Designer Adrian Azodi on his cunning new brand for gents
Unique men’s accessories are hard to come by in Dubai. While gents are spoiled for choice when it comes to designer watches and sunglasses, one-off quirky pieces can be harder to find. American designer Adrian Azodi (right), the man behind new Dubai-made label Monsieur Fox, agrees. ‘There’s a ton of options out there for men in Dubai, but the options blend together and don’t seem to be all that different from each other. It’s easy to buy accessories from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada or Ferragamo, but unless it’s a signature or stand-out piece, they all end up looking the same.’
Azodi, who has been based in the emirate for the past two years, produces elegant pieces that are manufactured by hand in Dubai – and all have a cheeky yet charming allure. They feature quirky details such as paw prints and fox heads on cuffs and tie pins, and motifs on scarfs. Here, Azodi explains why the fox is this season’s must-have accessory.
How did you come up with the idea of using a fox as your signature stamp? I’ve always thought the fox is a smooth, svelte animal, and in many cultures there’s a sort of careful enthusiasm for him. He’s known as a trickster, but never too dangerous, and being clever is a key theme. When I was nine, my mum took our family on a summer road trip across the US to find a new house to make a home. Driving through rural, forested New Hampshire, a small red fox jumped out into the road in front of us, and as we slowed down, he looked at us and sauntered to the other side of the road. On that side, there happened to be a big white house with a For Sale sign outside. About three months later we bought the house and moved in. So that little guy really changed my life.
Why do you think foxes suit men? Foxes are given a lot of the characteristics that many men strive for. They’re elegant, fit, clever, always have a bit of wit and generally mean well, but they’re just dangerous enough to feel excited about. Culturally we give foxes these traits, and we use phrases such as ‘silver fox’ or ‘clever as a fox’ to mark people who have aged well, or that know how to turn situations to their advantage. What materials do you use in your pieces? Sterling silver and gold, along with precious gems such as rubies, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires. We’re also working on developing pieces in palladium, platinum and rhodium.
Who do you think will buy your accessories? The brand is geared towards men who have a bit of dual personality: we like to say that Monsieur Fox is equally at home in an opulent ballroom as he is in a back-alley pub, and I think most guys want to feel that they can do that.
Which designers inspire you? I actually don’t follow the fashion scene all that much – I think it gets a bit silly. But I do really like Maison Martin Margiela, Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani. I don’t typically like Armani clothing in general, although I really respect the man for creating an empire of design, from clothing to furniture to hotels. www.monsieurfox.com.
More local brands for discerning style fans
Lady Fozaza Dubai-based designer Alanoud Badr creates edgy blazers with unique finishes. Available at Whoop, Sunset Mall, Jumeirah (04 388 4221).
KAGE The duo behind this cool local brand have an incredible eye for detail. Available at Boutique 1, various locations (04 395 1200).
Naz Cannon An Emirati designer with a flair for stage-inspired designs for both men and women. Available at Bullets and Butterflies, Mercato Mall (04 342 2243).