Author

Justus Hansen

GANT Beacons Project

 

If you would have asked me a day before March 3rd 2018 which kind of goods you could produce from upcycled ocean plastic, the last answer I would have come up with was „shirts“.
It is the day that marks the beginning of the Beacons Project, a fashion initiative and approach to solving the problem of oceanic pollution.

The first thoughts that came to my mind when hearing of sustainable shirts where: „Do they look different form normal shirts?“ & „Are they comfortable?“. If you can relate, take a look at the pictures below.

That’s what it looks like when a company decides to contribute their part to improving the environment: the „Tech Prep™ Bio Chambray Shirt“.

The difference to other shirts: there is none. Telling from the looks and feels even I – who’s wearing shirts on a regular basis – couldn’t tell that this piece is partially made from plastic.

How does this work?

To realize this ambitious project, GANT teamed up with the SEAQUAL™ Organization, using their special yarn made from upcycled ocean plastic in the production of the Tech Prep™ Shirts.

In addition, they developed entirely new design processes that allow the buttons & packaging to also be made from recycled plastic and lower the water usage during the production.

Enough technical facts; a brand’s mindset behind projects like this is what actually makes the difference in the long run.
The brands awareness for environmental matters roots in it’s foundation at the US east coat in 1949.

Since then, nature and especially water have been part of their identity. GANTS reaction to oceanic pollution is as clear as it is remindful: „The Ocean’s Business Is Everyone’s Business“, says CMO Brian Grevy.

The effort invested in this initiative results in a collection that’s not just a role model for other producers, but also puts pressure on everyone else to follow.

 

 

Bottom Line

In my opinion, the following sentence of this blogpost leads to one conclusion only:

„The difference to other shirts: there is none.“

If these shirts look and feel identical to regular ones, nothing changes on our end of the line. It is and remains the regular purchase of a shirt – with the great difference of supporting the environment.

Dressing up is all it takes to contribute. Who would have thought sustainability can be that posh?

GANT CMO Brian Grevy

 

„How do I build a wardrobe?“ was one of the questions I was asked via Mail by Dominic Zarlengo, a follower of mine and 29-year old doctor from Chicago.

He only had few, but very fundamental questions we ALL either have had or still have to conquer. I was at the exact same point years ago, so I answered in detail. Half way through I thought: „wait a minute, this right here is exactly what I want my blog to be like: an introducing of my people to menswear and to be of help.

I asked Dominic for permission, he – thanks again!!! – agreed, so I created a not so ordinary blogpost. All this is, is the E-Mail he sent me and my response to it.

 

Let me know if it helped you too.

 

The greater the event, the better one will memorize. It’s easy to remember what I had for lunch yesterday (chicken salad), September 14th. I would have to think twice about what I had the day before. No way possible to recall what I had 2 months ago on July 14th. Meaningless details your memory overwrites with more important things.
So how can it possibly be that a whole country knows exactly what went on 228 years ago in Paris, July 14th 1789?
As I said: the greater the event, the better one will memorize.

 

 

The fall of the Bastille. During the midmorning of July 14th 1789, parisians of the third estate took their chances and stormed the notorious „Bastille“ to get ahold of the 30.000 pounds of gunpowder that were hidden inside. As early as 5:00 PM the same day, they had already taken the fortress. From that moment on, french peasants were willing to lay down their lives and fight for liberty and civil rights for the french people.
The day, the french revolution began. Hour of birth: „Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité“.

It’s been exactly two times in my life that I heard from this date:

First time was in school. 8th grade, history class on a monday, late afternoon. Negative memory.
The second time: invitation by „Grey Goose Vodka“ to celebrate the „Bastille Day“ with summer cocktails on the rooftop of SoHo House Berlin. Positive memory!
Optimistic as we are, we’ll stick to the second, positive one!

 

 

I hope I don’t disappoint you guys when revealing that the „fall of the Bastille“ of 2017 in Berlin was quite a bit different as back then in Paris.
Rather than having the event take place in an 200 year old fortress that served as a prison, the event was located in the well known SoHo House.
The furious parisian people swopped with invited guests of the house and a bunch of bloggers (including me).
Even though it wasn’t gunpowder and amunition that lured us, the „bait“ or motivation to conquer the rooftop of SoHo House was a far more peaceful equivalent:
the spirit „Grey Goose Vodka“, a bar filled with ingredients for signature cocktails such as „Le Grand Fizz“, as well as all kinds of French delicacies.

 

 

Back in the days, it was the commander of the troops in paris, Baron de Besenval, who gave order to transfer their supply of gunpowder into the Bastille.
Centuries later, it is no other than the renowned barkeeper and „Atelier of Taste“-Member „Nouri“ (Noureddine Elmoussaoui) being responsible for just the right mix of sweet & sour, lemonade & fizz.

