May 15, 2018 by Ville Raivio
VR: Your age and occupation?
JD: I am 32 years old, and I’m a singer, songwriter, touring and recording artist. In other words, I write songs and travel the world singing them to anyone who’ll listen.
VR: Your educational background?
JD: I attended the University of Texas in Austin, and received my Bachelor’s degree in Communications. My particular major studied the communication patterns within interpersonal relationships; be it professional, romantic or family/friend relationships.
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your tailoring enthusiasm)?
JD: I was fortunate enough to marry a brilliant, talented and stylish woman from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has an excellent eye for clothing and style.
VR: …and your parent’s and siblings’ reactions to style back in the days when you began?
JD: Well, I’m from a medium-sized city in Central Texas, so the common style of dress is very casual. If you wear a nice jacket or waistcoat or hat you certainly stick out. Therefore, when I started taking a greater interest in how I presented myself from a clothing and style standpoint I most definitely stuck out! There was never any push-back from my family; more just playful jabs here and there.
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel?
JD: Music would be my main passion in life. Writing songs, making records and performing live is what gets me up in the morning.
VR: How did you first become interested in clothing, and when did you turn your eyes towards the tailored look?
JD: Old movies and photographs of my grandfather were probably the biggest factors in my becoming interested in tailored fashion. My grandfather looked like a movie star in his younger days; razor-sharp suits and a fine felt hat cocked at just the right angle. He looked like he could have co-starred next to Humphrey Bogart or Jimmy Stewart. I loved the way his generation dressed, and at that time it was radically different from how everyone around me dressed, so I was drawn to it even more. I wanted to be different. I wanted to stand out, and looking like Bogie or Sinatra or indeed my grandfather seemed like the coolest, classiest form of rebellion toward the current norm I could think of.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of clothing — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
JD: Any knowledge I possess has come from observing others. Living in New York City played a big part in this. A lot of people in that city take great pride in how they look, so seeing people on the streets and in the subways would give me ideas and inspiration as I crafted my own style.
VR: How would you describe your own dress?
JD: Sharp, classic with a touch of rock-and-roll.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
JD: My style, much like my music is constantly evolving. The more you see, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you evolve. I’m inspired by any number of things; music, literature, random strangers on the street…I try to take it all in.
VR: What’s your definition of style?
JD: I think style is simply the outward manifestation of one’s own unique personality.
VR: Finally, I’ve heard that you even source vintage cloths for custom garments. What lead you to this route and why do you walk this extra mile?
JD: I have a few great vintage pieces that I’ve picked up over the years, but the vast majority of my wardrobe is modern, though often leaning toward a vintage or classic look.