Mr. Itsuo Murakami

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Meet Mr. Itsuo Murakami (@itsuoutfit), a menswear salesman from Japan.

Itsuo, what does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?

I feel proud of my Japanese roots and I think that the origins and the culture behind each person are what makes each individual different and unique. To me, a Gentleman is a person who is able to understand and value these differences in other people, trying to learn from them and be respectful of the world we are all living in, so that we can enjoy it together.

When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?

I’ve been fond of Ralph Lauren’s styling for the last 20 years or so and I love the American style in general, especially the one from the East Coast. But I also like to take inspiration from other places and mix them together in order to create my own personal style that suits me best and just makes me proud of what I’m wearing.

What’s your personal style signifier?

I’m not tall. So, I am mostly concerned about the overall balance. These include jacket length, sleeve length, trousers thickness and inseam. And of course, one of my vintage watches: a 1969 Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 and a 1954 Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 2451.

What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?


What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?

I like to make pencil drawings, and the artist Kelvin Okafor is my biggest inspiration in that regard.  It’s a long way to go, but it’s fun. Fortunately, I am very grateful to some customers who are pleased with my drawings.  The desire to live up to their expectations is my main passion, and I will continue to draw to nurture them.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?

Traveling, eating and spending time with my family.

Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us and what’s the next destination on your bucket list.

When I was a student, at the age of 19, I saved money for half a year while working as a part-time employee to visit New York City for the first time in 1990 with three friends.  Looking back, staying for about a month was a very luxurious time for me. Visiting places such as CBGB and Knitting Factory in New York City, as well as architecture and art appreciation, the noise of cars on the street, the smell of air, the rollerblades on the road, the subway … everything was exciting to me. I bought a pair of rollerblades locally and practiced at Central Park.

One of the most memorable things in Japan is a one-week van-dwelling surf trip in Kochi and Miyazaki with a friend from my school days. That trip was a lot of fun!

On my bucket list, there is a plan to go back to New York City with my wife and my whole family, a domestic trip to Kochi, and surf trips with friends.

Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.

I don’t drink much, but beer is essential.  Also, a little Awamori for Japanese food and a bit of wine for Italian food.

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