It feels like a full circle moment to be writing this column almost 10 years after starting with SHARP. My personal style was as informed by menswear then as it is now, and naturally it’s been an inspiring and rewarding ride putting my first issue of The Book For Men together with our incredible team and collaborators.
The latest edition really took shape when we confirmed our cover star, Adrien Brody, a magnetic actor whose work I’ve admired ever since his breakout role in The Pianist. Beyond his undisputed talent and distinctive look, Brody wears clothes incredibly well. From transforming into Salvador Dalí in Midnight in Paris to his role as Arthur Miller in Blonde, he’s one of Hollywood’s top chameleons.
One of Brody’s films I revisit often is The Darjeeling Limited. Director Wes Anderson enlisted Marc Jacobs — Louis Vuitton’s artistic director at the time — to create the suits and luggage seen in the film. Jacobs’s involvement resulted in head-to-toe looks with a quiet, lived-in elegance, a quality I’ve long appreciated in menswear.
When I think of men’s fashion and its impact on my personal taste, there are certain images and outfits permanently ingrained in my mind. Whether it’s Steve McQueen’s navy sweatshirt in The Great Escape, Cary Grant’s red scarf and pleated trousers in To Catch a Thief, or Omar Sharif’s wool coat in Doctor Zhivago, men’s fashion has always been a big influence.
While there’s a welcome push to evolve men’s fashion and subvert certain codes with traditional designs in favour of more experimental creations, the draw and appeal of menswear is still its emphasis on signature staples and exquisite tailoring, as well as its ability to allow the personality of the wearer to intertwine with the clothes instead of overpowering it.
As you start to devise your fall wardrobe, I hope you’ll reference our latest issue and be filled with enthusiasm about the strides men’s fashion has made, as well as the traditions and craftsmanship it continues to honour.