October 12, 2016
In Conversation With Adrian Azodi of Monsieur Fox
Monsieur Fox founder, Adrian Azodi was born and raised in the US and now currently resides in Dubai.
Adrian’s life in the menswear world is one of someone who lives an elegant life; naturally, whilst building his brand which consists of hand crafted men’s accessories; from pocket squares to lapel chains.
With a new collection set to launch this autumn, Monsieur Fox has been featured many a times at Pitti Uomo on some of the world’s most stylish men. We chatted with Adrian about the new collection and the trials of launching a successful brand.
When and what was it that made you want to launch Monsieur Fox?
I felt, and still feel, that most of the big, ready-to-wear brands offer collections that are either relatively uninspiring or very overpriced. I wanted to make something with a little more character, that would last for years and wasn’t irrationally expensive.
This became the driving spirit behind Monsieur Fox; the specific intent of what we call, “Everyday Elegance”. It’s a commitment to deliver luxury quality products without the retail markup.
We wanted it to be affordable so that someone can pick up a few pieces every 2-3 months yet also designed in a way that when they’re worn at the office, out with friends, on the weekend, and 3 years from now, they don’t feel out of place.
Is there a comparison to any brands out there in which inspire you?
Of course, certainly there are a number of brands out there that serve as role models, and those that personally I consider superb; Drake’s is probably the most well-known in the men’s accessories space, and then you have brands like Rubinacci, Attolini, Liverano, etc. that carry the flag for classic Italian menswear as a whole.
Newer brands like Christian Kimber, Post Imperial, and Ikire Jones are bringing some new perspective to the industry, which is great to see. That being said, we do our utmost to ensure that what we create maintains our own unique identity, while respecting our predecessors and contemporaries.
Can you tell us a little about the production behind the materials, and the process?
We design all of our collections in-house, and the process can take a few months, depending on how big of a collection we’re planning.
We make all of our pockets squares, ties and scarves in southern Italy, and all of our cufflinks and lapel chains are handmade in Dubai, which is where I live. I’ve focused on what I think is important in the making of a piece: the delicate balance between creating something wearable and familiar while maintaining our own personality.
You’re set to release your latest collection. Can you tell us about it? Inspirations etc.
Yes, we’re very excited about this new collection! At our recent trunk show in London, we had some great feedback as attendees got an exclusive preview of these pieces.
We were inspired by Japan in the 1860’s. At the time, it was illegal for the Japanese to travel, particularly to the West, yet we found out about several groups that were recruited and secretly sent by regional leaders (daimyo’s) to London to study, learn and bring their knowledge back to Japan. These young students were told to fully integrate into the culture and city, and the difficulty of that must have been incredible!
For us, it served as an interesting starting point, as we imagined that in a foreign country, with both language and cultural barriers, in clothing one has never worn, these students wanted something that would remind them of home, yet still fit into the regular life of a London resident.
We created pocket squares with this in mind, thinking that they could have worn these as a small way for them to hold onto a piece of what they knew with them without attracting undue attention. We’re dedicated to creating unique designs and I think we’ve been most successful when we connect our products to a story that will resonate with people.
As a start-up, in the beginning what did you find hard, anything you didn’t expect to encounter?
I don’t have a background in fashion or clothing design/production, so almost everything was something I didn’t expect! However, I knew it was not going to be easy and I think that’s a great place to start for any business owner.
I came into it willing to learn, either by finding it on my own or asking the right questions. There’s a reason that certain brands last and most fade away, and I think its consistency, not only in what you release but how people experience your brand.
We are doing our best to ensure that design, product and creative development are always moving forward and living up to our ethos and what our customers have come to expect of us.
You have begun a number of collaborations recently, do you think this is one of the best ways to get your brand noticed and exposed?
Working with other brands in the industry has been great, especially when we find other young brands that have a similar message and spirit.
The power of collaboration is that we get to connect our audiences and show how these various perspectives augment each other.
Trunk shows have been a large part of our marketing strategy this year, as we don’t have a physical shop, and that gives people a chance to experience the brand first hand, which is always helpful in building genuine customer relationships and getting the word out.
As a well-dressed man yourself, what do you think are key elements to dressing well?
You know, within the past 2 years or so, my style has changed quite a lot. I think I’m actually becoming more conservative in the way I dress!
For me, I think fit is the first thing to focus on; the better a garment fits (how it conforms to your body) the better you’ll look and feel. Something I try to keep in mind these days, as well, is to use colour and texture to create depth and dimension for an outfit and that helps when we’re sourcing fabrics and pinning down final designs.
Finally, one or two small details do really go a long way. And that’s where I have the most fun.
Find out more about Adrian Azodi and shop the full collection by visiting Monsieur Fox.