Jesus Miranda Martinez | Gentlemen Style Series

Text by Kadri Karolin Kõuts | Features Editor
Photos by Sybil Kot | Editor-in-Chief

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H&M jeans and jacket, Club Monaco shirt, Mango He scarf, Rolex watch.

When I ask Jesus Miranda Martinez to tell a little about himself, our very first sartorial victim bursts out laughing: “I’m usually the one doing questions,” says the 39-year-old about his career in human resources at a major international retailer. While recruiting people for one of the trendiest high-street clothing brands on the market, Jesus has taken a more introverted role in his personal life and likes to keeps things simple. He doesn’t run a blog, rarely filters his photographs and disagrees to linger with hashtags. Not to mention he has never appeared in a fashion feature before. But for a guy like Jesus, who pairs up dandyish tailored jackets with patterned silk trousers and leather loafers, it was only a matter of time when the well-dressed gentleman welcomed The Style Voyager into his newly furbished apartment in Sheung Wan to capture the treasures of his wardrobe. With an array of galleries and specialty coffee shops, this particular Hong Kong neighborhood fits our host almost as well as the flamboyant pocket squares he wears on a daily basis.

Having born in The Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, Jesus effortlessly transcends his Mediterranean roots into a closet that is dominated by many shades of blue and white, classic silhouettes and timeless pieces hand-down from past generations. Both of his most cherished vintage items, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and a suede jacket, once belonged to his father.

Before moving to Hong Kong for work, Jesus has lived in five continents from the US to Australia, including South Africa and Mainland China. With such a nomadic lifestyle set in the agenda, the Spaniard has mastered the art of combining contemporary menswear with a sweet sense of nostalgia.

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Valentino sneakers, Zara pants and scarf, BLK DNM shirt and Scotch & Soda jacket.

What is the essence fashion for you?

I enjoy fashion. It is one way to represent what you’re about, what’s your personality. Whether you go out in the streets, is it a Sunday morning or a work meeting, it’s what you’re comfortable wearing with. Its about to be properly dressed for each occasion without loosing your personality and becoming one more. It tells about you, same as your manners or your voice tone.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Las Palmas is not the most stylish city in the world. It’s flip-flops and shorts… I don’t think it has been a big influence. Even in Spain, I sometimes get attention because of the way I dress. But I’m not trying to. I don’t like flashy things. From time to time, I check Jak & Jil and The Sartorialist.

If I have somebody who taught me the basic rules – it’s my mother. Being a housewife, she wasn’t really into fashion, but she always paid attention to how my sister and I dressed when we were kids. She used to tell me whatever you do, wear good shoes. When my mother passed away, a business acquaintance then told me she was the most elegant woman in Las Palmas.

What completes an outfit for you?

I don’t think I go for a single item. I do wear tote bags all the time. Everybody who sees me says: “Oh, the guy with a big bag”. But I feel that an outfit is not complete without proper shoes. They don’t have to be expensive ones. I love retro running Nikes! I also prefer low rise round neck tees and shirts without pockets (why do you need a pocket?).

 

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Trickers shoes, Tate pants, Massimo Dutti shirt, ITER jacket.

Are there any items you would never consider wearing?

Short-sleeved shirts, boot cut pants and thick sole sandals. Never.

Describe your style in a sentence.

I don’t think I have a consistent style. I can change from day to day. It mostly depends if I want to dress up a little bit more or less. I also like to play around things a bit. Yesterday I was wearing trousers that combined shorts and leggings.

Tell us about your beauty routine.

I usually trim my beard once a week. I never shave. For the hair I just blow dry and use a little bit of gel. I’m more into fresh colognes rather than deep ones. I use a special edition of D&G’s Light Blue and La Nuit de L’Homme by YSL for the night.

How do you spend your leisure time?

 I love reading. And movies, but it’s not easy to go to the movies in Hong Kong if you prefer something off the mainstream. I play tennis, but I don’t gym. As a kid, I did some sailing, which I would like to pick up again.

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Rivieras shoes, Zara pants, Design Workers London shirt, COS scarf, ITER bag.

What makes a woman look good?

I think it’s about knowing how to dress up as well as being more casual. Even if a woman puts a lot of effort into her outfit, it doesn’t have to look like it. Body posture is important too. Wear high heels only if you know how to walk in them. I don’t really like clothes that are too tight. In the end, it has to be balanced. If you wear a skinny pant with a fitted t-shirt… I mean sexy doesn’t have to be tight.

Is there a difference between being stylish and being trendy?

