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Gentleman Driver Collection & Interview With Karim Ojjeh

Meeting Karim Ojjeh – Former Le Mans Champion

Gstaad on a Saturday morning. The small village showed its most beautiful glance, the sun was out on a rather warm winter day.  I was very excited to meet a former Le Mans Champion & the founder of KO-Racer – a Gentleman Driver Collection.

Honestly, I meet a lot of people in my job, but for a very long time I haven’t met a gentleman like Karim. His whole charism is already super fascinating. A tall and good-looking man welcomed us with a strong handshake, a clear voice and this very powerful aura. I realised, I’m meeting a champion.

gentleman driver collection

karim ojjeh

Karim, tell us something about your life and your career?

I actually started racing very late, at the age of 36,  because I decided to first concentrate on my family and education. So, I went to college and law school. In 1992, I took my wife to Laguna Seca in the US and that’s how my fascination for racing started.

What particularly fascinated you?

They were teaching us how to break and go around the corners. Honestly, I was totally exhausted physically and mentally after the first day. It requires so much concentration to race. That’s when I started to understand what racing actually meant. My fascination is all about the kick, but more than anything it’s the amount of concentration it requires – that is inspiring.

Losers have excuses, winners have a plan.

But the year it all starter was 2002, right?

Indeed, I started Formula Palmer Audi at that time. In 2004, I came 3rd in the championship. My mentor than suggested I move to prototypes.  What I’ve learned from one of my mentors is that nothing works without your team. It is like a watch movement, every single step and procedure has to work in order to get the whole thing moving.  So in 2005, I started prototype racing in Le Mans until 2011. First time we went to Le Mans we finished second. In 2008, I decided that I wanted to win Le Mans and gave myself until 2013 – so I did it, but in  2011!

What happened then?

After that fantastic year, I did the same as Nico Rosberg, stopping on the highest point of my career. There was nothing for me to prove any more – the monkey was of my back! On the other hand, I said to myself: what shall I do now, having acquired all this experience? So I negotiated with ASM and began racing GT3 with the McLaren MP4-12C GT3.  I still race GT3.

le mans champion

Karim Ojjeh presents his own Gentleman Driver Collection

KO-RACER is a new sportswear brand dedicated to gentlemen drivers. Designed to reflect the image of racing cars, KO-RACER clothing targets urban, sophisticated, thrill-seeking men. Certified Merino wool, the brand’s T- to Race shirt collections combines top quality with elegant design for a sporty clientele with high standards.

What’s your idea behind your new brand?

It’s associating you with the car. It doesn’t matter what car you drive, it can be any sort of sports car. I want to get your head into the car. So that you understand that it’s not the car, but you driving the car. It’s all about the emotions. 70% of driving is the mental aspect.

There is a unique number on the label, why is that?

Sustainability and traceability is important to us. We want you to know where your product is from, in order to make sure you understand that we deliver quality. You can track each single shirt with its own code here.

racing clothes

The quality feels great, what material is it?

Merino!  It’s a natural fiber challenging the best. The elements that makes it the top challenger: fine, versatile, natural, breathable, insulating, useable across all seasons (keeping you warm in cold temperatures and cool in warm/hot temperatures), soft, comfortable, light … you name it. The result, simply put: the best natural, precious, versatile, luxury fiber for all seasons. It feels like a second skin.

racing fashion

merino shirt

ko racer

What about the logo?

I asked my helmet designer – who has painted my helmet since the beginning – to create a logo.  When my wife, whose usually a bit picky about design and fashion, saw the logo on a shirt, she loved the mixture of my initials and racing cars.

gstaad shop

helmet le mans champion

Why did you call it Gentleman Driver Collection?

We wanted to create something you can wear when driving a sports car. However, we don’t want people to drive too fast when wearing the shirt associating it with driving a race.

Last but not least, describe a gentleman.

Anybody that feels himself like a gentleman, can be one.  Again, it’s in the mind.  It’s as simple as that.

Besides, he took me on a ride with his McLaren 570s….

