Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette! In today's interview, I have Andres Weinasfrom Manolo.
se in Sweden and he's going to share his approach to style and what he learnedover the years.
Welcome, Andreas! Andreas Weinas: Thank you so much.
A pleasure to be with you! Sven Raphael Schneider: Wonderful! Andreas, you are how old? AW: Thirty, this year actually, in September.
I read about you that you went to a textilecollege and that you got a degree in textile and business and you also used to be a professionalhandball player, is that right? AW: Yeah, that is quite the contrast to behonest but my life was pretty much professional handball for around 15 years and then slowlybut steady, my interest and my passion for menswear and clothing took more and more timeand handball is not paying like football or ice hockey in Sweden even if you're playingat that professional level.
SRS: So it was difficult to make a livingat handball, basically.
I think you discovered the world of men'sstyle at a later age or not later age, you were like early 20s, is that right? AW: Exactly! I think the early 20s, as a lot of other guys, started off with trends and more fashion, I think I got a little bit of being punk rockerone season and the preppy guy the next.
For me that was, I realized that I'm not extremelyclassic, but the more classic look tended to have a longer period before it changes.
SRS: That's very true but you mentioned punkand preppy, was that really the way you dressed? AW: Not really.
Sure, it could be like a bomber jacket oneseason that I thought was so nice and then I mean, to me the preppy trend was extreme.
I think it was 2007, 2008, something likethat.
I respect the trend because the history ofthe look, it has genuine parts but when everyone's wearing a bow tie and roll up jeans then itkind of loses it's.
SRS: Yeah, it lacks the individualism andeverybody wears one style, it's no style basically.
You came from professional sports then youkind of developed this interest in style and how did you end up in textile school then? AW: Yeah, my options were either studyingbusiness and economics normally in Gothenburg and then I found this in Buros actually, outsideGothenburg where pretty much the textile mecca Sweden was back in the 60s or 70s.
I was perfect and of course, you're not learningabout bespoke suits, you're learning about fabrics that are more used in today's.
inH&M and Zara.
SRS: It's a large scale production, right? When you start, you think “Oh, there are allthese nice suits and everything” but then you realize “Oh, we're talking about the weavesof white cotton and how you can reduce the price and still maintain the certain levelof quality so it's less romantic than what you may think.
AW: Yes, I learned a lot.
SRS: So, you mentioned Manolo.
tell us about Manolo.
What is Manolo? AW: Well, Manolo is in Sweden.
The largest menswear site, stye guide focusingon quality craftsmanship and classic style with a modern take, so to speak.
SRS: And it's written in Swedish only, isthat right? AW: 100% Swedish.
SRS: Okay, so how many visitors do you attractper month? AW: We have around 25 to 30, 000 a week anda little over 50, 000 a month.
SRS: That's fantastic.
Especially considering how many people livein Sweden? AW: I think 9 million, perhaps.
SRS: So the market is rather limited comparedto English, it's much smaller.
AW: I'm the executive editor so I am responsiblefor the budget, our freelance writers and for the actual, for the everyday count, prettymuch of the site.
SRS: Wow, so did you start at that positionat Manolo or how did you work your way there? AW: Yeah, after I graduated from school, Iwas contacted by the publisher called Egmont which is I think, one of the top three publishersin Sweden and they own King magazine in Sweden and Manolo which is the sister or brothersite to King with a more sartorial focus.
Manolo is only online but King magazine isa print.
I was offered a full-time editorship of Manoloand also 20%, I divide my time 80% on Manolo and 20% on King magazine.
SRS: Okay, wonderful! You're already eluded to it but what wouldyou say are the core values of Manolo compared to King? AW: Definitely a little bit more dressed upbut it's not 100% suit and tie.
It's about quality over quantity, I wouldsay.
To go in-depth about construction and fabricand consistency and sustainability, that you could buy something actually for the yearsto come, for use over 10-15 years instead of 10-15 months.
