Controversial pope, Pope Francis has made the headlines once again after being named the best dressed man of 2013 by Esquire Magazine.
The U.S. edition of men’s style and lifestyle magazine named Pope Francis admitting the decision is ‘unconventional’ but his simple manner of dressing has ‘signaled a new era (and for many, renewed hope) for the Catholic Church’.
Mark-Evan Blackman, assistant professor of menswear design at FIT, told the magazine about his dressing, “His mode of dressing really does reflect the mindset behind it. I remember when John Paul II was buried in those opulent bright red shoes. When the current pope was elected and chose not to wear the red shoes I thought that was very reflective of his approach to being a person functioning in a role.”
The Pope has set himself apart from pontiffs before him in reference to his approach of things in general. On Maundy Thursday, he knelt to wash and kiss the feet of young offenders — two of them girls and one a Muslim – during an Easter visit to a youth detention centre. In July, he invited homeless people to dine with him in St Peter’s Square.
In August, he posed for a ‘papal selfie’ with a group of teenagers. A few weeks later, he put on a red clown’s nose to pose for comic photos with a newly-wed couple.
“Pope Francis understands that menswear is meant to express the character of the man wearing the clothes,” said Mary Lisa Gavenas, author of The Fairchild Encyclopedia of Menswear. “No rapper-style popewear for him.”
The 77-year-old was 2013’s most discussed human being, according to the Global Language Monitor’s annual survey of the internet.