Brief encounters: Aaron Levine
Aaron Levine is Club Monaco's vice-president of men's design. Levine has taken Club Monaco from a solid but unspectacular brand to a must-have label with indie credibility. Levine has done this through establishing carefully curated menswear stores such as The Men's Shop in St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, where hip brands sit side by side with Levine's own edgy offerings.
"My rule for fashion is to just be yourself. Style comes from within and it's about creating a look that suits you as an individual. For me it's all about comfort. My style is simple, classic and sometimes uniform-like. My aesthetic is pretty casual and you'll usually see me in one of our Joe V-necks and Made in the USA denim.
I got into fashion because I love what I do. I've always been intrinsically interested in fashion and design ever since I was a child. I just kind of learned about what I like by exploring, reading magazines and talking to people at the shops where I liked the clothing design.
If I wasn't a designer I'd be figuring out a way to become one. I love being creative and constructive and working with my hands. I would definitely be involved in design in some form or another.
I don't have one city or place that inspires me. Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time if you're open. I find inspiring images all over the place that connect with me personally. I think the most important thing is to be open to new ideas and experiences, because inspiration is absolutely everywhere ... it floods in ... you just have to receive it and then be able to diffuse all this wonderful information into usable material.
The fashion faux pas that puts me most on edge is when people are obviously untrue to themselves and buying into trends. When people are comfortable in what they're wearing their confidence shines through.
What my kids wear sometimes make me laugh out loud. They'll come out of their room wearing some pretty amazing things … mismatched clothes or crazy costumes.
When I was a teenager I just wanted to fit in. I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, so I just wanted to look like everyone else. As I got older I wanted to define my personal style and this is part of what drives me to design clothing that every guy can feel comfortable in.
I have so many style heroes but one unexpected one for sure is Carl Sagan. Look at that guy - effortlessly cool and immensely intelligent. I grew up with his Cosmos series. He was the man."
As told to Abid Rahman