Hello World / fellow Vagabonds,
When it comes to personal style I have always been into patterns and prints, especially geometric shapes and lines and camo. I also like very specific cuts and fits and I spent a long time figuring out which ones actually look good on me as well, taking advice from my fellow fashionista wife. No shame in that fellas!
My jeans are mostly G-Star and some Evisu (yes, Evisu) – I love the feel of quality selvedge jeans and especially G-Star’s US Red fabric holds a shape unlike many other brands I have worn along the way. Their straight is almost baggy but still classy, a great multi-functional fit that drapes over my customs nicely, rolled up or not.
Lately, I’ve started wearing Uniqlo (?) shirts to gigs. Uniqlo is one of those cheap and cheerful brands but the quality is actually not bad at all. Looking at you Primark, which you will never see me rock, ever. The fit and the prints which are high-turnover, seasonal and lately, very nostalgic, really work for me. Prints include Cookie Monster (come on, who does not love Cookie Monster?), the Hulk (same), PlayStation (PS 4 life!) and Space Invaders (if that is not classic, then what is?). Not only are these nice and playful, I have noticed very positive responses from the crowd as well. When I am DJ’ing, I talk very little if even; I prefer to let the music do that for me. I sometimes dance along, but mostly I am concentrating. Wearing a shirt that reflects a certain mood and my preferred style of DJ’ing, which is free and playful, is making a big difference in the overall experience. I have been rocking a variety of brands like RL, Boss, Lacoste, Bape, YSL and Missoni and my band was sponsored by Wrangler, so it is interesting to me to have landed on Uniqlo, which on paper is a world away from that.
But is it really? Uniqlo actually pairs really well with G-Star because the Japanese cuts and fits are sharp and the colors they use go well together too. In typical Dutch fashion, function over form often works wonders. And, since the similar mindsets of the Dutch and Japanese are reflected in their very long and strong trade history it is no surprise to combine the two.
As a sneakerhead, my mainstay has been the classic and iconic Nike Air Force 1 in many of its forms: Gore-Tex, duck boot, brogue (yes, you read that right), many, many different colorways and of course an increasing selection of customs. I especially love customs as you can get really specific, from stitching and counter-stitching to all the different sections, laces and dubraes. I have rocked and still rock Jordans, Lebrons, Zooms and Dunks; in the past I had NB 1000s, Fila Dunks, Reebok Blacktops, 180s, Air Max 1, 95 and 97 and Force 180s (remember those?), but the AF1 to me is the most versatile and comfortable of them all. My next pair will likely be another custom job, but only time will tell… 😉
My hats, you ask me? 5950. IYKYK. Classic, no frills and fitted. I have always been a hat collector, rocking Kangols, rare university team hats and other kinds of snapbacks, but once I discovered the ’50’ I was hooked. Why I rock mostly Yankees hats? It is an ode to one of my favorite cities: New York City, the birthplace of Hip-Hop music and culture. The city that I fell in love with and that loved me back. From hanging out with M.O.P. at D&D Studios to coming across Nate Dogg and sitting in at U-God’s album listening party at 36 Chambers Studios, my friend DJ Pro-Diggi and I went from one adventure to the next. Upstate New York is also the home of my former production manager for the U.S. and another friend of mine. And on top of all that, we are actual Yankees fans so it’s only right to rep the city, whether we’re in London, Amsterdam or Seoul.
Finally, coats. They need to be waterproof and have a good (storm) hood. No exceptions. In the Netherlands it rains so often, a coat is useless without it. Coats can make or break an outfit, just like shoes. My folks told me years ago: “Don’t skimp on a coat. You can skimp on anything else…” I started out with Helly Hansen but in ’97 I discovered North Face when it was still pretty much a hiking-only brand. Back then, they offered the most extraordinary warranty: life! I figured it was worth the extra money. And they delivered, big time. Almost every coat I ever owned until the 2010s was returned at some point in its life and, sometimes even instantly, replaced with a brand new one, keeping me warm (or cool) and most importantly, dry. The McMurdo series, Free Thinkers and even some Black Labels, as long as they make coats in colors that I feel, I’m with it. Lately though, I feel like their popularity has taken a toll on the quality and that warranty has long since been stripped back to a regular statutory one. Zippers failing and colors fading… Come on TNF, get it together!
So my philosophy is simple. I do not mind owning less clothes, but am not afraid to spend a little more on them. I also feel it is important to know where it is made and by whom. Again, looking at you, Primark. I had a discussion with someone about rocking name-brand clothes. My argument is this: yes, it costs more, but these clothes (usually) last longer, are visibly of higher quality, are cut and styled to complement a body type and they are more often based on moods and feelings. When I shop for clothes I want to feel something, a connection with a print, pattern, colour, cut, shape or even function. Which is also why I avoid some brands like Bally, which are unashamedly racist. No matter how many MCs mention them in their rhymes, I stand by my principles.
So there you have it. My style brain dump.
Walk with me