Ape to Gentleman Interview: Antony Hawman from my-wardrobe.com
In the last few years online fashion e-tailing has seen a rapid growth and none more so than my-wardrobe.com. Since their conception in 2006 my-wardrobe have gone from strength to strength and are now one of the largest fashion e-tailers worldwide. The key to this growth has been their innovation of the online shopping experience and my-wardrobe’s willingness to collaborate with other brands. Today Ape to Gentleman interviews one of the brains behind it all, Antony Hawman; the my-wardrobe.com Brand Partnership Manager.
EA: The concept of gentleman has evolved over the years, and the modern gent has altogether new characteristics. my-wardrobe features clothes for all kinds of modern men, from the casual to the more tailored. What characteristics would you say distinguish the modern men from the men of old?
AH: I think it’s really apparent these days, that men mix more casual pieces with smart pieces, to create a more contemporary look, i.e a graphic T with a blazer and some high-tops. The men of old certainly wouldn’t have done this. It was all about structured looks.
EA: Being in the industry yourself, what do you think of the current the relationship between Men’s Fashion and Male Grooming?
AH: It’s crazy that the media still separate the two in their own sections, as now with so many fashion brands etc creating grooming ranges, there is such a cross over.
I wear different scents with different looks as I believe that the scent matches the look. I only have one scent that I’ve worn since I was about 19, and that’s Amen by Thierry Mugler. All of my other scents fit a certain look. I wear Comme des Garcons Avingon if I’m smart and I wear Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey on more casual days.
EA: You’re always well dressed, top to toe, who are your main Fashion influences? And, dare I ask, where do you get most of your clothes from?
AH: Well, you’d expect me to say this, but the majority of my clothes come from my-wardrobe.com, as I was a loyal client before I worked here.
We stock the right brand mix for me and the brands that I love – Vivienne Westwood Man and Paul Smith for those classic pieces with a quirk for work wear and meetings etc. For the more casual days, I love 2K by Gingham t-shirts that again, I have tons of, or a sweatshirt from Acne.
Regarding other brands I buy, I live and breathe in Diesel jeans.
You can’t beat Mulberry for bags and again, I thank my lucky stars that our menswear buyer always buys a great selection of them.
EA: Throughout my life (and everyone else’s I’m sure) there have been key fashion pieces that I’ve wanted and am yet to get my hands on. Is there one item of clothing that stands out for you as your ‘ultimate’ must have piece?
AH: Ummmm, great question, I always wanted a Vivienne Westwood formal winter coat. When I came to my-wardrobe.com, I treated myself to one. A beautiful purple/blue knee length coat. It was incredibly expensive, but I love it and wear it everyday, so looking at the cost per wear, it was the best investment.
EA: Do you have a male grooming routine?
AH: I do have a routine, but it’s a pretty quick one. I use Eyre Biobotanics facial scrub about 3 times a week and I use Dior Micro Cleansing gel every day.
I’m addicted to Philosophy shower gels, their Ginger Bread Man shower gel is a good wake-up call in the morning.
I once read in a GQ special when I was about 20 yrs old, that you should rinse your razor after every single stroke of the face in hot water to open the pores, and then to wash the excess foam off your face with cold water to close the pores again. I’ve done that every day. Good on ya GQ.
My favourite grooming brand is Kiehl’s or Darphin. I alternate between the two.
EA: I’m sure you have come across many unique and luxurious brands both in your work at Drapers and with my-wardrobe. Which brand would you say really struck a cord with you, and why?
AH: I always love any brand that takes a classic look and gives it an edge, whether it be an unusual fabric or an odd feature. Brands who I think do this well, are; for the high street, I love All Saints, they do this really well and at a great price point. For luxury brands it has to be Vivienne Westwood (keep it up Dame V) and Paul Smith. I own about 10 pairs of Paul Smith shoes – a bright red pair of brogues are my all time favourite.
EA: And finally Antony, if you had one piece of advice you could give to anyone, what would it be?
AH: When I was younger, I used to wonder why people spent so much money on a designer piece of clothing when you could get 10 shirts on the high street for the same amount as I designer shirt. Now I’m 32, I understand. They are pieces of art and if you buy well for your personal style, that piece will last you a life time.