A Gentleman's World

It was when I met Paul Mason in person on set for our DTK Men’s cover shoot that I realized what a truly rare thing a gentleman in today’s world. When Paul walked onto our set, he had a magnetic presence that commanded attention. It became clear that I was standing in the presence of a rare breed, so naturally there were a few things I wanted to know. Will his answers surprise you? Perhaps. However, they might not if you possess his long forgotten ethos.

By KW

Suit DIRK BIKKEMBERGS. Shirt LES HOMMES. Tie CLUB MONACO. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS. 

Suit DIRK BIKKEMBERGS. Shirt LES HOMMES. Tie CLUB MONACO. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS. 

What does being a gentleman mean to you?

Confidence and conviction. Grace and graciousness. Style and manner. It’s everything that no one has any time for anymore.

What are the characteristics that make one a true gentleman?

There are too many to enumerate. But since your magazine has its roots in the world of fashion, let’s start with style. Visit France, England, Italy. It’s very common to see men with a lot of style. Canada’s finally starting to follow suit. In fact, I’d say Canada’s coming on strong. Of course style alone wouldn’t make one a gentleman. But it shows interest – interest in elevating yourself. Interest in the refined.

I’ve heard that a gentleman is defined by his interests. What intrigues you? My interests lie in art, culture, food, architecture, design, sport, style... and beauty. I’m fascinated by beauty in all its forms.

Blazer and pants HUGO BOSS. Shirt CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. Tie TIGER OF SWEDEN. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS. Shoes HUGO BOSS. Watch ROLEX.

Blazer and pants HUGO BOSS. Shirt CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. Tie TIGER OF SWEDEN. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS. Shoes HUGO BOSS. Watch ROLEX.

You made quite a splash at this year’s Toronto fashion week. How are you handling the attention?

I’m grateful. How else could I handle it? I was a model for many years, and I never received this kind of attention. Then I grew the beard and the beard took on a new meaning - it was like a new persona. I think everyone thought I had just arrived – that I came out of nowhere, like I couldn’t be found on Facebook or anything. In fact, I had been in great campaigns like DKNY, Dolce Gabana, Gap, the cover of Vogue. I was glad to walk those show at Toronto Fashion week, but it made quite a splash! It was the best casting I ever received. I mean everyone in the industry was there and all I was doing was being myself. I certainly didn’t plan to get all this attention, but I do plan to enjoy it!

(Him) Suit JONATHAN SAUNDERS. Turtleneck LE 31 at LA MAISON SIMONS. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. (Her) Dress V-FRANZ.

(Him) Suit JONATHAN SAUNDERS. Turtleneck LE 31 at LA MAISON SIMONS. Scarf BLICK at LA MAISON SIMONS. (Her) Dress V-FRANZ.

You’ve really capitalized on your success by starting an up-and-coming talent management agency, which is shaking up the Toronto male modelling scene. It was a bold move, but a smart one after you landed so squarely in the spotlight. What do you look for in potential clients?

What kinds of models are you pursuing? Above all, I look for sensibility. I look for a good person – in their heart. Someone I’ll enjoy working with. They need to have confidence in their look, and in every aspect of themselves. Confidence will give them sex appeal. It’s that simple... And they have to be tall. Now male models have to be taller than when I started. I’m 6 ft 1 and now models are 6 ft 2 and 6 ft 3 or sometimes even taller.

Blazer AINEA. Shirt CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN. Scarf DUCHAMP LONDON. Tie PAUL SMITH. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS.

Blazer AINEA. Shirt CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN. Scarf DUCHAMP LONDON. Tie PAUL SMITH. Tie clip SIMONS at LA MAISON SIMONS.

Everyone has a superpower. What’s yours?

My ability to read people well and to put them at ease. I think I would be a good diplomat.