcase what spring could look like, fashion-wise, if you happen to find yourself lounging on the grounds of a château or strolling along the vineyards at sunset. As a paid-up member of the shawl-collar-cardigan appreciation society, I’m a big fan of the outfit on page 108, but there’s a lot to be inspired by throughout the story. 

The same can be said of our home tour this month, where a pair of music-industry bigwigs give us the run of their fabulous New Jersey mansion, full of memorabilia, fun (loving the bowling alley), and clever time-saving hacks that make their lives just that little bit easier. As one of the owners says in the story, the home is a celebration of all they have achieved: “We’re new. No one passed anything on to us except problems.” But every time she steps in the door, she feels gratitude and pride. “Wow, you did it,” she rightly says to herself. 

A similar sentiment was no doubt uttered by Ben Oliver, who recently traveled to the Spanish island of Ibiza to achieve a personal grail: cycling with one of his heroes, the winner of three world cycling championships, two Olympic golds, and a Tour de France, Geraint Thomas. As he comments in his story, the chance to pit yourself against your idol in a sporting arena is not something easily accomplished, unless you’re prepared to throw a lot of money at the problem. And often, not even then. For keen cyclists such as Oliver, however, it’s as simple as signing up with a new tour company that specializes in elite-level two-wheeled experiences—both in terms of the quality of those riding in your peloton and in the five-star amenities that greet you at the end of each day. Quite the winning combination, as Oliver would agree. 

Elsewhere, we celebrate the reemergence of the Cegga 002/60, a tribute to the Ferrari 250 GT Testa Rossa; examine the rise of Swedish boatbuilder J Craft; follow Chicago hatmaker Optimo as it creates its fedoras; and hear from the first male supermodel—now mental-health advocate and publisher—John Pearson. 

Enjoy the issue. 

Authors

  • Paul Croughton

    Paul Croughton is the editor-in-chief of Robb Report. He was the launch editor of the British edition of Robb Report in 2016, before moving to New York in the summer of 2018 to take over the American…

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