A few years ago an anonymously-run Tumblr with an unprintable
name changed the way we talk about clothing, and a lot else besides. At
irregular intervals, and seemingly according to whim more than deadline frenzy,
F*** Yeah Menswear would
post a hip-hop-inflected ode to the subject of a street style photo—instantly
just as did the songs it mimicked (“crispy,” “Steezus,” et al.)—and offices
across fashion-land would halt as editors eagerly read these mysterious musings
about themselves and their colleagues. FYM was so guerrilla, so impassioned, so
unabashedly insider-y and self-aware, like millennial madlibs, that it made
writing any other way seemed old-fashioned, a front. When he was outed as a
co-creator of the site, just before the release of FYM the book, Lawrence
Schlossman was 24, and no dark horse (At least not to me: I sat two feet away
from him in an office where we worked together). He was already the vocal point
in the convergence of hip hop and men’s fashion and his two other blogs, Sartorially Inclined,
and How To Talk To Girls At Parties,
were recognized as the vanguard in a new generation of menswear sites. Now
Schlossman is the editor in chief of the magazine Four Pins
and every bit the kind of street style star he came up idolizing. As the dust
was settling on fashion week in New York, we caught up with Schlossman to talk
about his tastes, his career arc, and the state of menswear.
You are a great enthusiast.
Your passion, when calling something out, be it a garment, a song, a store or
whatever, is clear and powerful. People respond to it. What is it, that thing,
that trigger that you are looking for, responding to—whether good or bad?
Regardless of whether it is positive or negative, everything
feels super personal to me. Being lucky enough to have pretty good jobs, I’ve
been able to see a lot of sides of the industry and meet people who I really
respect and get to see how they work. And I refuse to forget the genesis of all
this. I am a superfan. As someone who came up speaking their mind and taking
things personal, when I see something bad I’m personally offended. On a
positive side, when I see something I dig and have the same feelings of awe,
amazement that brought me to this point, I have to call it out. I think it’s
easy for people to get jaded. It is still kinda fresh for me. I’m still young
and I hope that enthusiasm is something I never lose. It’s my best asset.
You know that you are the
establishment now. You are one of Tommy’s muses. So when are you gonna drop the
whole not-giving-a-f*** attitude and start resting on your laurels?
Yeah, right? I mean, what’s the line between I-don’t-give-a-f***
and I-give-so-many? That’s the line. I try to stay in there and I don’t look at
things in a binary way. Of course there are all the extreme reactions to things
on twitter. But to find the middle ground is important. There is a gray area.
If you’re so extreme you become the boy who cried dub-monks. Sometimes I feel
like the establishment and sometimes I don’t. That little chip on my shoulder
keep me going, like, ‘yo, you need to take this very seriously. You’re not
there. You gotta keep that desire.’
Um, were you wearing
Birkenstocks during fashion week?
I absolutely was. They are mad comfortable. If you are walking a
ton, which I was, why wouldn’t you wear something so comfy? I kinda love them.
They are objectively bad looking which to me is the appeal.
You seem to be getting more
adventurous in your gear but remain pretty traditional in your eyewear
choices—dark, square, acetate frame. Tell me there was lots of trial and error
involved in coming to this? Like, can I find a pic of you in white frames or
You're never going to find a pic of me sporting bro shades
because even back when maybe the rest of my wardrobe was lacking, I always knew
that a classic, wayfarer frame was the way to go. No matter how ugly your
grill, that shape is going to work for you and make you look roughly a thousand
times cooler than you could ever hope to be.
We have to talk about rappers
on the runways. This mesh of music and and fashion is obviously nothing new but
of late the two have become particularly tight. I feel like you, with HTTGAP,
FYMW and 4 Pins have been out ahead of it. Can you give me a little state of
It’s a great thing—Pusha T walking in the Mark McNairy show;
Killa Cam sitting front row. The mixing and matching of different elements of
pop culture—fashion, movies, music... I think it’s fantastic. There are a lot
of superfans out there, but at the same time, just because you are a superfan
of one discipline, doesn’t mean you aren’t attentive to another. For me it was
fashion and menswear but there was always hip hop in my heart. These points of
convergence are what people get really stoked on and I get it because I am one
of those superfans.
Where does this union of
menswear and hip-hop go from here?
Right now we’re at a tipping point. These worlds are colliding
at top speed. My hope—to be glass half full—is that we’re gonna see great art
and product come out of it. How many times can these atoms collide before
something great comes out it? I see myself more as a critic than a creator, but
I wanna see the creators in various disciplines make something great. I hope
the synergy creates more things to get excited about.
I kind of can’t believe what
you've been up to and accomplished at your age, but, where do you go from here?
I’m not sure. After doing PR at a small company, working with
McNairy and [Capsule], and doing social media on a bigger scale with Park &
Bond and GiltMan, and now running the editorial side of things at 4Pins, I’ve
seen different segments. But I really like the idea of being an editor. I like
controlling the trajectory and voice of a magazine. I love that platform. I’d
like to stay on the edit side. There are other things to get to—on-camera
stuff, podcasts... I don’t really know.
- Interview by Christopher Wallace