Male RM Customer in Coffee Shop
  • Oct 28, 2015

When it comes to brand aesthetic nobody can curate a collection that fits together like Robert Mason. Not only does every piece match, but each one is hand-picked by Robert to compliment your lifestyle and your life. Whether it’s gear for school, work, or office, the products that Robert chooses aren’t accessories, they are centerpieces. Nowhere else can you go to find coordinating work gear that helps you tell your story as if to say “I matter and my work matters.”

Since April of 2014 the storyline that has been a cloud of smoke hanging over Robert Mason Co. is that of a devastating fire that destroyed their shop after only a year of business. This week we celebrate the rebirth of Robert Mason with a fantastic partnership with Express, a new brick and mortar location in the Short North Neighborhood, and a shiny new website.

For years Express has only sold their own private label, but in a recent departure from tradition Express has begun curating lines from other brands. And some of them are powerhouses. Ever heard of Timex, Jawbone, or G-Shock? Yeah, me too. In all, there are 16 companies that Express has opted to feature and Robert Mason is thrilled to be one of them. Getting the call from a global retailer like Express is like being asked to the dance by the most popular kid in school.

The 13 items that founder Robert Grimmett has curated for the line are timeless. They aren’t just office products, they are lifestyle pieces that reek of class and distinction. Express says each brand was “Carefully selected for their impeccable style and quality.”

There are six beautiful bags in the initial collaboration that are made using timeless materials of leather, canvas, and wool. Messenger bags, duffels, satchels, tech bags, and iPad sleeves are the focus at this point with plans to expand the line in the future. Leather sketchbooks, notebooks and a field notes cover are included, as well as their signature leather pencil pouch and cord case. A leather wallet smartly rounds out the collection. Just one look and you’ll want them all.

While the preliminary Express offering is marketed toward men, a Robert Mason collection for ladies has been slated for early spring 2016.

Like the phoenix rising out of the ashes, Robert Mason has also emerged with a new store location in the stylish Short North Neighborhood of Columbus. The shop at 17 Brickel Street has been a year and a half in the making and will include 1800 square feet of retail space and 900 square feet of office space. Quite the upgrade from the original 200 square-foot pop-up shop.

Grimmett says “The new space will include a paper vault, a creativity and writing area, a selection of lifestyle gear, as well as two standard pen bars and a fine pen bar.” At this point it looks like the new space will be ready for a grand-opening in late 2015 or early 2016.

But Robert Mason isn’t interested in just selling a product, it’s about providing an inspired experience and loving what you do. It’s about smelling the leather on a satchel or Robert Mason’s signature scented candle. It’s about touching the soft wool and canvas, or running your fingers over the stitching. It’s feeling the weight and balance of a fine pen as it glides along the page. It’s hearing the clink of buckles on a new bag or the crisp pages of a new journal as they turn.

With the old storyline behind them, the new story of Robert Mason is one of good old-fashioned American perseverance. It’s about never giving up on your dream and staying the course despite overwhelming obstacles. About controlling what you can and not dwelling on the past. It’s about moving forward.

In some ways, fashion has been forgotten in the modern workplace. We’ve traded wool pants, wingtips and twill suits for khakis, polos, and casual Friday’s. Robert Mason’s iconic collection reminds us to bring classic style back to work. It’s time to remember the kind of people we are meant to be: unique, creative, visionary. No wonder Robert’s motto is “Get Inspired.” Shop the full collection at express.com or robertmasoncompany.com.

Written by Jeremy Lahman

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Jeremy Lahman is a teacher in Columbus, Ohio, and co-founder of the Buckeye Bearders. He has degrees from Otterbein University and Ohio State University. He enjoys tech, travel, outdoors, men's style, and music. Connect with him on Twitter @LahmansBeard.