Absolutely! Being on trend is easy nowadays. You can look at magazines and buy all the bestsellers from the retailers. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re properly dressed. Style is everything. It’s more about being attractive rather than pretty. Maybe it’s because I like feminine over girly types.

 What do you think about the fashion scene in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is such a mix. I respect people who are really personal with their style. Maybe I’d never wear that outfit myself, but I respect that more than just putting all the fancy labels on top of each other. You can see that there is nothing personal about it.

 

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Do you hunt for brands?

I never shop because of the brand. I look for the item and pick from everywhere. I’m quite reluctant to spend too much money on a single piece. I can spend a bit more on shoes, but if it’s a t-shirt, I think it’s not worth it. One year, two years later you have to swap it anyway.

What are your plans for the future?

I like Hong Kong. Especially the Star Street and Sau Wa Fong area. But I don’t think it’s a city to be in for a long long time. I don’t see myself retiring here… Spain – it’s life in the streets. In Hong Kong, people are in the streets because they don’t have anywhere else to be. I do miss the European way of life; I like late dinners with no rush where you can drink wine (Ribera del Duero) without getting drunk.

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Dizzy Dizzy

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Photographs by the best mom in the universe (as requested by her)

Cos top and skirt, Zara sandals and clutch, H&M cuff.

I visited the Cos store on Queen’s Road many times since it was opened in Hong Kong, but my first purchase from them only took place at their current summer sale. Just because they don’t do any fancy sequined cocktail dress, I categorized them as “pricey-minimalistic-casual-wear”  and haven’t been motivated enough to buy anything. But I realized the thing about Cos designs is that every item has a understated chic element in it which makes them well-worth the price over time. I hope you are not getting dizzy from looking at my multi-faceted clutch and my printed skirt (Coz my mom totally did.) Speak soon!

The Dream Outfit

Mint01Mint06Mint05Mint02Mint03Photographs by the best mom on earth.

Zara top and skirt, Topshop necklace, & Other Stories sandals, Hong Kong boutique jacket and clutch, Edge of Ember cuff.

I titled this The Dream Outfit because I literally dreamt about this outfit before actually finding all the items in the market. It’s a combination of everything I love – mint and gold, flowy chiffon, sportswear elements, wooden sandals, more mint and more gold… Perfection. What’s your dream outfit for summer?

Someone else’s story

PN01 PN02PN03PN04Photographs by dear mom : )

REISS Alla Dress, H&M faux leather mesh top and shades, Hong Kong boutique spring jacket, & other Stories heels.

Sometimes it is amazing how different ways of styling can tell completely different stories about a piece. The classic and feminine Alla dress is a perfect outfit on its own, but I find it more fun and urban to layer an edgy mesh top over it. It is one of those outfits that are difficult to deconstruct at the first glance, but who doesn’t love an unexpected combination!?

Tempted by H&M’s new line & other Stories, which is currently available in selected European countries only, I asked my cousin in Amsterdam to “smuggle” a few pieces into Hong Kong. (You know it’s time to call up that one friend you have in the UK and ask for a favor!) I’m very happy with my first purchase, especially these heeled sandals. Will try to post the rest of my purchases in upcoming posts. Speak soon!

Feminine x Military

Photographs by dear mom : )

(Zara top, shoes and bag, Asos skirt, H&M necklace and bracelet.)

You guys know how much I love my fishtail skirt. It’s the ultimate feminine item that most people my age wouldn’t bother to try (unless it’s a wedding gown of course!) But I’m always keen on putting together that everyday-appropriate feminine look. To balance out the femininity, I chose to go with a shirt with military print. The silver accessories add modern chic factor to the look. The boxy shoulder bag is my newest purchase this season. It definitely helps to balance the curves of the fishtail skirt. And the faux fur should pad is just cute. Thinking to do a Part 2 of this feminine x military look. Stay tuned!

Soft pastels.

Photographs by mom : )

(H&M top, skirt and boots, necklace gifted by a friend.)

Another simple fall outfit. Inspired by the dreaminess of Lana Del Rey x H&M collection. The grey embroidered top is of nice quality, but I kinda wish it’s more cropped and fits better with my high-waisted pencil skirts. The skirt is from H&M spring collection and boots are even older, both easily replaceable items. The gold necklace brings out the warmth in this outfit, making the look more fall-approprite. Hope you like it! Talk soon.

Fish scale skirt and transformer sleeves.

Photographs by dear mom : )

(H&M top and skirt, Topshop coat and heels.)

