Jeff Halmos is the co-founder of Shipley & Halmos, a New York-based brand that is best known for their men's clothing, footwear, and accessories, as well as books, furniture, and art materials. A CFDA Award winner, Halmos met his current business partner, Sam Shipley, during their freshman year at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While in college, they co-founded menswear brand Trovata with two friends. After working on Trovata in Southern California, Halmos and Shipley decamped for New York City in 2007, establishing their namesake brand based from their studio on Greene Street in Soho.
What would the title of your autobiography be? “From Jeff to El Jefe”
What can’t you travel without? I always bring a pair of swim trunks with me. The times I don’t, some sort of pool/beach/jacuzzi activity presents itself to my dismay.
What’s your favorite travel destination? Tough question. There are so many amazing places out there. I always love a great beach destination (Caribbean, Central America). I also love exploring, and India has been my favorite place to do that so far.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in NYC? As it’s currently summer, sitting in someone’s yard with a grill and a cocktail seems about right. Speaking of which, I’m all about the bourbon-based Kentucky Mule this summer, a slight twist on the Dark & Stormy that I consumed in mass quantities last year.
If you could choose one person to show you “their New York City,” who would it be? Martin Scorsese. Just listening to him talk would be entertainment in itself.
Who has inspired you recently? As corny as this sounds, my son, Lucien. He’s only four months old right now, but I’m so excited for the day he comes to me and says, “Dad, have you heard of this Ziggy Stardust album before?” Imagine hearing that for the first time all over again!
What’s your favorite NYC restaurant? Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg is an old standby my wife and I visit often. You can’t go wrong with a Manhattan, the brick chicken, and a slice of the caramel, chocolate, and sea salt tart for dessert.
What’s your go-to spot in NYC for drinks? Near our office (and both Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand) is Nancy Whiskey. The best dive bar around. Van Halen “Ain’t Talkin Bout Love” on the jukebox, cold Miller Lite, and shuffleboard.
What’s your favorite NYC brunch spot? We love going to Frankies Spuntino. Order a french toast (or two) to share.
Where do you get your art fix in NYC? The galleries in Chelsea are such an incredible resource for viewing beautiful work. For whatever reason, I rarely make it over there. Thanks for the reminder!
What are some of your under the radar must-do recommendations for NYC visitors? Madame Tussauds in Times Square. HA, kidding! One thing I love doing in any city I visit is leaving an entire day with nothing on the agenda. Take a day to just walk around and explore. No guidebook can expose you to what you’ll find, especially in NYC. I live here and still do it.
What are some of your favorite NYC stores? I really like Printed Matter in Chelsea for limited-run books, zines, posters, and other printed items. They do an annual book fair at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City that’s definitely worth checking out (as is the museum).
What music are you listening to these days? We’ve been listening to a very odd mix of Spotify stations. Two that I’d recommend are Dusty Springfield and the Gap Band. Not together though!
What album would you consider your personal soundtrack to NYC? Nas – Illmatic. Of all these questions, this is the easiest answer yet.
When you think of NYC, are there any particular emotions or memories that immediately come to mind? My first memory of NYC is when I came up with my Dad as a kid, maybe 10 years old. It was a guys trip, no mom and sister. I specifically remember driving over the 59th Street bridge and having this powerful feeling overwhelm me. Movers and shakers everywhere, deals getting done, massive skyscrapers, streets that are filthy in a good way, honking, palpable energy, and of course, FAO Schwartz’s famous Lego section so close I could almost touch it!