If Steven Gold ranks among the most arresting and stylish of New York real estate brokers, it’s because fashion seeped into him from his modeling days, which started at age 17 with a contract with Major Models and an exclusive to walk the Louis Vuitton show.
“I was standing in front of Marc Jacobs for two weeks doing the looks for the show, and I had no clue who he was,” Gold said with a laugh, recalling the first awkward moments of what would become an illustrious career. “But I definitely think my involvement in fashion has refined (my style). When I went to Milan I did about 10 to 15 shows a season and I did six years of shows pretty regularly in Paris and Milan. For sure, they put me in a lot of ridiculous stuff that I would never wear, but there’s also a lot of things that I really liked, and I have enough of a sense to know what works on me.”
Along the way, Gold also accrued a gold-plated Rolodex of some of the most influential people in fashion including designers Riccardo Tisci and Raf Simons, photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and makeup artist Pat McGrath.
Now a decade into his profession as founder of Gold Group, he represents about $200 million in properties, some active exclusives and others in contract. He counts clients from fashion, entertainment, finance and construction.
Here, he talks to WWD about his personal style, changing dress codes and his guilty fashion pleasures.
WWD: Did your career as a model shape the way you dress?
Steven Gold: One hundred percent. But I’ve had my own style since I was a kid. For my Bar Mitzvah, I wore a suit now that’s probably bigger than the suit I’m wearing today. I was going for the baggy, skater look. I needed to wear a suit, but I wanted it to be baggy, like JNCO jeans. That was in the Nineties. I look at the pictures now and I look ridiculous, but so did Vanilla Ice when you look back.
WWD: What is your work uniform?
S.G.: Usually, I wear fitted suit slacks — black or blue. Dress shoes, I never get them polished, so they are beat up in black or brown, mostly brown; Then a black or blue T-shirt, blazer and a scarf. Or sometimes I don’t wear a blazer and wear a nice overcoat/topcoat instead.
WWD: How your style has evolved since you started your real state career?
S.G.: I get exposed to different things, travel to different places, see different ways people wear things. I used to only wear sneakers to work. Now I wear beat-up dress shoes, I wear slacks a lot more. I think in the real estate industry I have a reputation for dressing differently than most.
WWD: What are the dress codes in your industry?
S.G.: Most brokers, they have a normal kind of business attire, suit and tie. I feel that if you know what you’re talking about and you know your market, you can wear whatever you want. I think being comfortable and being yourself is also a big part of being successful in this job, too.
WWD: What brands do you wear?
S.G.: Tom Ford, James Perse. I like Acne jeans, a Givenchy overcoat that I have had forever and it’s probably one of my favorite ones. I have an AMI sweatshirt and a Brunello Cucinelli vest that I love. Also YSL boots are my favorite boots. I have them in every color.
WWD: Do you always wear scarves?
S.G.: Yes I do. I think it’s because I don’t wear ties very often. It’s something that substitutes for it, maybe that’s why. I also can never get sick in my job because I work seven days a week so I have to make sure I’m covered up.
WWD: Do you pay attention to trends?
S.G.: I don’t think I consciously do, I definitely don’t watch fashion shows unless I get dragged to one. I went to one this season, but more for the party than the show. But yes, I am always probably noticing people’s individual style. I am interested in that the most.
WWD: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
S.G.: I love watches; I buy them whenever I can. This Audemars Piguet I just got and I love it. Also Patek Philippe is among my favorites. Those are my two favorites, but yes watches are my main fashion weakness.
WWD: What was the last thing you bought? What is your favorite purchase of the last few months and why?
S.G.: I just bought this killer Tom Ford wool overcoat and then I took it to a furrier because my grandmother had this amazing mink coat that she always wore. No one in my family would ever wear a fur coat. So I took my grandmother’s mink coat and they made it into a full lining with the sleeves and everything. Every time I wear it someone says something about it. It has sentimental value too, which is amazing.
WWD: If you had to sum up the keys to your success?
S.G.: I’m extremely competitive; I’ve always been that way my whole life. And knowledge is also key. I feel I definitely have more knowledge of the real estate market, and I think I have an intangible factor…You need to have a sense of knowing that this building is going to be very good; this is the one everyone’s going to want to live in….That’s kind of an innate sense that I have, coming back to the style thing — it’s a natural ability to find cool.
Men at Work and Women at Work are recurring features probing shifting dress codes and consumer priorities across a variety of professions.