Mr. Charlie Suominen

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Meet Mr. Charlie Suominen (@Charlie.Suominen), an Investment Banker living in New York, NY (TriBeCa).

Charlie, what does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?

I believe there’s no single definition of a ‘gentleman.’ Rather, there are certain characteristics and traits that embody what you would call a ‘modern gentleman.’ For me, a gentleman is someone who can distinguish confidence from arrogance. He’s able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

A modern gentleman, in my opinion, has a life outside work that includes activities and projects that nurture his personality and well-being. He is curious about new things and is always improving his skills, whether hard or soft. Maybe most important, it takes only a true gentleman to admit their mistake and be open-minded about others’ opinions.

When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?

You could define my style as Paul Newman meets Steve McQueen meets David Beckham. As I work in investment banking, my wardrobe mostly includes custom-tailored suits, white or blue dress shirts, ties, and what I’d call ‘dressed up bohemian’ or ‘surf casual’ where I could be wearing a beat-up shirt jacket, a plain t-shirt, white jeans, and Loro Piana openwalks. That’s pretty much a 180-degree shift for someone wearing a navy suit for over 15 hours on weekdays.

My style is simple that combines Old Hollywood with high-end Italian tailoring. Since I spend a lot of time in a suit and tie, I tend to be more ‘dressed up’ even when I can dress casually, especially outside of work. This is also probably the reason why most of my wardrobe is monochromatic, dominated by whites, blues, greys, and, blacks. I find that this approach makes it easier for me to pick something for the day. Even if I close my eyes and pull something out, it’ll work. Let’s just say you won’t find any vivid reds or oranges in my closet.

What’s your personal style signifier?

As you can tell, my personal style is more formal for the most part. However, I’d say accessories like my 116500LN Daytona Cosmograph, Hermes leather rope bracelet, and my Persol Steven McQueen sunglasses could be my signifiers. I’d say you’d always find these on my person no matter where I am.

What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?

A quality pair of denim jeans, solid cotton t-shirt, loafers or suede drivers, and a light coat or sweater are important wardrobe essentials for me. I consider layers in my outfit very important. In winters, I would use a parka or overcoat, and for summers, maybe a cardigan or light jacket like a bomber.

What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?

My many passions include photography, travel, food & drink, and skiing. But it can be difficult to pursue these passions because of a demanding job like investment banking. But I make it work and use whatever time I have outside wisely to make room for my passions and hobbies.

My camera comes with me everywhere I go if that’s Montauk visiting my family or skiing out West. Thankfully, New York City makes it easier to satisfy my food and drink passion. It’s also nice that there are three major airports to fly to a quick getaway. Carrying my camera with me gives me abundant opportunities for some great photography of people, places, and nature.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?

An ideal Sunday for me living in New York City starts with stopping by one of my favorite coffee shops in my neighborhood down in TriBeCa, Laughing Man, where I’ll likely be walking out with an Americano or Cappuccino and a butter croissant. Then walk the Brooklyn Bridge with my camera and likely bringing my brother along with me as my muse, head over to Brooklyn Heights where my sister, brother-in-law, and niece live.

Later in the day, grab an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Brooklyn, Colonie, for one of their amazing pastas. Then, I head back to TriBeCa walking the Brooklyn Bridge with a Cohiba or Partagas robusto where I can take shots of the city skyline at sunset. Ending the night by opening a big Italian red, preferably a Brunello or Barolo, and throw on an old classic like Talented Mr. Ripley.

Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us and what’s the next destination on your bucket list.

Recently for my 30th , I was fortunate enough to celebrate with my family in Saint Barths for a few days. Le Sereno is a beautiful hotel and a favorite for someone who loves photography as there was a gorgeous pool set on a calm shallow bay where you have endless subjects to shoot like kite surfers, turtles, and even the Le Sereno property itself. The diversity of options at your disposal at Saint Barth’s from laying out a Shellona to dancing on a table at Nikki Beach or Bagatelle make it an ideal destination for someone saying goodbye to their twenties.

The next destination on my bucket list would have to be southern Italy, split between maybe Capri and Amalfi Coast. My first trip to Italy when they came out of lockdown in 2021 was to northern Italy where we spent time in Lake Como, Milan, Portofino, and Florence. Italy would be an ideal place to spend retirement if I can be close to the coast and still have access to the Dolomites and Swiss Alps. Hopefully I can make that happen someday.

Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.

This is an easy one. While collectively gin, red sweet vermouth, and Campari will be my most frequently restocked items (I’m sure you can figure that one out), the most important staple for me is the gin. Ideally, it’s Monkey47, straight out of the freezer. Whether it’s a Negroni or a bone-dry Martini (dirty if blue cheese olives are available), I’m almost always drinking something with gin as the base. In winters, I’ll move to an occasional Manhattan, and in summer, a reposado or extra anejo sipping tequila on the rocks with a slice of orange can also show up in my hand.

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