Highlight: Q&A with Eric Musgrave

We're a big fan of Eric's writing, so we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his work, blogging and style inspiration.

Eric Musgrave with a Holdall & Co 14" London Tan Folio

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and your blog?

I joined Drapers Record as a junior reporter on 28 January 1980 and I have been commentating on the fashion business pretty much ever since. These days I am a freelance writer, specialising in menswear, and I also work as a consultant to the fashion industry. My blog, The Musgrave Manifesto, is part of my output.

Q: What prompted you to start The Musgrave Manifesto?

I have had a website since 2006. The current one was built a couple of years ago by Jan Rust, whose business is now called Pixeldot. I wanted my website to be an exhaustive archive for my 30-plus years in the business, but it’s taking a long time to upload all those years of writing. I started a blog very half-heartedly back in 2011, thinking it was what I should be doing. I decided to do it more seriously in 2012, allowing people to register to receive it. I now try and post something most days a week. It is a forum for my personal work diary and a method to share some of my fashion-related experiences. Hopefully it informs and entertains.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment/best experience you had since starting your blog?

Any reaction is good and pleasing. I am pleasantly surprised how many people contact me through the blog or through the website in general.

Q: Having been surrounded by the high quality luxury items, what advice would you give someone looking to invest in a high quality piece of clothing/accessory?

To trot out a familiar cliché, you get what you pay for. Take your time in selecting your item. Research the market to see what else is available. Talk to the person who is selling it to you or making it for you. Find out the provenance of the item – where is it made and where are its components and raw materials made? Ask yourself, how will this look to me, or on me, in 10 years’ time. If you feel strongly that you will still enjoy it in 10 years’ time, it’s probably going to be a good buy.

Q: What is the most treasured item you own and why? How and where did you get it?

In the late 1990s I had a fire at my home and I lost virtually all my clothes, most of my books and a few other bits and pieces. When I got back to my house all I was thinking to myself was "Please let the photos of my three kids be OK." Thankfully, they were. That unfortunate episode proved to me that very few of my belongings actually mean that much to me. People, health and memories are important.

Q: Describe your personal style (do you have a style icon that you admire?)

I don’t have a particular style icon. I enjoy clothes. I have enjoyed them for years. If I have a style, it is that of a chameleon. I like variety. I change my look to suit my mood and the occasion. I like colour. I like interesting fabrics. I like neatness and cleanliness. I like being comfortable. I deliberately try and buy items that are Made in Britain these days as I believe in supporting our domestic industry.

Q: Where do you go for inspiration? (blogs/sites/magazines)

Inspiration is much easier to find these days with so much available on the internet. But I still prefer magazines to looking online! I work most of the time and I just absorb things as I go along.

Q: What can we expect from you in the near future? (a new book or project that we should be looking out for?)

My website displays most of my recent work (when I find the time to upload it). I am hoping to do a book about the cult of the scooter and a history of 20th century menswear this year, but they won’t be published until 2014.

A peek at what Eric keeps in his Holdall & Co Folio

A big thanks to Eric for taking time out to chat with us and to answer our questions. Head over to his blog The Musgrave Manifesto to read his latest work.