Photo by Becca Sabot
“Now that I’ve declared my style mantra as ‘smart and sharp,’ I’m going to try to act more in line with my own brand!”
You can read into that choice of jacket and those pants on brand strategist Brian Austin. In fact, you should. True to his professional expertise as a consumer and cultural insights expert, every garment means something, whether it’s a statement about following trend, taking risks, investing in quality, or dressing one’s age—a topic of focus for Austin, who is currently working with several national brands on deconstructing aging as the marker by which people are identified.
“I believe there are a lot of signifiers in clothing—who I am, what I think about the situation,” says Austin, who, as you can imagine, put some thought into defining his own style for us as “smart and sharp.”
Wearing plaid—that’s about exuding energy, and making a bold statement, yet with a nod to tradition. Pairing plaid with a rep tie? Well that’s just plain fun. Fun is confidence. Confidence fuels risk taking. Risk taking often leads to being the best-dressed guy in the room. And that feels good. No further analysis required.
“There are real designers for a reason, and I think it’s OK to follow their direction head to toe. But that’s so off the orthodoxy of mixing high/low, it’s an outlier thing.”