We had a chance to get to know Shan, a 25 year old techy from the ATL with a really versatile style that appears to be generational. Atlanta's art scene has been a real hot topic these days, so we got to know a little about how Atlanta culture and music has impacted Shan and his outlook on fashion. Learn about some of his fashion Do's and Don'ts, what inspires him, and some of his goals with fashion. All of this in our convo with Shan.
Where are you from? How old are you?
I’m 25 years old – born and raised in Atlanta, GA.
What are your interests/hobbies?
Apart from fashion and sneakers, most of my time is spent playing basketball or at the gym. Health is wealth, am I right? I’m also always listening to music. I’m super into technology and design, too.
Current Occupation or school that you attend? (if you do not feel like sharing you do not have to)
I graduated from Georgia Tech, and am currently a product manager at a software company. (Hence, the technology portion of my last answer.)
How long have you been into fashion?
I’ve been into fashion for as long as I can remember. My style has changed a lot over the years, but I’ve always been super particular about what I’m wearing and how it fits. Even when I was a toddler, there are pictures of me wearing suits and boat shoes, and decked out in Polo.
What got you into fashion?
It was probably my dad… Like I said, from when I was young, I was always dressed nicely. He was also always dressed well, and it carried down to me and my brothers. He’s always telling me that some of the stuff I buy now is “his style” and he would “definitely wear them if he was younger” which is pretty cool to me.
How would you describe your sense of style?
Street… smart..? I think “street smart” is a good way to describe my style. I’m not fully on the streetwear end of the spectrum, but also not fully on the formal/smart end either. Some of my favorite outfits are suits/smart pants with sneakers. Whatever I wear though, I usually have on a pair of sneakers.
How has living in _____ shaped your style and your fashion sense?
You always hear about “the culture” when talking about Atlanta. I personally think that all of that culture stems from the strong music scene in Atlanta. Music started to blend with sports, and of course, sports has a strong connection with sneakers. Nowadays, you listen to hip-hop and it’s filled with basketball and sneaker references – and if you look at the NBA, everybody shows up to games with their own swagger. I think all of this – music, sneakers, sports – is connected and has such a strong influence, especially in a city like Atlanta.
Where do you find your inspiration for your style? And what influences you the most?
I get style inspiration from literally anywhere – Instagram, Pinterest, random dudes on the street, etc. There are no restrictions on what/who can inspire me. All I really know for sure is that when I’m picking out an outfit, the first thing I start with is my sneakers. Because I have an *above average* amount, I try not to let them all sit for too long and wear as many as possible. #RockEmDontStockEm right?
Who is your fashion spirit animal/who inspires you? And why? (artist, athlete, actor etc.)
I get inspiration from a few athletes, but I’ll highlight two: Lebron James and Odell Beckham Jr. Starting with Lebron, I think he epitomizes the “street smart” style. He’s always showing up to games with cleaner, smarter clothes but is always rocking some heat on his feet. He does a really good job of blending in sneakers with outfits that are usually worn with dress shoes or boots. I mentioned Odell as well, not for his formal wear (or basically everything outside of athleisure) because it’s a little too out there for me. However, his athleisure and training attire is always on point. He’s not afraid to wear a certain t-shirt or sneakers to the gym because it’s Nike x Off-White or some other exclusive piece. I’m in the gym or playing ball frequently, and it’s equally important to me to still look good in those settings as well. It also helps that Odell is around the same height as me. The fit is extremely important to me, so sometimes it’s not as easy to pull off an outfit like 6’8 250 pound superhuman Lebron James.
What are your favorite fashion pieces? (hats, belts, hoodies etc.)
Easy… sneakers. If it’s not clear already, I love sneakers. My all-time favorite silhouettes are the Nike Flyknit Racers and Nike Flyknit Trainers. At one point, I had maybe 75%-80% of Flyknit Racer colorways to drop. Right now though, I’m all about the Nike React Element 87. They’re SUPER comfy and have an unorthodox look to them. I’m mostly into runners/slimmer shoes like these because I know what looks good on me. I stay in my lane, and I think that’s important. Jordans are great and played a huge role in sneaker culture and sneaker design, but they just don’t fit me in a way that is appealing to me or my style.
I’m really into glasses too. I feel like I should mention that since I wear them almost every day. I’ve been wearing clear frames from Warby Parker for about 2 years now, and I don’t plan on stopping. I do mix it up now and then with some other Warby frames though.
What are your favorite brands?
I’m a huge Nike head. This includes both sneakers and apparel. I own a lot of Nike basics (hoodies, tees, shorts, socks), but their Nike Sportswear Line is the way to go for me. I also have to shout out ASOS. If a package at my doorstep isn’t from Nike, it’s probably ASOS. All of my suits, jeans, and jackets are from ASOS. Even if not ASOS brand, I purchased them off of their website.
What current fashion trends are you loving right now? Which ones are you hating?
I definitely like the shift towards the whole “retro” theme, with color blocked pieces and large stripes. Also, while it may not be a recent trend, I’m always going to love distressed jeans. I’m into the high fashion sneaker collaborations as well (Off-White, Acronym, Undercover).
It’s easier for me to list the trends I don’t like: fanny pack over the shoulder, loose fitting jeans/bottoms, dad shoes, distressed t-shirts, and sweaters.
The most important piece of an outfit is ____? Why?
Either sneakers or a good haircut. I’ve spoken about sneakers a lot, so I’ll elaborate more on the haircut. Hair is SUPER important to me. It can take a look over the top, but also ruin it. Take the time to go to a good/qualified barber or hairdresser. Yeah, it will cost a few extra bucks but at the end of the day, it’s worth it. Apart from quality of work, there are other benefits to this like getting cuts with more longevity, so they grow out nicer. It’s also important to learn about your hair – how it grows, what styles work and what won’t.
At the end of the day, the most important piece really is confidence. You really don’t need trends, someone’s approval, or society’s approval to tell you what looks good. Wear what you want, wear what you like, and be creative with that. I don’t like dad shoes and fanny packs, but if that’s your thing then rock it and don’t apologize to anyone. Know what works well for you and build on that. It’s a never-ending process that is going to continue to evolve over time.
Do you have a dream fashion piece? (a specific coat, belt, pants etc.)
I can’t think of a *dream* piece right now, so I’ll name a couple of pieces that I like but do not own: Nike React Element 87 “Sail”, a couple of the Undercover x Nike React Element 87, a basic Comme des Garcons tee, Off White x Nike Air Max 90
What are your goals and aspirations with fashion? Where do you see yourself ending up?
As cliché as it may sound, I really enjoy helping others. Although not in the orthodox "philanthropic" way, I feel extremely satisfied when my IG followers are interested in where I get my haircuts and buy my clothing. I’m hoping to keep doing this through social media, and helping out those looking for inspiration. I also have always wanted to start my own clothing line and design my own sneakers, so maybe one day I can make those happen too.
You can keep up with Shan and his fashion journey by following his social media below: