Great leg... room

Great leg... room

I’m a big fan of companies that get it right.

Apple, American Express, Mercedes Benz… they all seem to take products or services that we need and turn them into what we want. They’re still businesses and they’re still in it for the money, but there also exists a certain passion for pushing the envelope. I can appreciate that. The essentially stylish man is not so moved by the economical car that makes sense. We are moved by the company that says, let’s make it faster and sexier.

Air travel back in the 50’s was stylish. It was an event. Of course, there were many more flights for vacations than business than there are now, but it was still an exciting adventure. Air travel in the 21st century seems so mundane. Linens and food that aspired to be good has been exchanged for a bag of peanuts. Stewardesses that would respond to the call button with a smile have been replaced by overworked, underpaid disenchantees.

Enter Virgin Airlines. Virgin has been in the UK and Europe for a while, but in the States only since 2007. The same joie de vivre that owner Sir Richard Branson (hmm, I see an ICON article there) brings to his everyday is injected into air travel. From their website, to their check-in, lounges and planes, Virgin breathes new life back into the skies. And how much more do we have to pay for this royal treatment? Actually, they are about the same as our staple domestic carriers, and sometimes cheaper.

We fly high, no lie, you know it.

As consumers, we should get a chance to choose what we want, as opposed to settling for the cheapest option as a default.  I think that a flight should inspire us.  Virgin has provided that inspiration for me by going above and beyond just the bottom line and exploring possibility with just a bit of effort.  I’m on board!


Richard has been in the Essential Style for Men mix since its inception in 2009. When he isn’t busy serving as the ESM’s Director of Fashion & Style, you may find him on the beach playing volleyball, or working hard in Thailand shooting with a beautiful Brazilian supermodel.