Fame is not a prerequisite for style. Today, the airbrush magic of photoshop and the subtle sweeps of a make-up brush can create the illusion of style but, more often than not, it’s only superficial. Celebrity style is carefully curated by a team of stylists and copious handfuls of hair gel are applied to add some shine. However, there are gentlemen who have shunned the trappings of the limelight and, in doing so, established themselves as the unsung heroes of traditional menswear. Timeless and effortlessly cool, we think it’s high time that these gentlemen, from past and present, got their time in the limelight.
Francesco Barberis Canonico
With his faultlessly tailored suits and understated elegance, Mr Canonico is a champion of traditional tailoring. As the Creative Director of Italy’s oldest cloth mill, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Francesco Canonico has written the book on traditional tailoring and cloth design, adding his own sophisticated, modern twist. His innovative designs have pushed VBC to the forefront of menswear whilst his sharply cut suits, cut from contemporary cloth designs, allow him to exude a quiet, commanding air that harks back to a lost age of glamour and style. If all this wasn’t enough he also plays the guitar.
As the Creative Director of Gieves and Hawkes, Mr Basmajian has injected new life in to No.1 Savile Row. Bringing a dash of Italian flare to Gieves’s traditional English tailoring, Basmajian has steered the brand to a dominant place on Savile Row. Clad in immaculately cut suits, his the confidence, wit and effortless charm reflect the clothes that he creates and wears so well. It’s clear that he lives and breathes the profession that he cares so passionately about.
If building the world’s largest currency exchanges wasn’t enough, the Chairman and founder of Travelex cuts an equally impressive figure in the fitting room. Despite his regular jet set trips to any of the 25 countries Travelex are based in, Mr Dorfman never looks anything short of immaculate. With a reputation for only the finest of double breasted suits, Mr Dorfman has quietly revitalised what was previously considered an antiquated mode of dress. So fix up, and look sharp.
Colonel John Blashford-Snell
Bold, daring and hard as nails, Colonel Blashford-Snell is the last of a generation of men who poured over maps rather than share price listing screens. Famed for his Pith Helmet and silk cravats, his yearly expeditions take him and his array of tailored Orvis jackets in to the depths of the Amazonian jungle or the Nile delta. Even at the age of 70, the Colonel shows no sign of slowing down. He still awakes at 6.30am for his daily dose of the cross trainer. No excuses, gentlemen.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Remembered for his violent death at the age of 53 and his mesmerising, but often disturbing cinematography, it is easy to forget that Pasolini was not just a visionary in his professional life. With dark sunglasses to hide his sharp, probing gaze and clad in loose fitting blue shirts, knitted ties and the finest Neapolitan styled suits, Pasolini personified Sprettsura and the notion of nonchalance. You’d better master that brooding gaze though.