You may have had the good fortune to come across Mr Natty through the ever-expanding range of men’s grooming products which bears that name, branching out from the original and quite legendary beard oil. The even more fortunate amongst you may have had your hair cut by the man himself, at the irregular grooming pop-ups he runs at Albam stores. An experienced session stylist behind many leading menswear editorials and prominent campaigns, Mr Natty’s status has grown exponentially in line with the global interest in traditional mens barbering, facial hair and all things manly. To me, he’s also a good friend, dating back to the days when he ran a salon in Kensington Market (then the epicentre of London’s second Summer of Love and actually the model for today’s Dover Street Market). Rarely has my re-versioning of the Proust questionnaire for LDNfashion.com been exposed to such wit and forthrightness. Imagine what he’d do for your hair. Introducing, Mr Natty…
Image via Port Magazine
1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?
When I was 11 when I went to “Jon’s the barbers” to get a wedge haircut with my mate Russell. It cost me a whole weeks dinner money.
2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?
Terence Stamp and my mate’s granddad who was a rag and bone man.
3. How would you describe London style?
Much more creative and much more attention to detail than elsewhere. We are lucky in England as we started most trends in clothing and we can draw on all of the eras.
4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?
USA because my girlfriend lives there, but England is my home.
5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?
Crockett and Jones loafers, black Oxfords, a bunch of blue shirts from a charity shop, white y-fronts, old Levis and a jacket from Albam. Also socks, swimmers, Mr Natty Twizzler, pomade wax, FFS and poachers candle, and not a suitcase but a carpet bag.
6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?
Mr. Natty preparations, all in a Mr. Natty stowaway bag.
7. When and where did you look your best?
At sea or cycling on my bike through London smoking a cigar.
8. Which is your favorite season of the year (and why)?
Spring – it means summer is coming.
9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?
My great grandfather who traveled the country boxing with a boxing booth.
10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?
11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?
Men when they pluck their eyebrows, bad feet and finger nails.
12. Cat or dog?
Fox or owl.
13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?
Get a trade and bring back proper apprenticeships. University is a cope out.
14. What motivates you in your career?
My kids, Ms Schaefer and my upbringing.
15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?
My great granddad.
16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?
Shoes and the odd neckerchief.
17.Which is your most treasured sense?
18. Name three elements of a perfect holiday
Sun, surf and lols.
19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?
The fella upstairs made me – all is well.
20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest
In a garden in Newport eating lobster with my girlfriend – or egg and chips, two white slices and a cuppa tea at a greasy cafe on my own reading a red top.
Colin Chapman – SharpenedLead.com