STYLE: CARL THOMPSON
Meeting Style Icon: Carl Thompson
Carl Thompson! The epitome of a city gent that doesn’t have to even try. If you want to see what ‘London’ style has to offer he is close to owning it all. This is why we had to catch up with the man himself, and find out about this BoxHuman Style Icon…
Hi Carl, thank you for speaking with us. So first off, let’s find out a bit more about what you do?
Hi I’m Carl Thompson, I’m a lifestyle Blogger/Vlogger and founder of Hawkins & Shepherd, a London based menswear E-Tailor that specialises in luxury shirts.
It seems like another life but circa seven years ago I took a leap of faith and left a very successful career in IT to pursue a better work/life balance in the menswear industry. In 2013 I launched ‘Hawkins & Shepherd’ and began selling luxury, handmade, Pin Collar Shirts, Tab Collar Shirts, Formal Business Shirts, Casual Shirts & menswear accessories.
The blog has taken on many guises, always fashion and lifestyle focused. But it’s evolved like I’ve evolved. Today I’m very much centred on positivity, mental health and fitness.
So tell us, how did your career get started?
You mean my career in blogging? Initially I was just looking to drive more traffic to my Menswear label, Hawkins and Shepherd by writing about fashion and the things that interested me.
I must have opened my own Pandora’s box because once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. To a degree, I still can’t. Not only was I writing about my own personal style, but learning so much on the way. Learning about the intricacies of fine tailoring, the benefits of certain fabrics, fashion history etc.
The blog took on a life of its own, so I gave it its own platform. I wanted to talk about things other than fashion such as travel, cars etc and Carl Thompson the blog became an extension of Carl Thompson the person.
It’s so interesting how life points you in the ‘right’ direction! So we know that you love and talk about fashion a lot the time, but we also know that you also write about grooming. Can you name one product every man should have in his grooming arsenal?
A damn good eye rejuvenator. When you get to my age it’s all about the eyes. I’ve tried many products, facial masks, patches, anti-fatigue roll-ons. I change it up quite regularly, right now I’m going through an Elemis pro-collagen eye treatment phase. I know, I sound like I’m auditioning for Sex and the City.
We’re sure that many men have taken notes on that last answer. Now let’s get to know a bit more about the personal side of you. Tell us your all-time favourite thing you’ve ever read, watched, or listened to?
Ok favourite thing I’ve ever read is American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis. It’s horrifically beautiful and is essentially, a fashion guide. Watched, again if you’re talking fashion look no further than Richard Gere in American Gigolo. Armani changed the face of fashion and Richard was the poster child for change in that movie. Listened to? Currently I’m listening to a podcast called From Tailors with Love.
“Patience with myself, with others. Delayed gratification, etc. Being patient will get you further down the road.” – Carl Thompson
Being a style expert can you tell us (if you do) where you draw your fashion inspiration from?
I love street style accounts on INSTA and Pinterest. Nothing contextualizes clothes better for me than just seeing them worn in their natural environment. Also I’m Londoner, fashion is all around me. I don’t need to go far for inspiration. People say Milan is the fashion capital of the world, they’ve not been to Brick Lane on a Sunday.
Wow so good to know! So, if you were to speak to a man about empowering his style what three style tips should he know?
Don’t take fashion too seriously. It’s not worth getting upset about. Also don’t hate on anyone else’s style. David Gandy taught me that. You’ll never catch him criticise anyone else’s style.
Get the fit right. Head down your dry cleaners and get them to alter any excess fabric on your clothes. Fit is key to making everything look right.
Women notice your shoes before anything else. That is all.
Throwing in a random question now…What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Sound bar. Yep, it was on the blink the other night and I thought my world had ended. Turned out just need a new fuse in the plug, the world went back to spinning.
We’re glad that it all got sorted! lol Okay, so getting a little more serious with your right now. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
Always have an escape plan. I wrote about it in an article on my blog about the mistakes I’ve made in business.
Through supply chain failure, I run out of my most popular shirts around the AW17 season which is my biggest profit turner and also SS18 which is wedding season.
It hurt the business so bad I thought I’d not get it back. Since then I’ve found a second supplier who are currently making samples for me and are in the state of approval to move forward with either taking over production or sharing it with my current supplier.
So always have back up.
That’s some good advice! So if you were able to go back in time and speak to little Carl what advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d tell him to bet on Leicester winning the premier league in 2016. Never let an ex back in. Be patient. I’ve only just learnt patience. Patience with myself, with others. Delayed gratification, etc. Being patient will get you further down the road.
With people like Carl Thompson paving and dedicating his life to making people happy and more confident through style, we have to remember that there are good people!
It’s so important than ever to highlight the people who are here to inspire others through many different ways. We are all unique, we have and can all overcome the challenges of life and we all have the power to inspire others.