Ultimo celebrated it's 14th birthday last week, which was a very proud moment for myself and my team. It's been a rocky year for the brand due to my marriage break up (a lesson learned, never mix business with pleasure!), but the company is back on solid ground and our future is looking very bright indeed. I couldn't be more excited about the next chapter. Like any birthday, you find yourself looking back nostalgically at what you've achieved, where you've been, what you would have done differently - and after 14 years in the industry, I can honestly say it's been an incredible ride and I wouldn't change a thing...
Paris Fashion Week is one of my favourite times, and whilst it takes place in the capital of France, it is very much an international event. And there are so many Brits there. It struck me that it could be fun to match some of these talented British fashion gurus, with that other French icon, and my specialist subject, French wine.
Many people talk about timeless style like it's the holy grail of menswear. Style immortality. Immunity from the whims of fashion. But is it really possible? The answer is yes and no. Whilst it is wholly possible to buy clothing that will look great for years to come, eventually some parts of your wardrobe are going to require an update.
Besides the risk of looking like Liberace, there's another reason why men should avoid fur at all costs: cruelty to animals is a real turnoff and isn't going to score you any points with the ladies - or anyone else, for that matter. In fact, according to a recent opinion poll, 95 per cent of British people say that they wouldn't dream of wearing real fur. That's because they know that for the animals trapped in filthy cages on fur farms, who are never allowed to feel the grass beneath their feet or dive into a cool stream...
I loathe public pools (there was an incident involving an incredibly hirsute man, a weeping wound and a large, floating sticking plaster during aqua aerobics which pushed me clean over the edge) so I figured the extra motivation of at least having a pretty looking swimsuit would definitely not go amiss.
For those uninitiated into the world of tailoring, it can seem rather intimidating. There are so many 'rules'. Everyone has an opinion; friends, colleagues, family members, even random people on the street. Whilst there is plenty of scope to get it catastrophically wrong, it's easier than you think to get it right.
The women's mass-market selection is limited. Yes, it sounds almost too tempting a cause for the feminist crusaders out there, but the women's selection is mainly pink and purple. Does Nike not think women are after black patent, woven-toed or basketball-inspired, swoosh-emblazoned trainers? Apparently not.