Interview + Photography by Luke Alland, using Leica's Q2 Reporter.
"Everything should be worn for a reason, I know that as a designer, as a stylist and in terms of being comfortable. I've always been comfortable, when I had a handlebar moustache, a paintbrush moustache to being clean shaven...
as Michael Jackson would say, it's 'just another part of me'."
Shaun Gordon is a gentleman about town, boasting a stellar career as a model, menswear designer and brand ambassador. You might also know him as the former necktie maker for Shaun Gordon Ties. He has a wealth of style knowledge, and incidentally, it took me years to see him in anything less formal than a three-piece suit. I caught him in his prime dandy phase. He sat down with us to go through his favourite 5 vintage items, and to share the stories behind them.
As we talk over lunch, discussing the stories behind each of his 5 things, I ask him whether it's not just the genes he's inherited, but also if style has been passed down as well. Lo and behold, we begin with his chalkstriped suit and why it means so much to him.
Thing 1: Vintage David Zimmerman Suit (circa '50s)
Luke Alland: So what's the story behind the chalkstripe, I remember you mentioning a familial connection?
Shaun Gordon: "My grandfather, Alvin, came to England in his early '20s to try and make a life for himself, before eventually sending for my Aunt Rose and my mother to join him after successfully doing so. A painter and decorator by trade, regardless of how he dressed when behind the brush, his philosophy on style was to always 'look as put together as you can, because you never know who you are going to meet or which way the day might take you.'
"Whilst I was out in Portobello Market, I happened across this gorgeous number. Which, when I threw it on, fit like a glove. It was exactly the thing I was looking for: the oversized lapel, the quality of the jacket and the fact it fit the description of all the stories I'd heard about my grandfather from my aunt Ida and mother. I just couldn't leave without taking it.
"It's not just about the stories they told me about him, but also the whole Golden Era of Hollywood and how much of an influence that has on me. The way the guys all dressed, how they would treat a lady. Taking pride in their appearance, for me that's the inspiration and love behind this particular suit. When I wear it I feel as if I embody it, and him, in a way."