From Louis Vuitton to Christian Lacroix, Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, Lily Pulitzer to Lord Willy's, Malcolm McKinstrie is no stranger to designer duds, immaculate taste and the utmost style. Dressed to the nines wherever he goes, this trendsetter is put together from head to toe. With a knack for classic and exaggerated styles, he looks for quality and timeless pieces to add to his wardrobe. "Some of the suits I have are 20 years old," he says. "When they're quality, they last forever."
With a shoe collection that would make Imelda Marcos jealous, McKinstrie keeps some of his favorites on display around his pristine Fort Lee apartment, while more than 88 pairs of designer shoes and cowboy boots are housed in a separate shoe closet, and many more overflow into other closets and bins under the bed. McKinstrie offers advice that only an interior designer and someone with a serious love affair with shoes would think of: "Don't put lights in your closet because the direct exposure to light can fade those items."
McKinstrie, owner and president of MacLeod Design Group, an interior designer and architectural and site planner, handles everything from the building process to the materials to the final products. His highly successful business is responsible for the interior design of Grissini's in Englewood Cliffs, Bank of New Jersey in Fort Lee, select rooms in the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park and many more commercial and private locations. Perhaps without the personal touch McKinstrie infuses and his passion for fine living, his business may not be as successful. "My clients become family," he says. "I do everything from picking out their kids' clothing to picking out their towels, and even going shoe-shopping with them." It's not hard to see why his clients would entrust him with their most personal items when you spend time around the fun-loving McKinstrie, who uses solid-gold bricks as doorstops.
Being raised by fashionable parents and growing up surrounded by fashion as a child definitely rubbed off on McKinstrie, who had to be dressed for dinner every night. "We used stemmed glasses and ate in the formal dining room," he says. "My father's clothing was always pressed and custom-made."
McKinstrie prefers clothing with a sense of playfulness and an unexpected twist to even the most traditional piece. His signature style includes wearing a watch (a different one with every outfit), cuff links and the color red. Custom-made clothing is McKinstrie's preference in almost everything he owns and wears. "On all of my Huntsman suits, I have them finish the buttons in red," he says. "That's the fun part of having my clothing tailored and custom-made; they can do anything I want, and I can be creative with stitching, lining, buttonholes and buttons. You're only limited to your own creativity. It's like buying a car."