Style

Interview: Meet the Tastemakers, 5 of London’s Most Stylish Men

Tom O'Dell

Tom O’Dell wearing an Omega Constellation Day-Date Vintage Automatic

London and style go hand in hand. The city has long been a hotbed of fashion, from the numerous youth subcultures that began in the capital to the exciting mix of heritage and contemporary brands that line its famous streets. The city founded punk, gave rise to mods and teddy boys, and has long been the home of tailoring with Savile Row and Jermyn Street – it’s a continual source of inspiration, with its 32 boroughs all offering something different around every corner.

But what exactly does London’s style landscape look like today? To get the lowdown we spoke to five of the city’s most stylish men for their take on the capital. From the best menswear streets to the most underrated pubs, they offer tips on where to go, what to see, and how to dress.

What’s your latest wardrobe investment?

Richard Biedul
Richard Biedul

Richard Biedul

Richard Biedul (model and creative director): In January I was at Paris Fashion Week and found time to visit Nicolas Gabard of Husbands. We talked, drank some coffee and I ended up placing an order for an MTM sports jacket and two pairs of trousers (one black corduroy and one brown flannel).

Aleks Cvetkovic (journalist and creative strategist): A killer quilted gilet from LEJ. It’s the most versatile layering piece I’ve ever bought.

Benedict Browne (menswear stylist and journalist): My most recent acquisition is a double-breasted suit made for me by Caroline Andrew Bespoke, using a chocolate chalk stripe flannel woven in Italy by Vitale Barberis Canonico. It’s razor-sharp and quite unconventional, while also being classic in nature. It’s great for mixing up work and play.

Mats Klingberg (founder of Trunk): A new pair of brown Chambords from Paraboot, as I wear them all the time and thought I needed to give them a chance to rest a bit between wears.

What’s the favourite item of clothing you own?

Aleks Cvetkovic
Aleks Cvetkovic

Aleks Cvetkovic

Richard Biedul: Some items have more sentimental value than others; my late Grandfather’s shearling aviator jacket, which comes out of storage for a few months each year. My first ‘work suit’ – a chalkstripe Paul Smith, three button long line jacket, with high rise, bootcut trousers, which is just as current now as it was when I bought it 22 years ago. I also adore the sample of the alpaca ballet coat I designed for King & Tuckfield. This was the first item that we worked on together from concept to production and it never fails to draw compliments when it’s worn.

Aleks Cvetkovic: My Edward Sexton double-breasted navy blazer with gilt buttons. Blazers are often written off as stuffy, but if you style them in a relaxed way they’re incredibly useful.

Benedict Browne: A vintage OG-107 shirt from the Vietnam War, kindly gifted to me by the boys at Broadway & Sons in Gothenburg. It’s a piece of history, which you can’t say about most articles of clothing. It had blood stains on it, but they’ve since washed out, which is a shame.

Mats Klingberg: There’s a navy Boglioli K jacket that I’m wearing as I’m writing this and that has been with me for many years now, so that must be the one.

Tom O’Dell (Film costumier and stylist): My beautiful raglan sleeve 1960s alpaca wool belted coat. Purchased about six years ago from legendary vintage store Hunky Dory. Ian and Ian are the nicest people in the business.

What’s the best shopping street in London?

Richard Biedul: Duke Street, Lamb’s Conduit Street, Chiltern Street. These all have a certain charm, but for me it will always be Savile Row.

Aleks Cvetkovic: Clifford Street. Adret, Connolly, and the Anderson & Sheppard haberdashery are perhaps the three coolest shops in the city.

Benedict Browne: Chiltern Street in Marylebone. You’ve got a mix of retailers, brands and craftspeople, such as Trunk Clothiers, John Simons, Sunspel, Velesca and Cromford Leather, which is arguably the world’s finest leather specialist. Plus, the area is delightful and quiet with a range of nice restaurants and bars to fuel yourself in.

