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Hook + Albert

Adam Schoenberg and Cory Wisenberg hadn't been in touch for more than ten years until the wedding.

After business school, the two college buds blossomed into corporate warriors - Adam in media and Cory in banking - and met again when they were both in a mutual friend's wedding party in Sweden.

One ceremony and five vodka and fantas later (yes really – apparently it's a Swedish thing...) the two fancily-socked groomsmen had vowed to quit their jobs and start a company together. A dress sock company.

This might not sound so outlandish now, but three and a half years ago pretty much the only other guy making party socks was Paul Smith. (Cory used to get around in women's hosiery as this was the only way he could get his hands on purple socks.)

These days, athletes, sports stars and every hipster men's fashion brand worth their tatts are on board the party sock bandwagon – but Hook + Albert is known as the most innovative of them all.

These guys weren't only the first to thread their brogues with coloured shoelaces, but also the first to bring fabric lapel flowers to market – a style trend that is only just taking off here.

The pair's speedy execution from concept to production hasn't been without its problems and their flamboyant designs have raised eyebrows – but the risks they've taken paid off. Unwittingly, these two have started some mega global trends.

Named after the hook and chain of a pocket watch, New York-based Hook + Albert is a company dedicated to fit, form and function - and nowhere is that clearer than in the design of their silky soft bombastic socks.

Aside from just looking pretty, Hook + Albert's socks are made from Peruvian cotton and are specifically designed to be durable, supportive and long-lasting. Adam says the lightbulb moment came when he was training for a triathlon.

“I bought a pair high-end athletic socks and they had arch support, padding, and specialised stitching and I thought: this makes no sense,” Adam has said. “My feet feel great, I just spent $40 on a sock that I wear for 40 minutes at most training, but I also spend $40 on a pair of dress socks that I wear for 13 hours a day.”

So the athletic socks were duly deconstructed and analysed from all angles. With help from their manufacturer (who is now “a close friend”) Adam and Cory were able to create soft, Peruvian cotton socks with tall he same features – as well as an extra strong calf band and customized hand-linked toe, thank you very much.

Adam and Cory are guys who see the value in caring about the way they look. Adam has always worked the boutonniere and Cory's socks were his sartorial passive rebellion in the banking world. They say that personal style is about being different in an authentic way - and their hand cut and hand starched lapel flowers, silky bright socks and neon waxed laces are a well-heeled step in that direction.

These subtle accessories have stolen the hearts of both New York's chi chi execs and their more straight-laced (and junior) counterparts – which perhaps explains why they've enjoyed such widespread success in the business world.  But I'd wager Adam and Cory aren't too fussed about who wears their wares.

“We just want to be the guys that give you the little sprinkle of something that's different.”

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