This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.
Meet Mr. Simon Berg (@simonberg1977) from Stockholm, Sweden.
He is a serial entrepreneur, and he runs a college for manual therapists in Stockholm, sits on the board for a couple of different companies in Sweden and Norway, co-owns a tailoring house in Stockholm called Götrich and a bags and leather goods company called Baron.
Simon, how do you define your style?
Overall, I’d say it’s a mix of classic Swedish and British style with a sprinkle of Italian and American. My winter wardrobe would be more classic and formal (ie some padding in the shoulders, fully lined, full canvas etc). My summer wardrobe would be slightly more casual (ie more unstructured, half or no lining, softer and lighter cloth etc) and a bit preppy.
What does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?
In general, I’d say it means being respectful and polite, but without being too formal. Mind your manners, but don’t show them off. The same goes for style – you should know the basic dress codes, color combinations, and some general do’s and don’ts, but don’t get too hung up on them. And don’t force them on others unless asked to! My basic understanding of classic menswear comes from my old friend Fredrik af Klercker, who is a writer and speaker on the subject, as well as a host on Sweden’s #1 style podcast “Stiljournalen” (The Style Journal) together with Filip Strömbäck.
When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?
I usually get inspiration from, or downright steal, great looks from past and present and tweak them to fit my personal style. You need to make sure to get a contemporary feel to whatever you’re wearing. You do not want to look like you’re going to a costume party or taking part in a historical reenactment (even though dressing up today sometimes unavoidably feels like it).
What’s your personal style signifier?
Number 1: 4,5mm beard and the occasional moustache.
Number 2: Shades & glasses by my old friend Oscar Magnuson.
Number 3: Our handmade Götrich bamboo ties. I’d wear a tie even if no one else does. Since people don’t have to wear them for work much anymore, they’re turning into more of a pure style piece. I believe the suit is headed in the same direction. Eventually, people will wear them just because they want to, not because they have to. Which is fine.
What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?
To start off: db navy suit, db grey flannel suit, navy twill blazer, grey flannel high rise trousers, blue and white shirts (cutaway & button down), black Oxfords, long navy overcoat, over the calf socks (always matching the trousers!), blue box cloth braces and some plain bamboo ties.
And, once you’ve got that under control: db brown flannel suit, brown Oxfords, a tan overcoat, eccentric PJ’s, khaki short shorts, bengal stripe shirts, a classic canvas weekend bag with leather details, etc… Everything bespoke from Götrich & Co, of course.
What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?
I love working with my own companies. To develop great teams and continuously improve operations, products, and services. Also, if I enjoy the company of someone very much, we often end up doing business together in one way or another. I’m not very good at just hanging out with people, I need a purpose (unless there’s beer involved).
What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Going for a walk, casually doing some work in my home office, playing some drums, zoning out on the sofa with my cats watching the kids play Fortnite, and having pizza. I also like museums, but my family gets bored with them (and me talking about art and history) so I rarely go.
Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us what’s the next destination on your bucket list.
I went by car with the family from Sweden to Spain in August and loved it. I haven’t made that trip since I was a kid myself. Now looking forward to drive up to Portugal where I’ve never been. Also looking forward to going to New York later this month to visit our Co-owners, British tailoring house Cad & The Dandy, at their NY location.
Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.
I’m more of a beer/wine guy, but I like a good cognac (or a bad one, for that matter). I also like whiskey and bourbon, and the occasional cocktail (but it has to be mixed by someone else – I’m horrible at making drinks).
What are your three favorite books?
“The Great Crash, 1929” by John Kenneth Galbraith.
Read it in business school and it teaches you that sometimes things just fall apart. So hope for the best and plan for the worst.
“A Guide to Graphic Print Production” by Kaj Johansson, Peter Lundberg and Robert Ryberg.
Read it in design school in the 90’s and it’s the most useful book I’ve ever read.
“The Hobbit” + “LOTR” by JRR Tolkien.
Cause I like Hobbits.
What are your three favorite movies?
Best sci-fi and the greatest-looking movie of all time.
The Royal Tenenbaums.
Best drama/comedy and Wes Anderson’s brilliant aesthetics. I hung out with Owen Wilson at the restaurant Wasahof in Stockholm once but was so star-struck I could hardly say a word.
Big Trouble in Little China.
Best overall. John Carpenter & Kurt Russell is a match made in heaven. Everything they’ve done together is pure gold.
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