Looking at the Look Book

In this week's edition of the Look Book, New York mag introduces us to Desmond E. Wilder, a financial analyst living large in North Bergen, New Jersey. Actually, he sounds and looks pretty normal to us: after a morning of midtown meetings, Wilder hit Bond No. 9 to pick up the "Wall Street" scent. He's also the co-publisher of Renaissance Man, a lifestyle magazine for men of color that will launch this summer. Interestingly, Wilder is not quite a Renaissance Man himself, but he intends to mix-and-match items from Saks and Century 21 until he reaches his goal.

After the jump, Intern Alexis asks Lydia Turner, Mark Sable, and Naomi Nevitt to dig beneath Wilder's well-polished exterior.

Lydia Turner, intern, Renaissance Man Magazine

What does Desmond really smell like?

Desmond and his co-editor De'Angelo James will be expanding the Renaissance Man brand to include a fragrance. R Man . It doesn't drop until fall '06, but here's what they've got so far for the back of the box: "R Man is an intoxicatingly masculine symphony of mandarin, sable and deep musk, subtly blended with lighter, fresher notes of self-delusion and gaudy desperation. Please discontinue use if rash occurs."

Desmond says that his comfort is his scarf and pocket square. What other physical objects does he find comfort in?

A Renaissance Man must possess not only innate talent, but fierce dedication to his craft and acute organizational skills. Desmond relies on the dry erase board by his desk to help manage his time, and to bolster him during his often stressful workday. Upon arriving at the office this morning he popped the cap off a fresh marker and wrote this list with anassertive flourish:

to do today:
make deals
eliminate all non-shiny items from wardrobe*
look up term "Renaissance Man"

*priority

Pitch a story to "Renaissance Man."

My story is an in-depth examination of high-end contemporary menswear, titled "Renaissance Man Style, or Essential Status Symbols Available for Purchase in North Bergen, New Jersey." I will explore such important questions as: "What most becomes the adventurous and discerning minority trendsetter?" and "Commanding respect in the boardroom: the power of the exposed chest"


Mark Sable, writer

What does Desmond really smell like?

My ex-girlfriend.

Desmond says that his comfort is his scarf and pocket square. What other physical objects does he find comfort in?

A check for a million dollars, which he's about to hand over to a former Nigerian official who e-mailed Desmond's asking for help transferring his assets to the United States. And P. Diddy's umbrella.

Pitch a story to "Renaissance Man."

I think I've got the entire next issue laid out:

A story about how the movie Renaissance Man, starring Danny DeVito as a down-on-his-luck ad executive who teaches Hamlet to a bunch of semi-literate Army recruits, inspired hundreds of young men to join military, where there were maimed by roadside bombs in Baghdad.

A flattering profile of the Duke Lacrosse team.

And a witty "Shouts and Murmurs" piece by Steve Harvey.


Naomi Nevitt, freelance writer/photographer and Barnard College student

What does Desmond really smell like?

While Desmond seems to be representing "Downtown" in his answers, let's take a look at the other locations of his day and name a new Bond No. 9 scent for him accordingly. After grabbing a Grande and jumping in his XTerra, Desmond made his way out of the Garden state and through the Tunnel to meet his first client in beautiful Midtown.

Sitting high in the clouds in a 43rd Street skyscraper, he crunched some numbers, made some charts and did all that other stuff that financial analysts do (luckily his pocket square helped him keep his cool even in the toughest Wall Street-induced moments) Exhausted by noon, Desmond decided to live a little and check out some new shops in the East Village he read about in his favorite online newsletter that he gets delivered to his Blackberry for a quick lunch-break. Enter Look Book. Okay, so let's break this down : 1/2 Jersey + 1/4 Bridge / Tunnel + 1/8 skyscraper + 1/8 Blackberry + with a touch of below 14th = smells like New Money to me.

Desmond says that his comfort is his scarf and pocket square. What other physical objects does he find comfort in?

Rubbing the face of Jefferson on the re-designed nickel that he keeps in his pocket makes Desmond feel like a million bucks.

Pitch a story to "Renaissance Man."

"Renaissance Man" seems like quite a progressive title, but I would like to see this magazine commit to a more old school vision. Nothing says "money" more than some of the shenanigans that occurred during the actual Renaissance. And I'm talking more 1535 than 1935, here.

Perhaps an expos on an entrepreneur like the Doge or DaVinci would be in line with Desmond's vision of profiling the late and great. Or for an updated take, I hear the Renaissance Fair is on its way to a fairground near you! Huzzah!