Monday, November 22, 2010
Since the shop launched two years ago we have been introduced to hundreds of stylish guys who embrace their "inner-dandy". With this post we continue a regular series of profiles of New School Dandies. Up next, José Lemus, with photos by Rose Callahan.
Where did you grow up? Born in Guatemala but grew up all over South America, until I arrived to Los Angeles at the age of sixteen.
Where do you live now? Los Angeles, California. Glendale to be exact, sits at the foot of the Verdugo Mountains, 15 minutes north of Downtown L.A. , quiet and not really a tourist place but with the best Cuban Bakery in Los Angeles called Portos.
What's your occupation? Menswear, Sales Supervisor for Barneys Co-Op at The Americana.
When did you establish your personal style? Was there a pivotal moment? How has it changed? My style has been established for a while now and it always includes a tie. My influence: I still remember the day my Grandfather sat me on his lap in front of grandma's vanity and showed me how to knot a Windsor on one of his old ties, patient with me until I got it right. I was so excited, kept it on all day I even played outside with it on, until my mother got home and I got to show her my new trick. I think of that day as my pivotal moment in wearing a tie almost every day...around the age of five or so. ...because I have seen so many trends come and go (season after season), the need to look current at work is very important, I keep it classic with with an extra shot of sprezzatura: the canvas clean, classic and painted with vintage and modern accents. History has shown neckwear is essential, ties have been around since the 1600's, I don't think they will become a time of the past...
How would you describe your style? Inspired by the vintage and the classics but with eyes staring at the present.
What are your sources of inspiration? Old photographs and movies, blogs and websites, vintage menswear books, I like to see how some things refuse to be a part of trends and are here to be a part of life.
Who is your style icon? Cary Grant if I have to choose one, Mr. Grant had a passion for clothes and later in his career even ran a menswear boutique. Hamish Bowles, Lappo Elkann, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Yves Saint Laurent, Thom Browne are others: I have always admired personal style.
What are your preferred dandy reading materials? Vintage books on menswear, my favorite this month is Cally Blackman's 100 Years Of Menswear.
Do you have a favorite website? I love Tumblr, something about connecting with people you have never met and sharing same interests. But my bookmarks include: An Affordable Wardrobe, Ivy Style, Mister Crew, Mister Mort, New Dandyism, Prepidemic Magazine, GQ UK, Selectism, Street Etiquette, The Prepster, Sartorially Inclined and of course both Charles Henry and Fine and Dandy Shop.
What is your favorite personal item (non-clothing/accessories)? My phone, it takes the best pictures for Today's Tie.
What is your favorite clothing article or accessory? My tie collection of course! But in general my favorite accessories are the ones that have a story about where they come from, the vintage Leopard bow tie from my best friend Lisa, my Grandfather's silver tie bar, the key and nail stacked on my finger, both from Richard.
Where is your favorite or dream vacation spot? Until recently Hawaii but we love going back to New York. Dream vacation would be Milan, the classic- nonchalant attitude way of dressing is so respected and admired by the entire world that I just would love to visit.
Tell us the best kept secret in your city. The vintage shops down San Fernando Blvd, I have gotten some of my favorite Repp ties from there.
At which establishments would you consider yourself a regular? Saint Vincent's De Paul but definitely The Coffee Bean, can't function without my caffeine fix.
What would you be doing ten years from now? Continuing my fight against embellished jeans and contributing to the fight for a society of men well dressed for every occasion, the fight for men to own more than just one tie. Would love to run a men's fashion house.
What is your current obsession? Mixing prints and textures.
Currently inspired by? Inspired by all the new wave of men wanting to dress better and flaunting it, the confidence they bring and the clothes to back it up.
Currently annoyed with? The bow tie being remembered as trendy rather than the suggestive trait of iconoclasm of an Old World sort.
What else do you want to tell us? Style is done by instinct and it is an extension of one's personality, the same style that will not only show you where to fit in, but also how to stand out.
Check out José's Today's Tie and Fashion4Addict.