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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Hackett's co-founder on his bespoke cufflinks and common fashion faux pas among men

Jeremy Hackett, who turned 65 in May this year, has been smartening up the wardrobes of men and boys the world over since co-founding the Hackett clothing brand in 1983. A tireless and generous ambassador for the company, he remains the epitome of classic British style
Jeremy Hackett

If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?

I would like to be on safari in Africa, following elephants and photographing them.

You’re sitting down to the perfect meal. Where are you, whom are you with and what are you eating?

It would be at Wiltons restaurant on Jermyn Street in London with my good friend, the journalist and author Nick Foulkes, who is always good company and very amusing. I would probably choose the warm potted shrimps, followed by the grilled Dover sole with new potatoes and spinach. The very thought of it has me salivating. I would skip pudding and stroll down to Franco’s and have coffee outside whilst puffing on a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure no 1 Cubana from Davidoff.

What is life’s greatest luxury?

Lunch at Wiltons! Actually it’s peace and quiet, and a good book.

According to you, What is the most overrated luxury?

Fashion brands posing as luxury. For me, luxury is about rarity and craftsmanship that is beyond fashion.

Are you a collector? If so, what do you like to collect?

I have never been a serious collector, although I do seem to have acquired numerous bespoke suits and shoes, and I do have a number of watches.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My 1963 Rolex Explorer, which I inherited from my mother and whom I am reminded fondly of whenever I wear it, which is frequently.

Is there anything you take with you on your travels that reminds you of home?

Whenever I travel, I take my cufflinks with the images of my dogs, Muffin and Harry, enamelled onto the links.

What are the most common fashion mistakes that men make?

It has always puzzled me that men who are carrying extra weight, but are fortunate enough to be monied, don’t invest in having their clothes made. I so often see large men who have squeezed themselves into skinny suits in a bid to look fashionable – the effect being that they end up looking even bigger. There are many advantages to having one’s clothes made. For a start, the suit or jacket will fit in all the right places, and a good tailor will be able to disguise any unseemly lumps and bumps, so not only will you look trimmer, but your clothes will also last longer and you will feel more comfortable. It is often said that one should wear dark clothes, but if you are a larger-than-life character then even a white suit can look elegant, as long as it has been made by a decent tailor.

Hackett enjoys close ties with Aston Martin. if you could own any model, past or present, which would it be?

I have always admired the Aston Martin DB4, but, practically, I would choose the Aston Martin Rapide S, a most elegant four-door car that passes as a two-door with the added bonus that my dogs would fit on the back seats. That reminds of the time I was in Dubai with my Hackett colleague Neil Bugler for British Polo Day, and we had very kindly been lent an Aston Martin for the weekend. We decided to venture out of Dubai and take a few photographs of the Aston parked up in the desert. We took the car down a little track and, before we knew it, we became stuck in the sand, unable to move. Of course we were totally unprepared, it was blazing hot and we had no water. Fortunately, a workman, seemingly coming out of nowhere (at first I thought it was a mirage), stopped his truck and by conversing with hand signals, he generously dug us out. I was so relieved that I went to the boot of the Aston and pulled out a white linen shirt that I had yet to wear and ceremoniously handed it to him. He appeared to be most grateful; we certainly were.

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Read more:

Why Jeremy Hackett is the quintessentially British menswear mogul

Men's tailoring: the art of bespoke couture in the UAE

Men: here's how to look sharp in a suit

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