• A Noble Savage


    Creative director.
    Interior designer.
    Visual merchandiser.

    And that's not even the half of him...and by him I mean the slender figure of a dark man who goes by "Ali." Very few people know his real name and even less are allowed to share it. I'm in the latter somehow...and it's taken me a year to get there. Despite his expansive aptitude, ask him what he's good at and he'll blurt out "football"—like it's a reflex. Running back, punt returner, wide receiver,  free safety and you begin to see how long he's been wearing 17 hats at any given time. It's who he is. "I just see something and I do it."

    Ali is teetering on a 10ft ladder while putting the finishing touches on his latest installation in his Brooklyn live/work space. A couple minutes pass before I fully get it—a play on words of the current season in its depiction of the fall of man, except here Eve carries a Mark Cross handbag. His genius is not that he's mixing (on trend) Navajo print outerwear with classic pieces, it's that he's toying with it before it appears in the collective industry's conscience (I shot these photographs over a year ago). Note: add tastemaker to the above list.

    When he isn't rummaging through his latest vintage sweater finds—an original L.L. Bean Norwegian and 1984 Ralph Lauren football sweater are highlights—or uploading his latest installation on A Noble Savage, Ali is working with designers and brands on various projects who are after a specific inflection in his tone. Ovadia & Sons, Rugby, and Under Two Flags are just a few of the fashion brands he's worked with recently. The airy Brooklyn loft doubles as a showroom and workspace where Ali emerges after long hours like a mad scientist from his laboratory. Pinched tubes of oil paint, hammers, and gilded picture frames exist alongside vintage Chanel, paint-splattered Gucci snaffle bit loafers, and a handful of hats.

    "My mother taught me creative visualization while my father really took the time to impress upon me the importance of attention to detail."

    Photographed in Brooklyn, NY

    *As always, most of these images can be shared via Tumblr at Collection by F.E. Castleberry.

    Nov 7, 2011 | Permalink (16) View/Leave Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/10/2013 at 11:56 AM:

    @John—Yes. This was photographed in Brooklyn, NY.

    John left a comment on 1/30/2013 at 5:32 AM:


    chris left a comment on 12/10/2012 at 9:56 PM:

    Congratulations Ali.  You have lots of stuff.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/16/2011 at 11:43 AM:

    @Carlton Banks—Is there a problem in describing someone as dark complected?

    Carlton Banks left a comment on 11/15/2011 at 8:56 PM:

    “dark man”? was that really necessary?

    AEV left a comment on 11/10/2011 at 12:51 PM:

    ....I love a lot of these items….that leather collar mold/form in particular.

    Black boy left a comment on 11/9/2011 at 5:23 PM:

    I love this site so much…..you are always showing us brilliant creativity at work.

    DBCC left a comment on 11/9/2011 at 4:08 PM:

    This is beyond inspiring.  I’d pay to sit down and pick this guy’s brain for 30 minutes.  Great work, Fred.

    Bevin Elias left a comment on 11/9/2011 at 12:08 AM:

    Amazing! Simply Amazing.

    Snaaby left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 8:27 PM:


    JRS left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 7:33 PM:

    Wow - what a place.  I’ll bet his search for all that good stuff was as cool as the results…

    ciaran left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 7:18 PM:

    i’d love to know where he finds all this stuff, he’s cleary a genius. by the way, love your period home pictures on tumblr, keep ‘em coming!

    Joey Dee left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 4:58 PM:

    This space is amazing. The pictures are great, but I bet there is so much more to see in person. Thanks for sharing.

    Robert I. Brown left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 3:25 PM:

    I had a chance to introduce myself to Ali and he’s one of the most humble individuals I’ve come across. It’s easy to see his creativity through his work. Fantastic post.

    Hannah left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 2:53 PM:

    Drooling over the luggage. And the colored walls.
    So brilliant!

    Kiel James Patrick left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 1:57 PM:

    This is heaven.  I need to meet this “he who shall not be named”.


