BR Q&A: Hook & Albert
Adam Schoenberg and Cory Rosenberg were at the same wedding at the same time when sartorial lightning struck. They noticed each other’s similar sock choices (a sure sign of compatibility, if you ask us) and struck up a conversation about the need for a one-stop men’s accessories shop. Just like that, luxury brand Hook & Albert was born.
This month, Banana Republic features highlights from the highly sought-after collection: think wallets, pocket squares, dopp kits, briefcases and next-level weekender bags, plus a few unexpected touches for the suited gent, like chambray lapels. Here’s Adam on all things dapper and what makes him tick.
Your company is named after the pocket watch—is this a piece that has history for you?
I’ve been obsessed with watches since I was 4 years old. I have vivid memories of cutting out watch advertisements from the weekly circular and taping the watches to my wrist. I started collecting digital watches and throughout high school I moved to mechanical time pieces. I was gifted a pocket watch after graduation by a close family friend and always loved wearing it.
The brand name Hook & Albert was a collaborative process that started with my business partner. One day he calls me and says, “The Albert was the chain to the pocket watch. The pocket watch was a crucial accessory for men.” I loved where he was going and I responded, “The hook is what connected the Albert to the button hold of a suit vest.” From there, everything came to life. Immediately, the name felt organic and right. It was one of the coolest moments we had early on.
What are a few ways you’ve integrated new levels of function into your fashion?
Our BiFold wallet has a separate card case, which allows me to leave the bulk of wallet behind when I want to keep things slim. I tend to keep one credit card and my license in the removable card case and find myself using this for nights out. I love the function of the piece.
Wearing the right dress socks at the right time ignited your business—can you tell us why keeping things ‘polished’ at the ankles is so important?
Style starts with the basics—it’s the foundation of your everyday dress routine. I believe there’s something sad about a threadbare sock underneath a put-together outfit. You need to care not just about clothing, but underclothing.
What makes BR and Hook & Albert a perfect partnership?
Premium, high-quality craftsmanship that is easy accessible.
What are your favorite BR essentials right now?
Heading into summer, I keep things simple, consistent and comfortable. I’m obsessed with the line of Fulton Skinny Stretch Chinos. I have them in every color. Monday through Wednesday I’ll pair them with a Grant Slim Fit button down, and by Thursday I’ve switched to a soft wash crew.
Accessories make the man and they’re such a great conversation starter. What’s the most interesting remark you’ve heard while wearing eye-catching socks or some other piece people can’t get enough of?
I remember being on the TSA line in the airport six years ago. I had to take my shoes off (this was before I got TSA Pre) and was wearing a pair of our purple loafer liners. Immediately, people in line starting asking me what they were. By the time I got through security, I had sold 7 pairs of loafer liners right out of my bag. To this day, our liners are a staple product for me and still get people talking (if they are lucky enough to catch me with my shoes off, that is).
What are your travel essentials?
Most of my business trips are 1-3 days. For an overnight trip, I use our overnight duffle / gym bag. For longer-term day trips, I use our Garment Weekender Bag. Inside, you’ll find my dopp kit packed with way too many products. I always travel with a blue blazer, a pair of jeans and chinos. Depending on the meetings, I will usually wear loafers or sneakers. If I’m feeling motivated, I may also pack gym clothes and sneakers, but without fail, those never get used.
What’s one piece from your BR-featured collection you can’t live without?
Our Garment Weekender Bag, without a doubt.
Three accessories no man should be without?
Whatever complements your lifestyle, giving you function and confidence. I would say a great work briefcase, a weekend travel or gym bag, and something that gets people talking (like a sophisticated lapel flower).
Tell us why leather is all-seasons and why the perfect leather bag is such a game-changer.
A solid leather piece in a versatile colorway is key for all seasons. Getting that perfect leather bag will not only elevate your style, but gets better with age and wear.
If you weren’t designing men’s accessories what would you be doing?