Dappertude founder Johnny Li has taken the Melbourne style scene by storm since introducing a generation of sharp dressers to a new world of accessories including lapel pins, pocket squares and tie clips. His carefully coordinated seminars offer up a wealth of knowledge and clever tips, designed to ‘steer the modern gentleman onto the dapper path.’
In a world where Instagram makes kings, his loyal following looks to his updates on fashion and sartorial elegance for inspiration and uplifting advice on how to improve their own image.
We caught up with Johnny to dance the Gangnam Style and talk about the importance of the pocket square.
Coco Chanel once said to remove one thing before leaving the house – does the same rule apply for men?
Definitely not, adding one thing like a pocket square or tie clip changes everything, that’s only if you are wearing a suit when you leave the house.
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
It would definitely be travel related, right now its between seeing the northern lights in Norway and visiting Quebec in Canada.
What’s the easiest way a man can enhance a suit in the corporate world?
A pocket square, let me tell you gents these bad boys do amazing wonders.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Music would definitely be on the top, without music I won’t be able to concentrate and focus, next would be suit accessories, seriously once you start using them you can’t go back because you literally feel naked without them when wearing a suit.
What style mistake are you sick of seeing guys make?
I’ve seen a lot of style mistakes guys make everyday but the one that is the worst would have to be wearing a suit with running shoes.
What’s your best party banger to get everybody dancing?
A lot of people say I look like PSY when I put on my sunnies so it would definitely have to be Gangnam Style.
How has social media helped shape your business? Social media has literally helped me build my business from scratch, I started building Dappertude on Instagram 2 years ago where none knew about us, but now if you’re a men’s fashion blogger / influencer you would have heard about us in the IG world. Instagram has also helped shape my business to not only be an e-commerce brand but also a lifestyle and community, I let the brand evolve itself with the help of our followers and it has worked amazingly.
Tell us about a role model and why they inspire you.
Jack Ma of Alibaba is someone I look up to, reason? Jack failed school 3 times and even got rejected after applying for a job 30 times! No matter how many times he failed, he never gave up and that philosophy lead to him being the founder of Alibaba (fun fact: Alibaba is worth more than Facebook, and processes goods more than eBay and Amazon combined!). An inspirational quote from the man himself – “Never give up, today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”
Do style and fashion, in your opinion, go hand in hand?
Without fashion (a physical element like suits and accessories) you cannot create your own style and without style what you are wearing would not be “fashion”
What’s the next big thing in men’s style? It’s slowly coming back now as some guys are wearing it more and I think it will be massive, which is a double breasted suit aka DB. If my friends ask me what kind of suit they should get (taking into consideration they have a single breasted navy suit already) I would definitely recommend the DB.