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GQ: Personal Style – Rio Ferdinand

International footballing superstar and captain of England’s national team, Rio Ferdinand footwear’s label Five is preparing to release its second ever collection. Previously named No.1 on GQ’s Best-Dressed List, Rio insists on maintaining a high involvement with the design, ensuring that he is more than just a name to sell products designed by others as per so many other celebrity endorsed brands. GQ magazine recently sat down with the man himself to discuss Five’s foundations, Rio’s favourite stores, designers, influences and more. Keep checking back for more in-depth looks at the forthcoming collection as well as release information. Some excerpts of the interview are seen below.

My dad’s a tailor so I’ve always been around the rag trade. I used to go to his factories and play on the big rolls of material and see people cutting the different shapes for suits. My favourite one he used to do had a jacket with a waistcoat sewn inside, an all-in-one type thing. When he went out I’d put on his blazer, his brogues and his Marvin Gaye vinyl.

When I was growing up I was big into Ralph Lauren, Armani jeans, Stone Island jeans, Valentino jeans. That was what the kids were into. With a pair of diamond socks.

With my first pay packet, I went to Gucci and bought a pair of loafers, suede ones, that I used to clean over a boiled kettle with a wire toothbrush. I’ve always had a liking for threads.

Nowadays I’m more about the fit, the cut. It could be any brand. I don’t care really, I’ll go anywhere: Topshop, a second-hand shop. As long as the gear’s cut to suit my body then I’m happy. It’s not really about the name.

One mistake I think men make is when they’re trying to do too much what’s in fashion at the time. There might be two or three things in and they try and rock it all together. If you go into your own, what you like, what’s good for you and your shape and size, more so than what’s good for everybody else, then you’ll be all right.

The most talked-about outfit I wore was probably the suit I signed for Manchester United in. It was a white linen suit with a black pinstripe. It was one of those that don’t photograph well but when you’re there it looks better on. That’s what I’ll tell you now, anyway…! That was another Italian brand, an underground one. I got it from Vertice, a shop on London’s South Molton Street, near Browns.

I’m a watch freak. I’ve got an AP concept watch that I love. I’ve never seen anyone with it on before. It’s got the chronograph but you wind it a different way. It’s not your normal-looking watch. I’ve got a few watches. I keep them in a safe, not at my house. I don’t people knocking on my door for watches. They won’t be there.

My style hero is Tom Ford. What he did at Gucci was magnificent, the way he rejuvenated the male brand especially, and then he’s obviously gone on his own and took it that step further again with his really beautiful cuts of clothes, especially the jackets. His shirts and ties are beautiful. I just like everything he does really. His glasses are really nice. He’s expensive, that’s the only thing.

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