Style | The Aesthete

Ozwald Boateng talks personal style: Part Two

Further stylish revelations from the Savile Row tailor.

May 12 2011
John Stimpfig

My style icon is my father. He was a teacher and always wore immaculately tailored suits. I remember him giving me my first suit when I was five years old. So he has always been a massive influence on me. That is why I recently dedicated my 25th-anniversary fashion show at the Odeon Leicester Square to him.

An object I would never part with is my black on black Graham watch. Graham is a very old English heritage brand that is now made in Switzerland. Recently I had the opportunity to see watches being hand-made there, which made me appreciate the mechanical operations and the level of intricate detail that goes into their manufacture. Swordfish All Black watch, £6,435. See www.graham-london.com for stockists.

The last thing I bought and loved was my iPad. It’s easy to use and increasingly indispensable – especially when I’m travelling. From £399, http://store.apple.com/uk.

An indulgence I’d never forego is first- or business-class air travel. When you travel a lot for work, this is almost a necessity. When I fly to the US, I like Virgin or Air New Zealand, which go to LA. If I am flying to the Middle East, I’m a big fan of Etihad Airways and Emirates. www.airnewzealand.com. www.emirates.com. www.etihadairways.com. www.virgin-atlantic.com.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could would be the British painter Chris Ofili. I met him before he won the Turner Prize in 1998, and actually had the opportunity to buy some of his work before he became famous. Unfortunately, I didn’t, which I now regret because I think he is a sensational artist and a lovely guy.

My favourite room is my 4,000sq ft design room in Savile Row. The ceiling is gold and the walls are white with lots of images and fabric creations. But the focal point is the massive table in the middle, which makes the whole design process so interactive, intuitive and creative.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s with Moët Hennessy’s CEO Christophe Navarre. I’ve known Christophe since Givenchy days and he’s one of the world’s great gourmands. He really spoilt me at Ramsay. Brook St, London W1 (020-7499 0099; www.claridges.co.uk).

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d probably choose Notting Hill. I’ve always loved Portobello Market because it’s where I started and has always been a reference point. But if I’m with the kids, I’d choose Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush. It’s easy to park and everything’s there. Ariel Way, London W12 (http://uk.westfield.com).

The grooming staple I’m never without is Gentlemen’s Tonic Babassu and Bergamot aftershave cream. £26, www.gentlemenstonic.com.

If I didn’t live in London, the cities I would live in are New York and LA, both of which I spend a lot of time in. I’d live in the latter because I have a lot of friends there and love the lifestyle. However, I have a love-hate relationship with LA because it can be a bit unreal. So I’d also have to live for half the time in New York for the creative buzz, energy and gritty reality.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a filmmaker. I’ve always had a raw passion for film. I love the process of editing film and have always thought that there’s a real connection between that and editing a collection. So it would be a very natural fit, not least because I know a lot of famous movie actors, directors and producers who I have worked with and dressed for the Oscars.