Interview with Michel Porteneuve of DandyStore conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Paris during March 2010
What is Dandystore?
DandyStore is the new place to go if you want to complement your wardrobe with elegant knee high socks, knitted ties, silk six folds or grenadine ties, scarves and cufflinks. DandyStore was created in 2009 by two friends (Jean-Christophe Hanier & Michel Porteneuve) with a strong passion on hand-made high-end and original accessories for men.
What made you open Dandystore?
We opened DandyStore in 2009 to solve a simple question: where can we find elegant and original knee high socks? I don’t know what the situation is in Sweden or in the U.S., but in Paris France, this is a sad black or grey world for dressed hosiery. We were tired by other brands “patented” styles. We wanted something new. Something fancy. Plus we wanted to propose for a fair price what would gracefully complement any man's clothing wardrobe.
We offer houndstooth, lined, jacquard, pin dot, and plain yet colorful knee high socks made in the best silk, wool or Egyptian cotton fabrics. During last year’s fall/winter season, we enriched our catalog with knitted ties and double sided scarves. This year we added more knitted ties and even six fold ties hand made in Italy.
We have other niceties coming in our following collections. We are sure you will be delighted. All our products are either entirely hand made (ties, scarves) or hand finished (socks) in Italy.
Your site is currently in French, do you have any plans to put up an English version as well?
The site is being updated to convey our new international audience. We are working strongly to improve this issue. If you have any question regarding our products, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to answer your questions on our products.
Do you have a style period that most influence you?
We don’t really have a favorite style period. We think there is something good in each of them (even during the ’80s ;). But if you want us to choose one in particular, we would have to say the ’30s during the U.S. prohibition. We really like the Al Capone et al. styles with the extensive use of strong and bold patterns and fabrics.
How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with a touch of colorful modernity with a strong emphasis on of course our socks and accessories.
Dandy has been misinterpreted by a number of younger men who think of themselves as Dandy yet are really nothing but clowns. What does Dandy truly mean to you?
For us, a Dandy is someone committed in reaching a certain harmony with its surrounding elements. It can be work, culture, food, clothing.
With DandyStore, we target the accessories of men's clothing. We know our manufacturers and trust their savoir-faire. On this domain, the Dandy knows what color suits him best and his cloths. He knows his morphology’s pros and cons and how to transcend them. He learns and experiments by teaching from others from the past, past icons such as Gary Cooper and his surroundings. He finally knows his tailors, and shop keepers. He can trust their knowledge of cut, fabrics and their keen and professional eyes (you know the ones).
What do you think of men that cannot make the distinction between a true male Dandy and being just overly feminine?
They will hopefully soon make the distinction.