In The Press: Nigel Musto Interview in GQ Magazine
‘Nigel Musto’s conversion to country sports rapidly became a passion that has paid dividends for his family’s clothing firm.
In the world of yachting, Keith Musto is a household name. As a competitive sailor, he won a silver medal at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, while his innovative clothing has since become the staple brand for demanding yachtsmen.
His son Nigel, now chief executive of the company, has the same hankering for adventure and business. Twenty years ago, he was instrumental in expanding the portfolio into hunting and shooting, taking the wet and cold weather experience gleaned from the high seas and adapting it to protect the country sportsman on a blustery hill in December.
The evolution made obvious sense, but there was one glaring problem. Nobody at MUSTO knew a heck of a lot about shooting. “The reason we are top of the pile at sailing is because everybody involved in the design process has stood at the rail at 2am in a howling gale,” says Nigel. “In the shooting market, we made an impact by substituting wax waterproofs with Gore-Tex fabrics. But we knew that when the competition caught up, we would run the risk of falling behind.”
The company needed a guinea pig who was willing to immerse himself in field sports. He would have to get muddy, bloody, wet and cold in the name of market research. “Well, I couldn’t ask anyone else to do something I wouldn’t do myself, now could I?” he laughs.
Luckily for Nigel, his challenge became a labour of love. He now spends much of his spare time culling deer in Suffolk before first light or driving to the Highlands to stalk hinds in the depths of winter, and has also shaped his own game-bird shoot on 180 acres of arable land.
“Creating a shoot from scratch has been an amazing experience, but bloody hard work. We’ve built beetle banks, flooded meadows, dug dams and sluices, as well as the gamekeeping duties.
“Shooting has quickly turned from a hobby into a passion. And all the time, I am talking to people in the field who know what they want from their clothing. We can now play the game from a position of strength.”‘
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