My little monkey Jaime led me to get to know Alex, when he’s running around at his Japanese restaurant. Interesting to hear about Alex’s passion (and tips) in styling with his mixed professions as a restauranteur and architectural designer, while balancing his role as a father of 2 adorable daughters during my recent visit of his kitchen-lab/architect studio in Wing Lee Street. Hope his views inspire you, looking good and feeling good at your profession and your different roles too.
1. How do you describe your style? How do you incorporate this into your role?
Minimalist and staying true to its basics or materials. This applies to my styling and to my belief in architectural design, which is quite influenced by the architects Lois Kahn and Ando. I personally hate layering in outfits and prefer to go back to basics, as I believe that clothes are for giving warmth as said in Bible.
As a father of 2 toddlers, I prefers minimal sports and track pants during weekends. The only thing I gave way during my time with kids is my love (addiction) of white pants. I have mysophobia (laughing) and my mood is easily spoiled with stains on white color outfits. I love wearing white pants, as influenced by my love of Japanese culture since childhood.
2. Can you describe your work outfit and off-work outfit? Where do you normally shop?
I wear lots of business suit jacket and shirts to go with slightly casual pants to look professional yet comfortable at work in my Japanese restaurant and in my architectural design projects, though you can’t image that I used to like hip hop outfits 10 years ago (laughing).
I love shopping at “Edifice” in Osaka for their business suit jacket, which tailor cut suits Asian. The Japanese shop assistant pinned and adjusted for me professionally and efficiently. I also like its casual wear section, specially with their denim or nautical theme, and its loafers.
I specially like shirts from “Yves”. I go for the leather shoes of another Japanese shop “Suit Company” which shoes are made in Italy but in almost one-fifth price of a pair of Italian brand shoes.
For casual wear or outdoor outfits with kids, I go for Uniqlo and GU from Japan.
3. Can you share with us your favorite accessories?
Bags and Belts. For bags, I have variations from tote bag, shoulder bag to backpack. I prefer any colors except white, or darker color base. My favorites are from Tod’s and Edifice.
I recently got this sports-calculator hand band which records my jogging and work out and which also became my accessory.
4. What’s your key cosmetic/skin care products? Or do you bring anything along with you?
I’m very basic. I used cold water to wash my face. I prefer oil-free moisturizer from Nu Skin.
5. Any recent best buy?
A navy suit jacket from GU, a recent discovery from Japan which is a second line of Uniqlo. I intentionally wear it today. You’ll be surprised by its quality with its very low price.
6. Which is your favorite hair salon? Your regular visited salon?
I always follow my hairstylist Terry Lam, as my hair is very challenging with its curly and oily features. I used to be quite brave with hairstyles from long hair, gold color to skin head. After settling down with my personalized signature look, I prefers a timeless hairstyle.
7. What’s your favorite hair styling products?
“Sculpt D” hair wax which you can buy from Tokyo Hands. I like its firm hold but easily wash-off which minimize the risk of hair loss. My tips is to apply hair wax on the outer ends of hair.
8. What’s your priority of time or investment that you allocate to hair, skin, outfits?
I invest on leather shoes, watch and leather bags.
9. How do you enhance your style? Inspiration source?
I like to read a Japanese male fashion & lifestyle magazine “Leon”and it always features an Italian model whose style inspires me a lot.
(Special thanks to the photography by Rico of An Ant Capture, www.anantcapture.com)