How the Man Behind One of the Best Men's Stores on Earth Got His Style
Mark Cho of The Armoury fills us in on the details.
BY As Told To Jon Roth | Jul 27, 2017 | Fashion
The cofounder of men's-wear mecca The Armoury, 34-year-old Mark Cho—who splits his time between London and Hong Kong—has given old-school suiting fresh appeal. Here he talks British tailoring, Japanese photography, and his karaoke icon.
How it all began: I was born in London, so I think at the root of it, my style is very English. It's understated but definitely more dressy. Where I went to school, we had to wear uniforms until we were 16, then a suit was permissible. So I asked my dad, "How do you wear a suit?" And it just kind of spiraled out of control from there.
Clockwise from top right: A seven-fold silk tie available at the Armoury (thearmoury.com); Cho's favorite watch, an early-'30s Vacheron Constantin chrono; man about town Jarvis Cocker; tortoiseshell sunglasses from Nackymade.
Neighborhood watch: When I sing karaoke, which is often, I usually do Britpop stuff. It's really hard to sing, but I love Pulp. And I've seen Jarvis Cocker near my apartment in Hackney, in London. He's always walking by when I'm at the pub, and I always want to chase him down the street.
Frame game: Almost all my glasses are from Nackymade. They make them by hand, and we bring them to the shop a couple times a year. We order completed frames, but they'll do custom frames, too, that are sized to your face. Their hinge is what they're really known for.
Colour guard: I don't have any real fashion regrets—life's too short—but one of the first things I bought for myself was this rainbow-striped sweater when I was about 15. I don't think I knew what the rainbow colors meant at the time. . . .
Urban legend: I collect a lot of photography, and I love the work of Naoya Hatakeyama. He does a lot of cityscapes, and he finds a way to make them alive and warm without actually having people in them. I've always been a city boy, and I like that comfort of being anonymous in a crowd. His photographs capture that feeling for me.
Locally sewn: We live in a world now where we don't need to just do British or Italian tailoring. It's much more interesting to mix what everyone does together. And especially with classic clothing, every country has its own take. A big part of the Armoury is about finding specific, interesting things that are authentic to where they came from.
The new look: My mission is to make tailored clothing relevant again. If you're going to present it with a top hat and a curly mustache, then it just becomes pastiche.
Source: Esquire US