When New York Fashion Week begins Thursday, two masculine archetypes will be engaged in a lively debate on the subject of manliness: what is beloved and what is rebuked; what is romanticized and what is demonized; what is hot and what is not.
One of these guys is beanpole skinny. He isn’t classically handsome. He might simply be an odd duck — someone with a perfectly imperfect face that is impossible to ignore. His longtime dominance of the fashion conversation is being challenged by the return of a man with muscles and swagger who exists in a cloud of intoxicating testosterone.
If these two extremes have anything in common, it is this: Both types are white. After so many years, that remains the default choice.
To be absolutely sure, a gentleman’s life earns new significance when he not only identifies his purpose, but he also cultivates that purpose into something tangible that benefits other individuals. It is tragically irresponsible when an accomplished gentleman attains a certain degree of success, only to be miserly and penurious with his blessings.