The first in a series on buying custom suits, I settled on Hong Kong known for its quick turnaround.  I flew on American Airlines with the routing DCA-DFW-HKG  777 flight AA137 out and turnaround on AA138.  A Harbour View room at the Sheraton in Kowloon was a quick and reasonable pick I was familiar with from my days at Mattel.

Of course, I came to Hong Kong to research the custom tailor market.  Now only to find a tailor. Just walk down Nathan Road and they will find you. Apparently I had neon lights across my forehead, because I couldn’t walk 20 steps without some industrious business development guy putting his card in my face, offering to make me a suit.  On my first pass, I took many of their cards, and tried to make mental notes on the approach and presentation of the sales person. If they were too pushy, forget about it.  If they were not at least dressed neatly, no need to talk further.

So I settled on one and I take the walk down a side street in the wake of this excited salesman, into a nondescript building.  I met the tailor exchange pleasantries and get to business.  I was drawn to this beautiful cashmere fabric — an iridescent blue/green with pattern. I was excited, but I notice that there is not enough fabric on the bolt to make a suit as it take 3 1/2 to 4 yards to make a man’s suit.  But the tailor assured me that he has more at another locale.

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I got into the details that I want in the suit: hand stitched canvas, functioning button holes on sleeves, buttonhole on my slightly peaked lapel, details on the width of my pant leg, size of cuff, etc.

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Everything was good and no problems.  We plan to do a fitting at my hotel later that evening.  So I pay my 50% deposit and off I go.

Just before the scheduled fitting I get a WhatsApp saying that there is not enough fabric to make a suit. I needed to come in to choose another.  My initial reaction was to cancel, but how can I go to Hong Kong and not get a suit made, right. So I went in and chose another fabric.  A glen plaid with an interesting color combo. Also cashmere. We set another fitting time for late that night.

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They came to my hotel for the fitting.  I finally met the real tailor, the first guy just took my measurements.  He made a few minor modifications and off they go with the promise, “the suit will be ready tomorrow at 11:00 am,” just in time for me to take a car to the airport for my 1:40 pm flight home.

11:00 am comes and goes, so I called to confirm.  They made it by 11:20 am and I try the suit on.  The jacket fit well, but the pants were too short, so I left the pant, took the jacket and rushed down to take my waiting car to HKG.

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It wasn’t until I returned home that I really took a look at the details on the suit.  For example, no button holes on the sleeves, which aren’t functional.

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Other than fitting well, none of the details that I requested were included.  The moment I noticed, I called the shop to alert them. Not much in the way of a response, other than to request the balance before the pant is shipped. Unacceptable, so as of this posting I only have jacket with no details.

Stay tuned to see how this gets resolved.  Hopefully this helps a few of you in the future.

It’s the combination of sharp tailoring with quirky and vibrant prints that Agi and Sam use to create the kind of dapper eclecticism which seems most at home in London. There is absolutely no doubt that Agi and Sam is a label for the modern day gentleman with a funky personality.

An SS14 look from Agi and Sam.

An SS14 look from Agi and Sam.

Their complementary backgrounds, Agi studied fashion design, while Sam illustration, helped them to establish a bond from the moment they met in the Alexander McQueen studio. Three shows later and they were already nominated for the British Fashion Awards further holding the attention of the British Fashion Industry. Four seasons later and they are well on their way to becoming a British Institution.

Although the London fashion industry have their ears pricked, it’s thanks to their consumer awareness that has helped Agi and Sam to gain the attention of the mainstream.

Their collection “The Owls” released for Topman earlier this year, managed to successfully bring their sense of humour to the masses. While still being true to their tailoring roots, the collection has a strong focus on sportswear.

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“The Owls”-by Agi and Sam, a collection for Top Man.

This consumer awareness is also present in the casting of their AW13 as well as their recent SS14 show. While watching the varied men and boys walking down the catwalk, each outfit became more than just a trend; Agi and Sam developed characters, demonstrating the ability to suit anyone with the right attitude and the sense of humour. Robert Johnson, associate editor of GQ points out, “They’re good at making clothes that people want to wear, as well as knowing what makes a good picture, which is the ultimate catwalk success.”

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One of the simpler outfits of the SS14 collection is this turquoise Blazer. Simple yet statement with a slender forgiving cut.

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Another great outfit from SS14 is their dark printed suit. It remains subtle because of the monochromatic pallet but the detail of the print makes an exciting and unique change to an otherwise classic look.

Agi and Sam dark printed suit.

Agi and Sam dark printed suit.

