“Playing football with a lion? Wear a good suit.” South African Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson took this old proverb very seriously recently when teaming up with Van Gils to produce a campaign raising awareness for the plight of wild lions. Richardson wore a fantastic grey suit and accented it with an orange tie and pocket square. Despite the suit’s tailored fit, he didn’t hold back. At one point he even rode the lion, showing off some brown leather boots. When the time came to play football with the lion (watch the video if you don’t believe me), he replaced the boots with trainers.
If you’ve ever seen the Lion Whisperer at work, you’ll know that a suit isn’t his usual attire. He’s actually more famous for his grubby T-shirts and cargo pants. Thanks to this radical change of wardrobe, Richardson looked more out of place than ever beside these fierce creatures. So why is he wearing a suit? The campaign is meant to draw attention to the fact that Van Gils has tailored the Dutch football team’s official World Cup suit. If it’s anything like Richardson’s here, they’ll make a spectacular-looking team.
There are a few things to take away from these images, besides an awful lot of fear and admiration. The first is to be reminded of how good a white, spread-collar shirt looks next to a tailored suit. When it looks this good, it makes me think there isn’t any other type of collar worth having. Secondly: a brightly-coloured, matching tie and pocket square are an amazing way to accent a dark-tone suit. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Lion Whisperer – now, be careful with those lions.