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Father’s Day and Fashion

Father’s Day and Fashion

Ross talks us through fathering, style, and the Harrolds family philosophy on an afternoon walk with new baby Sophia. The leading male figures in our lives mould and shape who are, from our moral code to how we tie a tie. For sons in particular, father figures can determine a sense of signature style. While things may be a little different for some of us this Father’s Day, love still prevails. We sat down with new Dad and Harrolds Managing Director Ross Poulakis, who grew up in the halls of Harrolds and watched his father forge the luxury house’s legacy.

Here, Ross recalls early sartorial memories of his Dad, the sage advice he instilled and some suave guidance for picking the ultimate Father’s Day gift. The close bond between Ross and his father influenced a career pivot from sports management to fashion.

I saw such a great opportunity in fashion at Harrolds, and it’s so rewarding to continue Dad’s legacy.

JOHN, ALEXANDER & ROSS POULAKIS

ROSS AND BABY SOPHIA POULAKIS

JOHN, ALEXANDER & ROSS POULAKIS

ROSS AND BABY SOPHIA POULAKIS

“I’ve always loved the fashion industry, but I started studying sport management as I was big into sports, too,” he recalls.

“Dad didn’t force the family business upon us. He wanted us to pave our own paths and didn’t want this pressure to be a detriment or burden if we wanted to do our own thing. But two years into a sports degree, I realised it wasn’t right for me. I saw such a great opportunity in fashion at Harrolds, and it’s so rewarding to continue Dad’s legacy.”

While some of us can easily reminisce early sporting moments with Dad and unofficial makeup lessons with Mum, it’s rare that we sit down and reflect on how the men in our life have influenced our sense of style. When we asked Ross to relive his earliest memories of fashion, his father, and the House of Harrolds, the nostalgia was palpable.

“My brother Alexander and I grew up watching Dad at the shop. I spoke to clients and developed a bond with VIP customers that have seen me grow up over the years and who I still work with so closely today. I was helping out in the warehouse pricing ties and shirts on my school holidays from the age of seven, for every school holidays until I was 18.”

Sharing a strong work ethic, sartorial flair and tender dedication to community with his father in those formative years, it’s no surprise that Ross matured early. His zeal for business and fashion mirrors that of his father’s, with this mutual dedication fortifying the Harrolds values and virtues over time.

I grew up watching Dad at the shop. I spoke to clients and developed a bond with VIP customers that have seen me grow up over the years and who I still work with so closely today.

ROSS AND BABY SOPHIA POULAKIS

POULAKIS FAMILY – VOGUE AUSTRALIA 2017

ROSS AND BABY SOPHIA POULAKIS

POULAKIS FAMILY – VOGUE AUSTRALIA 2017

Despite being surrounded by labels of luxury, philanthropy was always considered paramount in the Harrolds family. Community was, and still is, everything.

According to Ross, his Dad’s style is iconically classic, but simultaneously chameleon-like. “It’s traditional and grounded in timeless elegance. Think suit, tie, shirt and polished shoes. That look is something I still love today, but now our wardrobes are far more diversified. Dad understands that fashion is always evolving and if you don’t embrace change, you stagnate.”

The best fatherly advice Ross received growing up and navigating the trials and tribulations of boyhood through to adult life was all about being bold, impassioned and being brave enough to back yourself.

“This pertains to style and life. Dad always told us never to be afraid of taking a risk and failing. To take risks is one of his biggest philosophies in business as well as life and it’s just always resonated with me. You’re in charge of your own destiny.”

HARROLDS FATHER’S DAY GIFT EDIT

On what we should give the men in our lives this year to up their style game, Ross reminds us that every Dad or Father figure has his own unique taste and trademark.

“The gift of accessories is always a great idea, like a MAD Paris watch or Tom Ford leather goods. But a Harrolds voucher is like a ticket to an experience that Dad can tailor to his own wardrobe.”

As a new Dad to baby Sophia, Ross is simply looking forward to a day spent connecting from afar and relishing the small joys.

“We’re a tight-knit Greek family, so this year is definitely different as we can’t spend it together in the normal sense of the word. But it’s been such an exciting, life-changing year. My world has changed and I’m just hoping to wake to lots of hugs, kisses and quality time with my wife and little Sophia.”

“I would’ve been on multiple buying trips in Europe this year, but in missing those I haven’t missed out on seeing her grow. Every morning, when I go into her room to pick her up out of bed, that huge smile is enough to get me going. I fall in love with her a little more each day.”

Lastly, we asked Ross what every new Dad needs in his life. With a wry laugh, he instantly prescribed “a good bottle of scotch.”

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