Photographed by Brian Kaminski
As the retail sales manager of Klein Epstein & Parker, a made-to-measure tailor shop in West Hollywood, Aaron Cordell knows his way around a signature style. “I love love love color and pattern,” says Cordell, who can often be found in eye-popping head-to-toe floral three-piece suits. “That is a direct reflection of my personality. I think, when I am drawn to someone else’s style, it is their confidence in what they are wearing that I’m drawn to.”
We sat down with the West Hollywood dandy to talk about how he found his look, and the transformative power of fashion.
How he’s seen fashion change in the past few years:
Just the evolution of a “suit” has changed so much in the last 10 years. People now are able to wear more different things to work that are more expressive and “fashionable” instead of feeling like a uniform.
How he’s seen his own style change over time:
I look at the first couple suits I made—the style, the cut, the fabric—and see how much I have grown and developed and changed. It’s like a museum collection for myself. My suits are like my armor.
How he came to see fashion as transformation:
I could have graduated early, but I decided to take a whole bunch of art classes instead. I had been working on a silk-screening project that I was using to print on fabric. We had a snow day one week and I remember being so bummed that I couldn’t go to school. I thought that it’s probably not normal for a teenager to want to go to school, but I should realize that if I was that passionate about something, I should value it more. My parents always said, “Make sure you love what you do for work because you spend the majority of your life there.” At that moment, I decided to not pursue a career in psychology and applied to fashion design school. I feel very fortunate that I was able to discover one of my life’s passions at such a young age and make a career out of it.
A word of advice to budding fashionistas:
The comment I hear over and over is, “I wish I could pull that off.” I always reply with, “Why can’t you?”