Style Q+A: Designing Your Space with Oxford Pennant

It’s an oft-repeated adage here at The Style Guide — small style upgrades really can make a big difference.  Whether that means stepping up your grooming game or upgrading your casual shirt, there are lots of little areas where the end results are self-evident if you focus on the little steps along the way. Be it looking for a better-fitting shirt or refined suede Chelsea boots, it’s all in the details. That’s particularly true when it comes to areas outside the realm of #menswear — namely, upgrading your home goods or upgrading your office. It really is underrated. Working and living in a pleasing environment surrounded by things you enjoy is one of the small pleasures of life — look at the home of ex-J. Crew menswear head Frank Muytjens. And so, it makes sense that we’re talking upgraded home goods (and an upgraded life!) with the subjects of today’s Style Q+A, the fine folks at Oxford Pennant.

It was after a fine, stylish Sunday brunch (and requisite menswear blogging) that I strolled into one of my favorite Brooklyn menswear shops, the crisply designed and handsomely outfitted Modern Anthology. And what did I happen upon but a cabinet and wall adorned with unique pennants? Hard-to-place, at once masculine and modern, yet vintage. Those pennants, folks, were from Oxford Pennant. That leads us nicely into our latest Q+A, as it were. I’ve been mighty pleased with the pennant I picked up that day, which you might recognize from my Instagram. Hanging on my wall, it serves as a daily reminder to work harder, think forward and push myself — and it looks cool, too. Know that in addition to vintage-inspired pennants, the brand also makes handsome championship banners that add color and instant style to any blank wall. It’s certainly very likely that you’ll want more than one piece from the assortment — and that’s a great thing. With the spirit of home upgrades in mind, I caught up with  Oxford Pennant co-founder Dave Horesh to talk why you need a pennant (or championship flag) in your home or office, why it looks great, and what you can do to instantly upgrade your space. Again, folks — the small style upgrades matter, and Oxford Pennant can help you make more than a few.

The Style Guide: What spurred your moment of inspiration to start the brand?
Oxford Pennant: We never set out to start a brand. We’re from Buffalo, which is a city that looks back in time as much as it looks forward. There’s a fixation on the past that’s inescapable here. Brett (my business partner) and I would go to estate sales and pick through huge collections of old pennants from the early 20th century. To us, it always seemed like a piece of Americana that had lost its popularity. One day, we decided to make a batch of “Let’s Go Buffalo” pennants for friends and family. We posted them on Instagram, the photo caught on and people began reaching out to us to have their own pennants made. We filled those orders and folks began posting photos of their custom pennants on Instagram. Then their friends started asking where they could have pennants made, and a company was born.

Sutro Footwear

A close-up of one of the brand’s championship banners.
TSG: A pennant or a flag might not be the first thing a guy thinks of when decorating — what do you think those pieces can add to a space in terms of design?

OP: You know, a flag is something that’s always used as a symbol of pride and identity. Pennants are essentially a small, house-sized flag. I think they’re a pretty clear opportunity for self-expression. We started using the tagline “Celebrate Everything” when it became clear to us that we were making pennants to commemorate the things that bring people joy in their lives. Their hometown, a wedding, a concert or even a feeling. I think pennants are the ultimate souvenir to chronicle and commemorate one’s life.
Oxford Pennant
A daily reminder from Oxford Pennant to “hustle” — get it?

TSG: For the guy who’s just starting out decorating his space — be it a desk or a dorm room or an apartment — what are some tips you’d share?

    • Start with the classics. Estate sales are a great place to find quality items.
    • A space is always a work in progress. You’ll never be done.
    • Get as many plants as you can. Learn how to take care of them.
    • If you care about something, frame it.
    • Put back the Christmas lights, bro.

Greats

 

TSG: You’ve got some great-looking pieces in your assortment — what’s your favorite product from the line?

OP: I’ll always love our “Let’s Go Buffalo” pennant. I’m proud of my city and that item will always be the first chapter of our story. As we reach company milestones (like attending our first trade show or buying our first piece of equipment), I snap a photo with my “Let’s Go Buffalo” pennant. 
TSG: Just for fun (aside from an Oxford Pennant piece), what’s one style essential every guy should own?
OP: A Vespa.
And, well … there you have it, folks. Oxford Pennant does work that’s consistently great, consistently stylish and definitely worth it in terms of your time and dollars. I’d urge you to shop the brand’s line and follow Oxford Pennant on Instagram for plenty of style and décor inspiration.
In the meantime … stay stylish.
-Beau


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