Dapper Flaneur Mister Mort is on a Mission

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Published February 8, 2010

PHOTO BY MISTER FREEDOM

 

 

Mordechai Rubinstein is on a one-man mission to teach the less fair of the sexes how to dress. In his eyes, even frat guys can do it. After earning his menswear stripes at Jack Spade and Men’s Vogue, the would-be rabbi and Dockers publicity head has garnered a loyal following with his unpretentious New York style blog, Mister Mort. Mixing visibly candid photographic portraits and detail shots, Rubenstein captures every waistcoat, fedora, pocketwatch and monocle, living testaments to a proper street style that doesn’t (but maybe should) qualify as streetwear.

ARIELLA GOGOL: Where did you get the name Mister Mort?

MORDECHAI RUBINSTEIN: A guy named Stan Herman, an old fashioned dude—he had a women’s loungewear company in the 1950s, a super elegant label called Mister Mort.  He had a top hat and a cane; I loved it. I got his blessing and I was like, done, cool.

GOGOL: Why not use your own name? It’s pretty striking.

RUBINSTEIN: I wanted it to be some kind of fictional character, for people not to know it was me. But I guess I’m just too loud.

GOGOL: You’re quite young, but you obviously prefer in your blog the trappings of older gentlemen. How did you get so into “old man” fashion?

RUBINSTEIN: My grandfather changed three times a day. He had a suit to make the bank deposit in the morning, a suit for work, and a suit if he went out in the evening. So I guess it’s just in my blood.

GOGOL: How do you pick your subjects?

RUBINSTEIN: Everyone’s like, “You just take pictures of old guys!”  But with these men, there’s just so much personality, you know?  They’re wearing a scarf from Yale art school that their lover gave them in the 1920s.

GOGOL: What do you want to do next?

RUBINSTEIN: I want to teach men how to dress. I want to go to college campuses around the world, and teach men how to prepare for interviews—but on the real. I want to get up there and lift him up by his collar, and be like, no! You can’t wear flip-flops in the big city. We’re going to get you a pair of wingtips.