Fly With Me. . .
john “McD” lehman of r.b. of mcd
handbag designer/”brown liquor dude”
origin: los angeles, ca
Technically our last trip was up North. . .but we are up there so often I feel like those bay trips don’t even count any more. Anastasia (his girl) is from San Francisco, her folks live in Marin and both of our sisters live in SF, so it has become my second home. However, this last trip we took a day trip to Bolinas and Stinson, both beaches were brand new to me and that was lovely. We were actually able to shoot a little video footage for our R.B. of McD beach series discussing the branding and creating process. . .so I was able to mix business with pleasure!
long stay favorite:
The sad truth is I don’t vacation much, as in a true “non-working” vacation. We went to Playa del Carmen, Mexico last month for 10 days and that was my first break in over 10 years! As backwards as it sounds, I was a tad nervous to get away not just because I was leaving the business in the hands of my assistant, but because I am NOT a beach or “heat” person and Playa is all the above! We rented this beautiful condo near the water. . .we did it right, but it still took me a day or two to slide into vacation mode. By day two I was all in, swimming in the ocean and reading on the sand. We are going to Playa at least once a year from now on, and you are welcome to join us!!!
My love affair with New York ended about 4 or 5 years ago, but I can still get down with a quick 3-4 day NY visit. I was there the end of last year to do a few desk-sides with editors and for me that is New York at its best! Because the city moves so fast and being an LA native I tend to move at a “comfortable” pace, I need a true purpose while there. Just shopping, eating, and taking in a show or two no longer cuts it for me, for I like to see the practical application of New York fashion. . .tap into folks on the go, jumping in and out of cabs, in the elevator, or sitting at their desk. Those actions motivate me more than the New York fashion applied during extracurricular activities for some reason.
All of my trips begin with our R.B. of McD #3 for my computer, iPad, notebook, and whatever magazines and books I need to catch-up on, our #4 backpack usually has my other odds and ends, for our long trips I am usually the appointed resident DJ, so I throw in my headphones, USB turntables, and whatever else is needed to keep the party going. A few years ago I picked up this beautiful dark camel leather weekender from Club Monaco, we are working on a R.B. of McD version, but until then this CM is my guy!!! It’s the perfect size and a true weekender. I also have this heavy duty Tumi garment bag that is a champion!!! I tend to over pack only because I need options and I tend to be day-to-day with my fashion, how on earth do I know what life is going to be about tomorrow. . .so I bring it all!!! The weekender we are developing is the best of both worlds, for it’s a duffle and it is also a garment bag!!! Once we’re done with the sample it will be the perfect excuse to travel. . .test things out!
plan in advance or throw it all in:
I sort of tapped into this above. . .I really try to plan in advance, but with multiple options. I tend to focus on the details so I could never just throw it all in, for whenever I do that I always forget major items like underwear (true story)!
I am all about the “fold”!!! I like to fold properly in order to maximize my space. I suppose that my life would be a lot easier if I just picked up one of those suitcases with wheels, but I like to think of myself as a classic traveler. . .you never see the cool guys tugging luggage!!! So I rather spend more time folding and tucking to avoid those shoulder burns from lugging heavy bags.
never travel without:
My R.B. of McD…of course, and reading and listening materials. I am always listening to music from the moment my eyes open until I lay my head down to rest so that isn’t really a surprise. But traveling whether it be on the plane or random down-time is a great time to catch up on reading, those good titles that have been collecting dust or those back issues of the New Yorker that are beginning to fade due to the sun. Also, as weak as this sounds I never travel without my Rodin oil! I could lie and say that my girl turned me on to the Rodin products but actually it’s the other way around. All I can say is that the stuff is amazing and is perfect when dealing with uncertain weather elements while traveling.
your travel style:
I actually like to gear up a tad when I travel, you know so that I can go from the plane to dinner or drinks. I have never been that dude that basically dresses for bed when he travels. Traveling is part of the show in my mind. . .look the part.
