Harry Jarman, Founder of The Gentleman's Journal
We recently headed over to the West London headquarters of The Gentleman’s Journal to meet with Harry Jarman – the publications founder and current Editor-in-chief. We learnt more about where the magazine first began and why Harry believes being a gentleman is something one has to always strive to become.
We’ve heard rumours you’re spending a lot of time across the pond – where are you currently living?
“I’m currently living between here and New York – two weeks there and then two here in London. We’ve just taken the company out there - it’s early days but I’m really enjoying it.
“When in New York, I spend a lot of my time on Lower East Side, Manhattan. It’s a great area but my heart is really here in London.”
So, tell us more about how The Gentleman’s Journal was conceived?
“The magazine was first conceived about three years ago - I first started a clothing company, which turned out to be not so successful, and I was always looking for ways to promote it. I used to spend a lot of time going around various magazines trying to get deals on advertising and it was all very expensive for a start-up.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when launching the magazine?
“Interestingly, most people wanted to wait a year before getting involved with the magazine – brands often want to see success before they buy into a concept. When you’re brand new it takes a while to get that reputation you need.
“There’s a reason that something like 70% of new businesses fail in the first year and a half - people aren’t necessarily trusting of you. Once you’re passed that year though it can be very different. I actually received some interesting phone calls after the first year and a half from people who were initially quite rude…”
What does an average day look like at The Gentleman’s Journal?
“Every day is completely different, as you would expect! We’re currently based in Notting Hill, and when everyone is in, our team consists of 18 people.”
“My day can be completely varied as I don’t necessarily have one job role. I call myself a publisher and an editor-in-chief – slightly ironic as one is editorial and the other is advertising, two sections that a normally devoid from each other.
“I can go from working with brands, to catching up with the editorial team, to meeting with the video team, to helping re-designing the website. It can all depend whether I’m in New York or London – basically there are a million and one things on my to do list.”
What does style mean to you?
“I get my style from a million and one different places – from Steve McQueen to Gianni Agnelli. Everyone should get inspiration from different people.
“The main thing with style is confidence. If you have a suit made on Savile Row and you don’t wear it with confidence then it won’t look great –wear it like you own it. That’s the key to really good style!”
What’s your one style tip for every gentleman?
“Take care of clothes. If you have a good pair of shoes then always make sure they are polished.”
“Men’s fashion, much more than women’s fashion, is about investment and pieces - take this into consideration when buying. One thing about men’s fashion is you shouldn’t follow the trends – stick to what’s really good.”
What attributes do you need to have to be a ‘gentleman’?
“Interestingly that links to our company motto – you can never actually be a gentleman, it’s something you have to always strive for.”
“A gentleman is defined by how he acts – it’s got nothing to do with money, nothing to do with what you wear, what car you drive or how big your house is – it’s do with the way you act.
“You can’t just be a gentleman, everyday you have to work on it and work on it. It’s one of the greatest things a man can say about another – ‘he’s a total gentleman’.”
What would we find you doing average weekend?
“I try to escape the city as much as possible – I’m a country person at heart. One thing you learn as an entrepreneur is to take time off. As much as I can I try to get out of London – it can be tricky with a busy travel schedule.”
Where is your favourite place to eat and drink outside of London?
“I’m a pub sort of guy – fancy restaurants aren’t really my scene. Get me to a good pub and I’ll be happy.”
…what about in London?
“If I’m not in the pub and had to pick a restaurant I would head to Mayfair. On Mount Street you’ve got George’s and Scott’s – the service is always amazing at both, as is the food.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
[Long pause] “Can I say smoking? Next…”
….ok, fine. Do you have a hidden talent?
“I don’t really have a secret talent, but if I could pick one I would love to be able to read people’s minds.”
Let’s move onto some quickfire questions. Single-breasted or double-breasted?
“For me personally it’s a single-breasted jacket. But if you can pull it off, always a double…”
Two-piece or three piece?
Half Windsor or Full Windsor knot?
Jeans or chino?
“Good jeans. When I say good jeans, I mean well fitting jeans…”
Brogue or loafer?
Defender or Range Rover?
“Defender most certainly”
Scotch or bourbon?
Next James Bond, Tom Hardy or Tom Hiddelston?
Finally, what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are in the process of setting up another business?
“Keep going! There is a reason that not many people become entrepreneurs – it’s one of the hardest things any person could do. My advice would be – if you believe in it enough then you’ll succeed.”