August 17, 2019 by Ville Raivio
VR: Your age and occupation?
EL: I am 24 years old, and currently I am working on becoming an established influencer in menswear and lifestyle, at the same time I’m a co-founder of Helvin Watches. Being an influencer on social media is quite new for me, but it opens doors to spread my message across a wide audience. I feel that the world could need a face in menswear that is different from what we are used to seeing, and I hope I can contribute to that.
VR: Your educational background?
EL: I studied Social Studies in High school. I was never really the guy to study much, but it did help me find two of my todays biggest interests: philosophy and psychology. I believe there are so many great things to learn today about life and human behaviour, things that can benefit us in our daily life.
VR: Despite having SMA2, you favour tailored clothing instead of more comfortable, stretchy sportswear. What’s your motivation?
EL: My motivation is quite simple, I demand that I shall do my best in every situation in this life, and that includes dressing well. I understand the power of appearance and how it affects people, especially in my situation, where the difference between wearing a suit versus a T-shirt is enormous. People’s reactions to a man in a wheelchair change drastically depending on what you wear, that directly shows how important it is. I also honestly prefer tailored clothing because it feels better, not psychologically only but also physically.
VR: What were your parents’ and siblings’ reactions when you changed your style?
EL: All were positive to it. I suppose it was a sign I was growing up, especially since it was quite a drastic change from my previous style, where T-shirts and baggy jeans were dominating.
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel?
EL: I have quite a few hobbies that I do almost daily. Playing video games is one of them. I’ve always loved to play games of any kind, and since you only need a minimum of muscle strength to play video games, it is really perfect for me. I get to compete on the same level as others. Reading is also one of my favourite hobbies. To learn is to grow and I always want to keep growing! I am also very interested in art. It’s truly a joy to sit down, relax and paint. I am using a tablet to paint via my computer. It’s quite amazing how technology has come so far as to be able to recreate a realistic feel of painting.
VR: How did you first become interested in clothing, and when did you turn your eyes towards the tailored look?
EL: Clothing has been an interest for me ever since I started High school, it used to be more ”swag” than ”class” for me. However, when I was around 18 I started to watch a lot of Youtubers who showed a more classic sense of style. A style which I had enjoyed for years, mostly thanks to James Bond if I’m going to be honest. It all came together when I joined an FB group made by the famous Youtube channel Real Men Real Style. There I saw how others styled their suits and it inspired me to pursue the classical style myself.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of clothing — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
EL: I mostly gained my knowledge from observation and through different Youtube channels. With observation I am talking about looking closely how people dress, both in real life but also in fiction, like movies. Real Men Real Style, the Youtube channel, has probably given me most knowledge on how to dress in a classic way.
VR: How would you describe your style?
EL: I would describe it as being elegant with a twist. I like to dress in a way that gives off a strong presence without being flamboyant.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
EL: I have many inspirations. Life constantly brings me new people that inspire me. I do, however, have a few people that have inspired me for quite some time. Niccolò Cesari (@niccocesari), Isao Kato (@cento130) and the brothers from @artwoth_brothers are a few guys who I’ve been following on Instagram ever since I started using it, and they have had an impact on my style! One new addition to this list is my friend Giorgio Giangiulio (@giorgiogiangiulio). What all these gents have in common is impeccable style. If we’re talking fiction, James Bond definitely has a spot. But at the end of the day, what inspires me most is the fire in my heart that fuels me so that I can do my best in this blessed life I am given.
VR: What’s your definition of style?
EL: My definition of style is simply: A way of expressing yourself.
VR: You recently visited Pitti Uomo for the first time. What expectations did you have before the trip, and what was the reality like?
EL: It was really amazing. I had seen so many photos of it, but most of them were outdoors, which made me believe that everything was outdoors. Was quite surprised when most of it was indoors. What made it so wonderful and what really exceeded my expectations was that everyone was so kind and cheerful. Every person who attends Pitti Uomo has one thing in common: We all like menswear. It was a fantastic experience, one that will be repeated.
VR: Finally, you are also part of the watch company Helvin. What makes this firm different from your competitors?
EL: Indeed I am. Besides our Swiss part movement, we also give away 50% of our profits to research for a cure for SMA. It is something that I am passionate about, not only because I have this disease myself, but also because I know a few people who have and are very much in need of a cure or treatment fast. SMA is a very individual disease, some people can manage quite fine, while others cannot. That’s why it’s important to hurry up the process as much as we can in order to help those people before it’s too late. I am very happy that we at Helvin took this decision.