In the world of fine menswear is Mr. Ignatious Joseph, instantly recognizable. Impeccably dressed does he gives classic style his own twist.
The founder and owner of IGN.Joseph was born in Sri Lanka, living in Germany, yet often found in Italy. There the beautiful shirts that his brand offers are being made, with great care and passion, from only the finest fabrics. The shirts characterize themselves by a focus on details, even the ones that you don’t see, with classic craftsmanship as the cornerstone of their creation. Time for Troisanneaux to ask a few questions to Mr.Ignatious Joseph
What made you found your own brand?
For some, this might sound arrogant, but there is an adage “If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself.” I did not start a brand, I started making shirts that I felt were the way they ought to feel and look– and that led to making them the way I felt they had to be made! People who agreed with me bought my shirts, with my name on it because that was my work.
Today these shirts are still the product of my work. But my name is well-known and it is on my shirts as it has been from the beginning.
What defines, in your opinion, a good shirt?
A good shirt feels good to the person wearing it, has a shape and character that fits the situation in which it is to be worn and can be washed and maintained by ordinary means. Personally I like classic designs and vivid colors but that is a matter of taste and not quality
The collection of your brand is, in general, full of classic colors but also has a couple of more daring designs in it. Where do you get your inspiration from?
You know the origin of cotton textiles was not Europe but Southern Asia. Anyone who has been to India or Sri Lanka knows that colors found there are what staid Europeans easily would call daring here. I have lived in Europe most of my life but I still have a sense of color from the region where I was born.
Of course, Italians have shared this love of color as the European country with the longest tradition of trading to Asia. That also made it a natural place to find my fabrics and those skilled people to make my shirts.
Casual Friday seems to have evolved in most companies into ‘Casual Every Day’; how do you see the future of classic menswear?
Casual Friday does not mean tee-shirts and flip-flop sandals — at least no yet. There is still a place for classic shirts. However, the suit– actually an early 20th-century invention– could be on its way out. I do not believe that it was more than a phase in what counts as classic attire. In fact, it was justly called a “corporate uniform”. The problem for classic menswear is the disappearance of quality manufacturing and the absence of thought by the wearers. Those trends appear to continue.
When it comes to shirts, those with a pin collar are perhaps the least known to the general public, yet do have a specific following. What is your opinion about this type of shirt?
I think any kind of collar can be fine to wear if it is made properly. You know my shirts all have non-fused collars. That makes them less rigid and more comfortable to wear. However, collar stays can give them the stiffer form that many men like. A pin or button-down are equally attractive ways of giving a certain form to the collar– depending on whether neckwear is used.
What advice do you want to give men who are looking to dress better?
As I already said casual dressing does not mean casual or lazy thinking. A certain cultural and intellectual discipline is needed to understand how to dress. That has to be learned and cultivated. There is no self “off the shelf”.