KIMON FRANGAKIS AND HIS KIMALÉ JACKET
KIMON FRANGAKIS AND HIS KIMALÉ JACKET
He is the publisher of www.andro.gr, he organizes the annual Ladies Run races and he has a long and fruitful history in printed magazines. His style is as unique as his general approach to life: a fearless attitude that carries bold statements and ironic twists, a true gentleman’s charm with old school flair through a very contemporary outlook and an ease in mixing cultural references from totally different trenches, into a fine tangle only he can come up with and back up in an utterly new interpretation.
Here, he talks to IIWT about heirlooms, Dickens and his new wardrobe obsession, his KIMALÉ jacket.
Does your work influence the way you dress?
In my range of business you find yourself one day in a tux for an awards ceremony you are hosting and the next day in shorts for a race you are organizing so I suppose it’s a yes. If that sounds a bit pretentious bear in mind that most days are very casual at the office. Sometimes a bit too casual.
What is your relationship with fashion?
I distrust fashion and feel uncomfortable with highly trendy looks. I belong to the long list of old-schoolers who choose timeless (and personal) style over ephemeral fashion.
Who have been your style icons, growing up? Which one do you find really awkward today?
I think my Australian grandmother was my first style icon. We had our birthdays on the same day and a lot more in common. My daughter has inherited that particular streak and her birthday is only a couple of weeks away. My grandmother was a very glamorous lady with leopard berets and afternoon gin and tonics who travelled in style to London from Melbourne as if she was going home. From her I have heirlooms such as the family chevalière and Scottish house tartan tie.
Style icons I loved as a teenager and feel goofy about today? That’s an easy one: John Bon Jovi and Axl Rose.
How would you describe your personal style?
When did you find your style identity?
I read a lot of books in English as a kid. I especially enjoyed stories with a weird and frightening twist. From the haunting Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek to the horrific stories of Struwwelpeter. I also loved sad stories like Dickens’ Oliver Twist and Wilde’s Happy Prince. My favorite author was Roald Dahl, especially his scary books such as The Witches and Kiss-Kiss which is quite sick and outrageous and definitely for grown-ups but which I discovered in a cold house in Parnitha at a tender age and read with eyes wide open. I guess innocence and darkness have defined me ever since and helped construct my worldview. So you could say half-jokingly that my style identity is that of a precocious kid with grown-up social skills and a taste for the macabre.
How do you imagine dressing up in your eighties?
In soft corduroy trousers and prickly tweed jackets.
Is style important?
Style is important. Ice cream is important. Less important than world peace but important nonetheless. Style is like ice cream.
In this age of mass style, what do you do to be unique, style-wise?
I wear a lot of inherited accessories, ties, watch etc. I have kept my teenage beaten up jean shirt and leather jacket. I order my formal wear fully handmade from Bespoke Athens.KIMALÉ also makes me fun shirts, militaire jackets and rugged backpacks from rare indigo and bogolan hand-dyed fabrics.
What song do you imagine playing while you are entering a room, dressed in your finest?
The Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received for your look?
That I look old fashioned.
Cheapest item in your closet?
I love «silk knot» cufflinks which generally cost 5 euros a pair. I think they are the most stylish and cool accessory, the «Swatch» of the dapper dresser. Just don’t go for the flashy colors.
What do you hate in women’s trends?
Velvety tracksuits and fur lined boots.
What do you appreciate in the women whose style you like?
No makeup, no dyed hair, no bra, no perfume. Lots of black. Sexy attitude.
Tell me about this jacket. What’s the story behind it?
This is a made to order KIMALÉ jacket from real indigo cloth from Burkina Faso, adorned with artisanal brass buttons. It’s totally unique and made by Irène Mamfredos, an amazing designer (formerly assistant head of studio at Balenciaga) who merges bold African fabrics -often handmade or rare- with clean and contemporary silhouettes.
How do you intend to wear it?
Everyday kind of thing, not much thought there, mostly with black jeans.
What do you think will be its future?
It’s going to be worn to ruins and then my son will inherit whatever is left of it.