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Wm Brown x New & Lingwood

Wm Brown x New & Lingwood

On Air Travel, The Joy of Hotels, and the New Travel Gown

On Air Travel, The Joy of Hotels, and the New Travel Gown

Matt Hranek is a man who hardly needs any introduction. Founder of Wm Brown magazine, author of “Man and His Watch”, "The Negroni: A Love Affair with a Classic Cocktail” and a seasoned traveller, Matt knows a thing or two about travelling in style.

For this reason we worked with Matt on a wool/silk dressing gown, tailor-made to be a traveller's comfortable and (very importantly) easy-to-pack companion through the adventures ahead. The dressing gown has been created with an exclusive pattern featuring a slightly shorter length, with a soft shoulder and reduced size belt and loops. Also included is an internal pocket to put valuables whilst in the pool.

Light, wrinkle resistant and coming with a complimentary pouch for easy packing, this dressing gown is the product of Hranek's decades of life spent on the road or in the air, chasing the next incredible meal, cocktail or memorable experience.

To mark the launch of this gown, we caught up with Hranek, who was gearing up for a morning run at his home in France, to discuss travel, the hotel life and his new gown.

New & Lingwood: Any seasoned traveller should be an expert at making the tough calls about what’s worth packing and what’s not. Why is a travel gown an essential item in someone’s limited suitcase space?

Matt Hranek: First of all, I’m a habitual over-packer and the unapologetic reason is I hate being under-geared. I hate being unprepared so I’ll have a tendency to double up some things or expect the worst or want a little bit of extra luxury particularly if I’m going somewhere more raw. So what I like about the travel gown is it serves a lot of purpose. It beats the hotel robes in terms of — I’d wear a hotel robe in the room but I’m not walking to the lobby. I’m not walking to the pool ideally with it. I’d rather not. I’d just feel shlubby. So I think it’s super elegant to have this item that’s yours. I’ll pack a set of pyjamas but not for the duration of the trip. I think this robe brings you elegantly downstairs to the swimming pool. It brings you elegantly to the spa. You throw it on with a tuxedo shirt or merino polo and it’s kind of cocktail gear. I think the fabric is incredible because you have this merino and silk and you know merino is anti-bacterial. It holds up beautifully to packing.

I’ve travelled with this so far to Rome, France and back and they come out of your wardrobe in that little pouch, you shake them out, you hang them and the wool just relaxes and all the wrinkles come out and its great. I think what we’ve done is we’ve taken the inspiration of the existing product and we softened the shoulders like my Neopolitan jackets. We’ve reduced the amount of fabric so it’s less full when you pack it. I think these are helpful things in terms of the economy of packing. And selfishly we modified it to my ideal fit but what we found with a lot of these collaborations is I’m not alone in what a lot of people want. I think this is also a great unisex item too. Yolanda has definitely snagged it and my friend was here wearing one wearing one around our pool and it’s super elegant and what I like about the robe is it is a little bit one-size-fits all in terms of style — male, female, however you identify — and I think its a really diverse addition to the travel arsenal.

New & Lingwood: What is the key to dressing well while traveling?

Matt Hranek: I got in such an argument with my family one time because we were flying from Paris to New York and I dumped every airline mile I had to buy us business class seats on Air France and I was in my travel kit, which is safari jacket, khakis, loafers, polo shirt, cashmere sweater, scarf. Trying to look smart but understanding, you know, the khakis have a little stretch in them, I want to be comfortable but I’m not in loungewear and both my wife and daughter came down in sweatpants and sweatshirts and I was like “no no no, you turn around right now and I know there’s this pair of cashmere drawstring pants up there,” you know, lets present in a way that shows we respect the process of travel in this class. And I’m all for comfort but I have rules or guidelines more than rules for travel and I think looking smart is important and I don’t travel in open toed shoes. I’m not someone that says oh you should wear a jacket and tie but I do think looking smart and put together you owe it to yourself and everybody else.

I love the romance of wearing a suit while flying but what does that suit look like when you arrive? You know what I mean? I always wear safari jackets which is my very Roger Moore self and I do think Safari jacket presents almost like a blazer with the practicality of it not being a blazer. The fabric is softer, it can look a bit more wrinkled, the pockets button to keep your passport and everything organised. I really like that. Going on a journey I can drop everything in one pocket, button it and put it in the tray. So that idea of the blazer is what’s wrapped up in the safari jacket.


Matt Hranek: Travel is this accumulation of knowledge. I’ve always been somebody who does not like to rush to the airport or the train. I hate the stress of that. I’d rather be early, have a coffee, people watch, have a drink. This cavalier attitude of “I just show up a half our before my flight,” no way. Also, be kind to people who are there to serve you. Be kind to the gate agents. They have so much power. They wield so much power. Be kind to everyone in your path that gets you into that seat. I think it’s super important. I’m very sympathetic to that stuff. And buy good luggage.

New & Lingwood: What are some lessons you’ve learned from other travellers that have helped you on the road?

Matt Hranek: When I was growing up, my family did not get on airplanes to travel. Maybe we went to Florida once or Denver but we were in the car a lot and did a lot of road tripping. Those were my experiences travelling as a kid so as I started with a lot more airplane travel and further destinations, I was a photo assistant so you really learn how to travel efficiently and smartly. To take care of people’s thousand dollar equipment and having to get there not to tuck into the beach, but really be responsible for a job and that I learned from the people in front of me about how to pay attention, how to be on time, how to take care of the people who get you from A to B, and having to really be a part of the team to get from A to Z really taught me a lot about how to travel.

New & Lingwood: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new city?

Matt Hranek: I think we choose where we stay based on stylistically neighbourhoods, affordability, thoughtfulness. We stay in hotels more than Airbnbs just because I love staying in hotels and I don’t want to set up a house every time I get to a place. I think the first thing we do is, I pack running sneakers and running gear everywhere we go and I love that first morning where you just pick a route and you just run and you really get to just go for a race. Yolanda and I always will do that, wake up in the morning, coffee, go run and that’s a great jet lag solution as well. You know you come back and you soak in a hot tub. But I think getting out and exploring and seeing where you are outside just outside your immediate surroundings is very very important.

New & Lingwood: What’s a place you haven’t been yet that you’d like to visit?

Matt Hranek: I really want to explore more of Eastern Europe. The other day we were like “why haven’t we gone to Poland, why haven’t I been to Romania?” All these pockets of Eastern Europe I’m super interested in. Also I’ve never been to Australia which is very embarrassing. It’s a big world out there. We find ourselves getting into the routine of travelling to familiar places and places that we just like, like I love Italy, I love being in France and there’s a lot to explore there but I think getting out of the comfort zone, that familiarity and that language I think is important.