Ben Gorham talks personal taste

Ben Gorham is the founder of Byredo, the cult Swedish brand that is known for its iconoclastic fragrances

Ben Gorham at his home in Stockholm
Ben Gorham at his home in Stockholm | Image: Per-Anders Pettersson

My personal style signifiers are single-breasted, unstructured blazers with wide lapels from my tailor, AW Bauer, the only fully bespoke tailor in Scandinavia. I’m not big on pinstripes – because of my frame they can make me look like a mobster – but I like the idea of old Italian men who wear suits with the ease of pyjamas. I buy my formal shoes from Edward Green, the best shoemaker in the world in my opinion. I prefer no socks. AW Bauer, Brunnsgatan 4, 11138 Stockholm (+468-104 780). Edward Green, 75 Jermyn St, London SW1 (020-7839 0202;

R & B singer Drake
R & B singer Drake | Image: Scott Legato/FilmMagic

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were some hats. I met a milliner called Nick Fouquet in Venice, California, and fell in love with the process and the products as objects. One has a Western feel – a kind of fedora, very high quality. I am not really a hat kind of guy, so it will be interesting to see if I can pull them off when they arrive. About $1,200;


The last music I downloaded was Views, the new album by Drake. He’s from Toronto, where I grew up. It has lots of references to the clubs and restaurants I hung out at during the 1990s wave of hip‑hop and R & B. When I moved back to Sweden 13 years ago I tried to get into other music, but this just stuck.

Nick Fouquet beaver-felt open-crown fedora, about $1,200
Nick Fouquet beaver-felt open-crown fedora, about $1,200 | Image: Per-Anders Pettersson

The best gift I’ve given recently was a custom fragrance to some friends who had just got married. The idea was that they wouldn’t smell it until the wedding day so it would become the memory of their wedding in a bottle. I came up with the ingredients by tapping their friends and family for the scents the couple both like, and then I combined them, favouring the bride. I didn’t give it a name; I just labelled it with the date. It was a lot of work.

Gorham’s silver Navajo bracelet
Gorham’s silver Navajo bracelet | Image: Per-Anders Pettersson

An object I would never part with is my Patek Philippe Nautilus. It’s from the first run made by Gérald Genta, with additional works from Audemars Piguet. I think it was made in 1977. It’s stainless steel with a deep navy face and was hard to find. I also have an old Rolex Submariner from the 1950s and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in gold – number 57 in the series. I am now hunting for a Nautilus in yellow gold.

An Elder Statesman cashmere jumper, $2,140
An Elder Statesman cashmere jumper, $2,140

The people I rely on for personal grooming and style are Jenny at Speakeasy in Stockholm, who does my tattoos. She designs everything and kind of curates the whole thing. I have no colour on my body. The last ones I got were roses on each elbow; it was extremely painful. And I also depend on my daughters Ines and Anouk; my hair runs halfway down my back and they help me to braid it. Hökens gata 7 T-Slussen, Stockholm (+468-641 1114;

Gorham’s Edward Green suede loafers, £380
Gorham’s Edward Green suede loafers, £380 | Image: Per-Anders Pettersson

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a silver Navajo bracelet from the US. I’ve recently become obsessed with Navajo silver from the 1950s and 1960s. This bracelet has a bead structure in a butterfly shape. It’s chunky and handmade; there’s something quite primal about it.


A recent “find” is the cashmere brand The Elder Statesman. I met the founder Greg Chait in his factory in LA. The materials and dyes he chooses are very special. He has vintage looms that very few people use these days. I got a sweater called the Baja, the first design he ever made – a surfer-style beach sweater with a hood – and a big robe that comes with small gemstones in an inner pocket for good energy. Baja jumper, $2,140;

My favourite websites, where I buy furniture; I recently found a mid-1960s rattan bench by an unknown designer through a French dealer. I also like to browse – I find my handblown glass art there; it’s nice to see young people getting into that craft.

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