BEARDED: Nick Sewalish

Nick Sewalish may be an international man of business, but his style doesn’t reflect any hint of Gordon Gekko. You won’t find ill-fitting suits or french cuffed shirts with gaudy cuff links in his wardrobe, because Nick – like the looming women’s wear trend of “new restraint” (thanks Phoebe) – opts for minimal, well-curated separates. In his no-red-ever state of mind, Nick tackles the blacks, blues and greys with unobstructed flare – there is no need for studs or spikes, boy-heels or sparkle of any kind. Sewalish keeps it simple and his method for modesty can be seen in everything he wears.

Name: Nick Sewalish

Occupation: International Finance Guy for the Gap

City: Currently London, but usually New York

Are you a grower or a show-er? Are you the type of guy who has always had a beard, or is your growth a response to a trend?

It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I grew a beard by accident (AKA laziness) when I moved to San Francisco after college. I thought it suited me so I kept it, and I haven’t been bare-faced since. Serendipitously, it also happened to be right around the time when a lot of guys my age were rediscovering the joy of their beards. I can’t imagine not having a beard now. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had bad dreams in the past year about having to shave my beard.

Do you keep it neat and clean, or is a little unkempt more your style?

Usually I keep it a little unkempt and rugged, and I don’t mind letting my neck get a bit scruffy. But once it gets to the point that I’m looking like Paul Bunyan, I’ll trim it up a bit.

Does your beard ever factor in to the clothes you choose to wear? Do you like to frame it as your statement, rather than wear bold patterns, graphics and colours to distract from it?

My beard doesn’t play a direct role in what I choose to wear. But I am aware that there are certain items that I can wear to accentuate it – like a plain v-neck tee in the summertime or a simple white buttondown out to dinner.

Does facial hair suit everyone? If you weren’t fully bearded, would you sport a ‘stache?

That’s a loaded question, I don’t want to offend anyone! Before answering, I have to admit, I do silently thank my father everytime I’m trimming my beard for passing on his facial hair genes to me (my younger brother wasn’t so lucky). But to answer the question – I think that if a man has the ability to grow a full beard, it will usually suit him, but it might not necessarily be his best look or work with his personal style. In my opinion, a man should try out different looks as he’s coming into his own, find what suits him best, and then own it. But, unfairly, there are men in this world that just weren’t born to grow full beards.

How would you classify your style?

I like a clean, simple palette, and relatively basic, classic styles with a modern twist, flattering fit and interesting detailing – and I love a great graphic tee shirt. My favorite designers are probably Jil Sander, Miuccia Prada, Tomas Maier, Christopher Bailey and Helmut Lang. Granted, I can’t usually afford their clothes, so I’m always on the lookout for great, affordable basics. I’ll wear the same things over and over in different combinations. Because of that, I try to stock my wardrobe with fewer things that have a sense of personal luxury and are well made that I’ll be able to wear for years. I really dislike the idea of “fast-fashion”. So, I tend to be very pragmatic with my wardrobe – most of the things I own are purposefully grey, black, and white. Sometimes I’ll add a splash of blue or green or purple for fun. I appreciate dandy styling and patterns and colors on other people, but it’s just too much work for me! And I never wear red – it looks awful on me.

How do you feel about bearded, less-standardized models on the runways of Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood, Walter Van Beirendonck? Can high fashion be showcased in this way?

I love it! I think that it’s great to show a diversity of looks on the runway, and every brand needs to use models that help convey their brand image.

Name one item you will never part with from your wardrobe

My black cashmere hoodie.

Any advice to those gents out there who may want to achieve a beard like yours?

If you’ve got it, go for it!!!

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