ONE ITEM WORTH SHELLING OUT FOR
"A sleek, well-made blazer. It needs to fit like a second skin. I like when a blazer constricts me a little. You feel put together and elegant, even if you dress it down. Lately, I've been wearing a black cotton satin blazer, and it's a size smaller than I normally wear."
GUYS ARE COLOR-HAPPY, EXCEPT FOR ME
"As a designer, trend is a word that I don't like so much. But if we really want to go there, men embracing color is something that happened in the past 10 years. They are asking for color! We did neon suits for spring/summer in 2009. If you are afraid to do the full-on suit, wear the jacket. It's a good way to break up the wardrobe. I'm the perfect contradiction, because I wear black every day. But I work with clothes and color every day. This is a reaction to it."
WHAT ROCK STARS CAN GET AWAY WITH (THAT YOU CAN'T)
"There are people who are older who can look amazing in teenage clothes. But very few. You have to be Mick Jagger."
HOW TO DRESS FOR GLOBAL WARMING
"It sounds simplistic, but because of the weather we are experiencing—it's so unpredictable now—the secret is in the layering. In my most recent show, I presented quilted vests, not too heavy, to wear under a coat. If it's not too cold, go out with just a herringbone sweater or wear a vest on top of it."
EMBRACE THE BACKPACK
"I've been using a leather backpack lately, from a Japanese brand called Porter, that you can wear over your shoulder or carry. We live a hectic life. If a bag can have multiple functions, it's very useful."
ON VACATIONING IN TOKYO
"I like the Park Hyatt Hotel, from Lost in Translation. The view of the city from the pool [on the 47th floor] reminds you how big Tokyo is. Last time I was there, I ate at Kyubey in Ginza, which is totally unassuming. Lunch was a religious experience."
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
"A crisp, well-pressed white shirt. A good blazer. A nice-fitting T-shirt and a lace-up dress shoe in a good leather. These are the essentials, your everyday clothes and accessories."
TRUST YOUR GUT (AND THEN HIDE IT)
"When you buy a suit, the length is important, the shoulders are important. But it needs to suit your personality. You should feel that you are yourself. You want a suit that makes you look slimmer, elegant, and confident without overwhelming you. It's kind of a ridiculous thing to say, but clothes are not sexy themselves. It's how they make you feel. It's an attitude."
OPPOSITES ARE ATTRACTIVE
"You could wear a leather jacket with dress pants. You could wear a tuxedo jacket with a T-shirt. I call it formal sportswear—the casual and the super-dressy, a mix of high and low."
AND YES, JAMES DEAN IS STILL KING
"It is a cliché, but it's true: James Dean embodies American fashion—simple, casual, but with style. I'm wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt today. How American is that?"