  • Buttoned Up

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: Caran d' Ache pen, Pierrepont Hicks tartan wool bow tie, vintage Omega Seamaster wristwatch.

    Nov 4, 2011 | Permalink (36) View/Leave Comments

    Sam Gagliardi left a comment on 6/22/2012 at 10:36 AM:

    I’m loving this vintage look at the moment :)

    Pocket Squares, bow ties…amazing

    Abiye Abebe left a comment on 4/5/2012 at 12:06 PM:

    keep me posted ! Kudos on your site!

    M.N. left a comment on 3/12/2012 at 11:54 AM:

    @F.E.C.- Seeing as this photo and many others were taken in the West Village, do you also have a tailor located downtown you could recommend? Surely the jacket you’re sporting in this photo did not come to fit so acutely off the rack…

    Zack left a comment on 11/20/2011 at 3:27 PM:

    Been on the hunt for a vintage Seamaster for some time now… Could you recommend a place to find? (other than e-bay) Perhaps online as I’m in Vancouver. Cheers!

    Max left a comment on 11/10/2011 at 1:09 AM:

    Well done, Sir.  Wow.  (tip of the hat to Fred)

    John left a comment on 11/9/2011 at 10:06 AM:

    Mr. Castleberry, are you half Asian?

    M.P. Klein left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 3:29 AM:

    Screw socks.

    ian left a comment on 11/5/2011 at 9:44 PM:

    autumn and spring are my two favorite seasons. This is just how I dress in the autumn. tweed and jeans.

    JHT left a comment on 11/5/2011 at 7:15 PM:

    I personally wear whatever pocket square I feel called to with my tweeds. I’ve never found them, even my cottons ones, to be drowned out by the fabric, including my heavy Harris tweeds. Also, love the bow tie. You’ve now introduced me to a company I wasn’t familiar with.

    C. J. G. left a comment on 11/5/2011 at 12:08 PM:

    Love the tweed! saw you taking pictures on anderson in Boston! Cant wait to see the shoot. Is it from the Andover Shop?

    Laguna Beach Fogey left a comment on 11/5/2011 at 11:46 AM:

    Perfection (even though I don’t wear bow ties)! Love the Tweed, denim, and rich double-monks. Happy to see you displaying the pink.

    What sort of pin have you affixed to your lapel? I hate the thought of sticking a metal pin through any of my Tweed garments.

    Tito left a comment on 11/5/2011 at 1:46 AM:

    Beautifully executed period!

    Amy left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 8:43 PM:

    Tartan wool- absolutely fantastic.
    PS- This was photographed on my street… I recognize the cafe chairs !

    Marcus left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 8:30 PM:

    Love the blog, I’m a huge fan of everything it is you do here.

    cam left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 6:52 PM:

    Please share the story of the lapel pin

    ZJP left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 5:30 PM:

    @MGM- Consider a silk pocket square with your tweeds. I find linen or cotton to be a tough match with tweeds. It’s a nice contrast between the rougher tweed and the smooth silk.

    MGM left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 3:46 PM:

    I LOVE the jacket.  But one thing I have noticed with my own style: I have never felt comfortable wearing pocket squares with my heavier tweed jackets—it just doesn’t feel right.  I can’t leave the house without wearing pocket squares with my linen and cotton blazers, but with tweed it is different, isn’t it?  Maybe it’s just me.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 2:50 PM:

    @NWR—The selvedge denim are from Rugby (several years ago).

    @Angel—Yes, I do wear socks occasionally in the fall/winter.  In fact, I wore a pair last night as it was quite a chilly night without a jacket.

    NWR left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 2:03 PM:

    Good look. Where are the jeans from?

    Angel left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 1:56 PM:

    @F.E. Castleberry - Did you just admit that you do wear socks!? A change from last Winters “no socks all year” statement to me. (except in bean boots, as you said)

    ZJP left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 1:45 PM:

    I really like what you have going on. Everything fits and the proportions are good. I just find double monks in calf or cordovan too much of a clash, content wise, with jeans. If it were odd trousers, I think it would be a home run. Just my two cents. Carry on, Fred.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 12:37 PM:

    @Clay—This tension you mention between the casualness of jeans and the formality of double monks is a consistent theme within my own style.  You feel it calls for socks…I simply don’t.  It is those minute preferences that make up each of our own personal styles as a whole.

