By Robin | February 17, 2017

Our Favorite Instagrammers – @michaelysoo


Name: Michael Soo
Instagram Name: @michaelysoo
Amount of followers: 3145
Age: 31
Residence: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Occupation: Biotech Start-up Technical Lead

I’m a driven, passionate problem-solver that wants to leverage its scientific training and interested in having a positive impact. I have a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied protein folding and how it contributes to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, and ALS. Since I’ve finished my PhD, I’m working with a Biotech startup to develop an antimicrobial surface cleaner for agricultural and food processing applications to decrease bacterial and viral contamination.

What keeps me awake at night is what is going to happen to the US. With the recent election of Donald J Trump as the US President, there is a lot of fear and concern amongst the poor, immigrants, and minority communities about the implications of what this election on them.

My favorite hot-spots are down-to-earth bars and restaurants where I can have great food and drinks with friends in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. In Philly, some of my favorite places to hang out are Martha, Dock Street Brewing Co, Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda’s, and Local 44.

I also really enjoy cooking and fine-dining. Philly has a really vibrant restaurant culture and I really like the current emphasis on local ingredients, heritage animal breed and vegetable cultivars, with modern preparations. Recently, I’ve had great meals like Laurel, Fond, and Market on High Street.

My other passions are craft beer, homebrewing, whiskey (especially bourbon), science, BBQ, and Philadelphia sports teams.


Our Favorite Instagrammers - @michaelysoo


  1. Why do you share your outfits? And why Instagram?

I like posting outfits on Instagram because it’s a way for me to share with like-minded people and to get inspired by others. In my daily life, there are not many people that like all the same things that I do, but I can find them on Instagram.


  1. What makes your Instagram feed so special?

My Instagram feed is special because I think it’s a reflection of the things that excite me in life. I post a lot of denim evolution and fit pictures, but there are also boots, beer, whiskey, food and selfies. Unlike some people that have highly curated IG feed or separate accounts for private and public content, I have one feed that covers my entire life.


  1. Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from being in the world I live in. I grew up in a hard working, working class family in a country where people worked hard and saved for things they wanted, which they expected to last. Now that I’m grown up and have a little more expendable income, I enjoy things that are well-crafted and reflect a distinctive perspective.


Our Favorite Instagrammers - @michaelysoo


  1. Where does your love for denim come from? When did it start?

I love denim because it’s a workwear that evolves with time and becomes personalized with wear. My love started about 10 years ago when I learned about Japanese raw denim and their passion for making high quality pieces that embrace traditional manufacturing practices


  1. Your top 3 favourite (denim)brands? And why?

3sixteen – I really like the modern fits, innovative fabrics, and their connection to the American raw denim community

Samurai – One of the original brands that I first learned about. They were one of the first companies to use heavy weight denim with lots of imperfections. They offer many different cuts, really cool details, and fabrics, all of which fade beautifully.

Pure Blue Japan – they have the best denim. The color of the dying, the slubbiness of the fabric, the loose weave, and excellent fading.


6. What is your favorite accessory? 

My favorite accessory is the custom Corter midlength wallet I bought when I first started getting into denim. I had to replace the rein, but the wallet itself is aging beautifully and holding on strong.


Our Favorite Instagrammers - @michaelysoo


7. What items do you wear the most at the moment? Why?

Right now I’m wearing Oni 517XX and 3sixteen shadow selvedge Type 3 jacket almost daily. The Oni’s are for the Oni vs Samurai competition Denimio is hosting. I haven’t worn any Oni’s before but these are great. I love the fading of the denim and the slim-straight fit. The 3sixteen Type 3 I bought using store credit I won from the reddit /r/rawdenim 120x Shadow Selvedge competition. It’s a perfectly fitting jacket that is starting to fade subtly into really bright blue highlights.


  1. What is your favorite shop? And what is your favorite webstore?

The first pair of Japanese raw denim I bought was from Blue in Green. I like that they are pioneers in bringing raw denim to the US. It was the first place I got to see Samurai, PBJ, and Sugarcane in person. When I got to see and try on these jeans, I was hooked.

There are some really great online stores. I like that both Denimio and Okayama Denim offer a lot of different products, provide full measurements, and have free worldwide shipping.


Our Favorite Instagrammers - @michaelysoo


  1. Do you care about the production process? 

I do care about the production process and I like to know that people are designing, producing, and selling the jeans in an ecologically and sustainable way. The clothes are made with care and meant to last. A lot of the clothes sold these days are made in industrial sweatshops, where they are made as cheaply and quickly as possible with little regard for quality.


  1. What are your dreams for the future?

My dream for the future is to own a business where I can use my skills to pursue my passions


Our Favorite Instagrammers - @michaelysoo