Style | The Aesthete

Vernon Bruce Hoeksema talks personal style

With top roles at Valentino and accessories brand VBH to his name, Vernon Bruce Hoeksema is Asprey’s new creative director.

August 03 2010
Vivienne Becker

My personal style signifier is a pair of cuff links, in oxidised white gold with black diamonds and a cabochon rhodolite garnet. I change watches all the time – from Audemars and Franck Muller to a 1930s Rolex, very slim with a black face. The only thing that is really quite consistent is this pair of VBH cuff links. After that, probably, it’s my hair. www.audemarspiguet.com. www.franckmullerusa.com. www.rolex.com. www.vbh-luxury.com.

The last thing I bought and loved will sound strange, but I recently found some dried wheatgrass at Whole Foods that actually tastes good. As I travel a lot, I can take it with me and mix it with water. 63-97 Kensington High Street, London W8 (020-7368 4500; www.wholefoodsmarket.com).

The thing I’m eyeing next isn’t something I know until I see it. I see something and I love it, and if I can afford it I buy it, and if not I don’t dwell on it. I’m trying to simplify my life, now that I have new schedules and responsibilities [at Asprey].

The book on my bedside table is, I’m afraid, my MacBook. Because I have so little time, I find I answer my e-mails in bed, and with business in the US, I’m always working after hours. www.apple.com.

The grooming staples I’m never without are a travel manicure set from G Lorenzi in Milan, and Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile soap, all organic, that I find at Whole Foods. It comes in different fragrances; I use either the almond or the lavender, depending on whether it’s morning or evening. www.drbronner.com. G Lorenzi, Via Montenapoleone 9, Milan (+3902-7602 2848; www.lorenzi.it). www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Prague. I went to visit the Moser glass factory, just outside the city, and stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, which used to be a monastery. I found Prague so beautiful, so perfectly preserved – its cobbled streets unspoilt by anything modern. It was like stepping back in time. It really impressed me. Mandarin Oriental, Nebovidska 459/1, Mala Strana, Prague (+4202-3308 8888; www.mohg.com). www.moser-glass.com.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home was pieces of an original German KPM [Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur] porcelain set, the signature Arkadia design by Trude Petri from the late 1930s – that clean white porcelain with its classical medallions. And then I found the whole matching coffee and tea set. I love finding something extraordinary among lots of rubbish.

A recent find is Locanda Locatelli; I went with friends the other night and I loved it. I know it’s not really “niche”, but I hadn’t been there before so it was a find for me. 8 Seymour Street, London W1 (020-7935 9088; www.locandalocatelli.com).

The last music I downloaded – or which was programmed onto my iPod for me; my friends load it up and I find favourites – was Coldplay. I love everything they do. I’ve also been listening to Antony and the Johnsons, Kings of Leon, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and Robert Palmer’s Riptide.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Peter Doig; his paintings are just amazing. They look new and different to me – beautiful, and also emotional.

In my fridge you’ll always find my multivitamins. But that’s about as much as I know – my housekeeper doesn’t let me near the fridge.

The last items I added to my wardrobe were eight pairs of trainers, so that I can leave a pair everywhere I have to be. I chose a few different types and brands – plaid Converse, white leather Adidas. In London I live in Holland Park and walk to work [in Bond Street] every day – it takes about an hour, so I need trainers for that. www.converse.com. www.adidas.com/uk.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a 1930s set of Limoges china for a friend’s boat. It was the perfect match for the boat’s style, with a blue border and platinum rim.

My favourite website is Pug Rescue Network. I am crazy about dogs and especially pugs; I have five of them now. www.pugrescuenetwork.com.