    @Kory—My tweed jacket is from Rugby and my double monk straps are by Ralph Lauren.

    @Brian E—This photo was taken mid October.  You’ll notice the leaves on the trees are still green in the background.  When leaves fall I typically pull socks up.

    @c^left—My shirt is simply a pink oxford cloth button down.

    Clay left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 11:50 AM:

    F.E. - as much as I am aware of your aversion to socks, I feel the casualness of the jeans along with the formalness of the double monks calls for socks in this case to bridge the two pieces.  I love everything going on above the belt - the shirt, tie, square, watch and jacket are very well chosen.

    Muffy left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 11:46 AM:

    You had me at pink and tweed.

    WMM left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 11:02 AM:

    Sharp look, tweed and pink look great together, especially with the green piping on the p.square. Great prep color palate.  The pin makes your top-left side a little too busy with small accessories (bowtie, pin, p.square). Do as Coco Chanel would “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on”.

    OldGeorgetowner left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 11:01 AM:

    Loving that jacket and it looks great on you. 
    On sockless:  I hate socks.  I go sockless with snow blowing into my topsiders.

    Kory left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 11:01 AM:

    F.E.C - Love the jacket and shoes. Where are they from? My guess Gant and AE?

    Brian E left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 9:31 AM:

    I’m not a fan of jeans with sport coats or socklessness in November.  That being said, everything is executed perfectly in this outfit.  I even like the undone top buckle on those double-monks.

    c^left left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 9:31 AM:

    2.5 fold would be amazing here-it almost appears as if that’s what the jacket wants to be as well.

    c^left left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 9:28 AM:

    I must admit, I enjoy the way the pink creates an enticing, yet subtle backdrop for the tweed. Is the shirt is a simple oxford-to compliment the material weight of the jacket?

    Andy M. left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 8:47 AM:

    Love the outfit.  Great jeans and coat as always, and this also further pushes my desire for a vintage Seamaster or something similar.

    AEV left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 8:10 AM:

    Finally - a watch that’s not from J. Crew! Nice.

    lala left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 7:54 AM:

    Nice bow tie.
    Bow ties are cool!
    But i just don’t like jeans, I’d prefer corduary trousers for that outfit.

    M left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 7:32 AM:

    If only one could actually dress this way at law school; I get close, but the bow ties stay stashed for events…

    JRS left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 7:22 AM:

    Very well done.  I’m sporting a vintage Seamaster today as well…

    colm o left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 7:19 AM:

    This is how I want to dress.


  • Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style

    Music & Books  

    “Preppy has always been acknowledged as an inherently American phenomenon, a fashion—or anti-fashion as some have called it—whose imagery perpetually connects us to idyllic college days, sport, and the spirit and vitality of youth.”

    —Jeffrey Banks

    From the authors that brought you Tartan: Romancing the Plaid, comes the new definitive volume from Rizzoli on the history of the roots, growth, and offshoots of the quintessentially American preppy style. Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style, by co-authors Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle (with a forward by Lilly Pulitzer no less), is a stunning tribute to an American phenomenon brimming with vintage ads illustrating prep life and gorgeous photographs (familiar and never-before-published alike)—photos which I’m proud to say include several of my very own. If you look closely enough, you may even find my ankles...ankles about which de La Chapelle muses, “Maybe the ankle really IS the new erogenous zone."

    Nov 3, 2011 | Permalink (4) View/Leave Comments

    V. Karna left a comment on 12/27/2011 at 1:41 AM:

    I bought this book as I was intrigued and inspired by this post, it took 4 weeks to ship from amazon.com to Finland. Verdict: totally worth the wait! I enjoyed the experience of reading this. Thank you F. E. Castleberry for influencing my taste in reading, too.

