All the leaves are brown – and yes, the sky is grey. But don’t just dream of California this autumn/winter: get outside and put it on, just like surfer and fashion entrepreneur Luke Stedman has for our fashion special.
Photography: Trevor O’Shana; Creative Direction: Gary Kingsnorth; Styling: Seth Footring; Grooming: David Cox
Tropical print shirt, £32, by Topman, topman.com (opens in new tab); fine cord uniform shirt, £89, by Universal Works, buy on universalworks.co.uk (opens in new tab); Scottish wool check jacket, £240, by Carrier Company, buy on carriercompany.co.uk (opens in new tab)
How did you find a style of fashion that worked for you?
Like anything, we’re all influenced by certain genres, inspirational people, music, architecture, etc. I spend a lot of time around people in fashion and I pick up the trends and whatnot, but you form your own style by choosing bits and pieces that you like from different collections and inspirations, and mould them into your own.
Hat, model’s own; uniform green flight jacket, £190, by Edwin, buy on edwin-europe.com (opens in new tab); grey Seydou Keita T-shirt (opens in new tab) (just seen), £65, black trousers (opens in new tab), £145, black-and-white plimsolls (opens in new tab), £175, all agnès b, agnesb.co.uk (opens in new tab); Aviator gradient sunglasses, £134, by Ray-Ban, buy on ray-ban.com (opens in new tab)
What are your major influences?
As a label, it’s forever growing and morphing – although we always hold a particular DNA, we’re still changing. That’s what time does, it demands change, but I find inspiration when I’m in the ocean. That’s where I feel most comfortable and it’s the area where I think most freely.
Green cord jacket, £265, by Baracuta, baracuta.com (opens in new tab); grey chunky sweater, £139.95, by samsoe & Samsoe, samsoe.com (opens in new tab); blue jeans, £80, by Whistles, buy on whistles.com (opens in new tab); medium brown Westmore Chukka shoes, £130, by Timberland, buy on timberland.co.uk (opens in new tab)
How did you get your foot in the door?
I didn’t have any textiles experience – I came straight from riding waves for a living. I retired at 35 so I wasn’t starting young in a game that is really difficult at times. Menswear is a market where you really have to hit the nail on the head with each collection and cover a large audience. I definitely made a lot of mistakes when I first started, and I was lucky that we grew organically.
Grey sweatpants, £45, by Saturdays Surf NYC, buy on oki-ni.com (opens in new tab); chambray grandad shirt, £79, by Jigsaw Menswear, buy on jigsaw-online.com (opens in new tab); checked donkey jacket, £350, by Whistles, whistles.com (opens in new tab)
How can other men find clothes that work for them?
Whatever makes you feel comfortable – you’ve got to feel good about yourself and that’s what clothing, to me, does. Any garment needs to make you feel not only comfortable but also it’s nice to feel a little bit uncomfortable – you want to be open to new experiences. Wearing a new outfit or item that you wouldn’t normally wear is a new experience and that’s what life’s all about.
Flowers bomber jacket (opens in new tab), £220, black trousers (opens in new tab), £98, both by InSted We Smile, instedwesmile.com (opens in new tab); brown leather belt, £85, by Upton Belts, uptonbelts.com (opens in new tab); black sneakers, £250, by Common Projects, buy on mrporter.com (opens in new tab)
Is it important for men to develop their own individual style?
Absolutely, but it is difficult to venture out of your comfort zone and explore new territory. We do things over and over, become used to them and end up getting the same results, so if you do something different or feel a bit awkward doing something, you get a different result, which is fun. If you want to evolve you have to do that. I would recommend to every man to try different things, whether it be fashion, sport, lifestyle or career.
Hat, model’s own; white stoke shirt, £85, by Universal Works, buy on universalworks.co.uk (opens in new tab); blue wool check jacket, £180, by Scotch & Soda, buy on scotch-soda.com (opens in new tab); even wash blue jeans ED-One, £170, by Edwin, buy on edwin-europe.com (opens in new tab); off-white canvas lace-up sneakers, £115, by G-Star, g-star.com (opens in new tab)
How has your surfing background affected your fashion fingerprint?
With my label IWS, we’re inspired by surf lifestyle and I spend so much time in the water. My father makes surfboards for a living and commentates at surfing events, so it’s ingrained in our family and the one thing that brings us the most happiness. You can have a really bad surf and still come in and say “That was great!” The moment is never not enjoyable. I guess the ocean is the one place I need to be.
Thick wool coat, £405, by APC, apc.fr (opens in new tab); grey melange T-shirt, £68, by Insted We Smile, buy on instedwesmile.com (opens in new tab); Turner T flecked charcoal slim-fit suit trousers, £125, by Reiss, buy on reiss.com (opens in new tab); brown Oxford lace-up shoes, £290, by APC, apc.fr (opens in new tab)
What’s your biggest fashion crime?
I could probably go through a few old photos and pick out many, to tell you the truth. I think on my 21st birthday I made a pair of blue sequined pants with an Adidas tracksuit top. I look back on that night and it was a big leap – I won’t do that again, I’m much more conservative now…
Tan shearling coat, £2,600, by Crombie, buy on crombie.co.uk (opens in new tab); tropical print shirt, £32, by Topman, buy on topman.com (opens in new tab); stone melange Donegal tweed trousers, £89, by COS, cosstores.com (opens in new tab)
Gary Kingsnorth was the fashion editor for Coach as well as Men’s Fitness.
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