 

 

I unfortunately can’t draw any further analogies since neither have prisoners been released (merely 4 counterfeiters, 2 mental patients and 1 exiled earl), nor has the SoHo House been demolished in the course of the evening.

Even though the 14th of July 1789 has been completely different than its 2017 sibling, it still reflected all principles the french fought for in the revolution:
the rooftop gave us a feeling of freedom, we celebrated the national day as equals and ended the evening in fraternity.
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.

 

À bientôt,
Justus

 

 

Post Scriptum: Why the small amount of pictures? The reason why is, that the house rules of the SoHo House hold a total ban of mobile devices & cameras on the rooftop. Members privacy has the highest priority, which is why we only had the permission to take pictures for a short period. Requirement: no other person than yourself can be seen on the picture.
Even though this was a disadvantage for me & you, this is a rule one should appreciate.

FLICKLING THROUGH the well known mens magazine „GQ Germany“, one story follows the other, the interview with the CEO of a stock listed company is just a page away from the upcoming blockbuster of the next month. When reading the newest edition of the magazine, I had to pause between two articles: a full page picture of the brand „Grey Goose“.
As easy as a ornithologist spots a rare species up in the sky, I immediately knew what kind of drink I had in front of me, beautifully set on a marble table, ocean in the blurred background: the signature cocktail „Le Grand Fizz“. Indeed, I had to smile though. It was a nice coincidence. I was about to write down this story here, a story that took place in the night of July 5th to 6th in Berlin and had these components as its main characters: GQ Germany, Grey Goose and summer cocktails.

1997 – a year, solely having the potential to stick to a mans mind considering it was the year of foundation of „GQ Germany“, one of the most read magazines in the world.
Despite this paperback giant, the year 1997 also presents the establishment of „Grey Goose“ and therefore holds a culinaric revolution which is known as the „World’s Best Tasting Vodka“. A spirit, renowned bars all over the world wouldn’t know what to do without!
So quite a good year, wasn’t it?
Since it’s been exactly two decades from then to now, GQ Germany and Grey Goose partnered up during Berlin Fashion Week to celebrate their 20th anniversary with an event called „GQ Mension“. Invited were: everybody who’s anybody. And me.
Off I was to Berlin.


Berlin, 5.06.2017 – Rooftop Hotel Zoo
Most of you already know that I’ve been working with Grey Goose for quite some time now. My Instagram feed is a witness to all the milestone-like events I’ve experienced with the brand! Due to those extraordinary moments we’ve shared, my colleagues and I developed a kind of allegiance to the brand that we ever since express – what other way to expect – with the hashtag „#GreyGooseFamily“ in social media.
To preserve this cosy & family like feeling, at the day of the event the whole Grey Goose Family first met up on the rooftop of the Hotel Zoo for a Get-Together-BBQ.
Here’s a question that appeals to your imagination and is also descriptive for that time before the actual party:

Is there a better way to let an evening come to an end than by having snacks in your left, a summer cocktail in the right hand, laughing with friends over the roofs of a city?
  • creative suggestions are highly welcome as comments!

 

GQ Mension
(No, it’s not a typo. The name of the event really was „Mension“ not „Mansion“.)
Departure to the „Austerbank“; journey’s destination: „GQ-Mension“.
Passing the flashlights of the photographers and the security check, it suddendly felt I had left Berlin behind and entered a new world. It was just like back in the days, sitting on dads lap and looking through a huge storybook: beautiful colors everywhere, magical sceneries wherever one looked. Where do I begin, what do I look at first?
At this point of my story a special thanks goes out to the architectural cleverness of the „Austernbank“ (btw it’s „oysters bank“ in engl.).
Divided in 3 levels (entrance as highest, dance floor as lowest), I was able to let my gaze wander to get a general overview of what this event had to offer. Wasn’t an easy choice, I’m telling you that!
Indeed, the guests were as top-class as promised. From the highest authorities of GQ Germany to the most famous actors of the country- all present that evening.
However, there was this one thing they all had in common: that subdued bluish gleam on their faces, emitted from the luminescing Grey Goose logos hanging on the walls.
If I were a pilot, I’d describe them as my runway lighting; they showed me the way.
Walking through the crowd, guided by those shining logos, I suddendly saw a silver object flying through the air. A cocktail shaker, of course. And well…since I was on a party partially hosted by Grey Goose, I combined the facts and was sure of my conclusion: considering the speed in which that person switched between liquor bottles, glasses, ice cubes and shaker, it had to be a barkeeper of the Grey Goose Family. And the moment I was able to see the heads of the two people standing behind that bar, I knew who they were for sure:
one of them was a guy we call „Nouri“, a bartender that always wears his hat at an angle. The other, signalizing his profession by wearing a chef’s hat, was Sebastian Frank. Both honorable members of Grey Goose’s „Atelier of Taste“.
 

