Quad Style: Alex Azar
Meet Azar---a first-year at UChicago from Chicago. He’s deeply into fashion, rap music, and cooking. A maximal minimalist and a fashion writer for Grailed and Gallery Aesthete (definitely check out his articles!), he wrote an A+ HUM paper in response to the standard questions that we usually ask in Quad Style features-not to mention the captions for all the photos here! In other words, this is and probably will be the easiest piece that I’ve ever done. Without further ado, I will leave the floor to Azar and his fabulous insights into style, menswear, and fashion writing.
On Personal Style
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: I would describe my fashion sense as maximal minimalism. I’m still a minimalist – I reserve wearing non-neutral colors for rare and purposeful occasions – but I do have an appreciation for subtle juxtapositions within fashion. I love playing with lengths within fashion: I’ll often opt for an elongated t-shirt with cropped pants to obscure the proportions of my outfits.
Q: What do you tend to wear for everyday wear?
A: It varies. I’ll wear a hoodie or shirt, a pair of skinny black or gray jeans that stack near the heel, and boots with a slight (3cm to 4cm) heel pretty regularly. I’ll also occasionally wear basic low-top sneakers with a t-shirt and cropped pants. I’ll also wear a lot of drapey fabrics piled on top of each other to create a free-flowing look. Just generally not much color.
Q: Where do you find style inspiration?
A: I find tons of inspiration within the realm of brutalist, avant-garde, gothic-chic menswear. Rick Owens, Tatsuro Horikawa, Boris Bidjan Saberi, and Damir Doma are definitely idols of mine – I really like how all these artists experiment with subtleties. For example, Tatsuro Horikawa, the creative director of JULIUS, loves employing different and unique finishes to black garments in order to have them contrast against each other in different lighting.
I also enjoy how that genre of menswear never takes anything for-granted. Owens in particular is known for challenging the status quo – with his F/W 15 runway featuring all the male models with exposed genitalia. While many people were horrified by his collection, this was Owens’ way of showcasing the double standards within the fashion industry that allow male designers to over-sexualize their female models.
Q: Where do you like to shop?
A: I generally tend to shop online, specifically on Grailed. Grailed tends to have my ideal articles of clothing for a much more reasonable price than anywhere else. Furthermore, there are many garments that I’ve bought that simply were not available on any other sights (i.e. A black skirt with a dark print of Jesus’s face on the front, a 2009 Damir Doma multi-piece hoodie). In addition, I also write articles for Grailed so I feel justified reinvesting the money I earn into the clothing from the site.
On Fashion Writing
Q: How did you start writing for Grailed and what’s it like writing for them?
A: My best friend from high school began writing articles for the sight and then suggested I apply. I applied this summer and have since published four articles for the sight, with the most recent one that came out sometime in December.
I absolutely love the gig. I send pitches to an editor, and if he likes the pitch, then I go ahead and write a draft article about the pitch. The first article I wrote broke the news about the termination of the Rick Owens x adidas collaboration, which ran for 8 collections. The second article I wrote was about Tatsuro Horikawa (JULIUS), and the third was about Band of Outsiders. The most recent article I wrote was about Acne Studios.
Q: Any other fashion writing?
A: About a week ago, Gallery Aesthete, an avant-garde gothic-chic store in Chicago, picked up the Tatsuro Horikawa article, and hired me to write two articles a month for them. The first article I drafted for them was about avant-garde diffusion lines. In the future, I plan on writing articles for them about emerging designers, themes within fashion, and different important fashion collections.
On Fashion At Large
Q: Any fashion regrets?
A: Many. Between the ages of seven and ten, I wore a Red Sox t-shirt every single day to school. In Eighth grade, I was inspired by the trite Barney Stinson to wear a suit to school once or twice a week. In ninth grade, I wore obnoxiously brightly colored dress shirts to school everyday. We all have rough patches, I just had a lot.
Q: Why is fashion important to you?
A: I think of fashion as the most accessible art form: That is, the art form people interact with most on a daily basis. Because it’s everywhere, I think society often views fashion as a means of convention. I like clothes because they can be a way to stand out, to blend in, or to just look good.
All images courtesy of Kiran Misra. Check out more of her photography here.