Pittsburgh man parlays fashion sense into online business
Being on top of his fashion game wasn’t always a priority for Jon Shanahan. When he was growing up, baggy clothes and worn-out footwear were just fine.
Now, Shanahan runs a fashion tips company, The Kavalier, where he shares knowledge of “what it means to be a modern gentleman.”
The Pittsburgh resident’s expertise comes from firsthand experience with products and brands that he reviews.
He also offers advice on his YouTube channel, where he has more than 83,000 subscribers. There’s also plenty of fashion insight on his website.
“When you go for something like a job interview, and you are dressed nicely, it signals you are put together in more than one aspect of your life,” Shanahan said. “Something like dirty shoes are definitely noticeable. Style is as important as punctuality, and says who you are before you say anything.”
He said he began searching for the best looks for himself and, in the process, discovered the importance of buying quality clothing and shoes, because those items will last longer.
Focusing on men’s fashion became his passion.
He chose the name “Kavalier” which in German means gentleman, “a gallant man, one of confidence and style, who attracts both respect and admiration,” according to his website.
“This site is my view on what it means to be a modern gentleman,” he said. “I’ve learned that the way a man presents himself to the world has a remarkable impact on the way he feels, the way he’s treated, and even what he achieves.”
The Kavalier launched while Shanahan was working as director of sales for First Insight in Warrendale. He left there last September to pursue The Kavalier. His YouTube channel showcases brands. He earns some sponsorship and commissions on some sales.
“It takes 10 years to make an overnight success,” he said. “This is Year Four. When it comes to shopping for a wardrobe, you can feel like you are saving a few dollars, but in the long run you will spend more because the item won’t last as long.”
His videos and write-ups have attracted viewers and followers from all over the world. He said some men find him via social media and send him links to clothing items and request reviews.
He said he produces about 600 videos a year and showcases 230 brands. He is always searching for the next designer or look to share so that guys can continue to dress appropriately.
Some of the topics he has covered include:
- Five ways to wear one suit
- Best no-show socks for men
- Best performance chinos for men
- Raw denim for muscular thighs
- The American trench
He has also included hair and grooming products as well as accessories from watches to ties and pocket squares.
“My goal is to help men navigate the vast offerings of apparel that’s available,” he said. “My interest is in modern, but not trendy, and it has an air of being classic without being staid, and presents a man of success and confidence. “
He cares about the importance of quality and guides his followers to brands that offer quality at an attainable price point, he said on his website.
“They’re out there,” he said. “I find them, try them, show you, and let you know.”
“At each step, I give you the ‘why’ so you can use your judgment on what’s important to you,” he said. “The clothes fit well, are chosen with care, and are clean and pressed. I care about the details.”
— The Kavalier (@The_Kavalier) June 28, 2019
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .