We first noticed Kevin the way most people do: he’s an active Instagramer known for a minimalist approach to content creation. For him, less is always more and everything, from shoes to watch, including every piece of garment in between, feels exactly in the right place. We haven’t been to his hometown Salt Lake City yet, but we’ll get there. In the meantime, we decided to ask Kevin a few questions and get his feedback on our products (spoiler alert: it was awesome and he decided to take a few pictures of our blue Oxford).
I remember the first time we talked over Skype. We were excited to be talking with one of our favorite instagramers. Kevin, who had never heard of us, was as excited, if not more. For him, fashion has never been a fad. When he tells us about his views on apparel, technology and everything else we asked about, the first thing that stands out is how much clothes - really - make the man. It’s not just a saying, and it’s not just that he has been thinking about his outfits ever since he was a kid. It’s really this giddy enthusiasm for fashion: trying stuff on, matching it, and figuring it out how to best present it to the world in a tasteful, elegant way, one that seems to require little to no effort, the sort of stuff that comes with experience and an educated taste.
He lives in Utah with his wife, where we works in content marketing and comms for a tech company. But what really loves (besides his wife, obvs) is music, art, film, literature and design, and how these things have influenced him. Case in point: “In high school I got into punk rock and I bought clothes from thrift stores and vintage shops. I would cut up my clothing, paint or write phrases on them with markers. At that time, I notice that the quality of vintage clothing was better than what you could find at department stores - especially denim. I got really into selvedge denim and vintage leather jackets. Since then it has blossomed into all aspects of menswear.”
Much has certainly happened since and his taste nowadays might seem worlds apart from that punk rock aesthetic, but what really matters is that - fortunately for us watching - Kevin hasn’t grown bored with the current state of things: “Menswear is at a unique time right now because there are so many trends going on that there isn't a single style or look that really defines this decade. Trends come and go much quicker these days and I think technology is a big reason for that.”
We get it, Kev. It’s not really about punk rock making a comeback. It’s that it never really left, at least in some fashion niches and subcultures where it’s still thriving and stomping its feet, waiting patiently for mainstream and frantic trend cycles to embrace it one more time, until it reaches its pinnacle and sudden death caused by one too many Blondie t-shirts on sale at H&M. But we digress, and stuff moves forward regardless. In what direction? “I would like to see more brands offer quality products at a fair price. I have come across a few brands recently that are finding a good balance, but it would be great to see more of them.”
The output of content curation these days is so clean and simple, it always seems like this mathematical approach to lenses, placement, colors or filters. That might be what we see, but it’s not how it usually starts: “Truthfully I never really had a plan when I started my Instagram account. For me it has always been a creative outlet for me and to also show my love of menswear. I just started taking pictures of the outfits I was wearing and the majority of the pieces I own are classic menswear staples. I do try out new styles or trends here and there, but I like to pair them with classics to keep the look more grounded.”
He also tells us how the internet is having a massive influence in fashion: “more than anything else at the moment. More and more people are getting inspired by street style photography or flat lays than from fashion magazines or celebrities. It is kind of exciting that average people are playing a bigger role in the future of fashion.”
You’re right. Average people are the best. By the way, what more can brands like ISTO. do for them? “For me, the small things like branding, package and other printed material are very important for me. When you receive an item that is wrapped nicely in tissue paper or comes with a thank you card, it shows that the brand cares a lot about their product and their customer. It makes the shopping experience very satisfying and you get a better sense of what the brand is about.”
Got it. Thanks for the inspiration. We will now continue working on that classic jacket you would like us to produce: “It really makes an outfit feel more complete and personal.” Much like our appreciation of Kevin Iman after getting to know more than just his instagram feed.