Your Style: Andy Smith
You might recognize Andy Smith as the face behind Rochester’s newest entertainment establishment, Gray Duck Theatre & Coffeehouse.
Originally from Los Angeles, Smith and his wife resided in a variety of cities across the U.S. but ultimately landed on Rochester as their place to start the business and call home. "We knew we wanted to be in the Upper Midwest and needed to be in a mid-level city that could support such a venture." Upon visiting, he said it was "sort of a love-at-first-sight thing."
While his style certainly hasn’t waned, Smith has now retired his formal pocket squares and suits to assume a more approachable look that welcomes all to his community-centric coffeehouse and micro cinema.
Your style in three words:
Modern, chic, urban.
What are the staples every well-dressed man should have in his closet?
Tailored black/gray suit, two Oxford shirts (white/other), casual watch, professional/formal watch, well-fitting jeans, simple non-graphic T’s, casual jacket, boots, sunglasses.
What’s the message you hope your style conveys to others?
That I’m confident in and enjoy who I am.
How does your work at Gray Duck Theater impact your style choices, if at all?
Actually quite a bit. Before opening Gray Duck, my work was more focused on professional style, things like pocket squares, ties, suits, jackets. Generally, people don’t want their baristas to be dressed up, so I’ve had to up my casual wardrobe, which has been a fun challenge. I still want to be very stylish and sleek, but casual enough to make everyone feel comfortable coming to the bar.
What’s the item in your wardrobe you’ve owned the longest?
I have one pair of causal royal blue and yellow Adidas that I’ve had since sophomore year of high school. At the time they were a size too big, but I bought them anyway and stuffed them with socks until they fit. I think that took until college.
What items do you think are worth splurging on?
As I’ve learned more about the fashion industry, I’ve become much more concerned with "splurging" a bit on ethically-made clothes. As a film guy, I would recommend the documentary, "The True Cost," to find out more about the ethics of fashion. Of course, in this context, "splurging" means paying for what the clothes actually cost to produce while paying workers a living wage.
Go-to pair of kicks?
I love boots. I think they work in basically all settings and weather, so why not make them the go-to?
Any trends you’re currently seeing that you particularly like?
I love going for the vintage look, especially in the winter months. I’ve got a couple of sweaters and hats from my grandparents that definitely give off Scandinavian fashion vibes. I’m also a proponent of not being constrained by the men’s/women’s departments when shopping. The most important thing is that you find something that fits and that you love.
Most daring (or regrettable) ensemble you’ve sported?
I lived in Miami for the past couple years, so a little bit of South Beach fashion has followed me here, especially a blue pinstripe linen suit that I love to sport in the summer; sometimes complete with white hat. We’ll see how it works in Minnesota.
Best compliment you’ve received, as it relates to fashion?
I was actually wearing that pinstripe suit out for dinner one night when a very nice woman came up to my table and told me "if everyone in the world dressed like you, it would be a much better place." As my wife says when she tells this story, "and his head grew three sizes that day."
Favorite local places to shop?
I’m still so new to Rochester I haven’t checked out any of the local places. If anyone out there has suggestions, stop by Gray Duck and give me some tips!
Words of style wisdom you think everyone should live by:
Graphic T’s are for home, not for going out. Tailoring is always worth it. Keep it simple. Never have more than one accent piece.
I still want to be very stylish and sleek, but casual enough to make everyone feel comfortable coming to the bar.