Due to the pursue of convincing people worldwide of the outstanding quality of their product, the people behind the brand continuously work on culinaric noveltys in combination with the high end vodka.
As a result of this plan, the very ambitious „Atelier of Taste“ was founded this summer. In a nutshell, the „Atelier of Taste“ is an event where the brand invites famous bartenders and chefs from all over the world for a culinaric Get-Together in „Le Logis“, a private mension of Grey Goose based in the heart of the cognac region. During those days, bartender Nourredine „Nouri“ Elmoussaoui and two star chef Sebastian Frank created an ingenious combination out of the signature drink „Le Grand Fizz“ and corresponding canapées.
 
Luckily, I was present when they first introduced their well-balanced compositoin of the drink „Petites Gorgées“ served in an oyster shell together with a canapé of chopped oyster in a broth of caramalized ham. (does this even make sense in englisch…?! Either way: I suggest taking a look at the menu’s picture)

„How was it?!“ is probably the question you’ve got in your mind right now. Well, probably the best way to describe the menu is by telling you about the strategic suggestion my stomach made to my brain, saying: „try taking as much as you can without appearing impudent“. Don’t we all have those moments?
Compliments to the chef!

Looking back to the „GQ Mension“ party, I do have to say that it was quite surreal. I stood there with a drink in my hand, behind me the flashlights of the photographers, next to me those culinaric lords between dozens of elegantly lined up oysters and in front of me the dancefloor crowded with celebrities. The evening was filled with so many great impressions, that I not just like to think back to it but also keep remembering new aspects and situations I haven’t even properly processed yet.

Maybe it’s because my subconscious doesn’t want to let go of the event, that everytime I’m having either a „Petites Gorgées“ or „Le Grand Fizz“, the impressions immediately come up and in my mind and I see myself on that party, standing at the bar and toasting with the other guests to the 20th anniversary of „Grey Goose“ & „GQ Germany“.

What would you do if Jimmy Choo invites you to a cocktail event? Yup. The same as I would. You’re humbled to accept the offer and set off.

There I was, taking the train from Mainz to Munich and from there with a shuttle service (thanks for that by the way!) in a 40 min drive to Ingolstadt Village where Jimmy Choo is located.

And guys; since the reason why I started this blog is to give you access to my view on mens fashion by sharing tips and hints about what to wear and where to shop, there’s no way around giving you a frank description of the concept of Ingolstadt Village and its partner company Wertheim Village.

In a nutshell, Ingolstadt Village and Wertheim Village are like tiny cities of luxury, each consisting of over 110 international luxury brand shops like Bally, Escada and Jimmy Choo of course. Topped with restaurants, coffee shops and services like personal shopping assistant, the villages provide everything for an overall feel-good effect.

The greatest advantage is that the villages offer the exact atmosphere of exclusive shopping lanes, as we know them from our hometowns, but without the stress and hectic of a big city’s daily life. If you couldn’t find the piece you were looking for in the one store, just try it at the shop 20 metres to your left. Or right. A benefit that comes along with the charm of a romantic small town village instead of the cold atmosphere of a shopping mall. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

 

After strolling through the village for some shopping, we entered the store of Jimmy Choo where the event took place. Just as I did before, you probably thought that Jimmy Choo, a company founded 1996, is a shoe brand specializing on womens footwear only. We were wrong!

 

Where does the myth come from? I did some digging and found out that the brand got famous because it’s been mentioned in the US TV series “Sex and the City” several times. No wonder we associate it with women, right..?

After looking around the store with its very calm and elegant atmosphere due to the light and goldish color palette they used, I immediately went for the mens section (Sorry Mom, your favorite pair wasn’t in stock. Promise!).

 

While enjoying drinks mixed by a private bar keeper, we had the chance to pick our favorite piece from the showcased collection. As you can see on the pictures, it was a carefully chosen hybrid between sporty-casual and elegant shoes which is exactly what I like: shoes for every occasion.

Since you guys know me and my style from Instagram, you already know which pair of shoes “Justus F. Hansen” would go for.. tassel loafers! I fell in love with a pair of suede black ones that I tried on right away.

 

 

After a few more drinks and quite some nice frank discussions about menswear, I took one more walk around the village before taking the shuttle service (thanks again) back to the Hotel. And indeed – how unfortunate – I found quite a few more inspiring pieces for my outfits in the Village’s display windows. Ans since all the shops offer discount prices up to 60 % throughout the whole year,  I’ll definetly have to come back and pick them up!