Agi and Sam are currently stocked in Liberty, Harvey Nichols, Mr Porter, Machine-A and Topman within the UK but are also available internationally in Nightvision Singapore, D-Mop in Hong Kong, The Foundary in Los Angelas and Amna in Saudi.

Posted by Emma Pulbrook.

 

Sometimes in order to write a good fashion story – you need help, so I had asked my friend Qi from BFIT (Beijing Fashion Institute of Technology) to join me when we obtained an invitation from the Karl Lagerfeld press office to come and visit the new store on the Boulevard St Germain – a visit organized in advance to be able to write a blog article.

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She showed up in a skimpy white Chloe dress, with Coco Chanel jewelry, and most importantly in ROCK CHIC gold studded noire Roman sandals, which, unbeknownst to me at the point when we first entered the store, is actually the ‘style préféré’ – the preferred style – at the Karl Lagerfeld store.  And not just for women.  This style apparently works for men too!  As a matter of fact ROCK CHIC proves to work well for both men and women and for women and men.

To summarize ROCK CHIC think of Glam & Rock in black and white and 50 shades of grey but without the platforms; throw in some Neo-Punk but without the vulgarity; then have ROCK CHIC launched at you at warp speed haute-couture in the form of ‘accessible’ luxury.  Et voila! You will have a VERY DAFT punk experience which can be instantly and virtually tailored & communicated directly TO THE PUBLIC so as to immediately gratify your own material AND virtual needs:  In style ROCK CHIC, at Karl Lagerfeld’s, your fashion, your fetish, your style will can be instantly tweeted on Twitter, fashioned on Facebook, and tubed on Youtube – while you still think you are shopping, whereas in reality you have now entered the Twilight Zone of REAL time and your new style ROCK CHIC is already streaming LIVE unto a larger audience.   Expect an interview with the Vampire.

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At Karl Lagerfeld’s your identity will not only be personalized (as at let’s say chez Louis Vuitton or chez Yves Saint Laurent) or enhanced by style (as with most other brands), NO SIR, at Karl’s in Paris you will have the singular opportunity to actually BECOME THE BRAND and you may find yourself with a feeling of vertigo when your identity takes a hit, when it starts to drift, and when it even may be starting to SHIFT.  Visiting Karl’s is a remarkable & highly recommended experience which takes the whole notion of what constitutes ‘shopping’ to what is most probably the next level in branding, concept, & design in fashion.

Essentially the consumer is integrated directly into the concept store through a POST ROCK experience at Karl Lagerfeld’s in the same way & fashion Damien Hirst integrates visitors coming to a museum into a POST MODERN ART display:  for example, it’s the man watching the Shark in Formaldehyde inside the large fish-tank who has become part of the exhibit AND the OBJECT of the art at large, rather than just a passive visitor.  In similar mode & fashion, at Karl’s you will become part of the act.

Thus the Karl Lagerfeld store – painted black – offers an outstanding CHIC ROCK ‘experience’ and is located on the Boulevard St Germain on a rather famous ‘coin de la rue’ – street corner – where you will also find the Café de Flore, the Restaurant Les Deux Magots, and the Brasserie Lipp, all of which were once the décor & setting of various movie & photo shoots, as well as the well-known venue of dark conversations between existentialist Rive Gauche philosophers from bygone years.

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Film Noir, Café Noir, Noir Coeur, existentialist conversations – you get the drift –, is right here, on the Boulevard of Paint-It-Black, that in recent years ago a large invasion took place by high-end luxury and fashion concept stores – some of them, most of them, actually PAINTED BLACK.  The corner store is Armani – in black (even has a restaurant – in black).  A little bit down the road you there is The Kooples – in black.  Not far on the same side of the Boulevard there is Sonia Rykiel – again in black.  Donna Karan & Calvin Klein must be dying to get in on the action here!  Halfway across the street from Karl, there sits the grand Paris flagship store of Polo Ralph Lauren – the only store NOT in black, but which has its own interior court & restaurant – as the Fashion Anchor on the block.  And then when you skip halfway across the street to Karl’s, the image of Mr Lagerfeld himself in his famous sun glasses holding his even more famous cat Choupette, appears in the window.

We were received very kindly by two young and expert staff members at the Karl Lagerfeld store, who clearly explained to us all the concept, design, and fashion of ROCK CHIC and how the style offers the opportunity to be appealing for men as well as for women.  The store, small from the outside, has a large interior with two floors, which is greatly enhanced by its POST ROCK atmosphere by means of superior branding and design:  Prepare to imagine yourself on the movie set of the latest Ridley Scott Sci-Fi movie.  There is a grand staircase to the first floor where there are two different rooms with clothing for men.

