It’s very clear the subculture is a source of inspiration for Style Director Olie Arnold as equally as style is, itself. His Instagram profile isn’t a tableau of personal images, but rather a platform of which Arnold suffuses this with editorial photos from Mr Porter – where he is Style Director – and cultural musings from film and musings. It’s perhaps this broad cultural interest that has elevated his career.
With over 15 years of experience working within publications in varied roles, such as stylist and editor, Style Director, Olie Arnold is the ideal person to speak to about the evolution of men’s fashion, and that’s exactly what we did.
You’ve worked as a stylist and editor before becoming a style director, how would describe your relationship with fashion, written and visual content? And what does your role entail?
Fashion has always fascinated me as a form of expression. It’s the most inclusive and truly personal way to channel an identity. For me, it started in the late ’80s through subcultures; skateboarding, hip hop, indie, graffiti etc – which all spoke to me and the way we dressed was a layer to that feeling of belonging to something greater.
I’ve been very lucky to forge a career in print and digital where I can continue to express my views in a creative manner through collaborating with teams of photographers, directors, models etc.
How would you say men’s fashion has evolved over the last decade?
In the last decade, we have seen a seismic shift in the evolution of men’s fashion. Not only through new confidence in men who are more engaged in what they want to wear, but also how the industry has woken up to the potential of this. We’re seeing more investment in men’s product and how it’s marketed, which is very encouraging. The boundaries are also blurring between a lot of the traditional categories of designer/luxury wear etc, which is exciting and shows a more democratic approach by consumers.
Fashion has always fascinated me as a form of expression. It’s the most inclusive and truly personal way to channel an identity.
What are the summer style mistakes that you most commonly see men making, and what advice would you give every man to dress better in the warmer seasons?
I don’t like to think there’s such thing as a style mistake, if a person truly believes they are owning their look, then who are we to disagree?
I think a lot of guys get confused when it comes to colour and which ones suit them in the summer months. If in doubt, maintain a balance through your key pieces and try just one pop colour, rather than several. Navy is a classic menswear colour and works with most bright colours.
You obviously have a great sense of personal style, what influences this?
A large part of what I wear stays the same and then I cherry-pick pieces each season from brands I respect and have a connection with. A lot of these come from Japan where there is a tradition of craftsmanship and often reference Americana, which I’ve always been fascinated with. I’m trying to buy less, but better, so I’m not normally buying into trend pieces that I know will date after 6 months.
What are your summer essentials?
This year I’ve been enjoying wearing some vivid print camp collar shirts, a wider leg trouser in a summer weight and suede moccasins. Always with great sunglasses!
You travel a lot with work. What items do you always pack in your suitcase?
I still overpack. First thing in my case is a gym kit (which often stays there), a great hoody for long flights and I never leave home without a few travel adapters and a portable speaker.
What are your favourite Frescobol Carioca items?
I love the graphic prints in the swimwear, I feel it’s one place you can try something adventurous, even if it’s not what you would do day today. Holidays are supposed to be an adventure and an escape from your daily life, so why not try something new with your look.