Jenz van Slau is the artistic mind behind custom menswear label Jens Fanslau, where he makes the finest, made-to-measure one-of-a-kind creations for his clients.
Berlin’s best-kept secret, the self-taught designer is a traditionalist whose aesthetic is rooted in styles from the early 20th century. (www.jensfanslau.com)
What kind of man do you design for?
I do not work for “every” man – there has to be a kind of understanding between myself and the customer, and I would never produce a suit that didn’t fit a customer’s individual style.
Many customers come to my atelier because they heard about me or they saw one of my suits on someone, but they cant get this particular suit; they have to go through their own bespoke process.
Which was your favourite decade in history for men’s fashion?
1920s and 1930s, working class.
What three items should every man have in his wardrobe?
At least one bespoke suit, a pair of really good leather shoes and a white t-shirt.
Do you have a signature item you always wear?
A white button-down shirt with suspenders and a white fine-rib vest.
Who is your style icon?
My great-grandfather – he died at the age of 93 and had owned a tailored suit for more than 25 years. He always looked much better dressed than all the younger people.
What style do you admire on other people?
I like elegance, which is not always a matter of a certain style. You can’t buy elegance. Style for me is a selected, strong choice that comes from knowing exactly who you are: the question is not what you wear; it is how you wear it.
What, if anything, defines the Berlin style?
There is no Berlin style. There was, but that was another time. Today our styles are dictated by global industries.