I was recently interviewed by a magazine about my style in general and menswear in particular. One question was how it all started and when my interest began. Since this was very recently I remember my answer and its always a good start also here.
When I look back I think I have always had a huge interest in fashion and clothes. As a young kid I wanted the right looking jeans, hoodies and trainers. Later on as a teenager I developed an interest in Britpop and indie music and my style was more grown up but still very independent and personal with a touch of british mods.
When it comes to the classic menswear style which I am more or less famous for today and work with as a writer and editor I can clearly remember when It took off. I was 15 years old, still a teenager and I saw the book The Gentleman by the german author Bernhard Roetzel. I remembered that I was very influenced by the book that contained a classic conservative and very british look. I first borrowed the book at the library and later on had it as a gift from my mother on my birthday. I read it from cover to cover that many times I could quote many chapters. I developed a very romantic relation to London and Savile Row and dreamt about my first bespoke suit and goodyear welted British shoes. It took a few years until I actually had my first bespoke suit, 8 to be precise. My mother and father gave me a navy blue bespoke wool suit as a graduation gift when I took my master degree in Law when I was 24 years old.
I started a career in banking after 8 months in London, where I honestly spent more time visiting Savile Row and Jermyn street than working on my exams at the university…
Since I work in a rather formal profession suit and a tie is my uniform. I have for the last 12 years worn tie to work for every day and I love it. I am not very fond of the casual codes that slowly getting more common.
Ok, but since I am still a banker, how come I am also in the style business? Well, everything started approximately five years ago. I friend of mine worked for the largest menswear sites/blogs in Sweden called Manolo.se. Since he knew of my keen interest in classic menswear he asked if I wanted to contribute to his site and write one text per week on the topic. The rest is history and I still write once a week for Manolo, much out of nostalgically reasons. I do much other thing as well such as being the senior contributing editor for Plaza Uomo Magazine along with other freelance writing for a few other magazines. I have also had the pleasure of being interviewed in Financial Times and their How To Spend It. In some crazy way I also ended up in a model campaign for Harrods in London?!
My personal ego also had a boost when I got to know Bernhard Roetzel, that man that in many ways inspired me to find my own style and interest. I met him the first time a couple of years ago at the airport in Florence and we had a brief chat. A few days later his German publisher very kindly sent Bernhard´s latest book to me with a handwritten message. He is indeed a true gentleman. Last year I realized that I had actually created myself a name when Mr Roetzel asked me if I wanted to participate in his latest book where he highlighted some men around the world for their style. For this I am very grateful.
Much of the “fame” and publicity I have had is because of social medias. This democratic channel can give anyone access to a window and I did take the opportunity to brand my work and myself, right or wrong. But what I do like the most with it is that social medias has given me a lot of new friends all around the world that shares the same passion as I do, tailoring and menswear. Some of them I call my closest friends today.
One example is my dear friend Maciej Zaremba. As mentioned above my interest started with a passion for the British tailoring. The more I learnt and the longer I worked I developed a taste closer to the Italian and the softer tailoring tradition. Through social medias I had found a young tailor from Poland?! who’s house style I liked very much. Since his business where located in Poland and not Italy the price point was more appealing. I remembered when I first met Maciej and his lovely wife Agnes. It was at a hotel in Florence during Pitti Uomo three years ago. He took my measurements for my first bespoke sport coat from Zaremba bespoke. It was the first of many commissions and the beginning of a long friendship .
– Olof Nithenius