Name: Leo N.
Do you think studying advertising influences what you wear? Yeah. I think so. I think in a lot of art-based majors like advertising, there is a certain style that guys follow. A lot of people in advertising want to make sure that when they go out, they look good. Even on my lazy days, I make sure my sweats are joggers. I have a certain standard that I hold myself to.
Is that standard for yourself or for others? I used to think it was for others, but now it’s for myself. When I feel good about myself, I can walk around feeling confident. It’s a lot easier to take on a day when you feel confident in how you look.
Leo matches a classic white tee with a light wash denim shirt from Banana Republic.
What are your plans for after you graduate? I’m not sure yet. I’m applying for jobs pretty much everywhere, particularly internationally.
What appeals to you about working internationally? I feel like we’re in a bubble here. I think that moving from the U.O. from high school has shown me that I’ve gone from one bubble to a little bit bigger one. I’m trying to see what else there is out there because I didn’t get a chance to study abroad. A lot of the core values that people in the U.S. hold are not core values in other places. I feel I need to grow as an individual more, and traveling will help me do that.
Is there a dream place you would like to work? I want to go back to Vietnam, because that’s where I’m from, and really soak in the culture because I’ve only been there once. As regards to work, I’m looking into Sydney or Melbourne.
How would you describe your personal style? I’m not trend-based, but I can’t totally say that because I do follow some trends. I find the trends that I think are going to stick around for a while and that are appealing to me.
He mixes patterns with a pair of Vans with red and blue stripped socks.
What trends have you been digging recently? I’m kind of in-between hipster and street fashion. I really like street fashion, but with too much, you kind of look like an asshole. I’m also not totally a hipster.
Do you think in menswear there has been a shift from hipster to streetwear? Oh definitely. I think a lot of people are moving towards that because it’s a nice in-between niche. Especially at the U.O., people can relate to that because there are a lot of California kids who bring up the Bay Area style, and there’s also a lot of more hipster looking people.
Are you from either of those ares? I’m from Portland, and the hipster scene is huge. So I guess that’s were I get a lot of influence. In Portland, everyone is super hipster– lots of flannels, button-ups and beanies. It is also really clean. I think that’s probably the biggest thing to take away– the really chic, clean style.
Leo brought his tan Dickies from Urban Outfitters.
What do you mean by clean style? In the past, you would wear baggy pants because they would sag. But now, you always cuff your pants and your shirt. If I do button my shirt, I button it up all the way.
It seems you take a lot of risks. How do you get the confidence to do things like dye your hair? I think a lot of it is the culture of the U.O. The more we try to be an individual, the more support we get from our surroundings. Like my friends have all been really supportive. Not all of them like it, but it’s an attitude of “you be you.” I’m actually going to dye it to purple next. It’s cool being able to do what you want to do and know people aren’t going to judge you for it.
So has your style changed since you came to college? Oh definitely. Your style grows as you grow as an individual. In high school, I was more trend driven and all about street fashion, but as I’ve matured, my style has matured as well.
Why do you care about fashion? I’m trying to give you not a cliché answer. But fashion to me is like an extension of myself. My hair, for example, I wanted to give off a little bit of my personality before people saw me. I feel like your wardrobe tells people your story before they meet you.
What does your hair say about your personality? I keep it clean. I want people to think I’m a nice orderly dude, but I also have a wild side.
Like a mullet. Exactly. Business in the front, and party in the back.
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH STEINKOPF-FRANK, @HSTEINKOPFFRANK