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Interview With Michael Flocker; Is Miles O'Brien a Metrosexual?

Aired October 21, 2003 - 15:46   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, he's well-dressed, he's well- coifed, he's well scented. He's tasteful in every way and extremely neat. Who is he? He's a "metrosexual." What does that mean?
Well here to answer that very question is Michael Flocker. He's the author of "The Metrosexual Guide to Style." Michael, good to have you with us.


O'BRIEN: Define the term for those of us who are uninitiated.

FLOCKER: He's the modern, urban man. He's got style, sophistication and he's not self-conscious at all about heading to to the spa for an occasional facial or pedicure.

O'BRIEN: Is he gay?

FLOCKER: He can be. He might be straight. He can be perfectly masculine but is in touch with his feminine side. Spans the whole gamut.

O'BRIEN: The point is there are more and more straight people who embrace the style, which would bring them closer to what is typically been linked to gay men, right?

FLOCKER: Well, yes. I think gay men tend to have be more aware of style. But more and more, straight men are paying more attention. There are more products on the marketplace geared to the average man.

So it's changing, you know. More and more men are aware of style and are recognizing that it giving them an extra edge in the workplace as well as romantically.

O'BRIEN: All right, we're not just talking about snappy clothing here, it's a way of life. Let's go through a few tips to give you a sense of exactly what Michael is talking about.

First of all a metrosexual is a perfect gentleman. He's punctual, shakes hands firmly, is polite, doesn't interrupt and he doesn't swear in public. You know, I guess I'm out already. So much for that. That eliminates a lot of people.

And give a couple more of the gentlemen things. Never raise your voice, control your temper, never discuss or display money, never groom yourself in public, tips well and says thank you. How many men actually do all this?

FLOCKER: Hopefully a lot. These are not...

O'BRIEN: Kyra says zero. She just gave me the big goose egg. Zero men.

FLOCKER: These are things to keep in mind. You can't do these all ten every day, but it's just thing to keep in mind as you go through life. Behaviors that you should have in the back of your mind.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk about style. Let's do the ten wardrobe must-haves for the metrosexual man. Three black and three white t- shirts. Two different pairs of flattering jeans. Flattering is kind of a nebulous term. I guess that's left to the beholder, right?

FLOCKER: Not hiked too high, no pleats.

O'BRIEN: What's the deal on pleats, anyway?

FLOCKER: Not good in general.

O'BRIEN: Tell me about that. What's deal?

FLOCKER: They're not so flattering. When you sit down you get a curious Jiffy-Pop thing going on in the front. It's not good.

O'BRIEN: What if you want the Jiffy-Pop thing there, Michael?

FLOCKER: Then I can't help you.


O'BRIEN: OK. Let's continue with the fashion dos. And let's see. Must haves. We did all that. Flattering underwear?


O'BRIEN: What is flattering underwear?

FLOCKER: Well, you know...

O'BRIEN: Boxers from Brooks Brothers don't count?

FLOCKER: Whatever works for you. The idea is if you're on a date, you want to look good right until the end. You don't want that to be the last nasty surprise.

O'BRIEN: Something in leopard something or whatever, something to that effect.

FLOCKER: Yes. One of the things that the black suit is very important, because in this day and age, a black suit can be -- can take the place of a tuxedo. You wear colored shirts, thin tie, bow tie, you don't have to show up in a rental.

O'BRIEN: You don't need a shiny lapel thing going on there.

Let's talk about fashion pitfalls for those of you out there who are thinking you're on the way to being properly coined a metrosexual. Cowboy hats, varsity jackets, colorful vests, Christmas sweaters, bolo ties. Definitely not all those at once right?

O'BRIEN: Hopefully not.

O'BRIEN: And then, of course, we weren't through the pleated stuff. Ties with short sleeves. I guess Michael Dukakis is out. Gym socks with shoes. Boots with shorts. What is tatty underwear?

FLOCKER: Falling apart, you know.

O'BRIEN: Like tattered. Oh, I get it. OK.

Let's go through a few of the people who would be considered metrosexual. Among the people you have on the list, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why does he qualify?

FLOCKER: He's a card carrying member. You know...

O'BRIEN: He is?

FLOCKER: Yes, he's admitted to having hundreds of pairs of shoes, all his clothes are tailor-made. He's always impeccably groomed and is seen coming and go from the spa regularly. He has a manicurist, a pedicurist. He leaves nothing to chance.

