HB: You have a very distinct sense of style. What are your menswear influences?
ST: Well for me comfort is number one as well as mix and match texture,fabric and style I believe it's a reflection of your personality and your moods and my Menswear influences are the elegance of Yves Saint Laurent snd the casualness of Indiana Jones.
HB: Do you think American men are finally catching up with Europeans in the way they dress?
ST: In big cities, yes, but anywhere else I think men dress more by necessity rather than style but there is something cool and trendy also about the lumberjack look from the Midwest.
HB: Your restaurant Maison Harlem at St. Nicholas and 127th opened in the past year. How has business been so far?
ST: We are very happy with Maison Harlem since the beginning and it has been surprisingly well received in the community.
HB: One of the things that sets a restaurant apart from others besides the food is the decor. What was the inspiration for the look of Maison Harlem?
ST: I wanted to feel at home and wanted everyone to feel warm and comfortable as soon as they got through the door. I wanted a perfect mix between Paris and Harlem and I think we succeeded in doing that!
HB: There appears to be a lot of French tourists and restaurants uptown. Is there a romantic relationship between the French and Harlem?
ST: The French like Harlem, they like jazz they like black heritage and authenticity. Harlem has always been a big inspiration for a lot of French people. It is part of a pop culture as well as music, arts movies, fashion - so many different things created a fascination for it.
HB: Are there any surprising things about opening a restaurant in Harlem that most in the city might not know about?
ST: There are a lot of foodies up here. People know their wine and food. They like to travel through a meal, and if they enjoy, we enjoy. This is an amazing experience to be part of a rejuvenation, a new splash of energy in this part of town. Come to Harlem and enjoy an authentic slice of New York City.