Style Profile: Kyle

With each person I style profile for Third Looks I feel as though I get to know them better just through exploring what their wardrobe and personal style is like. While fashion is given a bad rap in terms of being materialistic and shallow, I think style is a really good indicator of someone’s creativity, character and influences.
When I first met Kyle I thought he dressed pretty low key but as I got to know him I realized his wardrobe had tons of depth and he always wore his pieces in creative ways. More so I feel that his sartorial choies are aligned with his personality and lifestyle and he makes it work for him. It’s easy to just fetishize pieces and grails but I think men would benefit from reflecting on their lifestyles and choosing the clothes that not only look great on the rack, but also fit the way they live.

Look 1
Mercedes-Benz hat
Comme des Garcons SHIRT FW10 vest
Uniqlo down jacket
Uniqlo shirt
V::Room crewneck
3.1 Philip Lim SS10 jeans
White Mountaineering FW10 boots

What sparked your interest in clothes and fashion?
I think I’ve probably always had an interest in clothes and making myself look at least halfway decent, but a lot of it really stems from interests in other things that have a strong focus on personal¬†style.
For me snowboarding was always huge for this, along with¬†different BMX styles of riding. Then came cars and the various scenes around that.¬† I guess I’ve always been drawn to these things that really embrace showing your personality and personal style through such conspicuously physical ways, so clothes are just an extension of that and an easy way to do it while living in New York since I’m not snowboarding, riding, or driving much anymore here.¬†
What thought process do you go through when shopping for new items?
This is a really good question as¬†I can’t say it’s something I’ve ever thought about before.¬†I guess I’m long past the point where I’m filling any (perceived) “holes” in my wardrobe, but I’ve gotta say I really like going out and seeing what’s out there.¬† I have some favorite shops I’ll always check and other ones I’ll just stumble in occasionally, but I think it’s important to get out there and see what’s going on.¬†Part of this is that there is so much good stuff out there to be appreciated that I know I would never bother actually buying or wearing, since it just¬†isn’t “me.”
The other part of this is that I try not to buy too much anymore so I’ll see how it could work in my wardrobe.¬† I’m not interested in buying some out-there piece that I would have to really tone down with other boring clothes –¬†that just ends up looking like you never thought it through and are settling because you wanted to show off that one item so bad.¬† Not a good look in my eyes.¬†And I definitely don’t want something that makes me think “well this would be so much better if I just bought¬†item X or Y¬†too.” ¬†I want to take an out-there piece and integrate it with other stuff I have and just do it up, you know?¬† Make it look like it was always meant to be there. Less but better.

Look 2
Monitaly FW11 leather jacket
Nepenthes shirt
Uniqlo denim shirt
APC jeans
Visvim SS08 FBT

I think a good example of everything I just talked about is that leather Monitaly jacket.¬† I had always liked the ubiquitous Margiela 5-zip that they do every season in a few leathers/colors but it doesn’t work for me and I have no interest in making it do so.¬† There’s no denying it’s an iconic piece and a brilliant design though,¬†so when I came across this Monitaly jacket it was like something clicked, and they got me.¬† It’s just this complete¬†bastardization of the 5-zip,¬†totally making fun of it¬†with some overly Americana vibes¬†in brown calf leather, with some big leather tassles on the zips, and wool knit cuffs.¬† That’s what I’m all about, just¬†having fun with my style.¬† I had never bothered to buy a¬†leather jacket before because I had never found The One, but this was it. It was perfect.¬† And I’m thinking to myself “Ok, wear this with some FBT’s and I’ll have tassles all over the place, cause why not, right?”
More looks after the jump

Look 3

Gap vest
Opening Ceremony SS10 cork print jacket
Uniqlo denim shirt
Junya Watanabe FW09 cords
White Mountaineering FW10 Boots

