November 8, 2013 by Ville Raivio
‘I’m 27 years old and the Editor of the online style guide Manolo.se. I studied three years at The Swedish University of Textiles for a Bachelor in Textile Business and Economics. I have a fantastic girlfriend who is very supportive and even shows a bit of interest in menswear as well. My passion for menswear developed quite late in my early twenties so my family has been spared from most of my preaching. For hobbies, I played professional Team Handball for over ten years in Sweden. Handball is a huge contrast to the menswear and textile business but one of my biggest passions in life since I was a boy.
My interest for clothes started with fashion and runway shows but I felt that fashion was always focusing on short term over a year or even a couple of months. To be a skinhead one season and a Cowboy the next never gave me the same feeling of personal preferences and style as classic menswear. Although it is still important to have an open mind to trends because nothing is truly timeless. Everything evolves and it can be very inspiring to see a new take on something classic.
I believe it is all about a passion and serious interest. I read more texts on the construction of a fine suit or pair of shoes than about financial planning or accounting during my years in the University. When you have a true interest, the hours of reading won’t feel like a commitment at all. Most of the basics I read online in blogs like Manolo but some of the best experiences have been speaking with the people who really make the products. When you see it in person and they describe WHY hand welting a shoe is superior, or why the hand sewn horse hair canvas in a premium suit is such a work of art.
I describe my personal style as a modern take on classic pieces. I wear my trousers slightly shorter and narrower than what the conservative man would but it’s what I enjoy. I prefer makers who are specialists in their segment and I try to buy shoes from shoemakers and shirts from shirt makers, etc. With my current financial situation and income I cannot afford bespoke but no matter what your budget is, I always believe it’s better to buy less but better. Stick to what you really wear and feel comfortable in and focus on quality.
Manolo’s popularity has not really affected my life, maybe once or twice a month someone comes up and gives me a complement on the site which is always very flattering, but Manolo is still more of a niche site for the very interested so I don’t think my personal life will be affected in a negative way. Of course we want to grow but we have no ambition to become main stream.
I think that if Keikari’s Scandinavian readers are interested in menswear with a focus on quality and craftsmanship, they will enjoy Manolo. If you understand Swedish you’ll find a lot of in-depth articles about style, fit and construction. If not, we still hope to inspire with our “Friday inspiration” where we offer our own take on a special subject with products available online. We always aim to take the site to the next level and one way to do that is to keep the core values but still look at new ways to inspire. We are thinking about the possibility of reaching a bigger international audience and have a couple of new ventures for spring 2014.
I know it´s a cliché but I find inspiration in everything from the typical #Menswear blog about clothes to a chef passionate about his cooking. Using fine ingredients and taking pride in what you do is always inspiring. I also have a significant interest in vintage timepieces that, in my mind, have such a beautiful life and character that new watches often lack.
My style definition is those people that combine dressing comfortably for the occasion and reflect their personality and preferences. Nobody looks good if they’re not comfortable in what they wear.
I believe that the single most important part of dressing well is understanding fit. Even a less expensive suit can look fantastic with a few alterations at the tailor. Almost every suit can be improved by just correcting the length of the trousers and sleeves. By making a classic pair of trousers slightly tapered you get a moder,n sleek silhouette. When it comes to color, I think a lot of guys should reconsider navy and grey suits instead of black ones but also look at accessories in muted colors, like burgundy and bottle green. If you´re not committed to a job in black oxford, I really recommend guys to step into the world of brown leather and suede. Believe me, you will never go back to black.’