Parlor Talk: Revival of the Rat Pack
You have undoubtably seen the look before. Confident, stylish and commanding. The man that stick out in a crowd; the one girls go gaga for and the one you secretly admire. This is the hallmark of the Rat Pack; an era of America that is forged in history, the Rat Pack was a time when sophisticated suits and bold men dominated the headlines. They were the envy of all the men and the dreams of all the women. With the return of the Rat Pack mentality in the modern age, it pays to know where it started and some of its biggest players.
The Rat Pack was more than just a group; it was a defining moment for men. Some of the most talented actors in the business made up the powerhouse gang. The most prominent of these members was Frank Sinatra, commonly known as the group’s leader. Other members included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. These guys dominated the hollywood scene in the 1950s and 60s. The entertainment giants were a force to be reckoned with and other notable characters, like Judy Garland, bolstered their ranks as time went on.
The group was characterized by an attitude of defiance and self-governance. At a time when directors and producers controlled the actors, the Rat Pack threw the script back if they did not like it. A sort of union of its own, the group looked out for one another in the entertainment business while gaining their own voices in their careers. A hallmark of the Rat Pack was the ability to choose your own direction. They took orders from no one; they only gave them.
In addition to the group's attitude, it also held its own lifestyle. The strong, independent gentleman that permeated the Rat Pack drew people in to see the “coolest cats in the universe.” Their sense of fashion and penchant for lavish parties were known around the country. Performing in Vegas brought them a new height of stardom which they used to live opulent lifestyles driven by convertibles and a strong sense of self.
The Rat Pack era ended long ago, but their influence lives on, even to this day. Sean P. Diddy Combes was a household name during the 90s and his music characterized a generation. As the decade ended, his sense of style and attitude morphed into something reminiscent of the legends of the 60s. The high class fashion that was epitomized in his Cîroc vodka ads solidified his metamorphosis into the spiritual successor of the Rat Pack. Now a business man owning television stations and clothing lines, Diddy is the spitting image of the Rat Pack character at a net worth of $750 million.
Another embodiment of the Rat Pack is mogul Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. Owner of Roc Nation and a suave gentleman in his own right; Jay-Z is a self-starter who built his empire off the back of his talent and business savvy. Husband of Beyoncé Knowles – herself an icon of the current generation – Jay harkens back to Sinatra himself in his self-ownership. Jay-Z clawed his way up from the bottom; coming from Brooklyn projects, he now owns multiple businesses, tours the globe as an artist, and watches NBA games courtside. Jay-Z is another man who has taken on the mantle of the Rat Pack: own yourself and do it with style.
The transition into the resurgence of the Rat Pack did not happen overnight; there are some pretty prominent markers. One great example is the movie Hitch, a classic for young millennial men everywhere. In case you live under a rock, the movie stars Will Smith as Alex Hitcherson, a dating consultant. Hitch works as a “doctor love” so to speak, helping men get the girl. Throughout the movie, he consults with a man and helps him be bolder, stylish and ultimately more attractive to the woman he is pursuing. They know what they want and they go and get it. Strong, daring and respectful: Hitch embodied the Rat Pack man in the modern age.
Millennial men are being exposed to the time of a bygone age. We are seeing the return of the daring and fashionable man that dominated the 50s and 60s. Men like Jay-Z and P. Diddy represent this era to the men of today. With these moguls leading the way and entertainment like Hitch to paint a current day vibe on a throwback lifestyle, the Rat Pack is back and it is here to stay.