Monday, September 22, 2014

Oh So Fashionable: Cufflinks

Cufflinks CEO, Paul Song shows off his Threaded Button
cufflinks at the company's recent 15th Anniversary party
I attended a private dinner recently to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Dallas-based Cufflinks. In looking for info about how this trend got started, I came across an article from San Francisco retailer Wingtip who wrote, "In one form of another, the cufflink, or 'sleeve button', has been a part of men's wardrobe's for over a millennium -- with royal families commissioning cufflinks to mark weddings or other special events for centuries and some historians noting the cufflinks' presence in ancient Egyptian paintings.

But if there's a story to be told about the modern cufflinks and cuff styles prevalent in men's wardrobes today, it should certainly start with a mention of Alexandre Dumas' nineteenth century novel The Count of Monte-Cristo. Nowhere else in the history of western literature will you find a story wherein the cuff of a man's sleeve receives so much attention, or has had such an affect on 'real-world' menswear.

Specifically, fashion legend has it that the turned back, french cuff was born (for all intents and purposes) after french tailors read a description of one particularly pivotal character in the book ('Baron Danglars') -- a man whose presence sparked great envy when onlookers "gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole". So sumptuous and handsome a description was this, that tailors immediately recognized how outfitting french society with such details could distinguish their clients and add a new chapter to modern man's costume. Shortly thereafter, a cuffed shirt and a set of signature cufflinks (or ribbons) became a characteristic mark of a true, modern gentleman -- and cufflinks started to commonly appear at the wrists of men outside the immediate aristocracy."

Flash forward to modern day dressing and Cufflinks is still setting the standard for dapper dressing. Established in 1999, Cufflinks goal was to provide an outlet for men to find selections of cufflinks and accessories that could not be found in specialty shops and department stores.

Over the past decade and a half they have brokered mega-deal licensing agreements with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, Hasbro and DC Comics.  Their newest partnership is with Disney and their collection of Star Wars cufflinks has been wildly successful. They even partnered with Neiman Marcus last year to offer a 14K Darth Vader cufflink priced at $4200 and Yoda cufflink at $4000 for the 2013 Christmas Book!

Over the years, Cufflinks has expanded their offerings to include tie clips, lapel pins, pocket squares, ties, socks and more. They are working with Disney on a new line of ties and socks for kids which I am sure will be fantastic. As the holidays approach, I can't think of a better one-stop-shop for gifts for your man than Cufflinks. From classic to tongue-in-cheek styles, you will find something dashing and fabulous for every man on your holiday list.

source: Wingtip