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.
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.
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.
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.
GHSTS of NY.
Special Thanks to Paul Wax for the photography.
Words by Rocky Li
Photography by Paul Wax