A slim black suit.
I guess it started with that.
In the best fabric, Italian.
Shaping a man to look confident, striking.
It was a new silhouette. Then.
Gary embraces that. He is a new thinker, somewhat visionary.
He also likes to take a risk, even a big risk.
Having been in fashion for a while, seeing the best the world and Australia offered, selling it to the best Australian clientele, he envisaged a new style for Australian men with taste.
He started thinking about something that wasn’t available.
That beautiful slim suit.
One that he couldn’t get, as no-one made them. Not yet.
One that he wanted to wear.
It should be simple, modern, timeless, comfortable. Of impeccable quality.
Mantras he lives by to this day.
He got to work. He worked with a classic Italian tailor, making sample after sample. Modern thinking with classic craftsmanship, he felt it would be the only way to achieve it. This was a signature thinking of Gary, in a time no one else considered that nuance.
Finally he and his team arrived at the suit. It fitted perfectly, to a range of men. It gave them shape, it’s slim silhouette flattered them.
"I wanted product that stood the test of time."
Thus he started his company, CALIBRE.
Hanging with Gary is always a blast. He’s funny. He loves people, of all types.
“I had the gift where I could talk to people, I loved conversing with people, anyone. I’d always try to understand where they were coming from. I love learning from them, understanding what makes them tick, what makes them laugh.”
It’s a knack of his, that immediate “getting them", and then talking to them at their level. He’s genuinely concerned, often boyish and cheeky, with a little roguishness about him too, but as a gentleman rogue. Qualities that keep him young, and people wanting to engage with him. That concern and the relationships forged with the people he met have held him in good stead throughout his diverse endeavours. He’s incredibly loyal, a quality that is rare in the industry he is engulfed in, it stands him apart.
Always interested in design, he isn’t satisfied until the result is meticulously executed. His mind works like that, lines, form and function are critical. He loves to learn about process, has done since buying a wreck of a car at 13, when he handed over $15 for a 1966 Ford that had been dormant and neglected on his neighbour's lawn. Tinkering, learning and finally rebuilding the engine itself again until it sputtered back to life. Constantly intrigued with understanding what is involved, and fastidious with design. He has an inherently high taste level, whether in fashion (with CALIBRE), building a new architectural house, designing and setting up new stores or restoring a collectable car to its original splendour.
He’s always kept his interest in cars. He’s owned all types, from classics to supercars, to eclectic rare ones he’s had painstakingly restored over years of work. His eye and interest in them has always been of the highest standard.
Currently, Gary is simplifying. His wardrobe is austere. 20 black suits, black T-shirts, fitted black shirts, black boots. Black because it makes him feel good, he knows it looks sharp. It’s also a simple colour, less decisions. Simplifying goes to his lifestyle now too, he’s consciously living a little “less is more” than he has before.
When he walks into a room he exudes a certain presence, almost like a rock and roll legend, yet talking with him you realise he’s a statesman of fashion. He’s done it before (before anyone else too, probably), seen it and is always thinking of what’s next…
Probably wondering if it (whatever it is) looks best in black.
Many thanks to our friends at Bar Carolina in South Yarra for their hospitality.