James is one of those people you meet who has a coherent and consistent personal style. He definitely puts together outfits that are well-coordinated down to the little details and it’s for that reason that I’ve been wanting to profile his wardrobe for some time. When it comes to clothes, discipline goes a long way and I think James makes good decisions when it comes to adding valuable wardrobe pieces to his current clothing collection. I had him put together some of his favorite looks below.
What really sparked your interest in clothes?
My interest in clothes was really sparked by my initial interest in sneakers. And that probably stemmed from being into basketball. I started collecting sneakers as a teenager and eventually realized there was an imbalance. I had to step up my wardrobe too. I was also starting to study design around the same time and I found an outlet in being able to express myself through my clothing.
Briefly describe how your style has evolved over the years.
When I was younger, I pretty much just wore the New York staples — Timberland, North Face, etc. From there I got into some street wear and high fashion brands. Nowadays, I would say my wardrobe is more subtle and focused on functionality. Over the past few years I’ve made an attempt to acquire pieces that I think will stand the test of time and not look dated, no matter what the current trends are.
Film and music are some of your major interests. How do they provide inspiration for how you dress?
Music had a huge impact on how I dress — before I had real sources to keep up with apparel, I would always scope what certain artists were wearing. I’m observant of trends or styles (in both music and film) from era’s gone by and if I like a certain garment I’ll make note of it and try to figure out how I can get a modernized version in a manner that would integrate well into my wardrobe. Certain sub genres of film had an impact too, such as American Film Noir and French New Wave. The main characters in those films were always styled extremely well — I appreciated that and kind of aspired to dress as sharp as them.
Your wardrobe has a lot of color in it, how do you incorporate color into your fits without it making look over the top?
I wanted to make sure to stay away from having mostly neutral tones in my wardrobe, I think it’s an interesting challenge to put together outfits with a variety of colors. I also wanted to stay away from drawing unnecessary attention to my outfits due to loud or bright colors. I think I’ve been able to pull off that balance by adding understated but unique tones.
What would you like to see more of in terms of menswear?
I’d like to see more functionality incorporated into menswear, I feel like a lot of brands don’t necessarily consider the tasks of life. Some of the brands I wore when I was younger took more of a dedicated approach towards this — pockets designed towards certain devices, maybe an extra lining of materials to store keys. Even details designed for the mayhem of late night roaming such as stash pockets or compartments in jackets that a beer would fit perfectly into.
What spots or websites do you like to shop at?
Some of my favorite stores are Nepenthes, Unis, Epaulet, Hickoree’s, Smith & Butler, Opening Ceremony, Blue In Green, Odin, and I always stopped by Nom De Guerre when it was still around. For online shopping I check Union Made Goods, Tres Bien Shop, Anout Commune, Green Noah, and Archival.
Photos by Rocky Li