The greatest marvel of modern times is perhaps that identity is now something self-determined. Largely free to chose our own vocations, locations and increasingly liberated from concepts of race and national identity, we are now searching for new ways to define our existence in this entirely confusing universe. My theory is as follows: passion has become the identity of the 21st century, and from this identity, we seek our tribe. Of my small tribe of global friends, Nathaniel Asseraf stands out, not least because he photographs damn well, but also because he lives his passion – vintage clothing.
Heir to the vintage legend that is Broadway and Sons, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Asseraf is the brains behind making it the definitive online source for men’s vintage, and certainly responsible for making vintage a contemporary staple of any stylish gentleman’s wardrobe. He is endlessly stylish, kind-hearted, and a king of hosts: you couldn’t ask for more in a friend.
But, as a rule, the only thing I ask of friends is that they never bore me. A moral compass that always points south? Enough screws loose to be nuts? Discount mercenary? All fine. Just don’t talk about sports or the weather. This being my belief, I’ll gloss over the thick and thin points of my friendship with Nathaniel as briefly as possible: lending his expertise via FaceTime across an intensive 6-month vintage Mercedes hunt. Allowing me to occupy his lovely living room when romantic tides in Paris turned torrential with about an hour’s notice. All a matter of course. Sentimental, world-expanding moments are priceless.
But here instead I submit the true basis of our friendship: geeking out on the same things, hating the same things, exchanging selfies when doubtful on fits, boring our girlfriends to sleep over dinner and swapping accessories, cars, and motorcycles like teenage girls swap clothes. But, tearing down California’s Pacific Highway, Hedonist-helmeted behind the wheels of two German marvels of engineering, what I’m most grateful for in my friend Nathaniel is this noble lesson: A dream shared is a reality.