A few weeks back I internet met Jian DeLeon of Complex mag. Complex, for those of you like me who grew up before vagina pics adorned t-shirts, is a streetwear/menswear/music/culture/lifestyle thingy the likes of which was unforeseen by Judeo-Christian prophets. I met him through a forum (no homo) and badgered him into answering questions. “Peep” it.
Who are you and why should we care?
I’m Jian, I write about clothes, and you shouldn’t care, but it’s weird that people do.
How did you get into your line of work?
I worked for free for years until I fooled people into paying me for it. Also, sleeping with a lot of people might help. Maybe.
You had an article recently critical of the way Tumblr has influenced men’s fashion. What’s the big takeaway there?
Essentially the way Internet clothing culture has come to a point where it’s a dick-measuring contest of sorts, and dressing well is now held with some sort of reverence like it’s a talent, when it should just be appreciated for what it is. “Personal” style should be that, it should reflect your taste and interest, not whatever blogs you read.
In the article you also mention, ” Clothing simply can’t be compelling unless it stands for something else.”. What did you mean by that?
Clothes alone don’t evoke emotion, and if they do, you’re extremely shallow. No one has been brought to tears over the perfect drape or an expertly tailored garment, clothes that have a story—grandpa’s old overcoat, a t-shirt from the band you first liked in college, a motorcycle jacket that reminds you of Marlon Brando from *The Wild One*—they are more than just fabric, they’re a tactile representation of certain memories or values.
How do you think dudes can stop the madness and get back to the business of being stylish?
Buy and wear stuff that you like and speaks to you, not because it’s “trendy.”
Describe your personal style.
What makes a dude stylish?
Who are your style icons?
My friends all dress pretty dope. Other than that I don’t have “icons,” I just appreciate guys who know what works for them, but I don’t try to copy anything.
Your favorite virtue.
Your idea of happiness.
Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa”.
Your idea of misery.
How you wish to die.
Doing something awesome, like testing out a jetpack.
Everybody calm the fuck down, I got this.
What is your present state of mind.
Your favorite prose authors.
Right now? William Gibson. Re-reading Pattern Recognition.
Your chief characteristic.
Your favorite qualities in a man/woman.
Not a dickhead.