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My Journey To Firenze – Pitti Uomo 89

For the 89th time, every fashion addicted gentleman went to Firenze to attend one of the biggest men’s exhibitions in the world. Two times per year, Florence turns into a fashion-mecca on the level of absolute superlative.
 
Pitti Uomo 2016
For me it was the first time to attend a fair and visit such an event. Arriving at the airport you already start to understand how big this event is. People are travelling to Firenze from all over the world. The queue to get a Taxi at the airport is at least 50 meters long.
There are two parts of the fair. On the one hand a lot of brands are exhibiting their newest collections. On the other hand there is the ‘show off’ part in front of the building people are hanging out to present their styles.
It’s unbelievable what a good time I had with my friend Kenneth. The sun was out, everyone in a good mood! I enjoyed the relaxed vibe at the Pitti Immagine. Everyone is totally laid back. I ate loads of ‘Bistecca Fiorentina’ and met wonderful and well dressed people from all over the world.
What a surprise to open the news at the next day! 
Suddenly we started to realise that our pictures are everywhere (GQ Russia, GQ Germany, GQ Mexico & Vogue Mexico)

Corriere Fiorentino Pitti Uomo

 
So what’s trending?
Beards & Moustaches
I have the personal impression that beards and moustaches are still totally in fashion. The coming pictures will prove that.
Hats
They are all over the place. In all sort of colours, shapes and forms. I’d love to see more of them here in Switzerland!
Coats
Rather coats than jackets was the main trend this time. A very dapper and classy idea for next winter.
Checked & squared pattern is a nice alternate to just black or grey.
Shoes & Socks

Be brave and use colours! Pastel colours during autumn & winter.

Pictures by

Copyright GQ Russia
Pitti Immagine 89
Copyright Pitti Uomo
GQ Mexico Pitti89
Copyright GQ Mexico
GQ Germany Pitti Uomo
Copyright GQ Germany
Pitti Uomo 2016
Copyright Jeroen van Rooijen
Streetstyle Pitti Uomo
Copyright GQ Russia
Styles Pitti 89
Copyright Vogue Mexico
 
Pitti Immagine Uomo
Copyright Vogue Mexico
 
Vogue Mexico Pitti Uomo
Copyright Vogue Mexico
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GQ Gentleman 2015 Finale

Dear Diary

A year ago, out of the blue, I have founded my blog. No idea what to expect and what life brings. 
I’m doing this because I love it, it’s as simple as that.

Pictures
Andrea Monica Hug

 
Location

 

GQ Gentlemen 2015

During the last 12 months so many dreams came true… and still it gets better and better, and better.

And now, I’m leaving Switzerland for a couple of days to travel to Germany. GQ, the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle magazine, is looking for an ambassador.

It’s more than an ambassador, it’s the GQ Gentleman 2015. I’m one of the finalists. Actually, I’m reading the magazine since pretty much 10 years and it’s for sure the biggest success this year to receive such an invitation. I can’t possibly be more happy!

Now let’s talk a bit what a Gentleman wraps up for such an event. And some outfit details.

Outfit

It’s summertime, so we’re using blue and brown colours. To be precise it’s a navy blue that ideally combines with cognac brown or light brown. 

The suit & the shirt are from Joop, the shirt has a shark collar which looks very dapper.
Tie & pocket square are aligned in light blue.

Herrenglobus Logo

 

Swiss Fashion Blogger
Terrasse Zürich Garten
The shoes are double sewn-welted brogues from the brand Prime Shoes, distributed by Herren Globus.
Herren Globus Männermode
Wrist Shot
 
 
For the H1 Air Classic, HYT didn’t simply recreate a traditional piece. The brand remained loyal to its codes and to its hydraulic technology: large roman numerals, gold tone, optimal visibility and chocolate tons all served with an alligator strap.
 
