As you may have noticed, one of the ways you can tell someone has made it to the upper echelons of the hedge fund elite is that they don’t have to give a fuck about their sartorial choices. Whether it’s dressing like a hobo or Friday night at Studio 54, they can do what they want. Button down shirts can be swapped out for zip up fleeces, ripped jeans that smell like wet dog replace dress pants, roller-skates take the place of loafers, out go the suits in come the full-body stockings. They wanna dress like a (lovable) schlubb or someone who could get picked up for street walking, that’s their right, ’cause they could buy your life, a billion times over. Biff Basness wants a face tattoo? Biff Basness gets himself a face tattoo, and investors aren’t going to say nothing. In fact, it’s come to be a good litmus test. You see a guy walking down Greenwich Avenue in a champion sweatsuit? Or taking lunch at the Sizzler, wearing just lobster bib and light up cock ring? You’re probably looking at a top hedge fund manager. This notion has not been lost on the Brits.
Arki Busson, multi-millionaire hedge fund manager and on-off partner of Uma Thurman, is a man who can dress how he likes for work. For the most part, this means suits and open-neck shirts – nothing too attention-seeking. At least until your eye falls to his wrist. For there, next to his watch, Busson regularly wears … beads and bangles, charms and straps. Bracelets, in other words.
According to James Massey, these wristbands are a mark of the independence afforded to the hedge funder or the entrepreneur: “The ones that own their own company don’t care about traditional dressing,” he says.
“I haven’t taken it off since,” says Massey, who works in luxury PR and who has noticed an increasing number of smart London men wearing bracelets as part of their work outfit. “If you look around Mayfair, you see all these men in beautiful bespoke suits and Patek Philippe watches, and they’re wearing these bracelets to give them an air of nonchalance.”
Those wishing to test the water could try wearing a bracelet between their watch and cuff (so it can be hidden by the sleeve if necessary). Busson, however, has no such fear: his are worn above the watch, in proud view. “He always has them on show, whether he’s at the Serpentine summer party or in a dinner jacket,” says Massey. “If you have to cover them up, there’s no point in wearing them in the first place.”
Why Businessmen Are Wearing Bracelets [FT]