With individuals constantly asking, “what is the difference between menswear in the UK and that of the US?” It could be said that the way to identify the real contrast is to take it to the streets. See what the everyday fellow is wearing and how he is wearing it. With an industry and media spotlight recently being cast over fashion and street style bloggers, it has become easier than ever to find creative individuals who effortlessly display inspiring and interesting looks. With many taking a no holds barred approach to style and fashion too, it is here you find the real originality and the answer to the aforementioned question.
One such individual is San Fran based blogger Brandon Tran, founder of the blog Dopensteez. With an edgy, urban approach to fashion, Tran combines many looks to create his own quirky, modern style. Yet with noticeable similarities to British styling, we at PAUSE asked what inspires him and what he feels the differences are.
How would you describe your personal style?
Edgy, street, and unique. I literally wear anything in my closet and I like to have fun with my outfits. Living in San Francisco is already a diverse culture, but my fashion sense is a bit extreme for a diverse community. Not many San Franciscans dresses like how I do here in the city. I like to combine high street style looks with new and old school styles. My style is a twist between modern street meets grunge chic. One of my many favourite quotes I always keep in mind, “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” – Alexander McQueen
Who would you say is your biggest style influence?
At this moment, I am very intrigued by Marc Jacob’s style. His style is very different than most. He takes risks, which I admire. He can wear a skirt with boots and will look very masculine at the same time.
What is your approach to constructing a look or outfit?
I start with the article of clothing I want to wear, whether it’s a shirt or a sweater. I accessories my outfit to see if the outfit looks good together, and of course add a jacket for SF weather.
Do you have a favourite piece in your wardrobe? If so what is it?
I don’t have a favourite piece of wardrobe, but my favourite staple pieces are my accessories, especially my rings! I never leave the house without them. I wear them every day.
What staple piece should be in every man’s wardrobe?
Every man should own a pair of boots. Boots comes in different styles, colours, and designs. Boots can create an edgy outfit to your look. Most of them are comfortable and is always in style no matter what season we’re in. I recommend every man should own a pair of doc martens!
Have you always been driven to work in fashion? And what does it mean to you personally?
Prior to my passion for fashion, I wanted to become a professional dancer in which I’ve trained with other companies over the past years. But I realised dancing wasn’t for me. I was more interested in dressing up for the shows than the performance. Fashion is really important to me. It has taught me to never hide in my shell and has helped me boost up my confidence. Fashion is what I am good at. There are no rules in styling. Being driven to work in fashion has taught me to be myself and not be afraid of being different. Being individual and showing my personal style.
Why do you think fashion bloggers have seen such a boost in publicity over the past few years?
I think social media like Facebook and Instagram has a significant impact of the boost in publicity for fashion bloggers. It is a quick way to connect with many addicts all over the world.
What is the role of the fashion blogger in relation to the industry as a whole?
The role of a fashion blogger in relation to the industry as a whole is that it connects the world of high fashion with affordability. Fashion bloggers will take a new trend and create a look that is not only affordable but also wearable.
What is your view on British men’s style?
I feel that British men’s style takes risk to another level and dresses bolder with confidence. The men’s style in the UK is really creative and I am inspired by the street style in the UK. I especially love the printed suits and the modern clean looks!
In your eyes, how does street style stateside differ from the UK?
The street style in the UK is a bit more experimental and I feel that it’s a bit refined and tailored than American style. A lot of it is more punk or mod inspired. In the US, it’s more about the designers and the brands people wear.
Catch more of Brandon on his blog: www.dopensteez.com
Interviewed by Matthew Ward