On a funk trip
Despite being a straight man, Sameer Ahmed can get away with wearing outre fashion pieces. Case in point: a pair of gold brocade paisley printed trousers from Roberto Cavalli, hidden in the depths of Ahmed's well-organised wardrobe.
'I haven't worn these in a long time, but I have always loved them. I probably couldn't fit into them any more,' says Ahmed, who is in the best shape of his life. He shrank from a size 52 to 46 over the past few months, thanks to yoga sessions and healthy eating. 'I'm pretty game for anything. I like to push the boundaries,' he adds, confessing that he once owned a purple Dolce & Gabbana suit.
But for all his sartorial derring-do, Ahmed cannot mask the influence of the English boarding school uniforms of his youth. His style is what he likes to define as timeless classic, albeit with a twist of the Hollywood eccentric by way of Johnny Depp.
'It's really about relaxed elegance - boarding school that's gone funky,' he says, as he pulls out his spring purchases. These include a navy blazer and a white shirt from Savile Row label Rake, and identical shirts from Yves Saint Laurent. They are in different colours and look like a hybrid of a tunic and a regular button-down. There are also several pairs of shoes from Gucci, Lanvin and Prada.
'I like to shop, but when I shop it's on impulse,' he says. 'I rarely shop in Hong Kong, though. I like Matches in London, Barneys in New York and Fred Segal in Los Angeles. I like to think that I have a good eye for fashion.' Ahmed works as a manufacturer of fashion accessories for international chain stores, so his keen eye is a valuable asset.
He's been in the business for 16 years - the same time that he's lived in Hong Kong. Ahmed comes from an Indian, Singaporean, Portuguese and British background. His Indian side, he says, gave him the knack for putting a spin on classic dressing: 'I've always admired how my mother dressed. She's always had a great sense of style.'
He has a well-edited collection of watches, which includes pieces from Cartier, Rolex, Bulgari and Panerai. His obsession is an Audemars Piguet rose gold Queen's Cup limited edition with a navy face and strap. A close second is an F1 Grand Prix limited-edition timepiece, also from Audemars Piguet. His watches join a collection of beaded and braided bracelets, which he bought on various trips. The mix of handsome watches and bohemian bracelets underlines his classic sophistication with a touch of the funky.
Belts and hats also spill out of Ahmed's closet. His belts are in an array of colours, treatments and widths. His favourites are from Prada. When it comes to hats, different variations of the trilby make their appearance in the summer and on the beach holidays he often takes with his family.
'I never leave home without my new black tote bag,' Ahmed says, referring to his crocodile skin bag from Santiago Gonzalez, son of exotic skin bag designer Nancy Gonzalez. 'He was my classmate, and we've remained good friends. He made this especially for me.'