These days, “impression management” has become so important to those aiming for job success, that luxury brands quite often dedicate an exorbitant amount of time and effort to help men dress for success effectively. More than ever before, American businessmen are nurturing dress codes by adding a healthy dose of creativity paired with individuality. Still today, in business and professional settings, it is modified conservatism that remains the true winner in menswear.
In fact, the power men behind the scenes in creative industries, such as film, fashion and music still prefer to look polished in a power suit. The dress-for-success idea is alive and well as Americans step forward into 2021. To my point, knowing what to wear during office hours truly matters in ones overall path to professional performance.
Funny enough, the origins of dress for success go way back to the rigorous work of renowned sociologist Erving Goffman and his idea that the social world functions like a theatre and we, its social actors, are performing to the best of our ability. I’d have to say, I’d buy that. Take actor Michael B. Jordan for instance. He always seems to be right on the money when it comes to dressing well. Moreover, he exudes an air of positive power and modified sophistication.
An impeccable look is definitely about the tailoring but intricate details can be even better. For me, menswear style exists with proper fit, balance and proportion. The few tips I can give you are to wear professional and conservative clothing, be mindful that the clothing is clean and pressed and chose conservative shoes that are clean and polished. And never wear your clothes too tight. It will make you appear awkward.
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That being said, do you ever wonder what the world’s most famous men in Hollywood are wearing? Thankfully, I am not referring to actors. In fact, I think most actors today need me to teach them the guidelines on how to look and dress age appropriately. On the contrary, I am referring to the true power players within the film industry. The men that run Hollywood from production all the way through to wrapping-up the final edits and packaging the film to present to the biggest film companies in the world.
These are the men in Hollywood- who fundamentally get the job done!
Back to fashion; few American menswear designers are more committed to Hollywood style than Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Paul Stuart. It’s no wonder why power house CEO Brad Feinstein has made Ralph Lauren Purple Label and RRL his go to selection while walking the red carpet on Hollywood’s biggest night!
More importantly, what I find most appealing is that Feinstein pays great respect and tribute to great American menswear designers. But then again, Feinstein walks to his own beat at work and at play. On his casual days, you can find him dressed in RRL’s tough leather jackets and biker boots. It is fitting as his look is ruggedly handsome and his style fits the bill.
It all started when Brad Feinstein founded his independent production company, Romulus Entertainment, to finance and produce original, captivating, extraordinary films that speak to our humanity. As an entrepreneur and visionary producer, he is responsible for bringing provocative and transcendent content to the big screen while enabling the filmmakers (with whom he partners) to reach their creative vision.
One of the first things you need to know about Brad is that he is, to some extent, a risk-taker. But “With great risk comes great reward”. He decided to step outside of the status quo, and be a part of the creative process that ignites fascination and thought.
He started his career as an investment banker and financial advisor. Subsequently, he used the merged his experience as an investment banker, extensive knowledge of corporate finance and his love of movies to create his company.
In 2016, Brad launched New York-based Romulus Entertainment, an independent production company that finances and produces original film and television content. Romulus was founded on several principles including timeliness, efficacy, and selectivity, all of which inform Brad’s decisions and are subtly infused into every film he makes. By concentrating his efforts on substantial, dramatic stories and high-action thrillers, he seemingly culminates new groundbreaking films each year. In a modern day Hollywood he seeks and attracts directors and talent, in order to bring these noteworthy stories to the screen.
His films tell stories that challenge and inspire the viewers, that will resonate with them, and leave them mesmerized long after the movie is over.
Since the inception of Romulus, there have been many high points for Brad as a producer, including the releases of Gully, a dystopian drama, and Dreamland, a coming-of-age story set in the Great Depression, both of which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Jungleland, a cross-country tale of two brothers trying to escape their circumstances via bare-knuckle boxing, premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
With the fight for racial justice and equality at the forefront of 2020, both of these films feel relevant, and very timely. Brad was thrilled to produce Halle Berry’s directorial debut, Bruised, a story of a disgraced MMA fighter battling her own demons, and her complicated emotional relationship with her 6 year old son. The Banker tells a compelling story of two African-American entrepreneurs set in the 1960s, and the lengths to which they had to go, in order to be successful.