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All items are luxury products but the concept is that all luxury in the store is not only designed to fit your personal CHIC ROCK style but that it is also ‘ACCESSIBLE ‘.  In other words, where at other brands you would pay the price according to not only luxury, but also the brand name, at Karl Lagerfeld your luxury – AND the quality, AND the name – basically becomes affordable – even if you are just simply holding a single steady job in today’s down economy.  At Karl’s, ROCK CHIC – in all its luxury hues of black and white – becomes available to you.

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Integrated into the visual merchandising on both floors and into the larger concept of the store you will find technology.   Well, this is nothing new you probably will say, as many other concept fashion stores are nowadays using large flat screens, advanced audio, and high tech modeling displays (Benetton, Armani, Dolce & Gabana, etc.) – among other gadgets, which are then fully integrated into the store concept & the interior design, but at Karl’s they are taking technology one leap further:  Each display has its own IPAD which allows you to not only take an immediate look into the full virtual catalog of items, prices, and sizes available at the present time of the item you are currently admiring, but the devices also allow you to immediately tweet, youtube, email and book whatever you admire directly into the cloud, so that all your virtual needs are being taken care of AND gratified instantly.

This process was dubbed & branded KAPTURE KREATE & POST for at the larger IPADS in the store, and the ones inside the beautifully crafted & designed changing cabins, it is possible to take instant snapshots & photos of whatever you are trying on in whichever pose you feel like attempting at the given time.  So aye, now you can immediately and instantaneously youtube, book, email or tweet yourself together with your chosen ROCK CHIC item, tailored to accessible luxury perfection, directly into cyberspace.  And by doing so, THIS is where YOU become part of the store, part of the concept, and perhaps even part of the design.

Back on the ground floor at Karl’s you will then find leather bags, wallets, belts, watches, and different types of shoes & boots, and all the other accessories that luxury goods stores carry and when we descended there, it prompted and begged the question as to which items were for men and which items were for women.  The staff proved to be more than knowledgeable in their answer, and they proved to be as smart as that they were smartly dressed ROCK CHIC, because ROCK CHIC accessory items were explained to us as available for BOTH for men AND for women at the same time.

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Larger watches are carried by both men and women today.  Handbags, wallets & pocketbooks – studs & decorations all – are carried by both men and women these days.  The same goes for scarfs, sun glasses, and many other accessories.  In short everything which does not need a specific size for a man or a woman can be shared universally among men and women in a style of most androgynous ROCK CHIC fashion.   The concept was introduced to us very well and I was allowed to try a ROCK CHIC black silver studded handbag under my arm even though I had walked into the store in traditional cowboy boots, a fedora, and a conservative pin-striped black jacket.

We were then asked to sit down and relax in a large & hairy black velvet lounge fauteuil (armchair) and they served us an excellent black espresso from a white cup.  And as we sipped espresso they took pictures of us posing with a ROCK CHIC item on one of the larger IPADS, while simultaneously displaying the latest collections of the item directly from the IPAD by fingertip-flip straight onto the wall-sized fashion modeling multi-screen (four screens integrated) behind us, the only thing missing and not yet ‘mise-en-scène’ was perhaps our own real-time image together with the ROCK CHIC item flashed over to the multi-screen as integrated part of the collection.  Who knows what the future will hold? Yet, regardless and in spite of ourselves, we had become an integrated part of the concept & the design of the Karl Lagerfeld store.

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So when next time you visit Paris and YOU are sitting in the black velvet chair chez Karl trying a ROCK CHIC item, maybe allow your mind to wander a bit, and perhaps that you will imagine DAFT PUNK – helmets on and all – to come walking into the store at that very moment, or maybe Billy Idol, or Gene Simmons, or Flash Gordon, or perhaps even Mr. Lagerfeld himself with Choupette in his arms.  Not so far-fetched maybe as you are now rapidly moving BACK TO THE FUTURE …

Posted by: Sandro

* The Karl Lagerfeld store in Paris is on Boulevard St Germain.  There is a smaller version in the Marais and other stores are (will be) located in Berlin, LA, and Hong Kong.  Visit Karl Lagerfeld on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

It’s the summer of fashion and SOPOPULAR had a fantastic menswear collection at MBFW Berlin.  The main goal of SOPOPULAR is to come up with consistent, contemporary and stylish male fashions in an ever changing fashion world.

The designer, Daniel Blechman, explains that his designs are a mixture of London (trendy and cool) and Berlin (edgy and rough).

