“If you look back at my trajectory, I’ve always sort of said, like, ‘Yeah, why not?’” said Mr. Newbold, sitting in the deserted lobby of the Mercer Hotel on a recent Tuesday morning. Dressed in an army jacket, a sweatshirt that read “When We All Vote” (a collaboration between Mr. Jacobs and Dover Street Market), jeans and Vans, he brought his French bulldog Charlie, as well as two extra coffees, just in case someone else wanted one.
His path from civilian in New Hope, Pa. with no connection to or intention of a life in fashion, to the nexus of its star power and influence, was almost absurdly aimless. A self-professed autodidact and jack-of-all-trades, Mr. Newbold will “watch tutorials on YouTube and waste two days figuring out how to do something.”
He came to Mr. Jacobs by way of Christy Turlington Burns and her husband, Edward Burns, who hired him as their personal assistant in 2009 on the recommendation of their former nanny, a family friend of Mr. Newbold.
He ended up traveling the world with Ms. Turlington Burns, helping with her charity, Every Mother Counts, and accompanying her on marathons and shoots when she modeled. “He’s hardly a bodyguard, but he feels like someone who has your back,” she said in a phone interview. “Not in a gatekeeper way, in the most gentle, respectful way. He sort of just sets the tone.”
Before this, Mr. Newbold held a series of odd jobs: some public relations, a babysitting gig, designing a line of neckties, tiling Dunkin’ Donuts on a construction gig. He hated high school but said he had perfect attendance. He didn’t want to go to college but spent three years at Bates College before transferring to George Washington University for a woman.
He never wanted to live in a city, but here he is — 15 years in New York. “I’m a super-solitary person,” he said. “I’m alone all the time. I don’t like going out. Never have.”