Loyal Third Looks visitors may remember my post last year about the street-style blog Otomayim B Dipper. The site is run by my friend Ryo Miyamoto, who takes all the photos for his site personally. I started running into Ryo at fashion and art events all around the city and quickly noticed his knack for putting together really creative outfits. While I had some idea that he was a stylish dude, shooting this style profile with him really convinced me that Ryo is on a whole ‘nother level.
Many people thrift shop to find cheap items. A few mix vintage with designer items really well to create their own highly personal style. Ryo mixes things in ways I had never seen or even considered. I’ll let the photos and his words speak for themselves.
You mentioned to me that your style has evolved a lot since you moved to New York. Can you speak about how it has developed since you moved from Japan?
I am from a tiny island called Okinawa, where most of U.S. military bases in Japan are located. Therefore, American culture was always around me. I moved to New York five years ago and at the time, hip-hop and R&B were my big interests. I wore a New Era cap, an Adidas track jacket, Dickies baggy pants, and white Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. I did not know what YSL stood for and I barely knew about Comme des Garçons. However, thanks to the kind people I have met, I gradually started learning about fashion and style. My style today came from all my friends around me. Hopefully, I can continue to learn from them and further develop my style and identity.
Issey Miyake hat
You are able to find very amazing vintage pieces at thrift stores. Do you have any advice on how to find such great pieces?
First, I browse colors and prints, then feel textures; then I look at the silhouettes. In this way, you can save your time and energy for the long journey of thrift-store shopping. If you are looking for something black—well, good luck because you have to feel the texture and check the silhouette of every single piece. I’ve basically given up on thrifting for black pieces because of this.
When you are shopping, do you just buy the individual pieces you love or do you buy things you know will fit into your wardrobe?
I often buy things that I think will fit into my wardrobe, but sometimes I do buy something completely new, hoping I can make it work. It sometimes works, but other times it is a disaster. I can do this only because it is a thrift piece—I spend 10 dollars and experiment with a new style. If it doesn’t work, I put it in the closet and pull it out next year and try it again.
More of this style profile (photos and answers) after the jump
Issey Miyake jacket
Issey Miyake Pleats Please scarf
Doc Martens vintage
The thing I appreciate most about your style is that you are able to mix brands; you’re able to mix designer pieces with vintage ones in a way that looks so natural. Was this always your aim with your outfits?
Yes—I want to make a style that is both interesting to me and will also pique the curiosity of others. I would rather dress this way than like someone from a lookbook wearing designer pieces from head to toe. I appreciate my stylish friends. They are confident in displaying their style, which is always interesting. My personal style is deeply informed by their thoughts and opinions on fashion.
You shoot streetstyle on New York streets quite often. What do you look for in your photo subjects? What aspects of New York streetstyle do you find unique or most interesting?
I love to take pictures of people who truly enjoy their life. Capturing these interesting-looking people makes me happy. Their personalities are not taken over by the pieces they wear. I don’t want to take pictures of people who just wear designer pieces for attention.
However, I hope you can see people in my blog are personable and enjoy their lives. They have an interesting life, and their demeanor make you would love to hear their stories.
Where would you like your wardrobe and style to go next?
I want to try something minimal, with black and white outfits: something very simple but that is still interesting, with hidden details. It will be challenging because, if it’s not working, I can’t simply add an extra layer, print, or color to make it look better. Less is more in this case.
Words and Photos by Rocky Li