Editor’s Note: Welcome to In My Cart, a regular series in which we ask some of the coolest guys we know what they’ve recently acquired, are thinking about buying, or need to buy more of — but for whatever reason don’t have in hand just yet. This week, Mark Cho, globetrotter and founder of the international tailoring emporium The Armoury.
Mark Cho is a champion of classic men’s style. Nearly two decades after falling in love with the suit, the UK-born entrepreneur now oversees international tailoring retailer The Armoury and is a co-owner British accessories brand Drake’s. Cho co-founded The Armoury in 2010 with Alan See and established the brand as the go-to shop for classic suiting and high quality, handmade accessories. The company was the first to distribute Japanese suit-maker Ring Jacket internationally and has a close relationship with bespoke suit-maker W.W.Chan. It also stocks similarly detail-oriented brands like Carmina, Frank Clegg, Tabio and Drake’s (naturally).
Working closely with artisans and managing numerous projects, Cho spends his time between Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, London and Seoul. His need for functional, well-made products, along with his taste and eye for detail are seemingly unrivaled in the style word. So we caught up with him to find out the latest products he’s considering picking up. From a high-end watch to a German pen to a seersucker jacket, the list paints a picture of a man who values functional details and top-notch design, but his words describe it best.
Coherence Ruiz Raincoat
“Coherence, a Japanese outerwear brand, is one of my favorite brands in the world. Its creative director Kentaro Nakagomi is a fantastic designer, with deep, deep knowledge of modern textiles and vintage garments. He brings the two together to create high-performance outerwear in timeless designs. The Ruiz is a coat that I had been bugging him to make for a few years now and I consulted on the design during its early stages. It is a lightweight raincoat that has an integrated bag which the coat can be folded and packed into. It is a perfect coat for spring travel!”
The Armoury Model 7 Seersucker Jacket
“The Model 7 is The Armoury’s lightest jacket, almost completely unstructured inside. When it comes to unstructured jackets, I prefer them in stiff, non-stretchy cloths as the garment keeps its shape better, looking more like a tailored jacket and less like a soft cardigan. I made a Model 7 in seersucker for myself a few years ago and everyone loved it so I put it into production for the shop this spring.”
The Armoury by Porter Traveller’s Briefcase
“I came up with this design with Porter a few years ago as a more thoughtfully designed piece of gear for frequent travelers. It is made of lightweight, durable, waterproof nylon with leather trims so it goes easily from dressy to casual. It has over twenty distinctly shaped pockets so you can keep your things well organized, e.g. the front pockets are extra tall for boarding passes. It also has a zippered flap on the back for slipping the entire briefcase over a luggage trolley. It has been one of our best sellers for years and now comes in multiple colors.”
Ricoh GR III
“I am so excited for this camera to be launched later this month. The Ricoh GR series of cameras was first launched as a film camera back in 1996, digital versions of the camera came in 2005. The GR series is about high-quality images thanks to an excellent 28mm f/2.8 lens with an APS-C sensor, extremely fast operation with hard button controls for all major functions, all in a compact, discreet package. The last release was the GR II in 2015 so the GR III will be a significant upgrade!”
Lamy CP1 with Extra Fine Nib
“Lamy is an old German pen company with an illustrious history of minimalist, functional pen design. I own a number of them and this one, despite being one of the cheaper ones in the range, is a favorite. The CP1 is an unassuming black cylinder with an angular, silver clip. Despite its simplicity, it feels well made and refined in-hand. It is extremely lightweight and I like it best with the extra fine nib, which gives an almost pencil-like feel when in use.”
Rolex Oystersteel and Everose Gold
“I have recently been very interested in two-tone watches and stumbled on this particular reference. It looks strange on the website, but I was curious enough to check it out in real life. It is outstanding and absolutely on my shortlist. Compared with the photograph online, the Everose parts are subtler and less pink, and the grey dial is much richer in color. I highly suggest any watch nut check it out.”
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
“A recent favorite book of mine is Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy, an engrossing series of sci-fi horror novels. It tells the story of Area X: an unidentified section of coastline under invisible alien influence that causes rapid and disastrous mutation for whatever lives within it. The coastline’s problems are handled by a government agency: The Southern Reach, who make up the book’s protagonists. The trilogy is a weird mix of government worker ennui, intriguing science fiction and sudden, violent horror. For anyone who likes smart, complex sci-fi, it will press your buttons. It was recently adapted into a film, worth your attention as well.”
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