While he has worked in the industry for over 30 years, Patrick Munsters is the rare designer who isn’t interested in what’s fashionable so much as what endures. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he got his start at the Dutch brand Scotch & Soda, eventually buying the company with partners and turning it into a global juggernaut. But after 11 years as creative director, he decided to sell and leave the rat race.
After launching Marie-Stella-Maris, a brand of mineral water and toiletries, Munsters returned to fashion in 2017 with Salle Privée, but this time with a clear differentiating factor: Rather than seasonal collections, his brand offers a permanent range of the pieces that men rely on, year in and year out—the perfect peacoat, chinos, T-shirt. No seasons, no sale. In recent years, Munsters has expanded his focus to include a collection of fragrances. Whether it’s garments or colognes, Munsters is unerring in his pursuit of products that transcend trends.
Do you have any personal rituals?
I like a really sharp bed. Every morning, after I wake up, I make my bed tidy and sharp. I love really fine Egyptian cotton with high-density threads, like a nice poplin shirt, and only white.
What advice do you wish you hadn’t followed?
My first collection was completely dark blue and later on, because of sales pressures, we added a few colors. I regret that.
What do you do that’s still analog?
I do a lot of drawing, sketching, designing with just a pencil and paper. It’s a lot of logos, typefaces, furniture for the house, displays for the stores. I never do it on a computer.
What do you crave most at the end of the day?
Just to sit down by the fireplace and see what the day brought… what new ideas, new experiences and what I can do with them. What I don’t need, I leave behind me.
How do you find calm?
Taking a walk through the forest with [my partner] Anna and the dog. We live in the city but have a house in the forest outside Amsterdam.
Who is your guru?
Probably the dog. He’s a Shikoku. We have a lot of fun together.
How would you describe your look?
Dark-blue city. I have a brown and a black Hermès bag, no logos, very simple. Always brown or black shoes. Everything else is dark blue. It’s clean.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I’m not really into cocktails, but I like wine, particularly 1985 Kopke vintage port. I like to enjoy it with some cheese.
What’s the most impressive dish you cook?
It’s an asparagus dish I love to make, and Anna is really fond of it. It’s very simple, but that’s the beauty of it: asparagus, a nice butter sauce, ham and finely diced boiled eggs.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve added to your collection?
A piece of art I bought online from LA. It’s a beautiful wooden artwork from the ’70s, by an Italian design collective called NP2. We also bought a safe in Milan that’s made of malachite, by Conforti.
Who is your dealer, and what do they source for you?
Actually, it’s me. I really enjoy doing the research and searching for pieces—that’s maybe the biggest part of the joy.
What is your exercise routine, and how often do you do it?
I have a personal trainer and do it twice a week. I have a problem with my right leg, so this is why I do it. I don’t like spending too much time in the gym, so it’s more of a “must” to keep in shape.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
To play the trumpet. I like to whistle, and for trumpet, I think you have to be a very good whistler and have coordination in one hand. I’m not an expert, but I think it’s probably a lot easier than playing the piano or something that requires two hands, which is difficult for me.
How much do you trust your gut instinct?
A lot. I probably make 90 percent of my decisions on my gut feeling.
Where do you get your clothes?
I don’t have any clothes that are not Salle Privée. I have enough clothing of my own that fits me and is my color. There are more than 1,000 shades of dark blue, and I’m very picky. Not all of them are the right one.
Are you wearing a watch? How many do you own?
Right now, a Nautilus. Mainly, I wear a white Swatch; I have seven, all the same. I also have a white-gold Calatrava, a Jaeger-LeCoultre dual time, a few vintage Rolexes.
When was the last time you completely unplugged?
I never completely unplug, so probably when I was a child. I like to always be, in a way, connected.
What’s your favorite hotel?
La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza, Italy.
Who do you admire most, and why?
There are lots of people I admire, but it’s a bit funny to say who I admire the most. Design-wise, I like what Giorgio Armani did, but I don’t know him and I don’t know what he does in his spare time, what he does politically, those kinds of things.
What is your e-mail etiquette?
I like to respond immediately when I see something. Otherwise I’m afraid I won’t think about it and it’ll be gone. In general, I don’t like to e-mail. I’m the guy who phones.
What is the car you are most attached to?
A Maserati Ghibli from 1968. I restored it for two years. Originally, it was metallic gold with very bright green leather interiors, a really beautiful combination you don’t often see. I drive it a lot.
What is worth paying for?
Do you still write letters?
No. One of the reasons I’m not into e-mailing either is that I’m dyslexic. Writing takes me a long time.
Last box set or Netflix binge?
It was something on Netflix about design, with the designer from Nike talking about how he designed the Jordans and things like that.
Bowie or Dylan?