Letter from the Creative & Editorial Director: Forging Ahead

If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll probably tell you that I have rather firm ideas of what I like and don’t like. And that’s true. I form strong opinions and I’m happy to share them. Sometimes I’m even asked for them. But to get to that point, I usually need to see something or experience it to know for sure. I guess I’m just an a posteriori kind of guy.

For many decision points, this isn’t a big deal. Layouts and designs, for example, can be generated in myriad ways and then assessed. And with people I’m pretty confident in my first impressions — though, naturally, I’ve been wrong.

It’s with the acquisition of stuff that I’m not as sure. To some extent that’s a good thing. Stuff doesn’t really matter. Though some stuff makes me happy at times, I don’t rely on it for my happiness. If anything, pondering stuff, while often an entertaining pastime, can also cause me pointless stress. And yet you’ll find me constantly weighing a new watch vs. one in my small collection, a different car, or yet another chair I don’t need. Why?

Many — if not most — people appear content with admiring things they are passionate about without having to own all of them, and rightly so. The vast majority of the things I’ve pined after have only lived with me a short time. I’ve only owned one car for more than a year (6 years now!) and one for as little as 4 weeks. I just need the right bond, the right feeling to be content with objects. It would be easier to just not care.

But that’s not an option. I love driving, so I have to love the car I’m driving. It has to contribute to the love of driving. That doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be a luxury car or an exotic car, but it has to push my buttons in just the right way — and that’s not always apparent from a test drive. My watch has to say just the right thing about me and feel right on my wrist. Once I saw a fully integrated fridge (indistinguishable from a cabinet), it was the only option, cost be damned.

Perhaps this is all just a roundabout way of introducing our new look — also something that’s been belaboured and agonized over. Don Cheadle is our first personality to be featured on the cover of Sharp: The Book for Men and you probably aren’t wondering why. Why would you? Don Cheadle is the epitome of cool. The decision to move away from our iconic text covers wasn’t an easy one, but in discussing and distilling what Sharp: The Book for Men is, combined with having Matt Barnes shoot Don exclusively for us, well, it was the perfect opportunity to usher in our fresh new design. Matt talks about the opportunity and how he captured Don’s kind, albeit focused, spirit and our cover shot with the new iPhone X in an interview following Don’s feature.

The Book has always meant to serve as a source of information as well as entertainment. We know you come for the latest looks and how to wear them, fascinating new electronics and automobiles, not to mention accessories, timepieces, and other trappings of success. But we also recognize that The Book serves as an escape. We want you to sink into the lifestyle of our shoots and dream about your goals and aspirations. I know I do… and then torture myself about what to buy next.