Pink gold 5N and titanium case, 48,8 mm
Mechanical hand-wound, exclusive HYT calibre
Bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with côtes de Genève, rhodiumed bellows
HYT Air Classic

Accessories

Shoes
2nd pair of Oxfords by Massimo Dutti (the condition of your shoes remains better if you use a stretcher)

Cigars
Collection of Camacho Cigars (conneticut, maduro, crillo etc.)
Using matches is the classier way

Cosmetics
All the cosmetics are from Kiehl’s Glattzentrum

Fragrance
Tabacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Mens Accessories


Wish me luck, you will hear the outcome very soon!

Sincerely,
Ralph

Outfittery Review – Well Done!

Outfittery Logo

-> Outfittery Gutschein (Voucher) 50 CHF ¦ GENTLEFITTERY40
 

Outfittery Test

Last week, I had the big pleasure to test „Outfittery“. This name describes a young curated shopping platform, which provides a unique online shopping experience for men. The target group is especially men, who are not willing to visit different shops on a regular basis. Anna Alex and Julia Bösch founded the company in 2012 in Germany. First, they started with the name „Shop Paul Secret“ before they changed the company name to „Outfittery“. Their targets were to integrate personality in e-commerce and to clothe men who are not interested in shopping. There’s a personal outfit expert who chooses pieces of clothing individually for each man. The customer gets the whole choice and has only to pay for the pieces he keeps while the service (consultation, delivery) is free of charge.
                                                                      

Outfittery Process

First, you have to fill in the short online questionnaire and answer questions about your style and the sizes. In the meantime your style gets analyzed. Your personal outfit expert contacts you afterwards on the selected appointment date. He’s going to choose the combination on the basis of your questionnaire. As soon as you received the articles you choose the ones you really like and send the rest back to Outfittery. 

Outfittery Bestellen


So what are the kinds of questions, which will be asked in the questionnaire to get your perfect combination at last? It starts with a question about the brands you like and you’re allowed to tick multiple brands of the suggested ones. It follows questions about your favorite shoe style or which outfit you’re wearing in your free time and so on. The multiple choice function allows you to focus on the different products and styles you like and you don’t have to value or think about which of the articles you like more.

After you filled in all the questions you get a result, which shows the “perfect” combination on the basis of the articles you have chosen. The employees keep in touch with you via phone, which works really well and perfectly on time. Pia was my personal shopper and she did a great, competent job.

 outfittery output
 
To show you the result I got from Outfittery at its best, we looked out for a nice location and a suitable ambience, which complements the outfits. The first outfit I tried is my favorite one. I like the color match of rose and blue very much. The outfit combines casual/streetstyle in a really good way. The new (leather? Brown..) bracelet I’m wearing is from Doubleufrenk and matches perfectly with the two colors.

Photos by
Diana Kottmann

streetstyle zürich

herrenoutfit

accessoire herren

The second outfit is a bit more conventional than the first one. The combination is a plaid shirt and blue trousers. This outfit would be perfect for an after work meet&greet with some colleagues. I liked the material of both pieces very much.
karriertes hemd

dress to impress

Outfittery Service Review

I met fantastic, competent & lovely people from this company. It is all very relaxed and friendly. During your online shopping, you still get this sort of a familiar feeling that you don’t find often. The service they provide is fast and reliable. The phone calls with the personal shopper was on time and friendly. The packet arrived within the indicated time. The brands they come up with are absolutely great. You find articles from Strellson, Levis and other well-known brands. I’m gonna wear the shirt soon again as I liked it that much. Outfittery is the perfect solution for men who are not motivated or simply too lazy to go shopping. It’s efficient and you don’t have to waste time in waiting in queues and so on. As a fashion lover I absolutely enjoy the shop atmosphere and see the articles in front of me, touch the different materials, but I definitely fell in love with some of the pieces they’ve sent to me. 
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Oxblood Shoes – Zürich’s Finest Shoestore

Last week I had the great pleasure to visit the store and meet the manager (Claude Locher) of oxbloodshoes in Zürich.
The shop in Zürich has the world’s largest selection of horween shell cordovan shoes.
 
oxblood zurich


Shell Cordovan – the best leather in the world

Cordovan is an equine leather made from the flat muscle (or shell) beneath the hide on the rump of the horse.
exklusive schuhe zürich

The handmade production of these shoes is one of the really ancient arts of shoemakery.
The process of gaining & crafting the shell leather can take up to 6 months.
shoe crafting

The Sole – JR (Joh. Rendenbach)

The traditional method of oak-bark ground-tanning has prevailed through four generations of leathermaking at Rendenbach.

