We had the good fortune of connecting with Ethan M. Wong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ethan, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
A lot of it stemmed from the fact that I felt that there were stories and experiences in the menswear world that weren’t being told. I got my start collecting vintage menswear from the 1920s-1940s and I couldn’t find anything about it, whether it was about the pieces themselves or the fun little community around it. So I started writing and photographing my experience navigating that world. Soon, I began documenting the events I went to on my blog, whether it was a gathering of similarly dressed friends or a big event like the Dapper Day events at Disneyland and LACMA. Eventually I started to get more into contemporary menswear and bespoke tailoring. My blog then became a diary of sorts, following my interests in both vintage and modern clothing and how I developed my own personal style. I still wanted to share the outings I went to and so event coverage was still a big part of my blog, now supplementing events with stories about artisans and trunkshows in this classic menswear space. I realized that my passions in writing and photography melded well with my business education, which led to me to pursue those passions further as a Digital Strategy Consultant for menswear brands. Of course I still have a deep personal passion for classic clothing, which has led to the blog expanding its audience and even toward the launch of the Style & Direction Podcast, allowing me to speak further about menswear in a more candid manner, supported by contributors on Patreon.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
While I have developed my skills in content writing and photography for my career, I’ve been fortunate to also use them for artistic expression. The menswear world can be daunting and feel like a “closed club” and I never liked that. My blog and Instagram are my way of showing how regular people (like my friends and me) like to wear classic and vintage menswear in the modern world. It’s very important for me to share how clothing mixes with my everyday life and to be as authentic and open as possible so that others don’t feel intimidated. Being able to use my writing and photography to capture the people I met and the outings I do (both in the industry and out) really further that message that it’s just clothes- anyone can get into it. It always makes me happy when people start expanding their style! I’m very proud of this authenticity I provide as it is what got me to work with these artisanal menswear brands. I’m fortunate to be able to use my talents to help further their message and their products. It certainly wasn’t easy, but I do believe that my constant dedication and passion for my blog and photography is what ultimately got me where I am today. I’m still young and certainly have a full career ahead, but its my hope that others connect with my story and see the value I can provide for them. I’m always looking for new challenges and people to work with, whether it’s as a consultancy basis or I get the chance to work with an agency in the future! If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: an engaged audience will always gravitate toward enthusiastic authenticity!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Unfortunately all of my best friends live around LA! But if I happened to have one who had never been to LA before, here are just a few of my favorite things: – an afternoon in the Norton Simon Museum – get inspired by a photography exhibit at the Getty – gaze at European art at the LACMA – Find vintage goodies at Rose Bowl Flea Market – Trivia Nights at Spoke Bicycle Cafe – eat ramen from Hakata Ikkousha (after a healthy dose of Karaoke) – drink boba anywhere in the SGV – late night eats at Canter’s Deli – grab Pie & Burger in Pasadena – Check out the clothes at Sid Mashburn – Commission a hat or have a chat at the Wellema Hat Co. – Watch improv at UCB Franklin (I love Cardinal Redbird) – Buy an old book or record at Counterpoint (right near UCB)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to express my love for my parents and grand parents for supporting me through my niche passions. I also want to shoutout Spencer, MJ, and Matthew, who all help me produce the Style & Direction podcast and are some of my best friends who also happen to love menswear.
Other: Menswear Blog: streetxsprezza.wordpress.com