Brian Lipstein

Brian Lipstein

Philadelphia - CEO and Founder of Henry A. Davidson

Pennsylvania born and educated, Brian Lipstein began his image consulting and custom men's clothing company, Henry A. Davidson, during his senior year of college at the University of Pennsylvania. When Lipstein went in to get his first tailor-made suit, he began looking into custom garments for guidance on the purpose of the suit he was buying at the time, which is when he found image consulting. “I found image consulting as part of the search to educate myself where the tailor fell short and I've never looked back,” explains Lipstein. Though Lipstein mainly resides and works in Philadelphia, this doesn’t stop him from living life to the fullest, being passionate about travel and experiencing cultures, Lipstein has visited almost all 50 states, some-30-odd countries, hundreds of concerts and shows, and anything else that broadens his horizons.

Q&A:

Hometown?

Malvern, PA.

Place you call home now (neighborhood etc)?

Bella Vista, Philadelphia, PA.

Any notes on your education?

BA Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 2006.

Favorite sport to watch?

Soccer and Hockey.

Favorite sport to play?

Soccer.

Best vacation ever?

I've been fortunate to have many amazing vacations. I'll list a few highlights.

Galapagos Islands
Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu
Birthright in Israel
Australia
Costa Rica
Bora Bora

Most recent trip was a mix of work/vacation - Hong Kong, Ching, Singapore, Thailand, & Bali.

Dream trip destination?

Tanzania - I want to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, safari in Tanzania, and scuba dive in Zanzibar. Also would love to go to the Maldives.

Favorite dinner?

My Mother's Lasagna.

Favorite dessert?

Fudge Brownie Sunday.

Underrated food?

Authentic Tacos.

Dish you’re best at cooking?

I can cook anything with a recipe - I love to cook Paella though.

Best meal youve had at a restaurant?

Hard to pin this one down - there's been so many! I had a phenomenal meal at the first Michelin Star restaurant I ever ate at in called "La Chevre D'Or" in Eze, France. Definitely a dining experience!

Road trip -- three in the car with you. Living or dead. Who are they? Why?

This is a tough question.

Oprah - She's centered, well balanced, incredibly successful and I think I could learn a lot while having a genuine connection with her
Dave Mathews - his music was a big influence on me growing up and I'd be curious to see what it's like to hang with the guy.
Jeff Bezos - one of the world's most successful people - and it took him quite some time to get there but he was forward-thinking and fortuitous to stick with his vision and I'd love to learn from him.

Favorite TV show as a kid?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Favorite movies?

Bourne Series, Man on Fire, The Godfather Part I & II, The Usual Suspects, The Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club.

Favorite actress and or actor?

Julia Roberts / Denzel Washington / Matt Damon / Brad Pitt / Tom Cruise. Any of these I pretty much like any movie they've ever been in.

Favorite bands?

So many across many genres.

Incubus, U2, Radiohead, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, many more...

Most impressive live performance you ever saw?

Roger Waters - The Wall.

Car you drive now?

Living in the city I don't have a car anymore. I use Zipcar or rent from Enterprise when I need a car. I own and drive a Piaggio BV 350 most of the time.

Car you’d like to drive?

Ferrari - 812 GTS.

Best car you've owned?

BMW 335i.

Motorcycle?

Piaggio BV 350.

Wear a watch?

Every day - usually the iWatch.

Got a favorite watch?

Cartier Roadster S, and Cartier Tank.

Got a dream watch?

Roger Dubuis - Excalibur Spider Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon.

Summer drink of choice?

Rosé all-day.

Winter drink of choice?

Whisk(e)y - Scotch or Bourbon.

Bourbon or Scotch?

Either depending on my mood - Scotch probably more. I am a certified Whisky Ambassador (for Scotch whiskeys) and a Certified Bourbon Steward (for bourbon whiskeys).

Vodka or gin?

Gin 100%
Vodka and I don't agree with one another.

Go-to red on a wine list?

I've taken 2 semesters of wine school here in Philadelphia for the purpose of building a wine cellar that is at 600 bottles and growing. Hard to choose and depends on the food. Most of what I drink you can't find on wine lists, but if you could, Stags Leap Cask 23.

Go-to white?

