Going Hollywood at Joseph Abboud

How a Madrid-born, London-trained fashion designer is bringing new life to classic American menswear.

BY Matthew Breen

July 13 2012 4:00 AM ET

Backstage at the Joseph Abboud Fall 2012 fashion show.

Rojo went to design school in Madrid, and about the time he came out, he began to toy with dressing in punk styles, wearing his hair in a Mohawk, and emulating Morrissey and Robert Smith of the Cure.

“As you get older, you start to develop your own style, but experimenting with different looks was so much fun,” he says. In Madrid the obscure nightclubs he preferred were in the neighborhoods frequented by “the prostitutes, the gays, and the drug dealers,” he says with a laugh. The best were the clubs with the most interesting and eclectic crowds. “If everyone looked alike, I wouldn’t go.”

After design school he lived in London for nine years, and for six of those he worked for Dunhill, where he designed tailored clothing and refined his skills.

“As a master tailor you need to breathe Savile Row,” he says. “You need to work with the masters there. You need to know the rules to be able to break them.”

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