Is Mr. Porter Just Goop For Men?
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (often stylized as goop) started eleven years ago as a weekly email newsletter for various rich people frivolities. Since then, it’s morphed into a lifestyle and wellness empire that hosts “wellness summits,” sells products online and through pop-up shops, collaborates with fashion brands, generates online content, and doles out dubious health advice. Over the years, the company has come under fire for their New Age, pseudoscientific claims. Two years ago, the watchdog group Truth in Advertising even filed a formal complaint with California state regulators, calling on them to investigate Goop’s marketing. Yet Goop continues undeterred with their mission: to give everyday people a reason to laugh and to enrage actual scientists.
Goop is a treasure trove for amazing, New Age health advice if you’re willing to trawl through their online editorials. But the best thing about them is their products (at least if you’re product obsessed, like me). In an article about spirit animals — where they interviewed a self-professed shamanic healer and intuitive, Colleen McCann (of course it’s a Colleen) — they pushed $2,800 spirit animal rings. (“Giddyap and prepare for change! The horse will teach you to ride in a new direction, for new journeys and adventures may be heading your way,” one product description reads). They also have an egg-shaped, rose quartz stone designed for women who want to place a rock, for some reason, in their vagina (“Made of heart-activating rose quartz — associated with positive energy and love — this yoni egg is associated with the heart chakra. Please be sure to follow the instructions included with your egg”). For the ultimate treat-yourself splurge, however, it would be hard to beat this $15,000 vibrator (“Yep, it’s a 24-karat gold dildo,” the Goop copywriter wrote plainly).
It’s easy to think that Goop’s follies are just the province of rich, white women, but … is Mr. Porter basically Goop for men? Their Instagram, after all, has that same, clear-white space aesthetic that suggests free time and luxury. Their store sells the goopiest of goopy menswear labels, Elder Statesman, a Los-Angeles-based brand making $420 Lakers pom-pom beanies and $2,000 tie-dye cashmere knits. Last year, they even published a guide on the Buddhist approach to happiness. Just before the point about having a good skincare routine, one of the three-points to enlightenment involves refreshing your wardrobe.
Update your wardrobe to refresh your heart
Since you’re reading this on MR. PORTER, the idea of investing in new pieces each season is a concept you’re probably quite familiar with. In the monastery, dressing for the seasons helps the Zen monks to reset the mind and body for a new chapter. “If you don’t reflect the seasons in this way, you miss out on an important opportunity to refresh your heart, and put yourself at risk of having a lacklustre year,” says Mr. Matsumoto. Stuck for a colour palette? Choose white. A fresh white shirt will help you feel open and pure and help draw in your feelings. The same goes for underwear, where the white will help “communicate to your body a feeling of cleanliness.” Ironing and washing are a crucial part of the day in the monastery, and should be in your home, too. Stains should cause you some distress, and therefore should be seen to immediately. “If you do not feel this way,” writes Mr. Matsumoto, “it is a sign your heart is confused.” Similarly, failing to keep your clothes in their best state is, in Zen terms, to neglect your heart and open yourself to worldly desires, so make sure shoes are polished, any wear and tear is mended promptly and clothes are stored in an organised fashion, ideally in a paulownia wood wardrobe, according to Mr. Matsumoto.
For the white shirt, Mr. Porter recommended a $1,000 white cashmere sweater from Prada. (It’s not even a shirt!?!).
Let me be clear: I absolutely love Mr. Porter, ridiculous products, and even pretending that consumerism equals self-care (unless you actually need real self-care, in which case, get the help you need). But as a matter of investigative journalism, I dived into Mr. Porter’s product line to see if, in fact, they are just Goop for men. Let’s see:
Natura Bissé’s Diamond Life Infusion, 25ml ($625)
“It’s designed to be applied before bed to allow optimal time for powerful ingredients such as Bio-magnet Nanosomes to deeply penetrate the skin.”
Pretty sure “Bio-magnet Nanosomes” are just electrolytes for rich people.
Japan Best’s Shower Set ($250)
“The two black sugar soaps are sculpted into lucky tai fish by Tamanohada, one of the country’s oldest castile companies.”