Similar as above - for a wine list though a New Zealand Sauv Blanc is always good, or Kistler Chardonnay.

Favorite beach?

Luquillo Beach - Puerto Rico.

On a Saturday, your favorite errand to run is?

I'm usually working with clients on Saturdays, but if not I like to get to the grocery store or farmers market when in season and pick up fruits and veggies for the week.

Otherwise, you’ll be busy doing what?

Usually working. If I don't have clients scheduled, I'll take the day to enjoy brunch, running errands, or catching up with friends. Or I'll take a trip somewhere!

Best work advice you ever got?

Find your passion and prioritize it. Worry about doing something you love to do and not the money associated with it. When you love what you do, the money follows.

Best thing about your career?

I love what I do! I get to meet people, hear their stories, and help them better understand themselves and we work together to increase their confidence through their appearance.

What do you do now for work? Tell us something about your work and career path.

I am an entrepreneur. The space I've chosen to build my business in (15 years and running), is in the image consulting and custom men's clothing space. Most people see what I do as a custom clothier/tailor/haberdasher, but don't realize the underlying consulting we do with them. They call me because they need clothing. When we meet, we first discuss who they are, how they've gotten to this point in life (both career path, ambitions, and their wardrobe choices), and where they would like to get to. We discuss the struggles they've had, instances when they realized image and personal brand coming into play, their confusion around these matters, and issues with shopping for themselves. We sometimes talk about weight loss and lifestyle, the things they are passionate about, and we begin to shape a personal brand and strategy for them that we can make clothing to represent. We make clothing from the casual end (custom jeans, t-shirts (non-graphic), and custom polos, to slacks, sport coats, button-down shirts (casual and dressy), suits, tuxedos, and topcoats - all custom-designed, fitted, and individually made for that client). I started my business as a senior at Penn after going through an experience to have my very first suit hand-made custom, learning from the tailor about technicalities of tailoring and garment construction, but wanting a better experience of guidance for the purpose of the suit I was buying. I found image consulting as part of the search to educate myself where the tailor fell short and I've never looked back. I love the psychological, sociological, and personal elements associated with image and the power and impact it can have on an individual. I began the journey figuring it out on my own, and found a lot of help from people who are now colleagues all across the world in the image industry, and I enjoy helping anyone on that same path I walked to get to the next level that might be struggling. It's incredibly rewarding, and I've made a lot of friends along the way as well!

Do you have any philanthropic interests/endeavors?

I sat on the international board of directors for the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) - my professional organization - for 3 years. I organized our international conference for 300+ attendees from over 50 countries. I still actively volunteer within the organization as well. More recently, I've joined and currently sit on the board of directors for The Career Wardrobe - an organization helping underserved individuals transition back into gainful employment. My company organizes a drive to collect professional workwear items that are donated to the organization to be given, free of charge, to the candidates that come through their programs. They're outfitted for job interviews and job needs, after going through coaching and class sessions to prepare their resumes and interview skills. Getting one person off of public assistance and contributing to their community has a ripple effect that goes well beyond that one person. It touches families, communities, and beyond to change lives and contribute to society. We have organized 1 drive per year over the past 3 years, collecting 15,000 items of clothing and helping over 5,000 men find their way back into the workforce. We are currently organizing our 4th annual drive this fall.

On top of this - I donate custom suits to 20+ silent and live auctions for charities throughout the Delaware Valley each year, helping to raise thousands of dollars for each of these different charities that are either close to my heart, or close to a client’s.

Add anything else about yourself here that you would like the world to know about you.

I love to travel. I have a passion for "living where humans aren't supposed to" - meaning I am an avid scuba diver and I am currently working on my private pilot's license to be able to fly myself around for both work and pleasure. I like to be out in nature and have done various 3-4 day backpacking treks in different areas, and hope to do more. I believe we learn through our experiences, and the greatest joy is experiencing other cultures and expanding my own mind through this. I'm working on visiting all 50 states (I think I'm somewhere in the high 30's, or low 40's with my count there), and as many countries around the world as I can (somewhere close to 30 visited outside of the US). I love to see live music (over 300 live concerts), broadway shows, orchestra performances (I played the cello growing up), and generally anything that expands my horizons and experiences.