SRS: Exactly, I think the impact you mentioned, sustainability, right? It's not very environmentally friendly togrow cotton even if it's organic.
It just uses a lot of resources.
the dyeing is not really friendly.
You can wear something 15 years rather than15months, you have gotten so much for value and you didn't waste all that water and thedye, like 12 different pieces but just one.
AW: I agree! SRS: Even though I don't speak Swedish, Isometimes go to Manolo and just use the translate function to see what's going on and your mostpopular post, in my opinion, is probably the “Friday Inspiration”.
AW: It's been a tradition at Manolo for waybefore I started in 2013.
My predecessor started it, I think in 2007or something so every Friday for I think it's 10 years.
it's a cool thing.
SRS: It's really great and Probably I'm sureyour readers love it so I was wondering, so how do you determine what to feature everyFriday? How long does it take you? Do you just create 10 outfits every like, 10 weeks or just do it on Thursday night, how does that come together? AW: That depends.
It could be both actually, during certainperiods, you could get super inspired and do 2-3 of them on the same day pretty muchbut it could also be done very much in the last second if you're not inspired for themoment.
Yeah, I try to focus on everything from, itcould be just something like a color or a decade.
SRS: So, now I'd like to talk a little bitmore about your style.
I think you have a very interesting styleand it's going through your Instagram profile, I would sum it up as classic, re-interpreted.
You take classic colors, you take classicgarments and you try to go with like a dark orange, burgundy, a bottle green but thenin terms of cut, you like a very slim cut pair of trousers, not too long, no break necessarilyand soft, softer garments.
How would you describe your style? AW: I think you are pretty much spot on butthat is correct.
I think a big problem when you have to choosebetween either being a conservative, classical menswear or you have to be a sprezzatura ora trend menswear.
I think you can be inspired from the benefitsof a cut of bespoke suits because that craft is pretty much perfected over centuries butI still think that you could combine that with personal and even modern influences.
I think that's what personal style is allabout.
Influenced by modern trends, and you decideyourself which ones are relevant for you, even with classic rules to dressing, I meansome of them really make a good point and some of them are completely useless.
SRS: For example, give us some specifics.
AW: Well, I mean, wearing white after laborday.
I think, that personally, the only reasonwhy I would wear white is because it would be a really rainy day outside or it doesn'tmatter if it's summer or winter.
With a crisp, sunny, winterday, I would love to wear white trousers, maybe not linen because it's too cold.
SRS: A nice pair of flannels, right? AW: Exactly! Brown shoes after 6, that's just, I mean obvious, I think.
I love black shoes and I think there are somesituations where a black shoe is absolutely the best choice so I mean, know the rulesbut still question them and question the relevance for you, I think.
SRS: Another thing about your style and Ithink stands out, is your beard.
For how many months have you been a beardsman? AW: At least 10 years now, I think or more.
Since I was able to grow one.
I don't know why but at first, I think I lookedtoo young without them so I started to have it and then the big beard trend came to theworld then everyone was saying “Oh, don't you know that trend is over?” and I was like, yeah, that's great, now I can keep my beard.
SRS: Like you said, you had it for 10 years, that was before the kind of hipster, urban, beards man trend came out.
AW: It's been shorter, it's been longer, dependingon time and preference.
For the wedding, I actually got a clean shave.
SRS: Nice, that's interesting cos you havethe beard all the time and you just shave it off.
were you surprised when you shavedit off, how you look? AW: Yes, yes, absolutely! I was 8 years younger.
(laughs) SRS: And your wife didn't recognize you? Has she seen you without a beard before? AW: Yes.
SRS: Alright, before you mentioned, you hadmore than 15 suits so I was wondering you know, looking at all of them, what are themost worn pieces in your wardrobe? AW: I would say, I have a blue Attolini suitin a bird's eye weave.
That is a made to measure, that is the pinnacleof my wardrobe, I love it! SRS: There can be like, gems in other placesbut you have to kind of, I guess you have to understand quality, right? What I, at the Gentleman's Gazette and FortBelvedere, we always try to say “Hey, it's quality and style” and if you know those twothings, you can see it even if there's no brand name on it.
