Currently viewing the category: "Style Profiles"

FW2011 Knit T-shirt The Soloist by Takahiro Miyashita

Rick Owens Trainers

Supreme x WTAPS FW10 Reversible Varsity

Heschung for Comme des Garcon Spring/Summer 2009

Dae’s shoe collection

Jil Sander SS10 ‘ Foujita Print’ Shirt

As promised part two of the style profile I did of Dae. You can see Part one HERE.

Photography by Rocky Li

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Fashion magazines and brands have incentive to push certain trends and looks. One of the persistent challenges of wardrobe building is translating the looks designers put on runways, and editors in magazines, to fit into your own personal style.  I chose to profile my friend Dae because I see him as someone who is able to navigate between brands effortlessly, bringing varied pieces together to create seamless simple outfits.

In part one of this style profile I got a little help from photographer Rebekah Seok.

Look 1

Top : Jil Sander SS10 ‘ Foujita Print’ Shirt
Pants : Nom de Guerre
Shoes : Red Wing Postman

Look 2

Top : Undercover T-shirt
Pants : Nom de Geurre Trousers
Shoes : Visvim FBT

Look 3

Jacket : Supreme x WTAPS Reversible Varsity
Top : Fred Perry
Trousers : Engineered Garments
Shoes : Comme des Garcon

When and how did your interest in fashion and clothes develop?

My interest for fashion really picked up when I started DJing in sophomore year of high school. A friend on djforums taught me everything about the art of mixing and the eclectic DJ scene in Japan, which introduced me to individuals such as Nigo and Hiroshi Fujiwara of Major Force. I then visited Japan for the first time in my junior year and that changed everything.

Your wardrobe has a large mix of pieces across many different brands. How did you come to own such a large and varied clothing collection?

I’m just a fan of design, whether it’s clothes, architecture, or a website even. It’s also fun to mix with different brands and try to craft your own unique look.

What are some of your style inspirations?

Literally everything. The art you see at the MET, the different type of people you see from walking around NYC or seeing your favorite DJ perform on the big stage. All that man.

How has moving from the west coast to New York changed your personal style?

Not much, but you certainly have more brands available here compared to the Bay Area.

How do you choose which pieces to buy next? Any current grails?

It really depends. My mentality when it comes to shopping during the summer is much different compared to winter. Like I won’t start looking for a t-shirt when it’s blistering cold outside. I’d rather save up and get a warm jacket. My favorite piece at the moment is my Supreme x WTAPS varsity. It’s perfect.

 How do you see your style evolving over the next few years?

More simple.

Look out for part 2 of this style profile with Dae coming soon. Be sure to check out Dae on tumblr HERE.

Writing by Rocky Li
Photography by Rebekah Seok

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A few behind the scenes snaps of the next Third Looks Style Profile with Dae. I got a little help from photographer Rebekah Seok this time.

Hold tight the full feature is coming very soon.

Photos by Rocky Li

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Joey Keefer is someone I’ve known and respected for some time. Even though he’s not a native New Yorker, he fits in perfectly in this city because he has a no-bullshit sensibility about him. A former designer at Robert Geller, his experiences in the fashion industry have allowed him to understand the American menswear business from the perspectives of buyer, designer and stylist. I always admire those who use fashion as a reflection of their interests and experiences ; Joey definitely does that through the looks he put together with his favorite pieces. Below I pose some questions Joey about his experiences in the menswear industry.


Look 1

Top : Raf Simons SS05 Sleeveless , Number (N)ine Tank
Jeans : Robert Geller
Accessories : Robert Geller Sunglasses, Braided Bracelet, Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet
Shoes : Converse Chuck Taylor

When did you first start becoming interested in fashion and how did you develop that interest into a career?

I first became interested in style through music and skating. I have always drawn and been interested in design, my mom still has these line sheets I would make for skate brands I wanted to start when I was 13. I first got into the fashion industry managing a punk fashion store in DC called Commander Salamander.