Just the McD basics. . .the Playa trip was the first time that I left my ’58 Omega Seamaster at home. I am not really a jewelry person, but I love that watch, it’s a classic piece but not really apropos for the beach and the humidity. I also never leave home without a few rings I’ve picked up along the way. I have this Hans Cholo gold (plated) Indian skull ring that is so not my style that it has actually become “McDtown” and there isn’t a day that goes by that some random person doesn’t comment on it. I also have this thin gold necklace that I wear daily. A friend of a friend made this brass revolver charm that I threw on the chain. It’s sort of a delicate and random statement that has quietly become the McD statement! I use the gun to remind me to be “a killer”. . .obviously not in the literal, but in design and creativity. It’s a personal statement that I have never really shared. . .until now, you are welcome!!! Ha –The blah blah birds are so grateful! 🙂
Oh man, I am breaking one of my big rules. . .I never share my “smell good”!!! But I have been wearing Odin #4 for the last few years. When I was a kid I remember my grandfather always smelled great, that was a given, but he also always smelled the same. . .and unique!!! There was no winter scent or summer scent and there was never some other cat that smelled like my Pops. When he passed away I inherited all of his Brooks Brothers suits, they have all been heavily tailored, and dry-cleaned multiple. . .multiple times and they all still smell like Pops!!! I want that for my kids one day. . .I want them to smell like Odin #4!!! – We love this!
Now we’re talking!!! So I am a brown liquor dude, single malt when there is a chill in the air and Bourbon or Rye in the warmer months. When we were in Playa, all I drank was rum. I know it’s Mexico, but I don’t touch tequila any more unless it’s in a margarita. Every once and awhile I will toy with a nice Mezcal, but if I’m going to drink something with a lot of smoke I figure I might as well sip a peaty single malt like a Laphroaig or Ardbeg. But back to rum and Playa, unless you are Jay-Z and Bey we can’t get our hands on great Cuban rum here in the states, so you know I was going to take advantage of the situation. I drank Havana Club almost everyday, on the rocks at night with a beautiful Cuban cigar or during the day it was Cuba Libres while reading or in the pool. I am not really a gin drinker, but when we are visiting Ani’s mom she makes the best gin and tonics. I also can get behind a good Old-Fashioned or Manhattan when out and about, but for the most part I like to keep it simple and drink something good with a single cube. Side note: it kills me that Virgin America has such a poor Whiskey selection. . .that’s all.
before you land refresher:
Ummmm. . .a cocktail keeps me fresh!!! But seriously, I like to brush my teeth right after I land, can’t get any fresher than a fresh mouth if you ask me.
tour guide or local fun:
Keep it local!!! I like to get down with the people. . .in theory. Sometimes I am down to see the sights but tourist tend to overwhelm me, and I will do almost anything to avoid that hustle.
one thing you must do in every place you visit:
I am all about the local food and eat!!! I want to hit up the “good” bars and restaurants. If I am in a major/urban city, then I have probably made a list of places I want to hit up. I get Urban Daddy, etc. daily e-blasts thus I have a list a mile long of places to try in New York, SF, Miami, and Chicago!!! The other thing about visiting the solid watering holes and the such, is it’s a great place to people watch and take notes on fashion in action.
window or aisle seat:
Window for sure. . .I need a place to prop up this big head of mine!!!
That is a great question, since this Playa trip my whole mind is blown!!! For years I told myself that I wasn’t a beach person. . .but perhaps I kinda-sorta am a little bit of a beach person. So we might hit up Hawaii this Summer. Of course the Bay is in the works in the next coming weeks. Also, it is time to go back to Paris but I really want to check out Tokyo and figure out how to get R.B. of Mc D over there so that might be a great work + play trip.
It was great traveling with R.B. of McD. . .Thank you!
Stay tuned: BBBirds Got Love For R. B. of McD. . .soon!
all photos by R.B. of McD
Ladybird J. P. Archie
- Mexico Beaches Playa del Carmen and Cozumel (leccoworkshop.com)
- Transitioning from Tourist to Traveler (noparticularplacetogo.net)
- Frequent Travelers: Luggage For The Long Haul (forbes.com)