‘Real’ Men’s Style Icons
As many of you point out without fail or misinformation, the majority of the style icons in our eponymous series suffer from the fatal flaw of being styled by someone other than themselves. Our new ‘Real Icons’ series is set to feature some of the best dressed, and well known, gents in the industry and guaranteed to represent purely original and eclectic style.
Each of these true style icons should be seen as an encouragement for us to follow suit; forming a unique identity based on your own background, jobs, past times and interests. After all, that is what true style is, isn’t it?
Thankfully, there are men with serious style credentials who fit this bill. Whereas in the past, actors, musicians and artists found themselves being the poster boy for many a fashion house or ad campaign, these ‘real’ style icons, which includes the likes of Nick Wooster and Lino Leluzzi, are now known first and foremost for their unique sense of style, and as a result are photographed no matter their location or purpose.
Real Style Icons & Relatable Style
Fashion blogs can been seen as the protagonist of the ‘real’ style icons’ meteoric rise to fame. Blogs have given people without the connections and/or looks, a chance to comment on anything related to fashion – imparting knowledge to the ignorant male keen to learn more. The accessible nature of blogging on the net has undoubtedly played a huge part in encouraging different approaches to dressing and observing that of others, as well as supporting the wider menswear industry with the rise of stylish and knowledgeable men keen to play a part in the future of its development.
Therefore, honest and accessible interviews are available with these everyday icons, and when you couple that with photographs of them with their distinct posture and expression, it makes them far more relatable to us. Sure, many of them, like celebrities, aren’t going to be worrying about the latest increase in energy bills, but at least they live in our world and make their own mistakes.
Furthermore, the likes of Justin O’Shea, Sam Lambert and Angelo Flaccavento look as comfortable as they do impeccably dressed – not because they’re wearing the softest wools, but for the simple fact that they are in their own clothes! These guys are completely at ease when the aforementioned street style cameras click and the videos roll, because they are wearing clothes they want to wear; dress that reflects who they are and by extension, their ideals and standards.
Real vs Celebrity Style Icons
I am sure I am not alone in thinking that celebrity ‘style icons’ should always look great every time they hit the red carpet or attend a pre-arranged publicity event. Likewise, I am sure it is not too much to ask that celebrities, with their unfathomable wealth and resources, can enjoy the luxury of a double breasted velvet jacket from Dolce and Gabbana, with trousers with no break, and a stunning pair of shoes (or slippers) the way that we would if we had that sort of money.
Men with true style easily channel their personality through their clothes – meaning that we never see two truly stylish men dressed exactly the same. The same cannot be said for the majority of celebrities who are dressed by overpaid, over-hyped, demi-celeb stylists:
The Fantastic Four
Below you will find four of my favourite ‘real’ style icons. These faces appear on many blogs and runways, deservedly replacing those green-eyed stylists, and will continue to do so for a number of years to come.
Note: I would also thoroughly recommend you check out our previous style icon articles on Nick Wooster and Lapo Elkann – two men who continue to innovate and push the boundaries of their personal style.
Likewise, spend five minutes watching the superb Sartorialist Dinner video below. Shot for The Sartorialist website, it features many of the industry’s biggest names that you will be seeing grace the pages of FashionBeans over the coming months:
1. Lino Ieluzzi
A sought after subject of photographers world over, Lino is renowned for his double breasted jackets and ties with the number seven sown into them. As an Italian it is no surprise that he has a love of tailoring, preferably separates, and consistently turns out in the most classic pieces menswear has to offer – all perfectly fitted and finished off typically with a sumptuous pair of double monk straps.
Colours tend to be understated with little details providing points of interest.
Inspired By Clothing
- Topman Tmd Grey Textured Print Double Breated Suit Jacket
- Topman Bran Tweed Db Skinny Blazer
- Dunhill Cotton Shirt
- Reiss Gatsby Herringbone Trousers Grey
- Topman Off White Pocket Square
- Royal London Pocket Slim Pocket Watch
- Maison Martin Margiela Double-breasted Camel Coat
- John Lobb William Leather Monk-strap Shoes
- Allsaints Chancery Jacket
2. Sam Lambert
Best known for always wearing a hat as well as a beard, Sam Lambert is the jovial face of smart dressing with a twist. He always imbues his outfits with a little of his personality that, matched with a little sartorial know how, breaks boundaries in a distinctive but not ostentatious way: an enviable combination.
Inspired By Clothing
- Surrey Navy Double Breasted Slim Fit Jacket
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Eduard Slim-fit Plaid Wool Blazer
- Topman Navy Flannel Waistcoat
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In Fleck Herringbone
- Drakes Printed Wool And Silk-blend Pocket Square
- Reiss Swiss Jaquard Pattern Socks Black
- Brown Classic Newbury Wool Trilby Christys Hats
- Rag & Bone Wool-felt Trilby Hat
- Asos Loafers With Wedge Sole
3. Angelo Flaccavento
He says himself that his “choices have become stricter, but tailoring softer” as he approaches forty. Even so, his style is eclectic in its silhouette, colour and juxtaposition of fabric, but altogether he tends to dress in a quirky fusion of classic style and individual preferences – such as short trousers with a wider hem.
Just like our other real style icons, he is a firm believer in one not looking like he tried to dress to impress.
Inspired By Clothing
- Burberry Brit Grey Tweed Blazer
- Reiss Ledbury Boiled Wool Blazer Navy
- Reiss Sommerville T Pinstripe Formal Trouser Navy
- River Island V Neck Jumper
- Alexander Olch Plaid Woven-wool Bow Tie
- Asos Chambray Bow Tie
- Topman Round Lense Readers
- Topman Merton Oxford Shoe
- Trickers Burgundy Commando Brogue Bourton Shoes
4. Justin O’Shea
Probably the most rebellious dresser out of the four, O’Shea channels a rock ‘n’ roll meets biker vibe that ensures roll-up t-shirts and dark raw denim are staple pieces within his wardrobe.
Facial hair and muted colours play on the darker themes of his attire, and he mixes up casual and formal outfits depending on his mood, rather than his location, which says a lot about the power of the man.
Inspired By Clothing
- Asos Shirt With Polka Dot Print
- Asos T-shirt With Rolled Sleeves
- Reiss Butcher Three Piece Single Button Suit Light Blue
- Topman Charcoal Novak Suit Waistcoat
- Allsaints Stenburg Leather Jacket
- Allsaints Bleeker Iggy Jeans
- Allsaints Spires Blazer
- Boss Black Carlots Monk Shoes
- H By Hudson Smyth Brown Leather Boots
These real style icons are the result, as much as they are the means, of a booming interest in the industry. Such men are set to have growing influence on the direction of men’s fashion for the foreseeable future, having already laid the foundations for a more stylish and perceptive menswear community.
It’s safe to say, we are in good hands.
But now I want to hear what you think:
- Are these real style icons the future of the industry?
- Is their style more relatable to you personally than, say, Ryan Gosling?
- Who is your favourite ‘real’ style icon?
- Can anyone now become an overnight style icon?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below…