Tricks of the Trade: David Perry

Raised in a small English fishing village, David Perry spent seven years in the Royal Navy as a missile engineer, which he says gave him “a hunger for travel and exotic places.” After owning a vintage clothing store for years and stints in San Francisco and Los Angeles, he now owns a fashion design and production business that specializes in U.S. manufacturing. A Nashvillian for five years, David has plans to open a transparent and sustainable fashion garment factory in the area in early 2019.


Despite being an incredibly busy entrepreneur, David prioritizes an active lifestyle to stay in great shape. “The hardest part to running a business in two cities/states is finding a work-exercise balance, so starting my day with sun salutations is the best preparation for my day, which I try to do at least three mornings a week,” he says. “I box at least once a week with a trainer, and in between that, I swim a mile several times a week after work or ride my road bike to Percy Priest Dam and back when the weather allows. Having the Greenway right around the corner is a huge bonus to living in Inglewood.”


David has impeccable taste when it comes to fashion, so who are some of his favorite designers? “Billy Reid,” he says. “From fabrics to fit, he’s always on point, and his talent as well as his genuine personality shows through in his designs. Billy doesn’t cut corners when it comes to great designs.” As a surfer, David also loves surf brands. “The story and ethos behind both Faherty and Outerknown really resonate with me, and fortunately the fabrics they use and designs they launch each season fit well for me, both physically and socially.” Lastly, he calls himself a sucker for RRL. “I simply can’t pass on great vintage, so a brand that uses some of the best and most sought-after vintage styles from the past 100 years, then brings them to life in amazing modern fabrics and quality construction, is also hard to pass up.”


When it comes to men’s grooming products, David has three products he can’t live without. Olo is an argan hair oil, which seems to be the only product I’ve found so far that can tame my crazy hair,” he says. He also loves D.S. & Durga scents from New York. “A lot can be used as unisex, and I always have a few at home. They are so unique and smell like no other colognes.” Lastly, Skin Trip is a tried-and-true product for him. “This small-batch moisturizer smells like my favorite coconut surf wax. I’ve used it on and off for about 24 years now,” he says.


1. A bespoke or semi-bespoke suit

"On those occasions when you need one, it has to look and fit like it was made for you."

2. Calvin Klein underwear

"There’s nothing worse than a pair of ill-fitting boxer briefs."

3. A short-sleeved, crew neck, ringspun cotton, white T-shirt that fits like a glove

"Every man should have at least one. No explanation needed."

4. A well-worn pair of jeans made from Japanese selvage denim

"Japanese denim is such great quality and if worn hard and soaked only a few times a year (never machine washed), they can be worn with almost anything and will always look cool. And they only look better with age."

5. Something vintage and unique

"Anything from a well-worn Stetson to a beat-up D-pocket Buco leather jacket. A lot of new clothes look best when styled with something vintage."


If you’re going to wear it, then wear it with confidence and wear it well.