The Monoman

Josef Adamu, the founder of the creative agency Sunday School—whose clients have included Nike, Teen Vogue, and Squarespace—is poised to become Toronto’s hottest branding wunderkind. And he’s got the wardrobe to prove it

WHAT HE’S WEARING Custom tan suiting. Shirt from Muji. Belt from Club Monaco. Shoes by Puma. Vintage belt charm. Photographed in the Arthur Conan Doyle Room at the Toronto Reference Library

My Monochrome strategy
I might throw in one or two things that stand out, but for the most part, I match the shade of my shirt, pants and shoes. I started matching back in high school. I try to keep it pretty simple. I even coordinate my closet by colour scheme, keeping similar shades hung in the same area. It’s just easier to find things.

My early style inspiration
Growing up, I was really into GQ and Esquire—magazines that pushed the idea of the “ideal man.” I just took little pieces of those guys for myself.

Where I look now
Two designers from the U.K., Samuel Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, are a really big influence on me. I first found them through style blogs, on Tumblr and Instagram. They do a lot of cut-and-sew. They’re really in the bespoke suiting lane. They’ve been at it for like 30 years.

My first kicks
I used to be a huge shoe guy, probably because I played a lot of basketball growing up. I was all about Jordans and Nikes. I wanted to keep up with the latest trends. I was really big on the hype—I’d know when all the releases were going to drop, or I’d find retro stuff on eBay, like the Nike Air Tech Challenge 2, a favourite of Andre Agassi.

My current fixation
I’m really into a dope, old-school shirt. I love a ’70s neck or a bowling collar. I’ve been collecting a lot of these from vintage stores and some hand-me-downs from my dad. I’ll put them under jackets or wear them alone on nights out.

Before I relaxed into my own style vibe
When I was at U of T, I was doing a bit too much with my look. I was wearing suits to school. I would bring book bags, like I was at some Ivy League school. But it didn’t really fit into the overall campus vibe, where everyone else was wearing track pants. I went to class and I’d be sweating in a three-piece suit. I used to call myself “The Dapper Homme.” It was a very, very weird phase of my life.

My hair strategy
I get a haircut every two weeks. That’s a little unwritten rule I have. My cousin’s a barber, so I get home cuts, usually before or after his shift. As far as grooming, I have a T-outliner trimmer to keep things sharp between proper cuts. And I’ve been brushing my hair a specific way for the last 15 years. I’m minimal with my hair—I’ve never bleached it, never done anything really bizarre. As a kid, I got a few designs cut into my hair—one time it was the Nike swoosh—but that’s just what you did then. From Grade 5 onward, I was a very clean-cut guy. When my hair’s not cut a certain way—I don’t want to say it takes away from the outfit, but it’s no longer the cherry on top of the cake. Then you have to wear a hat with it, and I hate hats.

My overall fashion MO
I’m about getting something sturdy that does the job, and taking it everywhere. I like to build a relationship with my things. I’ve been working a lot in Montreal recently. For luggage, I have a Target x Philip Lim bag I’ve been rocking everywhere I go for the last six years. The best thing about it is that you can sneak it under your seat on the plane.


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