The Celebrated Icon Speaks About Shades and Style

Nick Wooster is the reigning king of street style, a muse, designer, decorator, retailer, collaborator—he’s done a lot in a lot of different fields.  For many years he was the men’s fashion director at the Neiman Marcus group, but now’s he’s free, in the wild, to just be himself.  We caught up with him in New York to ask him what that means.

You are (rightfully) celebrated for your taste—in clothes, in decor, architecture, etc.  How did you come to your present particular aesthetic affinities?  Is there something that unites all the things you like?  Like, what is taste, dude?

Thank you for the kind words, but I honestly have no idea.  Maybe aesthetic judgments are like left-handedness—they just are.  I have had the good fortune to have some amazing guides on my journey, and I guess I pay attention.  The only thing that unites everything is a sense of tension: old and new; right and wrong; hard and soft; masculine and feminine—that sort of thing.

(Nick wears the Afton in Cocobolo)

What’s on the top of your most-desired list?

Besides more closet space?  I guess I would have to say a bespoke suit, benchmade shoes, and always more sunglasses.

Do you dress to suit your mood and schedule, or is it the other way around, dressing to get yourself in a certain mode?

You have to dress for the occasion, whatever that may be, and weather trumps all.  After that, it's mood. Sunglasses always help with the mood thing.  I think frames are exactly that—they immediately telegraph your intentions.  I always insist on sunglasses during daylight hours, even when it's raining—that's where yellow and light blue lenses come in handy.  In total, I probably have 60 pairs.

I know you like the Sunset Tower when you are visiting.  What are your favorite shops (of any variety) and restaurants in LA?

I love LA... and I love shopping there.  Favorite stores: RTH, Union, Mohawk General, Obsolete, Blackman Cruz, Maxfield, Ron Herman, Barneys, and Opening Ceremony.

Restaurants: Tere's, In-and-Out Burger, Madeo, Mozza, and Dan Tana's.

You've done a variety of things and been able to transition from here to there seamlessly... What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up, but if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears.

(Nick with Sheldrake Sun in Buff)

- photos by Ari Michelson

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