Composing a broad mixture of cultural influences and steadfast masculine aesthetics, Gentleman’s Agreement is one of Germany’s most interesting men’s accessories brands to emerge this decade. Based in Hamburg, a metropolis that values both the classical and the contemporary equally, Gentleman’s Agreement have created a very unique style, one which values and draws inspiration from heritage, yet readily embraces the new.
Founded by Tim-Ole Mundt, Lino Remmen and Mikko Jann, the brand launched in 2013; Gentleman’s Agreement emerged onto the menswear scene with a confidence that most newly founded brands don’t achieve with such immediacy. To quote the boys, Gentleman’s Agreement came from an obsession with the idea of an accessory collection that counteracts with any conventional regimentation, spending hours of trial and error processes to design an accessory line that redefines what it means to be “a stickler for details”. Those hours of hassle resulted in a brand called Gentleman’s Agreement. A brand that is based on a simple arrangement of stylistic principles: Urban lifestyle, chic establishments and classy attitude.
Gentleman’s Agreement is grounded first and foremost in creativity, from this foundation comes the wealth of cultural influences, and from there the designs themselves. Using a range of fabrics, the feel is of pure unadulterated quality, the stitching is supreme, and the range of colours used perfectly complements each other.
The boys of Gentleman’s Agreement took some time out to chat with me about the brand. The first question I asked was what are the primary inspirations for a Gentleman’s Agreement design?
Generally speaking it’s quite a hassle to point out the primary inspirations, as there are quite a few sources of inspiration. Let’s put it like this – each product line or edition is dedicated to a very unique situation or moment in mankind’s history, which was determined by a special person or a group of persons. Furthermore, there’s a special quote, extract of a speech, part of a chorus etc attached to this very moment and person. As for instance our #69: Wavy Gravy’s Edition which is dedicated to Hugh “Wavy Gravy” Romney’s role as an activist for peace during the Woodstock movement. According to hearsay Wavy Gravy left the following quote behind, which combined with the character and appearance of Mr. Romney, ultimately can be seen as the inspiration for the #69’s Edition – “Good morning! What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for four hundred thousand” (Woodstock –The Documentary, Movie, 1970).
Yes, I think that points it out. I guess that can be seen as the very primary inspirations for a Gentleman’s Agreement design when referring to pattern and colour of our products.
Please explain a little about the design process?
Actually it’s supposed to stay close to something like a secret. I know saying that sounds ridiculous, but it’s like the very basic idea of Coca Cola or the mysterious Big Mac sauce (which was revealed last month eventually). We picture the design process as our key competence…..Just kidding. I think there’s not much to explain about: We’re just talking a lot, creating something, scrapping it, redoing it and altering stuff; like everyone else does it I suppose. Something like that I would say. Making it to something like a super protected secret sounds a lot better, right?
What defines Gentleman’s Agreement as a unique design house?
I feel like it’s a bit contradicting to say but the GA is everything else than a unique design house. I think collaborative design house narrows it down. Not that our design is unique rather the way we think talk, walk, process and present what we’re doing. But I guess you could also claim that we’re a unique story-telling house.
And what is that drives you and keeps you going?
Joy. I mean, what is it that keeps us going otherwise. Perhaps it’s also a bit the hunger for doing stuff in terms of building something. No, I think “joy” is the correct answer.
What’s the story behind Gentleman’s Agreement? How and why did you begin?
We lived together in a house in a small student town in Sweden (actually there are no big towns in Sweden, they’re all small) where we went to study (Lino & Tim Entrepreneurship, Mikko Physics). It was 2012-2013. We drank a lot.
After finishing our studies and spending our lives far apart from each other we came together for the first time and decided to simply do fashion together. Seriously, we just decided to do so. Back then each of us had dreamed of having a fashion label once in our lives. So, we actually just decided to do so. Not that great of a story, right!? By the way, we all do like denim, leather jackets, and accessories.
What are your plans for the future?
It’s a tough one. I think the three of us have very different plans on how the future might look like in general (Lino is thinking of starting a backpacker hostel in Rio, Mikko is aiming to become the first doctor of applied physics with a decent taste of style, and I’m trying to write something more than an Email, perhaps some short-stories; in the end we might create an app together, which we’re actually going to do in the near future.
What does a Gentleman’s Agreement give to a man?
It’s a “5-minutes-to-dress-well-but-look-like-you-have-had-enough-time-to-watch-all-three-episodes-of-Lord-of-the Rings-in-extended-version-before-showing-up-to-this-morning’s-meeting-promise”. Honestly, the brand was once created with having Mr. Steve Jobs as a role model for style, which seems to be contradicting at first glance…but he was reported to always wearing turtleneck, jeans and white sneakers and saying that he doesn’t need more than 5 minutes to dress each day. Given that, we just thought of what if no matter what you decide to wear this day, adding our accessories will make it work. Hence, our accessories as some kind of a signature style or differently put – It’s the idea of empowering your personality by enriching your colour diversity, with having an eye for matching accessories so that one can point at you (which no-one would actually ever dare to) and say – “This guy seems to be a stickler for details!.” We think that even more important is that GA gives to man what he (should) already have. That is style, self-confidence and affection towards sartorial elegance, which shouldn’t be confused with being a trend-follower, conceited or overdressed. It’s like a self-exposé without need for admiration. Do you know how I mean, Ben?