celebrity shopping

What Fab 5 Freddy Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of Fab 5 Freddy

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked filmmaker and artist Fab 5 Freddy about the sunglasses, art history book, and white sneakers he can’t live without.

These were a great buy on Amazon. I like the way they look, they sound good, and feel comfortable. And it’s a lot of fun to be untethered — especially when I’m on planes. They were mentioned on some gadget site — that they were a great deal, that there was one day left of the sale, or something. I saw that people were raving about them, and I said, Well, let me do my Prime thing. I’ve been loving them ever since.

It’s the most perfect Nike, just a classic, elegantly designed sneaker. You can dress it up, you can dress it down. It’s Nike’s most successful shoe, by the way, made popular here in New York City, where they’re also known as “uptowns.” It’s fascinating: Nike never once advertised the shoe, but it became adopted by the urban, hip-hop community as just a cool thing to wear — where you can be casually, but at the same time very elegantly, dressed. They’ve been around for a couple of decades now, and I just love them.

I use Africa’s Best Super Gro in the morning to moisturize my hair and my scalp. It eliminates dryness and breakage.

How could you leave home without it? When you’re doing business out and about, on the move, on the run, when you’re trying to close a deal. And as a filmmaker and a visual artist, I’m always running around. I’ve got to talk to my studio assistant, my staff, deal with the media team — you’ve got to be charged up to make these calls happen.

Lives of the Artists

I hosted a special that just aired on the BBC, in England, called A Fresh Guide to Florence With Fab 5 Freddy. I went around Florence — the museums, the basilicas — looking at Renaissance art, but especially art that featured Africans, Afro-Italians, basically black folks, featured in significant works of Renaissance art, that are very rarely discussed or talked about in the academic sphere. And that’s when I became very aware of Giorgio Vasari, a contemporary of artists from that time. I picked up this book, which was originally from 1568, and I’ve been rereading it lately. It’s said that he basically invented the whole idea of art history. Same for the Renaissance as we know it — this was the first, and still regarded as one of the best, books that described all the players of the era.

So my last name is Brathwaite, the only thing missing off of the name of the makers of this watch is the ‘E.’ It’s simple, elegant, it keeps great time, and it’s got my name on it, so how could I lose? And if anybody takes a close enough look, it’s a great conversation starter.

I’ve got several pairs of these, mostly vintage. I just love the look, such a classic shape; elegant, effective.