MFM shone the spotlight on entrepreneur Khaled Nasr of ‘Sartorio Merta’ this week. Oozing impeccable style and grace, but rest assured don’t feel intimidated; he has such a humble and likeable character it’s no wonder our Instagram feeds are getting filled with him more and more each day.
Khaled; who currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and children, has access to some of what we would describe as the best bespoke tailors in the world. With a natural elegance and manner due to his upbringing, he’s completely down to earth and relatable. We chatted with Mr Nasr about his love affair with sartorial fashion and what makes him tick. Here’s what MFM found out….
Tell us where your story began – we’d like to know a bit about how your passion started?
My passion really started a long time ago with my parents. My parents have always been very well dressed people. They were fortunate to own a successful company with a lot of employees (over 300) and one of their main messages to me and my brothers was that you had to always look presentable in front of everyone you meet and everyone you work with.
A well-dressed person is the first thing you see, even before you open your mouth with the first words. This is the impact you want. You initially gain their respect because it shows that you are someone who has enough respect for yourself to be able to take time and look presentable.
As a man of great style where do you find your inspiration?
I honestly find my inspiration from the past. I am a big fan of history; when you look back in time, people always dressed up no matter where they went and what they did. It wasn’t even thought about or considered ‘dressing up’. It was just the way people dressed. Even looking back to the 1930’s or 1970’s (my two favourite eras) people dressed up in a way that stood out.
In the 1930’s people started to trim up the silhouettes and wear trimmer pants in an effort to look more fashion forward. Fabrics were beautiful and really allowed gentlemen to take the suit from strictly formal wear to something more fun. In the 1970’s, I don’t consider that an era of the best suits or typically “my style” but it was a time where people had so much fun with the way they dressed. It was a time of partying and excess. Overtime people would go out, they would dress with the best possible outfits they could find to stand out.
Who are your style icon(s)?
I have a few style icons. Valentino Ricci and Nicola Ricci – The Ricci brothers; to me, are the epitome of elegance. As the owners of Sciamat they both wear their clothes but in entirely different ways. Valentino is very classic in his style. You rarely see him wearing colours other than navy or grey but the fit and way he puts it together is timeless.
Nicola, on the other hand, really puts together fantastic colours, fabrics and textures that stand out but still maintain an elegant overall look. Same clothing done entirely different ways. Matteo Marzotto is another. He’s a really elegant person with a simple style that, to me, stands out. I am a huge double breasted jacket fan and he pulls off every look with perfection.
You’re often described as elegant; in your opinion how does this relate to having good style?
Thank you very much. To me, elegance is not about what you wear but how you carry yourself in your everyday life. That is first and foremost the most important aspect of being elegant. You can wear the most expensive clothes and the flashiest jewellery but have a ridiculously obnoxious attitude and right there you have, in my opinion, someone who is 100% not elegant. Dressing well only adds to that character, no matter what your style of dressing is.
What is your normal life like; what are you doing when you’re not inspiring other men on Instagram?
I love spending time with my family and especially my two kids. Zain is two and a half years old and Jude is six months and these are the best times when having children. You can never get these days back so I try to soak it up as much as possible. Other than that, I am a real foodie and love to try new restaurants and new types of cuisine. Living in Los Angeles, we have had a real resurgence of amazing young chefs opening up restaurants here.
Lastly travelling, for me, is my favourite thing to do. I love seeing new parts of the world where I can meet new people see the story of the country and try the local foods. I always say that you can really understand the culture of a country and the people by trying their food.
We know you’re a big fan of bespoke clothing, when it comes to creating something new do you have a lot of say in what you have made for you? In terms of fabrics, style, colours etc.
I am a huge fan of bespoke clothing. Being able to make something specifically for you that fits only on you is really a pleasure. The artistry behind it is my favourite aspect of bespoke clothing. I do have a lot of say in what I want made; the colour I want and the fabrics I want but I also put a lot of faith in who is making me the garment.
The Sartoria making the garment has access to really beautiful and unique fabrics that I may not be able to access and when I get an email showing me something amazing, I tend to let them tell me what they would like to make with it. I have yet to be disappointed!
Who are your favourites in bespoke tailoring and what makes them stand out for you?
Anyone who knows me knows that Sciamat is my absolute go to Sartoria. There are many great bespoke houses but Sciamat has created a look that has blended and enhanced all aspects of previous suit designs to create the perfect garment. The fabrics they curate are second to none and the cut of the garment is identifiable from a mile away.
Wide lapels, roped shoulders and a perfect silhouette are all aspects of a Sciamat. The construction of the garments are pure art. You can look at every aspect of the suit or jacket and see the attention to detail and handwork involved. You rarely see this today!
Another company that I really love is Orazio Luciano (La Vera Sartoria). Orazio and Pino have created a company that preserved true Neapolitan tailoring as it was in the 1930’s. These are all elegant garments that have such light drapes. The fit and construction are also really beautifully done.
Often we are told you don’t need fashion to have good style, are you a follower of trends?
I can honestly say I am not a follower of trends. That’s not to say I don’t see certain trends and incorporate them into what I wear everyday. But I never wear a certain look based on a trend and then completely flip and change it when I am told it’s time to do so by big fashion houses. Style is about taking the best of everything you see and creating your own personal look and style that works for you.
What is your favourite look you’ve worn?
One of my favourite looks is the royal blue Sciamat Jacket with the Manolo Costa Beige paisley tie. I just love the pop of colour from the jacket with subtle tie. It’s a really classy look and really what I feel defines my style… “Composed Flair”.
We all have a shopping weakness no matter how many of that item we already own – what is yours?
Sportcoats are my weakness. I have a lot. Sportcoats, to me. are the basis of what I build my wardrobe off of. Everything I wear and every look I put together always starts with the sportcoat. There are so many cuts, so many fabrics, colours and patterns that the possibilities are endless! I think everyone should at least own a nice Navy and Grey sportcoat. These two colours can allow you to build up endless combinations of looks.