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Craft / June 2018

Mess of Blues: Fit For A King

Its name an homage to Elvis Presley, Mess of Blues is ensuring the often staid world of men’s accessories and grooming gets all shook up.

A Mess of Blues vintage silk tie featuring a white and navy polka dot print, worn with a white shirt and contrasting striped single-breasted blazer.

A new men’s luxury accessories and grooming brand, Mess of Blues sets out to meld traditional Italian craftsmanship with forward-thinking, rock ’n’ roll-inflected attitude. The company’s goods are, says designer Stefano Zamuner, created with the modern man in mind, but still made by hand in the classic way. In conversation with The Rake, Zamuner explains the thinking behind the brand and its unique product mix — ties, silk pocket squares and bandanas, jewellery and high-quality hair-care.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, what can you tell us about the genesis of Mess of Blues?
The brand launched in February 2016 but its concept was in my mind since a few years back. Eighteen months before launch, I had been working behind scenes, shaping the product ideas, developing prototypes and taking the best Italian craftsmanship to propel the design identity I wanted to originate, an identity inspired by the nostalgia of the 50s and 60s gentlemen, presented impeccably in our current society.

Why did you name the brand after an Elvis Presley song?
I’ve always been a great Elvis admirer, but not in a fanatical and commercial way. I’ve just always thought he was and still is the coolest and most charismatic man who ever walked on this planet. I love his voice — so pure and filled with jazz and blues tones — and his bold sense of style, especially in the 1960s. The song A Mess of Blues refers to a mix of feelings and emotions in a love story, something we’ve all been through as men, but it also encourages us not to hide behind those emotions, to embrace them, stay focused and get all the positive energy together in order to overcome the moment and move on to the next chapter in our lives. I just loved these lines — “I gotta get myself together / Before I lose my mind / I’m gonna catch the next train goin’ / And leave my blues behind” — and I thought, ‘I can translate this into a beautiful gentlemen’s collection’.

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Christian Barker

Christian Barker is The Rake's Asia editor-at-large, a frequent contributor to this site, and an enthusiastic consumer of fine whiskies, sashimi and classic disco music - ideally in unison.