What inspires the founders of AN IVY? How will they describe their own personal style? And what is the vision of AN IVY as a brand? In a new series you can meet the two founders. This one is with Alexander Gram.
Name: Alexander Gram
Co-Founder, AN IVY
WHAT IS AN IVY TO YOU?
The first word that comes to mind is passion. AN IVY encapsulates a lot of what I am the most passionate about. This goes for me and I know this goes for Nikolaj as well. Passion for ties, passion for being well dressed every single day, a passion to inspire but also the passion for making your own path and believing in your own projects.
For me, the most inspirational, motivational and giving is being able to make your passion your work. And that is what AN IVY symbolizes for me and what I am very much grateful for.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
It’s no secret that I am obsessed with men’s fashion. And obviously a lot of my inspiration comes from here. I follow the fashion weeks and the traditional fashion media very close. Alongside AN IVY, I have been writing about fashion on various Danish media including. And I don’t even dare to think about how much time I have spent on looking at new and old collections through Vogue’s catalogues to find inspiration.
With that being said I am very much inspired by our own initiative on Instagram, the AN IVY Brand Board. Here, we collect visual inspiration from fashion, iconic personalities, architecture, interior and art. Things that have always been a big part of my life.
HOW WILL YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN STYLE?
I am usually dressed in a suit, oxford shirts and striped ties. It has been my kind of uniform for a long time now. But I always try to find the balance between formal and casual when I get dressed. And usually I will wear one item that really stands out and gives the outfit some edge. It can be a pair of leather shoes or Chelsea Boots with a chunky sole for example. Or it can be an atypical fit or material for a suit. A good example of this is my favorite suit at the moment that is from Prada and made in a sporty nylon material.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ITEMS IN YOUR WARDROBE?
What I characterizes as my wardrobe favorites various a lot. Though, I have one blazer, to me almost an artwork, which is a blazer of Raf Simons in collaboration with Sterling Ruby from the AW14-collection. It’s my all-time favorite, but I do admit that I don’t wear it often enough to justify this. This is why I also have added some other favorites here.
My nylon back from Prada is a winner for me. It’s an understated signature classic from my favorite brand. Perfect for anything from work to small weekend trips.
These bombastic shoes from Eytys are likewise a favorite of mine. I love the Swedish brand’s uncompromising look at design.
Also, I love a pair of glasses/sunglasses with blue glass right now. These are from Ace & Tate and Soulland and were used on the catwalk when Soulland showed one of my favorite fashion shows this season during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Lastly, this regimental tie from our collaboration with Les Deux is my go-to tie at the moment.
WHO OR WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
Waaaau... I simply can’t choose one. One is Sergei Sviatchenko for sure. Such a stylish person! Also the team of United Arrows from Japan. Their take on style are so cool and contemporary.
Nick Wooster is likewise a huge source of inspiration for me. Even now where his look is far away from the look that drawn me into him in the first place.
Then there is the stylist, Oliver Rizzo, who is the one in charge of the styling of Raf Simon, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Jil Sander. I love his way of putting a look together and his work is by far the most inspiring to me right now.
You don’t find another item in a man’s wardrobe that is as symbolic as a tie. And that symbolic is really fun to work with.
In my world the tie symbolize traditions, power and effort. But the tie is also looked upon as something strictly formal and something you pair with a suit. And that is a huge misunderstanding. The tie can be worn in so many ways and looks just as cool paired with an Oxford shirt with rolled-up sleeves, gurkha pants and sneakers as it does paired with your finest suit. That’s a message I hope more men will see.
WHAT TYPE OF TIE DO YOU WEAR THE MOST?
Ever since I started wearing ties, I have been crazy about the ties made in shantung silk. They are characterized by this textured surface and are like a knitted tie easy to wear with just about anything from formal to informal.
That is also why I am thrilled about our ‘Italian Collection’ where we work with the very best manufacturers from Italy to make these ties.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN COPENHAGEN?
Every since Hotel Sanders opened up in 2018 it has been a place I have visited regularly - for coffee and a croissants and for informal meetings. The vibe is a bit Parisian with its outdoor arrangement on Tordenskjoldsgade behind Det Kgl. Teater, but I really also fancy the roof terrace that I highly recommend.
I am also a passionated runner and I love early morning runs during the summer at Kastellet. Try to catch the sunrise, it’s amazing.
WHAT IS THE VISION OF AN IVY AND WHAT DO YOU DREAM THE BRAND BECOME?
First, I am 100% aligned with Nikolaj’s answer on this that you can find here. For me, the dream is to make a conceptual brand with a sincere brand voice. We have now built the foundation and it is really exciting to build and add new initiatives from here.