That is basically what the SS14 SOPOPULAR collection is all about.  Pragmatic and slim, the collection shows us straight lines and expert tailoring, with a basic color scheme far from bright.  The occasional zipper, button, drawstring or pattern adds some edge to a sleek silhouette.  Really only black, white and grey are featured, which has been noted as a trend for next spring as many designers are returning to basics and running from brights.

You can buy SOPOPULAR online or at shops throughout Germany, in Vienna, Hong Kong, and Zurich.

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All images by Juan Felipe courtesy of C-heads.com

Posted by: Lori Zaino

Qasimi, named for designer Khalid Al Qasimi, actually began as a designer for womenswear, and then switched over to making menswear. He debuted his first menswear line at Paris Menswear Week in 2009 and womenswear has been on hold ever since. His collections are now a permanent fixture at Paris Menswear Week every spring and fall.

Al Qasimi was born in United Arab Emirates but then moved to the United Kingdom at age 9. His multicultural background and upbringing led him to base his designs on architecture, art, and even socio-politcal issues.

His designs are dramatic and streamlined, and his recent collection featured leather and shearling fabrics. Volume also plays a big part in Qaisimi´s designs and he usually throws a bright color into his spring collections.

Now his clothes are available in various countries around the world, for example, Russia, China, and South Korea to name a few.

You can view more of his most recent collections and find more information at the Oasimi website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

These three looks are from his Fall 2013 collection and runway show.

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runway show

These next two looks are from his current spring collection runway show.

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Photos from designer´s the Website and Facebook page.

Posted by: Lori

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Miharayasuhiro is a muted, monochomatic and overall, distinctly modern brand created by designer Miharaya Yasuhiro.

Miharaya Yasuhiro began designing footwear in Japan in 1994. In 1998 his first store was launched in Tokyo and by 1999 he had decided to expand into mens clothing and accessories. In 2000 he collaborated with Puma to create a funky line of sneakers and sports clothes, ¨The Black Line¨ which featured fur, studs and metallic on the shoes and clothing. In 2004, his success continued with fashion shows in Milan and eventually in Paris.

He´s been chosen by menstyle.com as one of the Top Mens Designers and he´s collaborated with not only Puma but also Husam el Odeh and Tasaki on jewelry and other projects. Miharayasuhiro stores are spread out over several countinents and many different cities. However, his flagship store in Tokyo is the biggest and brightest of all. Recently, he´s branched into womenswear as well which you can find online and in his shops.

Mihara Yasuhiro´s urban and trendy designs make him one of the world´s most fashionable designers. Make sure to stop into one of his boutiques or visit the Miharayasuhiro Webpage, Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

The below images are from the Miharaysuhiro RTW Fall 2013 Collection.

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All photos from the Miharayasuhiro Facebook Page.

Posted By: Lori

 

Spy Henry Lau

Henry Lau is one of Hong Kong´s most popular up and coming designers. His shops, entitled ¨Spy Henry Lau¨ are popping up all over China and his clothes are described as ¨casual street style with sophistication¨.  Lau´s mission is to make the average person feel and look beautiful and trendy with his clothes.

The designs do err on the edge of trendy. Lau likes to take a classic look and add twist to it by using modern fabrics and cool patterns and cuts. For example, below you can see his take on the classic blazer. Shiny fabrics, interesting cuts, and pocket patterns spice up an otherwise traditional look.

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Lau has showed at many international fashion weeks and has also designed for a number of celebrities and performers, such as Hacken Lee, Denise Ho, Leslie Cheung and the late Anita Mui. He has even collaborated with international brands such as DeBeers Diamonds, Nokia and Motorola.

His designs have walked runways at Hong Kong Fashion Week, Australian Fashion Week and Bejiing Fashion Week.

The first Spy Henry Lau shop was opened in 1996 in Hong Kong. Today, shops in Kuwait, Sydney and Dubai now sell his collections and he has a huge store in Bejiing, among several others. The boutiques have both menswear and womenswear.

For more information, or to shop online visit the Spy Henry Lau Website.

Images from the Henry Lau Facebook Page

Hong Kong Store Spy Henry Lau Hong Kong Store Spy Henry Lau 1Posted By: Lori

Many websites have the objective of helping men improve their style. Consequently, much of what you will find here is available in other places and in other forms. What we hope to do is to synthesize, package and deliver this information in the most efficient and helpful manner to men around the world. The basic premise is to inform, educate, and entertain men (and women). Ultimately to help men identify and embrace their personal style.

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