Franky Tran (@franky_tran) was graduating from the fashion design course at SAIC.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style at the moment as island cowboy on military leave.
Who and what inspires your outfits in general and this one in particular?
I put my outfits together in a similar way as to how I design clothes—I just completed a ten-look collection with my partner, Noa Loewald Hu. I like to subvert classic American sportswear through my own imagination. I also enjoy mixing traditional menswear with whatever I find off eBay. For my graduation, I pulled out one of my favorite jackets—it’s by Walter van Beirendonck, whose menswear I really admire. I only wore it one other time which was for the 2014 CFDA Awards. I styled it with a pair of oversized shorts by Comme des Garçons, polo by Fred Perry, some Doc Martens and Nike socks.
What would you say to someone who thinks that what you wear is not really important?
I would say they’re probably right. It’s just clothes!
What is your style philosophy?
John Waters put it best: “Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop—the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents—that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative—wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bleach in a load of colored laundry. Follow the exact opposite of the dry cleaning instructions inside the clothes that cost the most in your thrift shop. Don’t wear jewelry. Stick Band-Aids on your wrists or make a necklace out of them. Wear Scotch tape on the side of your face like a bad face-lift attempt.”
—Interview and photograph by Isa Giallorenzo
Journalist Isa Giallorenzo was born in São Paulo, Brazil and has elected Chicago as her beloved home since 2009. She runs the street-style blog Chicago Looks and wants to see this town become one of the fashion capitals of the world.