Chief Executive Belle
How would you define your collection? Describe the Southern Proper man.
Style, tradition and authenticity are the Southern pillars that inspired the creation of Southern Proper, “Haberdashery for the Southern Gentleman.” By combining an appreciation for heritage and fashion, Southern Proper infuses adoration for the Southern lifestyle into a men’s accessory and clothing line that is much deeper than a Southern accent. Although neckwear is the best way for a man to add a splash of color to his suitings, the Southern Proper line has expanded beyond the necktie to include boxer shorts, belts, hats, polos, swimwear, blazers, t-shirts and pocket squares. You can find these fancies in over 250 men’s specialty retail shops around the United States.
Which “must-have” item from your Spring/Summer 2013 collection will instantly update a man’s wardrobe?
Our classic throwback “Country Club” collection for Spring 2013 is the perfect mix of the cool Caddyshack style from the 1980s blended with a modern preppy look. The shorts are a bit shorter and the shirts a bit smarter. Be sure to check out the bright colors that reflect the fun Summer club cocktails along with the sophisticated detailing that certainly portrays a society look.
From where do you draw inspiration?
We draw our inspiration from many years of traditional Southern style along with the intertwining of politeness, hospitality, and bona fide Southern roots. The South might be seen as a very conservative and old-fashioned place, but no where else on earth will you find a man who is dressed to the nines, yet isn’t afraid of hard work and grit!
What do you consider to be the world’s best fashion city for men and why?
Oxford, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia have to be our favorite cities for menswear. In one, we find gentleman wearing the finest brands with a pair of worn out cowboy boots that only look better with wear, and in the other, we find a refreshed sense of old-fashioned style with contemporary courtesy.
What do you think the next major shift in the menswear industry will be?
Bright is right! On a recent trend shopping trip to Milan, we saw that color was everywhere. It’s typically not a new thing for Southern Proper, but in the market we feel like the brighter the better! Look for great colors in accessories for the seasons ahead…
What is your favorite New York City hangout?
Our “Southern & Proper” New York hangout has to be The Lion. It has a delightfully casual atmosphere, great food, but at any moment you feel as if Ralph Lauren might pop in the door!
If you were not a designer or principal of this brand, what would you be doing?
I would certainly be doing something colorful and creative. Maybe developing another brand or just living a wonderful, Southern life!