I was a student selling shoes and apparel when I wasn’t in class. My coworkers were some of my best friends. Our talk centered around sports, girls, music, cars, and clothes. We were a fraternity of sorts and GQ was our monthly creed. Our supplier was my buddy Troy — the only subscription holder in the group. He’d bring in the latest issue after he had devoured it and let us pass it around, but with strict instructions not to crease a page or break the spine. I was a marketing student wanting to be in the fashion business, and I was about to get schooled on style.
It was the January 1986 GQ that featured an 82-year old Cary Grant on its cover. Sure, I had heard of Grant — could certainly pick him out of a line-up of his contemporaries. But really didn’t know that much about him. Troy let me take the issue home, and something in the cover story must have hit a nerve. I spent the next several weeks watching every Grant movie I could get my hands on. It wasn’t his acting that captivated me (as The New Yorker put it in 1975 “he never grew as an actor, but he perfected being Cary Grant”). No, it was Grant’s style — his perfect balance of confidence, sophistication and humormore.