Sober Yung Walter

Talks Gucci, Balenciaga and Harlem

Photographer: Jonny Wilson // @jonnywilson
Interviewer & Stylist: Rhys Marcus Jay // @rhysmarcusjay
Fashion Assistant: Kadie Bautista // @kdbtst
Featured: Walter Harvin // @soberyungwalter

Walter Harvin aka Sober Yung Walter is well known for his High-end taste in Fashion. We discussed his perspective on Fashion, Streetwear vs. High End and how to jump out of the ‘box’ that is Instagram.

Jacket: Jil Sanders @ Browns Fashion, Top: 3.Paradis, Trousers: Kappa @ Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Nike @ Schuh

How is London treating you?

London is cleaner than New York City, definitely. But the food here isn’t that great, I don’t think I would want to come back here unless the food gets better.

Are there any similarities between this city and New York City?

Both cities are similar because they’re major cities. Culture-wise, it’s completely different. The style here is very repetitive; everyone looks alike rather than in New York where everyone’s style is the same except you know who’s who. Here, everyone looks like a “somebody”.

Tell us about where you grew up?

I grew up in Manhattan. I’d like to say Harlem, but I also grew up on the Upper West Side. My Mom’s family are all from Harlem, so I was there for a little bit. I lived in the Bronx and then I moved to New Jersey ‘cause my Mom didn’t want me getting into trouble, ‘cause that was coming my way.

Explain a typical day as Walter?

I will scroll through Instagram to see what’s going on, then I will turn down my brightness, put my phone on silent, and close the app as I don’t wanna look at it for another six hours because it just makes me sad looking at it. Not sad like damn, but I question “Why do I spend so much time on here?”, also sad knowing that I have to look at this ‘cause this is where all of my stuff is based. All my stuff is based on social media and if it were up to me, I would throw away Instagram. I don’t really like it.

Do you feel that Instagram is forced?

People get into Instagram and make it who they are, instead of getting into Instagram and making it something they don’t have to go back to anymore. Instagram is kind of like the gutter now. It’s the gutter for creative people, they get there and it’s like “Damn! I’m still here.” No-one wants to be on Instagram and have to depend on that. A lot of people I see do that in their stories, saying “I love my fans, you’re all I have”. Of course, it’s all you have, you’re marginalizing yourself. There are much bigger things than Instagram, it’s the smallest thing on the planet.

Jacket: Jil Sanders @ Browns Fashion, Top: 3.Paradis, Trousers: Kappa @ Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Nike @ Schuh

How could one jump out of that box, that is Instagram?

You will have to do something that will encourage people to leave Instagram to check out further; like a Website or clothing line because with all of that you can be successful without using social media.

What is one word that you would use to define your style?

I can’t think of a word to describe my style, ‘cause it’s weird… If you wear something you like and someone else has worn it, then it’s like you copied them so I’m not going to say it’s original because it’s what I like. But I think my style, is my style. Do you know what I mean?

Gucci or Balenciaga?

I’m a big fan of both, but I think I’m going to go with not even Balenciaga, but Demna Gvasalia. I just like him, I like his Art, and I like his work. I like the very over exaggerated theme of clothing. I think he did it in the best way. Hood By Air was the first to do it, but it wasn’t something you could wear every day. They weren’t “Ready to Wear” pieces, they were mostly runway.

Have you ever shopped a young designer label? If not, would you buy an item of theirs?

I have, but I feel like it was something that had been done before. If it’s a young designer, then they have to bring something new.

Would you agree that we are living in this Post-modern era where everything is recycled?

Everything is recycled, but when you recycle something you’re supposed to clean it up and make it something fresh. Fashion is not even recycled, it’s just been taken out of a garbage can and then it’s been reused.

Jacket: Jil Sanders @ Browns Fashion, Top: 3.Paradis, Trousers: Kappa @ Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Nike @ Schuh

Why do you prefer to buy High-End products?

I like Streetwear, but like I said earlier everyone looks the same. I prefer High End because I know if I wanted to I could always sell it for its value. It’s kind of like a car, it might depreciate a little bit but there’s still a good amount of value in it. Whereas a Streetwear piece will only hold value if someone notable wears it.


Would you say that Streetwear is uninspiring in comparison to High End?

For the past 3 years, Skatewear has been referenced and that was made a ‘thing’ because Supreme is a Skate brand and that’s been successful. The only person that did that and shied away from it is Gosha, a lot of other brands try and do the same ‘Skate thing’ and it’s wack.

Name 3 of your go-to Clothing shops in New York?

It used to be Tokyo Seven before they carried wack sh*t, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Jeffrey’s. I don’t really shop that often, but when I do I usually shop on Instagram. If I see a piece I like and someone has it, I’ll ask if they’re willing to sell the item or I’ll try Grailed. Most of the pieces I like are Runway pieces, so I’ll try to get them online or in store.

 Sweatshirt: Astrid Andersen, Jean’s: Talent’s Own, Trainers: Nike @ Schuh, Belt: B.B. Simon

Sweatshirt: Astrid Andersen, Jean’s: Talent’s Own, Trainers: Nike @ Schuh, Belt: B.B. Simon

Did you choose to get into The Fashion Industry, or did The Fashion Industry choose you?

I chose to do it because it was for me. My friend Josh started his brand, which we would always talk about. That’s what we decided to do, instead of selling drugs, or wanting to be gang-bangers or fake rappers.. we chose Fashion because it gave us a title.

Where did you develop this interest in clothes?

My Mom! I’m only seventeen years apart from my Mom, most people are like that with their siblings. My Mom had me at a young age, so I feel like her being young, she wanted to stay in style instead of dressing like an old lady when I’m five years old and she’s twenty-two. You know what I mean?

She was always into expensive clothing, she has a lot of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci… it’s crazy. I give my Mom a lot of props for the person I am today, in terms of Fashion because she always kept me “in”.

Jacket: Balenciaga, Trousers: Loom @ Urban Outfitters, Trainers: Walter’s own

What would you spend your last $100 on, food or clothes?

Food. I love food.

It seems that you buy items at a high price point, explain where you place your value in both food and clothes?

For $100, I’m not going to get something I necessarily like that’s why I chose food. I’ll only get something that I can resell and make more money off of and I don’t shy away from doing that. With food I feel like I will hold more memories with it, it will keep me healthy and alive also.

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