Wardrobe Insider: Steven Altman of inspiring-i

As the Co-Founder of inspiring-i, a market research consultancy specialising in lifestyle and luxury, Steven Altman’s clients include leading players in fashion, jewellery, travel and property. An industry veteran, originally from London, and Asia based for 30 years, he spoke to PAKT about style heroes, the best fashion advice he’s ever received, and what item from his wardrobe would be deemed museum-worthy. 

1) Describe your style in 3 words 

Bold, tailored and curated.

2) What was the first item of clothing you ever bought for yourself? 

Burgundy coloured shoes from Moreschi in London, if I remember correctly. I was drawn to the shape as it had a less rounded toe, for the quality of the calf leather and the colour was a bit different.

3) What’s your go to outfit? 

A tailored Alexander McQueen jacket. It is one of the only brands that seem to fit me as their cut is excellent. I have broad shoulders and a smaller waist in relative terms, so they are tailored to make you look good by accentuating a ‘V’ shape, whilst being very comfortable to wear without cutting under the arms. 

4) Favourite piece you bought recently and why? 

Politically incorrect, but a calf length, lamb coat from Ermanno in Rome. 

5) Suit or sweats? 

Neither! Jackets. Sweats occasionally, but not around town!

6) Personal style signifier? 

Brooches picked up in Hong Kong, Italy and Thailand. I love vintage and antique brooches, especially in a deco style. I found a couple from a wonderful little shop S. Vaggi on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Steven Altman's Brooch Collection

7) What to you is the essence of men’s style? 

Elegance with a touch of glamour.

8) What is the best fashion advice you have received? 

Shoes can make or break an outfit.

Steven Altman's Manolo Blahnik shoes

9) Who is your style hero and why? 

Tom Ford. He is elegant, stylish, confident and mysterious. 

10) If you could have anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be and why? 

Tom Ford, because wearing his wardrobe would give you confidence. He cuts so well and the details are very recognisable and it represents an understated luxury. There is an aura about the man and the brand. You can imagine that you have been transported back in time, when luxury was luxury.

Tom Ford style moments

11) Less or more? 

Less, but sometimes a little more!

12) If you were an item of clothing what would you be?

Tom Ford jacket, dependent on who is wearing it!

13) If a museum asked you to donate one item from your wardrobe that represented you what would it be? 

Either a bold red jacket by Alexander McQueen or a brocade Dolce & Gabbana jacket because it is so fitted, the brocade work is beautiful and I love the larger collar, which accentuates a broader shoulder.

14) What will we never find in your wardrobe? 

Birkenstocks… Ever!

15) What’s your number one fashion rule? 

Don’t necessarily follow fashion. Let fashion follow you.

16) What’s your dream project? 

Collaborating with and marketing a fabulous designer or writing a screenplay. Tom Ford would be great! Fabulous designer and he makes movies.

17) Top three people to follow on social media 

I don’t.

18) Favourite apps? 

Again, not so much.

19) Where were the last three places you travelled to and what are the can’t miss shops? 

In London, the Dior flagship – the homeware section is beautiful and the service amazing.
In Rome, the Fendi flagship – which is a true tribute to its hometown. The marble work in the store is amazing and the private room stupendous. These flagships are wonderful and not found in all their markets. 
In LA, Tom Ford on Rodeo Drive and many of the shops on Robertson – best visited after a long lunch at The Ivy!