In homage to an era worthy of attribution, and one which more and more men are embracing, Conrad Wu provides familiar patterns and prints with welcome texture and hand for the contemporary male consumer.
I caught up with Conrad to talk about his start in menswear (his early days on Styleforum threads), his personal style philosophy and what we have to look forward to from the eponymous label. I’d be remiss not to mention the exact model of the lovely centerpiece pictured above. This 50 oz. twill olive rosette print tie (heavy yet soft for a formidable drape) is 9 cm wide, a more vintage feel for me and really a stretch for what I’m normally accustomed to with regards to my frame. It’s a welcome addition to my repertoire and easily becoming a fast favorite. Now, more from Conrad:
TA: What’s your role in the company?
CW: It’s a one man operation where I handle everything from meeting with various mills to packing each individual order with handwritten notes. All cut all fabrics myself and use 3 types of necktie lining depending on the type of fabric. For example, with raw silks I stick with lightweight linings to reduce unnecessary weight and bulk. With printed silks, I use a medium weight which adds some heft so it doesn’t flap around when there’s a bit of a breeze. Each tie is also individually assembled by my seamstress and is carefully examined before being shipped out.
TA: What’s the quick intro to Conrad Wu?
CW: Neckwear and accessories for discerning men.
TA: Who/what serves as notable style inspiration?
CW: Connery, JFK, Gary Cooper, the Armoury boys. Being Chinese, I’m a huge fan of qipaos (1930/40s Shanghai) although it doesn’t have a direct influence.
TA: What’s your professional background and what affect, if any, did it have on your personal style?
CW: I started in the healthcare. It was more or less a sales job so there wasn’t any particular influence on my personal style. The industry isn’t known for suits/ties but rather khakis/polos. I lurked on Styleforum back in ’08 and that was where I initially got an idea of what “style” was. Started in SWD with a TOJ jacket and progressed to Classic Menswear over a few years. I owe a lot of my knowledge to the posters on that forum.
TA: What’s the ultimate goal for the brand?
CW: Ideally, a physical boutique in mainland China or Hong Kong.
TA: What product extensions can we expect for this fall season?
CW: I’m focusing on cashmere and madder print ties. And definitely more accessory offerings in 2016.
TA: What three words describe your brand?
CW: Practical, tasteful, elegant.
TA: What’s one word that describes your personal style?
CW: Simple. I emphasize heavily on the silhouette and prefer to work with warm autumn colors when it comes to accessories (think New England in October).
See more of the line here.