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Style Q & A: George Ackerman

Style Q & A: George Ackerman
September 2016
Chatting with the fashion and furnishings industry veteran who founded his own leather goods company, 79 Ashley, in 2014, making heirloom-worthy bags and accessories for men and women

Q: Tell us what’s new for 79 Ashley this fall.
A: We’re offering an expanded selection of belts, bags, and bracelets in fun colors of alligator leather, like red, purple, and green. Alligator is a rare, natural luxury item in the pantheon with diamonds, gold, platinum, and cashmere, and we see these additions as a major step toward 79 Ashley becoming the new American luxury brand we envision.

Q: How do you enjoy your off-hours?
A: Since I stopped working full-time, I’ve played as much competitive senior golf as I can. I recently finished a five-week stretch in which I played a tournament every week. There are many opportunities on a state, regional, and national level, and I get to see an interesting band of guys regularly.

Q: What’s your favorite footwear?
A: I have a weakness for Tod’s driving shoes. To me, there are only a few ”perfect” products in the fashion world that are timeless, elegant, and iconic; these shoes are among them. They’re uniquely comfortable and can be worn casually or to a meeting (especially in the summer with no socks). I appreciate that Tod’s is a generations-old company that knows its craft deeply.

Q: Do you have a go-to cool-weather cologne?
A: Yes, on one of my first design trips to London in the ’70s, I wandered into a small store called Czech & Speake and discovered their fragrance No. 88. It has been a constant in my life ever since.

Q: What do you like to read?
A: I love magazines and read all of them about everything—Vogue, Vogue Italia, Monocle, Town & Country. Faith Popcorn, the renowned trend forecaster, once told me that everything she needed to know about the consumer, she learned in People.