The Man: Irving was born downtown in the 80s, a time and place full of creative expression, a passion for literature, and fancy 11 piece suits. I’m talking about the 1780s, of course. He was named after the Original General himself, George Washington. In 1798, like everyone in their 30’s, he moved out of the city and into Westchester. But don’t worry, he later moved back to the city. Just below Gramercy Park is the beautiful street known as “Irving Place.”
The Myth: Diedrich Knickerbocker is missing! Irving is the father of today’s viral marketing campaigns. Before publishing his first major book under the pseudonym “Diedrich Knickerbocker,” he plastered fliers all over the city claiming Mr. Knickerbocker, who was said to be a Dutch historian staying in a New York hotel, had gone missing. He also posted a notice said to be from the hotel’s owner stating that if that freeloading Knickerbocker didn’t return to pay his bill, he would publish a manuscript he left behind. Like we all were with the color of the dress, Kony 2012, and the screaming goat, the people of the time obsessed over Mr. Knickerbocker’s disappearance. So much so that the book received enormous success upon its release. Well played, Mr. Knickerbocker.
The Legend (of Sleepy Hollow): We have all heard of the headless horseman, the spooky, ghost-ridden town known as Tarry Town, and of course, the superstitious Yankee, Ichabod Crane. You can thank Mr. Irving for all of it. He couldn’t write ghost stories about the city because that would just be unrealistic. There are no ghosts in Manhattan, mostly because rent control doesn’t exist in the paranormal world, so rent is out of control. Separately, I actually heard Irving even had a strong rap career for a while until Aaron Burr released a harsh diss track, ultimately ending his career and forcing him to stick to books.
Irving was a sophisticated, professional man, and was often found in those old-timey suits with the ruffles and the vests and what not. If he were still around today, he’d live in his namesake home on the corner of 17th and Irving, always sporting the professional, handcrafted Irving Bag. Just like Washington himself, our Irving bag exudes that stylish, reformed, professional look you’ll need when you’re presenting your novel to publishers under the pseudonym, “Handsome Successfulman.”