Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NYFW Street Style: All in Black outside Jeremy Scott

Another unpublished photo from the vaults.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Philadelphia Street Style: D'Andre, Walnut St

D'Andre describes his style as "a clash between business and casual." He makes no differentiation between work clothes and leisurewear. For him, it's all the same. "The  beauty of it," he says, "it that you can go from the office to the bar without changing your look."

Here, D'Andre is wearing a jacket and button-down polka-dot shirt from Zara, print trousers from Dockers, shoes by Aldo (without socks), and glasses by Spitfire. We are back in sockless season.I'm curious to see whether socks are as absent from menswear this year as they were last.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Philadelphia Street Style: Alice, 16th St

Alice is wearing a jacket and pants by Juicy Couture. The bag is Michael Kors. The shirt has "no brand." She picked it up somewhere in China. The sunglasses, on the other hand, have a brand, she just can't remember what it is. Something Australian, she thinks. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Philadelphia Street Style: Gabby, Walnut St

Gabby, in these shots, is wearing a Boy Scout jacket, a ripped pair of jeans, art socks, and jelly heels. "I'm really tall, so I don't usually wear heels," she told me. "But I'm breaking them out today."
The Boy Scout jacket she got at a thrift shop. She's been gradually accumulating Boy Scout patches (or "badges") to fill up the back. I don't think the Boy Scouts of America officially approves of this as a strategy for accumulating badges — your are supposed to "earn" them by taking first aid courses, learning to make fires, tying knots, saving cats from trees, etc — but then Gabby is no Boy Scout. I was. Until I couldn't bare the humiliation of wearing that uniform to school anymore. I quit when I was 12 and traded that uniform for a new uniform of all black, every day. 
Gabby doesn't know how to describe her style. "I always wear something different all the time," she said. "I just wear what I want to wear, and what makes me feel comfortable. And I like to try things out." I tend to think of "comfortable" as the opposite of trying things out. It is settling into a routine, wearing the old faithfuls, and relaxing into a style. But Gabby, it seems, finds her comfort in experimentation.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Outside a Garage on 22nd St, New York

kate spade

Friday, April 17, 2015

All in White, outside HBA, Wall St, New York

Monday, April 13, 2015

Amira, outside UNIQLO Chestnut St, Philadelphia

Friday, April 10, 2015

Julieanne and Nina, outside UNIQLO, Philadelphia

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Isaac, outside UNIQLO on Chestnut St, Philadelphia

I stopped Isaac after doing a "personal shopping" tour of the UNIQLO store on Chestnut St and picking up some fitted sweats and a hoodie. My wardrobe was feeling incomplete, having failed to adapt to the "sportscore" trend that is allegedly taking menswear by storm. I learned all about UNIQLO's high-tech dry fabrics, their wire vs wire-free bras (not sure why that was emphasized), their efforts to cut costs by only manufacturing their pants in limited sizes then offering alterations in store, their recent partnerships with MOMA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and their efforts to embed themselves into the Philadelphia scene by "collaborating" with bloggers and other "influencers." It was about a half hour tour. I got to see the backend of the store, the labyrinthine concrete passageways into the still-standing classrooms of the former Institute of the Arts building. I learned a lot about their branding strategy (i.e. social media madness) and target demographic (i.e. everybody). And I have to admit, I am a much bigger fan of UNIQLO than I was before. I like my new sweats. I like the linen shirt and chino shorts they sent me last weekend. And I will likely buy things from UNIQLO again someday, once the thrill of my new free stuff has worn off. But I couldn't help but wonder: is this really an effective marketing strategy? Spending so much time with low-profile bloggers like me? Don't get me wrong, I like the attention. I like the data such opportunities provide for my ongoing street style project. I also like the presumption that I have influence over others. I don't, however, think it is particularly true. Do my photographs instill desire in you, dear readers, to possess those items shown? Do they spark a consumerist impulse? Do they make you feel incomplete? Inadequate? In need of a change that only a good shopping trip can accomplish? If so, let me assure you, that is not my intention. I seek out fashion idiosyncrasies, counterexamples, special types. I seek out people who don't look like they're particularly susceptible to marketing ploys, people with a relatively defined sense of who they are. And if that happens to jibe with the branding strategy of UNIQLO, well then, so be it.     

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kat, outside UNIQLO on Chestnut St, Philadelphia

UNIQLO contacted me last week inviting me for a "personal shopping" visit to one of their Philadelphia area stores. I took them up on their offer today. As an "influencer" of Philly fashion, I got the grand tour and a "small gift," which turned out to be a tote bag. Isn't it always? This is one of several "collaborations" I'm doing with UNIQLO this month. I'll have plenty more to say about them in the coming days. For now, let me just say this: if I am an influencer, so is every other scrappy Instagrammer with a semi-decent following. Is "influencer" even a meaningful concept anymore?

Outside HBA, Wall St, New York

Friday, April 3, 2015

All in Black outside Misha Nonoo, 22nd St, New York

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Victor, Walnut St, Philadelphia

Victor uses three words to describe his style: "edgy," "urban," and "futurist." Each could be a dissertation topic of its own. I might also add "trendy." I can, off the top of my head, think of at least five current trends Victor's outfit manages to adhere to: 1) Perfecto motorcycle jacket, rendered in something other than leather (in this case faux leather; 2) loafers without socks — for the record the only dress shoes with a long historical legacy of being worn without socks; 3) razor-ripped jeans; 4) floral print button-down shirt; and 5) a mixture of menswear, sportswear, and streetwear elements worn in a single outfit. Victor refers to this last trend as "mix and match." He likes to mix, he says, fast fashion items with the occasional designer piece and "random stuff [purchased]online." It just so happens that everything Victor is wearing in this shot is from Zara. He used to work at one, and a large portion of his wardrobe still comes from there. But he prefers to shop at Zaras in places other than Philly — NYC, Georgetown. They have a better selection, he says.