By: Julie-Anne Winson– The one name that outshines all in fashion dominance like a brilliant beacon of light from a lone lighthouse on a foggy night is Prince Moosa.
Even more surprisingly, this sophisticated ultimate authority on men’s high fashion hails from Bangladesh – a country not readily associated with the designer catwalks or celebrity red carpets of Milan, London, New York or Riyadh.
Since the early 70’s, this independent man of independent means has been an avid collector of some of the world’s most prestigious luxury fashion items and always looking resplendent as a fashion leader, never as a follower.
He pays, what might seem to some as being excessive attention to clothes and apparel. And over the years has acquired a manner of dressing that always achieves perfection. He frowns upon anything even remotely vulgar and does not own one pair of jeans. Even designer jeans sent to him by the actual designers are cast out as undesirables.
His wardrobes (he has several) are kaleidoscopic monuments to the world’s most famous fashion designers and internationally-revered brands including Brione, Abla, Kiton, Versace, Devenja, Belvest, Armani, Corneliani, and Avi Rossini etc.
Money has never been – and will never be – an object, or even a momentary thought to come between him and he fulfilling his heart’s desire and insatiable thirst for beauty. He knows instinctively what is right for him: no designer, however famous or learned, or any sales person can influence his purchase. The clothes speak to him without needing the translation of their designers.
Quite often, his purchases are made under the stealth of obscurity, away from the watchful eyes of the paparazzi, when only he and the designer are present, as if covertly he were buying a national treasure like the Mona Lisa or a Monet painting.
On all other occasions, the leading fashion houses of Europe, Saudi Arabia and USA give his arrival the red carpet treatment, often closing the doors to the general public, once he’s entered. Their annual profits can soar in a single visit. Besides he always bears expensive gifts, which increases the volume of his welcome, to some extent.
This handsome business tycoon rarely makes a purchase without adding some kind of alteration to its design, however small. The added personal touch makes all the garments worn by him unique, not to be found elsewhere worldwide.
It is common knowledge within the elite designing fraternity, his unique wardrobe surpasses the exquisite taste and finery once found gracefully waltzing through the beautifully decorated gold-leaf etched corridors of castles and stately homes of monarchs and gentlemen of distinction during the romantic bygone era of the French Empire.
French designs have still much to offer, but in his solo quest for the world’s best Prince Moosa decidedly cast his diamond-studded fishing net much wider afield from the early 80s to stockpile the world’s best and rightfully gain The Best Dressed Man in the World golden crown.
His knowledge of fashion is unrivaled. There is no Film, TV, Music celebrity, designer or member of royalty who can even come close. It would take generations to reach his standard. It’s been his lifelong study… his one insatiable passion. Fashion to him is as natural as breathing is to all life forms.
Just as art treasures are of immeasurable value to collectors, his enviable collection of exquisite outfits (many priceless) are precious to him.
His overwhelming wardrobe of designer masterpieces is climate-controlled for ultimate protection and preservation from all that nature might battle against it, and would impress the most discerning of tastes. It’s been an imposing showcase to the most awe-inspiring work of the greatest fashion innovators globally for decades. Painstaking cataloging and meticulous sectioning to suit all seasons ensures he’s never seen wearing the same suit twice in that same year.
Each suit is given the respect akin to a valuable jewel, perhaps even more. Once worn, it is immediately dry-cleaned, meticulously checked for dust, fluff, hairs or flaws of any kind by a butler whose sole job is to maintain the wardrobe in pristine condition. Each and every suit has its own curriculum vitae (Latin for “course of life”) from the moment of its purchase to the last time it was worn. He keeps precise records of when the suit was worn and what accessories (jewellery, shirt, tie, shoes and even the colour of socks), worn on that occasion. This is to avoid any possibility of the ensemble ever repeated on a similar occasion again.
One area of the wardrobe, protected by a sophisticated security alarm system, plays host to his ultra impressive collection of jewellery from the world’s elite jewellery houses. World leaders and members of royal families from around the world gifted many of the items to him. In 1988 the ‘trinkets’ (gold, silver and precious stones) were last valued at $85 Million. Now they’re worth considerably more.
Similar palatial closets exist in all his places of residence around the world – London, Zurich and Riyadh.
From the exuberant golden garden party days of the 80s and 90s that were the life and soul and incessant talk of Dhaka’s VIP social scene, Prince Moosa has now become more reclusive and maintains a quiet, considerably more modest, yet eloquent lifestyle at his Palace in Gulshan.
Although editors and journalists are listed among his dear and closest friends and requests for interviews are frequent, he rarely gives interviews to the media; TV, radio or press.
Only a few journalists, the work of whom he especially admires, have crossed the threshold of his Palace and received a rare insight into his exciting and delightful world in which designer dreams become real and perfection is compulsory.
