The London fashion network isn’t quite as vast as it may seem; the same crowd (of lovely people) tend to drift to the same parties, and someone you may be introduced to one week will most likely end up being someone you’ll be bumping into every week following that. I figured that since meeting all these interesting people results in interesting conversations, why not document it? And so I’d like to introduce the Mr. Boy meets… series, where I’ll be quizzing and snapping the unwilling on a bit about them and what they do, and moreso relevant, their personal style.
So a few weeks ago I was sitting in Joe and the Juice with Chris over two very odd cups of coffee: ginger (not gingerbread - I felt jipped) and liquorice. Chris and I met at a Pinterest networking party; it was probably the mix of facial hairs that got us talking. Aside from being recognised for his thick beard and characteristic moustache, he’s also brand manager of print-wild Dent de Man, and was dubbed as ‘best dressed man’ of day 2 earlier this year wearing the brand during London Fashion Week. We’ve met up a few times and have had very in-depth chats about menswear, and as we’re always forgetting the Dictaphone I thought it’d be a good idea to find the time to sit, chat and take some notes. So today Mr. Boy meets Chris Chasseaud aka The Nomadic Gentleman.
So Chris, tell everybody a bit about your background?
Well my background is pretty interesting. I actually born in South Korea because my dad was working there as a journalist. I came to London when I was about 8 months old and grew up over here.
Asian connection I see - except I was actually born in Watford… were you always in fashion or did you just fall into it?
I went to an art college and university, and from there I went on to do design. I actually wanted to get into graphic design and the ‘creativesphere’. I mean I always had an interest in fashion but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it. I guess at some point you become aware of your ‘interesting style’, but I wouldn’t really call that fashion. I think that comes later when you develop that interest in learning how to style yourself
I used to work at Paul Smith and ended up really enjoying it; it sort of became an extension of my life style in terms of aesthetics and philosophy. We were all creatives - actors, designers and photographers, which provided a great environment to be in. I learnt to appreciate personal style and in general, aesthetic. Now I’ve turned fashion writer, and have been taken on as a contributor to Ape to Gentleman; it’s a mutual love and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been lucky enough to interview designers (Oliver Spencer was a highlight!) and work with multiple brands, resulting in a bit of recognition as you mentioned earlier. Being photographed still feels ridiculous.
What ended up influencing your personal style outside of work?
Well when I was 15 I was listening to hip-hop, and I sort of dressed like that - people find that very strange because when they see me now they don’t really get it. Then as I was growing up I began listening to musicians such as Miles Davis, and was heavily influenced by how they dressed. Those in the soul and jazz business just happened to have that smart style - it was never really dressing smart for the sake of being smart, they just were, which they pulled off well. Besides music - there’s also gangster films. Carlito’s Way being my favourite. It is SO COOL. And then there’s the usuals: The Godfather, Goodfellas,… me and my friends used to call each other ‘don’ and add the prefix to our emails, and that sort of ethos brought us to our smarter attire.
So what’s The Nomadic Gentleman all about?
Well I’m a bit of a nomad in real life. I like to experience new cultures and new things. I wanted to document this journey in fashion as well and thus created The Nomadic Gentleman. I’m a bit of a travelling spirit with a big curiousity for new brands, new styles and new clothing, so this is my way of sort of sharing my journey. I guess it’s slowly going to be evolving as I have yet to launch, but the Instagram is currently up!
Tell me a bit about what you’re wearing today.
I’m wearing this Elvine rain jacket because the weather demands it. I’m wearing my Nike free-runs because I knew I was going to be out and about all day, and they’re waterproof. I’ve gone casual with the slim-tapered jeans, smartening it up a bit with the oxford shirt and cardigan. Today required a lot of travelling so I needed comfort, and the graduate show I’m going to later means I’m going to be on my feet all day!
Your beard in three words?
Rebellious - I started growing it in a rebellious sort of way.
Regal - some beard brand asked me if I considered my beard as “warrior, king or wizard”. When I started growing it I guess you could say it was “warrior”, but now that I’ve tidied and shaped it, I’d say it’s “king”.
Difficult - it’s very difficult to have a beard.
And finally, your tips concerning personal style for any curious readers.
Be true to yourself. Whatever I said last time we met sounded really good - we really need that Dictaphone. Style is basically a personal thing; know what’s right for you and go about things with a curious mentality, but not a following mentality.
And one more thing; invest in a good double breasted jacket. I think men don’t really know where to wear one or how to wear one, which isn’t really their fault. High street vendors tend to have short jackets where the shape and proportion just looks wrong. To be honest, whether you’re buying a double breasted or a regular jacket, it’s all about fit, and confidence!
Chris will be launching his website The Nomadic Gent later this year. In the mean time check out their Instagram here. Stay tuned!
- Mr. Boy