Mats Klingberg: I’m of course very biased, but I think Chiltern Street is the best shopping street in London with it’s nice mix of independent shops. Besides Trunk there’s Sunspel, Casely-Hayford, Mouki Mou, Anatome, John Simons, Shreeji, New & Lingwood, Niwaki, Perfumer H, and while technically not on Chiltern Street you also have Labour and Wait just around the corner on Dorset Street. And then you of course also have Monocle Café and the Chiltern Firehouse.

What’s one London-based brand everybody should know?

Benedict Browne

Richard Biedul: For the past few years I’ve been really impressed with what Adam and Seto are doing over at Adret on Clifford Street. The guys have developed a uniquely relaxed yet tailored aesthetic. Louche suiting, slubby cotton shirts and luxury knitwear. It’s somehow simultaneously mid-century and contemporary at the same time.

Aleks Cvetkovic: I’ve just discovered a tailor in west London called Speciale. Two young guys with great style, making superb suits out of a small, but perfectly formed atelier in Portobello. If you’re after a beautiful suit, they’re the men to see.

Benedict Browne: Scott Fraser Collection. It has a huge point of difference compared to what else you can find in London, and a large majority of it is made here in small workshops.

Mats Klingberg: Trunk, of course! While we started out as a multibrand, we’re now also very much a clothing brand. Almost a third of the shop is now Trunk’s own brand. We cover all the basics and have lots of good pieces that can easily be mixed and matched with each other, as well as dressed up or down.

What’s the one accessory you never leave home without?

Richard Biedul: A hat. From beanie to bucket, I will almost always have one or the other on my person. My current favourites come from Connor Reilly and Erdem.

Aleks Cvetkovic: My Smythson Soho notebook. I get through half-a-dozen a year.

Benedict Browne: My watch, which is a Rolex Date-Just on a steel bracelet with a black face. My birthday is engraved on the back and it’s my most prized possession.

Mats Klingberg: My wallet.

What’s one tip you’d give to someone looking to develop their own sense of style?

Richard Biedul: Whatever you do, dress for your body type. Take the time and make the effort to understand your body’s size and dimensions. This will enable you to choose clothing that places an emphasis on the positive aspects of your body, while diverting attention away from areas that might be a little less than desirable.

Aleks Cvetkovic: Hold to the truth that clothes are a means of personal expression. If they make you feel good, then wear them – and be damned what anyone else thinks.

Benedict Browne: Don’t listen to anyone else, including me. Trial and error is the way forward.

Mats Klingberg: Look at people around you and get inspired from what you see and read about in magazines, blogs, and on social media. Then find a couple of good shops where you’ll be well looked after when trying different things on. I’m always amazed to see the difference a garment that fits can make to someone’s posture and self-esteem. If it’s right, you will usually know straight away. A great shop assistant is there to guide you through the process and to get you to try different things on, but at the end of it it always comes down to you to try and figure out what works.

Tom O’Dell: Start with a good pair of shoes.

What’s your favourite restaurant in London?

Mats Klingberg

Mats Klingberg

Richard Biedul: It would depend what mood I’m in and what part of town I find myself in, but if we are basing it on a frequency, it would have to be Franco’s on Jermyn Street.

Aleks Cvetkovic: St John or Brutto. Please don’t make me choose between them.

Benedict Browne: Lore of the Land in Fitzrovia. It was recently recommended to me by a friend and I’ll forever be grateful. It’s one of Guy Ritchie’s pubs, and I was lucky enough to sit at the bar and watch my food being prepared. The steak tartare was mindblowing and I also sampled, courtesy of the chef, grilled duck hearts. I’ve always been a bit put-off by offal, but Ali (the head chef) explained that it’s not like other offal dishes, as it’s a clean organ and that it’s a muscle more than anything else.

Mats Klingberg: River Café.

Tom O’Dell: Levan in Peckham, closely followed by Kudu, also in Peckham. In the summer you can’t beat lunch outside at Rochelle canteen.

Best pub or bar?

