Who’s Making Moves: Laurent Huttinot, The Brothers Brooks
Name: Laurent Huttinot
Title: Co-Owner, The Brothers Brooks
Neighborhood: Riverdale, Bronx (“because it reminds me of Queens.”)
From working with Triple 5 Soul to Sean John, Laurent Huttinot continues his extensive career in the retail business. He’s now co-owner of The Brothers Brooks, an agency representing some of the hottest brands on DrJays.com like Sabit and Rich Yung. Find out how he got his start, how he keeps his sanity, and his predictions for the urban fashion market below.
How did you get started in the industry?
“It all started with this pink Tommy Hilfiger woven I bought in 1988. Then came retail stints at Nautica, Paragon, The Pop Shop and Triple 5 Soul. Following these, I went into a hiatus while teaching tennis and doing some music management with my homie Raki, and spent a couple of years in publishing at The Source and Complex magazines. Peter Mintz then tapped me to help him launch MooMoo Showroom. There, we represented Luxe T (still the best brand to me), Richard Yoo, Triko, Royal Filth, Massive Revolution and the original Red Monkey. I’ve also learned a great deal in my time at Sean John, with Azzure at RP55, as well as at CEO and Pro Keds with Dame Dash and Tom Slozberg.”
How do you find balance between work and family time?
“Family is the prevailing theme and the driving force. My wife blessed me with two beautiful children. I take care of the morning shift and get them ready and take them to school. This is a very important time for me because they’re better than anything in getting me ready for my day.
“Beyond that, when I’m not in the showroom or traveling, my weekends and other free time are devoted to my wife, kids and extended family. Plus my brother Olivier is co-owner of The Brothers Brooks, along with our brother from another mother Omar Bennett. My circle is so tight they can only be called family, and ultimately I think we’re all just trying to leave a legacy for our kids.”
What’s your vice?
“Who did you say you worked for again?”
How do you deal with stress?
“By spending time with family and anything that has absolutely nothing to do with fashion. Currently, I have World Cup Soccer fever! Also, since I work with my brother and keep a pretty tight circle of friends, I always have the option of yelling, cursing and screaming in a safe and secure environment.”
The Brothers Brooks: Oliver, Laurent and Omar
What’s a random fact about you?
“I was a ball boy at the 1988, 1989 and 1990 US Open and I could have been a professional tennis teacher and/or umpire but I chose fashion.”
Who’s your idol, past or present?
“My dad, Arthur Ashe and all of history’s truth seekers and revolutionaries—both peaceful and violent. Time and circumstance will dictate the approach but the defense of rights and humanity are worth either.”
How do you feel about the state of the industry today?
“Look, if you survived the downturn, everything is looking up. The global economy is to be leveraged to one’s benefit. The price of oil and cotton continue to go up, but you can market things creatively for virtually free. Everything is fresh and grassroots again. If I were to hedge my bets I would look at the following three factors regarding the future of “urban” fashion:
A) Young talented designers from Europe, Africa and Asia and South America looking to come to the U.S. to start brands.
B) The emergence of a sector in the market where luxe-urban meets functional everyday technology.
C) The modification of early hip-hop grassroots marketing methods applied through today’s social networking platforms to bolster brand image and market share.”
Follow Laurent on Twitter.