In a consumer goods market that is often tragically over-saturated with products lacking meaning and clout, it's more than refreshing to see a line dedicated to simplicity and practicality, all while still exuding an air of class. Those are the things that you will find in the inaugural release of Cavalier Essentials, designed and created by Taylor Pemberton. When interviewing him, it's obvious that this character of a fellow will go far in his career, having only graduated six months ago and spearheaded the launch of not just Cavalier, but also the gift giving site Wantful.
What was the initial intention of this project?
The initial intention of Cavalier was to make something that was multifaceted in regards to interpretation. I wanted to portray a lifestyle, and support that lifestyle with great design, products, photography, editorial content, and more.
Where did you find the inspiration for Cavalier?
I was brought up in a household that embraced classic traditions. I've always been a sucker for influential characters—whether they be in sports, music, business, or cinema. My father is very classic and "Cavalier" in a way. I always loved James Bond films and the characters portrayed. I thought it was so interesting how he was doing things nobody else was doing. It was such an adventurous lifestyle—something that appealed to me greatly. I also realized soon that while trends are fun, they almost always revolve around inauthenticity. I like things that feel honest and true.
I think the media reacts to Cavalier quite well because it's a consistent experience across the board. Everything is very considered and controlled. I have a reason for everything that I do. As of late, I think the public eye has been longing for a resurrection of the classic hero. Cavalier brought that, in more ways than one, I think.
Describe your consumer.
We have a broad range of consumers. It's hard to pinpoint a specific demographic or psychographic at this point, but I can tell you that it is dominantly male, design savvy, early adopters, and lovers of great product/story. The people that really resonate with Cavalier are those who can relate and those who can aspire.
I can't divulge too much...but I can definitely touch on a few points here.
Nothing in Cavalier is mass-produced. Everything is made by hand, in New York City. Our original products are made-to-order and our vintage goods are usually one-of-a-kind. Cavalier is quite the opposite of mass-production at the moment, which I really like. It secures a quality and personality that you're unable to achieve on a larger scale.
Manhattan and Brooklyn have been really good to me since moving to NYC. I've made a lot of really amazing contacts so far, some of which have immediately spurred collaborations. Our original goods are made in Manhattan and Brooklyn, by hand, and with love.
What industry do you see Cavalier evolving into?
By definition, we sell product, so we are a consumer retail and merchandise company.
In reality, I want Cavalier to live as an all-encompassing lifestyle. I have no interest in creating just great product, or good imagery. I have interest in touching on every aspect of life that matters. If we can make someone's daily life better by designing a good product, that's great. If we can please somebody with a nice video, or nice photo look book, that's also great. I find a lot of enjoyment when people just get it. They are surrounded by this rich content that was thoughtfully put together to resemble an entire lifestyle experience. I think that's what matters most.
There are many out there. The thing to remember is that lifestyle brands take time to grow. After working on Cavalier since the beginning, I can now understand why a brand like Polo has such strength. Decades of experience are evident through the inner-workings. Nothing can replace that, although some move faster than others.
Launching an accidental line of goods is quite the anomaly. Did you ever imagine getting to this point?
Yeah, I did, sort of. I knew I always wanted to run my own business soon after graduation. I realized over a year ago that I was much more interested in the product industry. The service industry isn't that appealing to me anymore, from an economic and business standpoint.
Cavalier was an obvious combination of a project I envisioned, and a business/economic strategy I embraced.
What other types of products will Cavalier explore? Do you have any plans to create seasonal lines or other typical fashion releases?
I think as long as our lifestyle is rock solid, we are able to explore an infinite amount of product categories. I'm very interested in apparel, but have remained distant for the time being. I think exploring some different iterations in the Men's luxury accessories category could be very interesting.
How will product releases like Cavalier affect the rest of the consumer goods industry?
I hope it brings together a better collection of consumers. I think Cavalier is a step in the right direction when it comes to product ethics. We make things that are meant to last. We focus on quality over quantity and never compromise our core values.
If you had to describe yourself as a cut of meat, what would it be and how would you be cooked?
Filet. Medium rare.
Cavalier Essentials is solely available through their website.