Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Style Star: Justin T. Moran

We're so excited to be back with another Style Star feature. Today we bring you our extremely talented and extremely stylish friend, Justin. He's currently working for Haberdash Men's marketing department and will be jet-setting to fabulous NYC this summer to intern for Paper Mag. What a life - and to think he does it all while staying so effortlessly stylish. Check out his flawlessly crafted tips about style and see some of his phenomenal design work. He is truly so talented. 

Justin T. Moran

How would you describe your personal style? I hadn't really been able to pinpoint my personal style until I read this quote by K-Hole, a trend forecasting agency out of New York. They wrote, "It's about infinitely flexible, sunny appropriation." When I get dressed, I like to explore different facets of my personality and make references - I've always been this way. One summer I was horribly fascinated with looking pseudo homeless, and another I aimed to mimc country club dads. Now, I sort of balance on this fine line between a classic buttoned-up aesthetic, but also occasionally take on a streamlined streetwear sensibility, as well. One day, I might wear chinos, a pair of oxfords and a Ralph Lauren shirt; The next day I might wear copper Doc Martens, leather shorts, a mesh jersey and a gold chain. I'd hate to commit to just one me; I tend to think about who I want "Justin" to be, and dress like that man. It's all a bit dramatic. 

How has your personal style evolved throughout the years? Like I said earlier, I have a tendency to take on these different identities, even though all have stemmed from a very genuine place. I just think it's more interesting to invest in a heightened, dramatized version of yourself. Besides the number of aesthetic transformations I've undergone, I'd say my style has just become more confident. It's exhausting to be sheepish, and a standout piece of clothing can really change how you move throughout your day. Maybe that one pair of shoes will lead you to meet someone new and important; maybe they'll help guide you to a new life-changing opportunity. I'm still not 100% confident, today, but I'm tirelessly fighting to get there. 

Where do you like to shop and why? I really love Kokorokoko in Wicker Park, which sells '80s and '90s vintage clothing. From there, I've picked up a Tina Turner t-shirt, a mock turtleneck BMX jersey and an old Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt. They're all pretty awful, but in the absolute best way. My eyes love to shop at RSVP Gallery, but my bank account won't allow it. If I could, I'd leave that store with a shopping bag full of Acne, Givenchy and Hood by Air… One day.

With such notable industry experience, where do you see men's fashion going? To me, the menswear industry has become horribly saturated; every fashion-conscious man seems to be striving for the same overall aesthetic. I'm so exhausted with seeing armies of men in Chicago wearing the same boots, backpack, raw denim etc. Men's high fashion, without a doubt, is leaning more toward androgynous silhouettes; the line between masculinity and femininity is becoming increasingly blurred on the runway level, and I cannot wait until it transcends to streetwear. Skirts, dresses, platforms, ponchos - these styles mark the future of menswear. 

Designs by Justin T. Moran

Who/what inspires you? Growing up, I was always really inspired by Andy Warhol and the way he built an empire of subversive misfits around his work. I've read so much literature on the Warhol era in New York City, that I think he's always whispering in the back of my mind; people like Candy Darling offer so much more to the fashion world than Elle Magazine. I'm also inspired by music as a platform for harvesting different styles; Marilyn Manson's sound emits a completely different energy than someone like Bjork, but I love them both equally. 

What are three tips you would give to guys about establishing a personal style? 
1. Question trends
2. Be "infinitely flexible"
3. Don't purchase anything unless you have an emotional reaction to it, big or small. 

For more of Justin's imaginative and ever-changing menswear, check out his Instagram. Also, follow his updates on menswear and where he'll jet set to next on his Facebook.

Truly Yours,
P.S. "I'd hate to commit to just one me; I tend to think about who I want "Justin" to be, and dress like that man."

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