Charles III will be a king of men’s fashion
King Charles III, who took the throne yesterday after his mother Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96, brings a long list of priorities and interests to the task. As Prince of Wales, Charles’ royal portfolio included tackling climate change, promoting opera and theater and tending to his organic garden. More surprising, perhaps, was his affinity for fashion: he spent decades aligning his enthusiasm for clothes with the influence of his public standing. You could call him the monarch of menswear.
The late queen is credited with inventing fashion diplomacy, but her eldest son is more like a walking ambassador of a passionate and responsible personal style. He’s been known to say that when it comes to fashion, he’s “like the clock stopped”, and he told British GQ in 2018 that he’s fashionable “once every 25 years”. But few men look as comfortable in their clothes as Charles when he wears low-button double-breasted blazers, or brightly colored Scottish tartan kilts, or dusty safari jackets and tucked-in overalls. in knee-high riding boots. He makes things in a wardrobe that don’t seem particularly accessible look nice and simple, as if he’s stepping out in his pajamas rather than a traditional costume.
Of her many royal duties and areas of advocacy, the one that reads most naturally for Charles is her work on behalf of the British fashion industry. “I’m lucky,” he told British Vogue editor Edward Enninful in 2020, “because I can find wonderful people who are brilliant creators of the things I enjoy, and at Because of that, I try to make them last longer.” In addition to Anderson & Sheppard, it has a long-standing relationship with Turnbull & Asser, which makes its shirts, and John Lobb, which makes its shoes. His clothes are expensive, sure, but he embraces the traditionalists who underpin London’s status as a fashion capital, not because they scream luxury, but because the work they do is, in his opinion, important. Important for the national character, certainly, but also because the work is honest and dignified. When the industry began to face a shortage of artisans in recent years, Charles helped establish a training program in traditional techniques for fashion students.
And long before eco-responsibility became a widespread concern among fashion designers and consumers, Charles exemplified an approach to clothing that minimized waste. He has a tweed coat, made by Anderson & Sheppard, which he has worn for four separate decades. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, he donned a frock which he first wore in 1984. When, in 2020, Enninful asked him if he was thinking of doing anything new for the nuptials obsessively documented, the prince at the time coldly replied: “I thought about it”, before evoking the virtues of shoemaking. In 2018, her interest in a circular economy in clothing resulted in a partnership with the British Fashion Council to officially promote sustainability in the industry. Two years later, her foundation, in partnership with these fashion students, released a sustainable fashion capsule collection with Yoox Net-a-Porter.