I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I figured the best way to get started would be work at a cool shop. I kept working my way up through retail: buying (Deep Sleep Philadlphia, Urban Outfitters) and managing(Denim Bar Arlington. Odin New York) I was learning more about fashion and the business side of it over the years before I began working with Robert Geller as his design assistant. I now work freelance doing styling/wardrobe, graphic design and consulting. Working through the fashion industry the way I did I gained so much hands on experience working with every aspect of the business I’m very fortunate for this.

The greatest experience I’ve gained is through my time with Robert Geller it was an unparalleled experience: the hands on work, the nuances of design, the work required to succeed, the amount I learned was amazing. Working with some one like that in a close small team is something I felt helped me to grow so much.

Look 2

Jacket : Raf Simons SS08 Blazer
Top : Robert Geller Button Up, Rick Owens Tank
Jeans : Robert Geller
Shoes : Robert Geller x Common Projects Zip Boot

How would you describe your personal style philosophy and the influences that helped inspire it.

I guess the philosophy to my personal style is just founded on wearing things I like by designers who’s aesthetic and ethos appeal to me. I have to believe in something to wear it, I don’t just wear a piece of clothing because it’s cool, that means nothing to me.

I need to feel a connection to the designer, their inspiration, and the construction. All of it is important. The influences of my personal style are ’80’s DC hardcore kids and Japanese street style. I’m pretty understated in my own look to be honest. I pretty much only wear jeans, tee shirts, sneakers and jackets.

You’ve worked as a stylist on many different jobs, what unique challenges does styling present? How has it broadened your perspectives on fashion?

The unique challenges of doing styling jobs are the various demands. It’s a very demanding profession with very little room for error on many jobs. Your working with time constraints, budget constraints, direction coming from different angles whether it be management, production, photographer/director, talent or your self. It’s a balancing act for sure. Styling requires you to always be on your toes and adjust your plan on the fly: concepts, dates these things all change out of the blue you have to be ready you can’t get flustered.

Having worked as a buyer and in sales I guess I’ve had a broad perspective on fashion. Working in different roles you see how different people view and react to fashion reguarly; those jobs helped give me a big upper hand in styling.

Do you do most of your clothes shopping online or in person?

I actually don’t shop much, I think I buy myself more stuff for soccer than clothing for every day. I guess I do buy more in person I like to have that tactile experience of handling the garments myself as well as the instant satisfaction of taking it home then and there.

Look 3

Jacket : Robert Geller Moto Vest
Tops : Ann Demeulemeester Sleeveless Tee, Number (N)ine Tank
Jeans : UU Uniqlo x Undercover
Accesories : Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet , Braided Bracelet
Shoes : Undercover Chucks

How has your experience as a designer affected how you shop for yourself?

Being a designer affected my shopping a lot, it made me not want to at all really. I wouldn’t say it jaded me at all but I was fortunate to be able have many of the things I wanted because well we made them at Robert Geller. Designing really made me even pickier then I already was about clothing.

Look 4
Top : Raf Simons AW04-05 Crewneck
Bottoms : Robert Geller Shorts
Shoes : Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Lunarspider +
Accessories : Robert Geller Sunglasses, Ann Demeulemeester Stud Belt, Nike ACG Camo Backpack, Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet , Braided Bracelet

What do you think about the current state of men’s fashion?

I think the current state of men’s fashion is just that its not inspiring. It’s been dull to me, the excitement and youth is gone. Men’s fashion has become a hashtag, an internet idea. Menswear to so many is based on what’s safe (what’s now considered cool): plaid button ups, chinos, loafers etc. Its not about ideas, fits or materials. The excitement of the early 2000’s when menswear really started to take risks and have a youthful edge is gone.

The other big issue I’ve been noticing is that there is so little middle ground, the avant garde have gone way out there and the heritage aesthetics has gotten to be a caricatures of themselves. In the early 2000s you saw Helmut, Heidi, and Raf really intertwine the avante garde design with classic beautiful menswear. For example when Helmut made a perfectly tailored black blazer with elastic bondage straps. That subtlety is gone and I miss it. The mystery and subversion is isn’t there any more, both camps are just trying to hit you over the head with their extremes.

Stay in touch with Joey on his Tumblr and through his venture
GHSTS of NY.

