As we move in to the new Todd Snyder flagship store on Madison Square Park, we thought we should introduce ourselves to some of our neighbors. We’ve all heard of Mad Men. Well, meet Madison Men: a collection of people who work in and around Madison Square Park in New York – and who are therefore our new neighbors. To get relations off on the right foot, we invited each of these guys to pick an outfit from the new Todd Snyder flagship store. Then we chatted to them wearing said outfit in their natural environment.
Rameet Chawla, 33, the founder of Fueled, a technology consultancy, and Fueled Collective, a coworking space for some of New York’s most promising startups
What is Fueled?
Our technology consultancy works with brands like Warby Parker, and startups like QuizUp to launch some of today's most visually stunning apps. In 2013, I additionally began making angel investments, which led to my founding of Fueled Ventures. Directly and through Fueled Ventures, I have invested in a collection of startups including Blue Bottle, Coinbase, Superhuman, FIGS, Hyperloop and Artsy.
How do you manage all you different ventures?
My typical work day is around 14 hours. It's a daily schedule I created to help me accomplish my goals. I divide each day into three seven-hour sections plus three hours for leisure. That translates to 14-hour working days, plus seven hours for sleep, one hour for both unwinding and waking, and two hours for socializing or eating.
How long have you been working in and around Madison Square Park?
I started my company in 2011 about two blocks from the park. I consider it the centerpiece of Flatiron. It has a bit of an untouched look connecting you to the city's past. Yet the seasonal gardens and rotating art installations speak to the city’s thriving culture.
What do you wear to work? And how would you describe your style?
I typically start with one main accessory or piece and then create my outfit around it. A lot of people in the tech world have fallen into the culture of sweatpants and casual wear. I prefer to shake it up with a style that blends preppy/old English and flowy bohemian.
What kind of bag do you take to work?
I prefer to go into the office bagless unless I am traveling.
What kind of wallet do you carry?
A leather bifold from the Brooklyn boutique In God We Trust.
Turn out your pockets and list the precise contents.
Wallet and an iPhone. Today I also have a bag with a laptop, battery charger, iPhone cable, USB dock, power cable, lighter, palo santo, oil, and a crystal.
What would you say are the particular tools of your particular trade?
I'm attached to my UE Boom right now. Perfect for those impromptu dance parties.
You’re a Madison Square Park man – what are your local haunts?
I'm not a coffee drinker, but I'm always down for a Mr. Greengenes smoothie from Juice Generation for breakfast. For after work fare, I like the innovations happening at Cosme. You can kick off happy hour with an El Ninja cocktail and then dive into some unexpected dishes that cause you to forget you're in a Mexican restaurant. For a fun flavor, I recommend the husk meringue with corn mousse. Shake Shack is always good for late night cravings. The Shack Burger and Concrete Jungle combo is hard to beat.
Tell us about another Madison Man you encounter regularly.
I once ran into a man standing rigid and nude in Madison Square Park. Surprisingly not an unusual encounter in this city. However, this man in particular happened to be made of cast iron and was part of Antony Gormley's Event Horizon public sculpture installation. It was fascinating to observe the surrounding crowd. This motionless figure could stop someone in their tracks grabbing them with curiosity. Yet others swiftly walked past incorporating the man into their regular flow. To some degree he was a reminder that standing your ground and being your raw, true self is accepted in this city.
What three Todd Snyder accessories best sum you up?
Nomad Felt Hat
Globe Trotter Suitcase
Fingerless Gloves in Grey
What three apps should we all download today?
Darksky – so we can pretend we're playing god with the weather.
Bond – so we can bring smiles to people’s faces with hand written notes.
Caviar – so we can eat good delivery!
What sites do you check out every day?
The only ones that are consistent are:
You created a work collective – what’s the coolest thing to have come from a conversation around the proverbial water cooler?
There are all these people in this space that you know are cool and smart and interesting – we have a vetting process to keep away jerks and people working on boring stuff. But even though you share an office, you don't automatically get to know people or become best friends. But then you have these little moments – sometimes literally at the water cooler – where you realize you have a ton in common and there's some problem you're working on that they can really help with. And sometimes it's just that they have this really outside perspective and can help you get out of your own bubble. I was having trouble deciding between a few options on a marketing initiative that I had spent hours and hours analyzing and then after an offhanded conversation with someone in the space, suddenly there was total clarity and I was able to choose a path that I had total confidence in. That kind of stuff is part of the magic of working in a space like this.