It’s a reflection of this whole #menswear thing. Do you think it’s only affecting this small community of people, or is it influencing the greater culture?
K: I think it’s still definitely niche, but I think every month I see it growing more and more. I see more guys out on the street who clearly have read these blogs. They know what they’re doing, they’re getting dressed up. It’s really starting to catch on. But it is always going to be this hardcore group of guys—super hardcore nerds.
Can you give us an example of something #menswear-related that you think is just over-the-top ridiculous, and that you do yourself?
K: Sometimes I have to take a step back because I know everything so intimately that I can’t really enjoy clothing anymore. Like, thinking the sleeve is a half-inch too long on my favorite shirt or, I wish the hem were slightly longer on my jacket. And so, I think it’s kind of that whole attitude of always having to have the next coolest thing. And I think that’s a moment where, okay guys, we need to take a step back.
There’s this homoerotic thing about the #menswear clique. Like, “We love fashion, brah! We love each other! By the way, we’re straight.” Is there a division between “straight men’s fashion” and “gay men’s fashion?”
K: I think it’s definitely merging. Especially now, with this whole #menswear group being around for a couple of years and continuing to grow, guys are definitely more comfortable just kind of wearing whatever they want and actually starting to think about their own personal style and not just, “Oh, I’m wearing this jacket because it’s the best jacket you could wear.” I think that it is this very fratty, fraternal thing. Like you’re in a club or on a sports team and you’re all hanging out together, just geeking out on each other’s clothing. Which sometimes, yeah, it’s just a very bizarre thing. You show up at a bar and instead of going to talk to the girl you go up to your buddy and say, “Oh man, can we talk about your jacket, because it’s really, really sick.”
Which is what girls do.
L: I think there are differences between menswear customers, and oftentimes it could be divided along the sexual orientation line. The reason that a book like this can even exist and that menswear on the internet got all this press is because at some point down the line straight guys got more comfortable discussing men’s clothing. That was kind of because of the trends that were pushed at the time—things like heritage and Americana and typically manly things—appeal to a straight guy. I think he felt more comfortable suddenly. High fashion is more on the radar of the average guy than ever before. You know, celebrities, especially rappers, Kanye, are getting into it. It’s like Lady Gaga—even though fashion has always been important to women, she’s brought a lot of brands to the forefront, to a fan that might not be so concerned with fashion. I think Kanye’s doing that with guys. ASAP Rocky is doing the same thing.
Where we’re at today, I think we’re making progress. Like Kevin said, those lines are getting blurred. It’s not like this childish straight v. gay thing. I think everyone’s better for it.