This week we return to the Oliver Brown Style Files to an interview with one of our apprentice tailors, Isaac Gomis:
1. What is your first fashion memory? I remember watching the Blues Brothers film for the first time when I was four years old, and I absolutely insisted that my mother buy me a suit so that I could look like Jake and Elwood. My love of suits continued through my teenage years and really drove my interest in becoming a tailor.
2. What is the most stylish item you own? The first pair of trousers I ever cut for myself. They’re a staple part of my wardrobe and a valuable showpiece of my work.
3. And your most valuable item? A collection of vintage ties from Drakes that my grandfather gave me.
4. What is the one look you wish you could pull off? A double-breasted suit in the style of the Duke of Windsor.
5. What is the one item that nobody should wear? Crocs. I think we can all be happy that that trend has come to an end.
6. What are your thoughts on accessories? I don’t tend to wear accessories besides a simple handkerchief in the breast pocket of my jacket. I can certainly understand their benefit for adding to an outfit or someone’s look in general, but especially because I’m working with my hands, I don’t like to feel limited even by a wristwatch.
7. Who would you say is the most stylish man to ever have lived? Steve McQueen. I can’t think of anyone else who looked so effortlessly cool and stylish.
8. What is the one item you can’t live without? My pencil and chalk. I carry these around at all time, and they’re essential for making patterns and striking cloth.
9. What do you like best about your job? The time I get to spend at my cutting table. I love being able to quietly draft a pattern and cut the cloth. It’s a real pleasure to work carefully and mindfully on a garment for a customer because you know how much enjoyment they’ll end up getting from it.
10. How do you feel about the industry? It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Bespoke industry. There are so many young people like myself who are interested and becoming involved through apprenticeships. Clients always seem interested to hear how I came about being involved with Bespoke work and find it encouraging that it’s thriving and growing.
11. If you weren’t in the fashion industry, what would you be doing? I played the drums in school and was also a member of the Royal Air Force cadets. If I hadn’t ended up in tailoring, I would have loved to continue with this mix of musical and military and serve as a part of one of the guard’s bands.