I recently had the privilege to speak with Brad Feinstein – CEO, Romulus Entertainment about the origins of the name Romulus, how his job is to support the filmmakers and make sure the financing is in place and why he believes that Ralph Lauren Purple label works best for him while walking the red carpet at the Oscars!
Paul Stuart Blue super 120 wool pinstriped suit, Bengal blue, and white striped dress shirt, and silk dot tie. Suit $2495 ,Shirt $255 and tie $155
Joseph DeAcetis: Romulus produces and finances most of its projects, how do you make that happen?
Brad Feinstein: We are very fortunate to have a very dedicated finance partner for Romulus’s projects. My partner, Joseph Ingrassia and I met while I was still working with my previous company, and in 2016 we decided we would start a new business together. The goal was to merge Joe’s background in private equity with my finance and creative background, with Joe providing the capital and with me creatively producing all of the films. It’s worked out incredibly well because I have the autonomy to do whatever I want creatively and can feel comfortable to know that the money is going to be there when we go to make a movie. The thought process is first the creative has to make sense, then the economics need to check out. And once both things work, then we know we have a movie.
JD: What advice do you have for a young film entrepreneur wanting to get into the game?
BF: It’s difficult for me to suggest what path anyone else should take because there are so many ways to enter this business. Some producers work for more experienced producers as assistants and learn the business that way, I entered the biz on more of a finance track, however I think the best advice I can give is to find stories that you are passionate about and don’t give up. Because it is a long process making a film, sometimes spanning years of your life, so it needs to be something you really care about. It takes years to get movies made and the reason most people fail is because they just stop trying. There are movies that made sense years ago that just don’t make sense today and there are scripts that we couldn’t get made a few years ago that are very relevant today, so a lot of it is about the timing of the project as well and not giving up on it.
JD: Talk to Forbes about the origins of the name Romulus and the significance of the brand name within the film industry?
BF: I’ve always been attracted to history and things that are mythological, and Romulus was the founder of Rome. From what was just a single hill he built an empire, and that is what we aspired to do when we started this business —- to build something out of nothing. The company is only three years old, and I would like to believe that we have begun to build some brand awareness with the films that we have done. My hope is that the name speaks to quality and projects that speak to social awareness.
JD: I know that you can’t offer a tutorial on how to be successful in Hollywood, but Apple, Paramount, (NETFLIX)… have put their trust in you especially during a trying year as 2020. Can you identify your strengths or strategies you took that were rewarded with respect to script, budget, schedule, casting and crew?
BF: We have been incredibly fortunate to have great partners like Apple. Netflix, and Paramount. I am just thankful that they have supported the films that we’ve wanted to make. I think it all starts with finding great material and filmmakers and then elevating that material with stellar cast and crew and bringing it all in at a reasonable price point. If you have enough money you can make anything, but being able to manage finances appropriately and making it at the right price is really the art of it.
JD: How does the role of a producer vary from film to film. Please give detailed examples?
BF: I’m sure some producers do different things on different films, but my role really doesn’t change. I wear multiple hats on every film, but really my focuses are on the creative and getting the financing of the film in order. My job is to support the filmmakers and make sure the financing is in place, then typically we will give notes on the script, work with the director on casting and hiring the department heads, and then oversee production of the film, and ultimately make deals to sell the film to distributors. That really never changes.
JD:Talk to Forbes about the importance of power dressing (such as the Paul Stuart pinstripe power look suit pictured above) with respect to the entertainment industry?
BF: I would say both inside and outside the entertainment industry, the first thing people notice is your appearance. It’s just a fact that people will judge you by how you’re dressed. And whether you are on set or attending an event, it’s important to dress properly. People are fascinated by old Hollywood glamor. There are entire TV shows dedicated to what people are wearing at awards shows. In some respects, awards shows are just as important for showcasing style as the runways and catwalks of the fashion business. People look to Hollywood for their style advice. It can be incredibly nerve wracking to have to walk these red carpets, but it’s not really about me. My job as a producer is to support my talent and make sure they look great.
