Ruling Britannia - fashion retailer David Reiss talks to EDGAR
November 24, 2014
There is a real integrity and attention to detail that comes with the history of British tailoring, and that is something that we position at the very heart of Reiss.
When I am interviewing someone, I normally know whether I like them within the first minute of meeting them. If there is a spark there, I notice it. I always go by first impressions and rely a lot on my instincts.
The beautiful game
I am a big football fan and have been supporting Arsenal since I was six years old. I am also a member of the Diamond Club, which is the most exclusive sports watching club in the world, so when I do find some time off, I like to go there with my son. Supporting a sports team is one of the most stressful things in the world, because you put so much of your heart and soul into it and it’s entirely out of your hands. Last year’s FA Cup victory probably aged me ten years!
I am a purist. I believe in not looking at fashion for fashion’s sake, but instead having an air of authenticity about it. If you are confident with what you want to wear then you will never look out of place. The biggest misconception that men have about fashion is the need to follow trends to be ‘cool’. Instead real style comes from wearing what you feel comfortable in. In my eyes you can never be over-dressed.
Menswear is really having its moment in the sun, and it is very exciting. Men are becoming much more adventurous in the way they dress, and have returned to investing in functionality, quality, craftsmanship and timeless pieces. It is as if men as a whole have rediscovered the confidence to want to look good and to have that integral sense of style in their lives.
Every man should own the perfect suit, something that you put on in the morning that makes you feel like a million dollars and makes you want to conquer the world. That said, there are three things that I will always have in my wardrobe: a perfectly tailored navy suit, a timeless cashmere sweater and wonderful pair of shoes.
You have to be a risk taker in business, because it is all about trading. If I believe in something, then I back it. When it comes to business, I don’t see it as taking risks, instead I look at it as if the odds are in my favour. If you have a belief in something then you do your homework and research and take the right decision from there.
No slowing down
I’m 71 now, and I’m sure one day I’m going to wake up and think ‘I’ve taken this as far as I can’, but at the moment I still feel like I have unfinished business. Retirement is not an option at the moment, because working keeps you young and your wits sharp.