This is an attempt to incorporate a scale skirt from last season into my early spring outfit. It was one of my favorite purchases from last winter, so over-the-top and pretty. To avoid looking too obviously last season, I had it paired with a sporty jersey shirt with sleek silver collar and my furry “transformer” Topshop coat from last year. The two-toned high court heels are gorgeous but staggeringly painful to wear. Finally a quick tip for shooting indoor with uneven lighting – use a reflector to avoid corpse-looking legs like mine : P

Talk to you soon!

New hair and a new fishtail.

Photographs by dear mom : )

(Asos fishtail skirt, Romwe vest courtesy of Sam, H&M cardi, Monki clutch, Pull and Bear flats.)

I cut my hair! Can you see that? I know it’s not a dramatic change, but hey, one step at a time.  Somehow the experience of going to a hair stylist resembles that of visiting a dentist: The interrogative question – What have you done to your hair/teeth, young lady? – which induces a lot of guilt, followed by a 4-hour treatment and a post-treatment trauma. This kinda explains why I haven’t visited a hair salon in 17 months : P You guys know me,  I’ve had this long hair on one side since I started blogging. I was a but intimidated by the idea of changing my hair up. So DO tell me what you think about this!

I’ve always wanted a fishtail skirt, but it’s an incredibly old-fashioned thing to put on, and whoever does that is running the risk of looking Paula-Tsui-ish – no offence here, she’s no doubt a great singer. I ordered this from Asos.com, and I have to say that I’m really in love with it. I have relatively narrow hips. The shape of the skirt kinda put emphasis on the hips and gives me a fuller bottom, thus a more feminine figure. I know many girls in Asia struggle with wider hips, but I guess if this post doesn’t help you with what you should wear, it at least gives you an idea of what to avoid ; )

I figured a flowy top and a draped cardi would look very feminine and comfy with the skirt, and that’s exactly the mood I’m going for lately – as you can see. Thank you Sam for lending me the top, I really really like it!

I’ve got daisies all over me.

Photographs by dear mom : )

(H&M dress as top, Topshop skirt, Jeffrey Campbell heels, Asos clutch, Zara Scarf.)

The last time I’ve put on this much flowers, I was probably about 5 years old, performing for my kindergarten talent show. Because my mom adores androgynous style, my childhood and teenage wardrobe was filled with minimalistic menswear inspired clothes that are usually in the colours of  black, khaki, a very ugly blue and a even worse green- which I’m not going into details with. Lace and florals and such were pretty much abscent.

You know when they say if you’re kept away from something in a younger age, you will seek for those more in adulthood. (I believe there’s a proper idiom for this expression, but since English is not my native language – which I cannot stress enough, I can only put it this way. If you guys know the proper expression for that, please please please let me know I’m very eager to learn.) My point is, quite ironically, a lack of creativity and femininity in my teenage years might have inspired me to start this blog at all. And I often find myself drooling over super feminine cuts and details when it comes to clothes. I know a friend of mine who has the exact opposite situation. When she was a kid her mom put her in all these princess dresses, and now she ONLY wears pants. How ironic is that?

Okay, now back to the outfit. I said goodbye to my H&M 3D flower dress, and cut it into a cute crop top. I love the flower details and was bored with the cut. I think now it works great with a high waisted pencil skirt – one of my must-haves for fall. And yea, that skirt looks very familiar, no? (hint: Sportmax fall – I love that collection!) Well no, it’s by Topshop : P I had to a get one size bigger because it was sold out in only a few days! The lace details are just adorable and the colour so vivid. I hope you like this early fall outfit, and I’ll talk to you soon!

An official chill day.

Photographs by dear mom : )

(H&M jumper, unknown brand pants, Jeffrey Campbell heels and Monki hat.)

Lately I’ve been trying to write a bit but somehow I have the feeling that no one’s actually reading. I guess when it comes to a personal style blog, sometimes less is more. So that you can comment on my lovely red shoes (quoted from an email reply by Victoria Jin) without going through the writings in a painful manner. Alright, just kidding, probably if I write better you would enjoy reading it.

Okay, so my point is, I’ll just skip the writing part this time : P The outfit is pretty simple, a new H&M jumper paired with wide leg polka dot pants – which is available now at ShopStyleVoyager. I also put on my old bowler to complete the look. Yea I know, super lazy inside out.

A picture taken on a trip to the flower market for an upcoming blogger event. I can’t tell you what they’re for now, but it’s gonna be something really exciting. The colours are so beautiful together, definitely my new go to colour palette.

Have a lovely day!

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