It is a sizzling hot morning in June, and the clocks are striking ten. The most influential menswear trade show in Florence, Pitti Uomo has opened its gates wide open. It is a mismatch of an pre-Interet era trade-show and Instagram fashion purists’ playground. The paparazzi’s and various fashion hunters have lined up their big lenses towards the eclectic crowd. People passing by are professionals. They know exactly how to look, smile (or rather not to smile), pose and still keep moving like it was a day like any other. Except it is not.
Behind every Instagram profile, there is a much more complex person that’s the key to understand the style and fashion you see now in magazines, Youtube and with half a year delay, on street. Pitti Uomo is the place where the fashion is created, shared and celebrated by the Internet era creative geniuses.
Today is the day these prodigies of fashion and creativity show their results of months, maybe years’ preparation. And every time, Instagram goes mad about these guys. They are free prey for the hungry bloggers, photographers, journalists, tv-hosts and their followers love it. It is the powerful mixture of genius personalities (with vast followings), their unique creations and the background of gorgeous, mediaval Florence that creates this fiesta of creativity and marvel. And the Internet loves it. There is so much rich content for the bloggers and photographers that the Internet frenzy doesn’t stop until the next Pitti Uomo starts (after 6 months). But is not only the media that is interested about the latest creations. The exhibition halls around the Piazza where the creative geniuses show their feathers are full of Big Fashion Corporations, holding their breath and making notes what to include to their next collection. This is where the fashion is born.
My name is Max Noble and I am an Adventurer, Cosmopolitan & Life Connoisseur and I am writing a book titled "The Laws of First Impression - Your guide on how to Master the Power of First Impression"
My true story about: The day I faced death & why NOT reaching the top of a mountain makes a man.
I was frightened to death. My breathing was short, shallow and not allowing me to think clearly. My heartbeat rapid and my eyes wide open. I was standing on near top of one of the highest mountains in Finland, Saana, and I had just unleashed a massive snow avalanche.
The mountain doesn’t wait. That’s the adventure I was looking for.
The sun was shining so brightly that I needed to narrow my eyes to see anything. It was only about -5 degrees of Celsius and yet I was freezing. And I felt utterly stupid. I had travelled without purpose to the tiny village of Kilpisjärvi at the very tip of Northern Finland, about 300km north of Polar Circle. Then I saw the mountain. One of the highest peaks in Finland. And what the boy of age 19 is to do when his eyes are set to this magnificent rock, covered by meters of snow? Conquer it! That was my first and most customary thought. The ambition was set and it was urgent. The mountain doesn’t wait. That’s the adventure I was looking for.
There is no sensible way to the top of Saana. Especially when it is winter and avalanche time. I didn’t know this. There was maybe a path somewhere, but my eyes were set to the near vertical south face of the mountain. In my foolish bravado, I went in search to find place to rent skis to get to the plateau over the forest level. I was feeling excitement, happiness and joy at the same time. I ate good lunch made of potatoes and reindeer meet at the small local Sami restaurant. Packing food didn’t appear in my mind, as informing anyone about my plans didn’t either.
The white snow bathing in sun was so beautiful and when the avalanche started I was magnified by the white sea moving downwards. And after one or two seconds, I realized that I had made it happen. The small flake I had released had gained power to crush the tall pine trees below. The tall trees cracked and broke. My first clear thought was that this couldn’t be good. I was alone. There were no people near by. I hadn’t told anyone about my conquest. Heck, no-one even knew that I was away from Helsinki. I had just taken the train and followed the sun.
Luckily I had my large mobile phone with me. Good old Nokia. I took it up from my pocket, carefully, while trying not to cause another avalanche. I cleaned the screen from moist and looked at the empty indicators. No connection. I had no experience from mountain climbing or avalanches. I came from hilly, but not mountainous region of Finland. What should I do?
I was a boy and then the thought came through me. I will die.
I could see a couple of people skiing on the icy lake. I decided to yell to see if they or anyone could hear me. No response. I yelled like I was in a dire danger. Which I only then realized I was. The top was only maybe 20 meters upwards, but covered in thick layer of snow, bathing in sun, making it softer and moister every minute. Ready to release another avalanche, following the first one if I climbed upwards. When I looked downwards again I realized that if I descended towards the tree level I had to face the same destiny of releasing flakes of snow and causing an avalanche.
