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While there are countless online boutiques serving the latest items from designer brands, it’s harder to find a carefully curated selection of past season items. For most hardcore collectors and enthusiasts, the only solution has been to scour eBay, international auction sites and online marketplaces on forums and Grailed. At the end of 2016, a new online boutique shop emerged called Huiben. The shop had a very focused lineup of designer goods, including some very covetable items ranging from Acronym to vintage Helmut Lang. Also refreshing was the fact that the shop felt so independent and carried both women’s and men’s products. The site is launching plenty of great new items at 2PM PST on Thursday, Jan 12, 2017.

I had a chance to speak with the founders of Huiben and get the inside scoop

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A new feature at The Telegraph goes in-depth with design legend Raf Simons. Each chapter of Raf’s career in fashion has been marked by evolution. While his namesake menswear has been one constant through over 20 years of designing, he has worked stints as the creative director of Jil Sander and most recently as the head of Dior.

In the article Raf hints that the relentless pace of luxury fashion left him somewhat creatively burnt out. His product design work for Danish textile design specialist Kvadrat really highlighted how insane the deadlines in high fashion really are at this point.

“Having the timeline of a year is like heaven for me because at Christian Dior I used to do eight collections a year and each collection could contain up to 150 fabrics,” he says. “I’ve done three fabrics this year for Kvadrat and I really, really pay attention to it. It’s beautiful to be able to give a project substantial incubation time. When I did fabrics at Dior I had to choose them within a couple of hours sometimes – seeing everything, deciding, making colour palettes… then hoopla – launch.”

Raf also touches on his frustration with how the focus on major fashion houses has shifted to the marketing of clothing through social media and away from ensuring the creativity behind the designs themselves.

“Everyone is paying attention to the wrong thing in my opinion. There’s this huge debate about ‘Oh my God, should we sell the garments the day after the show or three days after the show or should we tweet it in this way or Instagram it in that way?’… You know, all that kind of bullshit. Will all that stuff still be relevant 30 years from now? I don’t think so. What we should ask is will we have enough creative people who are strong enough and willing to do what is necessary right now to follow that madhouse. Lots of people are starting to question it. My generation especially is shifting now… like me and Phoebe [Philo], Nicolas [Ghesquière] and Marc [Jacobs]. We’ve been around for 20 or more years. We know what fashion was and where it’s heading to. Now it’s a question of what we are willing to do and how we are going to do it.”

Rumors have spread that Raf may take the lead at Calvin Klein next but it remains to be seen who he will end up designing for next. Read the entire piece over at The Telegraph.

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Bryan Lee (@originalprogram)

Great brands are able to build more than just a following , they inspire whole communities of supporters. Acronym is one brand that has made a mark not just within the techwear sphere but on a dedicated community of collectors and enthusiasts around the world. While it’s price point and exclusivity keep Acronym from really being on the radar in mainstream men’s fashion, fans of the brand can find imagery of gear, fits and even choose to trade, buy and sell the brand through forums , marketplaces like grailed or on private social media groups.

One outlet that has taken off in terms of showcasing the brand through the eyes and lenses of it’s biggest fans is the Acronymjutsu Instagram account.  The instagram account curates images from users around the world that use or wear Acronym. The account serves as both a home base for fans of the brand to keep in touch and communicate but also as a source of inspiration for those looking to buy or style the label in their own way. I spoke with Bryan Lee (@originalprogram) who started the Acronymjutsu account on how it came to be and his long history as a collector of all things Acronym.

Click through to read the feature.

Acronymjutsu Instagram account

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image from current Grailed Instagram feed

Grailed has become one of the best websites to buy sought-after menswear online.  While heads still scour eBay, Japanese auction sites and online message boards to find ‘grail’ designer items, Grailed has made the process easier to navigate for many. The site adds over 20,000 new listings each month featuring everything from street wear staples by NSW and Supreme to hard to find designer brands like Yohji Yamamoto and Saint Laurent.  I spoke with the site’s founder Arun Gupta about the progress of the site, it’s future and what the community of Grailed has come to represent.

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Photographer Sven Eselgroth contacted me to share an interview with menswear brand Our Legacy he had conducted while he was touring Scandinavia this past summer. Sven visited lead designer and brand co-founder Christopher Nying at their studios. In the interview Christopher touches base on the brands roots, inspirations and future, all accompanying photos in this feature are by Sven.

 Can you describe your design education?

I studied art and fashion communication and I think that led to the clothing because I was working with clothes during this time. At first I studied very fine art – sculpture and painting. Then graphic design, fashion communication, illustration and some photography. I didn’t really want to do that, but at the same time we started Our Legacy and made graphic t-shirts, which suited me quite well because it was really conceptual. We didn’t set out to purposely make clothing, it was more about expression. We tried to understand what sub-culture a particular t-shirt came from and create a look with it. The prints were inspired by lots of different ideas such as punk, skate, football hooligans in the 80s… Today we are coming back to those inspirations again. It doesn’t need to be very specific sub-cultures but I think there are new ones growing today that we’re not even aware of yet which could be quite interesting. Time feels like it goes faster today, people are more aware of what is happening socially and politically due to the newsfeeds.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

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Stephen with Hiroki Nakamura at FIL (Photo by Josay)

If you care about the types of Japanese brands and products I like to feature here, you may have come across Stylistics Space before. Stylistics Space is a Sendai-based webshop run by Stephen Marzano, an ex-pat American who is an enthusiast and expert when it comes to brands like Visvim, WTAPS, Supreme, Goodenough and Neighborhood. Stephen is a proxy shopper for buyers outside Japan and his service comes highly recommended. Stephen was gracious enough to answer some of my questions on a variety of topics ranging from the ura harajuku scene to the what he’s learned proxying for years. 

