Menswear aficionado and street style icon Nick Wooster
has worked with fashion's finest, consulting for Thom Browne, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. But unlike many designers and consultants in the industry, he's managed to build his own name without being wedded to a specific label.
This month, the self-described "free agent" has flown in from New York as a special guest curator for Lane Crawford, a luxury retail space in Hong Kong that is celebrating its 165th anniversary. He's debuting his newest collaboration with Italian fashion label Lardini
-- a collection of pocket squares, ties, pants, shirts and jackets.
CNN Style met with Wooster to talk about the perks of travel, the Asian market, and the future of menswear.
What's in your carry-on?
An iPad, Master & Dynamic headphones, chargers galore, pens, candy, duty-free cigarettes, passport and hotel and airline cards.
Are there any travel perks to stocking your wardrobe?
What I love about travel and shopping is seeing how different retailers in London, Paris and New York interpret the same collection. I like to find the best store in town and take a good look because there will always be a nuance that you just can't get anywhere else. I think Hong Kong has always had this tradition of custom made suits which I've never done but love the idea of.
What Asian designers excite you?
and Yang Li
. I'm not as well versed on this as I could be, so anytime I get the opportunity to meet new faces I think it's important.
What are some trends you see in Asia, that you might not see anywhere else?
In Japan, the attention to detail in customer service is an experience that is unlike anywhere else. It's really quite special. I think everyone who's interested in fashion would do well to take a trip to learn about presentation and the way the merchandise is handed to you. These are skills that no one really thinks about.
Right now, especially, menswear is going through a love affair with Japan. Japan has fitted prominently into most men's editorial and all of us really crave those trips to Tokyo. Between Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, I think you really have to have your eye on the Asian market or you're going to miss out.
What do you add to the collaboration with Lardini?
They make beautiful classic things so they didn't need me to help them with that. Instead, it was like, alright I have a particular point of view. I almost always wear a jacket, but I like different jackets. I also like funny pants. I never like head to toe anything. I like the idea of it being a little bit messed up and this was a great playing field for that.
What does the future of menswear look like?
The job market is more competitive, the dating market is more competitive, everybody has kind of raised the bar, so looking better is a must. But the thing is, it's not as scary as it maybe once was. That's because of things like social media and the internet.
I think now more than ever style has come out of the closet. Even publications like The New York Times are now expanding their coverage to really cover men's style as an idea. I mean, this would have been unheard of 20 years ago. So the world is reacting. It's a great time to be a man who's interested in fashion.
Where do you see fashion in 165 years?
I'm sure you could have one set of clothes that could change color, one that could change shape, one that could change fabric and not ever have to be washed. It would be so great, and would make packing so much easier.