I yelled yet again. This time in despair. I was starting to feel unable to think straight. My brain signaled extreme alarm, and yet I couldn’t do anything. I was frozen on a cliff, literally and physically. I couldn’t ascend or descent without risking my life.
I started to think that how long would it take that someone realized that I was gone. Probably by next late morning, by the check-out time. It was cold and I didn’t have clothes to stay immobile. In fact my clothes were made for casual walk in a park or forest. Not to have them on on bare mountain. Yet if I made a move, it was certain that I would release an avalanche.
I stopped for a while and thought of my life so far. My father, a solid self-made man. My loving mother. He would be worried to death to know where I was now. What a stupid thing to do. I can really die. I will most likely die if an avalanche catches me. Yet, I couldn’t stay. I collected my thoughts. The only way to survive, is to take the risk of going downwards, releasing avalanches and hoping that I didn’t roll along to the trees below.
I was a boy and then the thought came through me. I will die. Yet, I couldn’t remain passive. I took the first move downwards. That move, the decision to move, was shaking a shaking, poor, little move and I cannot remember anymore if I cried, because my fear of death. Most likely. But I moved. I was in a movie that was going to end badly.
I started to think that the violence of avalanches is just part of life. We live and then we die.
I took another step. And third. Fourth. The sun was shining. The skiing couple in the vast distance looked like they had it all. They had life and nothing to fear. I envied them so bad. I took the fifth step and snowflake took off. When avalanche starts off, it looks so harmless. A child’s play. Then the glittering white piece, grows to an awe-inspiring sea, forcing its tsunami violently towards ancient trees. I felt like I died. I was thinking my mother again. I was thinking of all the love and care she and my home village had given to me. And all for this!? To die alone on near top of a mountain. Not even had reached the top!
I was frozen to inaction. Then I shook my head and told myself, that this was not the day to die. I moved on. Yet another paralyzing avalanche. I started to think that the violence of avalanches is just part of life. We live and then we die.
Moving on. Soldiering on. Somehow I felt more certain about me by every avalanche. There was maybe four or five. I reached the tree level.
I felt next to a broken tree out of exhaustion. I was weak and yet joyous. I couldn’t believe that I was alive. Yet, while sitting there, looking the gorgeous sunset, I knew something was dead in me. The first descending move away the mountaintop made me a man. I took the risk of death and moved on. And left the boy behind. I had taken the first steps towards manhood.
The boy in me had set me to conquer the mountain. The man in me had saved me. I was set to live man’s life.
My name is Max Noble. I am an Adventurer, Connoisseur and Connector, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my story about the day a became a man.
Ignore the message of this article and your life will be failed one. Your love life, social life, career and your success depend on it. One second or less and you are judged, - forever. This is the power of first impressions.
"When you are in charge of your first impression, you are the one in control of your destiny." -Max Noble
When you show yourself in the world and meet other people, you naturally stir up emotions. This is to be expected and do not fool yourself into thinking that others do not judge you. It is an ancient survival mechanism, rooted to the deepest parts of our brains and a very powerful one. You cannot use your life second-guessing others motives or nature. We trust our instincts immediately and the impressions we make are lasting ones.
In life it is foolish not to make best out this primary reaction that cannot be avoided. You need to learn how to master the art of first impressions.
You will start by learning how to do more precise first impression. Look at yourself at the mirror and ask if you send the right signals. You want to be thinking the best of you. Not George Clooney or Angelica Jolie. Do you have an aura of likability, trustworthiness and wisdom in your own way? If not, you must take an action. Not giving the best of you is brazenly stupid. Your mirror reflection is the lightning in the dark that people will see and not forget and you don’t want the lightning be shadowed by your gloominess or secondary deficiencies. We all do have them. The best of us just don’t care.
When you are in charge of your first impression, you are the one in control of your destiny. It is always better to make favorable imprint than to lower your standards. The more you are in control of your first impression, the more freedom you have. Your happiness and prosperity depend on it. Let the fools ignore the power of first impressions. You will never underestimate the power of first impression.
My name is Max Noble. I am an Adventurer, Connoisseur and Connector, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my first note about First Impressions.