One such internationally renowned writer is Nigel Farndale from London’s famed Sunday Telegraph Magazine. He and his editors were so impressed Prince Moosa became the first Asian featured on its prestigious front cover.
Nigel wrote about the luxurious lifestyle of the prince and the daily ‘royal’ rituals he observed first hand at the Palace unlike anything he had ever witnessed before. One of Prince Moosa’s opulent indulgences Nigel witnessed was the preparation for his daily bath in rosewater.
Similarly, Rashida Bhaghwat of the prestigious The Hindu – the most renowned English-language daily newspaper in India – enthusiastically wrote about the unique opulent lifestyle she had observed.
She compared it to the royal families that once ruled the Indian subcontinent and declared Prince Moosa as “most probably the last bastion of elegance left in Bengal”. And there’s every possibility she’s right on both accounts.
No doubt, he’s unique. Were he born into a European royal family, no questions would arise, but Bangladesh? – That has to be a geographic accident at birth, a rare oversight of providence or for a reason yet to manifest.
When he chooses to indulge himself, it’s nearly always new clothes and he does most of his shopping for designer wear in Riyadh these days. He describes it as the shopping paradise of the world. He says it’s more expensive than shopping in Europe, but money is never the issue. He believes Riyadh now offers the best the world has to offer and in one convenient location: a sort of One-Stop top brands shopping. Because of the higher prices that can be commanded in the oil-rich territory, all the top designers compete to showcase only their best and latest designs there.
Prince Moosa has a legendary reputation in all the exclusive stores as an influencer of trends. In the Arab world’s prestigious Daily Al Shark Al Awsat and the Daily Al Riyadh, one owner described him as a “Dream Prince”.
He admiringly remembered him from the time he was a young boy who helped out in his father’s shop after school. He said he used to be mesmerized by the poise and style of Prince Moosa and every time the tycoon visited he knew sales would go through the roof for that day.
It was not uncommon then or now for Prince Moosa to buy dozens of complete sets (suits, shirts, belts, ties, cuff-links etc) during the one visit and a delivery van to escort his Rolls-Royce car back.
Gifted at birth with impeccable fashion sense and upholding the highest fashion standards for decades, now the name Prince Moosa has rightfully attained guru status and spoken in awe, respect and as an avid collector, appreciated by the fashion world of today.
The following is a brief list of instantly recognizable designer names you will find in his wardrobe:
1. Wristwatches: More than 40 custom-made jewellery watches by names likes Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. One for every occasion imaginable. All are diamond studded, but many are enhanced with rubies, emeralds and other precious stones. The jewel in the crown is the world’s most expensive wristwatch custom-made by Rolex to his design embedded with diamonds, rubies and emeralds in solid gold.
2. Suits (thousands): custom-tailored by the likes of Brione, Abla, Kiton, Devenja, Belvest, Armani, Corneliani, Avi Rossini etc and increasing weekly.
3. Shirts (thousands): Most hand-made from the finest Egyptian cotton by Bolzonella, Brioni, Avi Rossini, Stefano Ricci, San Carlos, etc.
4. Neckties (thousands): Creations of Stefano Ricci, Avi Rossini, Pancaldi, Brioni, Zilli, Christian Dior, San Carlos, etc.
5. Shoes (thousands of pairs): Most are custom-made by Artioli, Testoni, Nipmar etc from crocodile, ostrich, snake, frog, fish and silk. All are rare and expensive. Many are diamond-studded and unique.
6. Belt & Buckles (hundreds): Most buckles are handcrafted from gold and studded with diamonds by some of the world’s leading jewellers. The belts are made from the world’s finest leathers and crafted to perfection.
7. Cufflinks (scores): Studded with diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
8. Pen (one): The world’s most expensive pen studded with precious and semi precious stones and custom-made for him by Mont Blanc. It’s valued between one and two million dollars.
9. Rings: He owns several rings specially made with large sized ruby, emerald and diamonds.
Prince Moosa is the golden boy and dream child of the world media. International press coverage on him shows him to be an iconic and monumental figure. Folklores and legends of his royal lifestyle, attire, wealth and his meteoric rise to fame and fortune is a fairy tale and myth – a story told by the millions of fans that Prince Moosa holds in cities and villages around the world.
He is the only living legend who can duly claim his throne as the icon of lifestyle and the lux of modern civilization. He is a passion believer of own self image that is reflected to the world and remembered in history as the man who lived his life in perfect fashion. He is the perfect and complete man, as seen by many of his admirers and well-wishers.
He is the Prince who many believe to be the King of Fashion and most probably the greatest stylish icon and best dressed man of all time.
By: Julie-Anne Winson
Anthony Wayne-Smith, London, Maria Sebastian, Milan, Jean-Jacques LePout, Paris and Abeer Abdullah, Riyadh Paris contributed to this report.