If I have to think of a name that links up refined mens tailoring, photography and interior design altogether, I think one of it would possibly be Manolo Costa, the suave and elegant artisan who creates a contemporary classic and refined bespoken menswear that his creation is just as elegant as the fine gent himself. Founded his own atelier in New York and being part of the brand development force in the world renowned menswear houses including Phineas Cole / Paul Stuart and Ralph Lauren, the elegant Manolo always possesses an impeccable sense on incorporating his creations with sensual and sophisticated photos that genuinely expresses his aesthetic: modern elegance, simplicity and timeless classic. With one of the recent image of the dapper artisan in his own navy blue pinstripe suit with the crispy white shirt and a solid satin navy tie, then topped with the tailored heather grey wool coat which expresses the effortless debonair of a modern day gentleman, polished and smart.
I am very honor to have an opportunity to have a quick conversation with this elegant artisan, sharing with us his insight about refined menswear, style for men, and his impeccable creation.
My Modern Darcy: What motivates you to become a bespoke tailor? Any influence from your childhood or mentor(s) that inspires you?
Manolo Costa: I have a tremendous respect and admiration for the craftsmen who work alongside with me. Their dedication to creating beautiful garments inspires me to elevate and provide our clients not only impeccable tailored clothing but also a shopping experience unlike any other.
MMD: How do you see the challenge being a stand-alone bespoke tailor nowadays?
MC: I believe in a very intimate and personal interaction where the client is always the main focus. There truly couldn’t be a better time to promote a very distinguished and unique luxury shopping experience than now. The menswear industry is saturated with stores who cater to the masses rather than the individual.
MMD: Can you share with us your signature silhouette, or any particular creation that you like very much?
MC: The house style still remains traditional at heart with a high emphasis on achieving the ideal drape we aim to provide our clients with very distinctive proportions that compliment their different builds. I personally love our overcoats. They express the very idea of our design sensibility.
MMD: How do you see the come-back of classic attire of mens fashion? And which era is your favorite and why?
MC: My inspiration draws out of the 1920’s mainly because of the sophisticated flare that men possessed back then. I think given the awareness that our social media platforms have provided.
MMD: What are your top 5 must-haves in your wardrobe?
MC: My 5 must haves are:
i.) Royal oxford white dress shirt;
ii.) Cashmere hopsack navy blazer;
iii.) Grey flannel trousers;
iv.) White linen pocket square; &
v.) Burnt pine tassel loafers.
MMD: As I see that your impeccable aesthetic on capturing your creations in very sophisticated photos, and having them posted in social media, how did you see the feedback and the impact of social media towards you & your work?
MC: The impact has been tremendous! People responding to our designs and aesthetics have only reinforced our approach to making beautiful clothing. Social media has helped us platform not only our clothing principles but a look inside our lifestyle. We have established a following as well as built connections.
MMD: How do you define a modern gentleman? And what are the qualities he should have?
MC: The modern gentleman is wordly and well informed. He has a true identity of his overall goals, aspirations and appreciates his accomplishments in life. He has a sense of self and is looking to enhance his overall presence so that when people view him they look at him not only as a role model but also as someone who exudes confidence.
MMD: Can you share with us some pointers on how to dress impeccably? And what are the features that a nice suit should have?
MC: You should find what works best for you. Color, textures and patterns that compliment your complexion and lifestyle. The ideal suit delivers the right fabric in the perfect silhouette.
Special thanks to Mr. Manolo Costa, image courtesy of Manolo Costa New York