It is a ragtag, yet the most refined group of men on earth. That’s the simple truth about The Barons. But as you can feel it, it is not quite enough to leave it there. Who are these people acting by way of they were the kings of the world, giving themselves grand titles like, The Baron of Monaco and The Baroness of Quito? Isn’t that just some out of proportions game they are playing? No. It is not. These gentlemen and ladies have much more depth than just their exotic and very visual style suggests. They have values. Good values. They have depth, and most of them yearn to make the world a better place.
But let’s get back for a moment to their most noticeable trait. Peacocking. What is that? It is an act when a group of (mainly) men gather together to make an impact with their clothes and manners. It is not for faint hearted. It is a visual fiesta like no other and requires major “cohones” from the participants. Peacocking can be planned, but most often it is an improvised meeting, nearing a grand show on public place. I participated several shows last week at Pitti Uomo, one of the most respected fashion shows. And how was the response? The first day we couldn’t (or wanted) to get inside the show as we were photographed and interviewed for straight 6 hours and that’s while we had the time of our lives.
Enjoying your time is one of the most visible traits of when participating Barons life. There are no dulls or bores among us. It is expected to live like we were meant to live: only once. It is about being present, being there for others and making most out of the moment. Just for it’s own sake. It is an explosion of creativity and good manners where the women are ladies and men gentlemen. The other aspect of being a Baron is about respecting the women and treating them well. As many modern men have not grown with this trait, each Baron needs to find his own path. Some are most comfortable with Gary Grant mannerism, some lean towards Victorian era style and some 1920’s laissez-fair. One thing is certain though; bad mannerism is a taboo, like the casual dressing is not tolerated.
Being a Baron is much to do about respect. Respect for yourself and others. In that order. You cannot just copy their style. That would make you a dandy. Barons go deeper than that and one major element about becoming granted the title of Baron, is not to be a bore. It is about enjoying the life. Being present and showing to others how to do it with style.
To be continued...
My name is Max Noble. I am an Adventurer, Connoisseur and Globetrotter, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my second part of the article serie: The Barons. Click here for the first one.
If you have manners or style, you don’t want to miss this story. This is a previously unwritten and uncovered story about Barons and my guide to what you need to know about contemporary style and manners.
You know these glossy magazines about fashion? Forget about them. And the starved boy-model in it? Already forgotten. Hipster beard? I got you there, didn’t I? If you are a man and have seen other people the last year or so, you have probably wondered how the woodchopper beard would look on you. Just admit it. And then forget it and move on. Hipsters are the victims of bad and misguided marketing to make us men look like we somehow more authentic and could kill a grisly if needed. Yes, wood chopping is good. I do it every time I when I go back to Finland to fire the sauna and I wear the boots, the weared down shirt and the stocking cap if it is cold. But I don’t wear it in Copenhagen and I would not definitely wear it at Pitti Uomo. That would be inauthentic and it looks stupid.
I am in Florence, Italy, the current ground zero of men’s style and I am with real people with real ideas and most interestingly, with real impact. I am talking about new idea that somehow captures everybody’s attention at once and seems to transfer everybody facing it. Meet the Barons. The most photographed and talked about people of the show in Florence.
But before we move on, I have a confession: I am a Baron. I am probably the worst and the best person to write about Barons. I am an insider, making me not objective. Yet at the same time I have the insider knowledge and insights that no-one else has, - yet. And the story of Barons is not been told before. Why is that? Simply because it is born as I am writing about it. It is born out of the urge to have manners and style combined with coherent life-philosophy. And we are many here in Florence this week. We are the people with superior style, great manners and true values. No-one has yet written about it.
My name is Max Noble. I am an art adventurer, watch connoisseur and globetrotter, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my first part of the article serie: The Barons.
Warning: This article includes random rant about bad style.
Once upon the time there was no excuse for dressing poorly. And I mean not just casually, but badly and incompetently. This was a generation ago (or two, depending who you ask). The time when trousers were considered casual and jeans belonged to real cowboys.
I am wearing jeans while writing this. For my excuse, I am alone and I am not planning to meet anyone. But next week? I am going to Firenze, to attend an annual fashion show called Pitti Uomo. While jeans are part of the show even there, the colossal show four-day trade fair is known to have the most stylish crowd of all. More pictures about the rakish fair attendants are spread in social media, than about the grand catwalks. It simply the ground zero of fashion. And it is refreshing and very social media era like, that the real people are the center of attention and not some 17-year-old starved model.
