Ari Hoffman has been the U.S. head of several international companies, including YSL and Gant. For the past two and a half years, he’s been the CEO of the United States at the Amsterdam-based sportswear brand Scotch & Soda, where he is currently growing the retail presence of the brand as well as expanding its wholesale distribution. I recently had lunch in the company’s new Flatiron offices to see how Ari Hoffman works.
1. SCOTCH & SODA A/W ‘17 Hoffman is wearing a double-breasted blazer from the upcoming collection. Tailored clothing is becoming a stronger focus for the brand with jackets at $395, trousers at $175, and suits for under $600.
2. WALL OF CURIOSITIES This is a take on the 17th-century Dutch tradition of having a cabinet of curiosities, which showed treasures from trips abroad – which was sort of the Instagram of its day!
3. THE NOTEPAD Like many of us, Hoffman straddles the line between using old-school tools and current technology. While all of his work is done on a laptop that he travels with, he’s also a consummate note taker and list maker, which is all done by hand.
4. THE PAPERWEIGHT Hoffman was born in the Ukraine. A very close friend, who taught him English, presented him with this paperweight on the day he became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Besides the flag, it also has the Great Seal of the United States, the Constitution, “The Star Spangled Banner” and Emma Lazarus’ famous poem “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.
5. THE BIBLE When Hoffman became the CEO of U.S. for Scotch & Soda, he had to sign for this book called “The Blueprint.” On the outside, it says “To be Viewed by Scotch & Soda Employees Only,” which is why Hoffman was not able to show its contents to me. He did tell me that it contains the DNA of the brand and its history. If he were to leave the company, it would get passed on to his successor.