Quad Style: Stefan Tesliuc
Meet Stefan Tesliuc, a second year Math major and one of the styling editors for the Moda Magazine who braved the rain for our latest installment of Quad Style!
How would you describe your personal style? Where do you find style inspiration?
I think talking about style is hard, and I don’t like putting my sense of style into boxes. I have brands that I love for one reason or another... Nike is my favorite, so obviously sneakers get a lot of consideration. I think I get my style sense more from particular people I admire more than anything else. Like I really respect Sean Wotherspoon and how he's created a really tight community around him of people just into vintage streetwear and fresh garms.
Otherwise, my friends and I have for a long time competed over who could look the freshest, so even though we try to flex on each other, they’ve definitely shaped my style just from the need to keep up and dress better. So yeah, I’d say its people more than places that have influenced my aesthetic.
Where do you like to shop?
To be honest I buy most of my clothes online because its way cheaper that way. That being said, I still really see value in the retail experience, so there are a few retailers that I may not shop at for money reasons, but I really respect their vision. RSVP and Notre are two big examples, and although they're very different, they're similar in the way that shopping there is like going to a library. When I go there I get to discover brands I might be totally unfamiliar with, or never get to see in person, and that’s a really cool thing. Notre was the store that introduced me to JW Anderson and Martine Rose, and just feeling the clothes in that store really made certain pieces stick in my mind. I also have to shout out Boneyard Chicago, Saint Alfred, and Nikelab. Those places are probably the stores I go to most in Chicago.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
I have lots of fashion mistakes, but they’ve all helped me learn and look back and laugh. Like I was the type of kid to wear a fedora in middle school. In high school I was wearing Fugazi Bape off of ebay. But like I’m glad I did all that, it's really funny, and I'd probably encourage my kids to also dress how they want and make their own mistakes. There are definite some no no’s though... I won't be buying my kids Sketchers.
What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
I got into fashion through rap music, and I used to think of it as just like a way to look cool or get girls or impress my friends. Rap music led to sneaker culture, which led to getting involved in streetwear communities, which eventually led to where I'm at now. When I really got into fashion, I didn’t have any of the means to buy the clothes I liked, I couldn’t even buy stuff online if I had the money because it wouldn’t deliver. Because of this my friends and I really got into fashion without the clothes. We'd be on the fashion forums, the Kanye threads, the streetwear Reddit, and we’d consume all the information about clothes and brands that we could. We used to like make up fits with what we’d want to wear if we ever got to go to those stores. Whenever a friend visited new York or London, we'd all give him whatever cash we had to bring us back a Palace cap or a Supreme keychain. We were little hypebeasts, but that was important. Buying clothes really meant something, because it meant we had done a lot of research about it.
It wasn’t until my girlfriend introduced me to the intellectual dissection of fashion that I started seeing it was so much more than I thought. Talking about fashion is really difficult, because it is art, it's so subjective. But the more you talk about it, the more you develop these personal ideas and discoveries about fashion that not only totally change how you look at how other people dress, but change how you dress yourself. Now my favorite designer is Margiela, and its only because I was able to learn about fashion as an art form that I really grew to appreciate what a genius he is. I loved clothes back in high school and I love clothes now, but now fashion is way more relevant and important to me than I could ever expect.
Why is fashion important to you?
Fashion is a conversation between you and the rest of the world. Everyone makes a conscious decision about what they wear one way or another, and through that there’s a message to be heard. I think saying fashion is superficial or just a commodity is totally missing the point. Like, paintings are a commodity, music is a commodity, but they're all still art. The clothes I wear all have history to me, whether through their design, or my own personal relationship with the brand.
Like take my Air Max 1’s. Tinker Hatfield came up with the design in 1987, and it was the first shoe ever to feature the air bubble visibly. A lot of people in Nike wanted him fired for that, up to that point durability was a big selling point in sneakers, so who would want to wear a sneaker that reminded you that you were walking on trapped gas? But Tinker Hatfield was a rebel and put out the shoe anyways, and the rest was history. I love that, when I wear my Air Max’s, I'm reminded that I'm wearing a real feat of design and engineering, these are punk af sneakers! It’s the little things like that that remind me how amazing fashion is–you can convey a message through your whole outfit and how it's composed, but even the individual pieces have they're own story and history. Fashion is important because it’s a reminder that we all have our own lives going on and its important that we respect that.
All images courtesy of James Young. To view more of James' work, check out his website here.