Inside Richard Schlagman’s Closet: No Skeletons, Just Japanese Designers

schlagman.jpgOne of our favorite things about Saturdays is the Financial Times‘ weekend edition, and a recent issue didn’t disappoint, providing a rare glimpse into the mind and closet of Richard Schlagman, owner of Phaidon, publisher of glorious tomes on everything from Alexey Brodovitch to zoo animals.

Schlagman’s 1990 purchase of Phaidon was apparently a personal sartorial watershed. “When I sold my first company and bought Phaidon, I changed the way I dressed,” he told the FT. “I used to wear ties for example, but I haven’t worn one since. I can’t stay at the Ritz in London because of that.”

These days, Schlagman’s wardrobe is impressively edited to a mix of 90% Issey Miyake and 10% Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons. “I like Japanese things–the aesthetic there appeals to me, whether it’s food, flower arranging, clothes,” he says. “There’s a certain degree of innovation there that isn’t necessarily screaming.” It’s no surprise then that among Phaidon’s newest releases is Japan Style, Gian Carlo Calza‘s far-reaching visual essay on Japanese culture, “from Ukiyo-e to Tadao Ando.”

Also revealed in this FT tete-a-tete? That it was Schlagman’s tielessness that once got the renowned art historian Ernst Gombrich kicked out of the Savoy. Oh, to have been a (tie-wearing) fly on the wall that day…