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.

Nike Air Force 1
From $107

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.

I buy my hats from the FlameKeepers Hat Club — they do special things there like create unique bands around the hat with a little embroidery going on. They also have interesting and unusual colors that you typically won’t see in men’s hats — the people that buy these hats are a little more stylish than your average hat-wearing person.

Sheryl Jones used to be my publicist back at MTV over 20 years ago. We recently reconnected. She’s a jeweler — and the only African-American jeweler with her own shop in the Diamond District. I had this idea for a pendant, I designed it and we collaborated on it.

I smoked cigarettes for way too long, but it’s been about six years since I’ve been completely cigarette free, thanks to my e-cig. Fruity and dessert flavored e-juice is what I typically put in my vape. Crème brûlée or passion-fruit–mango–type concoctions are what I prefer.

[Editor’s Note: The exact color e-cigarette Fab 5 Freddy uses is currently out of stock, but this colorway is extremely similar.]

From $38,990

This was my Christmas present to myself. I was on the waiting list for two years, and it worked out perfectly that around December that I was ready for a new car. Santa Claus dropped it off right in front of my house. It’s the most amazing car I’ve ever driven. If the new iPhone was a car, this would be it. It turns heads constantly in New York.

It also has the most incredible sound quality I’ve ever experienced in a car. It’s the equivalent of being in a full-on recording studio, the only place I’ve heard anything like it. It almost feels like an emotional experience. Better than being at a concert at Carnegie Hall.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Fab 5 Freddy Can’t Live Without