Ernest Alexander
Credit: Grant Faint / Getty Images

One of the early places that inspired me was Italy," says Ernest Alexander. "I lived for some time in Rome and also traveled and lived in the north in Venice. The Italians know how to dress, and what's so great about being there is seeing how guys, no matter their profession, take pride in how they dress themselves – a lawyer, finance guy, gallerist, coffee shop owner, or bus driver always looking sharp."

"Attention to tailoring inspired me from living in Italy – but also always dressing your best. If I'm having a down day, there's something nice about dressing up that elevates you. For spring, my collection took after the colors of Venice: the water, the sights, the sounds. When you actually live there, you get to see the hidden aspects: the different colors (in the Liberty prints) and overall inspiration from having lived there and, memorably, one of the rooftop gardens I used to hang out on with friends. Riga is also a source of inspiration. Being half Latvian, and in traveling back to the capital city a lot, there's such a soul to that city. A lot of clean lines. There's a luxury to its simplicity that I love. It's just bursting with creativity and culture."