JD: In your words, when you are considering signing on to produce a film, what makes you unique and stand apart from other Hollywood producers? It is the materials, heartfelt storylines, location….
BF: As I said earlier, I think it all begins with the script, and making sure that we are telling stories that are going to be timely and thought provoking that have a social element that can inspire change. I think that’s been the difference-maker for us. What also makes us different is the fact that we not only produce the films, but we also finance them. So, we operate like a mini studio where we can choose the material we want to make and then finance the films. The locations are also key. I feel like people want to see films that feel transportive and bring them to places they want to imagine themselves in for the next two hours —- especially during these times of Covid when people can’t really travel.
Ralph Lauren Purple Label:
Ralph Lauren—Gregory Notch-Lapel Tuxedo. The Gregory combines lightweight full canvassing and a modern silhouette with Purple Label’s unparalleled quality and fine Italian craftsmanship. At the start of construction, pattern pieces are hand-cut by expert tailors, ensuring precision of the highest caliber. Wool barathea fabric personally selected by Mr. Lauren combined with considered details such as hand-sewn buttonholes and edges complete this signature tuxedo. $3,295, Poplin Tuxedo Shirt. Fit for the most elegant formal occasions, this shirt is tailored in Italy from crisp cotton poplin and distinguished by a pleated bib. French cuffs and genuine mother-of-pearl buttons complete this sophisticated piece.$695
JD: How do you describe your personal style with menswear today? And where do you get your style influence from?
As a producer I spend a lot of time on set so I like to be comfortable in my style and I think the things I wear have to be somewhat rugged and durable because I have to be out in the elements all day. I’m not sure people realize when they watch a movie how much time we spend outside. Most of my movies aren’t made in a studio, they’re made on location. My style has to be somewhat eclectic because most of the time I’m on set, where I need to be wearing big boots and warm coats because we spend most of our time in the elements, and then also balancing that with certain dressier things I need to wear to red carpets and events (when we used to still have those). I think Ralph Lauren’s Double RL line captures a lot of my style, which is somewhat moto-inspired, somewhat western inspired, and also inspired by the style of the 40s and 50s. That is what I feel the most comfortable in.
JD: From a producer’s perspective, what gives you the confidence to take on such controversial films such as The Banker……
BF: I think that I have always felt a sense of obligation that if we’re fortunate enough to get to make the films that we want to make, they should be films that say something. Everyone’s tastes are different and some people choose to produce horror movies or faith-based films, but whatever the genre is, I want to make things that are thought provoking and create social awareness. I am fortunate to have the opportunity that I do; it took me a long time to get out of a finance seat and get into a creative seat. I want to make things that are inspiring because I think those are the films that will endure the test of time.
Ralph Lauren Purple Label:
Ralph Lauren-Gregory Handmade Tuxedo. The Gregory combines lightweight full canvassing and a modern silhouette with Purple Label’s unparalleled quality and even greater hand-craftsmanship. At the start of construction, pattern pieces are manually cut by expert Italian tailors, ensuring precision of the highest caliber. Wool gabardine fabric personally selected by Mr. Lauren combined with considered details such as hand-sewn buttonholes and edges complete this signature tuxedo. $5,995; Poplin Tuxedo Shirt- Fit for the most elegant formal occasions, this shirt is tailored in Italy from crisp cotton poplin and distinguished by a pleated bib. French cuffs and genuine mother-of-pearl buttons complete this sophisticated piece.$695 and Dalvin Calfskin Oxford —True to our dedication to craftsmanship, this streamlined men’s oxford is constructed by artisans in Italy from calfskin that is hand-burnished to achieve a rich depth of color.$1,250
JD: What is it about the Ralph Lauren Purple label that works for you on a Hollywood red carpet such as the Oscars?
Ralph Lauren Purple label is incredibly stylish and classy and they use the highest end materials in the clothing they make. The clothing is so well made that it’s almost impossible to look bad in it, and the styles are timeless and transcendent. You can just see the difference in quality with Purple label versus most other brands, so when you’re on the red carpet it automatically stands out. Ralph Lauren, for me, is the one brand that I can one stop shop between Double RL and Purple label, which can cover pretty much my entire wardrobe.