Meet Ruben (Ben) Luna. Don’t know him yet? You should. He currently owns one of Grad Hospital’s latest boutiques, a concept shop called Workshop Underground. But this New York expat has lived many lives before this, from the stodgy finance industry and the watch world to – perhaps most interestingly – a stint as the head of product design at the Met. (So yeah, he’s worked with Anna Wintour.)
I chatted with Luna and got him to spill on some of his favorite things: summer’s best rosé, the coolest buys in his shop, the most delicious chocolate ever and more. Oh, and we got the dish on what it’s really like working with fashion’s most powerful force.
“I started collecting watches (pictured above) when I was a kid. I worked in the watch industry for a while at Movado Group, and I have a few of my personal watches on display in-store. When there’s a serious collector, I’ll schedule an appointment and take a broader assortment out of my safe-deposit box.
“I wake up around 6:30 a.m. I hate the jarring sound of an alarm clock, so I use a sunrise simulator, which is a timer for your lamp that brightens gradually. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, but now I even take it with me when I travel.
“Once every two weeks, I go to Six Fishes Acupuncture on 15th and Fitzwater to relax and revive. It was the first mail-order Chinese herb dispensary in the U.S.
“I use Molton Brown 4-in-1 Sportswash (pictured above) after a workout at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue. It’s a time-saver. And I go to Barbershop Denim on South Street for a great haircut in a stylish man-cave. I don’t think the owner, Chris Cahill, realizes how great he is. It’s an insider secret.
“Muchomas chocolate (pictured above) is the most incredible chocolate I’ve tasted. It’s a single-origin bean-to-bar concept that was started in Philly in 2014; the beans are from Nicaragua. You can only get it at Franklin Fountain and online.
“I worked at the Met as the head of product design. I got the chance to work directly with Anna Wintour, who has the utmost level of style. She was always aware of every detail, so of course it was a little nerve-wracking. Once, I was told that if there was a meeting scheduled for 7:30am, I should show up at 6:30am because Anna might show up at 7am.
“I carry two exclusive lines, Clark & Madison and Future Glory bags (pictured above). I love the brass ring handles of the Future Glory bags, and Clark & Madison is a pretty new company out of California. Really great stuff.
“For breakfast, I like going to Little Spoon Café (pictured above), especially for their daily egg scramble.
“Ps & Qs is my favorite men’s store. It’s incredibly well designed and has a careful selection of men’s must-haves.