Chris hobbs and Monty the pomeranian
Meet the man responsible for making Matchesfashion.com's menswear super cool, and his fluff ball, Monty
Words: Simon Glazin Pictures: Rikki Percival
“Where do you live?”
“No really?” I ask.
“No, really!” Chris replies.
I never thought people actually LIVED on Fleet Street. I thought it was just that road that used to house all the national newspapers, and had views of St. Paul's. Like Soho’s Old Compton Street… you never imagine people taking up residence there. But it’s fitting that someone from the ‘new’ set of editorial talent London offers now lives here.
Chris, his boyfriend Lloyd and Monty the Pom all live above the hustle and bustle of this infamous street. Their cute little flat, equipped with a balcony off their bedroom with AMAZING London views (see above - #Jealous), is reminiscent of Abigail’s Party: all ‘70s furniture and ceramics, with tonal accents. "Lloyd decorated it! I love what he's done with the flat!” Chris told me.
I first met Chris about six years ago when he was the fashion assistant on gay title, Attitude. He cut his fashion teeth there for four and half years, before becoming the men’s style editor at Matchesfashion.com. It was obvious he was going onto bigger and better things… he has style in bucket loads, and the conviction to pull off a skin-tight ribbed knit and flared jeans with aplomb. Thanks to his innate sense of style, he is now educating men across the globe on what trends or pieces to buy into over on Matchesfashion.com.
Scroll on to read what Chris’s plan B career was, and to see his LONG list of things he loves about Monty.
"I love how he taps his paw in the water bowl when it's run out, I love how affectionate he is with my Nana..."
On life with Monty: I never had pets growing up, I was one of those kids that had asthma and allergies & it never really occurred to me that a dog would be something our family would get into. My boyfriend Lloyd started toying with the idea about 4 years ago & I had always thought it was a non-starter. We were too busy & I couldn't see how one would fit into our lives. Then a chance Facebook post from a friend of a friend came about. We toyed with the idea & spoke to friends & family (all of whom said it was a bad idea) & eventually said we would meet 6-month old Monty & immediately fell in love. Now I couldn't imagine my life without him, I'm completely obsessed. & we have made it work. Lloyd is lucky that he can take him to work with him & we're quite outdoorsy so he's never far from a walk. Also Monty is so easy-going he'll walk if the offers there but he's also quite happy lying around the flat. I really feel like we've lucked out & got this dog who's not yappy, well behaved and sociable. Sometimes I just look at him & wish there was a way someone could pay me just to rub his belly all day!
On his job: I've been at Matchesfashion.com for 3 & a half years now as Style Editor. I started it's global content was in its infancy along with Simon Chilvers the mens style director. Together we direct the menswear editorial so I write features, commission writers, style shoots and sittings but there is also the business side so we have to think about shoppability, deliveries, seasonality etc etc
On whether style can be learnt: I think personal style always evolves so yes I think it can. I think some people are naturally more stylish than others but there are a lot of resources to learn how to wear outfits and put looks together.
On what his house says about him: That Lloyd decorated it! I love what he's done with the flat but actually it wasn’t until we moved into this flat that I realised my taste in furniture isn't fully formed yet so I've let Lloyd take the lead. He works in a French furniture shop in Fulham called Quindry so he has developed a great eye.
On his career plan B: As a child I always bounced between fashion designer and journalist & I think fashion editorial is a good middle-ground. I was obsessed with Jurassic Park as a kid so there's still part of me that thinks I would have made a good archaeologist.
On his daily routine: Monty is usually my alarm clock, he wakes me at 7am usually by lying right next to me or lying above my head on my pillow. It doesn't usually take me too long to get up: I get dressed in about two minutes, put the kettle on and get my cup of Rooibos tea brewing. I take Monty out for 20 minutes, we usually walk around the backstreets of Fleet Street or down to the river or up to Hatton Garden. If I had more time I would take him to Lincoln Inn Fields as that’s his favourite park.
When I get back my tea is at optimum drinking temperature so I have that while watching 10 mins of BBC Breakfast while Monty eats his food. I leave the flat at 8:30 and walk to work. The office is in The Shard and it's still quite new so it's an exciting place to work and every day is different - I could be on a shoot or writing copy, researching people to interview or mood boarding shoot ideas. As far as I know The Shard isn't dog friendly so he hasn't visited yet, so Monty goes along to work with Lloyd. In the evening Monty has his evening meal at 7:30 and then he will usually get his last walk of the day an hour after. He often takes himself off to bed by 10pm though, recently he's been favouring sleeping on the sofa away from us, I sense he wants a bit more independence now he's four-years-old!
On career advice: Intern from an early age and think creatively about the different roles you could do. I always found at school that if you said you wanted to work in fashion then fashion design would be your path but it's so multilayered. Go out a lot when you're young, go to launches, meet people, be sociable and be nice as everyone who is your age will be climbing the career ladder together.
On switching off from work: Walking Monty around Hampstead Heath would be my ideal day, though the thought of him running off is incredibly stressful. We love going on day-trips with him whether it's a day in Cambridge or a lavender field in Surrey. Also finding brunchy places that let dogs in - I feel like the list is getting longer. I also love to read and try and cram in a few hours every Sunday afternoon.
On his favourite Monty tales: There's not much I don’t like to be honest. I love how smiley he is, I love how foxy he looks, I love when he tilts his head when you talk to him, I love how he sneezes, I love how he wipes his eyes with his paw, I love how he taps his paw in the water bowl when its run out, I love how affectionate he is with my Nana, I love how proud of himself he looks when he's eating his dinner, I love how fluffy he is but I also love how tiny he is when he's had his haircut, I love how compliant he is when I give him a shower and how he rolls around on the rug after to get his scent back. & I secretly love how he barks at skateboards.
On the breed of dog he'd most like to be: I think I'd be a whippet, I always thought that they would be super active but actually they can sleep all day & night!
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