This sentiment is echoed by Daniel Gray – based in TOG’s Melcombe Place – who founded cosmetic brand War Paint for Men in 2017. Gray has suffered with body dysmorphia since childhood, and uses make-up to help him feel more comfortable with his appearance.
‘It helps me manage the things that worry me,' he explains. 'For centuries, men have been expected to get on with it, and to not care about how they look. Finally, more men are embracing clothes and grooming, and looking after themselves. This change isn’t purely Gen Z or millennial, either – 30 per cent of our customers are over 50 years old, so this is about comfort and confidence.’
For Gray, an awareness of mental health issues is essential in supporting those who struggle to find their place in the world. ‘I think the majority of people suffer from some kind of mental health problem and the more these things are talked about, the easier it is for people to deal with negative thoughts,' he says. 'We shouldn’t underestimate how physical tools can help too; men have worn power suits for years, so why not make-up, if it makes you feel more like you?’
With or without make-up, learning to love yourself can be an arduous journey. For Dann, it’s essential to understand how we’ve been conditioned by the people in our lives, and, more broadly, by society. ‘It’s about peeling back social labels and reconnecting with your own thoughts and beliefs,’ she suggests. ‘You have to ask yourself: “Is this what I really think and feel? Or have these ideas been acquired over time because someone or something has told me what I need to believe?”’
And it’s an ongoing journey. ‘Learning to love yourself is a constant process,’ she says. ‘We all have to do the inner work to live fulfilled lives and to relate to others. But it’s reassuring to know that no human being is perfect, everyone is unique, and that you are not alone.’
Aleks Cvetkovic contributes to the Financial Times, Robb Report and The Telegraph. He also hosts men's style podcast HandCut Radio