Following the funeral of ‘the greatest’ last Friday (which he actually helped plan before his death – says a lot about his attention to detail), lets take a look at what made Muhammad Ali so iconic.
He had so many talents, his ability to engage with both the public and the media hugely contributed to his success. Ali was, and always will be legendary.
He was a gentleman both in and out of the ring. His conduct, even as a fighter was exemplary. He showed grace and determination in everything he did. His success transcended beyond boxing into fashion, politics and culture.
One of my favourite quotes by him is:
“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others”. This explains why he was so popular, very talented, super confident and yet humble all at the same time.
Muhammad Ali understood personal branding long before any Marketing firm defined it. He knew that to really be the best he had to not only act, but dress like it too. To become a true ‘icon’ you must look like one. There’s a reason why powerful people in society still wear suits.
He brought style to the sporting world and was always on point with his clothing choices . Turning up at all his press conferences in a suit, showed the pride he took in his appearance. He displayed with every inch of his being, the undeniable star that he was.
He had his first bespoke suit made on Savile Row by Harry Helman in 1966, he is quoted as saying; “I’m ordering six just like it, in different colours. I’m a gentleman now, I have to look like one.” According to photographer Gordon Parks who worked for Life magazine at the time. Read full article: :http://www.esquire.co.uk/style/news/a7085/muhammad-ali-thomas-hoepker-style-photography/
His ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ robe was also made in the UK by London designer Michael Fish (reponsible for the popular Mr Fish range in the 60’s and 70’s) – the label is making a comeback this year through menswear specialist David Mason.
Here are my favourite images of him, looking totally dapper all throughout his life, showing class and dignity right to the very end. RIP Muhammad Ali, a real legend and a true Gent: