Stories / September 2019

In Conversation With: The Armoury’s Mark Cho

Co-founder of menswear mecca The Armoury, Mark Cho reveals the values that underpin his approach to style.

Before he and friends Alan See and Ethan Newton founded ‘international classic artisanal clothier’ The Armoury in 2010, Mark Cho worked for an investment fund, appraising the value propositions of multimillion-dollar property purchases. The switch to menswear may seem rather drastic. But in fact, The Armoury, and Cho’s related business, British haberdasher Drake’s, fulfill similar roles in a sartorial sense, helping gentlemen make sage decisions on major investments in dress.

As we welcome The Armoury aboard The Rake Values, it seemed apt to ask this classic tailoring savant about the style lessons he’s learnt during a peripatetic upbringing, education and career, spanning the US, Britain, Africa and the Far East. Catching Cho en route from Japan to the States, we sought his advice on which clothing purchases represent remarkable ROI, asked what attracts him to particular artisanal makers, and discussed the complementary nature of social responsibility and classic menswear.

What’s your personal definition of good value?

Value is benefit minus cost. Benefit should be interpreted broadly. It could be the enjoyment of wearing something you really like and how good it makes you feel. It could also be something more utilitarian, such as having the right rubber soled shoes to get through a rainy day. Good value is what you get when the cost of an item is less than the benefit you received from it.

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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.