    Bevin Elias left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 2:11 AM:

    Fred it has been a pleasure becoming friends with a talented brother I was on my New England tour and stopped at Brooks Brothers and an associate said your in a book, then I look it’s your money shot that circulated 100 times.  Great 2011 with all your success. I’m out researching for my Home Decor line so see you in my Look BOOK.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 5:52 PM:

    @JD—In order to see which images of mine were published in the book, yes, you would have to purchase the book.  A library will likely not be carrying this coffee table book.

    jd left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 5:27 PM:

    so we have to buy the book to see your shots ......or go to a library?


  • F.E. Castleberry for Jack Robie


    The year is 1995 and I'm dropping a pair of chinos off to my tailor (yes, I had a tailor at fourteen). I've carefully pinned scads of cotton chino swatches in hopes the patchwork chinos actually emerge from my mind's eye. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to design clothes. Over the course of my stint in high school, I would rip (I hated logo plastered clothing), stitch, and alter scores of pieces in my closet.

    It is with that excitement that I'm introducing this red gingham button down I designed for Jack Robie. Co-founder, Brad Corona and I first threw around the idea last spring while on location in Nantucket photographing their summer campaign. Not only did I want to introduce a red gingham sport shirt to their existing offering, more importantly, I wanted to design it for myself. Keeping the signature Jack Robie fit throughout the body, I added a left chest pocket, employed side pleats along the yoke (a master tailor once riffed to me on the box pleat's functional shortcomings)—a move which prompted the vertical orientation of the locker loop peeking out from under the collar—and a button down collar (a choice inspired by my habitual use of collar pins on my button down collars when wearing tie). The limited run of shirts are made of 100% narrow-loomed Japanese cotton and cut and sewn right here in the U.S.A.

    The shirt is currently available at JackRobie.com.

    Nov 2, 2011 | Permalink (18) View/Leave Comments

    Snaaby left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 5:05 PM:

    Love the shirt! Need XXL.

    Sam left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 1:45 PM:

    This is really great, Fred.  Congratulations!

    Emmy left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 12:26 AM:

    This wasn’t photographed at Fordham University, was it?

    Richard Ross left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:02 PM:

    ‘Atta boy.

    B. L. Davis left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 9:31 PM:

    Fred:  Done.  Ordered a size (L), and I’m hoping that it fits well.  I’m concerned about the length in the body, but I’m willing to try it out to support you.  I’m 6’3”, and prefer to tuck my shirts in.  Hopefully it will work out.  Congratulations on the product launch.
    Most Sincerely, Ben

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 3:50 PM:

    @Hilton—this shade of red is going to look great framing the face of most men, despite variations in skin color, eye color, and hair color.

    Hilton left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 2:06 PM:

    Mr. Castleberry, What are your thoughts on red gingham and a man’s complexion? Would your shirt work on most men? Thank you.

    cam left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 1:09 PM:

    Thanks FEC. I was just a little confused. Congrats on the line and continued success!

    College Prepster left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 12:28 PM:

    You’re the best! Congratulations!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:30 AM:

    @AEV—This is a close up of the vertical locker loop.  Patchwork chinos would probably best be described by imagining a pair of chinos worn to hell and sewing on squares/patches of chino cotton in various shades of khaki to repair stress points like the seat and knees.  Using a collar pin in lieu of the buttons on a button down collar is just one my “winks” or quirks I use when getting dressed.

    @JRenee—I’m leaving that door open…

    @Benn—The gray flannel jacket is from Rugby and the square from Pochette Square

    @JASH—Is a 35.5” sleeve not long enough for you (assuming your neck is 16.5”)?

    @Kory—I’m so pleased to hear that the fit for your body is top drawer.  Wear in good health and thank you for your business.

    @Cam—The short answer is “yes.”  Some form of it has been with me since I was 14…and even really before that (I was wearing white jeans in the fifth grade). Of course now it is much more refined.

