In a time where society makes us question if chivalry still exists and if gentlemen are now on the endangered species list, I decided to set out to show that it is the furthest from the truth. We present our Gents Among Us series and we we start with Mr. Guillaume Bo, founder of Men Need More Style. I had the privilege of interviewing this gent and found out that we shared the same enthusiasm for Hip Hop and Djing...yes you read correctly.
M.C. - If you had 5 words to describe you, what would they be?
G.B. - Music/Hip Hop, Obstinate, Passion, Blessed, Misanthropic.
M.C. - Do you consider yourself a gentleman and if so what does being a gentleman mean to you?
G.B. - A man, that’s for sure. Gentle sometimes. A gentleman, I try...
M.C. - What inspires you?
G.B. - Women, readings, design, life.
M.C. - You have to be a busy gent, do you even have free time? How do you spend it?
G.B. - Sports, walking, politics/sciences/arts.
M.C. - How did you get into the world of menswear?
G.B. - Step by step. I’ve always loved to play with colors and to wear nice clothes though. Even when I was younger, even a kid, I wanted to match colors. Shoes with my polos for example or socks with my shirts. I also liked comics like Blake and Mortimer or movies from Hitchcock and I was a big fan of MJ. I watched his clip smooth criminal a...billion times! And of course James Bond or books of Himes, London, Harrison...
I worked with/for Phat Farm too in Europe because I was a dj/producer. It was casual/sport clothes, hip hop oriented but Russel Simmons wanted it sober and classic so I loved it, but at the same time, I could mix/dj sometimes with my suits as well. I’ve always wanted to prove, to show that "we hip hop guys" could have taste and I also wanted to prove that we weren’t only baggys and caps...
So cats/men/friends used to ask me to help them to do shopping. They want advice...etc.
I lived in France but when I moved to San Francisco or NY or Montreal it was the same. People used to come to me and to say "man, I love your style", "man, do u think I could wear this?", "Man could you help me...".
Then stores asked me to do the same. Then brands as well.
I created events dedicated to Elegance too. One in Montreal for example called Tux in the City. Bow ties for everybody. Gentlewomen and Gentlemen.
Like I say in Men Need more style, I’d like this world to be nicer to our eyes .
M.C. - Was menswear your first career choice?
G.B. - Nope. Never thought about it before... I played soccer and tennis and I wish I could have been a pro or I thought I could be into politics, ambassador. And after my whole life was dedicated to music.
M.C. - What birthed Men Need More Style?
G.B. - I lived in Montreal and I was taking a break. I had time. I felt like a real lack of sartorialism there, a real lack of clothes culture, so I decided to create a Facebook page called Montreal Needs More Style with tips, advice, ideas, good spots... I noticed that a lot of men read it but they weren’t... Canadian and they said to me "you know, in ... Berlin same state, in Chicago same thing... In Dakar... In ... So it became Men need more style.
M.C. - You once lived near Cannes, how is the menswear scene there?
G.B. - I use to live nearby Nice actually. Cannes is not that far (30 miles). Cannes is very BLING BLING oriented. A lot of new stores dedicated to fashionistas but not to Gentlemen. Nice is one of the biggest cities in France. Example, one store called Albert Arts, I’d say that you have nothing very interesting there. A cruel lack of elegance and style. It’s also available for Monaco. You can see a lot of fabulous cars, yachts. But no Gentlemen. I think I met 4 or 5 guys with taste.
M.C. - What do you want to be your affect on the industry?
G.B. - Firstly, i just want to share my passion and this culture. I try also to make understand and it’s like a mission that you don’t really need money to be elegant. It’s more a question of time, patience, culture and education since you can find basics and play with them. It’s like crate digging you know..? You just need to find the good spots, the good brands, the good tailors, the right people who know what they talk about. We can feel already that the industry, thanks to real good blogs/sites like The Bespoke Dudes or Parisian Gentleman or Milanese special selection or stores like The Armoury, B&T Tailors... Or mine Has been changing the game. Big brands feel that something huge is happening and they change the way they talk to men and the way they make suits, shirts and so on. They talk now to educated Gentlemen so they must make good clothes or they wont sell, and its a very good thing.
Moreover small companies do a very good job like Drakes for example or Shibumi or Lardini and they create sane emulation. Taste is back!
M.C. - What’s next for you and MNMS?
G.B. - I don’t really know yet. Maybe i should think about something outside of Facebook because you remember...? I decided my Page/blog to be only there. It was a challenge and it s not the easiest way to grow maybe but I wanted to be different. Maybe I should create and design my own line... Wait and see.