He hails from Peru with a family of seamstresses and has worked with the creative minds behind Paul Stuart and Ralph Lauren before endeavoring to start his own private menswear atelier, Manolo Costa New York, in 2011.
Stepping into the atelier is like time-traveling to the ’60s, surrounded by décor like an antique rose-colored stingray cigar box, a rosewood Norgaard coffee table and an art deco brass bar cart beside a pair of Wormley chairs—all of which are available for purchase and delivery. Manolo always knew his atelier would be an experience in and of itself, but his attention to detail goes beyond the walls of this place. Offering a complete collection of fully bespoke clothing—much of which draws from the 1920s, ’30s, ’50s and ’70s—Manolo is a man of sartorial erudition. His attention to precision means that each silhouette is made specifically for individual clients based on their posture and preferences. Manolo Costa New York also boasts a seasonal capsule collection of finely curated ready-to-wear items like ultra-fine Lambswool knits from Scotland and bench-made shoes from London.
We caught up with the father of two and Instagram aficionado who can pull off shorts with a tie like no one we’ve seen before. In our latest Style Questionnaire, he opens up about three-piece suits, tailored clothing and colored buttonholes.
Describe your style in three words.
Timeless, timeless, timeless.
Who had the biggest influence on your style?
My great grandfather—he always wore his trademark three-piece suit.
If you could wear one piece of clothing from your childhood, what would it be?
Growing up there was a pair of boots I wore everywhere, much like my brown suede chukka boots today.
Name a celebrity whose style you admire.
All time favorite would have to be Fred Astaire, but at the moment I appreciate Ryan Gosling’s style.
What are three pieces that every man should have in his closet?
A white shirt, a blue blazer and gray trousers.
What stores and websites do you frequent?
Guerreisms, Essence London and, also, I respond to a lot of things I see on social media.
What’s one thing that is always worth splurging on?
Fine bespoke tailored clothing.
What trend would you like to see disappear?
Skinny lapels and colored buttonholes.
What is one thing guys can do to improve their style?
Men need to be much more conscious of the way their clothing fits. Everything is about distinctive proportions.
When you want to make a good impression, what should you wear?
Everything is situational, but a well-tailored garment will always make a lasting impression.