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Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Blog Interview With Grant Harris From Image Granted

Grant, please tell us about your work and how you go about helping your clients?

It’s a pleasure to be here with you and your readers.  Image Granted, LLC is a Washington, DC based image consulting company founded in 2009 dedicated to solving the complex image, style & fashion issues of today’s professional man. IG provides local and international corporate branding, market research and other value-based services for corporate entities and individuals in need of practical & affordable style advice.

From 2012, what were the main highlights you saw in men’s fashion?

There isn’t much use in looking back in time but there were a few things that stood out.  

Green was a big color this past fall, more specifically olive.  

Suits and sport coats continued to get shorter much to the dismay of people like me who would rather not see a man’s rear end.  

On the retail side technology continued to push the envelope with mobile shopping and the launch of dozens of online web shops.  E-commerce was a winner. 

 In footwear color was the game.  Bright soles and contrast shoelaces from Cole Haan and innovation from Grenson livened up the footwear industry.  

The demise of the handmade product continued to be an issue.   Tailors aging without apprentices, consumers demanding more fast fashion and high street collaborations with big box department stores like Target and H&M took a huge bite out of the custom industry.  

These are just some of the happenings in 2012.  We’ll see what‘s in store for 2013.

In 2013, what do you think we are going to see?

I’m no crystal ball and my opinion pales in comparison to more learned men but I believe E-Commerce will continue to be big.  More web shops will open.  Integration between shopping platforms and mobile devices will continue.  

Emerald has been declared the official color of 2013 for the ladies, but I believe Indigo will be the unofficial color for men.   
Manufacturing in third world nations will increase in prominence especially in Africa and the Pacific Rim.

If you could go back to any period in time to have a week wearing the clothes of the period, what period would that be?  

I admire the 40’s and 50’s when men wore a uniform, and not just for the military that consisted of a jacket, tie and hat.  Men weren’t seen without one of these if not all three consistently.  Having a dedicated uniform seems rigid, but when you know the rules you have to play with, you find ways to express yourself within them, which is what dressing well is all about.

Grant Harris, a patron of Le Noeud Papillon, wearing a velvet Roger M bow tie using Holland And Sherry Modal Velvet

What is the most prized item in your wardrobe?

My class ring from the Virginia Military Institute.  No matter what I’m wearing it always shines the brightest.  I wear it proudly.  It would most likely be the first and/or only thing I’d grab if my house was on fire.

Can you rank for us the importance in your wardrobe of the following items and why: Suits, Shirts, Shoes, Watches, Ties, Cufflinks, Vests, Hats, Jeans, T-Shirts.

I own three times as many sport jackets s I do suits.  I’m more comfortable in them and feel like there are more options.  I have suits because I should, but wear them sparingly.

Shoes are important but the most expensive addition to any wardrobe.  I do my best.

Watches hold no place in my wardrobe.  I don’t wear them and quite frankly don’t understand why some men find them so fascinating.  To each his own. 

Ties are lovely, but I have all I need, which is too many.  I prefer ascots at this point.  

Cufflinks are gift better received than bought.  

I greatly admire vests and DB vests at that.  I wear them regularly all year round.  They keep a man looking clean and put together with or without a jacket.  I’ve never not received a compliment while wearing a vest.  

As I mentioned earlier I like the idea of hats and have acquired two recently.  They are harder to come by these days and therefore all the more reason to wear them.  

I own one pair of jeans.  I believe there are so many more comfortable and more creative options a man can choose to cover his rear.  

T-shirts should only be worn at home or at the gym.

What are your top three menswear brands and what are the go-to lines of each of them?

1. Bresciani for socks
2. Drake’s for ties/pocket squares
3. Pringle for cashmere

What is the one product that you can’t justify the money to own but if you had the money you would purchase in a flash?

Four Ply Cashmere Shawl Collar Cardigan by Drakes.  It looks like I’d never want to take it off, but $1100 (depending on the exchange rate) for a cardigan is astronomical.
Budd dressing gown from The Merchant Fox.  No one needs a dressing gown, but anyone who has one never takes it off.

Grant Harris, MBA 

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