Outside of fashion where do you find inspiration for the way you dress?
Well for starters it doesn’t hurt that I have a tremendously good looking and well dressed group of friends over here, but I guess that falls under the fashion umbrella.¬† I think for me the most inspiration comes from a certain mindset and the desire to have a little fun with something that is frequently taken so seriously.¬† For fear of sounding a bit sociopathic, I think overall in life I really am just all about humoring only myself, so that shows through in how I dress.¬† It’s ultimately not for anyone else but me, although it is¬†occasionally appreciated by others.
I mean I guess I could name some cool films¬†or artists or¬†whatever but¬†I don’t think that’s the case so I think that would be a bit disingenuous.¬†¬†I don’t really¬†dive into those sort of things looking for¬†inspiration at all, at least regarding how I dress.
The more I think about it, I think some inspiration could come from following flatland BMX during the early 2000’s.¬† Here was a niche sport that was very individual, and rewarded no one but yourself.¬† The thing about it was that there were only handful of guys at the top of that game, and these guys were all doing things with a bike¬†that literally no one else in the world could do, not even¬†each other.¬†They all had their own style and unique 1-off tricks that only they could perform.¬† That’s astounding, really.¬†¬†And that goes along with the mindset I mentioned above.
Big shout out to Al Pacino in Serpico though.  Great style.

Look 3
Tim Coppens SS12 Persian rug jacket
3.1 Philip Lim SS11 knit
Marni trousers
Pierre Hardy trainers

Any grails you really want to badly own?

Am I allowed to say every piece from the past few collections by The Soloist?¬† But really, the last grail I held was that one-off Tim Coppens Persian rug jacket that he made for his first collection.¬† I remember seeing it in some article in the Times about this up-and-coming designer and being so blown away and immediately feeling that he “got” it with that piece.¬† Then Barneys ended up picking it up when they bought his whole first collection, and sometime this summer I was able to actually buy it.¬† It’s so good I don’t even know what else to say.
The only other grail I have held (and still hold)¬†are the Goro’s x Visvim FBT by Hiroshi Fujiwara.¬† I can’t imagine anything more perfect.¬†Unfortunately,¬†I’m pretty sure they’re one-offs for Hiroshi personally; that’s what makes them a grail. But hey, if¬†anybody reading this¬†can find me¬†a pair, give me a shout.

Have your experiences in New York affected how you dress and feel about style?

Absolutely.¬† I mean the sheer number of shops and less common labels available is staggering, not to mention the fact that good style is not only accepted but encouraged and it’s easy to find like-minded people.¬† Being able to handle/try¬†on¬†so many different things changes everything, especially when you’re transitioning and growing into your own style.¬† It’s easy to look at a webshop with bad styling and think everything is bad¬†and dismiss the item or label.¬† It’s just as easy to look at a webshop or magazine editorial with great styling and buy pieces or¬†entire looks¬†based on that, but come out looking like a clown because it’s actually not you at all.

Those APC’s I’m wearing above are maybe the first real “fashion” item I bought in New York, and I got them at Barneys when I came to school here in 2005. Breaking¬†that mental barrier of actually shopping at a place like Barneys changed a lot.¬† Keep in mind I’m not saying consumption of high end designer goods at¬†upscale stores or boutiques¬†is¬†necessary or even a¬†good thing; I’m saying they’re an easy way to be physically¬†exposed to new styles and see what’s out there, with the idea being that maybe some of it will resonate with you.¬† If you only shop at thrift stores with no exposure to anything else, you’re going to look like you shop at thrift stores.¬† If you shop at the Gap with no exposure to anything else, you’re going to look like you only shop at the Gap.¬† The difference is knowing how you want to look and going for it; how¬†and where¬†you source those items doesn’t matter. New York just happens to be great at having a lot of options for anyone and everyone, both inspirationally and commercially.

Where do you see your style heading in the future?

To the future, man.
I don’t know.¬† I guess I’ll have to start dressing like a real adult sometime soon so maybe I’ll do a 180 and sell everything, get rid of any crunchy undertones and go super austere and minimalist.¬† That could be fun I guess, but I don’t imagine I would actually do that.¬†¬†Chances are¬†I’ll end up devolving into some awful combination of a 70’s hiker and a monk.¬†¬†Although that wouldn’t be so bad after all.
I always like good use of motion, hence the frequent shirt around waist / use of tassles / stuff like that, so I have a feeling I’ll start embracing more volume next and see where that takes me.¬† Probably towards a monk-hiker, I would think.

Photos by Rebekah Seok