    AEV left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:18 AM:

    Fred - congrats on the shirt. We may disagree on many things you post on here but I appreciate your enterprising spirit a great deal and I’ve got no issues with crisp gingham shirts. A few questions, if you would be so kind:

    What’s a “vertical locker loop”? What are “patchwork chinos”? Why would you ever use a collar pin in lieu of the buttons you purposely added to the collar?

    Julie left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:16 AM:

    Congrats FEC!  I’m a fan of the ‘whole story’ so I appreciate hearing where your journey began.  Here’s to the first of many successful designs.  And thank you for eliminating logo plastered clothing!

    JRenee left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:03 AM:

    Will there ever be a day that you will design for the female kind? Just trying to manage my expectations.

    Benn left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 10:54 AM:

    Shirt looks awesome! Never thought you could wear one into fall, seemed more summer. But this looks good. On a side note, where are the jacket and pocket square from?

    JASH left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 10:11 AM:

    You once told me, “You have a thick neck, my friend.” I’m regrettably passing on these, not due to neck sizes, but sleeve lengths.

    Nonetheless, congratulations on the launch. The shirts look great and the details are on point.

    Kory left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 9:52 AM:

    Congrats Fred. The UPS guy just dropped mine off yesterday and of course it fits like a glove. I would not expect anything less from yourself and the guys at Jack Robie. Keep up the great work!

    ERIII left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 1:56 AM:

    Congratulations F.E.C!!! Great job! I can’t wait to buy one. Red gingham, yes!!!

    cam left a comment on 11/2/2011 at 11:07 PM:

    So the aesthetic of Unabashedly Prep has been your style since you were 14?


  • November 2011 Playlist

    Music & Books  

    Listen on Spotify

    Nov 1, 2011 | Permalink (17) View/Leave Comments

    Dom left a comment on 11/23/2011 at 12:58 PM:

    I’m with the others here who are sans spotify. However, I just wanted to say thanks for the past months of music. It was a good run, and my office enjoyed your playlists. :)


    SK left a comment on 11/22/2011 at 6:40 PM:

    Come on, spotify is not available here! Why not let everything like it was before?

    ANK left a comment on 11/20/2011 at 1:03 AM:

    While I am enjoying the Spotify option, it would be nice to be able to download the playlist. Your playlist’s have provided tons of entertainment on roadtrips.

    james left a comment on 11/17/2011 at 5:45 AM:

    Shame about Spotify and obligation to have an FACEBOOK account. Thank you for your blog, love it!

    A. Spence left a comment on 11/9/2011 at 8:39 PM:

    This isn’t showing on the normal blog’s RSS feed.  Is there anyway to download for those who were tardy to the party?

    Bryce left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 12:01 PM:

    Can you release a downloadable playlist? I have taken a few road trips with your playlist providing the soundtrack.

    marguerite left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 6:23 AM:

    boo, hopefully spotify will come to Ireland soon? these were always a beautiful way to begin my month.

    Valerie left a comment on 11/7/2011 at 11:59 AM:

    I echo the same sentiments of having looked forward to the monthly download. Hope that you consider doing both.

    Megan left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 10:56 PM:

    Mourning the loss of the monthly downloadable playlist, not available in my country! Any way we could have the best of both worlds? Thanks for the great music.

    Brian left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 5:48 PM:

    I echo the others sentiments, I too looked forward to this download every month and am sad to see it go.  Thank-you Fred for all the music you have shared.

    ghl left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 5:07 PM:

    Sorry to see that the ability to download the playlist is gone. I looked forward to one of these every month. Thanks so much for all the great music you have shared in the past.

    MAF III left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 4:48 PM:

    Will these ever be available for download again?

    Annie left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 4:27 PM:

    i always enjoyed the downloads- i’m an international reader and spotify isn’t available in my country.

    JM left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 11:06 AM:

    no more downloads, this was my favorite thing to look forward to each month?!

    AMS left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 9:45 AM:

    Anyway to download this sans spotify?

    Ice left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 7:54 AM:

    Is the non-Spotify option still available?

    G.O.S left a comment on 11/6/2011 at 12:54 AM:

    spotify was a great idea :) thanks.


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