For today’s installment of Style, we’re proud to feature Marcus Kristopher, a.k.a. @MrMensFashion.
We talk to him about the popularity of his Instagram account, what he does as a day job and as always, what style advice he can give our readers.
Check out the interview below:
Congratulations on 18,000 followers on Instagram! How long have you had @MrMensFashion and what inspired you to start it? What are some of the things you have learned since you began?
Thank you! I opened the page about a year and a half ago.
I started it as a hobby because I felt there was a lack of realistic fashion accounts for men.
By realistic, I mean a lot of the big pages only post advertisements and photoshoots that are professionally done for magazines and such; things that people wouldn’t actually wear on a daily basis without sticking out.
I created @MrMensFashion to show men how they can dress clean and sophisticated on a regular, daily basis, without looking like you are “trying” – that was the void I wanted to fill.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? How did you get started in becoming a “menswear enthusiast”?
One thing about me is I try to keep my personal life separate from my fashion page (as best as I can at least).
I am a Realtor and I also handle the sales for a marketing/consulting company.
How I got started?
I guess it all spawned from suits. I’ve loved suits for as long as I can remember. Even as a teenager, I always looked forward to wearing my suits and putting outfits together.
I guess you could say I’m an old soul and I feel I was born in the wrong era. I should have been a teenager in the 1950’s when it was customary for men to wear suits – there was something about that era where gentlemen were always dressed like gentlemen.
Maybe my admiration of that era was influenced from a lot of the Italian singers I’d listen to from that generation (i.e. Dean Martin, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra).
In your account, you mention you post “realistic, daily fashion” that “all men can sport”. Go into that in more detail. Does that have to do with the brands you pick? Or are the styles you show interchangeable with both high-end brands as well as more affordable brands?
It doesn’t have to do with the brands necessarily; it is more to show some of my different styles, as I feel they could be more or less universal.
I try to post different looks any guy could feel comfortable wearing and still feel like it’s their style, not someone else’s.
People don’t have to wear the same brands I wear to have the same look. However, I do like to blend some of my high-fashion pieces with some other items that are more affordable, showing people it isn’t necessarily about the brand you wear, but how you wear it and how you tie your entire outfit together.
At ESM, we’re all about style. Can you describe your personal sense of style? What inspires you on a regular basis? Do you think there is a difference between “style” and “fashion” or are they the same thing?
I have a few different styles personally, it really depends on my mood.
Predominately I’d say my style is that of a “laid-back dressy” look – a lot of blazers with open-collar shirts or t-shirts, with either slacks or jeans and pretty much always with loafers (no socks usually).
I also like changing it up and dressing urban too, such as t-shirts, jeans and high-top sneakers with a biker’s jacket or something like that.
There is definitely a difference between “style” and “fashion” and that’s the point I’m trying to make with my personal style.
Style is your personal creation of how you like to look based off the fashion items around you – I really enjoy fusing the two together and creating my own looks.
Finally, every gentleman should desire a certain level of sophistication in their appearance.
What are some of your favorite looks from your Instagram account? Are there any looks that have come into favor more recently?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite look, as I mentioned in the question before. My predominant look/style is the laid-back, dressy look.
No, I try to constantly change up my style, mix and match outfits and piece things together.
Who are your favorite brands and designers? For someone just starting out, are there brands that you would recommend?
My brand! (Too soon? lol)
I’m actually in the process of creating a line of men’s shoes to resemble my style.
As far as current brands out there, my favorite brand for shoes is Salvatore Ferragamo.
When it comes to clothes I like Zegna, John Varvatos, Hugo Boss and on the more affordable end I really like Zara – Zara is one of my go-to brands.
The key to a look, however, doesn’t fall on the brand; it falls on the tailor.
I personally think having a great tailor is just as important as having good quality clothes. You can have the nicest quality suit available, but if it isn’t tailored to fit you perfectly, it’s pointless.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to someone who is just starting to develop their style, what would they be?
- Don’t be afraid to try things that aren’t “in”, I personally don’t pay much attention to “trends” – wear what you like and it becomes your style
- There really isn’t any “key” to style
- My style is constantly being refined/altered, the most important thing is to wear what you like and feel comfortable in it
At ESM we have our own list of “Style Essentials” which are pieces that every man should have in their wardrobe. Do you have your own list of style essentials? If so, what are they and why?
Yes, I would say my essentials are a nice watch, a belt and shoes.
Who are your style icons and why?
I honestly can’t say that I have one.
I get inspired by a lot of clothes designers come out with. I base what I like off my taste, not necessarily the designer who created it.
Additionally, the person who inspires me the most is my “Mystery Lady”.
Ever since I first met her, I was blown away by her class, beauty and phenomenal style. They say dressing well is a sign of respect to those around you. I completely agree with that – I want to look my best not just for myself, but for her as well.
What does the future hold for @MrMensFashion and Marcus Kristopher?
We’ll see, sky’s the limit and as long as I keep providing my followers with styles to inspire them it should continue to grow.
I feel very blessed people are as interested as they are in my fashion sense – the more popular it gets the more doors/opportunities present themselves.
Right now I’m actually in the midst of putting together my own luxury men’s shoe line, which I am very excited about!
To keep up with Marcus Kristopher, you can follow his Instagram account at http://instagram.com/mrmensfashion.