Amir Saebi might be one of the best dressed men in Phoenix. As the operational manager for green structural engineering company, Strata International Group, Saebi and his bow-ties stand out in a crowd of flip-flop wearing Phoenicians.
While his Iranian and Swiss upbringing may have something to do with this, he credits most of his style insight to growing up with a grandfather who knew how to rock a pocket square. He admits fashion isn't just a passion, it's a way of life.
What are you wearing right now?
Levis 510 skinny jeans (black), Lacoste v-neck T-shirt (yellow), Phillip Stein watch (gold), Sperry boat shoes (grey & navy), and Chanel cologne called Chanel blue. If you were asking what trends and style I enjoy wearing at the moment my answer would be early late 50's and early to mid 60's style.
What was the last item of clothing you bought?
Vintage YSL tie (floral pattern in green) and some black Levis 510 jeans.
Is it hard to be fashionable in Phoenix, considering both the cultural climate and thermometer climate?
It is sometimes tough because of the heat, however, that should never be an excuse to just not care about how you represent yourself. There are many different ways you can improvise and stay cool in the valley heat and look elegant and classy at the same time.
For example, since I really enjoy wearing sportcoats, I'll switch from the traditional blazer to linen material or thin linen- like materials. Wear it with a vneck t-shirt to make it a little cooler. Wear some skinny linen pants or jeans, or even some up to the knee fitted classy shorts. Add some oxfords or boat shoes, skip the socks and do sock inserts instead -- they help your feet stay clean and dry without wearing socks plus it gives you the Italian style fashion look.
Or skip the sports coat and go with a light weight cooler material fitted button up shirt, roll up the sleeves, put on some suspenders, a bow tie or a skinny tie, nice pair of fitted jeans (roll the pant sleeves up mostly seen in Italian fashion) some oxfords, watch, an edgy ring maybe, and you should be all set.
Where do you shop normally?
I really enjoy online shopping just because a lot of the stores I enjoy shopping at you can't find here in the valley. A few of the websites that I usually enjoy browsing are: Duchamplondon, Ebay (perfect place to find mens vintage Chanel, YSL, and many more goods), Etsy (home of anything unique and one of a kind), shopkitson.com, asos.com, Benneton (United Colors Of Benneton), Bloomingdales, shopstyle.com, Second time arround watch co. and Zara.
When I do shop in the valley I usually go to: The Clotherie, Lacoste, Barneys New York (great place for men's ties and bow ties not to mention shoes as well), Hugo Boss, Urban Outfitters (best place to find Levis 510s), Nordstroms (best place for mens furnishings, watches, and mens grooming and fragrance), H&M, Mont Blanc, Tourneau, Omega.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes...
I lived in Switzerland for a while during my childhood years and we always use to shop at United Colors Of Benneton, which was one of my favorite stores. The best part of UCOB is that their clothing is very mod, timeless, and offers unique colors one normally wouldn't see everyday, giving me an opportunity to always standout.
What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
Accessories and shoes. I always focus on the accessories and the shoes first when shopping for a new outfit. For example I always enjoy purchasing a nice tie or bow tie first and build an outfit around the style, color, pattern of the tie or bow tie, and the shoes.
I enjoy mixing colors and not matching so much. Usually I enjoy mixing light and dark colors together (i.e. if I have a light purple button up shirt on I'll mix it with a dark red bow tie or a green tie, and have darker jeans or navy dress pants) as for my shoes I never like to match with the outfit colors but flow with the colors so they would stand out, it's all about being able to mix colors well. At the end the day, for me, it all starts with my accessories and the shoes.
Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage:
Everything Chanel for both men and woman in vintage is very classy and timeless, but you also cannot forget about YSL & Christian Dior.
I think for men vintage pieces that would really standout are ties and bow ties. I especially enjoy vintage YSL and Chanel ties; I think there is nothing in the market right now that can compare to a vintage YSL or Chanel tie!
What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix?
My advice is to avoid obvious trends and stick to more of the timeless classy look added with a little touch of your own personality. For a few good ideas look back at some of the styles from past and current celebrities like Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn and Victoria and David Beckham.
In addition look into and try to incorporate some of the classy traditional English, clean cut modern French, and colorful edgy Italian seasonal fashion looks into some of your own style. Lastly I personally don't believe anything is right or anything is wrong, you should do something because you want to -- that is truly the essence of dressing well.