Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Miss Manhattan Hangs Out...with Andrew Werner

I love the smell of leather in the morning, I think to myself as Andrew Werner and I walk into Global Leathers in the Garment District. This is the place where Andrew selects some materials that make the floral lapel pins in his accessories collection, Fleur’d. 

Andrew started as, and is still, a celebrity and product photographer whose work includes all manner of prestigious clients, from GQ to Bon Appetit, The New York Times to BVLGARI. After attending and photographing galas around the city, he was curious to figure out a way to make a typical suit or tuxedo stand out, to have more style and flair than is usually designated to menswear. He started Fleur’d in 2014 to do this, creating leather and canvas and even tennis ball-material floral lapel pins. Since then, his pins have been worn by people like legendary fashion designer Bob Mackie, featured on NY1, and soon will be available in one of the most recognizable luxury department stores in the world. The pins are all made in New York, and Andrew is essentially a one-man band, marketing, shooting, designing, and selling the product through his website and to potential buyers. 

In the just two hours I spend with Andrew, I am blown away by how much he accomplishes. We take a look at the brightly colored and boldly patterned leathers at Global Leathers—he shows me a shiny black python he recently used to make a camellia pin, and runs his hands over the colorful possibilities presented by lipstick-red perforated leather, a crayon box of pony hair, and so much more. There are several styles of Fleur’d pins, from the aforementioned camellia to dahlias, morning glories, cabbage roses, magnolias, or what have you. There’s always one in his lapel—“Blazers are kind of my thing,” he tells me with a smile—that matches his outfit. Today it’s a brown snakeskin pin tucked into a navy blazer, paired with khakis rolled at the ankle, a grey t-shirt, and brown suede driving moccasins: flawless. 

Shortly we’re off to Starbucks for a quick iced coffee, then we make our way over to the Accessories Council offices, where Fleur’d Pins is now a member along with the likes of brands like Bloomingdale’s, Bulova, Kate Spade New York, and Henri Bendel. In a meeting with Leena Gurevich, Director of Marketing & Events at the Accessories Council, Andrew goes over plans for the future and a sale to the council of his pins, his red dahlia pin and handmade label resting on the table next to him as he speaks. 

Next it’s off to UPS, to send off a package of Fleur’d pins of various shapes, colors, and sizes to that department store of note. How exciting to think that something you’ve built from the ground up will soon be sold by one of the world’s finest luxury department stores? But given Andrew’s work ethic and dedication to his company, his career, and producing a quality product, it really comes as no surprise. 

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