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Mark Cho, co-founder of The Armoury, explains how to dress your best in the new year.
Mark Cho, style savant and co-founder of menswear mecca The Armoury, reveals his fashion ambitions for the new year.
One of Hong Kong’s best-dressed entrepreneurs, Mark Cho co-founded of The Armoury in 2010. Passionate about artisanal brands and contemporary design, the 36-year-old has cultivated his own truly international style that’s as versatile as his schedule, which sees him bouncing from New York trunk shows to Florence, London, and more.
We caught up with the globetrotting style savant while he was in Italy for the Pitti Uomo, one of the most important international events for menswear, to hear about his fashion resolutions for the Year of the Rat:
As one of Hong Kong’s best-dressed men, how will you take that to the next level in the Year of the Rat?
Mark Cho: To look a little sharper when wearing suits, I've been adding some tab collar shirts and cufflinks to my repertoire. I also have too many plain-coloured shirts in my wardrobe, so I plan to include more patterned shirts by Drake’s or Ascot Chang. Incorporating a contemporary pattern is a great way to wear your favourite suits in a new way.
Looking ahead to summer, I am planning to have a striped boating blazer tailored using a beautiful navy and silver-striped cloth by the Fox Brothers, a renowned British clothmaker. I look forward to wearing it with a pale blue shirt and cream trousers.
What’s new at The Armoury this year?
MC: Over the last two seasons, we have slowly been introducing our Dayware collection – a more comprehensive range of casual wear through original in-house designs and collaborations with other brands.
Two of my favourites are our jeans collaboration with British fashion designer Nigel Cabourn and a casual jacket we developed, the Pocket Blouson, or 3PB, as we like to call it. This unstructured, unlined jacket is made from soft Irish linen and will keep you cool in the spring and summer. I'm looking forward to continuing to develop this part of our collection, as well as releasing new designs this year!
This summer, we will be releasing a new suit called the Model 11. It is our take on a two-button American style – it’s single-breasted with machine-stitched details and a slightly straighter cut. I highly recommend it for a refreshing change from the usual Italian fare.
Any work accessories that will help men look their best?
MC: I love The Armoury's two-ply knit ties: They come in great colours and the compact, tight knot looks really crisp. I also like our Codis Maya cufflinks, made in the UK, because they have simple, classic designs.
For pocket squares, we recently released new designs made with ultrafine polyester, which double as exceptional lens cloths. We developed these in conjunction with a Japanese company called Toray, which makes the best lens cloths around. They are extremely practical and look great, too.
What’s your go-to suit style?
MC: Even though we’ve expanded our premium bespoke offerings over the years, my go-to is still one of our entry-level tailored products, The Armoury by Ring Jacket, which comes in a single-breasted Model 3 or double-breasted Model 6. For a three-piece suit, I’d recommend the Model 3 in navy covert cloth or the Model 6 in brown wool Sharkskin. Both models are trim and flattering yet soft and comfortable to wear.
What new shoes do you recommend this year?
MC: To add a bit of panache to a dark suit, I really like our black tassel loafer called the Hudson. It has a very low vamp – the front section of the shoe – giving it a sleek profile that stands out from the crowd.
I also recommend shoes from Foster & Son, London’s storied Jermyn Street shoemaker which has been perfecting its craft since the 1840s. In particular, I love their Keble split-toe derby, which looks fantastic with a suit.
Visit The Armoury for more menswear inspiration to dress your best in the Year of the Rat.
The Armoury: Shop B47 LANDMARK MEN, B/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, 2810-4990