Tag Archives: Robin Rotenier

Ami's Wedding

A Wingtip Wedding

On Saturday, September 14th, Wingtip — the store and the club — hosted its first wedding: my wedding to my beautiful wife, Stacy. And since this is the company’s blog, and the store and the club played a starring role in the entire day, I thought I’d do a recap of the details that would be most interesting to our customers and members.

This wedding would not have been possible without the generosity of many of Wingtip’s vendors including Dormeuil (my tuxedo fabric), Antonio Valente (tuxedo shirts), Michael Toschi (my shoes), Donatiello Winery (reception wine), Dion Neckwear (groom’s bow tie & braces), Telford’s (cigars), Pantherella (groomsmen’s silk hosiery), Per Diem (catering), Louis Walton Ties (groomsmen’s bow ties), and all of the Wingtip employees that helped it make it a very special day.

Hint: mouse-over the photos for the director’s commentary.

Robin Rotenier Martini Cufflinks with Lemon Twist

Robin Rotenier Trunk Show – Thu, May 9

The years blur now, but most likely in 2000, just before the dot-com bubble was about to burst, I was on a rocket ship of a software company called Blue Martini Software. I was one of the first 40 employees in July of 1999 and just a year later, the company was going public with hundreds of employees all over the world and, at its peak, a $4B (with a B) market cap.

I stopped into the Saks Men’s Store in Union Square and noticed a vitrine of cufflinks. A pair of sterling silver martini glasses were adorned with a green peridot stone to represent an olive in the martini. But Blue Martini Software’s logo featured a lemon twist. I asked a sales associate if it would be possible to order a pair with a yellow-ish stone instead of green; the next week I got an answer. I ordered ten pair to give out as gifts to co-workers plus a stud set for myself. I still have my links and stud set today.

A third-generation designer, and the first in jewelry, Robin founded his namesake line in 1993. Objects and architectural details are the core of each new design crafted in sterling silver. Robin studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In 2006, FIT awarded him the Mortimer C. Ritter Award, one of the highest honors given out by the Alumni Association. Robin Rotenier was the first jewelry designer to receive this prestigious award. In December 2008, Silver Promotion Service asked Robin to join the inaugural group of ten “Designers of Distinction.”Robin carves his models, and each piece is finished by hand, distinguishing it from machine-made items. It is Rotenier’s passion for design and attention to details that truly set his work apart.

On Thursday, May 9th, Robin Rotenier will visit our store and club from 6pm-9pm. In addition to his wide assortment of cufflinks, he’ll have some women’s jewelry on hand as well.


Updates on the Grand Opening Party


While we are neck deep in construction, with Heidi keeping a close eye on proceedings (above), we also have some exciting updates on the Grand Opening Party, which will be Thursday, September 27th. As you may know, the event will take place all day in the store from 10am – 6pm. Many of our vendors will be on hand, and most will have gifts with purchase or door prizes. We also expect to pouring some libations. All in all, it should be a festive affair in an unbelievable space, and we hope you can join us.

Visiting vendors now include:

  • Chris Knott, founder of Peter Millar
  • Bill Thomas, founder of Bills’ Khakis
  • Michael Toschi
  • Jeff Shafer, founder of Agave Denim
  • Kirby Allison, The Hanger Project
  • Todd Fisher, CEO of Truefitt & Hill, N.A.
  • Robin Rotenier
  • Margo Petitti

Plus representatives from Paul’s Hat Works, Agave Denim, Johnstons of Elgin, Mulholland, Martin Dingman, W. Kleinberg, Visconti, HollenWolff, and more.

Keep your eyes on our Facebook event page for more updates.


Golf Accessories for your US Open Weekend

San Francisco’s Olympic Club hosts the US Open this week, and if history is any indication, it’s going to be an unpredictable and extremely difficult course for the contestants. Forbes magazine notes, “The U.S. Open has been contested at The Olympic Club 4 times previously (1955, 1966, 1987, 1998), and only 4 golfers total across those 4 tournaments finished the tournament below par.”

So if you’re headed to down to spectate, here are a handful of accessories that will keep you looking smooth while the course is looking rough. (And, for anyone playing their own round this weekend, check out the Mulholland gear.)

Davek Golf Umbrella — $129

Tokens & Icons Golf Ball Cufflinks — $150


An accessory for hockey fans who aren’t watching the Stanley Cup Finals

Tokens-icons-hockey-puck-cufflinksWe were browsing The Trades this morning when we saw this disconerting headline:

TV Ratings: Rising ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Tops Stanley Cup Finals

Interesting. Just to fill you in, here’s ESPN‘s breakdown of what you missed while you were watching talent show auditions: “Anze Kopitar scored a spectacular goal on a breakaway with 11:47 left in overtime Wednesday night and the Kings beat the Devils 2-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.”

With shows like The Bachelorette and Secret Millionaire facing off against the Finals, we understand that you probably won’t get to actually watch any games. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your fanaticism known with a new pair of hockey cufflinks. On Wednesday night, just before game three starts, plug a pair of hockey cufflinks into your favorite French-cuffed shirt, head down to the TV room, crack open a beer, and flip the channel to So You Think You Can Dance. (Or are you more of a Dogs in the City type of guy?)

The Tokens & Icons Hockey Puck Cufflinks (pictured left) are made from a puck that was used in NHL gameplay on the ice at Madison Square Garden. Cufflink craftsman Robin Rotenier also makes hockey cufflinks in skate-and-puck and stick-and-puck designs.

