Gift of the Day: A Platform

Today’s gift for "the guy who has everything" doesn’t recommend any single, specific gift but rather a "platform" for future gifts. If a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, then the path to matching luggage starts with a small duffel.

While most men do bare-minimum accessorization (watch, belt, cell phone), 30% of men take the time to make sure their belt is in the same color family as their shoes, and only 3.5% of all men insist that their belt match their shoes match their briefcase*. I’ll be the first to say I’m not typical of most men, but I have, on more than one occasion left the house in frigid temperatures with no gloves because I was wearing brown shoes, but only have black gloves (ed. note: I had some, but left them in a NYC cab last winter).

There are a number of categories and brands that promise platform potential:

  • Leather goods are a no-brainer place to start. Martin Dingman’s new Lexington Collection is a good example. Gifts include wallets, a portfolio, shaving kit, eyeglass case, pen case, and matching belts in a luxurious equestrian saddle leather in three colors. Mulholland Brothers has a number of lines (Boardroom, Deerskin, Alligator, M-Series) that promise similar results.
  • Desk Accessories from a brand like El Casco. Just the price-point of their desk accessories make outfitting a desk in a single purchase as difficult as it used to be to buy a home. All the more reason to take it one piece at a time. Consider starting with one of their signature pieces like the Pencil Sharpener or Staplers, and then add your Tape Dispenser, Paper Clip Pot, Business Card Holder, and more.
  • Cigar Accessories from a brand like Atoll. They make 18 different products in over a dozen different leathers. Maybe you start with a much-needed cigar cutter, then the lighter, a case, the flask, and then end it with the ultra-impractical-but-awesome-gift-idea known as the Desktop Lighter.
  • And of course, there’s always matching luggage. A core, safe piece to start with might be a duffel bag, a carry-on trolley, or a professional case. From there, you can gift matching pieces like other complementary bags (if you do a rolling piece first, go wheel-less on #2 and vice-versa), a passport wallet.

The key to pulling off a platform gift is to make sure you will be able to get the matching pieces in the future. For many "fashion" brands, a new style or color may only be around for a season or a year and then it’s gone. Because most of the brands we carry feature timeless classics, the core pieces have already been around for a decade or more, and will likely be continued for decades to come. Start a platform for him today, and you’ll have gift ideas all set for Valentine’s Day, his birthday, anniversary, Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, and any other days of giving…

* There is no factual basis for these statistics, but they do sound about right, no? [see Truthiness]

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Wingtip Founder & CEO, Ami Arad is the quintessential modern gentleman. He has distinctive taste, an eclectic style, and dresses for every occasion. Ami developed his vision for Wingtip at a young age; even back in high school where four years of speech and debate meant weekends wearing a coat and tie, he was in his element. Years of working in upscale men’s clothing stores and socializing in cigar shops, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit, inspired Ami to develop Wingtip, a men’s specialty store and private social club.