Suits, Socks And Everything Nice With Matthew Zorpas
A word on life with the Gentleman Blogger
Not many know this – but fashion and communication comes hand in hand. Why? Well, when meeting that person for the first time, be it an interview or a date, what you wear truly exemplifies who you are as a person and what values you uphold.
Keeping this in mind, I stumbled upon an American blogger who somewhat shared the same understanding. Only in his case, fashion is so much MORE! Being an avid reader of his written pieces, I noticed that this gentleman truly had a vision for where fashion would be in the years to come.
So... I wasted no time and immediately found a way to reach out to him and personally talk about his life experience and insights from being in the industry!
What is the relationship between men and accessories now, especially with bags?
I think it’s quite strong now. From classic briefcases to messenger bags, male versions of big clutches, briefcases as pc or tablet cases, every man has at least one of these accessories. For me it is a key element of every look, I always have a bag with me- sometimes it gives a twist more to my look with its shape, color, or material.
What do you consider the characteristics of a “stylish” man?
There are no rules anymore. To me it’s something natural, spontaneous, not too forced. I just open my closet and choose what I feel like wearing- it’s more a matter of taste. I’ve been influenced by the personality, the style, the culture, and the work of certain well-known figures from the past and present, most of all Federico Fellini, and if I have to name someone contemporary, I would say Tom Ford. Style is not just fashion, it’s often the people I meet in my travels or on the street that give me energy and inspiration for my work.
What do modern gentlemen buy nowadays?
I think the possibilities are endless, from formal to casual- men want to take care of their style, not as much as women, but a man is more attentive now and can experiment with bow-ties and hats, colourful socks and bags, shirts and ties… It’s not required, it’s just a desire to dress well and with a bit of freedom, mixing styles from Brazil to London, the gentleman has gone global and the result is relaxed style.
Will the era of bloggers never end?
There will be an evolution, we will change the platform, we will change this way of defining skills to reach the common people, and to act in the digital age. Blogs, quality ones, are here to stay.
If you were not a blogger what would you have done?
There is a very snobbish attitude to consider in a negative way the work of bloggers, because they take away the ground (and power) in a space which is rather limited fashion. For me it is a job title that also works to define my lifestyle. I have a past in the world of communication, but the business of blogging is really my passion, I consider it something creative that I cannot help but realize, is like the air I breathe, I would see to do anything else. In addition to the blog I’m working on, other projects of personal branding, is still all top secret.
Movie, book and music do you like?
8:30 Federico Fellini, The Reader (Aloud-from which they made into a film starring Ralph Fiennes) and the British band The Herd.
Never Without A Suit!
Having first gained public acknowledgement by coming second place in UK Esquire magazine’s “Best Dressed Man” award, in July 2012, London’s Matthew Zorpas decided to launch his own blog; The Gentleman Blogger. The blog has achieved international acclaim and a wide readership. In this season’s edition, we have decided to put the spotlight on a world-renowned blogger who considers the essential elements in life to be originality and individuality. His biggest obsession is with suits. Zorpas, who states that he cannot leave a room without first buttoning up his suit, says the attire gives him a certain peace-of-mind. In this special interview, Climber B.C. talks to Zorpas on interviewing the world’s top designers of formal male dress and interrogates him about some of his personal choices.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a London-based creative consultant, graduated with a BA in Public Relations and gained an MSC in Global Media and Communications from London School of Economics. In 2010, I was recognised the 2nd best dressed man in Britain by Esquire UK and in July 2012, I decided to launch The Gentleman Blogger, a platform dedicated to mens lifestyle. I'm also teaching luxury management and digital communications at respected universities in the UK such as Istituto Marangoni and Winchester School of Arts. Last September I also self published my first book in 2014, London 100, a gentleman's guide, featuring my 100 favourite locations in London.
How did you first get interested in fashion?
I believe it was an organic transition. London truly inspired and influenced not only my style. But also guided me to make the right decisions. The city itself has shown me more of the world than I can ever imagine. The doors that have been opened to me, the people that have invited me in, and the places that I have seen. All of that helped me discover my passions and interests.
What inspired you to start your blog?
The Gentleman Blogger started in 2011 after Diane Pernet suggested I should develop my own personal platform of influence. The platform hopes to inspire viewers to visit places that they haven’t been before, to taste something different or wear something that they never had the courage to wear.
What is your favorite outfit that you've posted so far?
It's very hard to choose one. Every outfit post has its own unique story: from location, to colour palette, to exposure and composition. You should definitely check my favourite selection of 100 in my book – London 100, A Gentleman's Guide”. It is available to buy on www.thegentlemanblogger.com
Please describe your personal style and its influences / inspirations.
My style has evolved over the last five years. I think getting older the more I discover my own distinctive style. Somehow the way you dress is becoming a signature without any planning or thinking in advance. Today, you will find me in a double-breasted navy suit, buttoned-up white shirt and a tie in every occasion. Classic, dapper… Yet functional with a twist.
My inspiration is drawn through travelling around the world. I get inspired by observing different landscapes, locals, ethic dancers and going to art galleries and museums. My style is a result of things I see or situations that occur around me. My look for the shoot has this sharpness and mobility yet dynamic stasis in a fast moving world.
Favorite designers and places to shop?
My recently top favourite designer is Umit Benan. Best places to shop in London are LN-CC, Dover Street Market and Savile Row. The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is: Shoes. It's the easiest way to know if someone made an effort to dress up.
What is the most underrated item in menswear?
What are your greatest passions?
Travelling and exploring the unknown.
Are there any fashion icons or famous persons whose style you admire?
In no particular order: Tom Ford, Lapo Elkan, Federico Fellini and Salvador Dali.
What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
Dress it up! Buy a basic white shirt, get a tailored suit and complete the look with a colourful tie and a pocket square. Voila!
What about Climber Jeans? Can you describe the brand for us?
Clever concept. Edgy, contemporary, semi casual, affordable.
You have a lot of followers to your blog. How did you do this?
By following my instincts and passions. Staying true to myself and challenging the menswear arena by offering something different yet tailored to popular taste.
What’s the biggest tip you have for anyone wanting to start a fashion blogging?
Originality. Produce unique content and never contribute to the digital noise.
And Istanbul… What do you think?
I believe Istanbul has recently become visible in the fashion calendar. Some great designers such as Hatice Gokce are a bright example on how promising the fashion scene is in this city and how much hard work goes into a collection. However, the fashion industry still lacks in structure and investment. I'm sure there is plenty of space of improvement but this will come with time and experience. I am positive that the city itself will attract and inspire plenty of international designers, buyers and press to produce or expand their business in the capital.
What is next for you?
I'm grateful to be where I am today. I'm honestly living the dream. I'm privileged to influence people on how they dress, on where to eat, drink or how they behave. The future upholds expansion of The Gentleman Blogger into other areas, including TV show and an accessory line. Stay tuned.