It's just that little craftsman somewherebut if you see it you're like, “oh wow, this is good”.
AW: Yeah, that's true! SRS: So, how important is quality in yourlife? AW: Quality, I think, it's the combinationof the garment.
they key is quality over quantity, every time but on the other hand, as I said before, the quality doesn't matter at all if the aesthetics are not there becausethen you won't use it and then the quality won't be appreciated.
SRS: Where would you say do you buy your clothes? You mentioned a few tailors but what aboutyour shirts and your other things, what are brands or things that you would like to mentionhere? AW: Some people are very keen on having shirtsmade to measure or with the highest possible quality, shirts is actually one of the productsthat I would consider at a little lower price range because it's basically, you wear themfrequently next to your body, it has to be washed and I've had some problematic experiencewith really fine shirts that have shrunk to the extent that they are not, you know, they'retoo short to be worn with the jackets that you want to wear them with.
Sleeve length was 2 cm off so, I mean, it'sstill a great shirt but doesn't happen with jackets so I'd rather spend a little bit moreon the perfect fit for the jacket and perhaps, I'm not saying, I'm not buying, I would neverbuy shirts with a bad quality but if I had to prioritize, I would go for jackets andshoes as the premium.
SRS: So, what shoe brands do you go for? AW: Well, the best ones, in my opinion, areSt.
That's mainly because I have a formation problemwith my feet, it's not a big problem but I fall in, so to speak, when I walk and theyhave, in my opinion, the best arch support for a non-bespoke shoe and they are reallyexpensive but the style, the materials, the construction and arch support is, in my opinion, unrivaled for their price range.
So, the other thing I wanted to mention aboutshirts was what I have noticed, sometimes, there's a trend now to hand sewn shirts, everythingis hand made and while I can appreciate the craftsmanship quality in a machine sometimes, when you wash it, the machine sewn seam is actually sturdier than a hand sewn seam.
The hand sewn may be nicer, more flexibleon a jacket, that's really great but on a shirt sometimes, I feel like the machine stitchingcan be superior to hand stitching.
AW: I agree with you.
I think hand stitching in many cases withshirts is more of a marketing gimmick.
SRS: I think I prefer the machine buttonholeon the shirt simply because it's going to last longer.
On a jacket, I always go for the handmadebuttonholes.
AW: Same here, I think the handmade detailson the jacket except for buttonholes but then it's really a good point of using hand laborbecause there are so many parts of making a jacket that really gets better made by hand.
Everything from pressing the jacket to shouldersand not to mention the canvas.
I mean there's a reason why bespoke tailorshand pat the canvas instead of a machine.
SRS: So, what are your style pet peeves? AW: I did like an article about this a coupleweeks back on Manolo.
My ten commandments, like how I think.
It's not bad if people are doing it wrongor if they break these, it's just my personal opinion.
SRS: When they come meet you at the Manoloevents, they should read this list beforehand.
AW: Exactly! (laughs) I never wear lightertie than the shirt, that is something I just don't, I really don't like that.
I can't motivatewhy I think it's just that the tie really stick out in a bad way if it's lighter thanthe shirt collar.
It can be lighter than the jacket but not lighter than the shirt.
SRS: Okay, alright so that's one of them.
What about the other nine? AW: I have to remember them but I think, Itend to, I don't want too much contrast in my outfit unless I'm wearing a dark suit anda white tie is appropriate.
If I wear odd trousers, I like for example, to wear, if I have a mid-grey trouser I like the jacket, no matter which color, it shouldnot bee too dark or too light.
It should be a complement, the same tone.
SRS: Interesting! That's also a personal thing, if you're moreof a high contrast or low contrast, low contrast will work better for you and if you are, likeI have more, I can wear probably higher contrast better than you can but it seems like it'sa personal thing.
You don't go with the really charcoal andcrisp white shirt, I rarely see you wearing that.
