BLOC people profile: Benny Castles
A proud Aucklander through and through, (notwithstanding some formative years spent at boarding school) WORLD's Benny Castles is a bright spot on the city's sartorial radar. Straight out of said school, Benny joined WORLD, where he soon made himself thoroughly and permanently indispensible. Raised on the mean-ish streets of Ponsonby, he is now happily ensconced in Mount Albert with his family of three beautiful humans and two rowdy cats. His interests are listed as growing beards (yes, beards plural) and eating cool food. He is the insightful and highly amusing subject of this month's BLOC profile.
• How old were you when you realised you had a love for fashion?
My passion for Fashion has no real date of birth, however as a child I was a rampant cross dresser, nothing's really changed I guess. The fabulousity of Fashion is that you can be who and what you want to be, people judge books and people by the cover, whether we like it or not, so it pays to present the side of your personality that you most enjoy... at WORLD we endeavour to dress the mind then the body.
• Describe something you love so much it borders on irrational.
My girlfriend...and then my new spectacles. Oliver Goldsmith said "You must change your glasses every day with your clothes because people look at your face more than your body."I've taken that as a mantra to justify my ridiculous spectacle fetish.
• What's the world's most fashionable destination in your opinion, and why?
Auckland, obviously. But if that's not available then I think I'd pick Tokyo because the city and culture of its people are enviably sophisticated with an innate aesthetic core. But Fashion was born and exists in its most extraordinary form in Paris and Paris alone.
• With such an enviable wardrobe, how to you decide what to wear each day?
With great difficulty and much internal monologue. Mostly it depends on my mood, the important thing to do is to not feel too comfortable as our friend Karl Largerfeld once said "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants. " ...Karl has his moments.
• Is fragrance an integral part of getting dressed?
Fragrance is the ultimate accessory. The sense of smell has a lot more impact than we often give it credit for. It is of course the sense most closely connected with our memories and therefore can have great emotional impact. I am lucky to be involved in the sourcing of fragrance for WORLD Beauty Stores so I am continually trying new fragrances which helps me never become staid. Like a great piece of jewellery or pair of glasses, perfume can make you feel what ever you might want it to.
• Favourite source of fashion inspiration?
Francis Hooper, the guy is a walking embodiment of inspiration, follow us on twitter and you'll see what I mean...what the hell does "cray cray" mean???
• One item at WORLD Beauty that you hope will NEVER be discontinued
One product that I simply could not be without would have to be Aesop's Parsley Seed Facial Serum, I am a sickly child and am allergic to most people and products. However, this genius item by Aesop makes my face not feel like old cardboard! The other majestic item at WORLD Beauty that I am never without at home is a Cire Trudon Candle, the oldest candle making company in the world, which supplied the French royal family as well as Napoleon – now available exclusively at WORLD Beauty...my favourite scent is Abd el Kadar!
• Describe your home.
A largish villa with plenty of colour, a burgeoning vegetable garden and a miniature human who dominates the sound.
• What's the rule you most like to break?
All rules in relation to fashion are surely made to be broken, one rule to stick by comes from Mark Twain: "Clothes maketh the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
• What's in your fridge / on your iPod / on your bookshelf?
Ipod: On the radio I have Concert FM.
Bookshelf: Javier Marías is my current literature crush.
You can see Benny in his natural habitat of WORLD Beauty at BLOC, where you won't find seasonal trends or momentary objects of desire. All items are passionately and respectfully collected and curated from all over the globe and throughout history to make your life a more pleasant place to be and a more elegant experience.