Interview: Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman

Interview by Brittani Lepley

 

You have a rich history in the fashion world. How did you get started?
I was always interested in style, but never really had a framework for it because of where I was from. Once I was exposed to traveling to London and Paris and the rest of the world, my interest in fashion was set off. After these travels, I discovered the brand Number (N)ine and it touched a nerve in me and brought everything together.

How did you decide to make the transition from cashmere blankets into accessories, home and ready to wear?
It was an accidental “trojan horse” :). I needed to create something so people would buy my blankets.

What is the most fun part of your job?
The most fun part of my job is getting to ideate through many different areas. I’ve created a universe that grabs all of my attention and scratches all of my itches.

How do you think your experience with KSUBI has influenced your own brand?
My recollection of that time period in my life is a bit blurry because it was so fun! The concept that something could come from the heart, be rad, and be a business is how I decided to delve into this world.

What has been your greatest lesson in the last fifteen years?
I am a guy that seems to have a life of miraculous circumstances. Apparently my “meridian lines” say that LA is a great place for me to be, but also a place where I will have to learn a lot of lessons.

The Elder Statesman often works with bespoke orders. What has been the most interesting, fun bespoke project to date?
There are too many to be able to pick just one.

How involved are you with the creation process?
It comes from my heart.

Can you tell me what The Elder Statesman as a brand name means to you? What is the inspiration behind the name?
The inspiration behind the name comes from Pitt the Elder and Pitt the Younger, who were prime ministers of England in the 1700s. Over the years, the colloquialism of the Elder Statesman took shape. Today, The Elder Statesman is someone that holds a high rank in a certain society, but is generally revered by all and holds rank by merit.

The name is a tribute to my brother who passed away. I wanted to name the company in honor of him. His friends used to call him The Mayor so The Elder Statesman was fitting.

What is the ethos of The Elder Statesman?
We try to live by the unwritten rules of decency and elegance. That is where we come from.

Where are you getting all of your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from the heart. The Elder Statesman is a first person brand, so through my eyes, the eyes of my team, and the eyes of our friends.

Most exciting moment for you personally, since launching The Elder Statesman:
It is the same exciting moment every day when I get to see our product being made the same way it was when we first started. That is why I come back to work each day. I am not chasing something that was made better the first time we did it. Our product is just as good every time we make it because we’ve invested in making it the same way.

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What are you reading?
I am reading a book called “The Impersonal Life” by Joseph Benner.
Fun fact – I’m super into mysteries and thrillers. Go Jack Ryan!

Tell me about your typical day off:
My typical day off is very low in frequency. Every moment I have off, I spend time with my daughter. I truly enjoy being a parent.

Best advice you’ve received:
I’m a work in progress and am constantly talking about improving myself so I get advice all the time.

What is your current state of mind?
Optimistically frustrated.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The most overrated virtue is when people get praise for doing the obvious “right” thing; by not being an asshole. Low bar.

Describe your favorite place to have a moment of solitude:
In myself.