$250 for two soap bars made into the shape of barfing fish.
Japan Best’s Sewing Kit ($895)
“Known for their durability, the Banshu Hamono sewing and fabric scissors are both modelled after Japanese swords and sharpened by hand. The expertly crafted aluminium measuring tape is practical and precise.”
Bought by people who have never been to Japan town.
William & Son’s Maple Veneer Roulette Wheel ($15,840)
“Made from maple veneer, it’s been carved and polished in the UK by the brand’s expert artisans and comes with a felt playing board. It will be a sophisticated addition to your home décor, too.”
The guy who buys this definitely watches too much James Bond.
Lorenzi Milano’s Tool Kit With Mahogany Wood Box ($6,925)
“A comprehensive tool kit is a smart and practical thing to have around the house, and Lorenzi Milano’s sophisticated version is a worthwhile investment. Made in Italy, it’s neatly presented in a mahogany wood box that’s etched with outlines of each tool to ensure they go back in the correct place. It contains everything you’ll need to keep up with the daily struggles of owning a home.”
A $7,000 ready-made bespoke toolkit for building your Klout score.
Linley’s Walnut Boomerang ($1,200)
“If you’ve forgotten how to use a boomerang, don’t worry, it’ll come back to you eventually. Handcrafted from smooth walnut and blue tulip veneers, Linley’s piece is decorated with a geometric pattern designed exclusively by artist Emma Wood.”
Someone should buy this and immediately return it.
Bi.du.haev’s M10 Cold Brew Coffee Dripper ($1,095)
“If you’re a coffee connoisseur who’s well-versed in the art of crafting the perfect cup, then bi.du.haev’s ‘M10’ cold brew dripper will make a stylish addition to your kitchen. Hand-cut from glass, it has a closed system design to preserve flavour and sits on a carved wooden base negating the need for a stand.”
This is absolutely a bong.
Chavet’s Set Of Five 4.5cm Knitted Silk Ties ($1,025)
“If you can’t commit to just one tie, invest in Charvet’s boxed set of five. They’ve been expertly knitted in Italy from springy silk in rich shades of navy, grey, oyster-grey, olive and plum, so you’ll have an option regardless of what suit you wear.”
Spending $1,025 on a five-tie set from Charvet, when each of the ties is sold separately for $195, is kind of a weird flex.
Visvim’s Yukata Oversized Wool-Trimmed Quilted Nylon Down Coat ($4,030)
“It’s the kind of stand-out piece you can shrug on over pretty much any outfit and still look like you’ve made considerable effort.”
My spring style right now is this sleeping bag and the bong listed above.
Le Gramme’s Le 83 Sterling Silver Ruler ($650)
“Le Gramme’s sterling silver ruler will make even the most untidy desks look smart.”
Making yourself feel smarter than you are is the very definition of male wellness.
Givenchy’s G Whistle Silver-Tone Necklace ($595)
“Originally released in the late ’70s, Givenchy’s Italian-made necklace is cast from silver-tone brass and strung with a weighty engraved ‘G’ pendant that doubles and a handy (and loud) whistle.”
I just bought this $595 whistle so I can blow it when I see people making flagrant fashion violations.
The Skateroom’s Set Of Six Printed Wooden Skateboards ($2,000)
“Made from sturdy Canadian maple wood and numbered to denote its limited edition, this set of six features Mr. Andy Warhol’s vibrant ‘Flowers’ painting. They come carefully packaged in a presentation box along with a mounting kit so you can display them at home.”
Young Professional Pleased with How He’s Incorporated His Hardcore Punk Roots into a Corporate Lawyer Lifestyle
Ermenegildo Zegna’s PelleTessuta Leather Table Tennis Set ($1,295)
“Ermenegildo Zegna wants you to be elegant in every aspect of your life – even while playing games with your friends. This table tennis set comes with two rubber-backed rackets and neatly stows away in a leather case that’s made using the signature PelleTessuta™ technique.”
Finally, elegant ping pong.
So, is Mr. Porter just Goop for men? Absolutely.