Stylistics Space Instagram

When did you move to Japan? What was the retail scene like when you first got there? 

I moved out here to Japan (Sendai) a little over six years ago, back in 2007.  The retail scene here in Sendai (North of Tokyo) was/is definitely a lot smaller than in Tokyo, but it surprised me a lot.  For a relatively small city, I didn’t expect the retail scene to be so big and vibrant.  I can’t really think of a brand, Japanese or otherwise, that wasn’t/isn’t available here through a stockist, if not through it’s own shop branch here.

 How did you begin your site Stylistics Space and what product do you like to share through it? 

Initially, it was simply a way for me to move old gear of my own.  I think I had brought some old pieces of mine to a recycle shop here to sell a long time ago and was just blown away at how low the prices were that they offered me.  I would rather have given them away to friends or just skated in them than sell them for the prices they offered me.  But at the same time, auction sites weren’t worth the trouble and I got tired of trying to move stuff on the chat forums.  With that said, I started up my first blog and after a short while, people started asking if I had any other sizes. After I noticed the interested, when I was making my weekly rounds to the recycle shops, I decided to start keeping an eye out for pieces that I thought people might appreciate and that were priced well, even if they weren’t my size.

As for product on the site, I tend to just stick to what I know and wear myself which is why it’s really heavy on brands like WTaps, Neighborhood, etc.  I appreciate a lot of different aesthetics and designers, but it’s just more fun to stick to what I know/enjoy and leave the rest to the proxy side of the business.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

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David Hellqvist (Photo by Felicity Ieraci via Stamp Magazine)

If you follow menswear on a regularly, a name that should keep popping up in your feed is David Hellqvist. He’s paid his dues in the industry working as the online editor for Dazed Digital (the online accompaniment to Dazed & Confused) before moving on to his current role as online editor at Port Magazine. I spoke with David about experiences as a menswear journalist and got him to share some of the wisdom he’s accrued over the past few years.

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In less than a decade Hypebeast has grown from a simple blog into a media empire in it’s own right. Site founder Kevin Ma began the site in 2005 and since then it’s  become a definitive online destination for anyone interested in men’s fashion. In the past year Hypebeast launched both an online store AND a print publication Hypebeast Magazine.

I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Eugene Kan, who is the Managing Editor at Hypebeast. Eugene has been at the center of Hypebeast’s evolution into these new ventures and in this interview he shares some of the why’s and how’s behind the expansion.  We also touch on other topics including the proliferation of streetwear online, his favorite retail shops worldwide and how the men’s fashion market is changing throughout Asia.

Read the interview after the jump

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It’s always nice to look at the blogs of your friends because you get a little bit more from the experience. When I first met Claire, I wasn’t aware of her blog De Lune, I did however notice her easy-going and effortless style. Clothes always work best when they reflect the wearers interests and personality and Claire has certainly been able to find that for herself. She’s been sharing her thoughts, images, and outfits with the world since 2008 when she first started blogging. In the years since, she’s had quite a bit of success at building a large engaged audience. Claire has been featured on everywhere from Refinery29 to Teen Vogue. She’s currently studying Fashion and Art Fashion at The New School.  I spoke with her about her approach to style , the evolution of her blog and the upcoming collaborations she’s been working on.

Read the feature after the jump 

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At the age of just 19, Kristin Prim has done enough to make those many years her senior envious. Her long list of achievements include starting her own print fashion publication Prim Magazine in 2008. The magazine caught on amongst a worldwide fashion set and was recognized for it’s striking art direction and collaborations with key fashion figures including likes of Rad Hourani and Jeremy Scott. Since then she’s gone on to do numerous varied projects from modeling for Nicole Miller to building out her own personal style diary.

Despite being best known in the fashion community, Kristin’s presence has always been about more than pretty clothes. To me the most inspiring thing about her is her commitment to self-expression, beauty and a code of ethics and beliefs that form the DNA of everything she does. It’s this persistence and fierce independence that informs her continued work and directs her career as a into a budding multi-disciplinary artist.

Her recent artwork includes a series called ‘delerium’ where she used a typewriter to write her blunt, unfiltered daily thoughts on 5×7 pieces of white paper. An example states “You can still feel very alone in a crowded room where everyone knows your name”. In another series ‘Shadowplay’, a sequence of black and white photos feature a nude faceless female form surrounded by darkness.

I spoke with Kristin about her past experiences, the process and philosophy behind her work and what continues to push her to create.

Read the interview and see visuals of her work and space after the jump

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