A few days ago we met Hugo Jacomet.
He is the founder of the excellent blog Parisian Gentleman, which is a complement of Kinowear. You’ll learn in this video that we both share similar thoughts on men’s fashion, the industry and fashion media.
The main difference is that Hugo focuses on tailoring art (suits, shirts, shoes). Whereas, we address less formal styles (jackets, jeans, sneakers, as you’ll see at the end of this article).
Yet, synergies are obvious. It’s a great interview, maybe it’s a bit long but there isn’t a second that’s not worth it.
To activate the subtitles, it’s really simple – click on the small squared button on the menu bar, then hit full screen, sit comfortably and enjoy the video in HD.
Micro-résumé of the interview with Hugo Jacomet (Parisian Gentleman)
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Hugo, I just turned 50. Being passionate about the art of tailoring, I founded Parisian Gentleman in January 2009. I was born into the business as my grandfather was a shoemaker and my mother a seamstress. My aim is to work on the education of men when it comes to elegance and traditional clothing.
Why did you choose an educational approach?
I think it’s the basis of our success. When I used to read magazines on the subject, I quickly realized that I kept reaching a limit. These magazines have a business model which is strongly linked to advertizing. They don’t have the necessary freedom of expression to be able to talk about an item of clothing as should be done.
I decided to write and to share my opinions and knowledge on the subject. I soon learned that this was exactly what people were looking for – education. An item of clothing tells a story, communicates a personality, a social background, a posture, and this leads to the passion of a whole new generation.
In your opinion, where do the press and blogs stand in relation to the subject?
Readers who come to us find a transparency in our discourse that cannot be found in the written press. And it’s paradoxical, because as when you talk about the internet, and especially about blogs, ‘credibility’ isn’t the first word that springs to mind. For example, small fashion houses come to us but the larger ones keep their distance because the blogosphere scares them.
Keep that in mind: what’s important isn’t the support but rather the content.
Does this improve the buying abilities of men?
Undeniably. There are signs that cannot be denied: the men’s accessory market has come a long way over the last three years; the small bag, the tie and even tie jewels are making a huge comeback. You can see more and more of them popping up in the street. We’ve never seen that before. If Berluti does clothing, if LVMH is buying Loro Piana for a few billion dollars, it’s clearly because there’s a huge market for them.
So, there’s definitely an increase in the interest guys are paying to clothing?
Yes and it is a very clear one, too. We must be clear about what we mean when we say ‘increase’ because we’ve just seen the back of three catastrophic decades. I think we’re in a cycle. Masculine style was still present in the 60s. The internet has created a real alternative. Thanks to the net, we’ve got free access to advice and opinions. There’s a revolution underway, things are moving.
What advice would you give to a beginner?
Lack of money is a fake problem. Any guy, young or old, interested in the subject can dress in a comfortable and sophisticated manner without having to spend a lot, thanks to blogs, private sellers and the rest of the internet’s content.
We need to stop accepting the dictatorship of a guy who has thought about fashion and decided what we are going to wear for us and then advertized it constantly. We can play a role in these decisions. But in order to do so, we need to be educated.
What do you think about what’s on offer at the moment in PAP stores?
We’re getting better with quality. The guy who comes to the store today is no longer the same as before. Sellers are often completely lost in the face of people who read blogs and forums. We’re forcing them into quality production because blogs are capable of making and breaking a reputation. There has never been better stuff on offer for the guys who know how to look for it.
In your opinion, what’s the minimum budget for a suit?
For me, the most basic is a semi-fitted suit, with breathability: anything less than that has a negative effect on your style. Of course, when the sales are on and if you’re in luck, you can have, for example, a lovely suit by Timothy Everest in London for around $450. But the price range of 650-850 dollars is still the one where we can start talking about real quality and durability.
What advice would you give to someone around 50 years old?
Everything comes down to how much we’re interested in the subject. An elegant man should take the time to create himself a wardrobe, to create his own style. Compromises should never be made when it comes to the cut. It’s better to have a less-classy material and to prioritize the cut. Trust your own eyes and not those of the seller. Take your time, buy one or two quality items that you really like and then build around them.
Is it possible to be too dressy, or too perfect?
Whenever there’s a movement taking place, it always has its extremists. The human being is acceptable and interesting as long as he doesn’t become a caricature of himself. So yes, there are guys out there who are too dressy. Once again, the solution is education.
And what about you, do you ever dress really simply?
I don’t like being put into a box when it comes to clothing. I’m a fan of sports jackets and I sometimes even wear T-shirts. It is a rare occasion though: 4 times in 2 years!
Read more about tailoring… or casual style from our best posts
Or maybe you just want to know about : Those bad habits you really need to kick
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