Q: Do you believe in role models?
Keep your eye on people whose charisma appeals to you. Examine how they carry themselves. Even try on some of their mannerisms for size. But know at the end of the day that it’s better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else. We all have within us something unique that is worth bringing forward.
Q: Please describe your style in three words.
Charisma before clothes.
Q: What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
Getting frustrated. Whipping yourself into a huff almost guarantees you’ll be walking down the street an hour later feeling uncomfortable with what you’re wearing. The calmer you are, the easier it is to allow your imagination and intuition to dress you.
Q: What are your favourite fabrics?
In the summer, sleeping with a silk down comforter is a great luxury; it keeps you cool. When it’s snowing outside in the winter, there’s nothing better than cozying up to a guy in a thick cashmere sweater.
Q: Are there any style combinations that you object to?
Q: Which city has the best-dressed men?
Parisians for their insouciance. Tokyoites for their originality.
Q: Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
I’d like people from all walks of life to feel at ease with me, so I tend to dress conservatively. My personality is already bold; wearing leather leggings or neon jackets would be gilding the lily.
Q: What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?
Do not walk out the door if you feel uncomfortable with what you’re wearing.
Q: Celebrities and style…
Is a smart match. Through risk-taking in style, celebrities have the power to introduce new ways of expressing oneself. As celebrities take risks, they unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Q: One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
Fruit of the Loom white V-neck tees.
Q: A man should always look like…
He’s comfortable in his own skin.
Q: Who taught you what you know about style?
My grandmother taught me nonchalance, my mother taught me eclecticism, my father taught me luxury, my brother taught me utility, and my sister taught me grace: how to pull it all together.
Q: What is your biggest regret?
No regrets. Just love.
Q: The three essential things a man should know about style are…
Your jacket should be unbuttoned only when sitting. Poor oral hygiene undermines one’s health and relationships. If you don’t have gorgeous feet, you needn’t showcase them.
Q: Do you have any shopping rituals?
I wear headphones when I’d like to browse without interference from salespeople.
Q: We will never see you wearing…
Sunglasses, unless the sun is very strong, because they make me feel disconnected. If I don’t want to be bothered, I wear a hat low.
Q: The most stylish person you have ever seen…
I saw Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie Onassis, strolling along one afternoon on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She is a tiny woman in her 70s and she was wearing a sharp leather bomber jacket with her hair perfectly coiffed. I’d never seen a woman of her age look so fashionable, yet so poised. It was a lesson for me in grace, in having your style be a part of the way you move — a natural extension of yourself. And that’s what makes style so exciting, that an elderly woman can serve as inspiration for a guy in his 20s.
Q: What is the first thing you notice on a man?
His strength; whether or not he is able to be both confident and kind-hearted.
Q: The one image that defined your approach to style…
Brad Pitt in the ballet studio scene in Benjamin Button.
Q: Which new designers do you follow and why?
The Elder Statesman is on to something with their raw, rustic luxury.
Q: What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
The things I wear most often: a chambray J. Crew shirt; a white Michael Bastian Oxford shirt I’ve had since college; Levi’s 511 pants; and a Patek Philippe watch, my graduation gift.
Q: Is comfort an enemy of style?
Comfort is the mother of style. Comfort asks, “Does this feel right to you? Does it meet your needs and make you feel like more of yourself?”
Q: Which designer never fails to impress you?
Q: Who would you like to see next in “My Style”?
Some stylish friends: Carlos Souza, Nate Berkus, Natalie Joos, and Pia Arrobio.
Q: The best words of advice you have ever heard?
“A cultivated style would be like a mask. Everybody knows it’s a mask, and sooner or later you must show yourself — or at least, you show yourself as someone who could not afford to show himself, and so created something to hide behind. You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself; your style is an emanation from your own being.” — Katharine Anne Porter