Special Thanks to Paul Wax for the photography.

Words by Rocky Li
Photography by Paul Wax

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Thrifting and vintage shopping are not easy endeavors. Finding great used items for cheap requires time, dedication and most importantly, a discerning eye. The vintage look has approached cliche in New York; one has to travel no further than Williamsburg to see an army uniformed in washed denim, faded band t-shirts, and ill-fitting outerwear.

However when it’s done right mixing designer brands with vintage pieces is a thing of beauty. One of my close friends who does this better than pretty much anyone I know is Jimmy Jimeno who is the men’s store manager at Opening Ceremony. I’ve known Jimmy since his Toronto days and have seen him steadily build up a wardrobe filled with odds and ends from accross the style spectrum. To me Jimmy embodies a style perspective we should all embrace : ‘Wear what reflects your interests and personality.’ I’m excited to share Jimmy’s style with you all and in the spirit of the shoot I let Jimmy give a name to each of the below looks.

“Brown Ken in the Trap House Chillin”

New Era Fitted
Vintage MacGregor NFL Jersey
Drkshdw Cut-Offs
Happy Socks
Dior Homme 2007 German Army Hi-Tops

I asked Jimmy how he shopped and was able to find meaningful additions to his wardrobe.

“For a while now, I’ve been finding most of my clothing at thrift stores or consignment boutiques. If I see something I like then I cop it, but trust that I got it for cheap. As a bit of an impulse shopper, I really don’t look for anything in particular aside from emotional satisfaction. Although, every new piece I buy can definitely be styled with other pieces in my closet.”

Jimmy on his personal style inspiration :

“Having grown up traveling all over the world and moving to a new place every two to three years, I’m what you call a third culture kid. A defining characteristic of a “TCK” is possessing a unique world view, which allows the individual to be highly accepting of other cultures and empathetic towards people who are different. This way of thinking has influenced my fashion sensibilities. Everything/everyone inspires me, and I find beauty everywhere, but to sift through all the bullshit, especially when it comes to fashion, requires a very critical eye and opinion.

Thus, besides adhering to menswear basics of good fit and practicality, my style is finding a comfortable balance between various contrasting elements – masculinity vs. femininity, conservative vs. avant garde, high class vs. hood, monochrome vs. colorful, looking like an anime character vs. looking to get laid, trying hard vs. not giving a fuck…”

Yes I’m wearing Thom Browne and Vivienne Westwood, but I will break your ankles and bust a tre in your face while your girlfriend watches.
Vintage Varsity I copped at Value Village in Toronto
Thom Browne Tank (was a t-shirt)
Vivienne Westwood Shorts
Jordan Socks
Jordan 1s

Inspiration: Ed Hardy for J.Crew Realness
Olympia Le-Tan for Gap x Collete Denim Jacket
Ted Baker Floral Shirt
Acne Chinos
Pink Converse Chucks

Faded at the park call me the Pigeon Whisperer
Vintage New Era Fitted
Reversible Jil Sander Jacket
Stussy Hoodie
Drkshdw Cut-Offs
Happy Socks
Polo Ralph Lauren Hiking Boots

A topic that Jimmy and I have discussed at length is what we’d like to see change in the fashion industry.

“In general, I wish menswear wasn’t so cut and dry. I wish it wasn’t so hard for high fashion to embrace other non-Western, atypical ideas of beauty. I wish industry heads would get off their own dicks and be less contrived. I wish true trendsetters got more recognition.”

Photos and writing by Rocky Li

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Derek has one of the most insane wardrobes of anyone I know. I have witnessed him acquire items he has searched high and low for; slowly crossing items off his list of coveted grails.  More than just being the biggest Ann Demeulemeester enthusiast I know; Derek seamlessly works in varied brands with an eye for mood, texture and proportion. I visited him recently and photographed some of his all-time favorite pieces and looks.

You can find Derek holding it down at Atelier New York.

This is my interpretation of iconic Ann Demeulemeester. When I don this I feel delightfully anachronistic, romantic, even a little bit rebellious. The rebel prince, I think. The contrast of wool and cotton on top and all leather on the bottom is essential in conveying this. With tailored trousers and a shoe it becomes dull, ethical, stiff. That couldn’t be farther from me.

