Jack Carlson is the Founder & Creative Director at Rowing Blazers, a youthful, irreverent menswear label based in New York. In 2018, Rowing Blazers closed a $2.6 million seed round while earning high-profile features in The New York Times, Highsnobiety, Hypebeast, Forbes, and GQ. Jack is as a three-time member of the U.S. national rowing team, holds degrees from Oxford and Georgetown, and authored the acclaimed book Rowing Blazers.
On the first hour of his day. My morning starts in one of two ways. One, I run five miles on the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson with a friend or with my music, then have a Gatorade in the shower while practicing for karaoke. Two, I get straight into the shower with my iPhone and check the five most pressing things off my list for the morning from there! I get dressed, give my girlfriend a kiss (she’s usually still snoozing), and walk up past the World Trade Center to Edward’s Cafe in Tribeca where I’ll have breakfast and start tackling emails or creative projects.
On community & authenticity. People like things that are real. That have authenticity. There is universal respect for that regardless of personal taste or sensibility. The proof is in our community: if you come to one of our parties, or come in on a Saturday afternoon, there will be kids coming from Supreme and old guys who drove in from Greenwich. Families, preppies, punks, young, old. And we’re not doing anything crazy. We’re just being real. We make sure we're genuine about everything we do.
On his life’s motto. “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.” I shall either find a way or make one. Erroneously attributed to the Carthaginian general Hannibal with reference to his Alpine traverse with elephant cavalry.
On his fitness regimen. Honestly, I struggle to find balance. When I was on the national team, I struggled to stay on weight. I often ate one real meal per day and could spend five or six hours per day on the bike or rowing machine. Now I go through stretches where I’m only working out once a week, and it doesn’t feel good.
I go through stretches where I’m fanatical and working out twice a day every day, and I’m burning the candle at both ends. What works for me - and is sustainable with the entrepreneur lifestyle - is working out 4-5 times a week, with a mix of weights and running, and making sure I get enough sleep.
On all-nighters. I used to pull an all-nighter once a week. It’s something I’ve done since college, all through graduate school (religiously in grad school). No more. Why? They’re just not healthy, and they make one’s days a fog.
On his evolving sleep routine. It's still not ideal. I usually get around six hours per night. I’m getting better about just making myself go to bed if I’m tired and worrying less about staying out, working into the night, etc. I usually have one day a week where I get eight, and one day a week when I get four. But I’m trending in the right direction and having more productive days as a result.
— Jack Carlson, Founder & Creative Director at Rowing Blazers