My Style: Ariel Stark-Benz

Portrait of Ariel Stark-Benz

Portrait: William Yan — Courtesy of Ariel Stark-Benz

The three essential things a man should know about style are…

You can't polish a turd. Don’t overuse cologne. Stick to the classics.

Please describe your style in three words.

Just did it.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Worrying about how they will be perceived by others.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes!

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cotton jersey (t-shirts), denim (jeans), and canvas (shoes).

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Unsubtle matching.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Tokyo or London.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I rely on instinct and I don’t overthink things.

Celebrities and style...

Need a comeback. Bring back the glamour and the mystique.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Light jackets.

A man should always look like…

He has restraint (self control).

Who taught you what you know about style?

No one taught me per se (though I could probably credit a few friends I've taken cues from over the years)…I've always been drawn to a certain energy (cultures, movements) that have inspired me.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I just start imagining what I want to wear, and then I search for it.

What is your biggest regret?

I try not to live in the past. Plus, I have nothing to regret, only things to work on.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I try to figure out what I need to get rid of in order to make space.

We will never see you wearing...

Hair gel.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I think I'm considered conservative by fashion people, but bold by everyone else; I feel like I'm neither. I never feel adventurous when I'm trying out something one might consider bold for the first time; it rather feels like a gesture of humour. The idea of trying to be noticed is quite novel for me. Boldness seems, in no small part, to be about getting attention.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Adam Bainbridge (also known as Kindness).

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His shoes.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

The music video for Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Études; their approach to a rather casual-type wear feels quite unique and original. It almost feels more like styling than fashion. I think I generally prefer that in things that I buy. Bianca Chandon; they are hardly fashion designers, but what they are doing for skateboarding on a cultural level is really refreshing. I also like Palace (I'm really into skate-gear currently), and their fusion of 90’s UK style into skateboarding.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is…

His shoes? I don’t know if I'd qualify just one thing.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My favourite jeans and tees, and my Chuck Taylors.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not when they work together!

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Comme des Garçons.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Adam Katz Sinding, Jarrett Reynolds and Andi Bakos.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Everything is going to be all right.

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