Q & A with Justin O’Shea of My Theresa
Let us officially introduce you to Mr. Justin O’Shea. You’ve likely seen him photographed countless times at all the major fashion shows in Milan, London, Paris and NYC. He’s the Buying Director for the hugely successful, luxury fashion e-commerce website, MyTheresa.com. Based in Munich, the site was launched in 2006, and it offers clothing from top tier, high fashion brands like Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Valentino, just to name a few. We reached out to Justin to discuss the ongoing success of MyTheresa.com, recent trends in e-fashion, and also how he maintains his unique and very distinct personal style.
First of all, where are you based, and what are your main duties as the buying director for MyTheresa.com?
Mostly between hotels in Paris, Milan, NY and London. But technically home is Munich. My major roles are buying the merchandise and providing the fashion direction for the website. This also includes working on brand collaborations for press activities and generally just hanging out.
Does the mytheresa.com shopper have a specific style aesthetic, or is it a mix of various influences?
Modern fashion is evolving rapidly with the exponential growth of the digital stratosphere. Our customer base spans across 120 countries and is wanting everything yesterday. From the newest Nike’s to the most extravagant Saint Laurent crocodile bag, I love that we have such a broad spectrum of shoppers from every corner of the globe.
How do you navigate the trends from season to season, because as we all know, fashion can be very fickle?
I am focusing less on trends as the luxury market is moving away from seasonal ideology and really putting emphasis on what makes their brand unique. This is particularly interesting as it takes a more in depth approach to the buying as you need to identify what pieces are iconic or will be in the future and promote them with conviction.
What one factor would you attribute as the major reason for mytheresa.com’soing success?
We have a distinct approach to fashion which is highlighted by a very curated buying strategy. We strive to create a personal connection and desirable shopping atmosphere where our customers enjoy returning to.
What trends have you seen emerge recently in the area of fashion related e-commerce – and also, what behaviors do you see e-shoppers veering away from?
With fashion being so accessible now, the demand for the key pieces of the season is at a peak. From Saint Laurent army boots to Givenchy Bambi sweatshirts, the consumer awareness of what happens on the runway is growing fast. On the flipside, the buying process is even more intense as the “hit and miss” rate increases.
Let’s talk about your personal style. What is your personal style philosophy – are there any hard rules you adhere to?
My style is pretty simple. It’s not something which sways with seasonal trends. I like a classic, clean and masculine image. The contrast of the tats and beard, which makes my look distinct, is the individual quality which I find important to keep.
What are some of your favorite established menswear brands and also, what are some of your favorite upcoming brands that people may not know about?
Louis Vuitton, Prada and Acne are the brands I wear the most. I find myself drawn towards them as their identity is something I want to be a part of. Clothes after all are a very personal thing. I have a new bespoke tailor in NY called Doyle+Mueser which I get suits and shirts made. They are impeccable. My one tip would be for every man to have a suit tailor made. When you have a special event or occasion it provides and unbeatable feeling of confidence.
In all the streetstyle shots you’re captured in, your grooming and accessories (sunglasses etc) are always excellent – can you give us some insight to how you approach these two facets of your appearance? Do you ever go clean-shaven?
When I was younger, I always had a skinhead and was clean-shaved. That seems quite a long time ago. I actually grew my beard (see grooming tips from Justin O’Shea) for my brother’s wedding as I wanted to be like my uncles whom I remember as a child being very mature and regal. Since then I have kept the same style which makes the grooming part pretty easy. I have to admit that I am not really the American Psycho type with seaweed masks etc., but my barber in Mayfair keeps me from looking like a man from the wilderness. Ha ha. Sunglasses are something I can’t be without. I feel more comfortable wearing them. Also they hide my tired eyes. They always give me away.
Lastly, what’s the story behind your tattoos – how early did you start getting them?
I got my first tattoos when I was 25 and living in London. It was something I had planned on when I was 16 but my mother cleverly tricked me out of it. Smart woman. The first ones meant something, but since then I draw inspiration from my job and personal experiences. I like that their meanings mean nothing. But they always bring a smile to my face and I never regret them. It is more like a random timeline of my life than a planned project. I have no idea where it will lead or when it will stop. I prefer my life to be like that.
For more information, visit: www.mytheresa.com
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