My Style: Jian DeLeon


Photo: Justin Bridges — Courtesy of Jian DeLeon

We will never see you wearing...

A snake around my neck.

Please describe your style in three words.

Wack and proud.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Dressing to impress anyone else but yourself.

Do you believe in role models?

I do, but not for dressing up.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Moleskin is underrated. I also dig a lot of technical fabrics interpreted into more tailored silhouettes.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Rap and rock, circa the early 2000s.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Most cities have men that look great; you just have to look for them.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I think looking conservative gives you the leeway to act bold.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

Check the weather. That’s it.

Celebrities and style...

Is a great way to sell clothes. Usually bad ones, unfortunately.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Merino socks and cashmere beanies.

A man should always look like...

He just woke up that way.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My friends mostly.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I do a mathematical equation that calculates the amount of time I have to get ready by gauging how hung over I am divided by when I need to get to work.

What is your biggest regret?

I only regret things I don’t do, like not buying a Marni suit when I had the chance.

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

There are more important things than anonymous approval on the Internet. You should take yourself seriously, but not too seriously. The point of great style is to look like a better version of you, not channel Ryan Gosling.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I always touch things. I’m very tactile, and I always sleep on things before I splurge on them.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

All my friends dress better than I do.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

The strength of his handshake.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

My dad in Chuck Taylors, tailored pants, and a crew neck sweatshirt during basic training in the Philippines during the 1960s.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I really love what Nepenthes as a company puts out because they don’t pay attention to what other people are doing and have a really strong sense of identity. Eunice Lee has been around for a while and makes great staples. I’ve liked a lot of Frank Muytjens’ work for J. Crew, and am really impressed with the direction he’s taken that brand. Junya Watanabe regularly makes things that are really dope and just outrageous enough, but I have an appreciation for dark designers like Rick Owens and Takahiro Miyashita as well. I wouldn’t wear a lot of their work, but I like the fact that it exists.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

Having a fresh pair of underwear.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Oh man, I’ve got too many to name. I love cardigans. One of my favourites is a Martin Margiela tennis cardigan, and this Engineered Garments moleskin blazer I wear the hell out of.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Men shouldn’t have to suffer for fashion. Menswear stemmed from pragmatism in its designs, so I think stylish men are also comfortable in whom they are. That’s where confidence comes from, and that’s a big part of looking awesome.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I’ve yet to be disappointed in anything Daiki Suzuki puts out. There’s always a piece or two I really love. Ralph Lauren is always a classic choice, and for good reason. I’ve been appreciating his stuff for as long as I could remember. I used to wear Polo pocket tees and jackets I’d steal from my dad.

Who would you like to see next in €œMy Style€?

Shimon and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons, and stylist Marcus Allen.

The best word of advice you have ever heard?

Don’t worry so much; you’ll never be cool anyway.

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