If there is one name in the world of menswear that genuinely deserves the otherwise overused title of legend, it’s Alan Flusser. For many men, designers, lifestyle influencers, and self-educated bon vivants, Alan is the man of record, or simply the man.
He is not only a menswear designer, not only an author, not only an innovator, and not just the guy who invented Gordon Gekko’s signature look for the movie Wall Street. His is all those things, however, he is also one of the most well-versed and well-read menswear experts alive today. Flusser’s close friend Ralph Lauren – a supernova in the universe of menswear – even asked him to write his biography, a very personal project on which Alan is currently working.
He also happens to be a very nice guy.
Alan Flusser literally wrote the book on dressing well; more accurately, he wrote the books. When people ask me what they should read to help them learn about dressing well, I typically start off with, “anything by Flusser.”
So, when I first met Alan, it was my equivalent of a young baseball fan meeting, say, Babe Ruth. Flusser exudes a passion for clothing and sartorial history, and he is a student of history. He also possesses an unwavering assertion that dressing well, and carefully choosing clothing that fits your color palate, frame, comfort and personal style, matter even more today.
Having essentially created what is often referred to as the “New York” or “Wall Street” look, Alan is the embodiment of owning your style. Flusser’s rules are logical and designed to help guide a customer or reader to clothing that works well for them, that matches their body type and personal attributes, and best expresses their personality.
Over the years, Alan Flusser has been a mentor and guide. Among other things, we have discussed the continuing lack of real guidance for many young men who are looking for role models when it comes to dressing well. Too often, he notes, magazines and celebrities, “style experts,” and self-professed consultants focus on ephemera like of-the-moment trends and looks that, frankly, don’t look very good on most people. That’s not dressing; it’s dressing up like someone else.
An educator at heart, Alan is relentless in his focus on the why and how of dressing well and creating personal style. with a sensibility grounded in classic English fashion and infused with 1930s American glamour, he has an attitude and persona that are forward-looking and intellectually aggressive, but not rude. There is the Flusser way to dress and that’s what you need to buy into when you ask Alan for help with your wardrobe. It’s a way of being elegant and casual, formal but witty.
If I have learned anything from this remarkable gentleman, it’s that owning your style is an active pursuit. Owning your style means that you take a participatory role in developing a sense of self and a direction for your own fashion. You take the time to learn about what makes you look your best and what flatters you the most.
As Alan often says, those men who always seem to look sharp and put together no matter what, the ones who make it look so effortless and cool? Chances are, they work at it every day.
Alan Flusser taught, and continues to teach me, that the act of developing and owning your personal style is something that ultimately affects every part of your life – and that’s a good thing.