Gerry McGovern is the Design Director/Chief Creative Officer for Land Rover. He talks to MW about his sense of style, the designers he swears by and wardrobe essentials for all men.
What are the design trends that catch your fancy?
I don’t really go by trends, although I recognize them. As a designer, you have to set your own trends. Good design and style are never out of fashion. I take the approach of modernity, and I believe in reduction, not over ornamentation. Personally, I’ve tried various trends and brands over the years, and have now gone bespoke. My suit maker is on Savile Row, my shirt maker is around the corner and my boots are made in Italy. I dictate what I want things to look like, experimenting with shirt materials and colours. I like suede boots — I have them in all kinds of colours.
Who are the designers you swear by?
My tailor in Savile Row, Henry Poole. Savile Row is bespoke, of course — it’s not good at promoting itself, but it’s getting better. They have the best tailors in the world, in my opinion. I’ve tried Tom Ford, Gucci, Prada and Armani, but I’m now back to British bespoke.
Anything you wouldn’t wear?
A pink suit, maybe. Certain styles are transient — you have to be careful of lapels and ties that are too narrow. I don’t really wear jeans any more, although I used to. Clothes, to me, are a lot like a uniform — I’m expected to look a certain way, as a designer. I also wouldn’t wear trousers that are too narrow — and baseball caps.
Describe your sense of style.
It’s very Savile Row British, and sophisticated, but with an artistic flourish and some bold elements that lift it from the formal look.
Any Indian designers or trends that you’re aware of?
I travel all over the world, but I don’t always buy from everywhere. Mr. (Ratan) Tata’s given me some very nice things, though. I remember admiring his cashmere jacket once, and when he came to England, he gave me a bolt of that material. Indians have a great sense of style and colour, that’s for sure.
What are the things a man needs in his wardrobe?
A great suit, in dark blue or dark grey — I wear mohairs a lot, they hold their shape. A jacket you can wear with almost anything. Great shoes, maybe Chelsea boots. A nice shirt, perhaps in poplin. An overcoat, some ties, some pocket squares — Mr. Tata and I swap ties and pocket squares.
What about watches and accessories?
I used to have a lot of watches, but I gave most of them away. Now I have three — a Patek Philippe Calatrava and Nautilus, and a Rolex Daytona in rose gold. I also have a Titan that Mr. Tata gave me — it’s super slim, he designed it himself. Tom Ford does nice pocket squares and ties, and I have a few scarves.
What did you last add to your wardrobe?
Two suits — a grey flannel lightweight one with a chalk stripe and a grey Prince Of Wales check with some blue in it. I also bought some Eric Bompard cashmere jumpers and some linen suits.
What would you like to add to your wardrobe next?
I rather like corduroys. I had a corduroy jacket, which I wore the hell out of. I wouldn’t mind a corduroy suit, with a waistcoat.
What would you wear on an evening about town?
A sports coat, an open neck shirt, trousers and a pocket square. It would depend on the weather — I’d wear linen in summer. I must have a coat — I feel like I’m ready for anything if I have one on.
Any favourite fragrances?
My wife gets them for me. I like Tom Ford and Chanel Pour Monsieur in particular.