MAN OF THE HOUR || ADAM SCHOENBERG
Adam is one-half of the brains behind one of the most stylish brands in the country right now, hook + ALBERT. The brand started as a result of a conversation between it’s co-founders Adam + Cory Rosenburg at a wedding. A debate was had about describing a brand that created the perfect dress sock. The sound of crickets ensued and from that, hook + ALBERT was born. Besides their dapper line of dress socks, h+A was on the forefront with the recent lapel flower trend and blew up the colored laces market this past summer.
As part of this interview, we’re thrilled to announce that hook + ALBERT and Ernest Alexander have partnered together to create a limited edition dress sock. Both brands strive for exceeding the needs of the modern day gentlemen in fit, function & fashion.
We recently met up with Adam at his Union Square apartment (which has some of the coolest art we’ve ever seen) to talk about h+A, the emergence of men’s luxury and what it’s like to have a newborn + juggle a growing fashion brand.
EA: So where are you from?
AS: I was born and raised in Nyack, NY. I’m a local guy. I spent a majority of my early adulthood in Jersey City but when I met my wife, she made me move into the city. It was the one thing we fought about. We wouldn’t have gotten married or had a kid if we’d stayed in Jersey City. [TO WIFE] Right Honey? [LAUGHING].
EA: Prior to starting your brand, what made you interested in fashion/apparel?
AS: I started my career in music management as an intern and then started a management company. Nothing really came from that despite getting two artists signed. Then I started a company called Urban Latino TV which was a television network. We realized that there wasn’t a station that had english-speaking latino-based programming; and that there was huge market for that. As a result, we grew from three guys to almost thirty and were on eighty different networks across the country. Eventually, we sold the company and the next obvious step to me was to go into advertising & television sales. I spent the next six years of my career doing that.
EA: So fashion came from that?
AS: I was always trying to be the best-dressed guy to promote myself-brand. Whether it was a crazy pair of socks, a flower in my lapel or trying my tie and collar to match perfectly. I always wanted a client or colleague to remark on how put together I was because, at that time, all I had was my self-brand.
EA: So how did socks come along?
AS: I always considered myself to be a luxury sock consumer. My shtick was, at any event, black-tie or not, to rock crazy socks. I’d be the guy at the upscale event who would cross his legs and people would be like, “what the f*** is he wearing on his legs?”. So I went to a wedding one time, wearing my crazy socks and I saw Cory and he’s wearing his own crazy socks and I’m like, “dude, what are you doing wearing crazy socks, that’s my thing! Where you been for ten years?”. A whole bunch of drinks later, he said he wanted to get out of banking, I said I wanted to get out of advertising and we said, “Let’s start a sock company.”
EA: There’s a huge emergence of men being okay with investing on expensive clothes. Why do you think that a company that makes just socks + accessories can succeed in today’s market?
AS: I think it started with fit. Tailored fit is so important right now and men realize that they have to spend more money for this. Thankfully, brands are starting to become wise to this. For instance, this shirt (an Ernest Alexander button down) would have never been made two years ago in this perfectly slim fit but the culture is accepting it more.
AS: The reason I think a luxury sock company can work - it’s a two part question. First off, the beauty of a sock is that at $35, a really great sock is affordable in a good and a bad economy. Secondly, when you look at our competitors making socks in Asia using crazy blends of cotton, we know that they’re making a sock for fifty cents and selling for $30. On the other hand, we don’t care about the margin. We want to make the best socks we can make with the best materials in good working environments.
EA: What does your perfect day in New York City look like?
AS: If my son slept through the night and my wife and I could wake up at 9:30 with birds chirping and no crying. [LAUGHING]. We have this farmer’s market just outside my door that’s killer so I love walking around there. Maybe have a good brunch. No crazy emails would be awesome! That’s the part of this that’s fun but also nuts: answering emails 24/7.
EA: What’s your favorite quintessential New York spot?
AS: Under the GW Bridge on the water. Whenever I ride to Nyack, I always stop there. It’s so cool to sit under this massive structure. It’s quiet. Also, on the FDR coming from the bridge when you make a right. You see the Chrysler Building; it’s such a beautiful thing.
EA: Use three adjectives to describe your own style.
AS: Hm. I like the word sophisticated but I just mean that there’s thought behind it. [LONG PAUSE] Honey, what’s my style like?
WIFE: I would say your style is elevated, modern & fresh.
AS: Ya… go with that [LAUGHING].
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