Leather with the JR-Brand label is waterproof and extremely abrasion resistant, tough yet flexible, very comfortable to wear and optically distinguished by its attractive grain and warm, woody colour.
shell shoes zürich

Finest accessories

So much love for the detail. The shoe wax & polish are very exquisite and provide full protection for your shoes.
schuhe männer zürich

The shop

A rare selection of the most beautiful shell cordovan shoes.
They work with producers from Spain, Austria, Hungary & U.S. The models are all handmade, mainly sewn welted or even nailed.

hochwertige schuhe männer
Finally, me with the Manager Claude Locher. It was very nice to meet him and talk about finest shoemakery.
mode blog zürich
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A Perfect Gentleman’s Day

‘A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.’
George Bernard Shaw

Pictures by Andrea Monica Hug
Make Up: Makeup Artist Maika
Hair: Sven Allenspach
Assistant: Mike Sambuca Akdil
Model: Elizabeta Ljubic Fotogen Model Management
Model: Ralph Widmer Gentlemensfashion
Dogs: Doggen vom Rimensberg
Location: Schloss Schadau – Thun

What is it, that kicks us into a new world of ideas?
Inspiration it is.
Schloss Schadau

What is it, that makes us reaching the highest mountains?
Passion it is.
Mode Zürich Winter

And what can possibly be better than driving one of the most beautiful and powerful cars in the world?
Luxusauto mieten

Before reaching the highest thrones, something very important is missing.
We’re not there yet. We’re moving towards perfection but we’re not there.

What’s missing? You’re right. A beautiful woman. One that let’s the stars shine brighter than ever. One that holds your breath when walking in.
Dogge Shooting

Fotos Hunde
And where can a gentleman and his woman possibly spend their week-end?
In a castle. It’s not just a castle, it’s THE castle. Astonishing doesn’t even describe this marvellous place.

Models Schloss

Hundeliebhaber

Shine stars, make us brighter. Enlarge our passion. Make us flying through the universe. Deeper into the sea, further into the skies of the universe. Where everything ends and starts. Where all exists, where all is just one. Connected to each other.
Grosse Doggen Schweiz

Watch H1 – Quai du mont-blanc

www.hytwatches.com

How about a kiss my friend? 😉
Deutsche Dogge Schweiz

Laugh, and the world laughs with you.

Schloss Schweiz
Fashion Hint – Blue Suit
 
The blue suit is tailored by Suitsupply.
Sunny from the store in Zürich is beautiful and very competent.
 
The concept is simple:
 
– Go to the store
– Get your measures
– Look for the material that feels good in your hands
– Try it
– Find the relevant accessoires (Tie, Pocket Square etc)
– Suitup
 
Fashion Hint – Black Suit
 
Globus Herren
 
It’s a slim fit superblack suit by Hugo Boss, most amazing suit I have ever tried.
Coat is also by HUGO BOSS, my personal one.
 
Car review – Bentley Continental GTC
 
With a weight of 2,5 tons, this car is huge. And if I say huge, I mean huge in a very good way. Power and elegance, a real car for a gentleman. The purring V8 is producing 560 HP & 650 NM.

Snow? No Problem! It’s four-wheel drive supercar. 

 
Dogge
 
Interior Design
 
The cockpit of the Continental GT Convertible has been designed to provide tactile and visual delight, together with outstanding levels of comfort. Beautiful light brown leather on the seats, the chrome dials are one of the details I have really enjoyed. 

Big thank you to Edel & Stark
 
 Edel & Stark
I hereby would like to thank all of the involved people for the great support and work. We had a very professional crew, and a lot of fun! 
 
