FASHION – Behind the Style

A little while ago I did an interview with friend and journalist Carlo Javier on the topic of fashion ethics. We dabble on the topics of business transparency, human rights violations and the concept of “Fast Fashion”. It’s a tad of a lengthy read but also close to my heart and a topic I think deserves more media exposure.

You can contact Carlo at:


Continue reading FASHION – Behind the Style


STEPS – Nice to Meet You, Again

We seem to rely greatly on the labels that we’ve stuck on to one another to navigate and interact within our social circles.  And I get it, categorizing things is how we keep ourselves safe and working efficiently. I’m not exempt from labeling others either. But, I think overtime I’ve really learned the fragility and malleability of these labels. They can represent absolute accuracy today and mean nothing tomorrow.

We owe it to ourselves to allow people in our lives to change and grow. We often label someone once, put them into a box, and never let them out. This is especially true with the ones closest to us as we don’t notice the micro-changes that occur. Ever since I’ve taken note to this, I’m discovering qualities I never knew about people, connecting over interests we’ve never had.  It’s funny because when you allow someone to surprise you, they usually do.

I think it’d be sensational to look at people around you – especially the close ones – with a fresh pair of eyes once in awhile, as if you’ve met them for the first time again. Give them a chance to show you what new characters they’ve become. Assign updated labels. Sometimes new friends and relationships are right beside you.

Me personally, – after taking a year to myself to grow, change, fall, try, develop, reflect and learn – am certainly ready for some new labels. I’m hoping you’ll give me that chance one day again.

So hello, nice to meet you, again.

FASHION – 5 Lesser-Known Menswear Retailers in Vancouver [Street-Wear]

The Vancouver fashion scene these days is really suffocated by major companies like H&M and Zara. Because of this, I find that styles are not as diversified as it could be, and local boutiques & brands have a hard time getting into the ether. It can be especially difficult for us guys out there that are in search for peculiar and exceptional options out there.  So, I compiled a list of lesser-known boutiques that standout to me.


1) Roden Gray

Roden Gray

First on the list – and also probably the most well known – is Roden Gray. They carry some of the hottest young designer street wear brands right now including Yeezy and Thom Browne. Their style consists of mostly young designers who are at the forefront of men’s street-wear today. I personally like the variety of brands they’ve curated from locals like Native Shoes to overseas Japanese brands; they’ve even  established a couple of in-house brands, No. 8 and Mr. Gray. It’s a great place to look if you’re in search of high-end street-wear.





NEIGHBOR is a small boutique located in Gastown that possesses the perfect mix between streamline minimalism and technical sophistication to their merchandise. They carry a combination of veteran and budding designer brands as well which is always reliable in offering a full range of looks. NEIGHBOUR is for the type of person that wears a non-flashy, non-gimmicky, minimal but technical and high quality style. And they’ve really done a spectacular job of fine-tuning that vibe for their demographic.


3) Simons

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Simons is a Canadian retailer that opened a branch in Vancouver earlier this year. But, I’ve been shopping with this brand for quite a few years now after discovering it in Edmonton. I was astonished at just how wide of a selection they have to offer. They’re similar to H&M or Topman in that they’re truly designed to be a one-stop-shop as they carry everything from basics to designer suiting. Their in-house brands carry a straight-forward-to-the-point style to them. While also housing an eclectic collection of designer brands from Comme de Garcon to Versace.  Because of this, they’ve done a good job at covering all grounds and offering something for everyone.


4) Livestock


Livestock is an urban street-wear store that has a heavy emphasis on fashionable sportswear. With three locations in Vancouver currently, they’re best known for their impressive collection of sneakers.  Accompanying the shoes is a collection of fun, quality apparel that doesn’t overdo it.  The brands range from well known giants like Adidas to Arc’teryx and even their own in-house brand, Livestock.  If your style gravitates towards urban-sporty, this is a place to lookout for.


5) Board of Trade

Board of Trade

The words “peculiar” and “quirky” come to mind when I think about Board of Trade. Don’t be fooled by the minute size of the store or the small collection of merchandise. The brands’ really run with the “quality over quantity” motto. First of all, every brand they carried was new to me which was extremely refreshing. Their overall store collection pairs simple staples with high quality and unique details. It doesn’t try to do too much, which I like. The brand really shows that you can dress simple and still be fashionable with quality and choice pieces.

