⇾ How Ben O’Meara Shops
⇾ Ben O’Meara, Huckberry’s
VP of Marketing
He's a guy who wore many hats. Now it’s what he buys multiples of.
There’s a fine line between functional outdoor gear and everyday casual style. I can't think of a better e-commerce site than Huckberry that marries the two together perfectly. The company launched over a decade ago and offers some of the best performance and lifestyle brands, which now includes their well-respected private labels. One of the people that has been with the brand since its early days is VP of Marketing, Ben O'Meara.
When you think about the quintessential Huckberry guy, Ben is the type that comes to mind. He's truly a jack-of-all-trades for the company—everything from cool collaborations to traveling the world, discovering new brands, visiting factories and field testing their products—some of which you can see on Huckberry's popular YouTube channel. “The idea behind Huckberry was to create this marketplace and content destination that brought outdoor and style together in a way that celebrated brands and products doing it differently, doing it better, and cutting through the noise,” he says. “We certainly have always had a foot in the outdoors, and more broadly, adventure. But the everyday, quality style essentials have also been foundational to Huckberry, especially as we've grown.”
Ben's style, much like the company, is embedded in outdoor and performance gear. His go-to footwear option is a quality pair of boots, but he says he'll never pay too much for a white tee, thanks to the trials and tribulations of fatherhood. We caught up with him to see what jeans every man needs in his closet, the shoes he refuses to part with and what brands we need on our radar right now.
Describe your style
in five words or less.
Keep it easy, not boring.
What are you shopping for
at the moment?
I'm in the market for a new bike and I've got my eye on an Allied gravel bike.
$7,995 by Allied Cycle Works
Waxed canvas boot,
$425 by Huckberry x Danner
You’re a known Danner Boots enthusiast. What it is about the brand?
Ha! I love Danner. Couple reasons. First, they were one of the first brands to take a swing with us, see our vision, and help spread the word. We've been fortunate to collaborate every year in some capacity—content with Portugal. The Man, numerous co-designed boots, etc.
On the other side of it—from a product and brand perspective—there are very few out there with such legitimacy in performance, quality, and iconic outdoor heritage style. Their Mountain Light and Danner Light silhouettes are classics. I've worn them on some epic adventures and put them through some shit. But they also have a style you often see translated across fashion. The word “timeless” gets thrown around in our world, but some of the OG Danners are just that. I love these more lifestyle-everyday iterations (I'm a sucker for a wedge sole)—Mountain Light and our collab Danner Light.
How did your earlier career lead to what you’re doing now?
Sounds cliché, but in the early days of Huckberry, we had to do a little (and sometimes a lot) of everything. You get a real business education on the fly, and a foundational exposure to how each team works and how they connect—which has played a vital role in what I do now.
I was one of our original “buyers” despite having no retail experience. What I did have was a love for the product, brand storytelling, and a desire to find unique ways to connect those products and brands to our customer values in an authentic but inspiring way through great content and creativity. To this day, that is the foundation of what my job entails—I am incredibly fortunate to have a larger team of world-class colleagues bringing new insights, new opportunities, and creative ideas to the table to ensure we keep bringing the actionable, inspiring point-of-view.
72-Hour merino tee,
$78 by Proof
How did the ‘72-Hour’ series come about?
Our brand Proof sourced and developed this excellent merino wool program that was perfect for one-bag travel. It was about five years ago, and the team was going to Iceland to shoot a print catalog, including assets for this new merino tee program. In the middle of one of those production meetings, I just said “Fuck it”, I'm joining the trip, and I'm going to bring my iPhone, wear this shirt for three days straight, and chronicle the behind-the-scenes of our adventure. Luckily it stuck, and since then, we've traveled to several epic locations to put the tee to the test and built out a fun series with various ambassadors of ours.
Any brands you’re watching right now?
Damn, only three!? Wythe, Norda and Kestin are three I love and in my regular rotation right now.
$340 by RRL
What’s one garment that every man needs in his closet?
You can't go wrong with a well-made pair of black denim (selvedge ideally).
Air Jordan 11 retro concord 2018 release,
$430 by Nike
What’s one item that you cannot part with?
A vintage L.L. Bean hunting overshirt. Wait, no … my Jordan 11s “Concords” from high school basketball.
What city has the best shopping?
I know Tokyo is mentioned frequently for obvious reasons, but unfortunately, I've yet to go. NYC for me. So many great brands have started there and are still there. It's got hustle, vibe, and style that very few places can replicate—and so important when building a brand.
'm always buying something from a brand local to the city/region I'm traveling to. Something where that style has been influenced by the place, culture and history. I don't like to collect things just for the sake of sitting on a shelf. I like to wear and represent those adventures. And they tend to bring some joy when put them on, remembering back to that place/person. I'm also a sucker for a good dinner coffee mug.
Do you shop more online or in person?
Online, for sure. I love in-person and typically buy something when I can be in a store, but I spend 40-plus hours a week working, seeing everything online. It's just easier. My free time outside of that is with my kids these days.
Do you ever buy things in multiples?
A good-fitting hat. I have a big head—plus I'm very particular about how far the hat sits down my head. When I find a good one though I'm purchasing multiple, which drives my wife crazy.
Which do you experience more: Buyer’s remorse or regret for not buying something?
Probably buyer's remorse for a slightly different reason. I am very fortunate to get access to so many noteworthy brands and products at Huckberry and our surrounding community. I can't wear them all as much as they are worthy. My friends get a lot of great freebies. But then I feel slight remorse when I see them rocking it, putting it to good use.
Anything that makes traveling faster, more efficient and more comfortable. Clear, TSA, exit rows and a good travel bag.
Supima crew tee,
$35 by Forty Five
What is something you refuse to spend a lot for?
White T-shirts. An obvious one, but how often I wear them plus, having two kids under three—I can't be precious. I'm not a pack-of-three type of guy. There is a good middle ground where you can get a solid tee for $25-$35 that is of a quality that can be wear on its own, but also looks great under a layer. But $40, $50 and $60-dollar tees? No sir.
What’s one shopping hack that you can let everyone know about?
Just because something shows as “sold out” at a larger e-commerce store doesn't mean it can't be found elsewhere online. Make sure you spend the extra time to scout the independent stores. They may not have the ability to surface high up in a search, but they are typically the shops that carry the best stuff. I often find my favorite things, often things I thought were sold out, by going that extra step to search for them specifically. Build a list on IG of your favorite shops and regularly check them out.