From heart, I can recommend the work of my friends & companies I have collaborations, thank you so much.
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Suitsupply Zürich – Opening Event & Interview

Yesterday I was attending the opening event of Suitsupply.
Since I started my blog, I am a really big fan of these guys. 

Photos by
Diana Kottmann
Suit Supply

Zürich Store

The brand is amazing, wonderful materials and brilliant cuts. It is like a big candy shop for a gentleman with a passion for trend and fashion.

I have simply never seen so much quality for this money.
Anzug

HYT H1

So… I arrived in the early evening to interview the vice president Nish de Gruiter
Nish De Gruiter

Interview with Nish De Gruiter – the VP of Suitsupply

How many countries are you selling your fashion so far and how is it going?
We have 57 stores and we will be opening another 8 – 10 stores this year.
In the last couple of months we were opening stores all over the continents.
In future we will be represented in cities like LA, Hong Kong, SF, Miami or Sydney.
What are the reasons you came to Switzerland and do you see a growing market here?
 
Funny you’re asking, I think Switzerland is a place for international people. Everyone is here, it’s one of the countries where the heartbeat of the world is happening.
How do you manage to sell such amazing suits with this brilliant material for these fair conditions?
All of our fabrics are Italian, we’re working with brands like Vitale Barberis, Larusmiani or Luciano Barbera. And we ship straight from Italy to the factory in the far east and then to the store.
Nish De Gruiter

Describe a perfect gentleman

It’s all about proportions, we’re all about fit. It’s all about fit. You can buy a suit for a couple of thousand, but if it doesnt fit, it’s useless.
And it’s not only about fashion. It’s the package. You’re opening the door for the woman, and you always behave correctly.

Fashion Hint

Im combining green and brown. As usual pastel colours

The blazer & tie is by Massimodutti
Pocket square by Hugo Boss

Shoes & Socks
 
Sewn-welted & hand brushed green Brogue Oxford by Navyboot
Socks by Dillysocks
Brogue Oxford
Watch Details

He is wearing a Chronograph by Audemars Piguet

HYT H1

Myself with the HYT H1 – Quai du Mont-Blanc.


An encounter between Fine Watchmaking and fluid mechanics. One might say an utopia. Shattering all certainties, steamrollering conformity, the idea that led to the H1 was simple and consisted of two flexible reservoirs fixed to each end of a capillary. In one was an aqueous liquid filled with fluorescein, and in the other, a transparent viscous liquid. To keep them separate : the repulsive force of the molecules in each liquid, with a meniscus to mark the boundary between the two.

hytwatches
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Classy afternoon – Cigar Lounge

This afternoon, I had a wonderful walk through an old village in Switzerland, the city is called Lenzburg.
 
My favourite two places there:
 
The castle Schloss Lenzburg
And a really dapper cigar lounge Art Cigar
 
and that’s where we ended up taking pictures for the autumn/fall season.
Some more ideas to combine fashion with cigar smoking, tasty whisky and a brilliant luxury watch from HYT.
Photos by
Anna Zesiger
http://www.lannique.ch/
Männermode

Fashion Hint

A very classy version of brown jacket & aubergine trousers.
If I’m deciding to chose a colour, I’m not mixing them up to much.

So in the case I keep brown for the jacket, gloves, bag, belt & also the scarf.
Keep the common thread always in your outfit.

In this case you could combine the jacket also with a dark green, black, grey, yellow (be careful with this, go for a dark yellow).
Cigarre Location

I’m wearing boots, putting my trousers inside.
You can help yourself fixing this with a elastic or similar.

Smoking Cigars

Bag details

Louis vuitton ¦ Keepall ¦ Monogram Canvas 50
A perfect week-ender from my opinion.

camacho schweiz

Class hint

Light up your cigar with matches. Always. Lighter is forbidden.
If you have cedarwood available, go for it!

