As of today, we will begin to portrait stylish, well dressed gentlemen from the past or present in our new category: Gentlemen of Style. Today, we will start with Mr. Ignatious Joseph.
Sometime last year, I was contacted by Mr. Joseph, the Sri Lankan-born owner of the high quality shirt brand IGN Joseph.
After a series of interesting telephone conversations, Mr. Joseph offered to send me a shirt from his collection and I gladly accepted. Earlier this year, the shirt arrived and I have had ample opportunity to wear, wash and test the shirt. However, before I will to elaborate on IGN Joseph’s creations of luxury cotton, I will focus entirely on the person Ignatious Joseph.
Ignatious Joseph – Early Life & First Career
Born in 1953 in Sri Lanka, Mr. Joseph now resides in Düsseldorf, Germany when he is not traveling across Europe visiting clients. Of course, he could hire an agent for this sort of work but Mr. Joseph is very passionate about his products and loves to present them himself.
Initially, he emigrated to Switzerland, where he went to business school with a focus in Hotel Management. He then moved to Dortmund, Germany, where he finished his studies. Subsequently, Ignatious Joseph worked for 20 years in the hotel business. When conditions in the industry deteriorated, he felt it was time for a change. Mr. Joseph always had a profound interest in style and dress culture. During his travels around the world, he was exposed to many vivid and extraordinary colors. This made him realize that there was a lack of well made, stylish and uniquely colored shirts on the market, and consequently he decided to start his own business. His label IGN Joseph was created in 1997, and in its first year of existence, he sold 148 shirts – today, you can find IGN Joseph shirts around the globe.
Ignatious Joseph – the Character Behind the Brand IGN Joseph
It is always a pleasure to talk to Mr. Joseph. He is in an ever joyful mood, and he can talk for hours about shirts and the intricacies of classic style and modern interpretation.
Whenever you see Ignatious Joseph, the first things that will undoubtedly notice are his red shoes and colorful socks. These two items are definitely his hallmark. While the bespoke shoes are created for him by a famous Viennese shoemaker, the over the calf socks are especially made for him by Bresciani. Not only are the socks made in small production runs of 12 at a time, but the red color was very carefully selected in order to exactly match the red of his shoes! Now, that’s what I call attention to detail.
That aside, Mr. Joseph enjoys dressing in a classic way – but always with a twist. For example, he consistently wears high waisted pants with huge 3 inch cuffs! They are always rather on the short side, so that one can always see his socks. Additionally, Mr. Joseph wears many single breasted, one button bespoke navy blazers with peaked lapels, patch pockets and five instead of the usual 4 (or less) buttons on the sleeves.
With regard to shirts, he almost exclusively wears pale blue fabrics in a variety of shades. Considering that his IGN Joseph shirts come in various interesting colors, this is quite surprising. However, wearing red shoes and socks is a very strong statement to begin with and in order not to create a flood of accents, he does exactly the right thing and keeps things simple.
Several years ago, Mr. Joseph expanded his shirt business and began to manufacture handmade ties, which once again come in a range of beautiful and vivid colors. However, with regard to Mr. Joseph’s own ties, he continues his more subdued color choice and prefers dark,
solid colors like navy blue. This is once again not a contradiction, but much rather the consequence of his rather flamboyant shoe & sock combination.
On occasion, Ignatious Joseph wears brightly colored boutonnieres and in the summer, he is also a fan of the Panama hat from Borsalino – see our exclusive photos to the right! Otherwise, he also likes to wear a Bowler or a modern Top Hat. When it comes to glasses, he prefers very classic frames made of horn, for both everyday wear and sunglasses.
Conclusion – The Man With the Red Shoes
Altogether, Ignatious Joseph is a very lively and communicative person who loves to dress elegantly without sacrificing his colorful hallmark shoes & socks.