Jeremy Strong on Artisanal Fashion, Succession Style, and Returning to Broadway

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In the past few years, Jeremy Strong has become an unlikely style icon. This is thanks largely in part to his role as billionaire scion Kendall Roy in Succession, where he exemplified the surging “quiet luxury” trend in his penchant for expensive but unflashy cashmere ball caps and overcoats. When he’s not in character, Strong, who says he has always loved clothes, is a deeply intuitive dresser. He is drawn to fashion that is made by small-batch artisans, in a narrow aesthetic band. Famously, much of his wardrobe is brown.

Of his tendency to dress entirely in rich shades of cocoa, as Strong told Gabriella Paiella in his GQ cover story: “It’s monastic. Monastic chic.”

On Saturday evening in Milan, Strong arrived at the Cloisters of San Simpliciano. He was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by GQ and Loro Piana in the arcade of the 16th-century church, and he had picked up an outfit at the Italian ultra-luxury brand’s store earlier that day: a white shirt, brown trousers, a tan bucket hat plucked from the women’s section, and a blazer in a striking shade of green. Strong, clearly, was exploring slightly new sartorial territory.

Loro Piana sits at the center of the venn diagram between Kendall Roy and Strong’s wardrobes. For Kendall, as Strong explained in the garden of the cloisters, the brand represented everything about the “stealth wealth” trend that emerged in tandem with the show’s cultural dominance. For Strong himself, the brand’s devotion to perfection serves as a metaphor for his own relentless quest. And it speaks to his broader fascinations in fashion, which focus on fellow obsessives dedicated to their craft.

As swallows performed their evening murmurations above us, Strong explained further.

GQ: So, I have to ask: Did they run out of brown at the Loro Piana store? This is a new shade for you.

Jeremy Strong: [Laughs.] I’m branching out, maybe. I’m very instinctive about everything, I guess. So I went in today and just picked out what I was drawn to. Obviously I have an awareness of the brand that pre-exists Succession, but that really deepened my understanding of, and my appreciation for it. And for me it really made a close-knit relationship to the brand. It was an important part of signaling something about the character, but in tandem with that, it’s a house that has a multi-generational obsession with the quest for excellence and uncompromising quality. There’s something about the story of their process, the alchemy of taking these raw fibers from the vicuña, and from merino sheep, and transforming them, transmuting them, into masterpieces that I’m really into.

Kendall is a separate thing. For Kendall, Loro Piana represented a supreme, rarefied level of luxury and comfort and the sort of if-you-know-you-know thing, and that’s part of the story we were telling with the character. For me, I just love that quality of obsessiveness and relentlessness and the unending search for an elusive perfection. Which for me is elusive. But for them is actually quite achieved.

How did your taste for artisanal fashion develop originally? I know your interest in clothes well predates Succession. How did you find yourself buying your first—

Paul Harnden, Jeffrey B. Small. Hans Nicholas Mott is a clothing maker that I really love and have gotten to know. I’ve always appreciated the scale of the individual dedicated to the thing that they’re doing. When did it start? I’ve just always loved clothes. I’ve always felt in a very primal way that, probably all of us here, that it’s such an immediate and palpable way of expressing something about ourselves. I care about aesthetic and I care about how something is expressed, and it’s a pretty narrow aperture for me. As you said, it is usually a certain palette. It takes a certain form and character, and I guess I’ve just been drawn to clothing that has character. To me, Loro Piana is the pinnacle of clothing that has a certain definition and character. There’s something ineffable about it.

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Jeremy Strong on Artisanal Fashion, Succession Style, and Returning to Broadway

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