Accessoires
 
hyt h1 watch

HYT H1 Titanium Bronze

As per Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, time is the 4th dimension.
The harmony of space & time ends up in this masterpiece from HYT.

Extreme alchemists, HYT’s Hydro-Mechanical Watchmakers have turned utopia into reality
– mixing mechanics and liquid within a wristwatch. While truly addicted to non-conformism,
they have drawn upon the strictest codes in Fine Watchmaking – and felt entirely free to
shatter them!

By achieving the incredible challenge of indicating the time with water, they have not so
much propelled a new UFO into the watchmaking stratosphere, as they have in fact pulverized
all certainties by uniting two worlds that are supposedly diametrically opposed.
Never since the water clocks of the pharaohs, have the laws of gravity been overcome to
transpose this energy in a portable watch. HYT has done it.

Technical Details

Case: titanium with bronze shot-peened and satin-finished surfaces– diameter: 48.8 mm– thickness: 17.9 mm– rubber-clad screw-lock crown– crown guard– altered and screw-locked added lugs– metal dome at 06:00– cambered sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating on theinside– screw-down sapphire back– water-resistant to 100 metersFunctions: retrograde fluid hours; minutes, secondsMovement: mechanical hand-wound, exclusive HYT calibre-28,800 vph, 4 Hz, 35 jewels– bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with côtes de Genève,rhodiumed bellows– 65-hour power reserveDial: unstructured, fluid hours– black dial, black indexes & numerals, black minute hand– luminescent minute hand and hour-markers– regulator at 12:00– small seconds wheel at 09:30– power-reserve indicator at 02:30Strap: rubber, titanium bronze pin buckle

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Autumn & Winter Fashion

Autumn is back with it’s wonderful colours, it’s my absolute favorite fashion season of the year. As a gentleman you can dress up with thick solid clothes. Use scarfs, coats, sweaters.

When people ask me where my inspiration is from, I use to say:

‘All perfection is within nature, it’s already existing in our universe.’

For example aviation was invented with analysing the movement of birds.

So what you can do, what ever season it is: you go out, to the nature. And you see the shapes of the colours, you go to the shop and you buy the colours you have seen outside. It’s as simple as that.

During autumn the colours are darker, softer, pastel.
So we use those ideas to combine our suits, our dresses, simply everything.

Photos by
Thomas Schneider
Anzug Männer

Fashion hint

Boots

Boots look very dapper, and it’s way more comfortable to wear boots during autumn & winter season.
Absolutely no problem to combine them with a suit.

Make sure they are properly clean and impregnated.

Sweaters

Turtle neck is totally in fashion, it looks very elegant and provides you a warm winter. Colours I would recommend: brown, grey, black, olive green.

Suit

Double-breasted suits are back in fashion, the one from strellson feels amazing and has a slim fit cut.
Windsor Mode

Both gentlemen with chelsea boots from Navyboot
The sweaters are supplied from Strellson

—————————————————————————————————

Another idea to combine during a cold season with thick coats & brown trousers.
Fashion is supplied by Windsor, shoes by Navyboot
Villa Aarau

Fashion hint

Vest

On the left side you can see a combination with a west. You can combine a vest with a casual look like you see here, or you wear it under your suit. 

Tie

The bordeaux red tie fits good with the blue & brown colours. 
Stiefel Herren

Suit up gentlemen!

Partners for this project

Suit Up Gentlemen! At Niederdorf Zürich

We went for a spontaneous shooting @ Zürich Niederdorf.
A perfect outfit for a Swiss Gentleman.

Zara Suit
The navy blue suit fits very nice with the flowershirt.
Suit
You can combine a navy blue suit with
– brown shoes / brown tie & brown belt
– Or like in my case black shoes / black tie &  black belt

Vespa Zürich

Suit Accessories

– The Tie Clip holds the tie perfectly and looks very dapper
– Bracelets are totally in fashion, I have just ordered some more
You can find them here:
Suit
Zara Man
Shirt & Tie Clip
Shoes
Massimo Dutti
Belt & Tie
Hugo Boss
Bracelet