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What Designer Charlie Casely-Hayford Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist. Photo: Courtesy of Sunspel

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the stain-remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked Charlie Casely-Hayford, founder of London tailoring house Casely-Hayford, who has just launched a collaboration with Sunspel, about the mini-hoover, DAB radio, and ingrown-hair solution he can’t live without.

From £280

I’m one of those people where I don’t really buy a lot, but when I do buy something, I want the best version of that thing. And I like investing in craftsmanship, even if it means saving up more money. I’ve had this Lockwood umbrella for about ten years. They do bespoke models — the owner came from James Smith & Sons, the proper umbrella-makers on New Oxford Street. So he knows what he’s doing. I wanted one that wouldn’t turn inside out and would accommodate my height (I’m six-foot-six), so when I got it made, I asked for them to lengthen it so it’s more comfortable to hold. Shorter umbrellas mean I almost stoop when I’m holding them to the ground. Because I spent a lot of money on it, I think I’m less likely to leave it on the tube.

I’ve been using this since my mid-20s. I shave every day, and ingrown hairs can be common for men with Afro hair. But I don’t even worry about them now — this product is just part of my routine. It’s helpful for anyone with thick or curly hairs. You apply it after you’re done shaving, and it really wakes you up in the morning — the alcohol in it is quite sharp. I don’t know how it works, but I’m glad it does because it’s a game changer. You can find it in loads of places. I just get it online. But it’s just one of those random, inexpensive things that has improved my life.

Photo: retailer

My wife got these for me for my birthday last year, and she even got them monogrammed with my initials. And yes, these are technically women’s pyjamas. The shirt is buttoned like a women’s shirt — on the left side rather than the right — but the sizing fits me almost perfectly, which is rare. I say almost — I actually did take these to my tailor to get them altered ever so slightly. It’s amazing what a tenner here or there will do to your garments. I’ve got two kids, so I’m not wearing silk pyjamas around the house that often because food will inevitably end up all over me. But I try and wear them on a Sunday, and when I do, I feel like a different man. These pyjamas feel so extravagant, and it puts you in an extravagant state of mind. It’s almost like a statement of intent for how your day is going to go.

Photo: retailer

I have this in my kitchen at home, and while it wasn’t a conscious decision, I noticed during lockdown how much we’d have the radio on during the day. We listen to this radio station called Mi-Soul — it’s old-school soul music that reminds me of my old man [British fashion designer Joe Casely-Hayford OBE]. He died in 2019, but I remember he would listen to a lot of that music when I was a kid. So I play it all day Sunday with my kids, and it sets the mood. I like the idea of bridging the generations, and playing to my kids what my dad would play to me, so they can get to know him a bit better now that he’s passed. I am a real workaholic, and I find it hard to switch off, but the music, and my pyjamas, help me get into a different mood. I have all of Dad’s old records and vinyl, and I love listening to them, too, but there’s something nice about the radio, not knowing what’s coming on next. As a speaker, the sound quality is good, and it’s easy to move around the kitchen if I need to.

I only started using this cleanser earlier this year, but I love it. It’s a Black-owned business, and the cleanser is specifically made for Black skin. My wife berated me for my skin care; I’d use the most basic, £1 face washes from Boots, and I’d even use body lotion on my face. It wasn’t good for me. She was like, “You’re a grown man — get your act together,” and she got me this. It smells really beautiful and contains coconut oil and lavender extract, and some of the other extracts are from Ghana, which is where my dad’s originally from. It’s nice feeling connected to my heritage in some way and to have a product that feels tailored to your needs. The brand is relatively new, and it feels good to support them given it’s a huge, competitive market that doesn’t have a plethora of items for Black skin.

There’s quite a big age gap between my kids: 8 and 1, respectively. Just when we’re making lunch or dinner, the youngest will look me directly in the eye, pick up the food, and then chuck it on the floor. She knows the pain she’s causing. It’s constant. So I use this mini-hoover around the kitchen and tidy up. I’m always on my knees hoovering, just like any parent, really. But this is really handy — easier to grab than a Dyson, especially during periods of pure chaos.

Photo: retailer

This was a natural collaboration because I’m a big fan of Sunspel. They have a store right by mine in Marylebone, and I wear their white T-shirts every day. We wanted to do an everyday, relaxed sort of suit that a modern man would want to wear to a work meeting but also dinner. Something super-relaxed. Often, people associate a suit with formality, but we tried to break down those barriers and make something understated and elegant at the same time. As well as this double-breasted jacket, we have a single-breasted jacket and two trousers: a single-pleat style and an elasticated one that is almost like a tracksuit.

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What Designer Charlie Casely-Hayford Can’t Live Without