Mr Hare: My Style Rules

The shoe designer professes his love of sweatshirts, discusses his style-conscious childhood and hates on bad socks

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My personal style is somewhere between David Bowie, Bryan Ferry and Flava Flav. It's the rigid suaveness of Ferry, the experimental can-do-anything of Bowie and the audacious, childish nature of Flava Flav.

I was conscious of style and design from a young age, one of those kids that would smuggle 'best' clothes to school. The first time I became properly style-conscious was age 10 when I rude boy'd it up; I was really into the Specials.

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A year and a half later Adam & The Ants took over my life, then I became a soul boy – Fred Perrys, braces etc. – then it was ragga, then hip hop.

Those types of trends still exist in youth culture, but now it's Palace or Supreme. There's still the same fervor for something. Unlike before, though, it's all brand-related.

I was John Galiano's PR at the age of 17. It was seminal.

Day to day I wear comfortable clothes. I'm obsessed with sweatshirts, obsessed with jeans, and those normally lead to some sort of sneaker or boot on my feet. But if I'm going out, I'll really make an effort.

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I tend to wear Mr Hare head to toe. But I love Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, and I used to be obsessed with Margiela.

My wardrobe would be more extensive, but I've always been poor. I've also given away a lot of stuff to younger, slimmer people.

I hate to break it to you kids, but Palace and Supreme; that stuff is shit. You could be getting much better stuff for the money you're spending. But what you don't get in quality you get in satisfaction. And it's cheaper than drugs.

Every man needs a really good white shirt, a really good pair of jeans, a really good collarless shirt, a really good coat, a stunning pair of shoes, then a stack of really good socks. There's nothing worse than shit socks.

I'm a massive fan of flip-flops. The best flip-flops are Rainbow's leather flip flops. Outside of what I make, that's my favourite shoe in the world. I've had my current pair for 13 years. They're bomb proof.

If I could only own one pair of shoes they'd be Mr Hare's Sonny boots. You can take the straps off them and look smart, or leave the straps on and look totally rock and roll.

Sonny boots by Mr Hare

There's nothing a man should never wear. No matter what it is, someone will be able to rock it.

Men can't live without jeans. And I don't trust those that say they can.

For the past 20 years I've tried to think of a man in the public eye that is always well dressed, but chooses his own clothes without the help of a stylist. And there fucking isn't one.

If I could be someone else, I'd be Stefano Pilati.

The style mistake that pisses me off is when a man thinks he knows about shoes, but doesn't know Mr Hare. That irks me.

I hate trends. When I was growing up people strived for a look that was unique, and that's always how I've seen fashion. Being told to follow a trend is the opposite of what style should be.

I've moved away from tailoring, shirts and ties. I wish it would all go away. It's nice to dress up from time to time, but to do it every day is restrictive, and doesn't show any real imagination. A free mind will not be walking around in a suit.

I love sunglasses, I like belts, and I have massive collection of scarves. I love evening accessories to too; I have a couple of Hermes opera scarves.

Every man should be able to cook. I live by the rule that I can cook better than most of the places I can afford to eat in. I love the River Café, J Sheekey, Le Caprice, but my favourite restaurant is Tsiakkos on the Harrow Road. Proper dingey, but it's £20 a head including wine.

I prefer dressing in winter, because you can wear more clothes. You've got to be good to be stylish in the summer.

The secret to living a stylish life is to do whatever makes you happy. Ignore everyone else and wear what you want.

What do you think?

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