This look brings forth my obsession with America, with rock n roll. I think of the beats, of open sky and endless road. I feel and externalize the death of old America, its evils, its mysticism, its hope. The Frontierman. Yeah, that’s him there, searching for new hopes in faint ideas.

This is the other half of Ann: the nonchalant, even lazy, street rat. This is poete maudite, dreaming and believing.

This jacket is oldish, but reeks of the future. It’s completely twisted and lopsided, and sparkles in the light. I miss this lux street attitude in Ann’s design.

“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” – Clarence Darrow

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON/METAL TAILORED JACKET

I think it sings a seminal Ann jacket tune – trans-seasonal nubby cotton/metal textile, quiet asymmetric cut, peak lapel with hidden buttons. The metal cleverly holds wrinkles nicely, and it’s taken on serious character since I received it. Karlo Steel gave me this jacket as a gift from his personal wardrobe, “I think there’s something vampiric about it.”

NUMBER (N)INE COW LEATHER JACKET

From the masterpiece FW08 My Own Private Portland collection. I never knew this jacket existed in black until last winter, as each one I handled was caramel leather with chocolate topstitching. So when I found this I bought it instantly. It’s design and cut feel made for me. The thick, matte cow leather has an ineffable patina. If the world fell into anarchy, i’d grab this and run.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON WAISTCOAT

If you’re going to have only one Ann waistcoat, this is the obvious choice. A slightly elongated take on a traditional waistcoat with signature double straps at the back. This particular one is made in a shadowstripe cotton. I like to wear it in the summer without anything underneath.

RICK OWENS UNSTABLE COTTON T-SHIRT
No one makes a t-shirt like Rick Owens, by now everyone should consider any t-shirt against his as the standard for comparison. I prefer them in uberdelicate sheer cotton and long long long. The more holes, the better.

NUMBER (N)INE COTTON JEANS
I’ve shredded these over and over again, but will never get rid of them. I’ll keep patching them up until they completely fall apart, and then i’ll mount them on my wall forever after. I’ve yet to use the suspender loops, though.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER CASHMERE/SILK COLLARED T-SHIRT
Unbelievably delicious fabric, terribly thin, new holes showing up almost every time I wear it. I got this one at Atelier. It’s still my favorite Ann top in my closet: the floppy collar, dropped shoulder, and long sleeves strike the perfect lazy elegance balance.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON/CASHMERE TWISTED DOUBLE LAYER KNIT
This is a recent acquisition, but something i’ve lusted over unabashedly for five years, unable to procure one until just a few weeks ago. It’s masterfully pre-twisted design and contrasting interior color trump all other double-layer pieces i’ve handled. Another vital representation of Ann’s sloppy punk-poet muse.

WERKSTATT MUNCHEN RINGS
I wear these every single day; this is the extent of my finger jewelry. They are simple, masculine, and timeless.

MA+ COW LEATHER ENVELOPE BAG
A completely anachronistic shape, and almost non-functional for an everyday runaround. Perfect for a book, a notebook, and a pen.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER WOOL/SILK CAP
My first and only Ann cap. I get offers for this on the street, but it’ll be buried with me.

NUMBER (N)INE BEAVER HAT
Call me Amish, call me Hasidic, it’s all good. And oh so warm.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER LEATHER BELT
My one and only. It’s very long and dangles like a tail from my hip.

MA+ COW LEATHER WALLET

NUMBER (N)INE JACKIE O’S Sunglasses
These are obnoxious, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve dropped them a hundred times.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER OILED SUEDE HI-TOPS
My first and only pair of her trainers. They had some buckles for the shaft but I took them off after a week or two. The wide eyelets and double zippers are paramount to both style and function.

CARPE DIEM REVERSE COW ANKLE BOOT
One thing i’ll never, ever understand is how people keep their shoes looking new. I got these over 4 years ago and I think I wore them for almost two straight years when I first got them. They’re still the best made and most comfortable shoes i’ve ever owned. They still feel as good as the day I bought them every time I wear them. The patina is perfect: rugged and lush, bruised, irreplicable.

