Derek Bleazard - Icons of Style
*article originally published in 2015
We wrote about Beckett & Robb in the past and have highlighted some of the gents that work there. All of them dress to impress and with good reason; they are providers of some amazing sartorial menswear. We got the chance to highlight one of the co-founders, Derek Bleazard in our ongoing Icons of Style series.
What is your background?
I’m originally from Boise, Idaho. I got a degree in international relations, and lived and worked abroad for 5 years during and after school. It had a big impact on me and I knew I wanted to find a career that incorporated travel and work overseas. I discovered a love for languages and hoped to use those skills in my career as well. Instead of going into the diplomatic corps, I went to work for a company that made and sold resort wear and related products, doing their product development overseas. During that time we launched a new brand. I loved the overall process even though I wasn’t enamored with the product category.
What is it about menswear/fashion that you wanted to pursue a career in it?
My previous jobs were a great springboard for me to learn the ins and outs of sourcing and product development. I took a leap of faith with my friend Jason Yeats and started Beckett & Robb to apply it to something I’m truly passionate about. I’ve always cared a lot about clothing and aesthetics, and luxury menswear for me is the most inspiring application. The combination of artisanal quality and great design to make a garment fascinates me. I truly love it and I feel very blessed to do what I do.
Aside from fashion, what are some of your major interests?
I spend as much time as possible with my wife and our four kids, they’re what it’s all about. I love to travel. I love baseball and golf, and swimming for exercise.
The focus on men’s style seems to have increased in the past few years; why do you think that is?
I think a lot of guys are tired of being in the doldrums of casual attire, and people are taking more care in the way they eat, dress, groom themselves, travel, etc. There have been a lot of great TV shows and movies—period pieces—in the past several years that have awakened an interest in men’s style by depicting how well men dressed in decades past. Blogs and social media have been a big contributing factor as well. Anyone who cares to learn more about how to dress well can access information about it easily.
Style is a way to communicate to the world, what do you hope your style says about you?
I hope it says that I respect myself and others, and take the time to present myself accordingly. And that I enjoy it! It’s a good creative outlet.
Who are your style icons?
Ralph Lauren comes first to mind, his personal style is excellent and the empire he has built is remarkable. I get a lot of inspiration on a daily basis from my friends in the industry (and some outside of it) at home and abroad, I love being a part of it.
What is the one item in your closet that gets the most use?
My white shirts I’m sure.
Do you have any style pet peeves (does anything you see that men wear bother you)?
Square toed shoes easily tops that list.
What are the 3 essential items every man should have in their closet?
A well fitting navy suit, a versatile sportcoat, and a great pair of brown shoes.
In a wardrobe, what are the most important pieces for a man to invest money in and what are some items to compromise on?
Tailored clothing and shoes are the most important investments for a wardrobe. I learned at a young age that 3 cheap suits bought for versatility will be mediocre every time, and only for a short while. A well made, well fitting suit will last much longer, and make you look your best every time you wear it. Compromise on the casual clothing and sportswear.
What is the best trend you see emerging for next season?
While not a seasonal trend, I love double breasted suits and jackets and have been happy to see it (slowly) coming back.
Do you have any advice for men who want to start dressing better but don’t know where to begin?
I’d say to ignore fashion trends and learn about what comprises good style. Look for modern advocates of classic style and quality. Acquire pieces thoughtfully and slowly if need be so as not to compromise on quality.