Monsieur Fox, a Dubai-based luxury accessories brand, launched its latest pocket squares collection in a night celebrating the style of a cosmopolitan gentleman.
The brand hosted a trunk show earlier this week at GQ bar, in Dubai’s downtown area, in collaboration with Vintage Artisan, a handmade shoe brand, Zaremba bespoke tailors and popular menswear blog, The Bespoke Dudes.
During the show, Monsieur Fox debuted its latest pocket square collection called Mashrabiya, which is the Arabic name given to the iconic oriental wooden latticework that usually covers windows or doors, an element of traditional Arabic architecture.
“This collection was inspired by the intricate woodwork known as Mashrabiya, found primarily in Middle Eastern countries like Egypt and Syria,” Adrian Azodi, founder and designer at Monsieur Fox tells Aficionado, going on to explain that Mashrabiya was formed through “interlocking pieces of wood, creating a private screen through which those inside could look out and a breeze could come through, to provide a pleasant sitting area for family and guests within the home.”
This introduction of different forms of art – in this case, architecture – into the design process of its accessories range has helped Monsieur Fox create a distinct and recognisable brand identity and stand out against the competition – not that there is much competition to begin with in the niche gap the brand operates in.
With its unique, quirky and colourful designs, the up-and-coming brand caters to gentlemen of the younger generation – who may not have the deepest of pockets, but definitely an eye for details and a strong sense of style – offering them accessories include pocket squares, scarves, ties and cufflinks. Going forward, venturing into menswear might be a long-term plan for other luxury accessories brands, but not for Monsieur Fox.
“I wanted to create options for men seeking quality accessories with a bolder, fresher aesthetic,” Azodi says. “I enjoy being focused on the mens’ accessories space; there are so many brands on offer for ready-to-wear, that you can get lost in the shuffle trying to expand too soon.”
He notes that the consistency in releasing new designs throughout the year has helped the brand become sustainable and kept it focused: “I think going too quickly into other categories would dilute us,” he says.
Having grown up in California, Azodi moved to Dubai to work in business development in the oil and gas industry. He made the transition to accessories design more than two years ago, noting that starting a luxury wear brand from Dubai has its perks.
“A big advantage is the location of Dubai, as it centres you between London and Shanghai, enabling you to grow your business in two of the biggest markets for luxury and fashion; Europe and Asia,” he says, adding that throughout 2014, the brand put efforts into connecting with specialty boutiques across Europe, Asia and the US, and its active social media engagement drove increasing sales.
“People in Europe and the US are really comfortable shopping online,” notes Azodi. “This lets us – being a primarily e-commerce business – access those markets without being physically present.”
The designer/entrepreneur goes on to disclose that the brand is eyeing considerable growth in the year to come: “In 2015, we’re expecting to at least double 2014 , which will enable us to develop even more creative and expansive collections.”
A creative story
While Monsieur Fox prides itself on having the entire range of its limited-edition products crafted by hand, this aspect makes the production process more time-consuming. Cufflinks can take anywhere from three to seven days depending on the complexity of the design, ties and scarves take almost three to four days and pocket squares need two to three days to be completed. The creative process, however, which includes everything from drawing to finalizing, takes even longer, according to Azodi.
When creating new designs, Azodi explains the basis on which he forms his creative decisions.
“I try to choose themes with a unique or colourful history,” says Azodi to explain his creative process. “This gives us a variety of images, text and cultural references to develop a comprehensive collection.”
Random Adrian Azodi facts
Favourite accessory: Pocket squares. “I love that it’s so easy to throw in your pocket but can really give your look a great punch of colour and character.”
Important objects: A small notebook and a lighter “with a built-in punch,” as Azodi recently started becoming a fan of cigars.
Least favourite yet common styling mistake: “Matching one colour too much throughout an outfit.”
Quick tip: “If it takes too much thought, don’t wear it.”