Daddy-O 2000

By Tk Published on .

Jeff Griffith is a widely traveled freelance CD/AD who presently works at Doremus in New York, on accounts like and But he's really an old-media guy at heart. In fact, Griffith is such a stylistic throwback, in 1999 he and co-publisher Leslie Rosenberg launched a quarterly magazine called Atomic: The Essential Guide to Retro Culture - available at classy joints like Borders, Barnes & Noble and Tower Records.

For Griffith, the blast from the past runs a fashion gamut from the late '20s to the early '60s. "That innocent age prior to JFK's assassination," he explains with a nostalgic sigh. Atomic's polished pages, brimming with great photography and dames in dishabille, are smartly designed by Griffith himself. Features like "Build a Real Tiki Bar," and "Collecting and Caring for Vintage Ties" will keep your lifestyle hummin' like a Hudson.

But how could a guy who's only 35 be such a, um, hepcat? "I started swing dancing two years ago, which is when I really started thinking more about all this, but I've always been fascinated by fashions of the past," he says. "For example, I've always preferred to use vintage typefaces whenever possible." As for his de ri-gueur rug-cutting, "I used to dance seven nights a week, but lately I've slacked off a bit," he admits. His girlfriend is as retro as he is, he says, and in fact he met her at a dance. But this affectation is not just about hoofin' it with swell skirts. Griffith walks the walk - all the way to the office. At work, he wears fedoras, zoot suits, spats or two-tone shoes and, naturally, vintage ties. "People always comment on my clothes, but they don't think I'm a weirdo," he says. "At least not that I know of. But retro isn't my whole life," he's quick to add. "I don't have a totally retro apartment, for instance."

Maybe that's a good thing. Isn't retro already a moldy fig? "Yes, the retro scene is nothing new - no pun intended," Griffith laughs. "But it's not fading; people will forever love Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Swing revival bands like the Cherry Poppin' Daddies may be on the wane, but Tony Bennett is still kickin'."

Anyway, Griffith also likes the Foo Fighters. "They have a nice beat, but I can't dance to them," he complains.

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