Who are you? Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Chuck Pollard, Founder/Creative Director, SARTO Magazine. After 25 years as a creative executive in the beauty industry, I have pivoted to pursue a lifelong passion by founding SARTO, a quarterly digital publication focusing on men’s life and style. I live and work in New York City.
How would you describe your own style?
Elegant. Ecclectic. Evolving.
What is your earliest memory related to menswear and style?
At around age 7 I had a safari jacket.
I remember this item of clothing as my first “fashion” piece. It was well beyond the sartorial sophistication of most of the other 7-year-old boys in my class. but I loved it.
What inspires you / How do you find inspiration?
Certainly social media has a huge inflience in today’s world especially as we have been locked down globally and unable to travel as much and even be on the street and around other people, other styles and cultures that usually provide inspiration. Social media has allowed us to interact and engage virtually if not literally.
As a designer, I am always inspired by color – the vibration, the unexpected combinations and the way it can project an idea or a mood. A trip to Africa really changed my views on color from what was a traditionally western perspective. The uninhibited mix of clashing colors and patterns combined out of necessity and availability and a different level of taste, represented a new way of looking at color for me. Suddenly, bright purple and orange and a dash of green looked incredibly fresh to me. I had studied lots of color theory at university and here, people were throwing out all the rules. Mixing with abandon. It was a real revelation. It was pure joy.
Do you have other passions apart from great style?
Travel. It opens one’s eyes to new possibilities. Learning by exposing yourself to new places, new cultures, new ways of looking at life and the world around us.
If you had to name one person that has had the most influence on your style, who would that be?
My Grandfather. While not an extravagant dresser, he always wore a suit or jacket and tie. It taught me about self-esteem as well as respect for others that comes from presenting yourself in a specific, considered way.
How would you describe the Italian menswear scene?
l always consider Italian menwear as the perfect combination of ease and elegance. Exceptional quality and attention to craftsmanship are hallmarks of italian style. Italian men can wear the most formal business suit and make it look like thy were born in it. There is such a casual elegance to how they approach dressing.
What is your number one suggestion to men that want to learn how to dress better?
Buy less and buy better. Collect fewer, better quality pieces rather than buying a lot of cheap stuff. Always buy the best that you can afford, whatever the price point. Have major pieces (suits, jackets, trousers) of clothing altered – even an inexpen- sive off-the-rack suit can look good if its properly fitted and tailored. Cheap shoes will always look cheap– invest in the best you can afford. and keep them well-maintained. Never overlook vintage pieces to give an outfit some flair – watches, cufflinks, pocket squares can always be found in thrift shops and flea markets and can add a unique bit of dash no one else will have. A good seven-fold necktie will always elevate the overall look of an outfit.
How have these crazy times affected you? Any positive sides?
I think the last 12 months have caused us all to reassess and pivot. I ended up retiring and starting my own business. I wanted to be able to contribute in a different way, and to use the time and quiet that I was given to re-think my priorities. Out of this, my latest project SARTO Magazine was born. On a positive note, my hope is that we come out of this time with a different focus on HOW we consume. Buying higher quality and less “disposable fashion” supporting artisinal brands and individuals and hopefully dressing up again and finding joy and inspiration in what we wear and how we wear it.
In terms of menswear, can you mention any essentials in your wardrobe for summer 2021?
I’ve recently commissioned two new pieces for the upcoming season. A classic seersucker suit from Cad and The Dandy which can be dressed up or down in warmer weather, as well as a ivory safari-style travel jacket from Manolo Costa.
What was the first thing that brought you in to menswear and how would you start building your wardrobe, any advise or secrets?
I began working in retail fashion advertising right out of university, so not only was that where my passion was nurtured, it was also where much of my “expertise” was developed. Learn- ing about brands and how to put things together for photoshoots, how clothes hung and fit and moved on a model, taught me so much about how to apply the same principles in my own life. I’ve always liked suits and tailored clothing, so I would start buliding a wardrobe there with basics– a navy solid, a gray solid, pinstripes or chalk- stripes in each, a brown suit, then some seasonal jackets– all the while stocking up on good-quality shirts, shoes and accessories moving as fast or as slowly as my budget allows. if you can, consider ordering your clothing
from custom sources, those pieces will fit you perfectly (in theory!) and will be unique to you. This also allows you to indulge in small personal style details AND you support an entire community of craftsmen and artisans in the process.
What is the idea behind the SARTO Magazine?
Tell us a bit about your company, what is the secret or unique with what you are doing? SARTO is a quarterly digital publication ultimately designed to inform, intrigue and entertain by revealing the intersections of men’s style, groooming, leisure, fine drinking, fine dining and fine living reported by people who know them and live them. By observing and learning what motivates others, we find new inspirations for ourselves. We focus on individuals (and occasionally brands) who are using personal style to inform what they do and how they do it. SARTO strives to presents men’s life and style in an informative, stylish, charming and inspirational way. I love presenting unique individuals and smaller, more artsinal brands and thepeople behind them willing to reveal their journey and their stylish approach to life. I really launched SARTO to introduce the people and products that I find intruiging to a larger audience.
Do you think that print has the future?
There will always be a place for print. HOW it evolves will be what’s interesting. I think specialty items and beautiful high-end books and book-like publications will continue to be the stars of print media. I think what becomes questionable for me are shorter-term “disposable” style print items. Newspapers and traditional weekly and monthly publications will have to somehow evolve to speak to a changing consumer who seeks more immediate information and interaction and has an increasing sensivity to contributing to landfills with “disposable” products.
Nurturing SARTO Magazine.
I really want to focus on seeking out unique individuals that I think others will find interesting. To give a larger platform to guys (mostly, but certainly not exclusively guys!) and in doing so create a community of like-minded people who appreciate craft, quality and personal style over “cookie-cutter” ways of looking at ife.
Brand control for the end:
Ties: Turnbull & Asser Custom in the ‘Kipper” width which is 5.5 inches at the widest point.
Watch: Cartier Tank. Black Alligator Band.
Shoes: John Lobb “Chapel” Double Monk.
Jacket: Casual: Tom Ford Safari-Style Travel Jacket. Formal Dinner Jacket: Tom Ford Suit/Sportcoat: Manolo Costa.
Shirt: P. Johnson custom pincollar with 3 inch deep French Cuff.
Bag: I don’t own one…YET… but i’m intruiged by the Observer Collection from Robert Spangle of Thousand Yard Style.
Style Icon: Robert Redford in “The Great Gatsby”
Essential Item: Several pairs of what I call “F-YOU” pants. Bright colors, loud patterns. Mod-inspired. You get the idea. Perfect for summer. Dolce and Gabanna and Mr. Turk usually have great versions.
Store: Bergdorf Goodman Men
Hotel: Ca’Sagredo, Venice / Hotel Julien, Antwerp / Le Sireneuse, Positano / Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
City for shopping: Clothing: New York / London.
Home: Marrakech / Istanbul
Vacation Choice: Kenya
Dream Car: Aston-Martin DB5. Good enough for 007. Good enough for me.
Cigar: I really don’t smoke anymore, so I won’t even pretend to know what I’m talking about.
Wine: Duca Enrico Nero d’Avola