O'BRIEN: And no one is going to call him a girly-man to his face.

FLOCKER: No. In "Vanity Fair" this summer, he referred to himself as a shoe queen.

O'BRIEN: Kind of an Imelda.

Brad Pitt is another metrosexual. Why does he fit on this list so well?

FLOCKER: Even when he's dressed down...

O'BRIEN: He's good on the hair product, isn't he?

FLOCKER: Very good, always changing. Even when he's dressed down, he has a tendency to dress up. He still has the $300 sunglasses and has it together when he's casual.

O'BRIEN: Non-metrosexuals, one of them we showed briefly earlier smoking a cigarette. Boy, did he look -- let's do Jack Black first and we'll talk about Drew Carey. What's the matter with Jack Black?

FLOCKER: Nothing's the matter with jack Black. He's great at what he does, but he's not interested in this phenomenon. (LAUGHTER)

FLOCKER: You'll notice from the facial hair, I don't think he's got the clippers and the tight combs there.

O'BRIEN: We'll leave that there. Very expressive eyebrows, though.

Drew Carey, we've got this terrible picture of him sucking down the butt there. Anything he's doing right there?

FLOCKER: No, not really.


FLOCKER: I mean, you know, the hooded sweatshirt, the glasses. But that's his persona. Even these guys on the list who are not metrosexuals are aware of their image. They cultivate the persona. They're celebrities, actors and it works to them. It connects them to a certain demographic and they're aware of what they're doing as well.

O'BRIEN: All right. And they're confident in their non- metrosexualness.

FLOCKER: Exactly. Committed thing.

O'BRIEN: Excellent, very good stuff. The book is "The Metrosexual Guide to Style." Michael Flocker is -- by the way do you consider yourself metrosexual?

FLOCKER: Well, now that I've written the book, I guess so, yes.

O'BRIEN: You'd have to be. All right, good luck with the book. Thanks for joining us.

FLOCKER: Thank you very much.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: He's handsome, well put together.

O'BRIEN: I'm going to go book a manicure.

PHILLIPS: OK. You need more than that, baby.

We just had to put Miles to the test to see if he qualifies as a metrosexual man.

O'BRIEN: Oh, geez.

PHILLIPS: That's right, baby. Let's see if you got the look. Here's first question as he looks quite dapper in that air brushed picture.

O'BRIEN: It is air brushed. It's my head on somebody else's suit.

PHILLIPS: Name three things that a metrosexual man must have in his fridge, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Half & half, baloney, and olive oil.

PHILLIPS: Man, you are so scary. How about a little white wine, good cheeses, fresh fruit, sparkling water, little chocolate, imported beer, limes and lemons, and working light bulbs.


O'BRIEN: Working light bulbs, OK.

PHILLIPS: All right. Here we go. No. 2 --

O'BRIEN: Imported light bulbs.

PHILLIPS: Imported light bulbs from France. All right, name three things a that metrosexual man would never display in his home.

O'BRIEN: Let's see. Posters from college, the cinder block shelves from the dorm room, and that 1973 Kenwood amplifier that you have with the turntable on top.

PHILLIPS: All right, you got one. That's pretty good. Posters, traffic lights, stuffed animals, neon beer signs, piles of CDs and videos, dirty dishes, stackable storage crates and underpants.

O'BRIEN: So you want to be neat.

PHILLIPS: Tatty underpants, shall we say.

All right, here we go. No. 3, name one music icon for the metrosexual man.

O'BRIEN: A musical icon? David Bowie.

PHILLIPS: Hey! Ding ding ding!

O'BRIEN: Did I get one? Wow.

PHILLIPS: You got one. You're rocking in that brutal suit.

David Bowie, Jim Morrison, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Mick Jagger. There you go.

O'BRIEN: Marvin Gaye, all right.

PHILLIPS: Pretty good. You fared horribly well.


O'BRIEN: All right.

PHILLIPS: That does it for us on this edition of LIVE FROM. Thanks for being with us in a metrosexual Tuesday.

PHILLIPS: Thanks for the little surprise, Kyra. Appreciate it. All right. Judy Woodruff, take it away with "INSIDE POLITICS."

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: It's good to know more about my fellow anchors. Thanks.

O'BRIEN: More than you care to.



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