Photography by Rocky Li

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I feel fortunate to know some of the most stylish people in New York and I will be showcasing their wardrobes and outfits in a series of Style Portraits.

The very first Style Portrait is with ‘Mr.Junior Watanabe’ himself Scott M. I have known Scott for almost three years now and in that time I have seen him make great strides in his personal style. Besides owning more Junya than anyone else I know he has really come into his own amassing a coherent and versatile wardrobe that crosses all four seasons. I asked him to comment on some of his favorite looks and pieces below.

This is probably my favorite outfit, I love the way the Noragi compliments the down shirt as a layering piece. The color palette is perfect, and it certainly catches some eyes when I wear it.

This jacket is my most recent acquisition from Japanese brand Undercover, and has been sought after by me for some time in my size and color. I love how it plays well as a technical and casual piece but was easy enough to dress up with a tweed blazer underneath.

I like to keep the pants on the plain side when I wear this jacket since it’s pattern is so overwhelming, but love adding textural accents to break up what could risk being a safe look. The mixture of striped oxford with herringbone, with camouflage is a great way to keep it interesting.

 For lighterweight outfits I generally like to go for an almost classic look of a navy jacket and washed out denim, but like the twist of textures with this blazer. The jacket’s fabric and collar detail paired with camouflage lined denim is a nice way for me to break up what would risk being a common look.

Junya Watanabe Boots FW09
These are my most prized possession, if my apartment ever burned to the ground…. they’d already be on my feet. I’ve worn them most days I can remember and they sum up my ideal shoe in every way. Each stain, wrinkle and knick has a story to it.

A Bathing Ape (BAPE) Manhunts
These were a piece I saw back in 09 or so and couldn’t get off my mind, and through a lucky ebay search I came upon them for a ludicrous price. The ripple sole on a Wally silhouette is just the perfect amount of uniqueness to a staple shoe.

Trickers Boots w/ custom laces
I actually have a very strong aversion to Leather shoes and prefer suede day in day out, but these just sort of clicked. The cap toe and brogue combo is a nice change of pace from a longwing, shortwing, etc.

Vintage Noragi
Many people have seen these from Visvim and dropped their jaw at the $1,500 price, as did I. This is the original piece that it was based on, and is around 200 years old. This probably is the most unique piece that I own, rich indigo dye and beautiful texture.

White Mountaineering Vest
This piece is my dream winter outerwear, it’s the most versatile piece I own. It has a goretex liner so it’s great for snow, down filled, and looks amazing with a blazer underneath.

Junya Watanabe Red Down Shirt
This piece would be on my back as well in the burning house scenario, there is no jacket that has captivated me or kept me entertained, and I get bored quickly. It’s a great piece because you can layer under it, use it as an inner layer, and it has such a radiant color.


Junya Watanabe Reversible Hunting jacket
This was my first reversible piece from Junya, which is one of his signature concepts. The weave of the fabric is very dense, and it crosses a great border between hunting wear and tailored wear.


Junya Watanabe SS10 Navy Gingham Blazer
This piece was my first Spring summer Junya weight piece, and I don’t know if I even have any other spring jackets besides this, I don’t really need another one. The fabric is a wild blend of Nylon and Cotton so it has a coarse texture without being heavy.

Junya Watanabe Camo FW09 Jacket

This was my second favorite piece from the runway from f/w 09 and something I hunted for forever. It randomly popped up in my size at the right time, and to this day is one of my wilder pieces I own, the pattern is insane in person.

Screenprinted Junya Watanabe Levi’s
These are actually nuts in person, they’re a cotton twill that is feather light, but have a pair of levis screenprinted on them off-kilter, Junya has done this treatment a couple of times.

Camo Junya Watanabe Levi’s
The jeans have perfect wash and a great fit for me, the skewed pockets are an awesome detail, and I love the cuff lining.

Junya Watanabe Leather Pocket Jeans
These pants were the very first Junya item I bought, back on December 4th 2009, they mean more to me than any other trouser I own and just hold that special place.

All photography by Rocky Li

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