Style Icon: Christopher Confero


Style

Sitting in his stylish Southside condominium, Christopher wears a Versace jacket, fall floral Zara shirt, Burberry jeans, Ferragamo belt, To Boot New York by Adam Derrick shoes, and Versace ring.

Written and styled by Tracy James

Photographed by Chuck St. John

One might not expect that “small town values” helped shape the successful luxe event design business of Christopher Confero, the 28-year old planner who The Knot founder Carley Roney called “the talk of the South.” But indeed, he counts his time living in Jasper with his grandparents as having just that effect.  While Christopher may not have been exposed to fashion or luxury entertaining in Jasper, he says “being raised in a place where I was taught to value hard work and that a man was only as good as his good name far surpassed any sort of silver-spoon lifestyle.”

Fittingly, the word “Confero” itself means “to bring everything together.” Since launching Christopher Confero Design in 2008, Christopher has been called “the ultimate combination of perfectionist and competent friend” and has quickly become one of the most sought-after event planners in the Southeast, in great part due to his graceful customer service and impeccable style. That sense of style is evident in both his events and in his wardrobe. As Christopher points out, because he is in the design industry, people examine every aspect of his work and his person. Impeccable grooming is key. Clothing–wise, industry standard is all black, but that doesn’t mean black has to be boring. In fact, Christopher admits he dresses mostly in black because he thinks it looks sharp with his purposely heavy five–o–clock shadow. For his events, he likes to dress in the color story he’s designed, through little accents, like a colorful tie or shoes to pop on his black or grey suit. Colorful or otherwise unique shoes are one of Christopher’s signatures, and he confesses he owns close to 40 pairs. A pair of Christian Louboutin mens’ shoes are on his splurge wish list. But it’s Christopher’s lack of certain clothing that he denotes as his favorite signature. “Now, it’s not what you’re thinking,” he explains. “I had a dear late friend of mine influence my style in my early twenties, and the thing I’ve always held on to was the lack of wearing…socks. Usually the only time you’ll catch me in a pair is when I’m at the gym or if I have on a pair of boots. I just like showing a little ankle!”

Still in his ’20s, it’s no surprise that Christopher still considers his personal style to be evolving. “Style should be an ever-changing characteristic for everyone,” he says. “Through the years, we mature, our bodies change and of course, styles change.” Throughout his college years at Auburn, Christopher was a typical student, usually in khaki shorts and a Ralph Lauren polo, and “even a haircut with swoopy bangs.” These days, he embraces a more tailored and classic look, making an effort to keep a youthfulness to his wardrobe, but in a way that doesn’t seem suited for someone in high school. That said, when out running errands or relaxing on the lake, Christopher’s style is totally aimed at comfort. “Gym shorts, a tank and my Rainbows—that’s how you’ll usually catch me. Fancy, eh?” he says with a smile. But despite his self-confessed “cling to comfort,” Christopher cleans up quite nicely when needed. “If I’m out on the town socially, I love a good pair of skinny jeans, a v-neck tee, and a killer pair of boots. If I’m gussied up for a party or an industry event, then I really put on the dog.” He cites Adam Levine for casual and Justin Timberlake for formal as celebrities whose looks he admires.

Style

It’s all in the mix: a traditional Burberry tie worn with a very Alexander McQueen-esque skull and crossbones shirt from Zara. The “C” emblazoned tie clip was his grandfathers. In keeping with the trend of wearing skinnier ties, rather than buy new ones, Christopher has had altered some of the ones he already owns.

Although Christopher does own some high-fashion staples, it’s all about a skillful mix of high and low, having the eye to piece things together in a tasteful manner.  Staples might come from Saks, Diesel or Bloomingdale’s, but other—especially trendy—items might come from H&M, Zara or Target. “But just as I do with my event design work,” Christopher says, “in fashion I try not to follow trends too closely. Because what does it mean if it’s trendy now? It’s going to be out of date soon.” More important than trend is fit, and at 6’2 and thin, he has learned to dress for his body type. Frankly, he wishes other Birmingham men would do the same. “Because I have a narrow shape, something off the rack from a store like Brooks Brothers wouldn’t fit me well. If people would put a little effort into their shopping habits, they’d learn that most clothing lines offer numerous fits.” Christopher cites Tom Ford as his favorite designer because of his rebellious styles. Be it in his past with Gucci, YSL or now with his namesake brand, he continuously pushes the envelope. The Tom Ford Fall 2013 collection focuses on mixing patterns, something Christopher enjoys doing in his current wardrobe.

Noting that many people are afraid of fashion because they see ads that showcase runway looks and don’t think about how to translate those into everyday outfits, Christopher offers, “Fashion, just like anything else design related, is all about being inspired and making those concepts work for you.”

Cocktail hour cool: Black and white combinations work great for Fall transition. Here, Zara sweater, Club Monaco shorts, and Donald J. Pliner wingtip shoes.

Cocktail hour cool: Black and white combinations work great for Fall transition. Here, Zara sweater, Club Monaco shorts, and Donald J. Pliner wingtip shoes.

Next to a stack of VMan magazines (Christopher’s fashion go-to), are some of his bowties. Many he has handmade by a designer he found on Etsy.com. The striped bowtie holds sentimental value as it belonged to his great-grandfather.

 Every Day Carry (EDC): A man needs a place to land his EDC selection, those items he may carry in his pockets each day. A silver tray on the piano holds Christopher's keys on a Jack Spade ring, along with his Versace credit card wallet, Burt's Bees chapstick, Seiko watch, Ray Ban wayfarers and 2 special rings. One is his grandmother's wedding band, which he often wears stacked with his own Versace ring, along with a ring engraved with Proverbs 3, his favorite Bible verse, a gift from his mother upon his high school graduation, which he chose in lieu of a traditional class ring.

Every Day Carry (EDC): A man needs a place to land his EDC selection, those items he may carry in his pockets each day. A silver tray on the piano holds Christopher’s keys on a Jack Spade ring, along with his Louis Vuitton card holder wallet, Burt’s Bees chapstick, Seiko watch, Ray Ban wayfarers and 2 special rings. One is his grandmother’s wedding band, which he often wears stacked with a ring engraved with Proverbs 3, his favorite Bible verse. This ring was a gift from his mother upon his high school graduation, which he chose in lieu of a traditional class ring.

Examples from Christopher's signature shoe collection: (from left to right): Donald J. Pliner beaded with dragonfly detail, Hugo Boss textured leather, and Moods of Norway cranberry suede.

Examples from Christopher’s signature shoe collection: (from left to right): Donald J. Pliner beaded with dragonfly detail, Hugo Boss textured leather, and Moods of Norway cranberry suede.

Unicorns from Soho Retro bookend Brooks Brothers' "How to Be A Gentleman" book set, which includes "A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up."

Unicorns from Soho Retro bookend Brooks Brothers’ “How to Be A Gentleman” book set, which includes “A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up.”

3 Responses to “Style Icon: Christopher Confero”

  1. Bea Kunz says:

    Wow…you warm my heart with all you have learned, accepted, and become.

    Love you always from the heart <3

    Grandmother E~

  2. Deborah Luber says:

    Wonderful article on such an amazing person! You are very talented in so many ways. I am sure we will be reading more about you in the near future. You are definitely a STAR that continues to shine!

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