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Behind The Scenes

Matt Singer’s Space-Inspired Vintage Finds

Nothing menswear designer Matt Singer does is off-the-cuff. So when Barneys asked him to pull together vintage items to sell alongside his impeccably cut shirts and smart, utilitarian bags in an installation at their Madison Avenue store, he thought long and hard, eventually landing on a NASA-fueled, space-age theme. These are four of the super-cool pieces he presented.“I really fell for this vintage Taylor weather barometer. The brass base has a nice patina, and the clear Lucite on the front and back lets you see the inner gears and levers. The piece measures temperature on the left, humidity on the right, and the falling or rising barometer reading in the center indicates the likelihood of precipitation—listed as RAIN or FAIR in a gorgeous florid white script.”“I’ve come across lots of rock and mineral samples, but I love how this small geode is held in place on the stand by the two brass screw heads. I really love the arc and the angles that get created with the stand, like a small planet tilted on its axis.”“For me, watches are one of those things that I have a really emotional, visceral response to. That Omega is similar to a watch my dad gave me that he got when he was 13. Omega watches—those were the models that were given to all the astronauts, so they lend themselves well to this theme.”“This brass astronaut sculpture is totally rad—simple and unadorned, with a good heft to it. It would be nice sitting on a desk in someone’s office. The brass has aged nicely and has a cool, almost pink hue.” [Ed: This one is up for grabs at Barneys.] Catch what Matt made for the guys tomorrow—sign up for our newsletter to see it first!
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Matt Singer’s Neighborhood Walking Tour

Matt Singer lives and works on Manhattan’s Renwick Street, which runs between Spring and Canal in what could be called Far West Soho. The stretch is half-scrappy, half-polished—which suits the taste of the men’s design whiz just fine—and the nearby businesses offer enough history and bizarreness to keep him intrigued. “It doesn’t feel like Soho, and it doesn’t feel like Tribeca,” he explains. “There are still a couple of really raw, goofy spaces. And there’s graffiti on my street, which I like.” These are the six spots he suggests you check out.Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks“It’s located on the ground floor of Joanne’s 1850s townhouse—the floorboards are all crooked, and the doorways are warped. I like cookbooks—I like giving them as gifts. I brought a friend here from Japan. He said, ‘I’m really into sandwiches,” and then Joanne brought out these three really interesting books about sandwiches.”(488 Greenwich St., 212-226-5731; joannehendrickscookbooks.com)Renwick Gallery“The little gallery on my street is really beautiful, and not just for whatever art it may be showing. It was a garage, and when they renovated it, they found this beautiful glass skylight that someone had boarded up. I would love to have a store in that space.”(45 Renwick St., 212-609-3535; renwickgallery.com)Ear Inn“It’s the oldest working bar in NYC, in a federal townhouse that was built in 1827. I was there on Friday having dinner, and there was some guy with long dreads next to a family next to an older couple drinking sherry next to some crazy hoodlums. And I thought, ‘What a great place this is!’ They also have a sport-bike night where all these fancy motorcycles line up.”(326 Spring St., 212-431-9750; earinn.com)Canal Park Playhouse“This playhouse opened recently that features “The Chapel Series,” an art variety show that they hold every 4th Monday of the month.”(508 Canal St., 212-226-3040; canalparkplayhouse.com)Whenever StoreEd: Well, that’s what Matt calls it, as it doesn’t have a real name.“For some reason, on some days this random, crazy junk store is open, and other days it’s not. The guy who runs the place is always chain-smoking, and the spot has everything—there’s a huge poster of the pope in the back and tons of bikes. And fishing gear! Who’s going fishing?”(504 Canal St.)Don Hill’s“I love the typography of that logo, and I just like a low squat building that feels the way low squat buildings feel. I came to New York well after the Mud Club or any of the cool, really important New York City venues, so whenever I go to Don Hill’s—you kind of have to take your hat off. Most of the bands park their vans on my street, so you can always see people unloading equipment. And Don Hill as a person was really amazing.”(511 Greenwich St., 212-219-2850; donhills.com) Matt is back with a killer edition on Tuesday!
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