Thursday, 9 February 2012

Hackett and BAFTA

Below is a brief interview conducted by The Style King where we chatted about the forthcoming BAFTA awards and now that the event is almost upon us I am becoming very excited.

Q. What does it mean for you to be involved with the BAFTAs?

It is a great opportunity to be on the inside track and be able to witness first hand the tension, the triumphs and inevitably the tears as the actors put on stellar performances. The whole event is worth a BAFTA in itself. Of course I shall be checking out all the outfits, I can't help myself.

Q. What other events are Hackett working on this year?

We are involved in a number of sponsorships including the Klosters Snow Polo, Dubai British Polo Day and The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race - we will be dressing the players and crew for each of these events. The biggest event of the season will be the opening of our flagship store in Milan in March.

Q. What would be your tips for any man attending a black tie event for the first time?

My mantra is formal dress is not fancy dress so keep it simple, it's all about shape, proportion, and fit. Tailored, single breasted, peaked lapel dinner jacket and white, marcella, double cuff dress shirt with studs not buttons (studs should match cufflinks) and dress watch, black silk self-tie bow tie (not ready made). It really is not difficult to tie, just think of tying your shoelaces, even I can manage it and I'm left handed.

Q. What is your favourite film of all time and why?

It is not so much a film as a series of movies, the Ealing comedies of the 1950s and early 60s, why they bother to try to reinvent them I'll never know as they cannot be surpassed.

Q. Do you have a favourite actor?

I have always liked Paul Newman; he never looked as though he was acting.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Accompanied by my sponsorship manager Neil, his fragrant wife, Lynden and a charming Gentleman from the London Fashion Council, Jenico, we all clambered into the awaiting engine throbbing Aston Martin Rapide that was there to greet us outside the terminal in Zurich. Taking us from our economy flight, first class to Klosters for the annual snow polo event, where we are the clothing sponsor.

As we drove seamlessly to Klosters, Jenico regaled us with amusing inside stories about the fashion business and how he was busy with the forthcoming fashion week preparations. He also explained how the fashion council help and advise fledgling raw talent learn to cope with the rigours of developing their artisan business into a brand which was very insightful.

One of Jenico's responsibilities during fashion week is to ensure that sponsors are afforded maximum exposure and that there is no contamination of their brand. This is called "Brand Hygiene", an expression I had never heard before and found hysterical. For instance, as a sponsor of Aston Martin, if I turned up for a public event in another model of car, that shall remain nameless (you see I am already being brand hygienic!) and I was photographed, it would have to be air freshened out as it would be breaking the brand hygiene rules! I shall be rigorously spring cleaning the office when I get back.

About three miles outside of Klosters, it began to snow heavily and by morning the Aston was covered in two foot of snow - the heaviest snowfall since 1965. We dug the Aston out and put it in the garage for the remainder of our stay and walked everywhere dressed head to toe in Hackett, fulfilling my brand hygiene footprint.

Last year it was bitterly cold, –15, and I froze in my tweed jacket and plus 4s so this year I took a more practical approach and wore a bright red parka and of course it turned out to be a balmy –3 so now I was too hot!

We watched the Hackett team play and lose, so we consoled ourselves in the hospitality tent where it seemed every other person was dressed in Hackett! Our brand hygiene was working a treat.

The highlight of the weekend was the charity dinner in aid of Sentebale. The ambassador for the cause was Annie Lennox, who spoke movingly on behalf of the charity. I am pleased to hear they raised a considerable amount in the auction - one Gentleman forking out CHF 8,500 for the privilege of owning a Hackett personally tailored suit. To help bump up the price, I said I would sew the buttons on myself! On reflection I'm not sure that was a good move?

I bumped into Simon Le-Bon, who's band Duran Duran had been playing earlier in the day and who's impromptu renditions of their hits raised even more money, an extraordinary man in an ordinary world.

Despite the Hackett team having lost in Klosters, they were immaculately turned out, ensuring our brand hygiene remained intact. Job done!