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Thursday, 1 December 2016

GarconJon meets Alper Sezer with TAG Heuer and The Watch Gallery

In collaboration with TAG Heuer and The Watch Gallery.

Alper Sezer is the sort of man who's embodies masculine charm. In front of the camera he looks like a Fellini character but in person it's more than just his aesthetic that makes him stand out. Studying in London he has a head for politics and a heart for design. He's not afraid to have an opinion and sticks to his convictions. Respectable on all fronts.

I first met the man at a press day in Mayfair where his knowledge and appreciation of design was clear. Pairing traditional tailoring with a sports watch may not be common practice but that's why Alper stands out: his eye for structure and appreciation of detail. It makes sense then that his watch of choice is created by TAG Heuer. The Swiss avant-garde watchmaker demonstrates a lasting appreciation for sports and style with the new collaborative take on the classic Formula 1 timepiece developed exclusively for The Watch Gallery.

With such impressive style, it was hard to resist photographing him in his neighbourhood in Chelsea, West London. Despite having one bag missing in customs from a recent trip abroad, Alper has enough clothing to wear his own throughout.

Priced at £1,250, the new Formula 1 watch is limited to just 200 models – exclusively from TAG Heuer and The Watch Gallery. See the full range on The Watch Gallery website here.

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Competitive, Perfectionist, Unpredictable, Passionate, Analytical

What’s your star sign?

I’m a Virgo and my character traits reflect this. I’m very organised, I pay attention to the smallest details, I’m hardworking, practical and analytical.

Talking to you I get a real impression you have a strong sense of identity. Who is Alper Sezer?

I'm a Turkish man who is proud of his roots and his home country. I life to the full. I speak my mind. I'm always true to myself. Everything I do, is done with enthusiasm.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Istanbul in Turkey and have lived there all my life. Currently, I’m living between Istanbul and London.

What do you love about Istanbul?

Geographically, Istanbul is at the centre of the world, therefore it is a very multicultural and dynamic city. It is an inspiring place to live and work, as most people are always striving to better themselves. It’s such a beautiful city with historic architecture contrasted with modern buildings and the Bosphorus is enchanting day and night. I grew up eating Turkish cuisine and so it remains my favourite food of any cuisine in the world.

Where did your interest in clothes come from?

When I was younger I always admired one of my uncle’s dress sense, as he always paid attention and wore unique garments which made him stand out. When I was a teenager, I started to seek out quality clothes and was inspired by men like Sean Connery as James Bond, and old Hollywood actors like Cary Grant and Fred Astaire.

Is there a tradition of men dressing well in Turkey?

No, however, there are some men who stand out as they dress extremely well. Blogs, social media and magazines have definitely influenced fashion in the past few years.

Do you have a favourite item of clothing?

I think a jacket is the most important garment to ‘make’ an outfit. I particularly like wearing double breasted jackets because they can be dressed up or down, but always look sophisticated. Dark navy is my preference, as it is masculine and versatile.

Have you always dressed this way?

I have always liked elegant and classic clothes. When I was younger I used to wear more casual clothes, now I dress much more formally and tend to base most of my looks around tailoring.

TAG Heuer has an incredible history of watch making, what do you like most about the brand?

TAG Heuer dates back to 1860 and has always pushed boundaries. TAG Heuer watches have always been worn by pioneers and I like the brand’s forward-thinking approach to watchmaking and design. Its watches are made to be worn in challenging situations and as someone who likes precision, I know I can rely on TAG Heuer when every second counts.

Why do you think a watch is so important in a man's outfit?

A watch is a barometer of taste and an accessory that is always noticed. It says a lot about a man’s style and can really complement an outfit. I think details are important, so choosing a watch that is well-crafted is paramount.

This TAG Heuer watch is a fusion of sport and style, does sport play a part in your life?

Sport has always played a role in my life. The first sport I was really passionate about was swimming, as it taught me about discipline and commitment, and it gave me a sense of achievement. I’m keen on skiing, as I like the feeling of adrenaline, freedom and negotiating the testing environment. My most recent sporting passion is tennis. I love the precision, accuracy, control and power that is demonstrated on a tennis court, and you must always be one step ahead of your opponent, so strategic thinking is really important. When I’m playing tennis, I’m so focused that I loose myself in the game and don’t feel a part of the world around me.

How do you see style and sport coming together?

Style and sport have complemented each other for centuries. Sport clothes often inspire everyday looks, as they are practical and comfortable, but can also be very aspirational. Sportswear adds an element of performance to everyday wear and while I usually dress quite formally wearing suits and tailoring, I sometimes like to wear a sporty watch to make an outfit slightly more relaxed.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I will be running my own business in menswear. I plan to create an eponymous brand with stores in major fashion cities around the world such as Istanbul, London, Milan, Paris and New York. In the future, it’s my dream to open a bespoke tailoring academy in Istanbul to give teenagers the opportunity to learn the craft of tailoring at the highest standard. There are fewer chances for young people to train as tailors in Istanbul than in London or Milan, so I would like to support talented and motivated students.

What makes you good at what you do?

I am very passionate, I give my all and I am not satisfied until I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve. I'm always aiming higher.

What will be your legacy?

Making the rules, not following the rules, and always being myself.

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – everything happens for a reason, so embrace life and learn from it.

Leave us with words of wisdom?

Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Life is not a matter of holding good cards but of playing a poor hand well."

Shop the exclusive timepiece here.