Growing up in West Baltimore's Edmondson Village, Steven Richardson used to watch intently as his father, an automobile mechanic, repaired cars. He admired how deftly his father worked with every part, each as important as the next.
It's a fitting tribute today, then, that Richardson has followed in his father's footsteps, working with mechanical parts, but on a much tinier level. He's a horologist, a watchmaker, with his own line of high-end, collector-quality timepieces.
"I basically grew up in my father's shop," says Richardson, 36. "I was always interested in putting something together."
Richardson's Baltimore-based company, Nkiru -- which means "looking ahead" in Ibo, a West African language -- creates complicated, sophisticated watches, with just a touch of "bling," priced from $1,600 to $6,000.
The unisex watches use high-quality metals, jewels, crystals and chronographs, Richardson says. The straps are made of stingray skins. An elegant cut-out at the back shows the Swiss movements, the inner mechanisms working silently to keep accurate time.
"Any guy that's interested in cars, they want to know what's under the hood. The same thing goes for watch collectors and investors," Richardson says. "These timepieces are considered an investment. This is something that can be passed down for generations."
See more of Richardson's work at www.nkiruwatches.com.
Busy feet, happy feet Busy men who hurry from boardrooms to airports to cocktail parties know how tough it is to find appropriate footwear to get through all the aspects of their days.
"It's either they're sort of fashionable or they're comfort shoes. And if they're comfort shoes, they look like comfort shoes," says C-Mart Vice-President Keith Silberg, who is on his feet all day long in the retail business. "I usually have to find shoes that look good, but they're not that comfortable."
At the recent Preakness Stakes, Silberg wore a show-stopping pair of Enrico Santini driving-style shoes. The canvas-and-leather strap-ups were both comfortable and fashionable -- but he had to buy them in St. Bart's.
Now, that combination of comfort and style can be found here in the States, with I.travel, a collection by Rockport designed to keep pace with a modern man's busy schedule. Simple, stylish and comfortable, the shoes are available at Rockport stores in Pentagon City Mall and Tyson's Corner Mall.
Scent of summer in Greece
Kouros, a new summer fragrance for men from Yves Saint Laurent, is named after ancient Greek sculptures of young male soldiers, thought by some to be actual representations of the Olympian gods. The dry, woodsy scent -- accented with rosemary, cedar, incense and ambergris -- represents masculinity, grace and strength.
$40 for 3.3 ounces. Available at major department stores.