Inside the Thread

Michael Kalonji


We first spotted Michael outside a show at London Fashion Week, as there was a small crowd of photographers around him all rushing to get a photo of him. Michael is a stylist and part-time model who came over from Paris to take up a job offer from Savile Row tailor, Ozwald Boateng, and has dressed the likes of footballers Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) and Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) despite being the youngest member of the team. The Comb team caught up with him to find out more about life as a stylist on Savile Row.


What’s your ideal Friday night out?

A nice meal; currently I really like Momo on Regent Street.

Who is your style inspiration?

David Gandy.

Describe your style in three words:

Smart, suave and elegant.

If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would happily eat, sleep and live in a suit all day everyday if I had to!

For someone starting out in the styling and/or modelling industry, what’s the best advice you can give?

We live in a copycat world, where a lot of what we do is inspired by or based on the number of likes we think it’ll get on Instagram, so we all end up trying to imitate each other. Because of that, I would say that just try and stand out by being yourself and going with what you like and what you love.

Given how nice your outfits are, how long does it take you to choose your outfit each morning?

It only takes me 10 minutes to decide what I want to wear; it’s not as difficult or complicated as people make it out to be!

If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?

Bob Marley for sure – obviously he’s legendary, but also because he was so free and just did what he loved.

If you could be successful in another profession, what would it be?

Definitely a footballer; I love Arsenal, by the way!

If you could go back to any stage in your life, what would it be?

Probably around age 12 – I was so relaxed and expressive creatively, I wasn’t afraid to be myself and I didn’t worry about what others thought.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s cliche, but so true: be yourself.

If you could get a plane ticket to go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Congo – it’s where I’m originally from and where my parents are from, but I’ve never been, unfortunately.

Summer or Winter?

In between!

What colour describes you best?

According to everyone else, red suits me best because of my complexion, so I’ll go with that!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Smoking cigarettes. A lot of the time I smoke because of pressure (work, life etc) and as a lot of smokers say, it is a bit of a stress reliever.

Are you superstitious at all?

Not really. I don’t want to have any superstitions and worry about a million things. I don’t want to get too old before (look old) before I actually am old!

You’re on a budget and you need new clothes, so where do you go?

I shop in a lot of charity shops and vintage shops/markets. It’s really interesting because of the different types of tailoring from different time periods, and you see a lot of experimentation as well.

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