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HOT chief named best dressed

HOT chief named best dressed

New Zealand’s best dressed businessman is Auckland’s Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney.

Mr Swney was selected from industry and media leaders nominated by readers of the National Business Review weekly in the Working Style Best Dressed Businessman award.

He wins a Working Style tailored suit worth $1,290 to add to his notable wardrobe that includes garments from Prada, Paul Smith, Commes des Garcons, Hugh Wright and, of course, the sponsor’s fine product.

According to Working Style director Chris Dobbs, Mr Swney is a good example of an Antipodean dresser who gets it right.

“I first met Alex when he bought a tie from me some 15 years ago,” Mr Dobbs says. “And I guess having a wife in the shoe business helps him to keep in touch with what is happening in fashion.

“It also means he is traipsed in and out of stores wherever they go so not only does he have the knowledge but also he has the opportunity to stay in style.”

Mr Dobbs says Mr Swney loves Working Style suits and ties.

“He always looks sharp and relaxed. He’s a modern dresser and he’s as likely to be seen in a tailored black suit as he is in a Paul Smith casual ensemble.”

Mr Swney was selected by an NBR “style panel” that included Mr Dobbs and Susan Axford, a leading corporate image maker.

Told of his win, Mr Swney initially joked it could not be him. “I’m still dressed by my mother or Ange (his wife).”

On consideration he says he doesn’t think too much about what he buys. “I just know what I like.”

Suits are a favourite – he has five black ones including Versace, Armani and Working Style – and he mixes them with different shirts and ties.

“I hate trendy looks,” he says. “That’s about being ‘now’ rather than being yourself.”

Mr Dobbs agrees. “The English look is still the defining style especially in tailored clothing.”

So what does the well dressed businessman wear today?

Mr Dobbs says three button suits are the benchmark, with vents at the rear of course and maybe even kissing buttons on the cuff. “One should not be without three of them.”

The new cut coming through is the single breasted two button suit and bright coloured chalk stripe suits are very cool at present with linings to match the colour in the chalk stripe, he says.

Other nominees for the best dressed award included broadcaster Mike Hosking, stockbroker Adam Parore, Simon Moore crown prosecutor, adman Peter Scutts, Kirkcaldie & Stains boss and designer Richard Holden and corporate veteran Roderick Deane.

Perhaps appropriately, Heart of the City – Auckland city’s retail business organisation – is often abbreviated to HOT.

About Working Style Working Style is a New Zealand manufacturer and retailer of classic garments for men and women. While most of its clothes are made in New Zealand, it is the label’s extensive range of imported cloth that sets it apart. Originally founded as a shirt-maker, Working Style also provides a comprehensive made-to-measure shirts and suit service.

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