Did you know Dao-Yi Chow, who co-runs the CFDA-winning brand Public School with Maxwell Osborne, is a writer and onetime rap journalist? It’s true. He confirmed it when we asked him recently at the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
Chow used to contribute to The Flavor back in the day, a “real hip-hop magazine” based in Seattle in the mid-1990s. Chow went by Durwin Chow GNS, “graffiti non-stop,” and lived in New York. Most Flavor writers back then contributed their stories by fax machine.
Here’s Chow’s July 1994 cover story, an interview with the brain-twisting duo Organized Konfusion.
Fun fact: Organized Konfusion’s Pharoahe Monch would one day ghostwrite for Diddy, who would eventually employ Chow and Osborne as designers at his clothing brand Sean John–before Public School became one of the hottest brands in menswear.
With Straight Outta Compton currently in theaters, we thought you might want to know how to dress like N.W.A.—the legendary Los Angeles rap group at the center of this Hollywood blockbuster.Style notes: black and white everything. T-shirt slightly longer than the bomber jacket. Any Los Angeles sports gear is a bonus.
And if you’re trying to rep N.W.A. around the office, we humbly suggest Raiders cufflinks.
Since it’s brand-new and fascinating to us, we asked our Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls for a primer about New York Fashion Week: Men’s–or #NYFWM if you’re hashtagging. He gave us solid notes over a jazzy soundtrack.
Now that we’re out here in New York to investigate, we asked Steven Kolb,CEO of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) to go further in depth about this “week,” which lasts four days on the calendar from July 13-16.
What is this thing? Specifically, what does it mean in the big picture of menswear that a standalone men’s fashion week is happening on American soil for the first time ever?
Kolb put #NYFWM in the context of an increasing flow of capital, since menswear is booming business in the U.S. He has an interesting analysis of the cultural swirl around the consumer ultimately buying all this menswear in 2015, and from the designers’ standpoint, Kolb sees justice: American menswear designers are being recognized as equally talented as the predominantly European designers who show at men’s fashion weeks in London, Milan, Florence and Paris.
Here’s Kolb talking about all that, plus identifying one up-and-coming brand to watch, naming which legends deserve props–and arguing whether or not fashion is art.
The best party nobody went to might’ve been 12 years ago in Norfolk, Virginia, when producers who would change the sound of hip-hop and R&B deejayed to basically nobody.
We’ll let our music video director friend Shomi Patwary tell you about that one.
Long story short, Patwary and British star Mark Ronson go way back, and we now have the video for “I Can’t Lose.” It’s more zesty funk from Ronson–whom we shall never fail to mention without hyperlinking to his and Aaliyah’s classic Hilfiger ad–and bigger-budget moves from Patwary, best known for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply.”
Check out behind-the-scenes images below from “I Can’t Lose” and an edited transcript of our phone call with Patwary.
We talked about Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” Dick Tracy, Blade Runner, the cameo from Waris Ahluwalia–and what happens when the zeitgeist moves post- ‘90s retromania.
The series in which we hook you up with the feeds you need.
If you have even a passing interest in men’s style, stop looking at your friends’ struggle meals on Instagram and start following Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls.
Jorge was front row at the just-wrapped Paris Fashion Week, analyzing designers’ Spring/Summer 2016 creations. We must say, it’s a wild time for men’s style right now. We’re loving designers’ risks and overall confidence.
Here are some of our favorite snapshots from Jorge’s krazy life.
The hits: Supermodel Naomi Campbell murdering Riccardo Tisci’s menswear inches from Valls at the Givenchy show (automatic double tap for gender fluidity on the runway) and Thom Browne’s pop art kimonos hanging in gray space.
We’re also fans of Jorge’s images from the Lanvinand Officine Generaleshows. We’re super feeling the monochrome collection from Y-3 (the adidas/Yohji Yamamoto team-up coming soon to Nordstrom). The streetwear surrealism of Hood By Air is haunting our dreams.
See Paris Fashion Week through Jorge’s eyes below, and then check his Insta for more–he’s got a ton of shots from Milan Fashion Week on there, too.
With the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy out now, we thought we’d let you know how to shop the Beach Boys’ look from the late 1960s.
This is how the band dressed early in its life–when all the musicians were still pretending to know how to surf*–before they grew out their hair and started wearing robes. Back then it was stripes, chinos and slip-ons. Classic California style.
The sunglasses are our addition. We swore we remembered Wayfarers as part of this ensemble. Google image search does not agree.
*Only drummer Dennis Wilson ever really surfed.
For more about Love & Mercy, check actor Paul Dano on NPR’s Bullseye below:
The always-irreverent Four Pins menswear blog has published an essay about the all-time classic adidas Samba sneaker that will (probably) absorb you, educate you and make you feel feelings. For us, we appreciated how writer Sam Diss put the Samba into English context for an American audience. We were outraged that he thought all Jordans looked the same. And we’re still LOLing IRL about his description of British men’s attitudes toward dancing:
“…anything further than a barely rhythmic shuffling of the shoulders under duress is deemed highly suspect.”
Headliner Kendrick Lamar basically body-slammed the Sasquatch Music Festival this past Memorial Day weekend, in the best possible way, rapping hard in eastern Washington’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. He looked great in a Canadian tuxedo and rocked a crowd the size of a small city.
The setlist was hit after heavy hit from the Compton, CA, emcee extraordinaire. But we’re beefing over here because he didn’t perform “Complexion,” our favorite track off his 2015 opus To Pimp a Butterfly.
Read about “Complexion,” which features the rapper Rapsody and pianist Robert Glasper, in our interview with Glasper.