Mats Klingberg
Mats Klingberg

Mats Klingberg

Richard Biedul: I’m four and a half years sober, so truth be told, I don’t even know if my favourite bar is even still in existence. And even if it was, I don’t know if anyone would actually want to be directed there!

Aleks Cvetkovic: My neighbourhood, Stoke Newington, has some superb pubs. The Shakespeare ticks all the boxes for me. It’s stuck in a 1980s time-warp.

Benedict Browne: I’m biased but it’s The Whippett Inn in Kensal Rise, my local watering hole.

Mats Klingberg: Ladder Shed and Chiltern Firehouse.

Tom O’Dell: The Camberwell Arms, my local. Nice local atmosphere, friendly staff and excellent food.

Your favourite area of London?

Richard Biedul: As a 38-year-old owner of two dogs, I live just off Victoria Park and couldn’t ever imagine living anywhere else. The location has the benefits of the green open space and the village has every amenity you could need, but for me it’s because of the community. This is the first place I’ve ever lived where I know my neighbours, my neighbour’s neighbours and their neighbours.

Aleks Cvetkovic: Stoke Newington, my home. I’ve been there for three years and it’s got everything. It’s cool but not too cool. There are some great foodie hotspots and Clissold Park is a godsend.

Benedict Browne: West is best. Simple as that.

Mats Klingberg: Marylebone. It’s still not as well known among tourists, so it has more of a residential feel than many other parts of London. It’s got a great central location with a lovely mix of shops, restaurants and plenty of green spaces. I travel a lot, so the quick access to and from Heathrow via Paddington Station is great.

Tom O’Dell: Has to be Camberwell. I’ve lived here for 10 years and it keeps getting better and better.

What’s the first thing someone should do when visiting London?

Tom O’Dell
Tom O’Dell

Tom O’Dell

Richard Biedul: Buy an I heart London T-shirt and go to an Aberdeen Angus steak house.

Aleks Cvetkovic: Walk along the South Bank and dip into everywhere along the way.

Benedict Browne: Go for a pint in a proper pub.

Mats Klingberg: Go for a walk or a run in one of its many parks and then take it from there.

Tom O’Dell: Have a coffee outside Bar Italia for excellent people watching. Soho is the heart of London.

What’s your favourite thing to do in the city?

Richard Biedul: Absolutely nothing. Which can lead to doing almost everything and anything.

Aleks Cvetkovic: Wander through The Wallace Collection on a quiet Tuesday morning when you’ve more-or-less got the place to yourself.

Benedict Browne: Run east along the canal and finish at the top of Primrose Hill in time for sunrise above the City.

Mats Klingberg: I love starting the day with a run around Regent’s Park with a quick stop on top of Primrose Hill to get a good view of London, before getting on with my day. On weekends I like visiting one of the very good food markets, and/or to go to some nice restaurants. There’s always something new and interesting to try out.

Tom O’Dell: Popping to different areas on my 1960s Vespa. Markets, galleries, coffee spots, parks…

Favourite museum or gallery?

Richard Biedul

Richard Biedul

Richard Biedul: The Photographers’ Gallery, Soho.

Aleks Cvetkovic: If not the Wallace Collection, I enjoy working out of the British Library Reading Rooms once in a while. The weight of knowledge held in that space is so impressive you can almost feel it.

Benedict Browne: You can’t beat the Tate Modern; it’s one of the best art galleries in the world. The architecture of the place is ridiculous and the artworks inside are iconic. Plus, being on the Southbank, it’s pretty cool to see the grandness of Westminster.

Mats Klingberg: I don’t get to visit museums and galleries that often unfortunately, but I always enjoy visiting Stephen Friedman’s gallery on Old Burlington Street.

Tom O’Dell: I always find the White Cube on Bermondsey Street a relaxing place to be.

About the author

Charlie Thomas

Charlie Thomas is a UK-based writer and photographer. An eternal pessimist, he has an equal love of both fine food and KFC. His work has appeared in The Independent, The Times, NME, the London Evening Standard, Tatler and Esquire.

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