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Joe Manganiello, Chris Bauer, AnnaLynne McCord and more turn out for Joseph Abboud's first watch collection

June 17, 2011 |  6:26 pm

JoeManganiello_JAwatchlaunch1 
The Sunset Tower terrace overflowed Thursday night with dry-ice cocktails, live music by Hugo and a celebrity presence that would make hearts throb for the launch of Joseph Abboud’s first ever collection of premiere watches, which will come out this fall.

JoeManganiello_BernardoRojo_JAWatchLaunch2 Bernardo Rojo, who was promoted to creative director in 2010, believed it was time to introduce the accessory to complete the brand. “The same way you need shoes and a tie to complete a suit, I think the ultimate completion of your look also includes a watch,” he said.
 
Rojo made it clear that he designs for the international man. “When I go to Paris or Milan I sometimes walk around and look at what people are wearing and I realize that I could be anywhere. The fashion world has become somewhat flat,” he said. “For example, guys in Milan are walking into Abercrombie and walking out looking like Americans.”  To fit in with his belief that style has become borderless to a certain extent, he has created a look that he believes suits any man anywhere in the world.
 
As for who that international man might be, one person came to mind for Rojo: Joe Manganiello. “Joe has masculinity and sex appeal and not in a stereotypical way,” he said. “He’s the man who exudes a personal sense of style and doesn’t necessarily rely on high fashion for it.” 
 
Manganiello, dressed in Abboud, of course, was thrilled to be that man. “Basically Joseph Abboud turned a guy who wore three suits into…my closet now looks like 'Goodfellas,' ” said Manganiello, who was mingling with fellow "True Blood" cast mate Chris Bauer. And he didn’t deny that his favorite part of the suit was the stitching of his name on the inside pocket.  
 
Rojo, though thrilled to add a new element to his collection, said it was most important that the watches fit into his ethos of affordable luxury. The watches are priced under $500 and can be worn with “a tuxedo or jeans and a T-shirt,” he said.  
 
Speaking of jeans and T-shirts, Rojo was sporting white YSL jeans with his Joseph Abboud shirt and jacket.  “Everything else I am wearing is Joseph Abboud, but I wanted to wear white jeans and Abboud doesn’t have white jeans, so I chose my favorite. I don’t expect my customers to wear everything from Joseph Abboud either. Sometimes they have one piece that’s their favorite and that becomes part of their personality. And I love that,” he said.
 
The celebrities mingling about included Ryan Phillippe, David Arquette, Kevin Jonas, Nelsan Ellis, AnnaLynne McCord, Colton Haynes, Amber Rose, Trevor Donovan and DJ Samantha Ronson, Ben Silverman and Charlie Walk.

--Raha Lewis
Photo: Top, Joe Manganiello with some of the new Joseph Abboud watches. Left, Manganiello with  creative director Bernardo Rojo. Credit: Seth Browarnik/WorldRedeye.com

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