Men’s Folio speaks with Hideki Akiyoshi, creative consultant of marketing consultancy Wonder Asia, on what makes a stylish man.
Creative consultant of marketing consultancy Wonder Asia
Growing up, who were your fashion icons and favourite fashion brands?
My mother. I was greatly influenced by her passion in fashion, and I got my first Louis Vuitton bag at the age of 12. I still have the photos of me carrying an LV travelling bag for my school excursion trip while the rest of my friends used Adidas or Nike sports bag. My favourite designers include Paul Poiret, Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Madame Gres, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hanae Mori. As for the brands, I would say Gucci, Beams, Edifice and UA.
Name one of the biggest fashion faux pas you wish you hadn’t made.
I remember two decades ago, many Singaporeans were startled by the way I dressed – a full set of shirt, jacket, and scarf – despite such warm weather. They even called me crazy.
Key fall fashion trends you’ll be adopting this season.
I look forward to try layering colours of cream, beige and brown, which are a quite a contrast to the colourful palette used this spring/summer season.
How would you describe your style?
Distinctive Japanese with an Italian twist.
Where do you get your fashion inspirations/references from?
I used to be inspired by fashion leaders in Japan. Now I get my inspirations from 1950’s and 1960’s French and Italian movies, or from the streets in Italy.
How would you define a well-dressed/stylish man?
The guy who possesses a strong philosophy in both style and living. Your style represents who you are and what your thoughts are.
What do you see in the upcoming menswear trends in Singapore?
I appreciate that more people in Singapore, especially the younger ones, are trying to be stylish and paying more attention to what they wear. However, they also need to learn that fashion is not merely about mixing and matching however they like. There are theories and history, often exhibited in fashion museums around the world that enable one to learn and understand the reasons behind certain designs and styles. Once people learn that, I believe the fashion in Singapore will elevate from superficial to a more academic one.
How important is fashion/grooming to a man?
It is not necessary to buy expensive clothes, but it is important to know your style. If you understand fabric and material choices, and tailoring techniques, then you’ll be able to appreciate and choose your clothes more wisely.
What are the key accessories that a man should have?
Pocket squares, shoes, necklaces, rings and watches.
In your opinion, how does dressing well empower a person?
It speaks for you without you having to say a word. You can meet a thousand people in a day but you can’t possibly talk to every single one of them, so let your style be your philosophy advocator.
What are some of the style rules that you live by?
Respect the people you meet and style yourself appropriately for the occasion.