A dapper Jack Mitchell crosses his legs and turns his bespectacled eyes towards a wall of framed family portraits and yellowed clippings in a back office at Richards on Greenwich Avenue. He and his brother, Bill – whom Jack calls “Mr. Westport” – serve as co-CEOs of the Mitchells Family of Stores, an enduring local retail business with more than $100 million in sales annually. The two men took over the family business from their parents, Ed and Norma Mitchell, who in 1958 opened Mitchells, a specialty retail shop, in a small space in Westport that was once a plumbing supply store.
When I was laid off from my last job, the bosses told me, “You’re a class act.” Now as we prepare this issue of Class Acts, I look back on that time and wonder: What does it mean to have class?
After spending 20 years apprenticing with a master French jeweler and then designing custom-couture jewelry in Manhattan with a stint in Stamford, David Alan Wegweiser opened his jewelry salon in Manhattan in 2000. David Alan Jewelry quietly designs and manufactures unique, high-end pieces for savvy, high-profile clients.
Call it “teatime at Tiffany” – an afternoon at the company’s iconic flagship store in Manhattan. And what an afternoon – gleaming silver and gold, diamonds that dazzle, creamy tableware sparklers fit for a late-summer idyll, a preview of autumn’s luxe leather goods and above all, a rare glimpse into both The Tiffany Salon, where the wishes of the rich and the famous are born; and The Tiffany Workshop, where they’re fulfilled.
Owning a luxury car or two in tony Greenwich is not exactly unique. But amassing a collection of more than 50 automobiles, spanning100 years is, well, extraordinary. Especially when you use it to inspire thousands of underprivileged kids to work hard to realize their potential by daring to dream.
The phrase “Hasidic rapper” would seem to be a contradiction. But for years, the description helped the media and the public to define Matisyahu (née Matthew Paul Miller) – a performer/songwriter whose musical and spiritual quests defy easy definition.
The prolific artist Roberto Dutesco stepped away from his role as an in-demand fashion photographer and dedicated 18 years of his life to photographing the legendary wild horses of Sable Island, a pristine place some 190 miles off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Although Sable Island is sometimes referred to as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” – it’s the site of about 350 shipwrecks – Dutesco embarked on a mission to document this wilderness and in turn discovered living beauty and a new home.
With an impressive resume and large design team under his wings, Marc Happel, director of costumes at New York City Ballet, understands the ins and outs of costuming in musical theater, film, opera and ballet. This summer he’s collaborating with fashion designer Valentino to create costumes for NYCB’s star-studded Sept. 20 gala.