For starters, there’s the fashion of it all. “I’m normally quite conservative in terms of my outfits,” he admits. On the awards circuit, that worked to his advantage, with Quan’s stylist Chloe Takayanagi dressing him in a number of classic, strong-lined, leading-man dinner jackets. To fulfill the Met’s Karl Lagerfeld theme, though, Takayanagi worked with Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones to craft a custom ensemble that’s miles outside Quan’s comfort zone. The look is a boldly striped gray suit, complemented by a full suite of iconic Karl signifiers: an enormous shirt collar; gleaming patent Chelsea boots; a gaggle of jewelry by Fred Leighton and Kwiat; and, of course, a pair of fingerless leather gloves.
The thing that’s really got Quan on edge, though? “This is going to be the first event that I’m attending alone,” he says. “Normally, my wife is there with me.”
Later that afternoon, I walk into Quan’s hotel room for a pre-Gala photo shoot, and his mood has completely shifted from our earlier conversation. His hair is coiffed up to movie star perfection, his dramatic outfit is mostly on, and he’s projecting a confidence commensurate with just how damn handsome he looks. Takayanagi finishes adjusting the blinding galaxy of jewels around his neck— “These diamonds are real? Do you have insurance on these?” he asks—and places a very Lagerfeld-esque pair of dark shades on his temples. Then the photographer begins shooting, and Quan goes to another place entirely. Suddenly he is Karl Lagerfeld in all his imposing glory, mean-mugging and strutting about and clutching his lapels with ferocity. “This is the most fun,” Quan says. “It feels like I’m playing a character, really. I actually looked at a lot of Karl Lagerfeld poses, and this one is the most iconic right here.”