Brand Group Director, Horizon Media, Culinary Explorer
New York, NY
“Nothing makes me happier than putting on my favorite bowties from Brooks Brothers”
As the brand group director at a New York-based advertising agency, Kevin Masse works to thoughtfully connect brands to the right audiences. It’s a practice he’s cultivating in his down time, too: with his eponymous Instagram feed, Masse has been able to create, inspire, and converse with a community of like-minded “makers” who share his fondness for food, photography, travel, and Brussels Griffons.
“I grew up in a large Italian-Irish American family, and food has always been at the center of everything we do. As I’ve gotten older, cooking has become a passion focused on bringing people together around the table to share a meal and create memories. I love the creative aspect of cooking and have fallen equally in love with trying to capture my cooking through photography. Food inspires me because the boundaries are as limitless as the imagination.
Fashion inspires me, too, however, my sartorial default is always quality over quantity. I live in New York City, where closet space is at a minimum, so, for me, quality is about finding pieces I will love for years to come, not just focusing on the seasonal fad. I think that quality translates to timelessness. I can remember when my fashion sense was first piqued, around the sixth grade, when my older sister took me shopping. From that point on, I was totally obsessed with looking dapper at elementary school: hair brushed, leather shoes and button-down shirts. I am sure if I looked back, I would laugh at how silly I looked—but I was cultivating my preferred style, even then.
These days, I’m still wearing button-downs. When I started working in my current position, I went to Brooks Brothers and purchased five non-iron dress shirts, which was a big investment for me at the time. I liked that the shirts fit my frame well; I still do. They always make me look neat and polished in an industry that has become very casual. Outside of the office, my fashion statement is what I like to call ‘dog-run chic.’ My husband and I recently became the proud parents of a Brussels Griffon named Huxley and we spend a lot of time at the Washington Square Park small dog run. It can get very dirty, very quickly, so my go-to has been jeans and a simple button-down shirt. And now that we are heading into fall, my style will shift back into layers: I love the feeling of wearing a basic button-down, an oversize scarf, jeans, and brogues.
I think dressing confidently is not about drawing attention to yourself with ostentatious outfits but more about finding pieces to fit in your wardrobe that are both understated yet luxurious. I cannot live without a simple, navy blazer that fits well—I keep one at the office for last-minute meetings because one can never be too prepared. And bowties: nothing makes me happier than putting on my favorite bowties from Brooks Brothers. My dad had always worn bowties and I decided it was time to start being more like him. The problem was, I had never tied my own bowtie and my dad lived five hours away. So, I asked a salesman at Brooks Brothers if he could help me learn. He had me come back later that day and sat me down and taught me, step by step, how to tie a bowtie. I was so grateful then and I still am today. And it was this experience that has tied me, emotionally, to the Brooks Brothers brand for the long haul.”