AW: Not that often and I still think thatif there's a dress code that says formal suit or something, then, of course, I mean, I alwaystry to wear at least one pattern in my outfit, it doesn't have to be bold but it could be, if I have a pinstripe suit then I could have a plain shirt and a plain tie but not a plainsuit, plain tie and plain jacket because I like something to pop.
SRS: The difference between a vintage watchand a new watch and why do you prefer the vintage? AW: I like vintage watches because every singleone has developed their own character.
Especially from the 60s and 70, there's notone that looks like another.
Everyone has developed in different ways andI think that's superb.
I think also, there's something about, youcannot just go out and buy it, I mean, with a new watch, does not really matter the price, if you have the money, you pretty much get it.
Vintage watches, it's much more of a searchto get that exact model or example and the right price and the right condition, so it'smuch more fun, I think.
SRS: It's more of a hunt, right? AW: Yeah, exactly! And last but not least is, I have quite tinywrists so I really prefer the smaller sized watches.
SRS: That's a very good point.
Like the dials have become so big and theolder ones are smaller and just looks better on you.
AW: That's I think the main reason.
There are fantastic watches made in the lastcentury that I think is very, still undervalued, I mean there's a lot of vintage watches thatare overvalued, in my opinion as well.
I mean the Rolex Daytona, they couldn't sellit for ten years.
SRS: We did an article about that and it'scrazy right? I mean a watch that sold for 90 and a thousanddollars and now is like 250 thousand dollars, it's just like a good marketing.
AW: Yeah, very much, absolutely! it's up toyou if you like the watch, I'm not saying, it's been proven a great investment for thosewho bought.
but I mean there's a lot of vintage watches that are very, very low pricedcompared to the quality.
SRS: So specifically, what are those watches? AW: I would look for, like a universal.
I think there are still some nice Omegas.
Even though Vacheron Constantin is an expensivewatchmaker, I think the smaller dress watches from the 60s, the 70s are extremely priceworthy.
SRS: Perfect, thanks for sharing, I thinkthat's a good insight so usually we close our interview with quick questions, you canexplain or you can say something else but it's just to give a quick overview of whatyou prefer.
Okay, so Oxford or Derby? AW: Oxfords.
I mean, it's so elegant.
I like derbies as well, definitely but I thinkit's the ultimate men's wear shoe.
SRS: Flannel or worsted? AW: Flannel, definitely flannel.
Except for the summer, flannel, I love thetexture, it's perfect.
SRS: Necktie or bow tie? AW: Neckties for me, I think it's cool butbow ties, I'm not man enough for it, I'm sorry.
SRS: Belt or suspenders? AW: Depends on the occasion but I think, Iwear belts a little bit more, suspenders are better in terms of function, you can sit andstand during meetings, when I get up, the place is exactly where it should be with suspenders.
With belts, they tend to, you know, go downand then it won't go up again.
So, suspenders is a great fit, just not withevery jacket.
SRS: Barrel cuff or French cuff? AW: Barrel cuff.
I wear them much more, I think it's very nicewith a french cuff but I only wear those for formal suits.
SRS: Undershirt or no undershirt? AW: No undershirt, never!! I never really understood that I mean, maybeif it's so hot outside that you need like an undershirt to take up the sweat but inmy opinion, just close the jacket and pretend like nothing happened.
(laughs) SRS: If you wear like a formal stuff likea white tie, or with a starched shirt front, undershirt will be much better on your skinthan having that.
that's my take on it, each to his own.
that's true! SRS: Off the rack or custom? AW: Custom, always custom.
mostly for the possibility to do what youreally want.
I mean, not just the quality but the color, the cut, the length, the style, no compromise.
SRS: Alright, so what can we expect from AndreasWeinas in 2016 and beyond? AW: To do my best of giving you guys somehopefully, entertaining articles and inspiration.
SRS: Alright well thank you very much, Andreas.
It was a true pleasure, I enjoyed your differenttake on things and thank you for your time! AW: Thank you, bye!.