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Chatting with Alex Delany, the man about town
We talk about his fears of a world where only Starbucks exists, building wardrobe versatility, why gatekeeping sucks, meatballs & red sauce, his ideal opener and closer in a DJ set, & more.
The good shepherd
Good vibes are a lost art.
Worse yet, good recommendations are a lost art. We live in an underwhelming sea of noise, where it seems there so are many people with bad taste giving bad advice.
That, coupled with the TikTokification of our entire existence, and we’re a bit lost when it comes to knowing the what and where of a good experience.
But Alex Delany isn’t lost.
He knows precisely what to eat, drink, and do at all times—a man about town.
And lucky for you, he’s willing to share everything with strangers on the internet, from his favorite records and local bookshops to what you should order for dinner.
Because he’s allergic to gatekeeping.
He’s like a good shepherd willing to guide his sheep in the way they should go.
And it is, because Alex is religious about the environment he curates.
A true steward of the good vibes—and he wants it for everyone. Something we should all aspire to.
We sat down with Alex in his East Village apartment over a glass of wine (or two) as we listened to him yap about his fears of a world where only Starbucks exists, building wardrobe versatility, why gatekeeping sucks, meatballs & red sauce, his ideal opener and closer in a DJ set, and much more.
You’re equal parts food, music, art, clothes—a proper man about town. Feels like all your recommendations are always on point, but you don’t really gate-keep.
I just want the people bringing good things into the world to succeed.
Because there’s so much mediocre shit out there. So much. And it’s getting circulated, talked about, and recommended constantly.
I have this fear there’s a dystopian future where we only have six brands, all of which are owned by Kim Kardashian. Four restaurants, all operated by Elon Musk. Only one (NFT only) art gallery curated by Mark Zuckerburg’s digital avatar. And if you want a coffee, you must go to Starbucks and order the influencer latte.
Look, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I feel like every time someone keeps cool shit to themselves, we take steps in that direction.
So don’t do that. Instead, talk about great restaurants, bars, coffee roasters, brands, designers, winemakers, artists, musicians, producers, and artisans.
If you love something, share it and tell the people why it deserves attention. If I can put someone on to a great person, experience, brand, or product, I will 1000% do it.
I feel like I owe them that.
Speaking of putting people on—your Everything Good guides are so detailed and well-curated. Do you feel like good taste-making is gone these days? And have we lost the art of curation?
No. I don’t think it’s gone. I just think that bad tastemakers and curators are way more visible these days. I feel that there has always been (and always will be) a small group of people with good taste who influence the majority.
But the fact that everyone has a social platform and can give a recommendation makes the arena feel diluted for the rest of us.
If anything, consumers of culture are lazier and less educated, which leads to curators with bad taste having more power. For me, it’s about sifting through a bunch of shit and finding those people you trust to give you the information to make a decision. Or not. You know, your call.
So if “creative” opinions are everywhere, what are we missing? Originality? Offering context when sharing information? And where do you fit into that with your creative work?
We’re not missing originality. We probably have too much of that. I’d say quality is missing. I want something good over something unique. I also want something for *me* instead of something for everyone (which should be everyone’s goal!).
I feel like a lot of folks are designing, writing, making, and creating stuff for everyone.
I don’t want that. I want something with a distinct point of view, acknowledging that some people will hate it.
If something is for everyone, it's not really for anyone.
I like to think that I offer a multidisciplinary approach to whatever I’m doing for myself or a client. I see things in multiple dimensions, like how clothes are connected to restaurants, drinks via music, or design through nature, and so on.
I think the most intriguing things happen in the overlapping spaces between cultures, and I think you have to do a lot of research and exploration to find yourself there.
Your fits have elements of that. There are bits of classic with genreless mixing-and-matching pieces. How do you think about putting fits together?
Honestly, I’m much of a schemer when it comes to fits.
I rarely sit around with the clothing Rubik’s cube and over-analyze how things should work.
I’ve spent a long time buying versatile clothing that has, over many years, amassed into a wardrobe. When you buy pieces to wear for more than one, two, or three seasons, you start to build a wardrobe that translates to any day, in any way.
More importantly, there are two things I think about when getting dressed:
Am I going to be comfortable?
Am I going to spill soup on this?
And how’d you get involved in the recent Huckberry x Wythe collab?
Oh, man. That was so rad. I was excited to be a part of that. The jacket and collab as a whole are so good. I love Wythe. I think they’re making some of the best accessible off-the-rack menswear right now, season after season.
And I love Huckberry. I think they’re a shining example of what a multi-retailer e-com lifestyle brand can be.
The first piece of Wythe clothing I ever bought, I bought years ago from Huckberry. A blue and white stripe OCBD and I became friends with Peter and Michael from Wythe after tagging them on IG and falling in love with their garments. I’d been tight with the Huckberry crew for a while, and we’d been looking for something to work on together, so it was a no-brainer.
Sound Radio was such a fun concept, and I learned about new artists thanks to you, especially Coco. Can we expect this to come back anytime soon?
Hell yeah, it’s coming back! In early 2024, we will dive back into four episodes a month with a new guest (almost) every Tuesday. That’s a project I’m excited to get back into next year.
You’re hosting a dinner for 20 people. What are you making, start to finish?
1000% a Sunday red sauce feast. Slow and low tomato sauce. Pasta. Meatballs. Sausages. Eggplant parm. Scampi. Broccoli rabe. Green salad. Roasted peppers. Garlic bread. And plenty of wine. Family style, all on the table at once. Serve yourself. Feel free to go for thirds.
You’re in a hot, sweaty club. What’s your go-to opening track for a set? And more important, what are you closing to?
To open, Makes You Fly by Nice Guys and Dumbo Gets Mad. Amazing long intro. Excellent call to arms on the dance floor—super fun vocal. Versatile. Dramatic.
To close, Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand. Closers are great because they don’t have to indicate the entire set. They can be selfish. I don’t necessarily want a closer that makes me want to dance. I want a closer that makes me want to scream. But for the record, Take Me Out does make me want to dance.