Who is this guy?

The major part of you guys reading probably know me through my instagram „justusf_hansen“; meaning you know my name, my age, what I look like and due to over 1.000 uploaded pictures, certainly the topics I’ll be dealing with on this blog:
my very own point of view on fashion & lifestyle.

For the rest of you that don’t know me, here’s the story:

My name is Justus Frederic Hansen, a 25-year-old law student living in Mainz (Germany) that shares his passion for mensfashion as one of the so called „Influencers“ on Instagram since 3 years by now.

I never liked that expression to be honest with you. To „influence“ someone just sounds a little too aggressive for me. Simply too guiding. And yeah, actually a little too confident as well. Instead, I’d rather want my outfits and pictures to be an„inspiration“.
I find this term to be much more suiting for my work. The main goal I’m aiming for with my blog, my outfits and my perspective on mensfashion is to give a solid foundation, a basic set of ideas that leave room for interpretation and in the long shot help people to find their own style.
Of course it’s possible and from time to time O.K to even copy ideas & outfits. But I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s much more fulfilling and fun to look at yourself in the mirror and think: „I created this outfit MYSELF!“.

All beginnings are difficult! But that’s where I come in…and my blog.

 

 

Why do I, as a man, even take interest in fashion?

No matter what kind of stereotype you had in mind – none of them applies. My story is actually kind of funny! So here it is:

I’ve had this thing for fashion ever since I can remember. My mom showed me a picture once that is proof I cared about my visual appearance even in kindergarten.
The first time I’ve put together an outfit was the day we had a professional photographer taking our picture. That was my moment! I wanted to dressed best possible. Confident as little Justus was, he combined his mickey mouse tie with an elastic strap to his favorite polo shirt. Holding a teddy, Ferrari toy car placed on the table; Money shot.

Sounds like a strange combo, I know. My mom said: „You know, whenever you were proud of something you lowered your head, rose your shoulders and smirked. That’s the pose you had on that picture!“.

Maybe I’ll upload it one day. Maybe.

The next and even more important stage that had great influence on my style as it is now, was in school, 12th and 13th grade (german equivalent to „Highschool“).

Contrary to the impression most people have of me, I was a poor and very difficult student; hard to handle! I genuinely didn’t take any interest at all in what we were taught. But still, I never skipped class. I mean, I had a bit of a sense of duty in me after all you know.
I was that guy always entertaining my class, sitting in the back pulling jokes and disturbing the teacher in basically everything he wanted to perform educational wise.

To be honest: I was kean on showing them how much I doubted, or let’s say, didn’t even acknowledge them as authority figures. Looking back to those days I do have to admit that it was immature and wrong behaviour.

Nevertheless, I was who I was! And because I was always looking for ways to psychologically terrorise them, I asked myself: „What can I do to annoy the teachers to a maximum?“

That’s exactly the point where my passion for clothing came in. I thought that the only thing a teacher would annoy even more than a stupid kid pulling jokes and disobeying orders, is a stupid kid pulling jokes and disobeying orders but dressed up on top! LOVED my plan.

Next thing I knew I was back in school, dressed up as hell wearing a nice shirt, blazer & tie, disturbing as if nothing had changed. That contrast of a high class looking low-achiever turned out to have exactly the effect I wanted to provoke with it: teacher’s felt offended and hated me even more. Fun times guys, fun times.

As a result of my behaviour I had to repeat 12th grade. I’m sure the teachers were more than happy once I graduated and left town for my studies.

From back then until now, everything went smooth without any further incidents like that. My grade average pretty much sucked, so the only chance I had to study law was here in Mainz. Not my favorite, but that was the price I had to pay.

Ever since I started dressing dapper in school, the passion for blazers, shirts, ties and chinos never left. The contrary actually; the older I got (and therefore the style matched better with my age), the more I started concerning myself with the matter of mensfashion. I of course pulled off some terrible looks, that’s for sure! But especially because of those mistakes I made, I started developing my own understanding of color combos, shapes and fabrics of clothing over the years.

It is a constant process. What I like wearing today might not be the same I’d wear tomorrow. In this regard, it can definitely be quite frustrating. Frustrating, because of the fact that you’re just not able to attain a state in which you’re satisfied in the present but also in the future, when looking back. In fact, the most important isn’t to achieve such a state but actually the process itself. It helps you to develop an understanding of what you like and what suits you best, every time you go through it. And the better you’re getting at that, the more likely you’ll achieve the state in which you have a continuous self-confidence in the choice of your clothing.

In my opinion, an outfit is only then well composed, when the person wearing it carries a smile on his face because he feels good.

Join me and we will see if we can reach that state together.