Justin O'Shea: 5 Things to Know About Brioni's New Creative Director
The luxury menswear label announced the self-taught designer's appointment on Wednesday.
Brioni's newest hire doesn't exactly have the design pedigree of many of his contemporaries. In fact, the label's new creative director doesn't have any formal design training at all. But that's not to say that Justin O'Shea isn't qualified for the job — far from it.
Business of Fashion was the first to report that Italian luxury menswear brand Brioni, owned by Kering, had made the unconventional hire. "Challenging boundaries has always been in Brioni’s DNA and this choice confirms it once again,” Brioni CEO Gianluca Flore told the trade. “Justin soon emerged as the best choice for the brand’s creative direction as he has shown an accurate understanding of the company’s heritage and an assertive approach on how to reinforce our core values.”
Said O'Shea, "The menswear market of today offers unique opportunities, and it was an easy decision to be part of the revitalizing of this prized brand. I am eager to reinterpret all these elements and make them relevant for today’s customer."
So why has the 71-year-old brand entrusted him with the job? We've compiled the need-to-know facts about O'Shea that show why he's more than qualified for his new role.
1. He has no formal training as a designer.
Though he is well-known throughout the industry, O'Shea joins Brioni without any formal training or experience as a designer.
2. But he's got a stellar resume as a buyer.
O'Shea joins Brioni after seven years at MyTheresa, the Munich-based luxury retailer founded in 2006 whose success is widely credited to O'Shea's savvy eye. Just two months ago, he was promoted from global buying director to global fashion director before stepping down to fill the Brioni role. Prior to MyTheresa, O'Shea was a buyer at Al Ostoura, a luxury retailer based in Kuwait.
3. He's a street style icon.
Along with his longtime girlfriend Veronika Heilbrunner — a former Harper's Bazaar Germany editor who co-founded the digital venture, Hey Woman — O'Shea has been a street style star at fashion weeks across the globe. The fashionable pair are often photographed together — they're arguably each other's best accessories.
4. He has 80k (and counting) followers on Instagram.
It's no secret that fashion brands are paying increased attention to social media presence, and O'Shea's certainly got a steady fan base of 80,000 followers and counting. In addition to photos that can only be captured from his seat as a front-row fixture, the well-groomed fella has been known to post some delightfully playful selfies.
5. It'll be a long time before you see him without his signature beard and shades.
One can always count on O'shea to be sporting his two signatures: a perfectly-groomed beard and sharp shades. "Sunglasses are something I can’t be without," he told Style No Chaser of his eyewear in an interview last year. "I feel more comfortable wearing them. Also they hide my tired eyes. They always give me away."