Next week, in Firenze it is more than just ok to have style. It is mandatory. There is no excuse for trainers or poor hair cut. Call me crazy, but trainers should be used, - you guessed: when you train. The rubber boots are to be used when it really rains and you need to walk through a wet field. Not in a shopping mall when you are doing your grocery shopping, unless you plan to go fishing between the café latte and buying the bread. And it is common courtesy to have cultivated appearance when meeting other people. That is even more so if you are not cultivated.
The world seems to go in circles. About twenty years ago it was all about stonewashed jeans and Diesel ruled the world. Now in past 5 years more people have become more aware that the hipster look looks ridiculous if there is no authencity behind it. You simply cannot pull the shaggy beard and rubber boots look off if you don’t work in forest or outdoors, doing real manual work. Sitting in SoHo and sharing a work desk while eating a sandwich from Pret-a-Manger and wanting to look like you are going to chop some wood and shoot a rabbit, is just not real. People can see through it. It is just not like that I don’t like jeans. I love them and wear them often. But underdressing must stop. The same goes to Trumpism. It is simply bad style and even worse manners.
My name is Max Noble. I am an art adventurer, watch connoisseur and globetrotter, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my personal note about bad style.
Swiss Secrets with Max Noble
That fascinating painting in your Facebook memories? That is the piece you should have bought.
Amazing. My mind goes empty and is completely immersed in sucking in the ingenuity of the art piece. And then I look to the left and I am stunned by the beauty of the second piece. I am not at Art Basel, which gave me brain freeze with all its noise and neediness; rather, I am at SCOPE – the little sister of the Art Basel fair – and I am finally looking at art that speaks to me, involves me and makes me curious. These emotions are in stark contrast to Art Basel, where the art pieces are loud and crying for attention, and where the gallerists and their assistants do their best to be the opposite of their art – which is quiet, elegant and elevated. The SCOPE fair in Basel is the best part of the famous Art Week, and I feel immediately at home. Even the people – the widely criticized gallerists – seem to like people and not just their art. The vibe at SCOPE is energetic, friendly and yet unhurried. And SCOPE has some true gems: art that has a narrative, awakens emotions and is even beautiful.
The best of Art Basel was not to be found at Art Basel itself, but at Joerg Heitsch, a German gallery. Its art was mind blowing – there was no need for a long academic pep talk to understand the pieces. There was immediate beauty, universal stories and masterly fusion of old and new. The Joerg Heitsch Gallery specializes in the inspiration and ideas of old masters represented by contemporary artists and their methods, creating new masters in the process. Yes, it is remaking and getting inspiration from the best works of the past, but the artist who claims that he is not influenced by the past is lying anyway. The reason why I am so taken by Heitsch’s booth is the supreme quality of its art. There is no weak piece to be found. All the pieces are expertly completed and presented. Every single piece talks to me. And none feel empty or needy. Have a look at the below pictures from the gallery.
Warzone. This single word best describes the Art Basel Unlimited exhibition. ‘Unlimited’ is the area at Art Basel dedicated to large-scale art from the current masters. And these masters are squeezed into this one space to compete against each other. It is an aggressive, needy and unworthy place for the masters of contemporary art. The attention seeking of the art works is extreme. The scale of the pieces is over-dimensional. And when the pieces are set next to each other, they shout at each other, sometimes in a literal manner. There is no visible theme except the scale of the pieces. I am left irritated and disappointed that I have to experience some of the best minds of our time being exhibited in such an aggressive manner.
Often, the best art is not found in the most obvious places but is hidden from the crowd. It’s like when you visit a popular tourist destination and you wind your way into the small streets, away from the Eiffel towers and Dubai malls; you find yourself sitting in a small local café, drinking the perfect wine, watching a father play football with his son on the cobbled street, and with the gentle breeze taking your worries away. Then you gaze at the Eiffel tower between the rustic buildings and say: “It sure looks marvelous, that tower there”. And then you ask the waitress to take a picture of you with the small glass of wine in your hand, smiling, and with this odd painting in the background – the one by an unknown artist that has fascinated you. This is the picture you post on Facebook. This is the place you recommend to your friends. And that fascinating painting in your Facebook memories? That is the piece you should have bought.
My name is Max Noble. I am an art adventurer, watch connoisseur and globetrotter, and I commit acts of nobleness around the world. This was my personal note about Art Basel.