Timeless looks of Munich: This is Alex.
With superstar fashion designer, stylist and streetstyle photographer, Yolanda Ng, at the helm, we took to the streets of Munich to seek out fashionable people – and talk to them about their clothes, lives and slow fashion.
Restyling life and fashion
When I was younger, I tried to fit in. I remember buying expensive stuff. Really ridiculous stuff that I never wore, just because I thought it was cool because it had a brand on it. Honestly, it’s embarrassing but I bought a pink Prada jacket. I don’t know what drove me to that. I think I wore it once in my life, felt ridiculed, and then sold it at a flea market. I was a different person back then,” Alex tells us, setting his bike aside on Kolosseumstraße, in Munich’s edgy Glockenbachviertel. “It gave me confidence to have expensive stuff.”
We soon discover that his style is not coincidental, but tells a prolific story of his life. A story of transformation. “I think there are two ways to approach fashion,” he says. “Either you try to fit in – you see something in a catalogue, on a person or a general trend, and try to fit in or feel a certain connectivity to a group – or you try to stand out. They’re the two paths I went down.”
“When I was younger, I bought more brand stuff and tried to fit in. As I got older, and I guess a little more self-confident, I became brave enough to stand out,” he continues. “Maybe it sounds weird for a 40-year-old guy, but I think I’m still developing as a person. I’m growing into what I like, and trying things I wouldn’t have in the past. Sometimes they turn out nice, sometimes not quite like I wanted them to be, but I try. I think that has a lot to do with confidence. Confidence radiates over everything and makes a lot of things work.”
Friends and growing into slow fashion
“I credit a lot of my development to the people around me. When I was younger I was in professional sports. It was a brilliant time in my life and formed me as a person. But being a professional athlete doesn’t give you time to form a real stable group of friends. When I quit and started studying – first law, then design – it was the first time in my life that I had a special group of really good friends. They had a big influence on my life.”
Alex is thoughtful and articulate. He’s spent many years thinking about growth and becoming more socially conscious. “I think that’s a huge thing. The people you surround yourself with, whether consciously or subconsciously, have a big influence on your personality. I credit my development to my friends. I think they pushed me and I’m enjoying that journey.”
“I don’t think I would have liked my younger self,” he grins. “And I think if my younger self met me now, he might think I was a weirdo.But we wouldn’t have met. I was such a different person back then. Totally different values and outlook on life.”
When is a collection a “collection”?
“I like floral prints and, sometimes, since my body type is not very huge, I can even buy women’s clothes. I have ten or so floral shirts. I don’t know, is that a collection? When is a collection, a “collection”?” Alex asks, smiling.
“I think a part of my style comes from music. The music scene. I listen to electronic music and at festivals people wear a lot of floral and print stuff. So, not necessarily consciously, but if you’re surrounded by people wearing different styles, it also gives you confidence to try new things. I try to mix second-hand with modern stuff. I have a few signature pieces. Today I’m wearing black, but I don’t have a huge collection of black things. I have one or two, like this vest. It’s sustainable and made of recycled fabric, I like that. ”
His personal transformation, he tells us, has also led him to change his shopping habits. “When I buy new things, it’s mostly refurbished stuff. It wasn’t the case in my early days. I had to grow into it. I changed my view on fashion. At some point I also started digging into second-hand stores and picking out things which are unique and you don’t see duplicated on the street. I kind of like the thought that it doesn’t have to be produced again, because it exists for ages. It gives me a little more satisfaction about myself… at least a little bit.”
“One of my favourite itemss is like a really, really old brown leather wool jacket which I got from a friend fifteen years ago – and he had already bought it second-hand in New York ten years before. I actually have a lot of jackets but they’re not crazy in terms of patterns, so they go with all of my shirts. I think that’s my way to keep looks timeless. Not going overboard with everything at the same time.”
Slow fashion tips from Alex
- Wash consciously – use eco settings, lower temperatures and be mindful
- Conscious brands – Explore brands that are sustainably minded
- Get inspired – use social media as a source of inspiration and fashion accessibility
- Deadstock material – Try to find clothes made from fabric left over after production
- Shop second-hand – Top vintage stores have cool, one-off pieces
- Mix and match – Match bold or daring shirts with more neutral trousers (or vice versa)
Header image: ©Yolanda Ng
Image of Yolanda Ng: ©Markus Burke
Image of Yolanda Ng and Alex: ©Markus Burke
Image of Alex: ©Yolanda Ng