Backstage Pass

David Celdran: Taught by travel

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You’ve seen how to live the high life on one of ANC’s top shows, “Executive Class.” Yet even when the camera’s not on, writer and host David Celdran keeps an eye open for timeless finds here and around the world.

Many viewers and readers recognize David as the host and writer of shows like “Executive Class” and as the editor in chief of men’s lifestyle magazine Vault. Having traveled the world in search of the richest heritages, products and cultures, there’s no better guide for the modern man.

You can be confident in his advice. After all, David practices what he preaches and in local lingo, coming in David attire is widely understood.

To show the men out there just how a veteran world traveler should equip himself, I asked David about his own personal preferences and style.

Body

The country with the most interesting culture I’ve seen would be… Japan.

The most beautiful images I’ve captured are from… the back streets and gardens of Kyoto.

If I could take a dream vacation… it would be slow travel through Italy. I can never tire of the food, the culture and, yes, the shopping.

One place I can keep going back to is… again, Japan. Italy is a close second. Both share a history of craftsmanship and predisposition to beautiful objects.

The most interesting person I’ve interviewed is… Alberto Alessi, the owner and head of Alessi of Italy. He comes across more as a social thinker and theorist than a businessman.

My staple piece of clothing is… a well-tailored navy blue suit. The versatile color and cool and lightweight wool fabric is perfect for any occasion and climate. Paired with a crisp, white cotton dress shirt, with or without a tie, the combination is classic.

I believe in dressing appropriately because… hosting a program and editing a magazine requires a lot of traveling, attendance in public events and interviews with VIPs and CEOs. This means having to look and think sharp at all times. Building an extensive contact list, reading list and wardrobe suited for the job is a must.

A men’s fashion accessory I have a lot of is… bags and luggage. I’ve got closets full. There’s a perfect bag for every occasion and every destination. My old Billingham canvas and leather carryall works just as well for photography as it does as a weekend bag.

If I were a watch, I would have to be… a Patek Philippe Nautilus. It’s classic, understated, but rather complicated inside. Patek is an independent company that isn’t easily influenced by fads and trends— much like me, I like to think.

I won’t hesitate to splurge on… books, music and hi-fi equipment. These things keep me entertained and inspired without having to stray too far from the family.

For scents, I like… nothing too bold. I currently like the Aqua de Colonia of Sta. Maria Novella of Florence for daily use and Terre d’ Hermes for more formal occasions. I’m allergic to many scents so I’m quite selective. Inno Sotto’s new line of fragrances smells great as well.

I cherish designer pieces that are… well-designed pieces, not designer pieces per se. Japanese ceramics are my favorites.

When traveling I never leave home without… a compact camera. Traveling light is essential.

Every time I’m in Italy I make it a point to buy… anything artisanal, which is almost everything.

If I had to live with only one electronic gadget, it would have to be… I’m not into gadgets and quite prefer old-school stuff like fountain pens and notebooks. Still, a laptop is simply indispensable these days as it can function as a communication device, entertainment center and writing tool.

The one thing that makes me happy is… travel. Family. Good coffee. Smart ideas. But if I had to choose just one, family would be a top priority. As for travel, it would be slow travel through Italy. I can never tire of the food, the culture and, yes, the shopping.

Top tip

 

Move over kikay kit and men’s purse. Meet the Dopp kit. Derived from German leather craftsman Charles Doppelt, who invented his toiletry case in 1919, a Dopp kit is a small toilet bag, made of leather, vinyl, or cloth, that is used for storing men’s grooming tools for travel. Common items kept in a Dopp kit are deodorant, a razor, shaving cream, comb, shampoo, nail clippers, scissors, toothbrush, toothpaste and cologne.

Start your own Dopp kit, with David’s favorite bathroom essentials: Marvis Strong Classic Mint toothpaste, Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron shave cream, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel moisturizer. Phyto phytoprogenium intelligent shampoo, Phyto shine defining hair wax, Secret underarm deodorant and Mario Badescu Botanical facial gel.

David Celdran’s choice products can be found at Watson’s, Kiehl’s and Rustan’s Department Store.

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