Culture guru. Coffee king. Captain of Crush. We go for a ride in Fort Greene with the Selectism co-founder.
“This coffee machine has made 7100 cups in the last 11 years.”
Jeff Carvalho gives one heck of a handshake. That’s what we think as we greet him and step into his cozy Fort Greene apartment. He returns to his place at the coffee maker. It’s 9:00 AM and he’s just finished cup number two. The light is bright and welcoming, even though rain is falling outside.
Carvalho, who grew up outside Hartford and spent almost two decades in Boston, was hosting a podcast called Weekly Drop back in 2007 – he’d have interesting personalities in skate or street art on the show –when he met Dave Fischer, at the Bread and Butter tradeshow in Berlin. They hit it off and the result was Selectism. “We had the same taste and both wanted to make a product-focused editorial site that dealt specifically with men’s clothing,” Jeff says. “ The timing was right and we had a good jump on the heritage movement.” Carvalho now contributes his talents and at-times-encyclopedic wisdom in art, music, and culture, as a partner in Titel Media, which powers both Selectism and its brother company, High Snobiety.
You could call Jeff a morning guy, because he loves morning things. “He’s addicted to eggs,” his girlfriend Leemor tells us. And apparently coffee, too. His secret weapon is a Saeco Magic Comfort Plus that has 11 years and 7100 cups to its credit. “I make three cups off of this machine a day, and Leemor makes another three.” Jeff states. His parents gave him the machine in 2003. Quick math tells you that’s a lot of beans.
Jeff pours this coffee “to-go” in a mason jar. He shows us an attachment (from Cuppow) that seals off the jar to keep the coffee hot. He cracks one egg yolk in a bowl and stirs in a few whites to “body” the concoction. “Yesterday I had eggs twice,” he says. He and Leemor sit opposite each other while he eats and she taps away at her laptop. Twin Supreme ads featuring Kate Moss hover between them, rounding out the four-top. Jeff then showers, wets a towel with hot water, lathers up, and trims his cheeks with a Harry’s Truman razor. He applies Kiehl’s Facial Fuel to his face and neck. (“I feel like this moisturizer has taken off 10 years.”)
For a decidedly internet-focused dude, Jeff stays away from the web until he hits the office. “This is my free time,” he says. “Staring up at my sneaker wall is something that happens a lot,” he concedes. Above him a stack of shoeboxes on the shelf reaches to the ceiling – all marked with their respective contents. He pulls down a box containing some navy blue mids from the Amsterdam sneaker label, ETQ.
“I’m not one of those guys that cares about keeping my shoes clean. I just like to keep my white soles white.”
Jeff sits on his bed and snuffs out any scuffs on the white soles with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. “I’m not one of those guys that cares about keeping my shoes clean,” he says. “I just like to keep my white soles white.” He shows us his next morning ritual – the pull-up bar and a pair of wrist grippers called (no joke), Captains of Crush. “This [gripper] is great for your back, posture and hands,” he says as he gives it a few squeezes. He tosses on an Alpha Industries parka and grabs a custom fixed-gear bicycle the color of bath water (“A company in Sommerville, Massachusetts made it for me”) and we walk towards the elevator. Once we hit the streets, we say our goodbyes. Before Jeff peddles off towards his Manhattan office he grips our palms firmly again. “It’s that Captains of Crush,” he kids. “Now whenever I meet people, I dominate.”