Wear your support on your sleeve(s).

Tokens & Icons Hockey Puck Cufflinks — $160

Robin Rotenier Hockey Stick & Puck Cufflinks — $345-$395

Robin Rotenier Hockey Skate & Puck Cufflinks — $345-$395

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…

Gift of the Day: Cufflinks

Cufflinks as GiftsAbout 10 years ago, I was told by an old, wise man or woman that a true gentleman does not buy his own cufflinks; he is gifted them. It made sense. I would argue that after a nice necktie or watch, a beautiful pair of cufflinks are complimented by a stranger more often than anything else you might wear. The kind words could be acknowledged with: "Thank you. I thought so too which is why I bought them for myself." But it sounds so much better to reply with: "Thank you. These were given to me by my [choose only one] grandfather/mother/wife/kids/mentor/etc." 

Earlier in this series, we covered the Golden Rule in shopping for "the guy who has everything": Gift something he wouldn’t buy himself. This is an offshoot of the Golden Rule: Gift something he is not supposed to buy himself. 

There are at least 5 reasons why cufflinks make a perfect gift: 

  1. You are providing the gentleman with a story to tell as to how we acquired them.
  2. They are likely an heirloom type gift that will be handed down, and will grow in sentimental value over time.
  3. Cufflinks are a great way to express a hobby, passion, or playfulness. I’m not a huge fan of lobsters or Formula 1 cars on a necktie, but they are remarkably expressive yet simultaneously subtle on a cuff. 
  4. A cufflink junkie can never own too many cufflinks.
  5. There are no sizing issues with cufflinks; one size fits all.

There another 1,000 reasons why cufflinks are great gifts in our cufflink department which you can find here

Official Haberdasher of Somali Pirates

Skull & CrossbonesThe Skull & Crossbones motif has been very hot the past few years. So hot, in fact, that I was hoping it had finally jumped the shark. I’m sure some of you will say it already had, which it did; but, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still sell, which, to a retailer, means it hasn’t yet run its course. 

All of a sudden, Somali pirates are all over the news, and we could be in for a few more years of skull-themed ties, belts, cufflinks, and pendants. News casts have featured words I am pretty sure I have never heard uttered by professional anchors, including but not limited to "Indian frigate" and "pirate mothership". While I can’t find the audio I heard, Wired wrote it up here.

I shouldn’t be making fun of it, really. But the pirates say they’re strictly in it for the money, and it’s hard to read that interview with a real live pirate and not ponder the notion that one man’s pirate is another man’s Coast Guard (no disrespect to our customers that are U.S. Coast Guard). In their defense, they (the Somali pirates) did just release a Greek ship they seized over 2 months ago with all 25 crew members unharmed.

It is the time of year when many organizations buy gifts to reward their top performers. Given the year they’ve had, perhaps we’ll add Somali pirates to our growing list of corporate customers…

Can I Get French Cuffs With That?

French Cuff Shirt
You sure can. More and more men are finding that French cuffs are a wise way to distinguish themselves from the increasing number of well-dressed gents in the workplace and on the social scene. But are they for you?

Known as double cuffs in Britain, French cuffs were once the exclusive province of boardroom swells, international financiers, and powerful attorneys, but now they?re turning up on college kids and entry-level professionals.

The trend kicked off about six years ago when Lehman Brothers became the first bank to nix its business casual dress code and insisted on more professional attire. Other firms quickly followed.

Brad Pitt gave the trend a big boost in last year?s Ocean?s 13 by wearing French cuffs in a non-traditional way?the cuffs fully opened instead of folded back, sans tie, and the shirt collar not just merely unbuttoned but splayed across his jacket lapels.

Some stylish gents prefer not to go that far. They pair French cuffs and cuff links with jeans and a blazer?a marriage of classic style to a modern trend.

Others modern gentleman like the opportunity French cuffs affords them to add a little bling?i.e., cuff links?to their wardrobe without resorting to gaudy chains or ear rings. Jazzy or snazzy, elegant or low-key, cuff links help a modern gentleman ratchet up his personal style. If only there were an online store with a wide selection of French Cuff Shirts and Cufflinks

Interview with Robin Rotenier

I first came across Robin Rotenier’s cufflinks 7 years ago while working
at a software company called Blue Martini Software. The company, which
was a Wall Street darling until the dot-com bust, was on fire, and I was
in the mood to give back. Upon seeing a pair of Rotenier Martini Glass
cufflinks in a store, the only thing preventing me from buying them was
the green peridot stone representing an olive; Blue Martini’s logo had a
lemon twist. The salesperson called up Robin Rotenier, and they were
happy to make them with a citrine instead to represent the lemon. I
ordered 10 pair, plus a stud set for myself, and gave them out as gifts
to Blue Martini colleagues who would appreciate them. Ahhh…those were
the good old days.

To this day, there are only 10 sets of Martini Cufflinks with citrine,
and I know exactly who has them. Now, we carry Robin Rotenier’s
cufflinks & pendants on our site, and we could not be more pleased
with the results so far. Their willingness to make custom designs and
swap in or out stones is one of the main reasons we love doing business
with them – our customers can get exactly what they want. Robin was in
the Bay Area recently and we sat down with him to talk about how he got
started, how he does what he does, and what we might expect in the
future. Enjoy!