There’s something sexy about a man who wears a pocket square. In the same way it’s sexy when a guy has “nerd glasses” on. It’s one of my favorite accessories in mens fashion and it’s because it represents ultimate confidence. A lot of men are afraid to wear them so the ones that believe they can “pull them off” actually do.
Two men who have raised the bar in the P square game and in my opinion, and brought them back from the dead are Ontario Armstrong and Clifton Wilson (awesome names, btw). Founders of the brand Armstrong & Wilson.
From their signature button, bold colors, and diverse fabrics, Armstrong & Wilson craft the perfect square fit for a king. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, just ask King LeBron James.
A Q&A with Armstrong and Wilson:
1. How did Armstrong and Wilson get it’s start? Why Pocket squares? Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces?
Wilson: Armstrong & Wilson was established in “09″ after Armstrong was featured in Esquire Magazine for being a finalist in their contest titled “The Best Dressed Real Men In America” I was a finalist in “06″ in the same contest soo we decided maybe its fate two best friends who met at the Art Institute of Philadelphia years before for fashion design both make the pages of such a prestigious fashion magazine. Soo we ran with the the opportunity.We decided on pocket squares as our introduction to the fashion industry. The pocket square is the under dog in men’s accessories. An item men overlooked soo many years so we wanted to try and give it it’s own identity. We made it okay to be a square!
Our inspiration is just finding a way to be unique. We truly try to bring something different to the fashion industry. It’s soo many rules with fashion that we try to break them. If everyone is going right we may decide to venture left. Pocket Squares been around for thousands of years, but none like ours soo our inspiration is being unique and not afraid to test new waters.
2. Many men would argue that pocket squares are one of the hardest accessories for men to “pull off,” any advice for men out there that want to start wearing them?
Wilson: Personally I feel the pocket square is the easiest accessory to wear because you can add such a different look to your outfit by throwing it in your pocket and your done. If you have difficulty doing folds then they should do the clean straight across look or puffy look. I think men relied soo much on a powerful tie that they forgot to add the square. Now guys are more comfortable without ties soo they should always have a pocket square to finish their look. (Amen to that!)
3. LeBron James and Chris Bosh were recently seen wearing your squares this year. How did that come about? How did it feel to see “the king” wearing your brand?
Armstrong: Some time ago we were fortunate enough to have our product introduced to Rachel Johnson, stylist to LeBron James and Chris Bosh. During that process we happened to be working on a collaboration with the luxury leather company Ghurka. This collab would consist of a travel bag lined with the Armstrong & Wilson fabric and 3 A & W pocket squares. Knowing we had an opening to get the product on the King we decided to also do an exclusive bag and squares for King James himself…the timing was perfect! After an assist from Rachel the product was put in his hands of the King and everything took off from there. It’s an amazing feeling to have the best player on the planet rocking your squares.
4. Are there any other NBA player’s you’d love to see wearing your pocket squares?
Armstrong: Tough question…but if I had to choose one I would have to go with Chris Paul. His style has a great balance of classic men’s fashion with modern flare. He’s one of those guys that just gets it!
5. Your pocket squares have the most creative names. How do you name your squares?
Armstrong: Lol, our names are so random. Typically it consists of sitting down with pizza and drinks shooting of names from the top of our heads. A lot of the times we pull from what we think of when we see the finished product of the square…colors, patterns, buttons etc… We’ve always wanted each square to have a personality of its own.
6. Let’s talk about the signature button detail, how did that come about?
Wilson: The Armstrong & Wilson signature button is how we decided to go left instead of right. The button came about because we needed to set ourselves apart from the start. If pocket squares is going to be our introduction then we have to make a statement. Now its a growing culture. You have options with our squares. If your feeling playful or want attention or catch a compliment, you show the unique buttons ranging from flowers to wooden styles. If your not ready then wear it like a regular pocket square. You can unbutton them and fold them anyway you choose but most love the buttons shown. Our fabrics are very cool too. Options ranging from cotton, linen, wools, and cashmere so it’s something for everyone.
7. Any other athletes we can look forward to wearing Armstong & Wilson?
Armstrong: We always have things in the works. It seems that the brand has traveled fast so you never know who you will see popping up next in an Armstrong & Wilson pocket square or tie.
8. Aside from ties and pocket squares, any thought of venturing into another men’s clothing accessory, say, socks?
Armstrong: Absolutely! Socks have definitely been in the conversation for our next venture. It’s always about growing. Right now it’s about determining what accessory makes sense for the next move. We always make sure whatever we put our name on represents the creativity and quality of the brand.
9. Any interest on making pieces for women, or maybe just me? Scarves?
Wilson: Haha as much as I love the ladies unfortunately it’s not an idea yet. We do design types of pocket squares that are very unisex. And women do like them. Our third partner Ms. Jackie Hall wears them a lot. One woman I would love to give a complete set to is Ellen. She will be perfect for them because we have tons with flowers and she’s always in a blazer. (I’ll pass the word along…) Scarves are definitely something we started playing around with. Can’t wait to test out a few ideas but again we went left so I hope breaking the rules again can turn out to be a success. For you Ms. Naz you can definitely get your Armstrong & Wilson items whenever. We’re just a phone call away for you. Lol. (Woo hoo!)
To shop Armstrong & Wilson check them out here: http://armstrongandwilson.com/