Deputy Editor of GQ Discusses His Lessons Learned

Michael Hainey is a 14 year veteran of the famed men’s magazine and currently serves as the publication’s Deputy Editor. He is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller After Visiting Friends

We recently borrowed 5 minutes of his time to get his perspective on a couple of topics that inspire us here at PRSUIT.


What inspires you?

We recently borrowed 5 minutes of his time to get his perspective on a couple of topics that inspire us here at PRSUIT.


What inspires you?

I am always reading… whether it is books or articles. It is all about keeping one’s eye hungry. Especially as you keep getting older you need to be open to the new and need to keep seeking out the new in culture. You can walk down the same street for 20 years, but you don’t always see it in a fresh way every day. A lot of what inspires me is in nature. I live in the city but being around light and texture inspires me.  I am also inspired by creative people and looking at their ideas.

What makes a working man successful?

Working hard…outworking everyone.  Especially in NY you need to get in early and stay late. More so, in any creative business you have to develop ideas. In any creative business whether it be fashion, journalism, film or music, it runs on peoples’ ideas and creativity. Always keep that in mind. I have worked hard to think creatively and then generate and execute ideas.

What are some of the common denominators of the successful and driven people you interact with?

Everyone I know just works hard. If you look at the magazine and what we create here, the smallest detail is thought of and sweated over. You don’t take anything for granted and you don’t let anything be formulaic. You don’t let anything be unsurprising. You push yourself and whatever you are creating because the world is full of lazy people. Laziness is the death of creativity so you need to be very vigilant about everything you put together.

In last 20 years how has manliness or concepts of masculinity changed?

I think it has evolved. One generation evolves from the previous one but I think there exists a constant of masculinity within society… a great constant of what it means to be a man. For me it is integrity and honoring and standing by your word.

What is a piece of advice you wished someone would have told you when you were younger?

I would say to keep in mind that your reputation is formed the minute you walk in the door. Don’t ever think that people are not evaluating you.

How does one create a unique sense of style?

First, you don’t need money to do that. I grew up and was raised by a single parent and not a lot of money. The idea that money buys style is ridiculous. There are people who have great style and no money.

Money buys labels and labels don’t mean anything to you unless you have style and true style comes from just being yourself and having the confidence to do so. That is something that people need to learn.

Stylish people know who they are…Not just contemporaries of ours, but if you look to the past at an image that inspires you… I don’t think that person is walking around thinking I hope someone takes my picture…. I have great style. They are just like this is how I dress because I think it’s cool.

Part of the trouble now is people are too self-conscious about it all…you aren’t going to have style doing that. You are just going to look kind of manic. You need to give yourself room to let your style evolve and at the root of that is confidence. Feel comfortable in your skin and if you find yourself trying to be someone you are not, it is probably not going to look good on you.

Title Photo Credit: Flickr

Michael Hainey Photo Credit: GQ.com