Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford: 'All men need a trouser press' – Financial Times

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A patchwork of different shades, from butterscotch yellow to seaweed green, adorns the walls of the new Casely-Hayford shop in the heart of London’s Marylebone. “You can see we like colour,” says 62-year-old British menswear designer Joe Casely-Hayford, the patriarch of a budding fashion dynasty. Perched next to him on a tailor’s stool is his son Charlie, 32, who joined the family business after graduating from Central Saint Martins.

Both men look impeccably sharp in structured blazers and crisp creased trousers. “The shop is brand new,” says Charlie. “My wife designed the interior and the colours are a mixture of our African roots and British aesthetic. We wanted it to feel less austere and more relaxed, like an apartment.”

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Maison Bonnet Le Corbusier 1965, bespoke (POA), maisonbonnet.com

Since Joe combined his bespoke tailoring business with his son’s ready-to-wear line in 2008, the pair have enjoyed a good working relationship. “We may argue, but our two different viewpoints always come together to make something unique,” says Charlie. “At the end of the day, each piece reflects us both.”

But are they able to leave work behind them once they’re home for the holidays? “We try our hardest!” laughs Joe. “But it’s difficult. My wife helps us run the business and my daughter Alice is an editor at British Vogue, so we often end up talking about the creative industry.”

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Dirk Vander Kooij Melting pot table, from €1,966, dirkvanderkooij.com

Their ideal gifts are both fashion-conscious and engagingly old-school. “A man should have a trouser press,” says Joe. “They’re so retro they’re cool again. I also have my eye on a valet stand by Linley, made from macassar. It is a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning and have a crisp trouser.” Slippers, too, are essential for the Casely-Hayford men. “I grew up in a house where my father would put shoehorns in trainers,” says Charlie, “so a neat pair of slippers like the ones from John Lobb make a great gift.” “Oh yes,” adds Joe, nodding vigorously, “a man is incomplete without a pair of slippers.”

Casely-Hayford Women’s Moiree suit, £985 RTW, £1,495 MTM, Casely-Hayford, 3 Chiltern Street

The shop smells fantastic, thanks to the candles from historic French maker Cire Trudon — another ideal gift. “I always used to burn ‘Empire’ when I had my design base in east London,” says Joe. “Now we burn it here. It’s always been my favourite.” A weekend at Heckfield Place, a plush new hotel in Hampshire, is also on the list. “I don’t think our family are that big on gifts,” says Charlie. “We’ve always been more about making memories, so an experience as a gift is a thoughtful idea.”

Cire Trudon Empire, £70, selfridges.com

Despite the very proper present suggestions, Christmas Day at the Casely-Hayfords’ is a relaxed affair. “We like to have the full family together, usually at my aunt’s,” says Charlie. “We go for beautiful walks, as she lives in a vicarage in Somerset. Then we watch films while slowly passing out.” “My sister Margaret is a big talker,” adds Joe, laughing. “That usually sends us off to sleep.”

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Original Murano glass, set of six drinking glasses with silver leaf, £391, originalmuranoglass.com

Christmas has always been a precious time for the Casely-Hayfords. “Before the shop opened, we were involved with men’s fashion week,” says Charlie. “Because the shows are in early January, Christmas was almost a write-off. I guess the result is that it means more to us than most.”

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