Erin Paviour-Smith talks to Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands, David D. Archer and uncovers the story behind his standout personal style.
Photographs courtesy of David D. Archer Main image photographed by Stacy Mather. Image of Hamilton Lavity Stoutt courtesy of HLSCC.


David, tell me about how and when your personal style journey began? As a young boy, aged 10 or 12, my mother (Mrs Janice Stoutt) always had Spiegel catalogues around the house and I would skim through them. As my Mum did also, she would say “David, I am going to order something. As you have done well in school, would you like something too?” That is when I began to aspire to have clothing that was different from everyone else. That’s when I first remember getting into style and fashion.

How does culture play a part in your personal style? My Mum’s family have an innate sense of style. Right now my Mum is favouring African prints with matching wraps for her hair, which make a statement. My paternal Grandfather, the late Prince McDonald Stoutt – a Member of the House of Assembly, liked to wear hats and walked with a cane. As it happens, I also like to wear hats and collect walking canes. One day I took a walk through Cane Garden Bay and when my Mum saw me, she said, “Did you know your Grandfather always walked with a cane? You twirl the cane in the exact same way he did.” So that is something special. My Grandfather’s brother (my Great Uncle) was the late Hamilton Lavity Stoutt – the first and longest serving Chief Minister of the Virgin Islands. I remember that he always wore tailored suits, with a stylish tie and pocket square.

Are there any other influences on your style? I am an avid thrifter. It may seem like I shop in regular stores or online, but I don’t! I love the idea of having a piece of clothing that was part of someone else’s history that I can make my own. Also, the cut of jackets are different these days. I love the way vintage jackets are tailored and have collected quite a few!

What are the top three words that best describe your style? Courageous, classic and intriguing.

Please tell me who your favourite fashion designers are?

Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Tom Ford. Because both of these designers transcend time.

Tell me about one of your most favourite ‘go-to’ looks.

One of my favourite ‘go to’ looks is a pair of Bermuda shorts, blue blazer and based on the occasion, teamed with a pair of moccasins, trainers or dress shoes, then topped with a hat and based on the occasion that could even be a baseball cap.

What are your favourite colours to wear? Blue and red.

Do you have any grooming secrets for gentlemen reading this? Starting with clothing, everyone should own a tailored jacket and pants, as well as a suit. When buying off the shelf, take it to a tailor and have them fit to your body. For grooming, don’t wait until you go for a haircut, buy yourself a shaving kit and keep yourself shaved, unless that is the look you are going for.

Erin: What is your signature fragrance?
David: Virgin Island Water by Creed. The notes capture the tropical scent carried in the trade winds through the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Creed is my go-to for special occasions. For every day, I found an after-shave at Old Navy that I originally purchased to spray my car! It’s just $14 and smells great.

Finally, what are your top tips for any ladies and gentlemen reading this who may want to become more style savvy, but may not know how to start? I think the two things I want to encourage people in the BVI to do is, 1) don’t be afraid to stand out. 2) if you feel good and the clothing represents your character, go for it! •