September 05 2011
Much as I’m fond of French cuffed shirts, cuff links always pose a quandary for me. If they’re too simple, they might signify that my individual style is bland and characterless. But if they’re too showy, they could be a sign that I’m compensating for a lack of personality (see also: wacky socks). That’s why I was smitten when I saw Samuel Gassmann’s sweet and witty designs in Paris.
Gassmann is a journalist by trade, and his love of writing and research is evident in his cuff links. Every pair comes with a small card that outlines not only what they’re made from but also the origins of the material or cuff link traditions. Launched just two years ago, his namesake line beautifully repurposes ordinary objects such as Acro tacks from the 1950s, originally used to match storm screens to the right wooden window frame in American homes.
But it was the gentle wit of another set that made me buy them for €110 – a cheeky trompe l’oeil, each cuff link is tipped with mother-of-pearl buttons, turning a double-cuffed shirt single again (the design is called Daytime Archetype). They feel smart, sophisticated and just a little subversive.