A moment with Nick Wooster and Ryan Babenzien

Greats Wooster Nero Perforated Black
The moment you meet one of your idols can be paralyzing. If you’re a huge fan, you’ll be rendered speechless. If you’re solely an admirer… the same will also happen.

When I met men’s style legend, Nick Wooster, at a Nordstrom event, I kept my cool on the outside, while fangirling on the inside. There to talk about his project with sneaker brand Greats (for those who don’t know, Greats was founded in Brooklyn in 2013 by sneaker industry veterans Jon Buscemi and Ryan Babenzien, and deliver high-quality footwear at a reasonable price by selling directly to the customer), I wasn’t the only one who wanted a few moments with him.

Also there to promote the brand was co-founder of Greats, Ryan Babenzien. Speaking with him about fashion, retail, design and demographics, he brings the conversation back to shoes.

“Black and white are our best sellers,” Babenzien says when I inquire about styles. Not a fan of color? “The tan [Cuoio], is popular,” he directs me to an arrangement of samples on display.

While lace-ups and chukka style boots do well with footwear aficionados, the Wooster is a timeless slip-on with elastic side tabs, made with Italian perforated leather and lined with vachetta leather (no socks necessary). My wallet is already open.

Seeing that Wooster (the man, not the shoe) is now free, I’m introduced to him and comment on how everyone wants to take a photo with him, no matter where he goes.  It’s a proverbial “get” during fashion week. Knowing I don’t have much time to know his thoughts on style in the city, I begin.

“After our long and brutally unstylish winters, do you have a suggestion on how to keep warm and still look good?” I ask.

“With Heattech undergarments from Uniqlo, you can wear and layer anything on top of it,” Wooster replies.

“And what are your thoughts on outerwear? With everyone prone to wearing black, any suggestions on a color?” is another style question I’d want to get his POV on.

“Green.”

“Not camo?” I raise an eyebrow.

“No, green.” This is said with a smirk. When a style icon dictates a trend, you follow it.

By the way, I’m coming back for a pair of Woosters very soon.

About The Author

Steven Carver
International Editor

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