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An Interview with Maximilian Mogg

1

October 7, 2019 by Ville Raivio

VR: Your age and occupation?

MM: I am 26 years old and I am founder of my own eponymous MTM atelier. We’re also working on offering bespoke in the near future.

 

VR: Your educational background?

MM: I started with business, before shifting my focus to brand management during by studies in the United States, Germany, and France.

Vr: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your clothing enthusiasm)?

None that know how to find me.

 

VR: …and your parents and siblings’ reactions back when you were younger?

MM: We have one golden rule in our family. If you’re doing something (whatever it is) with real passion, the whole family will support you. My father, in particular, always taught us that if you lack passion, you can never be at your best. You just won’t go the extra mile. So, from a very early age, they’ve always supported my choices. When it comes to clothing, I sometimes think that they maybe should have taken me aside and had a word with me. I recall a particular pair of very tight fire-engine-red jeans that left very little to the imagination. Although, ultimately, I think those experiences contributed to my very conservative dress nowadays.

The Mogg team, featuring shoemaker Kahlcke

VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel?

MM: I was a high-level sabre fencer for years. I was in the Germany national team, actually. That was really my main focus in life for a long time and clothing was my hobby. That has obviously flipped over time. Other than that, I have a thing for ’80s music, I write about menswear and other topics, and I love drawing.

 

VR: How did you first become interested in style, and when did you turn your eyes towards more classic pieces? Why these instead of fast fashion?

MM: Fashion generally and the aesthetics associated with it, in particular, fascinated me from a very young age. I can’t really say what the actual trigger was, I simply cannot remember a day when appearance and the act of communication that takes place through clothing was not important to me. I feel that the aesthetics are ultimately secondary to the respect and politeness that a certain way of dressing conveys.

With regards to the second part of that question, the enthusiasm of my early teens for cyclical fashion quickly waned because I disliked the idea of feeling pressured to follow trends. So I did what anyone would probably do. I looked for alternatives and the rest, as they say, is history. I started with classic films, did some research, developed a love for classic English style. That led me to Savile Row, and to high-quality suits. These suits have managed to stand the test of time, give their wearers a means of expressing themselves non-verbally, of dressing sustainably (a high-quality suit can last you a lifetime), of showing erudition, and of covering up their physical flaws.

VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of the tailored look — from books, talks with salesmen or somewhere else?

MM: It all started with books. Reading, reading, reading. We actually have my whole library in the shop and we lend out books to customers if they want to read up on something. From there, I transitioned to writing. I went to Savile Row and interviewed any tailors that I could get my hands on for my blog. This brought me into contact with – in my eyes – some of the best-dressed men in the world. I like to think I learned from every single one of them.

 

VR: When did you decide to set up your own clothing company, and what goals did you set for yourself in the beginning?

MM: I suppose it all started, as so many things do, with a huge disappointment. My employer at the time called me into her office for a performance review and I still remember the exact phrase: ‘I just don’t believe that you possess an entrepreneurial spirit.’ That was a real slap in the face for me. However, I took that as an invitation to prove her wrong. I haven’t looked back since. My first goal was to make sure that I was making my own decisions, trusting myself, and doing what I love. Everything else has developed from there. When I made the decision to have my name on the products, it became clear to me that I would never compromise on quality.

VR: What’s your style or cut philosophy behind the clothing?

MM: It all starts with one basic assumption. For me, only classic suits, coats, and jackets can sculpt the wearer’s body, communicate formality in a highly-conventionalised way, and be practical at the same time. Our style and cut have to fulfill those three goals.

 

VR: I trust the “young foolish man” on your site’s story is you. If this is true, why did vintage clothing make such an impression on you?

MM: I can neither confirm nor deny your hypothesis regarding that foolish young man. I can only speak for myself. And, for me, vintage Savile Row suits struck me as being as near timeless in style as something can be and I love the idea of a piece being so well-made that you can pass it on to the next generation. That’s also where my slogan comes from: “My children should wear it, my grandchildren should be inspired by it.”

VR: How would you describe the “House Style” of Maximilian Mogg?

MM: Our house style (which we generally refer to as ‘Deco Drape’) has various inspirations. From the very beginning, Savile Row has fascinated me (It’s still surreal to me that we now regularly host our own trunk shows on the Row). A real game-changer for me was when I was lucky enough to work with Edward Sexton and with his creative director Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, both of whom are great style role models of mine, and purveyors of an incredibly elegant and masculine aesthetic. London and my experiences there were a valuable starting point for our aesthetic.

That being said, there is a secondary reason why British tailoring makes more sense for us. I think the average German/Central European physique is going to be closer to the British than to the average Italian physique, for example. British suits were designed around that physique and, as such, just serve that body type better. The same goes for fabrics. That is why we favour heavier English fabrics (330 g/m and upwards). They are generally more durable (I’ve used vintage fabrics that were thirty years old!), drape better, and fit the weather in Germany better.

Finally, the Art Déco period and its classic, masculine elegance is another major source of inspiration. This is most clearly reflected in the shape of our lapels and in our signature Zee Jerman shirt collar.

The idea behind our house style is to elongate the wearer’s silhouette and make them appear more athletic. The elongating effect is achieved through various means. We cut the armholes very high (and the sleeves relatively slim), have the overall fit through the body  slim but never tight (there should never be any signs of pulling), and cut the back as narrow as possible without restricting movement. This creates an hourglass shape through the body. Then, we give our wide-legged trousers a very high rise, and make sure our jackets are long enough to cover the fork of the trousers. This creates a sort of optical illusion, whereby it looks like the legs never end.

To give the wearer a more athletic look, we cut our roped shoulders a little wider than the natural shoulder line and the chest a bit fuller. Our wide and full-bellied lapels put further emphasis on that broad chest.

The final touch is the button stance, which is relatively low (around the natural waist) and accentuates the narrowest point of the wearer’s body. This is key to making the contrasting elements work together.

VR: Who or what inspires you?

MM: People who are following their dreams.

 

VR: What’s your definition of style?

MM: Authenticity.

Featuring drawings by M.M.

https://maximilianmogg.de/en/


1 comment »

  1. Classic elegance. I applaud.

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"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
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