Accessories are sometimes the most forgotten or underlooked items in menswear. Whether it is because we live in an era where minimalistic and “less is more” aesthetics prevail or a matter of taste; one must never underestimate the enormous impact that an accessory can have over an entire ensemble.
Accessories, despite their size or position, have the power to grab someone’s attention and focus, beating your shirt or jacket to it. They’re the finishing touch, the olive in the Martini, an expression of your personality and sense of style.
When used in a balanced and effortless way, accessories become a symbol of elegance. In the last 5 or 6 years, with the Dandy and Mad Men 60s revival, accessories such as cufflinks, tie bars, pocket squares, and rings have claimed their influential position in menswear; a position that was a leading one during the first six decades of the 20th Century.
M. de Phocas offers some of the finest cufflinks and accessories for the modern and dapper gentlemen. Created by Alexis Zambrano and Jesús Torres, two Mexican friends who grew up together while being exposed to elegance at a young age; M. de Phocas is a tribute to dandysism. It is no surprise that its name was inspired by the story “Monsieur de Phocas” written by one of history’s iconic dandies, Jean Lorrain.
Set in New York City, M. de Phocas offers some of the finest cufflinks and accessories; pieces inspired by classic designs, 19th Century Madrilean jewelry, nature, and even gummy bears. Each piece is handmade by artisans using materials such as Silver, Gold, Onyx, Pearls, Corals, and Diamonds.
Below a brief interview that will allow you to know more about M. de Phocas and its creators.
What inspired you to design menswear accessories?
The inspiration first came from watching our grandfather’s style when we were kids. The idea of the well dressed gentlemen was bestowed upon us by their interest in details within their garments. Accessories were essential to how they perceived the appropriate daily dress code.
We both were given antique cufflinks from our grandparents and were always in search of more. Our search was limited, and we began to do them for ourselves. Eventually, people responded to the designs and we began to do them for others as well.
Are there any upcoming plans to design accessories such as tie bars, rings, money clips etc?
There are a few designs being produced, soon they will be in our website. The previews can be seen in our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/M.dePHOCAS
What are your sources of inspiration?
Sources of inspiration vary from our own curiosities. Fred Astaire, Jules Verne, Rene Descartes, and Beau Brummell are among inspirational figures in our designs.
Which are your favorite gems and precious stones?
We use gems of all sorts. Sapphires, Lapis Lazuli, Morganites, Pearls, and Corals are some of our most commonly used.
Classic or avant garde design?
The designs bridge classical ideas to a current form by a new interpretation. Our focus is not to be branded as either, rather to condense an idea into an accessory by extracting the elements that compose the idea and re introduce them into a cohesive and simple moment which is represented in the resulting piece.
In your opinion, what should any stylish gentleman consider when wearing/selecting cufflinks?
We consider any gentlemen should be focused on subtle details. Color palette and materiality are vital for a complete ensemble. Such details make the definite difference. Furthermore, we believe a custom made vase for boutonnière in the lapel is the gentleman’s understanding and appreciation for nature.
Photos: M. de Phocas