This columnist of the economic magazine www.extraconfidencial.com, and author of Guide to the Perfect Gentleman (Manual del Perfecto Caballero) has become the Gentleman of the blogosphere thanks to The Aristocrat, the blog of reference in menswear. Everyone wants to hear the advice of Jose Maria Lopez-Galiacho. And so do we.
Where and when was the idea for “El Aristocrata” born?
The portal www.elaristocrata.com was founded in 2008 at the request of a group of friends and through this portal we wanted to share our passion for various topics related to men’s clothing.
Something that began as a meeting place for a few friends soon began to receive hundreds of visits from both Spain and Latin America and it is now undoubtedly the reference page of classic menswear for Spanish speakers.
What are the key elements to a successful blog?
Even though there are several blogs similar to El Aristócrata in the United Kingdom, Spain and throughout Latin America there is still nothing exactly like www.elaristocrata.com.
In our country, for example, is relatively easy to find blogs and pages that talk about fashion but none goes into depth in the more timeless and masculine garments like El Aristocrata does.
While some designers and fashion critics may think that the issues raised in El Aristocrata are somewhat outdated, they would be surprised at the huge number of gentlemen who still sees the suit an essential piece in their closet.
Another point that is unique about El Aristocrata (EA) is the detailed interviews with the highlights in the industry. Although EA never names any specific brands, no matter how prestigious or famous it is, we do mention tailors, shirt makers, shoemakers etc who offer a piece of art and not a brand.
Finally, another thing I would like to emphasize is that although the articles are not as frequent as in other blogs, their extent and depth makes them unique.
Despite all this I think that the real value of EA are the many comments and interactions that occur between readers in the “comments” section at the end of each article.
How did you get the idea to write your book “Guide to the Perfect Gentleman”?
I had written quite a lot already about the history of men’s clothing, the origin of the garments and so on. This together with my articles in EA and El Mayordomo resulted in that MR Ediciones (Grupo Planeta) contacted me to see if I wanted to collect them all in a book.
I never thought I’d write a book but the above together with the fact that Planeta was responsible for the publication of the Manual of the Perfect Gentleman changed my mind. Now I just hope that all my vacations and weekends I dedicated, to perfect what was already written, was worth it!
Currently, apart from your own blog, a book and collaboration with the online journal “Extraconfidencial”, what other future plans do you have?
All this is just a weekend hobby to me. I’ve always loved reading and writing. This plus spending time with my family and doing sports is how I spend my free time. Unfortunately I do not have much time to do many more things.
However, it’s no secret that I would love to contribute more directly in helping making people realize the importance of image and that despite of the many designers who create trends, progress is not going to work dressed in jeans and t-shirt. Perhaps writing for a big magazine that reaches millions of people could be my shorter-term plan, who knows!
What role do you think blogs and social networks play in spreading the messages of fashion and trends?
Today, a fundamental role. The quick and easy way with which the internet offers information to millions of people has changed the way we understand fashion.
I won’t give a bunch of examples but an interesting note is that a study by the British tailors association reveals that 95% of the gentlemen wearing tailored suits, aged between 30 and 50 years, regularly follow some blog that talks about these things.
Today there are many blogs that create trends faster than any other medium. Fashion magazines are always behind the blogs.
If I had a men’s fashion brand I would rather advertise in some of the blogs I know than in any magazine. Do not forget that the people reading blogs are the final consumers of the product as well as the best multipliers of your message.
What are the “must-haves” for next season?
I don’t follow trends. It’s not that I’m not interested, I just have a timeless style and I know exactly what I like to wear and what I don’t like.
However sometimes, apparently, I’m downright fashionable. For example, last year it turned out that my tricot ties were trendy but I had been wearing them for years. Next season they will probably be outdated and I so will I. That’s fashion!
What garment would never be missing in your closet?
A pair of black Oxfords, a tailored suit and a proper coat.
Do you agree with the words of Oscar Wilde: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”?
Without a doubt. Not only I but also the foremost experts in communication agree with this statement.
Everyone, without exception, judge people around us in a matter of seconds. So it is vital to care for our appearance. The first thing we notice about a person is how they dress and unfortunately many times we have no occasion to speak with them to change our initial perception; hence the importance of conveying a good first image.
Name a good tailor
For me, mine of course: D. José María Reillo.
The best tailor is the one who can interpret your personality when creating a suit. The obsession of many of my readers to make a list of the best tailors in Spain makes no sense. A tailor can be great for one person and useless for another. This is precisely one of the reasons why both British and Neapolitan tailoring still exist. They dress different kinds of gentlemen with different personality.
That said, it is true that the craftsmanship can vary a lot between tailors. The important thing is to make sure the work is really hand-made and that we are not sold made-to-measure thinking it’s bespoke.
If you had to choose between English or Neapolitan tailoring, what would you choose?
It is a difficult but always a very interesting question.
Although we could fill whole pages trying to answer this question I would summarize it with that for me the quality of craftsmanship and style is owned by the Neapolitan tailoring and perfect craftsmanship is still in possession of the best British tailoring.
That said, it must be admitted that the English tailoring has more history than future and Neapolitan tailoring is already marking the future and will continue to do so when it comes to high quality tailoring. Their unstructured, unlined suits with thin shoulder pads, super light fabrics and much more natural cuts has established itself among the world’s most stylish gentlemen and this situation does not look to be reversed in the coming years.