The Netflix of Cufflinks

Cufflink Library

I consider myself a pretty big fan of cufflinks, and yet I only own about a dozen pair that I regularly wear. If I’m wearing a green coat, shirt, or tie, I have a nice pair of jade cufflinks. Bright blue is great for my lapis links. I have a favorite pair with some burnt orange in them for a sport coat that has a burnt orange windowpane on it. And of course I have a few neutral cufflinks that will work with anything; cufflinks –new & vintage– in gold, mother of pearl, rhodium, and gunmetal that may not accentuate a color, but keep my cuffs fastened.

Despite owning a store that offers a bigger selection of cufflinks than most, there are a lot of holes in my ideal Diversified Cufflink Portfolio (DCP)*. I have nothing with purple or lavender to match my new Oxxford suit with a lavender chalk stripe, zilch for red or pink, and I’ve worn the same old stud set for the last 10+ years to every formal event. It would cost me 1000s of dollars to round out a proper collection, and if you know me, I could spend 10s of 1000s if money were no object (sadly, it very much is).

Enter the Cufflink Library, coming soon to Wingtip. Inspired by companies like Netflix and Zipcar, the basic idea is that "access is better than ownership." Members will pay an annual fee to have access to a library of 60+ cufflinks in a variety of styles, finishes, colors, and stones. Take one out, wear it for a day or a week, bring it back, and swap it out for a new pair. Eventually, I expect the Library to house 100 pairs so that participating members will never have to wear sub-optimal cufflinks. Better yet, the annual fee will be a credit toward the purchase of cufflinks, so if you buy a few pair in a year, access to the Library is essentially free. All of our cufflink artisans –Jan Leslie, Robin Rotenier, Tokens & Icons, spiVey– have agreed to participate in this little experiment.

Best of all, Steve Vigar, maker of the amazing architectural chess sets, will be designing the wall piece that will display the collection. Photos to come when it launches in late September/early October…

* There is no such thing, as far as I know, as a Diversified Cufflink Portfolio, but I can assure you that someday, there’ll be an app for that…

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