Birch's Man

A conversation with Nick Mowbray

1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, basic background history, family story etc along with a brief overview of the position and roles you fill at Birch’s Man.

I am a born and bred Eastern Caper. I went to school in Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown and then continued my studies at a university in Port Elizabeth. I grew up working on the shop floor during my holidays and on Saturday mornings during my time at university.

I spent 2 years working in London after university and returned in 2006 to work full time in the business. Birch’s is an old family business and I am part of the 5th generation involved in it.

I have always had a passion for clothing and for the business. It has been in my blood from such a young age.

I am involved in all facets of the business from sales and marketing, to buying, H/R and the manufacturing side of our business in Grahamstown.



2) What makes you tick? What is your personal philosophy and how does it ultimately benefit the people around you.

I am passionately people driven and people make our business; from our staff to our customers. We always like to offer that personal touch too.

I am also extremely passionate about clothing and fashion and sourcing the best quality and value for money products for our customers. A great sense of satisfaction is gained when seeing a happy customer getting the product that he/she wanted.




3) What do you do in your spare time? What do you do when you are not a curator of style?

I am a sociable person and enjoy time together with family and friends. I am also just as happy at home - relaxing and having a braai with my wife and two boys!

I am an avid pianist, another passion of mine since a very young age.

I am also a keen swimmer, enjoy a game of golf and a good run around on the tennis court.



The Birch’s Rebrand and the 'Gentleman' explained

4) Birch’s recently underwent a rebrand, what does the brand mean to you?

The Birch’s rebrand is something that is very close to my heart. We wanted to re position the Birch’s brand but also maintain the heritage associated with it. We had built up all these great brands and product offerings and needed a platform to tell people about our offerings. The ‘Birch’s Man’ concept was born which has had an extremely positive response. I think we are achieving our goal and I look forward to taking it even further. 







5) What makes a modern gentleman - in relation to the rebrand?

A modern gentleman is one who is traditional enough to be chivalrous, charming and politely confident but also understands the essentiality of good grooming and a well fitted suit.




6) Essential kit, what is the one item every gentleman should own?

A good fitting black suit.




7) Advice for young gentlemen buying their first suit?

Buy a good fitting, high quality fabric black suit. A black suit is versatile and can be dressed for a range of formal occasions from weddings, to board room meetings or even out on the town.




Your Personal Style

8) What is your favourite item of clothing or brand?


This changes quite regularly! At the moment I am enjoying the Polo Long sleeve fitted woven shirts. They have exciting patterns, are a great fit and can be worn for many different occasions; be it a night out with friends, a wedding or to work.



9) Bow Tie or Tie?




10) Panama hat or fedora?





11) If you could wear only one suit for the rest of your life what colour, style and brand would it be? And why.

I am currently wearing a Carducci super fine pure wool, 2 button, mid blue suit which I love. The safe answer would be to go for a black suit, as black never goes out of fashion. However I cannot imagine my wardrobe at any time without this blue Carducci suit. It can be dressed down with an open neck sports shirt, and look just as good in the board room with a striking red tie. 

  • Alan Paine
  • Barker
  • Ben Sherman
  • Carducci
  • Crockett & Jones
  • Cutter & Buck
  • Ferradini
  • Florsheim
  • Hush Puppies
  • Jonathan D
  • Pierre Cardin
  • Polo
  • Pringle
  • Robert Daniel
  • Rockport
  • NicHarry
  • Stance
  • Toe Porn
  • Viyella
  • Palladium
  • Lee
  • Wrangler
  • CAT
  • Dormeuil