Social media has become a major hub for the world’s new influencers and bloggers. Whether Instagram, Facebook or Tumblr, each platform has become a source of style inspiration for the urbane gentleman. R. Culturi speaks with menswear enthusiast, Wale Soluade of A Curated Man, in our latest series chronicling the journeys of acclaimed menswear tastemakers.
Wale Soluade @acuratedman
HR Management, 33, St. Louis, #WorkHardDressWell
How did you get into menswear? Were you always conscious of how you dress?
My interest in menswear began with my dad. As far back as I can remember, he’s always dressed impeccably. As a result, I’ve always been conscious of how I dressed but I’d have to say that I didn’t start getting really intentional with it until I got to college.
How would you describe your style? Where do you draw influence from?
I’ve always had this thought that I’d like to be able to look at photos of myself in 40 years and not only not be embarrassed by what I’m wearing but still feel like I could wear the same thing without skipping a beat. So I’d describe my style as primarily inspired by a classic view of tailored clothing with a bit of an edge. I enjoy infusing unexpected colors or combining bolder pieces with staples and draw inspiration from a number of sources. For example, I was born in Nigeria and on a recent trip to visit family, brought back some adire (indigo-dyed cloth made in Southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba people) fabric. I then had that made into an unlined, peak-lapel jacket by a tailor in Italy.
You are one of the leading classic menswear icons in the United States. How does American style differ from British or Italian?
American style today seems to be in a state of transition…essentially trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Italians have pretty much led the way when it comes to menswear followed closely by the British. Conversations around tailoring today commonly include a discussion of tailors in Florence, Naples and on Savile Row but when it comes to American tailors, the conversation flips to heritage. When discussing tailoring with the average guy, I’m finding that their frame of reference now comes from the Italians or the British.
What are the must have items for someone trying to build a classic menswear wardrobe?
In my opinion, a classic wardrobe begins with a navy, single-breasted suit. I would follow that up with a mid-grey suit. My other must-haves worth investing in include a quality pair of wing-tips, a camel overcoat and a leather briefcase.
You were one of the first supporters of R. Culturi pocket squares back in 2015. What drew you to the brand? What has been your favorite piece from the collection?
My favorite thing about R.Culturi is the partnership with artists from around the globe. Unlike other brands that offer pocket squares where you to a certain extent know what to expect from their designs, R.Culturi brings a bit of the unknown to the table. The creativity represented in the designs and the quality of the squares has been consistent from my very first piece. The “Tides” and “Vision of an Urban Peasant” squares constantly battle for the number one spot in my rankings.
Wale’s favorites from the R. Culturi Pocket Square collection:
All photos courtesy of A Curated Man.