STEPS – Beware of Dream Killers


Unfortunately, they’re usually our closest friends and family. And most of the time they’re doing what they think is the best for us. But what they may never understand is the significance of a dream to us, and that we’re prepared to put everything on the line to turn it into reality. What they haven’t thought about is that we’ve calculated the risks and obstacles much earlier than they have. What they don’t know is that we’d rather fail taking this path than succeed in another.

I think sometimes we overstep our boundaries as an advisor and project too much of our standards of happiness onto others. We think we know better when we don’t fully understand someone else’s struggles, values and perspectives.  Many times too often did I find people around me becoming invasive, dissecting and casting judgment on the life I have envisioned for myself.

After learning this lesson I’ve really made an effort to make sure that I’m not a dream killer for someone else.  I don’t need to know your journey – that’s for your eyes only. Knowing that you’re working hard towards your vision of happiness is enough to garner my support.

STEPS – Uncomfortable

“Purposefully and strategically uncomfortable” is how I’d describe my life in the past year. I started in a position where I was unwillingly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable with the person that I was, the position I was in life and my outlook towards life.  At some point I realized that if I’m going to be stuck in this bubble for a while, I might as well use it as an opportunity to re-construct myself.

I stopped everything that I was comfortable with and began putting myself in new situations. I really wanted to dedicate every moment to productivity and shed a new skin as quickly as possible. With the time I had left between school and work, I started meeting new people, trying new things, picking up new activities; every possible new opportunity that I could take, I took it. Yes, it was awkward, weird, and gave me anxiety in almost every situation. But as I predicted,  in every situation, I learned a valuable lesson, or listened to a new story, or made a new friend.

I’m not here to complain about my hardships because I know my life is lavish compared to many people out there. But man, it’s been rough. Though it hasn’t been without its merits either.

Although at the core I’m still the same person, I’ve added many new layers and peeled off old ones. My priorities have shifted, big time; My outlook in life has expanded tenfold; My network of friends has not only broadened, but more importantly diversified; I’ve become a much more approachable, understanding and patient person; I’ve picked up new hobbies and tastes in music & fashion; Most importantly I feel nothing like the person I was a year ago. All that in just one year because I’ve been nothing but uncomfortable.

Now, in some twisted paradoxical way, I’ve gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. Any days I do get some breathing room I’m only itching to work, or find something new to keep myself busy. I’m thirsty to  learn and mature continuously.

So with that being said, I encourage you to get uncomfortable as well. Go to an event where you don’t know anyone, listen to music that’s out of your usual playlist, talk to a stranger, take up a new hobby, try a new food, help out a person in need – not to post about it on Instagram later but because you can take away so much more from that exchange, wear that outfit you’ve always wanted to try, go to the theatres alone; embrace the discomfort.

Until I’ve caught up with my dreams, I don’t plan on getting comfortable any time soon.

STEPS – First Step

First of all, welcome and thank you so much for dropping by! Whoever you are, I want you to know it means a lot to me that you gave me a chance.  As my first post I thought I’d give a little back-story on where I’m at in life, why I created this space and what type of content you should expect on here.

For the past little while – and now more than ever –  I’ve dedicated my life to self-improvement, learning and reconstructing myself. It’s obviously still a work in progress but I’ve come a long way from where I’ve started. During the last few months I’ve been racking my brain as to how I can elevate this process and take it to the next level. And this was the result.

I’ve never been a person that’s good at expressing my thoughts and feelings verbally. It was always through writing, music and other forms of communication did I find myself at home. I thought this was the perfect time to push my creativity and produce content that’s true to me for the public eye. It’s definitely nerve-racking but during this road of ups and downs, I think it will be fun to see what I can create.

Putting myself out there lets everyone hold me accountable for who I am. It’s the difference between telling yourself you’ll lose 5 pounds and announcing it to everyone you know. And I’m motivated to continue making progress in front of everyone. I’m also hoping this will bring me closer to the people I already know, bring me new opportunities and speak to the ones I can’t.

As for content, I’m going to post a lot of personal thoughts on topics I believe all passes our minds, but seldom  get the opportunity to speak about with others; things that come to mind on your bus ride home alone ya know? Another stream of content will be dedicated to fashion, a passion of mine. You can expect written and visual content on fashion – mainly dedicated to menswear – in separate pages.

This site will grow and change as I do, so please be patient with me. I hope I can create content that you find entertaining or thought-provoking. Thanks again for your time.