WATCH THIS SPACE. WHILE BRI­ONI MAY HAVE MOVED ON, THIS IS AN AUS­TRALIAN WHO’S NEVER FAR FROM THE AC­TION – A STYLE ICON WHO EA­GERLY ACCESSORISES WITH SOME MUCH-NEEDED SWAG­GER.

GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. -

WORDS RICHARD CLUNE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY RASMUS WENG KARLSEN STYLING BRAD HOMES

“I SAID, ‘I HAVE TO BE MORE PRO­FES­SIONAL, STOP GO­ING TO FASHION PAR­TIES AND START WEAR­ING THREEPIECE SUITS.’”

From Nhu­lun­buy to In­sta­gram, buy­ing to Bri­oni, and now, to here. Justin O’shea doesn’t know quite what here is, not yet, though it’s a junc­tion, a cross­roads – one where the sign­posts are sev­eral. The lux­ury Ital­ian out­fit­ter and the hum­ble kid from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory – Nhu­lun­buy a wa­tery spec to the northeast of the vast state – parted com­pany last month. It rang out as a shock – one equal to his em­ploy­ment as Bri­oni’s cre­ative di­rec­tor just six months ear­lier. Re­gard­less, more peo­ple now know the name Justin O’shea than be­fore; the Ro­man tai­lor re­ceiv­ing more press than the pre­vi­ous decade. The 38-year-old’s changes may have clunked against the es­tab­lished rules of lux­ury, but he made things more ac­ces­si­ble and did as he knows. It meant suit­ing and a throw­back mas­cu­line swag­ger. And the future will be equally bold and built on what he be­lieves – an ex­ten­sion of his brutish style that keeps pace with ev­ery suited step; of his want for men to no longer fear being men. It’s why he used Metallica for his de­but Bri­oni cam­paign (“be­cause they’re fuck­ing cool”), why he outs Drac­ula as a style icon, the orang­utan as his spirit an­i­mal. He’s fond of Bri­tish ro­man­ti­cist land­scape artist Turner and Play­boy (and GQ, thanks very much). When he works out – it’s box­ing. He doesn’t un­der­stand Snapchat (good man) but he knows style – the rugged and the brood­ing, the beauty of de­tailed, lay­ered tai­lor­ing. In a dingy Syd­ney back­room bar, O’shea locks his gaze, sips on a Beefeater and opens up about his sar­to­rial story – about find­ing suit­ing and what it means to him. As a man. “I was about 26 and met this guy in Lon­don, Mr Steve Edge. He had a cre­ative of­fice above the show­room I was work­ing for in Shored­itch – and he was im­pec­ca­bly dressed, ev­ery day, and he was just a fuck­ing dude. “Steve was such a leg­end and I was like, ‘I have to be as slick as you.’ And then one day he took me to this event at St Paul’s Cathe­dral – and he was like, ‘You have to get a suit, oth­er­wise you can’t come’. So I bought this vin­tage £15 suit with a blue-sil­ver pin­stripe. I had a white shirt with a white tie and I was like, ‘Fuck this feels awe­some.’ And then I was sit­ting with all these peo­ple from the royal fam­ily and everyone was being re­ally nice to me, you know, think­ing I was ac­tu­ally sup­posed to be there. And I was think­ing, ‘That’s cool.’ Then I went home and put on my Dr Martens and my black Tsubi jeans and just fucked around like a trashed crack­head – that’s re­ally how it made me feel. And so that was it – from that point, I said to my­self, ‘I’m only wear­ing suits.’” Things didn’t im­me­di­ately take. “Yeah, it lasted a month be­cause I had no cash. But I knew I felt com­fort­able in a suit, and so, when I got to Mu­nich [to work for etailer My Theresa] and started mak­ing money, and had this op­por­tu­nity for a new life, I said, ‘I have to be more pro­fes­sional, stop go­ing to fashion par­ties and start wear­ing three-piece suits.’ So I did. Be­cause suits are fuck­ing cool. And I was com­fort­able. It was au­then­tic. That’s style right there – it has to be au­then­tic, it has to be true.”

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