FP: Its a pleasure to chat with you Mo, first off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
MO: Easy, always a little tricky to sell yourself on a question like this. Me, I’m a proud Brummie born and bred. Always been that guy that everyone knows. Always calm and collected. I’ve spent just under two decades doing what I do in retail, menswear and fashion with vast experience in all aspects. I’m a Boxing, Wrestling and BJJ fanatic with decent levels in all disciplines but I truly excel in the art of eating Kebabs. I have got it down to 3 places in london that stand unprecedented.
FP: We recently worked on a project with your dear friend Benjamin Phillips, and I know you’re both in tune with BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) Can you tell us how this has impacted your life perhaps even style and mentality?
MO: I grew up in a rougher inner city part of Birmingham. I was very fortunate that I had these larger than life characters that held serious weight on the streets that were my family, uncles, cousins so I never really got into any mischief. Coming from this type of family I was always encouraged to look after myself which started my journey boxing, which after a few amateur years lead into JiuJitsu with a friend of mine who now is a pro coach. The fundamentals of any sport like this is discipline. It makes your confidence soar, not knowing what you can do but just knowing how never ever to end up in the first place. One of the first things I was ever taught in these sports by my coach was, the best form of defence is not to be there. The comoradary, friends you make from these places is something you won’t get anywhere else. It’s a sense of belonging and being part of a team, a family. It’s helped me become calmer, stronger and mentally focused. It’s something EVERYONE should do. I strongly recommend.
FP: Can you tell us a little about what influences your style and what you picked for this campus shoot in mind?
MO: I really don’t have any real influences, apart from my father and uncles, these guys were the dons when I was growing up, effortlessly cool always but in my case, I’ve just found that whatever I feel like on the day and feel comfortable that’s what I go with and I can be ready and out for any event in literally 10 mins, no overthinking whatsoever. I feel I’ve nailed my silhouettes, being broader and a tad shorter I’ve found peace in what I wear. I much prefer looser easier clothing and as I’ve done for the past 15 years I’ve always bought shirts / pants a size larger for that ease. I feel that the Campus was and is the perfect shoe for this. It’s easy, it’s timeless silhouette makes it work with any outfit and the solid colours, plush suede just elevated the shoe further.
FP: From Dressing down to dressing up, what staple pieces of refined menswear you would recommend for the wardrobe?
MO: Good question. There no rules in dressing for occasions anymore as all the lines have become blurred but I feel There’s four things EVERY bloke should have in their wardrobe.
1 . A really good Navy jacket / blazer. I would recommend a soft construction one with a a good easy length, nothing short or gimmicky. But a fit that suits your block, Make sure the sleeve length finishes on the wrist so you see half a inch of the shirt cuff. It’s important. These can be found everywhere so whatever works for you. My chosen ones are my Games blazer from Drakes, and my Barena soft woven jacket.
2 . A white shirt, crisp shirt. Can be button down or a spread collar. Stay away from a aggressive cutaway.
3 . A good grey trouser. Hemmed correctly so it floats a touch over the shoe. Cuff optional.
4 . A really good shoe. My go to are some loafers and a classic blucher. Just remember you’re on your feet all day, why compromise the most important detail which in effect will keep your feet running longer? My day to day blucher is the Alden Cordovan blucher col 8, and my loafers are either a Alden loafers (range of suedes, leathers) and J M Weston 180’s. Other strong entries come from Paraboot and Churchs.
FP: And what would you say out of your vast amount of clothing is a thing you find in your rotation more often than not? A particular shoe perhaps? Hat? vest? Tie?
MO: As you know I have a unreal wardrobe which I’ve built over the 20 years of being in the industry from a library of Rare Stone Island pieces to some of the best shoes money can buy, BUT the only things I wear more than often are a good pair of Denim, in my case it’s a pair LVC 1920’s (discontinued model), pair of Needles HD track pants, solid Oxford shirt and a pair of Adidas Gazelle Indoors. I wear these items more than anything else. Every guy should have these staples. Without a doubt the best oxfords in my wardrobe are from Drakes and Gitman Vintage.
FP: Thank you for your time Mo, is there anything else you would like to add? Shoutouts or messages for the naysayers haha?
MO: It was my pleasure chaps. Only thing I would say is a philosophy I’ve stuck with all my life, be good, be kind to yourself and others. Try and remember that it takes more effort to not get on with someone than to become friends. Peace!