Urbane Inquiry presents…
Henry J. Mendoza of Dei Gratia & Co.
After meeting Henry at the PF Flyers Pop Shop last month, we realized we really wanted to feature a native Texan on our blog. Henry is in the process of opening his specialty shop, Dei Gratia & Co., in Dallas.
Henry discussed the topic of grooming in menswear, his upcoming role as a father, and how Texas has influenced the way he dresses.
Tell us a little bit about how Dei Gratia & Co. came about.
I’ve been in the hair industry for 10 years now, and a few years ago I decided it was time to do my own thing. Since then, Dei Gratia & Co. has evolved from a basic barbershop to a full-blown men’s shop. I wanted to find a way to combine my experience focusing on men’s cuts with my passion for menswear and my love for the traditional men’s lifestyle.
The Dei Gratia & Co. experience will include grooming services (cuts/shaves/hot towel treatments), shoe shines, men’s clothing & accessories, and craft cocktails.
Where does the tradition of grooming fall in modern menswear?
The resurgence in menswear toward a desire for high quality, handmade goods is in direct parallel to the resurgence of the traditional barbershop. It all has to do with the greater trend towards artisanship. Whether it’s style or grooming, we’re looking past our parents’ generation at what our grandfathers and their fathers did. We’re looking at the older cats as inspiration and bringing it into modern times. It seems like I see more hard parts and taper fades on menswear blogs every day.
Beyond trend, it’s just a matter of a man putting his best foot forward. The way a man presents himself is going to say more about him up front than his voice will. To me proper grooming is the punctuation at the end of that statement.
Who or what inspires you daily?
So many things. Most importantly, the fact that I’m about to be a father for the first time. My son is due in June, and Dei Gratia & Co. has now evolved from a dream of mine into a future for him. I want it to be an example of a lifestyle and values I hope to instill in him.
I’m surrounded by some of the most talented friends a guy can ask for. Clothing designers, graphic designers, business owners, craft cocktail bartenders, photographers, etc. Seeing their passion and creativity and getting to work with them for Dei Gratia & Co. is a blessing every day.
Lastly, a daily desire to achieve more than my upbringing and environment taught me I should be allowed to achieve.
Your hair is clearly a main component of your overall look. Do you cut it yourself?
I wish I could say I do. I cut my own hair from about 16-21, but photos no one will ever see prove that was always a bad idea. Now my good friend and master hairstylist Blake Brister and I hook each other up with cuts. We used to work together, so now getting together and breaking out the clippers is a great way to catch up.
How has living in Texas influenced the way you dress?
Being from a small town in West Texas, I learned about having a sense of pride in the way I present myself. I remember going to the coffee shop on Saturday mornings with my grandfather as a kid and seeing his friends sitting around impeccably dressed; whether it was newsboys and cardigans or denim and cowboy hats.
Also, it’s taught me how to have a sense of style while dressing for season (or lack thereof).
What are your favorite wardrobe staples for the spring/summer?
Gingham always finds its way into my spring/summer fits. It’s versatile and can work day or night, dressed up or down. I’ll definitely be spending the majority of the summer in a pair of PF Flyers as well.
What did you wear today?
A grey henley from The Gap over a thrifted Billy Reid button down, red Levi’s chinos, and brown leather chukkas.
Photography by Sukilynn
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