1. How did you start with menswear? What was your first contact with classic menswear?
The story begins with a vain, fifteen-year-old boy whose physique could have been the template for one of Giacometti’s sculptures. His arms and legs are far too long. This boy trundles from store to store, trying to satisfy his aesthetic demands and find clothes that would fit. Impossible! It cannot go on like this. He buys books. Very old-school. He learns about Savile Row. He buys his first vintage suit on eBay and has it altered to fit him. From that day on, he tries to find his own style, inspired by the likes of James Bond, Prince Charles et al.
2. How do you normally put your outfit together?
I start with a look at my calendar and the weather forecast. What appointments do I have today? Is there an event in the evening? Will I be eating anything with tomato sauce today? After coming up with a battle plan, I reach for my tie. Starting from that point, I try to find the best mix of formality, colours, and textures, and make sure it works with the weather too!
3. Tips for starters?
Good style is all about authenticity. Authenticity is about being yourself. Before you can be yourself, you have to get to know yourself. Ideally, you will like the person you meet. Clothing should serve as a non-verbal amplifier of your being. From there, you have to learn what works for you. Mix and match and try things out.
Wait… Better tip for starters. Buy vintage clothing and accessories. You have a small budget, so you can’t afford to make mistakes. Buy the things you really want to have and make them last. Don’t buy trash.
4. How would you describe your style?
The colours and shapes of the 70s mixed with the formality and aesthetics of the 20s. My clothing is meant to work for me, not the other way around. So I don’t go for construction or fabrics that are too fussy.
5. Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your role models when it comes to style?
I think that film has had the greatest influence on me and my clothing style. The series “Brideshead Revisited” from the 80’s comes to mind. Apart from that, it can be anything that can inspire: a beautiful object, a well-furnished apartment, a painting, a novel, music, a drunken thought, an elegant woman, a shadow of a well-dressed gentleman…
In terms of role models, it can be anyone who strikes me as being authentic.
6. Which are your favourite brands at the moment and why?
I have a love for craftspeople who have a good eye. Even more so for a craftsperson who understands that their job is not just to make what the customer wants, but also to guide the customer into ordering what is right for them. In that context, I would name the last maker and shoe designer Mr Leonard Kahlcke from Frankfurt, Davide Taub, head cutter at Gieves & Hawkes, Joseph Morgan of Chittleborough & Morgan, and Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, creative director at Edward Sexton.
7. Do you have a favourite garment and is there a piece of clothing that you would never wear?
I have one particular vintage tie from that was just love at first sight. Never say never, but I’m afraid shorts and I won’t be friends. I just don’t have the legs for them.
5 quick questions
Your favourite Bond movie?
Goldeneye. I mean, how can you not love the race between an Aston Martin DB5 and a Ferrari 355 on the Côte d’Azur. A chilled bottle of Bollinger from the centre console on the house!
Your favourite shirt fabric?
Pastels – ideally yellow or lilac.
Your favourite shoe model?
The last shape is of utmost importance to me. Chiseled toe, high heel, short length. My long narrow feet should look short. If in doubt, either oxfords (with or without broguing) or full-strap penny loafers like Baron de Rede.
Break or no break?
Obviously full break. The wide trousers should visually shorten the long foot. Short trousers would be counterproductive.
DB or SB?
6-2 DB all day long. No other garment makes me feel quite so dressed. MM/DC