What are you wearing today?
“A Jumper from the cupboard in the office, Levi jeans, a t-shirt, some new balance and my personalised Yankees cap.”
Do you have a uniform?
“The same as today! Generally, Jeans, T-shirt, New Balance.
If I were to put a dress on, the interactions I have would be wildly different to when I’m in Jeans and a T-shirt. I don’t see the way I dress as a fashion statement, more a conscious decision. Saying that, when it’s time to go out, I love to feel good in what I’m wearing and always come to Hewi to find my outfits.”
Who or what inspires your style?
“Being completely honest, I would scroll past someone like Gigi Hadid on Instagram. I get a lot of male influencers who wear clean fitted looks, I got served David Beckham the other day! I don’t mind who it is really, I just like that look clean look.
My mum used to take me around all the luxury stores when I was younger, what I really noticed noticed was the quality difference. I remember putting on a Brunello Cucinelli t-shirt and feeling the difference, the quality made me feel good. The fit is better and it sits on your skin nicer, like when you buy a really nice face moisturiser and it makes you feel expensive. It also means you don’t need to buy things in excess, you can wear that t-shirt forever - that’s why I love what we do here.”
Have you ever inherited or bought anything with an interesting back-story?
“Most things got handed down to my sister Natalya as she is more similar to my mum. But my Grandfather gave me this amazing vintage Gold Watch from the 1930s. It's not a brand I know but I hold it very close, so much so that I don't wear it.”
Is there anything you wore in the past that you’re keeping for your daughter, Willa?
“My wife Xanthe’s engagement ring. I bought it from Gray’s Antiques in Mayfair and was so proud of being able to buy it and give it to Xanthe. It was worth about £10k and I got it for £2.5k but because it was secondhand and vintage it felt more special, it’s super unique. Plus the guy who sold it to me was Dutch, so I don’t know, I guess I felt an even bigger affinity with it - I would be happy for Willa to wear that around her neck or something in future.”
When Hewi was founded in 2012, do you think you foresaw the monumental growth that resale would undergo or did it take you by surprise?
“The concept of resale has always made perfect sense to me and it’s fantastic to see today’s growth compared to where we were in 2012, but I was quite surprised by the mindset towards it at the start. It was quite rejecting of it, and especially in the luxury sector but I think that it was a lack of understanding. The quality and rare pieces you find at Hewi blows that out of the water. You have to buy what you like and not what you are told to buy when you shop resale - it’s a confident shopper that shops on the secondhand market.”
What advice would you give someone becoming a CEO?
“I think you can get caught up in the title, but also it feels like a big thing to live up to. Unless you’ve gone on a gradual progression to get to that point it can be quite daunting, so I would say just planning and confidence. Oh and to start reading easy-to-understand financial market publications!
A good CEO is also ‘very very sensitive’…. I actually just read that in a book once haha but I do think it’s true!”
When you were younger, was there anyone you admired from a business perspective?
“I don’t think it was really a person that I admired or wanted to live up to, more that I saw the opportunity of what my mother had built, and what the next phase of growth within our sector looks like. I have always admired business models/entrepreneurs that take simple ideas, with clean execution, and that’s what I believe Hewi is bringing to re-commerce.
Alongside that, I felt that being a gay in business at a young age is a very individual experience and I didn’t have many people to look up to as role models. I’ve definitely had to push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve what we have achieved over the years, and I’m proud of myself for that.
At first I wasnt’ confident about being me and being gay, i’d use words like ‘partner’ instead of ‘Wife’ and that caused me so much a stress. But now, regardless of who I’m in the room with, I’ll say it straight away. I get power from that now, so much is language and how you speak about things. You want to better yourself because you see the longer term value of making yourself better for your partner, and for everyone - someone to be admired!
… also, Luxury is literally powered by gay people but its not celebrated half as much as it should be!”
Circularity is at the core of resale. Do you try to implement any aspects of sustainability into your life outside of Hewi?
“Good question haha recycling actually goes to my youth! My Dad managed a recycling firm and he is now a consultant in recycling…..Did you know that when you want to clean up a landfill site, you pump water into it, so all the chemicals rise to the top and you can scrape off all the bad stuff and that’s how you can make the soil good again.
I remember going to the plant with him when I was younger and he would line up glass bottles so I could shoot them with an air rifle. I’d also always complain about the smell and my dad alway say ‘that smells like money.’”
What would you make me for dinner?
“Pasta - super simply tomato, Basil and Parmesan with Maldon Salt”
What was the last thing you listened to?
“The Chainsmokers, Bob moses - Why Can’t You Wait”
Which App do you use the most?
“The FT App.”
What would you consider your most indulgent purchase?
“I bought a pair of Gucci Jeans which were like £550 but I just loved them. They said What are we gonna do with all this Future down the side.”
Can you recommend something for me to read?
“Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman”
Where are you going now?
“I’m going to hang out with my daughter Willa, we’re going to Ikea actually”
Finally, one item that you would never resell?
“Probably my jeans. They’re so hard to find and I wear them all the time, it’s hard to find a good fit.”