The Stranger Things star is the new face of menswear brand POLITIX. As the brand launches its new Autumn/Winter collection and accompanying campaign, ‘The Gentle Man, the Aussie actor chatted to Men’s Health Australia about why he prefers to stand out rather than fit in.
Dacre Montgomery is huddled up in his house in Silver Lake, LA, watching the rain bucket down outside. A cold snap that’s brought snow and single-digit temps to normally mild LA has locals shaking their heads and digging out their winter woolies.
For Montgomery, who grew up in Perth and has always been the kind of guy who likes to wear his shirts unbuttoned down to his sternum, the chill is bracing. But you get the feeling it might not be enough for the burgeoning Hollywood superstar to abandon his signature look. Montgomery’s the type of guy who always does his own thing.
“Growing up in Australia, I always used to have a couple of buttons undone on a college shirt,” says the 28-year-old, who got his first role as a Power Ranger before breaking out as big brother-gone bad, Billy, in era-defining, pop-cultural megahit Stranger Things. “And when I came to the States, people used to say, ‘Oh, why do you have so many buttons undone?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t care. It’s just the way I wear it’.”
He might find the weather in New Orleans, where he’s headed next to shoot a film with Sony, more to his liking . . . and better suited to his sartorial peccadillos. After that he’ll be in New Zealand for Went Up The Hill, which he describes as “a psychological thriller” and “one of the best scripts I’ve ever read”.
Coming off the back of a big 2022, that saw the actor make a brief return as Billy in Stranger Things: Season 4, as well as land a supporting role in Baz Lurhmann’s acclaimed Elvis, it’s clear Montgomery’s career has returned to a trajectory that appeared headed for orbit, pre-pandemic.
To wit, his new role as ambassador for local menswear brand POLITIX. A self-professed loner who struggled to fit in during high school and adolescence, Montgomery is a refreshing and deliberately bold pick for the brand’s ‘The Gentle Man’ campaign, launching alongside its new AW23 collection. Highlighting themes such as vulnerability and empathy, the campaign seeks to interrogate and challenge traditional notions of masculinity.
“I myself have suffered from trying to find my place, especially as a young man in uni, in high school, in the world, wondering what my masculinity is?” says Montgomery. “And I think POLITIX has done a really good job with positioning that message throughout their campaign and positioning me as someone who is saying, ‘Let’s challenge our masculinity. And how can we re-envision masculinity for the modern man?’”
In regard to the collection itself, Montgomery points to a neutral yet rich colour palette as an example of the way the new range manages to be distinctive in a modern way. “It’s monochromatic in the sense that if you are working with blue, for example, there’s a whole set of blues in one suit,” he says. On a more practical level he also likes the thoughtful detail in some of the collection’s key pieces: an adjustable strap in the suit pants and padded insole in the shoes, a godsend during marathon father-of-the-bride speeches or a long night on the dancefloor.
With a focus on premium fabrics, including the introduction of Australian wool suiting and a broader range of fits and layering for the colder months ahead, the collection represents an enticing chocolate box of possibilities to fill out your winter wardrobe.
POLITIX’s new direction is indicative of a bold, open road attitude enlivening contemporary men’s fashion, says Montgomery, making it a great time to spread your sartorial wings. “Take the risk, embrace who you are,” he urges. “The great thing about where the world is going at the moment is that sense of conformity is being broken up a bit and people are going, well, we don’t have to fit into whatever that mold is. I think that’s really interesting and really inspiring. And I definitely want to be a part of that movement because it is authentic to me. I’m someone that lives my life the way I want to live it. I’ve never been someone that’s tried to fit into a box.”
All outfits are available in POLITIX’s new AW23 collection: politix.com.au
Writing BEN JHOTY via Men’s Health.
Talent Dacre Montgomery @dacremontgomery
Dacre Montgomery is such a talented and handsome actor, I am a huge fan of his. He has come a long way from writing poetry, Power Rangers, Stranger Things and Lonely Hearts Gallery. I love his accent and he is looking very dapper in those suits and ties. He is the World’s Handsomest Man.
He totally is.