Personal Style: A Conversation with Hooman Majd


When Hooman Majd and his longtime friend Ken Browar launched their men’s lifestyle blog, The House of Majd, in 2012, they didn’t do so with the intention of creating one of the most insightful menswear sites on the web. But in a space saturated with far too many bloggers incapable of writing anything of real substance, that’s exactly what they achieved.

“Style is not about impressing other people, it’s not about fashion or about wealth; it’s about how you live your life with what you can have.” -Hooman Majd

Majd isn’t your typical style blogger, and that’s a good thing. Born in Tehran to a family in the diplomatic service, he spent most of his young life living abroad, attending a boarding school in England and later college in the United States. He was at one time the Executive Vice President of Island Records before the recording industry imploded, and at the age of 40 he returned to his first love–writing–tacking everything from style to international politics. Since then, he’s published three New York Times bestselling books exploring modern Iranian culture and politics (The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy, and The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay). He has also contributed to numerous publications, among them The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, GQ, and Salon.


Today, in his mid-50s, Majd writes with something most bloggers lack–experience–and it’s this experience that really comes out in his work.  He doesn’t focus on fashion and trends (fret not, skinny-jean haters), nor does he accept advertising. Instead, Majd’s focus is an intimate look at style–specifically his own–and he explores the various facets of that style in romantically written posts paired with Browar’s professional photography. The beauty of the blog, and what makes it truly unique, is that it is wholly accessible; from posts about travel and luggage to posts about footwear and vintages wristwatches, there is something for everyone to take away.

I had the pleasure of asking Mr. Majd several questions about his background, style, and yes, even watches. Enjoy!

worn&wound: For our readers who may not know who you are, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? (And how you got involved in the “menswear” world).

Hooman Majd: I’m an author and journalist, based in NY. My main profession is writing–books and articles, and I’ve written for many publications apart from publishing three books. But I’ve also always been interested in style, and have had strong opinions about it–and have written for GQ and the NY Times Sunday Styles–and with my friends in the fashion business I suppose it was natural to venture into something like this blog.


w&w: I’ve been reading The House of Majd since its inception in 2012. How did you and Ken come together to get this project started?

HM: Ken, my friend and a great photographer, suggested that we do this. He has always been complimentary about my style, and me of his photography. He thought I could do something more public with style, and he would photograph all our posts.

w&w: One of my favorite things about The House of Majd is that, unlike a number of other menswear blogs, it doesn’t read like a giant ad for a specific item or brand. Instead, you write about the things you seem to genuinely love and tell a story with each post. Everything feels organic. Was this something you intentionally set out to do?

HM: Indeed, and absolutely. We don’t take advertising, we don’t accept sponsors, and the idea was just to have a platform for style and taste. Hopefully people would come to enjoy the photographs and the writing, and perhaps even pick up a few tips. I could never write about something I didn’t like, or wasn’t to my taste.


w&w: You write, “Style is not about impressing other people, it’s not about fashion or about wealth.” I’m a firm believer in the same. How would you describe your style, and how has it changed (or stayed the same) over the years in relation to this ethos?

HM: I suppose I’ve always been relatively conservative in style, but with a nod to fashion. Some things I think should stay the same–and that’s probably the whole heritage thing that’s fashionable now–so when it comes to jeans, sneakers, khakis and the like, I don’t think there’s much one should do beyond the basic, well-made stuff. But with suits, for example, I do think one is influenced by fashion to some degree, whether one even knows it or not. I used to have my suits made–I have enough that I don’t think I’ll have new ones made for quite some time (nor could I afford to anymore), and I think I chose a style of suit that would probably never be completely fashionable, but would always be stylish. Exaggerated proportions (except for a couple of 1930’s style suits that Savoia made for me) are what I stay away from. Although I admire Thom Browne tremendously and wear some things he makes, I think if I were to wear his suits as he cuts them I may regret the look in a few years. So basically I just try to stick with what I think works for me, and what is comfortable.

w&w: You and I are both big fans of Alden and Levi’s Vintage Clothing (the USA-made brand). What are some of your other favorite brands, and why?

HM: I’m a fan of anything well-made, and anything where the purpose isn’t just to sell you something, but where the maker has a purpose to create the best of something. Although Levis is a huge company, their bringing back their styles from as far back as a century ago–and making the jeans exactly as they did in the past–may be profitable for them, but also speaks to a desire to provide real quality and style. There are so many brands that are great–Red Wing shoes, Edward Green shoes, Sunspel, Crombie, Acquascutum, Kamakura shirts, Roberu (leather goods), Phigvel (Japan), and so many others the list would be too long….


w&w: Some of my favorite posts on The House of Majd are the ones about your personal watch collection (by the way, I love that quirky Universal Genève chronograph). Can you tell me a bit about how you got into collecting watches, and what significance they have for you?

HM: Not all the watches are mine. The Universal and the Rolex bubbleback are Ken’s. I’ve always loved watches–jewelry for men, if you like–and when I could afford expensive ones I had them. Now I have a couple of vintage watches–not particularly valuable–that I’ve kept, but I just admire the look, and the workmanship, of watches, whether expensive or not.

w&w: Am I correct in my assumption that most, if not all, of your watches are vintage? What draws you to vintage pieces? (Full disclosure: I’m currently wearing a Seiko 6139 pepsi chronograph from the 70s.)

HM: Yes, and what draws me to them is not just the look, which can be fantastic, but the idea that they were created to last more than a lifetime (and do). Also, they are fashion-proof, and of course some vintage watches are a bargain compared to the equivalent new (some, of course, are extremely expensive).


w&w: If price wasn’t an issue, what watch would you love to have strapped to your wrist right now, and why?

HM: A Cartier Tonneau in white gold, or a Vacheron Constantin “American 1921.” Because both are supremely elegant, and the Vacheron is elegant and unusual (originally a “driving” watch, with the face and crown offset from center).

w&w: What advice would you give a man who wants to develop his own personal style, but is a bit clueless as to where he should begin?

HM: No one is truly clueless, I believe, but sometimes a man needs inspiration. No one can help someone develop their own style, but I’d say to anyone that they shouldn’t try to copy style or fashion, but draw inspiration from it. And develop your style by trying things, and deciding what works for you, and more important, what you feel comfortable wearing.


w&w: I really enjoyed your collaboration with Cremieux. Anything similar planned for the future?

HM: Indeed. We will be doing more collaborations, especially with clothing. And perhaps with Cremieux again!

by Ilya Ryvin

You can follow Ilya on Instagram: @RyvinI

photo credit: Ken Browar

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.