Catching up: THOM BROWNE menswear
We’ve been crushin’ on THOM BROWNE for a few seasons now.. his bold presentations, his meticulous attention to detail, not to mention the red | white | blue grosgrain ribbon spelling out it’s a THOM BROWNE special. We stumbled on a recent story where Thom was interviewed by Derek Blasberg, celebrating the menswear launch for MrPorter, and uncovered even more to love. I mean, who is from Allentown, PA? Uh, me too. Couldn’t resist the bits; here are a few BROWNE wise words to share as we uncover the talent behind the man… and a few visuals to make your man want to wear a suit, bare ankles and all- Brigitte.
DEREK BLASBERG | MrPorter: When I first interviewed you 10 years ago, I wore a shirt and tie in the dead heat of summer because I was nervous you’d think I was a schlub if I didn’t. I was a sweaty mess. Have you found that you often make men want to dress up?
THOM BROWNE: I didn’t know that! I thought that’s how you always dressed. It’s funny: people have told me that I make them want to put a suit on, which I take as a compliment. But, to be honest, what’s important to me is that someone has their own style. Anyone who is confident in themselves is much more stylish. A well-dressed man doesn’t have to be in a suit.Style and taste aren’t always the same thing, remember. But if someone is into something, be it skirts or graphic T-shirts, let them do it. More power to them. There just has to be a level of a taste.
DB: You redefined what it means to have the modern, avant-garde men’s fashion show. Was that always your intent?
TB: It started from my desire to provoke guys to see a classic idea differently. To think in a new way about something they know very well. That’s what all the collections are about, actually. And, I do like to entertain.
DB: Have you ever looked at something you’ve done and thought, “Now, that’s just too crazy”?
TB: Yes. And that’s when I know I should be doing it.
DB: You once explained to me that the men’s suit is actually quite a simple uniform.
TB: It takes me five minutes to get ready in the morning. I don’t understand why some men think a suit is so difficult to wear when often it’s the easiest thing to put together. I could get dressed in the dark.
DB: Really? Five minutes?
TB: Yes. Besides, I think it’s nice to look as if someone didn’t spend too much time getting dressed. Especially for a guy. Style is a lot more interesting when it looks effortless.
DB: I once had a conversation with Ms Carine Roitfeld about how a suit can hide a lot of sins. Specifically, the example she used was that a politician, for the most part, always looks good in a suit. But it can be dangerous when you see them in their “daywear”, such as in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops on family vacations.
TB: It’s true. I think there’s something very polished and powerful about a man in a suit. But still, some politicians look better than others, and that really comes down to fit. The suits don’t always fit as well as they should, which is when the look falls apart.
DB: What tips would you have for a man buying a suit?
TB: The most important thing is the fit. Find someone who knows what they’re doing, and then find what works for you and stick to it. Find the khakis that look best on you, work with a tailor that fits your clothing to you in the right way, and grow into yourself and your style. Once you’ve done that, everything becomes much easier.
DB: So for you, it’s about consistency.
TB: There’s something very confident about someone who looks as if they could wear the same thing every day.
Interview with Thom Browne: Derek Blasberg, Photos: Andrea Spotorno, courtesy of Mr. Porter
More from interview + fashion available at MrPorter.com