Guillaume: I was born in Mexico City, and my family sold European fabrics for a living, as well as buttons and small accessories. My grandfather was the owner of the company and he always wore a uniform to go to work. He looked the exact same everyday: I never paid much attention at the time but now I realize he was a man of style and he knew how to look good. There’s something about the idea of a uniform that I’ve only come to appreciate later in life. The way Tom Ford always dresses the same or Andy Spade—they have this signature look. My grandfather’s was a pair of khaki pants, a desert boot, a light-blue collared shirt and then a V-neck pastel-colored cashmere or wool sweater. Growing up in Mexico City you become very aware of brands, and when I was a kid American brands were the “It” thing. It meant you were well-traveled, you went to the U.S. and there was a certain status associated with it.
Growing up in Mexico City you become very aware of brands and when I was a kid American brands were the “It” thing.
ON YOUR FIRST PAIR OF KICKS
Guillaume: It was the ‘90s and grunge was a thing. I’d go to Texas with my family to shop and I remember finding a pair of Airwalks at Ross. They were my first important sneaker, my most-prized possession. I also later found a pair of purple LA Gear shoes. Do you remember LA Gear? There was one shop in Mexico City that sold them, a military surplus store near the Lomas neighborhood, and my mother took me there. They weren’t the color, size or model I wanted but they were the brand so I bought them. I think internally everybody has an affinity for certain brands. Perhaps that’s why when I started Miscelanea I took the branding and the marketing of it so seriously. It’s been important for me to create a brand that people love.
Olivia: I was never a big sneaker girl, to this day I’m really basic and more of a loafer or flat person, but I do remember getting a pair of white Reebok high-tops for the first day of 3rd grade. The smell, the whiteness, it’s so visceral and satisfying like I can almost relive it if I think about it long enough. In high school it was all about my Doc Martens. Eight lace holes in black purchased on Broadway in Soho on a trip with my parents.
I remember getting a pair of white Reebok high-tops for the first day of 3rd grade. The smell, the whiteness, it’s so visceral. I can almost relive it if I think about it long enough.
ON YOUR FIRST INVESTMENT PIECE
Guillaume: I went to college in Switzerland, and I saved money for the entire time I was there to purchase a watch. The day before my graduation, I had my roommate drive me to a local watch shop. We walked in, it was a Saturday, and they told me the price of the Capeland Baume & Mercier I wanted (about $2,000). As a good Mexican, I asked them, “But what’s your best price?” It was a fancy store with Pateks and Audemars and of course they were like, “Well what do you mean?” And I was like “What if I pay in cash?” And cash is king, so they said they’d take 15% off. I told them the ATM wouldn’t give me that amount of cash so I had to make two withdrawals, $1,000 today and $1,000 the following. Unfortunately, they were closed on Sundays but I needed it for my graduation the next day so we agreed on a time to meet on Sunday to open the shop privately. I still have the watch, I like to keep things I love in good shape. My line of work does not allow me to wear fancy watches. I’m often times fixing fridges, cleaning dishes, I don’t have a banking job.
Olivia: In all honesty my most important style investments—my watch, my special jewelry and my nice bags—were given to me by Guillaume. But I do remember saving a whopping $50 when I was only 11 years old for a silk tie I saw hanging in the window of a shop I loved called Workers & Dreamers in Rhinebeck (still there to this day) and wearing it on the first day of sixth grade in a very Clarissa Darling-esque way. It was an insane amount of money to spend on an accessory but I also still have it to this day.
ON YOUR CURRENT UNIFORM
Olivia: I bike everywhere in New York so dresses and skirts tend to be only for weekends when I’m not on the move—or I’ll straight-up layer a pair of jeans under them. I like stealing Guillaume’s clothes which is slightly tragic because he buys stuff for himself so rarely and doesn’t have a lot, whereas my side of our closet is busting at the seams. I love a men’s button-down over vintage jeans—I definitely own more jeans than a normal person should but I just can’t get enough. Simplicity and ease—especially with a toddler—is so important!
Guillaume: I don’t necessarily have a uniform, but there are certain things that are always in rotation: A linen double breasted, double vented, big lapel jacket, a pair of true straight-leg jeans cuffed, a great T-shirts and a baseball caps. I’ve always really liked hats, I take them as a short-cut to not have to think about my hair.
3 THINGS WITH GUILLAUME + OLIVIA
3 careers you’d pursue if not for your current line of work: Rally car driver, soccer player, car repair man.
Your uniform in 3-pieces: A hat, a T-shirt, bracelets.
3-things you never leave home without: My tattoo (Olivia and I have matching ones), my wedding ring, a treat for my son
Your uniform in 3-pieces: Jeans, button-down shirt, flat shoes so I can bike!
3 words to describe your personal style: Classic, uncomplicated, denim
3 people whose closet you’d like to raid: My cousin’s circa 1992, Patti Smith’s, Bruce Springsteen’s
As told to AM on May 24th
Photographed by Casey Zhang at Miscelanea NY, 63 East 4th Street