Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
Widely considered one of the most celebrated stylists in Paris, David Mallett has always been “quietly obsessed with hair.” Originally from Australia, he spent many years working throughout Europe before he eventually landed in France after receiving a last-minute call to style Lenny Kravitz there for a magazine shoot. The rest, shall we say, was history.
Now, his client list reads like a play-by-play of the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, and his resume includes some of the industry’s most notable photo shoots, fashion campaigns, and movies.
His eponymous hair salon in the heart of Paris opened in 2003 and serves as an extension of his personal philosophy: luxurious yet incredibly relaxed at the same time. It is a little mix of all the things he’s encountered in his travels and is filled with antiques and retro furnishings along with eclectic taxidermy.
Mallett knows the power of a good haircut in developing the foundation of style and confidence. Likewise, he applies the same attention to his dress code, which is just as solid as his sheer magic and as worldly as his background. Here’s what he had to say about his style perspective.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
David Mallett: I’m a Perth boy from Australia. The thing that led me to my current position was that I wanted to work within the realm of beauty and image. Already having worked in Australia, the UK and Italy, I arrived in Paris at the age of 27. It was kind of an accident. I had a good dose of naivety and no idea how complicated it could be.
CS: What do you love most about your job?
DM: Making people happy and feel beautiful. And I love being so close to the creative heart of the fashion industry.
CS: Workday essentials?
DM: Positive attitude and creation.
CS: How do you define your personal style?
DM: Much like the design of my salon, my personal style is eclectic, mixed-up, and from all-over-the-place.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
DM: They should definitely care. It is absolutely intrinsic and reflects everything about you.
CS: Do you believe that success and good style go hand-in-hand?
DM: I know some people with incredible style who are most interesting but who perhaps only reflect personal internal happiness and not the traditional definition of success. But, then again, happiness a success, of course.
CS: Where do you like to spend your off-duty hours?
DM: When not at work, I love to spend time with my son Maximilien, my family, and my two puppy bull terriers. And I love traveling and going to the sports club.
CS: Best career advice you’ve received?
DM: If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that one of the most valuable marketing tools in my world is word of mouth. After all, happy clients talk.
CS: Best style advice you’ve received?
DM: Keep it simple.